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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Mammy

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Think 3-D is big?

    It's nothing compared to the sound revolution, which took hold in 1927, with a part-talking feature from Warner Bros. entitled The Jazz Singer. Starring a new to features Al Jolson (he had been seen in a few shorts), then famous for his legit performances going back to the the vaudeville days.

    With his famous ad-lib "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet," he propelled the art form, with Warner Bros. at the fore into a new era.

    A year later, Warner followed the success with another huge Jolson hit, The Singing Fool, which raised Jolson's importance to even higher levels.

    In 1930 he again starred for Warner in Mammy. While it didn't hit at the box office as did the earlier films, it was a quality production, and Warner released it as something special.

    Eighty years later, the Warner Archive Collection has again released Mammy as something special, and it appears that the WAC may be moving in a slightly different direction with certain releases. In 2002, Mammy was Restored and preserved by The UCLA Film & Television Archive with its original two color Technicolor sequences intact. Now eight years later, Warner has taken another step by scanning the preservation elements at MPI and putting them through the entire MPI digital restoration process, inclusive of clean-up.

    What arrives on the Archive disc is a version of Mammy unseen in well over half a century. Where footage was missing in the Technicolor sequences, black & white footage has been beautifully blended in in sepia to avoid black slugs.

    The Archive Collection release of Mammy has Overture and play-out music intact, along with the two two-color sequences, which give a reasonably accurate idea what the color actually looked like. To place color in perspective, it was far from ordinary. While two color Technicolor goes back to the mid-teens, in the 20s through 1930, fewer than thirty features were released in the format. Technicolor sequences, from lengths of less than 110 feet to entire musical numbers or sequences were to be found in around sixty releases, many of which have not survived.

    Mammy is a gorgeous disc from the Archive Collection, and all involved should be applauded for their efforts. As an aside, The Singing Fool is also available.

    Support the Archive Collection by adding Mammy to your library.

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. ColbyCo82

    ColbyCo82 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review. I will definitely be ording this one. I especially love the cover art, which makes me wish Warners would go back and make new cover art for the Singing Fool and Say it With Songs. Both of those covers were very bland even for the old WA style.
     
  3. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame a film of this importance was religated to the Archive. Hopefully TCM will air where it can be seen by a wider audience.
     
  4. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    So much for an Al Jolson boxset with this, Wonder Bar and others in it. The Archives has killed my interest in Warners classic films. Between the price point and (I'm guessing) not being available in Canada, it's hard to get too excited. :(
     
  5. RandyfromCanada

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    Sounds like a wonderful disc, unfortunately I also will NOT be supporting the Warner Archive by purchasing this....sorry...
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    You guys do realize that whether a disc is burned or pressed the quality is the same, right? The only issues are player compatibility and unknown long-term effects. For me, I don't care if it is burned or pressed. If it's a movie I really want, I'll buy it when I can get it on sale.
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Unless it's changed, it's not available for me to buy in Canada unless I jump through a dozen hoops. I also wont support a program that is known to have quality and compatibility issues, especially if I'm already expected to jump through said hoopes. Historically Warners was the best company for treating their classic catalog with respect, and often at amazing value in the form of all sorts of boxsets. So I wont support this Archive program that goes in the face of all that came before. Instead, I'll buy the Film Noir Volume 5 set, and get 8 films for the price of 2 archives discs ($20 for an archives disc I think? I'm so uninterested in the program I haven't looked at it since it was announced) since Warners is ok with Canadians buying that Film Noir set, and because I want to support that side of the business in the hopes that this goofy archives program goes the way of the dodo and we can once again get classy, quality box sets that are priced to sell.
     
  8. Chas_Michael

    Chas_Michael Well-Known Member

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    DVD-Rs fail...I have dozens that are now failing. Out of the thousands of pressed DVDs I own not one has failed.

    WB Archives is a scam. I want LONG TERM storage for my investment.

    at $25.00 a pop...no thanks.

    AND there are some ppl that are having trouble backing up their investment. UNREAL.
     
  9. SilverWook

    SilverWook Well-Known Member

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    What brand? What country of manufacture? And what does Warner use?

    My copy of the first edition of Moonraker went bad, so even pressed DVD's can fail.
     
  10. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    I have a number of pressed discs that have gone bad over the years (and so far 3 blu-rays). I've been burning DVD-Rs of my own work since about 2000. I've only had 2 of several hundred them fail. So at this point my DVD-Rs have a better track record than the pressed discs I own.

    I own 8 or 9 titles from the Warner Archive and so far I have been very pleased with the quality. Now here we have a fully restored film from the archive. This one should be spectacular.

    By the way, "backing up" their investment, is illegal.

    Doug
     
  11. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    Out of the 40 discs I have recieved from the WA, only one has failed, and that was due to an improper burn. Quickly replaced by WB. I'd say many people avoid WA titles because they are unrestored and sometimes use older masters. I'd say this title is an exception, since it is the only WA title listed as "restored." $20 seems like a fair price in this case, especially for Jolson fans. As far as I know, it is the only Jolson feature outside of The Jazz Singer that has been restored.
     
  12. revgen

    revgen Well-Known Member

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    DVD-R's fail if you buy cheap ones.

    If you investigate your DVD-R burner and the brand of media that suits it best, you can burn discs with low error rates, which will last longer. You can also find specialized media such as TDK's Scratchproof DVD-R's. Unfortunately, they are only sold in Europe, but you can buy them at Amazon.co.uk. http://www.amazon.co.uk/TDK-4-7GB-DVD-Scratchproof-10pk/dp/B000EYA1MO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1270854917&sr=8-1
     
  13. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    Pressed DVDs, at least as far as classic or catalog titles go, are giving out their last gasp. It's a dying format. The future is downloading and streaming but MOD provides a haven for classic film collectors. What do I care if "the sky is falling" types declare the Warners Archive program is the spawn of the Devil? I've got a massive collection of films that I never dared dream I would ever own thanks to the Warners Archive.

    And yes, I've had many pressed DVDs fail to play. Out of over 125 Warner Archive titles I have, I've only had 5 defectives and that was because of a bad "burn" (they all had that purple "ring" on the disc). Warners has quickly replaced them all and the second discs played fine.
     
  14. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a "pressed" DVD fail to play. Never. I import DVDs from all over and not one has given me a problem. One or two are from cut-price, fifth grade, rip-off merchants and the picture quality is no better than VHS, but they all play without problem.
     
  15. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    I have had two pressed DVD problems over the years. None from the Warner Archives, so far. Never had a problem with Sinister Cinema or Something Weird Video DVD'rs. But many that I have done myself and blame that on poor media and my hardware.
     

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