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3D Additional 3-D Films from the Golden Age

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Richard's excellent studio-by-studio breakdown of vintage 3-D product is a valuable tool. Please allow me to fill in some gaps. The following are the remaining titles from the Golden Age: 1952-1955
    A DAY IN THE COUNTRY - Lippert short narrated by Joe Besser - 1953 - Preserved.
    COLLEGE CAPERS - Lippert short with Dolores Fuller - 1953 - ditto
    BANDIT ISLAND - Lippert short with Lon Chaney and Glenn Langan - 1953 - LOST. One side of the 3-D negative was cut for inclusion in the 1954 feature THE BIG CHASE.
    ROBOT MONSTER - Astor - 1953 - Survives. Condition of elements unknown.
    CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON - Astor - 1954 - ditto
    HANNAH LEE - Jack Broder Productions - 1953 - ditto
    BOO MOON - Paramount Casper cartoon, 1953 - Preserved
    THE ADVENTURES OF SAM SPACE - Filmed by Volcano Productions in 1953, released as SPACE ATTACK in 1960 by 20th Century Fox - Preserved.
    M.L. GUNZBERG PRESENTS THIRD DIMENSION - Arch Oboler - 1952 - Prologue to BWANA DEVIL - Preserved.
    ROCKY MARCIANO VS. JERSEY JOE WALCOTT - United Artists boxing newsreel, 1953 - Preserved.
    DOOM TOWN - 3-D Productions - Atomic bomb short - 1953 - Preserved.
    MOTOR RHYTHM - RKO 1953 (originally NEW DIMENSIONS - 1940) Preserved.
    STARDUST IN YOUR EYES - Al Zimbalist - 1953. Companion short to ROBOT MONSTER. Preserved.
    LOVE FOR SALE - Dan Sonney Productions burlesque short - 1953 - Preserved.
    I was founder of the 3-D Film Archive in 1991 and have been doing research and preservation work on the Golden Age material for over 25 years. While I don't have any information on the current status of elements at the various studios, I'll be happy to share any information or answer any questions that you may have.
    Bob Furmanek
    Vice President
    3-D Film Preservation Fund
    http://www.3dfilmpf.org/
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  2. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Thanks for taking the time to assemble this list.
    It's very useful.
    Most of these that do survive, I've seen at your Expos.
    The impact of your Expos on the industry-players in Los Angeles is still being felt, I think.
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    Great information and really fascinating to contemplate what might be assembled for home release one day.Thanks so much!
     
  4. GregK

    GregK Well-Known Member

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    +1 to that - Some great information indeed.
    The 3-D Film Preservation Fund (and Bob's many pioneering efforts starting many years before the creation of the Preservation Fund) have saved many Golden Age 3-D titles from being lost to the ages. It's a very safe bet to say all of this work, combined with the previous World 3-D Expos, caused many of the studios re-examine their 3-D assets. ..And also helped educate many to the fine stereoscopic cinematography and production values that most of these titles offered.
    Bob, is there any one 3-D horror story that sticks out from a preservation / restoration standpoint?
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thank you for the nice words, it was truly a labor of love!
    Horror stories? So far as something that was lost, or something that I worked on?
     
  6. GregK

    GregK Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking something you had worked on.
    On a sidenote: Your interviews (showing the polarized filters) used in the "Creature From the Black Lagoon" DVDs were far better than what was done with the DVD for "Dial M". In the Dial M extra features, as someone thought it was original shown with red & blue colored filters. "Say what.....??" :)
     
  7. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thanks, Greg! I was sick as a dog the day we did those interviews for the CREATURE set. I'm glad it didn't show!
    Yes, I thought displaying the filters would make the point. I'm sorry to hear that the red/blue myth was repeated on the DIAL M set.
    Another myth on DIAL M is that it never played in 3-D in 1954. Not true, I've documented two play dates. I know that's not many, but one was the world premiere.
    There are several horror stories regarding restorations. The most tedious would have to be HANNAH LEE. Everything that could possibly be wrong happened with those prints with the worst sin being incorrect edge codes. Every 3-D feature of the 1950's had a set of numbers every 16 frames on the side of the print to indicate the side and footage point. For instance, L2549 would identify the left side, reel 2, 549 feet from the first frame. This was VERY useful if a print got damaged and the operator had to slug it with black film to keep it in sync. On HANNAH LEE, they not only got the numbers wrong between eyes, sometimes they marked left as right and visa versa. In that case, the only way to properly identify the reel was by eye, hunched over a light box comparing the parallax between prints with a magnifying loop. I had at least a dozen unidentified prints in my possession and still had trouble creating a complete left/right match.
    After screening the results at Expo 1 in 2003, Bob Burns commented that I had spent more time on syncing the prints than they did making the movie. He was probably right!
    Unfortunately, that's one film that will probably never see a full restoration. The current distributor has nearly 30 boxes of elements, mostly trims and separation masters. The only thing they could say for certain is they only have one camera negative. The copyright is in question and it's doubtful anybody would ever spend the money on a full blown preservation.
     
  8. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Bob, what's the status of Disney's Melody? I know a 2D version was included with the Fantasia Anthology in 2001, but do you know if both eyes are preserved?
     
  9. Bob Furmanek

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    Yes, MELODY is completely preserved in the Disney vaults. The same with WORKING FOR PEANUTS. I'm not sure about 3-D JAMBOREE. The new print we struck in 2006 was from a fading negative. I don't know if they've done preservation on that one.
     
  10. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Here is a rare photo of Lon Chaney from the lost 3-D short, BANDIT ISLAND. Released by Lippert in September 1953, it was available in both dual-strip Polaroid or single strip anaglyph.
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    In 1954, most of the short was edited into the flat feature, THE BIG CHASE. We believe that one side of the original 3-D negative was cut and utilized for the feature. It has not been seen since its original release and no 3-D elements are known to exist.
     
  11. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    The Big Chase doesn't survive, either?
     
  12. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    The flat feature survives and was released on DVD by VCI/Kit Parker Films.
     
  13. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    What about Inferno from 1953, with Robert Ryan and Rhonda Fleming?
     
  14. Bob Furmanek

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    INFERNO is fully restored visually but the stereo audio is gone.
     
  15. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    Will the 3-D films from the 1950's be released on Blu-ray 3D in the full-frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio?
     
  16. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    Working for Peanuts was show in 3-D with another Disney 3-D film a few years ago. I don't remember any 3-D effects coming out of the screen.
     
  17. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Of the 50 domestic "Golden Age" features, approximately 20 are photographed and intended for 1.37. The rest were all composed for widescreen, ranging in aspect ratios from 1.66 up to 2.1.
     
  18. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    How were they shown at 3-D Expos? I saw Dial M for Murder in dual-projection 3-D at the NYC Film Forum and it looked like 1.33:1. I think these films look better in 3-D at the 1.33;1 ratio. I have House of Wax in 1.85: 1 and 1.33:1 on DVD and the 3-D looks a lot better in 1.33:1.
     
  19. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    HOUSE OF WAX was not intended for widescreen so 1.37 is the correct ratio. DIAL M was intended for 1.85 and that is the way it should be seen.
    Most studios switched to widescreen cinematography in April/May of 1953. However, the films were all protected for 1.37 and that's the way they've been (incorrectly) presented ever since.
    Don't go by the way these films have been shown in revivals over the past 30 years. They've always been run 1.37 which is wrong.
    We ran some titles widescreen at Expo 2, including TAZA, SON OF COCHISE, DIAL M FOR MURDER, KISS ME KATE and REVENGE OF THE CREATURE. We would have run more but didn't have the correct documentation.
    This is not opinion. We have original, primary studio documentation and source materials to back up this information.
    Bob Furmanek
    3-D FILM PRESERVATION FUND
     
  20. GregK

    GregK Well-Known Member

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    Bob pretty much nailed it - During this somewhat "murky" shift to widescreen, proper studio documentation and source materials are vital.
    When widescreen first came into vogue, yes - there were a few studios who suggested showing a couple features "cropped" when they were never composed or intended to be shown in such a manner. "It Came From Outer Space" fits into this category, when someone at the studio decided it was fine to be matted for widescreen if a theater chose to do so. But this was clearly composed for the 1.37 Academy ratio, and is supported as such by studio documentation.
    But these one or two exceptions aside, the studios were quick to formally adopt widescreen for future releases, and comprise a good number of the Golden Age 3-D features. These titles will have extra headroom at the top and bottom of the image, as they were intended and composed to be cropped for widescreen, and therefore have the best framing when viewed in their intended aspect ratio. I've seen most of the "shot for widescreen" Golden Age 3-D features in both full frame and in widescreen. The advantage of the intended widescreen ratio framing is clear, with tighter and better balanced shot compositions. Just as it is with standard 2-D material that has been composed for widescreen.
    We all of course want to view these features in their original intended aspect ratio. Thankfully people like Bob Furmanek and Jack Theakston have spent a good deal of time researching exactly which 3-D titles were intended for widescreen during this transitional period.
     

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