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Exciting Discovery of DRACULA Film Element!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bob Furmanek, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I just saw this amazing news on the Classic Horror Film Board:

    "Got some truly exciting news that I think everyone here will be rejoicing over. My daughter was talking to one of her old coworkers at the Library of Congress this morning. Apparently after the negative press about the recent DVD of DRACULA, he decided to conduct a further search for better film elements last summer. He was rewarded for his efforts by discovering a complete nitrate lavender fine grain composite from 1930 that no one, including Universal knew about. He said it's in pristine condition and is absolutely gorgeous. The capper to this is that it DOES contain the complete epilogue. It's now in the hands of Universal. Hopefully they'll be making this available in some form soon."

    Let's hope this is not a hoax...
     
  2. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    NICE! I already own 3 versions of this, I'll buy a 4th DVD! Please let it be real!! XD
     
  3. Rod J

    Rod J Premium
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    1930 - that means not cropped for the soundtrack?
     
  4. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Well-Known Member

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    Well it will be narrower than 1.37:1 if that's what you mean. Optical sound films before the introduction of the Academy Ratio in 1932 (I believe) all have a ratio of 1.17 or 1.2:1 (something close to that.) The problem that arises is when the films are cropped back to 1.37 to fill standard 4:3 picture areas. Are you saying that all DRACULA prints in existence are permanently cropped to 1.37:1?
     
  5. WadeM

    WadeM Well-Known Member

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    Exciting indeed...now if Universal goes Blu-ray and releases it hi-def I'll be even happier!
     
  6. James Phillips

    James Phillips Well-Known Member

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    Presumably, it's the original Vitaphone version, if it's from 1930. So, it should have the correct framing.

    It should have the original version of the title cards, too. [​IMG]
     
  7. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Well-Known Member

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    I would buy this in a heartbeat on any home format(DVD, HD DVD or BD). Now that they are able to, I truly hope Universal gives us a definitive home version of one of their most important films.
     
  8. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    It is just amazing that things like that can still be found! I trust Universal to appreciate the good fortune! Yes, i would buy it!
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I hope we get too see this!!


    Universal should release a Ford-At-Fox style package of ALL of their horror films of the 30's through 50's.
     
  10. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see this as well......I'm hoping for Universal to go Blu-Ray someday in the near future and release this.....that would really be fantastic.

    Maybe the person who found the print should start conducting a search for some of the lost films.....'London After Midnight' comes immediately to mind......you never know.... [​IMG]
     
  11. JeremySt

    JeremySt Well-Known Member

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    This is indeed exciting. I can't wait to own a video version. I have posted before on how the audio on some versions of Dracula differ. Specifically, music playing after Bela's line "There are far worse things awaiting man than death."

    Some versions have music following that line, some don't. I wonder what is contained on this version, if anything.
     
  12. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    I would quadruple dip for this IN A HEARTBEAT![​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    However, the way so many people screamed and hollered at Universal after the release of the Legacy Edition, I doubt they will be quick to put this out again. I hope I'm wrong as I WANT this so bad I can taste it.
     
  13. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Well-Known Member

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    Wait a minute...are you saying this was originally released in Vitaphone? I thought Universal had switched to variable denisty soundtracks by this time. All the 1930 date means is that it was prepared as they were making release prints. It was released in February 1931 so all of the printing preparation would have been done late in the previous year.

    I am really confused here....was it shot as a Vitaphone production? If it's a lavendar originally prepared for making dupe negatives then it would reflect the original release prints made from it.
     
  14. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post, Bob!

    Great news if true, but.....it was on that same forum where a respected poster said that Warner found the Spider Pit sequence from King Kong and was going to include it on the DVD. Obviously that wasn't true and it turned out that Peter Jackson had merely recreated it.

    I guess we'll find out soon enough if this pans out. It also begs the question why Universal couldn't find something that a LoC worker bee could.
     
  15. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see "Dracula" really restored, including all the scenes that might have been filmed but were cut at some point. (I think the running time would be 90 minutes).

    It's funny how excited people get over "Dracula," yet every time someone talks about it, they say what a disappointing movie it is.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    Warner Bros. only recently found out about the forgotten camera negatives to a lot of Warner and MGM films stored at the George Eastman House (like The Champ '31 and David Copperfield) When you consider how many movies a studio owns, plus the amount of film stored for each title - it's not unthinkable that stuff can easily become lost or thought to be lost.
     
  17. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Well-Known Member

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    If true, this sounds great. The problem is, Universal has just released a 75th Anniversary of DRACULA again, and I can't see them wanting to put another one out so soon.
     
  18. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Well-Known Member

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    Interesting quote considering the movie we are discussing. LOL

    If this is true, I would love to see this come out. So far, I've held off on the 75th anniversary edition, but have come close to buying it many times. I am especially intrigued by the existence of the epilogue.

    I have the Legacy edition, and IMHO, it isn't very good. The 75th anniversary edition notwithstanding, it is probably as good as can be with what was available, but I've always dreamed of someone finding a better, more complete print. Let's hope this is true and we all get to benefit.
     
  19. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Well-Known Member

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    This only goes to prove that there's still hope for film preservation! When you consider how in recent years pristine original prints for films like King Kong (found in the UK and used for the DVD) have been found along with the discovery of seemingly 'lost' films like Beyond The Rocks with Swanson and Valentino, it gives everyone more of an incentive to do more searching. By the end of the year, don't be surprised if even more big discoveries are found, and not just from the silent era!
     
  20. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Well-Known Member

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    Composite means an optical soundtrack is on the print.
     

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