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Robert Harris on The Bits-Interview with Warner's George Feltenstein Official Thread


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#21 of 140 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 25 2004 - 11:10 PM

What a great interview and I for one, really appreciate George Feltenstein's great effort in releasing so many classic films onto dvds. Keep up the great work and I hope the HTF continues to be a source for Warner to gauge film buffs interest in particular titles.





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#22 of 140 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted October 25 2004 - 11:54 PM

I'm thrilled to hear that a second Film Noir box-set is being planned for release next year and that we will finally see The Public Enemy issued as well!

If I hadn't mentioned it on the boards before, The Film Noir Classics Collection is one of my favorite and most treasured DVD sets in my collection (along with last year's Marx Bros box - kudos!) and I really want to thank Mr. Feltenstein for all his hard work and effort!

It's also no surprise that the Looney Tunes Golden Collections are some of the greatest and most popular animation sets to be released to date and I'm so thankful that both Jerry and George were able to put these into effect. Now I know this is a very minor setback and in light of everything we've been offered might seem silly to mention, but with such incredible films and content and in context to some of the other sets Mr. Feltenstein's commissioned, how come these aren't being packaged with the same class and style as the Marx Bros., Film Noir or Tarzan Collections, etc? It would imo, be that much more of a prize purchase!

Anyways, I just have one MAJOR request for Mr. Feltenstein for the future...


PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE GET WB TO GREENLIGHT COMPLETE & UNCUT BOX-SETS OF TEX AVERY AND MGM'S HAPPY HARMONIES & BARNEY BEAR SERIES!!!

These rank right up there with the Looney Tunes / Merrie Melodies in terms of quality, style and humor and rightly deserve their place alongside these other classics on DVD! I know there was both a laserdisc set of Tex Avery and MGM's Happy Harmonies released years back and I would KILL to see the same on DVD!

Please, sir, push your hardest for these as they would sell very nicely and make a lot of classic animation / film fans very, very happy!


Thanks so much for all your efforts in bringing us the highest quality home video releases and ranking Warner Bros. above every other major film/production studio in the realm of DVD releases to date! Your work is extremely appreciated here at HTF!!!

#23 of 140 OFFLINE   Nigel McN

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Posted October 26 2004 - 12:33 AM

Quote:
Also the Thin Man movies are coming soon


Now that is the line I was looking for, great stuff.

#24 of 140 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted October 26 2004 - 01:51 AM

Wonderful news- I'm glad that Davis and Crawford are being taken care of. With the Garbo centennial next year, odds are that WHV will release a few of her titles (I hope Queen Christina is among them!). It's really gratifying to hear that in the past few years even more "lost" reels, negatives and footage from the Golden Age and the Silent Era have been discovered. I can't wait to see Caged finally make its video debut in 2005, along with the Astaire/Rogers films. I only wish Mr. Harris had asked Mr. Feltenstein about the Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy films, the "Andy Hardy" series (which should be in a boxed set of its own)- I am surprised that the 1960s "Miss Marple" series with Margaret Rutherford is being released prior to these more famous series.

I also noticed that Mr. Feltenstein acknowledged the release of cult titles like A Face in the Crowd and The Loved One , but has yet to acknowledge the efforts of Dark Shadows fans to have the second film based on the TV series Night of Dark Shadows (1971) restored to its Director's Cut of 129 minutes. The negatives for the "lost version" was discovered a few years ago, and practically all of the surviving actors have been redubbing lines from the cut scenes (the soundtrack for the long version is presumed lost) in hope that in the next few years WHV will finally do something about it. So-
how about it, George????
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#25 of 140 OFFLINE   Drew Salzan

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Posted October 26 2004 - 01:57 AM

Great interview. I had the same early experience as Mr. Feltenstein. It seems that we are about the same age. My parents took me to see TE at the Ziegfeld when I was 14 and it too was the beginning of a life-long passion for for classic film (both musical and non-musical). I am in awe of what Mr. Feltenstein has been doing not only with film, but with the wealth of soundtrack remixing, restoration and reconstruction.

Both Mr. Feltenstein and Mr. Harris are my heroes!Posted Image

#26 of 140 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted October 26 2004 - 01:57 AM

A couple of points which may be helpful...

Lassie Come Home aka "LCH" was not shot three-strip Technicolor although, it might be assumed so.

Around 1939, Technicolor, in league with Kodak experimented with and placed into the field a new film stock dedicated specifically for difficult shots which could not easily be taken with the huge three-strip cameras.

Monopack had an emulsion made up of three layers of black and white which were exposed as a unit. Via filters and dye couplers the film was processed to create a color positive very similar to 16mm Kodachrome, but with a lower gamma (contrast).

LCH was one of the first films to use the stock extensively, for all exterior scenes.

The color positive was duped on an optical printer to create (via filtration) the three "standard" Technicolor black and white negatives. These negatives, which were actually dupes, were then used to create the printing matrices.

Which means that, at best, the new DVD is several generations away from original -- not because anyone at Warner neglected quality, but because of the nature of the beast.

Other films using the process, which will be evident in their DVD personas, were aerial shots in the 1941 Dive Bomber and Captains of the Clouds; fire scenes in Forest Rangers (1942); Thunderhead, Son of Flicka (1944); african exteriors for King Solomon's Mines (1950), and for several sequences used in Stars and Stripes Forever (1952),
While the contrast and generational differences between three-strip production footage and Monopack may not have been apparent on VHS or laserdisc, they will be seen on DVD.

Mr. Feltenstein is tuned in to HTF. As time (and policy) allows, he will attempt to deal with queries, and is very appreciative of your comments.

Hopefully, what came across in his comments, is that at WB, through Mr. Feltenstein, you have someone as passionate about film, if not moreso, than those posting to HTF.

RAH

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#27 of 140 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 26 2004 - 02:06 AM

Hopefully, what came across in his comments, is that at WB, through Mr. Feltenstein, you have someone as passionate about film, if not moreso, than those posting to HTF.

Robert,
That came across loud and clear and again, thank you for such a wonderful interview and I hope we're able to chat with Mr. Feltenstein and his associates again on the HTF in January.








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#28 of 140 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted October 26 2004 - 02:34 AM

About the Ziegfeld- the theater itself was built in the late 60s, and yet it has become THE place for premieres and special reissues in NYC. The single best moviegoing experience I ever had was when I saw the restored version of Lawrence of Arabia at the Ziegfeld in 1989. You have never truly seen a widescreen film until you've seen it at the Ziegfeld- especially a 70mm marvel like Lawrence or My Fair Lady, another Harris/Katz restoration. I do hope that in the next few years I will have the chance to see A Star Is Born in all its CinemaScope glory!
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#29 of 140 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted October 26 2004 - 03:18 AM

Which means that, at best, the new DVD is several generations away from original -- not because anyone at Warner neglected quality, but because of the nature of the beast.


That's the answer I was looking for and I can enjoy it now with a slightly less critical eye; many thanks, and thanks too for a great interview that really does bode well for the future.

George Feltenstein may be the reason Warners are streets ahead of other studios when it comes to care and presentation of classic movies; every studio should have a 'George' - it should be the law!
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#30 of 140 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted October 26 2004 - 03:39 AM

now it's also the WHOLE Warner library, it's virtually all the RKO films and all the MGM films up through 1986…
If I'm reading that right, Feltenstein now has pre-1986 MGM films? Which would include It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? He certainly seems like the kind who'd appreciate the need to have Robert Harris restore the long, long cut. Any good news about this at all?
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#31 of 140 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted October 26 2004 - 03:57 AM

No, George. IAMMMMW was a United Artists film, not MGM. The rights to it are still with MGM.
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#32 of 140 OFFLINE   Reagan

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Posted October 26 2004 - 04:10 AM

That was one educational interview. Thanks, Mr. Harris.

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#33 of 140 OFFLINE   BarryR

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Posted October 26 2004 - 04:37 AM

When you think of the combined efforts of Robert Harris and George Feltenstein, you'd think the cinematic equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize should be given.

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#34 of 140 OFFLINE   Jeffrey

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Posted October 26 2004 - 04:56 AM

Yet another rave review on a terrific chat, Mr. H.

In addition to all the titles in the works, I'm hoping Greed, I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang and Lust For Life will also be forthcoming (especially since they were all very close in proximity to the top five vote getters in Warner's DVD Decision 2004).

Jeffrey
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#35 of 140 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted October 26 2004 - 05:12 AM

No, George. IAMMMMW was a United Artists film, not MGM. The rights to it are still with MGM.
Posted Image
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#36 of 140 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted October 26 2004 - 05:29 AM

George Kaplan? Say, weren't you in North By Northwest?
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#37 of 140 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 26 2004 - 05:40 AM

Quote:
Hopefully, what came across in his comments, is that at WB, through Mr. Feltenstein, you have someone as passionate about film, if not moreso, than those posting to HTF.
That has come across in the last two years of catalog releases from WBHV, but the interview is a great reinforcement. They walked it and then they talked it. Posted Image

And going back a bit further, I will probably hold onto my Ultimate Oz laserdisc box no matter how obsolete it gets. That was just an unbelievably special edition.

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#38 of 140 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted October 26 2004 - 06:20 AM

Thank you George Feltenstein for all your hard work at Warner Bros. Warners is my favorite studio bar none when it comes to DVD releases. The value one gets when purchasing one of their box sets (e.g. The Noir Collection) is unbelievable. I am so looking forward to more Looney Tunes, the Thin Man Films, the Val Lewton box set, and so many other titles.

I'm glad Mr. Feltenstein can laugh off some of the overly critical comments when it comes to the DVD presentation of 70+ year old films. ANYONE involved in reviewing DVD releases should be required to read this interview so they can explain to their readers why some older films will never have image quality equal to The Matrix.

Reading that article just made me all the more disappointed that Warners wasn't successful in the MGM sale.

Thanks again to all those at Warners involved in preserving film history for those of us who treasure cinema.
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#39 of 140 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted October 26 2004 - 08:47 AM

Ryan's Daughter should not be in need of restoration --- simply new preservation elements and printing.

RAH

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#40 of 140 OFFLINE   Tim_C

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Posted October 26 2004 - 09:28 AM

Excellent interview. Very enlightening, especially for somelike me who is relatively new to the world of DVD.

I also have renewed hope in a release of "The Big Parade," and hopefully a lot of other classic silents in their collection.

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