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Warners Pre-Code boxset speculation


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26 replies to this topic

#1 of 27 Mike D

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Posted March 29 2005 - 03:05 PM

Warner Home Video mentioned in the recent chat that a box set of pre-code films was coming in 2006. What titles do you think most likely to be included?

#2 of 27 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 29 2005 - 03:14 PM

I wouldn't be surprised to see "A Free Soul" and "Baby Face" in the set.





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#3 of 27 Steve...O

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Posted March 29 2005 - 03:25 PM

Skyscraper Souls and Employees Entrance are a couple of other possibilities. I would also expect to see the documentary that aired on TCM about pre code films.

I'm really intrigued by what they meant by "surprises".

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#4 of 27 Derek Estes

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Posted March 29 2005 - 05:31 PM

Baby Face has been circulating theaters in a new extended version, that includes footage recently discovered in Europe, so I say it is a sure bet.
As for the others I'm sure it will be mostly titles that were released as part of the Forbidden Hollywood series on VHS. Does anybody have a complete list of those titles?
Here are the ones I can think of
Baby Face
Ladies They Talk About
Three on a Match
Red Headed Woman
Female
Blonde Crazy
Heroes for Sale
Night Nurse
Blessed Event
Skyscraper Souls
Employee's Entrance
Illicit
Big Business Girl
Beauty and the Boss
Strange Love of Molly Louvain
They Call it a Sin
Havana Widows
I've Got Your Number
Madam Satan
Lady Killer
Dance Fools, Dance


I would love it if they would also release
Wild Boys of the Road -it's a personal Favorite.

They could also include the documentary Complicated Women. It plays on TCM every so often and is a great introduction for people not familier with Pre-Code Hollywood.
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#5 of 27 Roger Rollins

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Posted March 29 2005 - 06:16 PM

The BABY FACE footage wasn't found in Europe. It was sitting along side the original negative at LOC in the form of a dupe negative. An LOC archivist made this discovery by accident (If only he could have accidentally found CONVENTION CITY).

There's a recent NY Times article dedicated to this find.

The WB chat tonight was wonderful. Their people were generous with their time, witty, as always enthusiastic, and
gave us tantalizing tidbits of what they have in store.

I must commend the HTF members who were also gracious and respectful. Many took the time to compliment WB for their peerless activities and achievements.

Of course, as aftermath, there are negative comments, and a lot of 2nd guessing, but let's face it. This is the ONLY studio that really "gets it". Are they perfect? No. But they come damned near close.

While most studios won't give HTF this kind of opportunity (with the exception of Fox....but Fox's info in their chats has been spare to say the least), WB has been kind and generous for the past several years.

Compare the WB of 2001 to the WB of 2005. What a miraculous change....with only more bounties of greatness to come. Cheers!

#6 of 27 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 30 2005 - 12:11 AM

Of course, as aftermath, there are negative comments, and a lot of 2nd guessing, but let's face it.

When you have such chats, it's power for the course. You can only make so many people happy.






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#7 of 27 Mike D

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Posted March 30 2005 - 12:28 AM

For those interested, here's an article on the topic...
http://www.brightlig...04b_warner.html

#8 of 27 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted March 30 2005 - 12:57 AM

Two Seconds also received a brand new 35mm restoration according to the film forum - http://www.filmforum...films/baby.html

I expect we'll definitely see that and Baby Face. Posted Image


I can't wait for details on The Thin Man Collection also...

#9 of 27 oscar_merkx

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Posted March 30 2005 - 01:16 AM

very good news indeed as I had not heard of these two before.
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#10 of 27 Jon Hertzberg

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Posted March 30 2005 - 01:37 AM

I was at the Film Forum screenings (the most packed Film Forum event in memory, according to Rep Programming Director Bruce Goldstein). Mike Mashon of the Library of Congress was on hand to talk about the discovery of the extended Baby Face and showed a very revealing comparison reel which detailed the changes made for the release version. IIRC, he mentioned this would all be on a future DVD.

Mashon told the very interesting story of how the deleted footage came to light, in which he called the lab to strike a new print of Baby Face and was told there was a discrepancy of approximately five minutes between the negative and the dupe negative (I may be getting the tech details slightly skewed). When he raced down to the lab to check on the prints, he made the amazing discovery of the long-thought lost footage. IIRC, this version was contained in the aforementioned dupe negative. In any event, the DVD should reproduce this story because it is so fascinating and important with regards to cinema history.

Two Seconds and Baby Face both looked stunning, by the way. I would hope that both show up in the Pre-Code box.

BTW, Baby Face proved so successful for Film Forum that they are bringing it back on April 26 paired with another restored Pre-Coder (The Sin of Nora Moran). Their June-July retrospective is entitled "Paramount Before the Code." Check out their online calendar for further details.

#11 of 27 Charles Ellis

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Posted March 30 2005 - 02:31 AM

I'd love to see Five Star Final in the collection- Edward G. Robinson at his best in an expose of a scandal sheet. And Boris Karloff's in it, too!
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#12 of 27 Charles H

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Posted March 30 2005 - 03:33 AM

GOLDEN DAWN is featured on one of the "Dawn of Sound" laser discs...it has to be seen to be disbelieved!!! DeMille's DYNAMITE, THE WET PARADE (a looney melodrama from a Prohibition novel by Upton Sinclair with a cast that includes Walter Huston, Robert Young, Jimmy Durante, and Myrna Loy); BEAST OF THE CITY, a seminal gangster drama by W.R. Burnett, GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE, THE HATCHET MAN, THE SECRET SIX, THE FINGER POINTS. I recommend Leonard Maltin's new book "Classic Movie Guide" as great source material for the pre-Code years.
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#13 of 27 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted March 30 2005 - 05:00 AM

Btw, this boxset would be a great venue to release some of the early and more racy 1930's Warner Bros. cartoons as extra features...

#14 of 27 Eric Peterson

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Posted March 30 2005 - 07:08 AM

I'm really intrigued by what they meant by "surprises".


Me Too! I just started reading a book called "See No Evil" about the production code, and one of the first titles that I read about was "Convention City" which is supposedly lost. I'll hold out hope that it's the surprise, but I doubt something of that stature could be discovered without being leaked.

#15 of 27 Charles Ellis

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Posted March 30 2005 - 12:11 PM

If a print of Convention City is found, it will be a major miracle. The story goes that Jack Warner had all prints of this film destroyed to ward off the censors who had just created the Production Code of 1934. From what I read of the film and its plotline, it seems like a typical pre-Code comedy with risque jokes galore. And the cast ain't bad, either: Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Astor, Guy Kibbee and Frank McHugh. Hmmmm- maybe Mr. Warner secretly hid a print in his mansion......
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...

#16 of 27 Mike D

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Posted March 30 2005 - 01:56 PM

Does Warner own La Cava's The Age of Consent?

#17 of 27 RyanZ

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Posted March 30 2005 - 03:17 PM

If I remember right, in The Love Goddesses they said that Baby Face barely got a release because of its "shocking" content, but where it was released, it was a smash.

#18 of 27 Russell G

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Posted March 30 2005 - 03:38 PM

Marco,

You read my mind! What a perfect set to throw "Coal Black" on! I don't think it actually falls in the time line, but seeing as the public consider "Pre-Code" to mean, "Shocking and Offensive" I say throw it on there! The perfect opportunity to put offensive cartoons on a set geared towards collectors, and not a set that could in any ways be misconstrued with "kiddie content"
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#19 of 27 Russell G

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Posted March 30 2005 - 03:45 PM

Oh yeah, and Warners? If your listening? I'm in Canada, and would really love to buy this set! Can you please make sure that it gets a release and that all content is secured? Please? My heart broke with the "Classic Comedy Collection" and the bonus disc on "Easter Parade". I really love your releases! I haven't been so excited for a set for this one!

Well that's not true, I was as excited with your announcements of "Gangsters Volume 2", "Film Noir Vol 2", "RKO Tarzan", "King Kong", "Bowery Boys", "Thin Man".

See a pattern?Posted Image
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#20 of 27 Richard M S

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Posted March 31 2005 - 08:09 AM

I was also at that Baby Face-Two Seconds Film Forum screening - "the most packed Monday afternoon after a blizzard ever" I recall Bruce Goldstein said. Baby Face was specifically mentioned as having a DVD release next year, so I am sure it will be included in the Warners pre-code box set. They really ought to release both the original version and the released version, which I have on laser disc. The original by the way, works much better than the released version, IMO.

Those pre-code films are so short, many with running times of just over an hour. I hope they really pack the box.