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Where is Sheena, Queen of the Jungle starring Irish McCalla?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Ron Lee Green

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Posted June 14 2007 - 09:02 AM

About a year ago, I was in a Ross store and I saw a public domain cheapo dvd set. It was a compilation of different adventure tv shows and movies. An episode of Sheena was one of the shows was listed on the back. I didn't buy the set because it was just one Sheena episode, but I was thinking maybe the show had fallen in the public domain and I'd see more in the future -- but that hasn't happened.

I just did a search on amazon, and found it. It's called, "Hollywood Adventure Film Series: Jungle Siren/Jungle Man/Forbidden Jungle/Nabonga/Sheena". The studio is called, Platinum Disc


There is also another dvd set, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle & Ramar of the Jungle, with two episodes of each that appears to be OOP and now sells for $30.00. The studio is called, Media, Movies & More.


I was wondering why I haven't seen anymore releases for this show. Usually, you can find several dvds of the same episodes (i.e.One Step Beyond, Beverly Hillbillies, etc.) released by different companies that specialize in releasing public domain shows.

Who owns this series?



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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   DeWilson

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Posted June 14 2007 - 10:01 AM

Didn't ALPHA put out some SHEENA episodes?

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted June 15 2007 - 02:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Lee Green
There is also another dvd set, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle & Ramar of the Jungle, with two episodes of each that appears to be OOP and now sells for $30.00. The studio is called, Media, Movies & More.


I was wondering why I haven't seen anymore releases for this show. Usually, you can find several dvds of the same episodes (i.e.One Step Beyond, Beverly Hillbillies, etc.) released by different companies that specialize in releasing public domain shows.

Who owns this series?


The 2-episode Sheens/2-episode Ramar is still available at a far lower price here:

http://www.spinningd....oducts_id=2559

I suspect there may be a few reasons why there are only a few episodes available on DVD.

1. Possibly only a few episodes are public domain with the rest under copyright.

2. A site dedicated to the original "Sheena" series indicates that 18 of the 26 episodes produced have survived. But who has them and would they want to release them (assuming that they were public domain and could)?

http://members.optus...r5/TV/56-TV.htm

The Alpha Video release just has a single episode.

http://www.oldies.co...view/5122D.html

This looks like it will continue to remain a rare series to see.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Hank Dearborn

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Posted June 15 2007 - 03:09 AM

This is kind of a lost series. I don't think that a full set of 26 episodes is known to be anywhere. The syndicator of the show, once upon a time was Worldvision which means it would now be owned by Paramount. Worldvision, however, was horrendous when it came to keeping track of their prints. Take for instance Man with a Camera which starred Charles Bronson. When Bronson was hot in the 70s they wanted to re-syndicate the show but when they couldn't put together a full set of episodes. Fortunately, there is a full set of episodes at UCLA film archive. I believe it's also the case with Sheena. The production company has been out of business for decades and so the prints and negatives are mostly long gone, save for whatever wound up in collectors' hands.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted June 15 2007 - 03:31 AM

A site for collectors of old TV series, Moviecraft, has 15 episodes, but you'll pay dearly for the privilege of owning the series, $19.95 for each two episode volume (one volume has three episodes):

http://members.tripo...ft/index-3.html

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted June 15 2007 - 06:14 AM

It's shocking how episodes of filmed series from the 50s have gotten lost- it's a given with the live shows of the time: if there isn't a kinescope or early videotape (after 1956), then it's lost. Considering how so many of these shows were made for indie stations (Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt et al), you'd think someone would've kept track of the negatives and prints!! I wonder if all of Life With Elizabeth is around- perhaps Betty White herself (who produced as well as starred on the sitcom) knows.
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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted June 21 2007 - 07:18 AM

Well, some good news here, gentlemen . . . . . a 16-episode, 2-DVD set of Sheena was released at the end of April by little known Synergy Entertainment. Amazon has this listed at its site for $12.99, though it takes 4 to 7 weeks to receive it.

Synergy Web Site Link:

http://www.synergyen....the_jungle.php

I gotta believe that this is probably as good as it's going to get for this series.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Ron Lee Green

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Posted June 21 2007 - 03:24 PM

Thank you, Bob, for making me aware of this!

I must have missed it when I did the search on amazon earlier.

I did another search and found it cheaper at DVD Pacific: 9.48 + 1.98 (s&h) = $11.46.

I chose to order it from DVD Pacific. I've never used them before, but it was cheaper than amazon. Hopefully, it won't take 4 to 7 weeks to receive it.

I might just write a review once I receive and view it.

P.S. Also, Thanks for the link to the Sheena website. I enjoyed reading the comprehensive Irish McCalla bio. Couldn't get over the fact that she had to endure four brain tumor operations in her later years! I saw her a couple of times at Hollywood autograph shows and she was friendly and pretty, but I was too young (at the time) to remember her series. My mom used to watch it, though, when she was a child.
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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted June 21 2007 - 11:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Lee Green
I might just write a review once I receive and view it.

Ron, please do so; I'd be interested in your comments. I have three episodes of this series (one episode from Alpha and two episodes from the Sheena/Ramar combo); very low budget, but it's a fun watch.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Ron Lee Green

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Posted July 28 2007 - 07:45 AM

Well, my set finally arrived in the mail yesterday, so here's the review I promised:
I knew this was a rare show from the fifties that hasn't been syndicated in a while, so I wasn't expecting pristine quality -- and I didn't get it. This is worse than public domain quality.
The episodes are barely watchable, and are a chore to watch. The blacks are too black, and the whites are too white. Very little detail. Similar to watching a copy of a copy of a video that loses detail with each generation, although I didn't see any video glitches. The night scenes are so dark, it is hard to see what is going on. The source is from film (16mm?) There are specs of dirt, so they were not cleaned up. I watched three episodes, and I skimmed through the rest to check.

The running times for each episode average 25-26 minutes. The sound is not clear, but is slightly muffled. You have to strain to hear what they are saying.

Also, some of the episodes are cropped badly. You know when they show the titles and credits, and some of the letters on either side of the screen are cut off.

There are two discs with 8 episodes a piece. It came with a collectible magnet that pictures the same image as seen on the cover.

Now I know why this show isn't found on many different public domain labels everywhere like The Beverly Hillbillies or The Lucy Show. It's because the episodes are in so much bad shape that they are not even fit for the dollar store bins.

I guess that answers my question I asked in post #1.

It makes the "One Step Beyond" public domain dvds look beautiful.
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#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted July 30 2007 - 11:37 PM

It's disappointing to hear that the visual quality is substandard on this release, Ron. But there's really very little in the way of alternatives. This is, unfortunately, one of those early series that's been neglected. I seriously doubt that this series will ever see any major restoration work. "Ramar of the Jungle" is sort of in the same boat . . . . . Alpha Video has been able to release 44 (of 52) unrestored episodes, plus one of the episode compilation movies. Some of the early Alpha volumes look decent, but many of the episodes leave much to be desired in the audio/visual department. Speaking of Alpha, looks like they are going to release 10 episodes of "Sheena" in two volumes on September 25th:

Volume 1: http://www.oldies.co...view/5435D.html

Volume 2: http://www.oldies.co...view/5436D.html

Maybe these will look a little better, though I'm not holding my breath.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Ron Lee Green

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Posted July 31 2007 - 02:43 AM

I do like Alpha's cover artwork better than the Synergy's, but I guess its what's inside that counts.

If anyone gets these releases, I can make screen caps from my Synergy set so we can compare for quality. Just let me know which episodes to make a cap from.
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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted September 19 2007 - 11:44 PM

Alpha Video has announced the release of its third volume of "Sheena" episodes, due on October 30th.

http://www.oldies.co...view/5452D.html

The first two volumes of the series are being released by Alpha on Tuesday, September 25th. The Alpha releases will have five episodes each, so that means that they will have about the same number of episodes as the Synergy Entertainment release.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Sky King

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Posted September 22 2007 - 03:29 AM

I remember reading that before "The Abbott and Costello Show" was released on DVD, Bob Furmanek (sp) had to search high and low for all the original negatives...they were scattered all over.
He eventually found most, if not all of them and the result of his hard work resulted in a DVD set of this classic show with pristine PQ.
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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Hank Dearborn

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Posted September 23 2007 - 05:14 AM

I'll have to call over to my friend at Paramount as this show was at one time a Worldvision property. I'm curious as to what elements, if any, they still might have. Not that it matters as I'm sure they would never do anything with the show but I'd be interested to know if a full set of them does at least exist. The company that did the series, Nasur Productions, has probably been defunct for fifty years. And Worldvision was never the greatest when it came to keeping track of their properties.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Comic2read

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Posted December 09 2008 - 01:38 AM

All 16mm 26 episodes are in the public domain. Currently Moviecraft has the best quality 17 episodes on VHS. Some DVD's use Moviecraft's but zoom on the scenes to crop out the superimposed "MC" logo thus cropping out the scenes in a grainer way according to a reviewer.

Here is the updated Sheena site. The above url is obsolete. Their new second website has videoclips from the Sheena episodes in the episode guide, Irish McCalla's rarely seen bikini film short and her 70 minute audio interview. Click on Irish and the chimp:

Sheena Intro Page





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