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Exciting Discovery of DRACULA Film Element!

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83 replies to this topic

#1 of 84 ONLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted January 17 2008 - 08:35 AM

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...

Bob Furmanek



#2 of 84 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted January 17 2008 - 09:28 AM

NICE! I already own 3 versions of this, I'll buy a 4th DVD! Please let it be real!! XD

#3 of 84 OFFLINE   Rod J

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Posted January 17 2008 - 09:30 AM

1930 - that means not cropped for the soundtrack?

#4 of 84 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted January 17 2008 - 09:43 AM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   WadeM


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Posted January 17 2008 - 10:36 AM

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

#6 of 84 OFFLINE   James Phillips

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Posted January 17 2008 - 10:59 AM

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. Posted Image

#7 of 84 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted January 17 2008 - 11:39 AM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   RickER



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Posted January 17 2008 - 12:29 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti



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Posted January 17 2008 - 12:32 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted January 17 2008 - 01:42 PM

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.... Posted Image
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#11 of 84 OFFLINE   JeremySt



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Posted January 17 2008 - 02:04 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   JohnMor



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Posted January 17 2008 - 02:40 PM

I would quadruple dip for this IN A HEARTBEAT!Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted January 17 2008 - 03:31 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Steve...O



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Posted January 17 2008 - 04:00 PM

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.
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#15 of 84 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted January 17 2008 - 04:18 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted January 17 2008 - 10:03 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted January 17 2008 - 10:39 PM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Jeff_CusBlues


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Posted January 18 2008 - 12:24 AM

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 of 84 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted January 18 2008 - 02:04 AM

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!
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#20 of 84 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

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Posted January 18 2008 - 03:11 AM

Composite means an optical soundtrack is on the print.

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