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A few words about...™ Whoopee


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#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted April 16 2013 - 01:11 PM

Samuel Goldwyn's Whoopee (1930) is an extremely important film historically, possibly the least of which is the direction by Thornton Freeland.

 

A Samuel Goldwyn production, along with Florenz Ziegfeld.  Eddie Cantor, who began his career on stage, and was a major vaudeville star, was a Follies veteran.  Hence the connection, since Whoopee! was originally a stage show in 1928.

 

Mr. Cantor didn't make many films during his iconic career.  Between 1930 and 1936, he appeared in six films for Samuel Goldwyn.  Another half dozen films between 1937 and 1953, and he was done.

 

Great songs, including the iconic Makin' Whoopie, and My Baby Cares for Me. Musical numbers devised by newcomer Busby Berkeley.  A young actress in the chorus, who we would later recognize as Betty Grable.

 

Did I mention two-color Technicolor?  The film was somewhere around the 15th entire production in the format, although other films had sequences in color.  The cinematographers were among the finest.

 

Lee Garmes

Ray Rennahan

Gregg Toland

 

If you've not heard of them, do your research.

 

Not PC, but of the times, the film is a great example of what was seen on screens 80 years ago.

 

I believe the release of Whoopie is also the first generally available DVD first.  While I'm certain that someone will correct me if I'm incorrect, this is the first film to be released on home video from original elements in two-color Technicolor.

 

A fun film, and historically, an extremely important release from The Warner Archive Collection.

 

While the master may not be new, it more than suffices for DVD, and Whoopee comes along with a...

 

Recommended.

 

More Please.

 

Image - 3.5

 

Audio - 4

 

RAH


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"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 18 OFFLINE   John Skoda

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Posted April 16 2013 - 01:36 PM

Can't vouch for the source personally, but there was a laserdisc of this put out by Pioneer Special Editions/HBO Video in 1995.  It looked pretty good.  Here's exactly what it says on the cover about the transfer:

"We used the finest restored elements from the Goldwyn vaults.  The transfer took place at IVC in Burbank and utilized a POGLE color-corrector employed on a RANK MARK III.  Digital noise reduction (DVNR) was used, frame by frame, to eliminate scratches, dirt and bleeding.  The colorist was Mike Volland."

Disc was produced for laserdisc by Charles Kiselyak.
 



#3 of 18 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted April 16 2013 - 02:07 PM

Can't vouch for the source personally, but there was a laserdisc of this put out by Pioneer Special Editions/HBO Video in 1995.  It looked pretty good.  Here's exactly what it says on the cover about the transfer:

"We used the finest restored elements from the Goldwyn vaults.  The transfer took place at IVC in Burbank and utilized a POGLE color-corrector employed on a RANK MARK III.  Digital noise reduction (DVNR) was used, frame by frame, to eliminate scratches, dirt and bleeding.  The colorist was Mike Volland."

Disc was produced for laserdisc by Charles Kiselyak.
 

Already corrected, but thank you.  It was also released in a special set of 50 or so DVDs, but not singly.

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#4 of 18 OFFLINE   moviepas

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Posted April 16 2013 - 05:20 PM

I have the Goldwyn/Cantor Laserdiscs. I was hoping this and other Cantors were going to be Blu Ray but.... like they have done so far with Wuthering Heights on DVD. One can be hopeful.

 

Kid Millions might have been in that box set also which I couldn't not justify a purchase as I had 99% of the DVDs in my collection. I did have Kid Millions ordered from Canada when a single DVD was announced and three times, I think, I had it invoiced as shipped to me after I read it had been cancelled. The business soon went out of, well. business and disappeared, for what appeared to be the second time taking both times customers funds and points towards later purchases. A long story that the Canadian authorities refused to do anything about.



#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted April 16 2013 - 09:57 PM

An absolute joy of a film.

I hope this means more Cantor films on the way.



#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Paul Penna

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Posted April 17 2013 - 10:24 AM

The WAC listings for both Whoopee and Kid Millions carry the standard disclaimer "... has not been remastered or restored for this ... release." Given Robert Harris's rave reviews, is it safe to assume these apparently existing transfers are more recent than those used for the laserdiscs?


Edited by Paul Penna, April 17 2013 - 10:24 AM.


#7 of 18 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted April 17 2013 - 02:57 PM

The WAC listings for both Whoopee and Kid Millions carry the standard disclaimer "... has not been remastered or restored for this ... release." Given Robert Harris's rave reviews, is it safe to assume these apparently existing transfers are more recent than those used for the laserdiscs?

 

They were both released on a monster DVD set of random musical titles about 5 years ago, so they should at least be as good as what was offered there.

 

With the Samuel Goldwyn titles overall, it'll be hard to say.  I think when MGM had the license, they just released whatever transfers the SG company gave them and it might be the same situation with WB.  SG might have done more recent transfers for many of these since the laserdisc releases.



#8 of 18 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted April 17 2013 - 06:56 PM

I think that Warner would require decent transfers and I also believe that the Goldwyn Estate wants to keep the library top notch as the the Wayne Estate does with their Batjac titles.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#9 of 18 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted April 19 2013 - 08:09 AM

I read a book called Will Rogers, Performer that covered all aspects of Will Rogers show business career.  One of the more interesting details in was that, during the period they were all performers with the Zigfield Follies, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, and Eddie Cantor would travel together when the Follies had performances outside of NYC.  Those must have been very interesting trips.



#10 of 18 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted April 19 2013 - 02:58 PM

I read a book called Will Rogers, Performer that covered all aspects of Will Rogers show business career. One of the more interesting details in was that, during the period they were all performers with the Zigfield Follies, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, and Eddie Cantor would travel together when the Follies had performances outside of NYC. Those must have been very interesting trips.

.

Haha. One roping, one drinking pineapple juice, and one rolling his eyes. I'm smiling thinking about it.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#11 of 18 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted April 22 2013 - 09:30 AM

The WAC listings for both Whoopee and Kid Millions carry the standard disclaimer "... has not been remastered or restored for this ... release." Given Robert Harris's rave reviews, is it safe to assume these apparently existing transfers are more recent than those used for the laserdiscs?

 

The Whoopee and Kid Millions transfers are not from the laserdisc era.  They were both remastered about 3-4 years ago.  They have not been digitally cleaned, but the masters are quite good.

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#12 of 18 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted April 22 2013 - 10:52 AM

The Whoopee and Kid Millions transfers are not from the laserdisc era. They were both remastered about 3-4 years ago. They have not been digitally cleaned, but the masters are quite good.

RAH


Thanks for verifying what I expected. WHOOPIE look great and sounded good also. Both DVDs were better than the laserdiscs.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted April 22 2013 - 08:41 PM

Damn, more expenses.

Looks as if I'll have to retire the Laserdiscs to the attic. :D

 

Doug.



#14 of 18 OFFLINE   revgen

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Posted May 02 2013 - 08:27 PM

Unlike the Kid Millions disc, only the opening titles and credtis are hard-telcined. Once that part is over, the film is soft-telecined and looks nice and sharp.

 

Very few 2-strip Technicolor movies survive and they are usually not in great condition. Whoopee looks exceptionally great and was definitely taken care of by Goldwyn. Great job by SG and WAC for making this available. Hopefully, more Cantor titles are forthcoming.



#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted May 07 2013 - 04:57 PM

Just a point of confirmation - are they in fact MOD or pressed?



#16 of 18 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted May 07 2013 - 09:48 PM

Just a point of confirmation - are they in fact MOD or pressed?


MOD.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted May 08 2013 - 04:37 PM

Cheers for that



#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Vic Pardo

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Posted May 11 2013 - 04:14 PM

I read a book called Will Rogers, Performer that covered all aspects of Will Rogers show business career.  One of the more interesting details in was that, during the period they were all performers with the Zigfield Follies, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, and Eddie Cantor would travel together when the Follies had performances outside of NYC.  Those must have been very interesting trips.

One of the bios of W.C. Fields, the one by Robert Lewis Taylor, relates a prank Fields pulled on Rogers during one of their performances. I won't relate it here but it was pretty funny.






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