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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Old Ironsides -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 13, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 12 May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    When one looks closely at a list of Paramount silent productions, it becomes obvious how fragmented their preservation has been, over the decades.

    Old Ironsides, a 1926 production, directed by James Cruze (The Covered Wagon) has survived however, in decent condition, and in 35mm. Kino's new Blu-ray is derived from preservation elements from the Library of Congress. I believe there may be an unpreserved print at GEH, in addition to elements held by the studio.

    When it opened at the Rivoli in New York, the end of the first half of the film, just before the intermission, the normal screen was flown out, revealing a Magnascope image, for the first time. The difference was huge - going form 12 x 18 feet, to 30 x 40. The process continued to be used occasionally over the next couple of decades, inclusive, as I recall, for the storm sequence in Portrait of Jennie.

    The overall quality of the new release is quite good, while the piano score used for the film is an adaptation of the original Hugo Riesenfeld orchestral score heard at the Rivoli.

    The film features a young Wallace Beery, Charles Farrell (Vern Albright, of My Little Margie fame), Esther Ralston and George Bancroft.

    Look really closely, and you may be able to pick up Boris Karloff and Gary Cooper among the extras.


    Image - 3.25

    Audio - n/a

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Recommended

    RAH
     
  2. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    There is no accompanying score?
     
  3. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I've experienced so many film formats from the past but never, alas, Magnascope. Old Ironsides, Wings, Portrait of Jennie...
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    " the score used for the film is an adaptation of the original Hugo Riesenfeld orchestral score heard at the Rivoli."
     
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  5. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    I was lucky enough to see a Magnascope presentation of Portrait of Jenny at the first Nitrate Film Festival at George Eastman House - it was very impressive.
     
  6. Message #6 of 12 May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I'm impressively jealous! I did see Selznick's vault print of Jennie (35mm nitrate), but on a regular-sized screen.
     
  7. Message #7 of 12 May 14, 2019
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    So why did Mr. Harris NOT give the audio a score?
     
  8. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    The Magnascope scenes from Wings are lost, I believe.
     
  9. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Was Wallace Beery ever young?
     
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  10. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Presumably, since it's a new recording of a piano reduction of the original score he didn't feel the need to assign a rating to it.

    Or it's a mistake and there should be a rating.
     
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  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I see no reason to rate the sonic quality of a piano score. Had they used Atmos...
     
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  12. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    Fair enough! I was just curious and wondering...
     

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