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

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
13,249
Real Name
Robert Harris
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
 
Last edited:

bujaki

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,796
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
I've experienced so many film formats from the past but never, alas, Magnascope. Old Ironsides, Wings, Portrait of Jennie...
 

Rob W

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 23, 1999
Messages
860
Real Name
Robert
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.
 

bujaki

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
4,796
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
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.
I'm impressively jealous! I did see Selznick's vault print of Jennie (35mm nitrate), but on a regular-sized screen.
 
Last edited:

JoeDoakes

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
2,959
Real Name
Ray
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
Was Wallace Beery ever young?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TravisR

rdimucci

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
168
Real Name
Robert DiMucci
According to Leonard Maltin, the VHS release had a Gaylord Carter organ score.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,846
Messages
4,722,011
Members
141,347
Latest member
Natchegwin