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Robert Harris

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So 2051. That's a ways off
For a film that no longer exists in its original state. Each reconstruction has its own copyright - 1979, 1981, 2000…

As to the 1928 M-G-M version, as far as we know, it no longer survives. The M-G-M dupe negative was a combination of M-G-M main and end titles, about 20% original footage, plus material from trims, the silent UK versions and others.

We have reconstructed it, basked upon the original continuity for study purposes, but it’s not a good film.

As to Our Town, the OCN survives but cannot be accessed.
 

Stephen_J_H

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For a film that no longer exists in its original state. Each reconstruction has its own copyright - 1979, 1981, 2000…

As to the 1928 M-G-M version, as far as we know, it no longer survives. The M-G-M dupe negative was a combination of M-G-M main and end titles, about 20% original footage, plus material from trims, the silent UK versions and others.

We have reconstructed it, basked upon the original continuity for study purposes, but it’s not a good film.

As to Our Town, the OCN survives but cannot be accessed.
I was going by death+70.
 

roxy1927

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Ah, thank you so much for that link! I had not seen that or read it anywhere else before.

Right or wrong, that is my feeling about it as well for that movie version of the story as presented with all the real sets and props, close ups, music soundtrack and so on working on us.

However, the original ending in a movie version that simply photographs the play as it is generally presented on stage would probably not be as grim, and for the reasons expressed by Mr. Wilder.

In fact, I have seen a couple of those filmed versions, including the one with Paul Newman playing the stage manager, as well as other live stage versions and that final Act has never moved me to tears and profound self-reflection nearly as much as it does in this 1940 movie version every time I watch it.

This movie version simply drives home the play's main purpose and message as expressed by Wilder through Emily in her return visit to that one rather ordinary day so thoroughly, clearly and so much more personally and emotionally that, about as literally as a metaphor might get, hammering that final nail would have felt like cruel overkill.

Which is not a line that risks being crossed very easily with live actors on a nearly bare stage miming their business with the props and the stage manager breaking the fourth wall so blatantly and often


Well if a stage version of Our Town does not move you to tears at the end it's a lousy production.
 

Cineman

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Well if a stage version of Our Town does not move you to tears at the end it's a lousy production.
Thankfully, I have never seen a lousy one. However, I have never seen one that moved me to tears and profound self-reflection nearly as much as this 1940 movie version of it.
 

roxy1927

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I've already written about my experience with the American Shakespeare's production which is probably why I haven't seen any production of it since.

I looked up the New York Time's review of the film when it opened at Radio City and it is quite the rave. If you want to read it yourself you don't need a Times subscription. It is available without a paywall.
 
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mskaye

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I've already written about my experience with the American Shakespeare's production which is probably why I haven't seen any production of it since.

I looked up the New York Time's review of the film when it opened at Radio City and it is quite the rave. If you want to read it yourself you don't need a Times subscription. It is available without a paywall.

thank you and just read it. wow. really lovely review.
 

JSLasher

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Yes, the sound on Our Town leaves a lot to be desired. In the opening credits Aaron Copland's music sounds a semi-tone sharp to my years. With iZotope and other software programmes the producers could easily have worked wonders by re-mastering the M&E track. Unfortunately, they did not.
 

Robert Harris

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Yes, the sound on Our Town leaves a lot to be desired. In the opening credits Aaron Copland's music sounds a semi-tone sharp to my years. With iZotope and other software programmes the producers could easily have worked wonders by re-mastering the M&E track. Unfortunately, they did not.
What M&E?
 

battlebeast

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I hope that everyone here will consider ordering directly from ClassicFlix. Without data, I imagine every penny helps this great and modest group who has given us Our Town, The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection (restored), and the upcoming 4K/UHD of Meet John Doe (restored). ClassicFlix so much deserves our support and the late Nick Redman (Twilight Time) was behind them from their very early beginnings.
Everyone in the US. They dont ship internationally, but you can get their discs from eBay and other sites.
 

JSLasher

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Thornton Wilder has the first screenplay credit and I had always heard and read that he authorized the change you mentioned if not actively proposed it. I don't know the truth of it but I think it was the right call for this movie version.

That is just my feeling based on the year it was made and maybe because of the different response we have when watching a live stage version of it with no sets, little or no props and so on as the play is presented vs a movie version of it with all of those production elements including that marvelous Copland music soundtrack working on us. That lady on stage playing Emily, miming her acting business with no real props or furniture, is going to walk out a moment after the final Act and take a bow or possibly mingle with the audience. There is more of a detached, "instructional" element of the live stage play than is ultimately allowed in this movie version of it.

I don't know why but it just feels like the original stage version ending in this movie version would have been too much, too punishing, almost unnecessarily cruel on the part of the filmmakers. And would have made it very difficult to recommend to others. Perhaps that was a consideration by Mr. Wilder as well.

Relating my experience watching this restored version last night; I have seen 3 live stage versions of it with the original ending as you cited, of course. I have seen this movie version 2 times before and therefore I already knew how the ending was changed and what to expect.

It didn't matter. I found myself blubbering and crying all through that final Act. Pathetic. Weeping like an infant, big tears rolling down my cheeks. It was a glorious feeling, a stronger response to the work than I ever had in any previous viewing of the live stage play or of this movie.

If Mr. Wilder, Frank Craven, et al in fact concluded that it really wouldn't matter all that much to the intended effect and response without the risk of greatly limiting its popular appeal as a movie, they were right as far as I can tell.

I also owe much of my stronger than ever response to the wonderfully improved image and audio in this ClassicFlix restoration. Thank you so much for that!
A superb restoration of the film, which has been properly window-bozxed. Unfortunately, there has been no restoration of the audio, which is problematic at times.
 

Robert Harris

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I would like to think so since the film elements are deposited with the Library of Congress.
Seldom is anything other than a pix and trk neg deposited. Way too many cans. I was recently asked if anyone wanted to vault trims, outs et al on two indie features. No takers, even for stock footage. Still looking.
 
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cda1143

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Yes, the sound on Our Town leaves a lot to be desired. In the opening credits Aaron Copland's music sounds a semi-tone sharp to my years. With iZotope and other software programmes the producers could easily have worked wonders by re-mastering the M&E track. Unfortunately, they did not.
I agree that the music track is very distorted. It is a shame with such great music. I wouldn't know where the distortion got introduced, but I doubt it's due to any cranked up speed. You're correct that it is sharp, but only by 13 cents - well within pitch tolerance for the time.
 

Robert Harris

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I agree that the music track is very distorted. It is a shame with such great music. I wouldn't know where the distortion got introduced, but I doubt it's due to any cranked up speed. You're correct that it is sharp, but only by 13 cents - well within pitch tolerance for the time.
As In recall, my print was variable density. Could depend on who did the track harvest.
 

ClassicFlix

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A superb restoration of the film, which has been properly window-bozxed. Unfortunately, there has been no restoration of the audio, which is problematic at times.
Glad you like the image restoration, but there was significant audio restoration done. We had two sources to choose from, both of which were very rough.

Were any better sources available, we would have used them. To get OUR TOWN looking and sounding as good as it does, there were hundreds of hours of work put into it and unless by some miracle other elements become available, it will never look or sound better.

- David
ClassicFlix Founder, Producer
 

Robert Harris

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Glad you like the image restoration, but there was significant audio restoration done. We had two sources to choose from, both of which were very rough.

Were any better sources available, we would have used them. To get OUR TOWN looking and sounding as good as it does, there were hundreds of hours of work put into it and unless by some miracle other elements become available, it will never look or sound better.

- David
ClassicFlix Founder, Producer
The release looks great for the element from which it’s derived. It would be nice to see it off the OCN, which would look better.
 

Cineman

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Everyone in the US. They dont ship internationally, but you can get their discs from eBay and other sites.
ClassicFlix does ship to some non USA countries. My copy of Our Town was shipped to me in Thailand.

VERY LATE EDIT: At some point I did have to shift my order to Amazon for an international delivery!
 
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