Hell's Angels - Hughes/Harlow

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ReggieW, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    I was wondering why this film was never given a release on LD or DVD. It underwent an outstanding restoration by the UCLA film archives in 1989 where the lost 10 minute two-color technicolor sequence was restored. It is the only color film footage which exists of the legendary Jean Harlow. The aerial sequences in this film are nothing short of PHENOMENAL - even by todays CGI standards. The Zeppelin battle sequence is amazing, and Jean Harlow (though a teenager during filming) looked smashing. Hughes spent 4 million dollars to make this film in 1929, making it the most expensive film ever at the time. I feel that this film is long overdue to be represented on DVD (Kubrick listed it as one of his ten favorite in a 1960's interview). I believe Universal currently owns the rights, which means that a Criterion release in the future may be possible. I'm a major Harlow fan, and since Warner owns nearly all of her films, not a single one is yet to surface. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one though.
    Reg
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Universal owns it from RKO, which in turn was part of a package RKO sold to Paramount (note that Universal owns a ton of Paramount films)
    Universal NEEDS to put this movie out on DVD!
     
  3. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    Absolutely correct. I want this movie on DVD.
     
  4. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    I have e-mailed Jon Mulvaney at Criterion regarding this film, and he responded that it currently wasn't in the works there yet, but that he would pass my e-mail to those calling the shots. I was thinking of starting a petition for this film, as it would indeed be a missed opportunity to deny this film a Dvd release, especially with all of the HOURS of extra footage out there. I attended a screening two years agi in Glendale, CA and the evening was hosted by Robert Gitt of the UCLA film archives. he showed us at least a half-hour of outakes before the film, which also showed James Whale and Hughes directing Harlow in some scenes! It was widely known that Whale did not like Harlow. She was a newcomer and this was her first major film, though her acting was less than impressive. But hey, she looked great, and that's all that mattered to Hughes at the time. We also saw about 15 minutes of 1930 premiere footage at Graumann's in Hollywood which attracted 50,000 people. I could only imagine what a comprehensive edition of this film on DVD would look like - There's is so much out there on this film, especially considering its age.
    Reg
     
  5. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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  6. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I'd buy an S.E. of this! I remember seeing Hell's Angels years ago and being very impressed. Those flying sequences are terrific. I was also surprised by the film's pre-code cursing! [​IMG]
     
  7. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Thanks Rob.
    I have read Stenn's biography on Harlow, and am somewhat familiar with the films silent origins. Yes, Hughes made quite a killing on loaning her out to other studios, but we should be thankful that Thalberg had a knack for spotting talent. $60,000 ain't bad for a multi-year film contract, heck, some guys in the mob (like Longy Zwillman for instance) would've paid that to have her on their arm for just a few nights! No wonder they called Hughes "the sucker with the money" - Shoot a film silent, scrap most of it (with the lead actress), and then reshoot it with sound. Anyway, I hope that Warner will give us "Dinner at Eight" or "The Public Enemy" sometime next year. It's interesting that Columbia has nearly emptied their entire Capra catalogue to DVD minus "Platinum Blonde." I wonder why this one is still shelved? Nonetheless, Hell's Angels would make a dynamite Criterion disc!
    Reg
     

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