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HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME from Image (1 Viewer)

Jack Theakston

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Unannounced, from Image/Film Preservation Associates, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1923) with Lon Chaney. The film is mastered from a 1926 show-at-home print of outstanding quality. The score is by Donald Hunsberger with assistance and conducted by Robert Israel with full orchestra in the Czech Republic.

Among the many special features will be a commentary by Chaney author/historian Michael F. Blake, a previously unseen Chaney short from 1915, and 20 3-D slides taken on the set of the film (anaglyph conversions by Dan "Mr. 3-D" Symmes).

No date announced yet.
 

dana martin

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that is great news, but i wonder, originally when the Ultimate Phantom was released by Milestone(Image) i wrote to the company, they stated in there e-mail reply that at that time they were not considering doing an SE, i wish that they would, just off the to of my head with a film this old most of the extras if any would be of a historical nature. this was a huge production, that just screams for a wonderful doc done on it. and if the do release this i hope the use the same one-sheet poster concept that they did with Chaney's Phantom
 

Eric Peterson

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I'm looking forward to this. Believe it or not, I have never seen this Chaney film. Now I can wait until this restored version debuts.
 

dana martin

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anymore word on this title, i have checked the various silent sites and cant find anything, just a simple announcement and possibly what features they plan to release it with, and it would be nice if Chaney's estate was involved
 

Mark Zimmer

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While Image distributes for Milestone and for Film Preservation Associates (David Shepard), they are three separate entities that are by no means the same people, directly or indirectly. Which company replied to you? Image and Milestone really can't speak for Shepard, who according to the original post is the one putting this out.
 

Jack Theakston

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And technically, this thread is more of a leak than it is an official announcement. Even if Image knew, they might not be inclined to talk about it for one reason or another.

I'm in charge of producing the special features for the disc, so when news leaked out from another source, we decided that at least setting the record straight would have been a better idea than someone claiming something would be on the set, and then have it being a let down when it wasn't actually on there.
 

dana martin

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Jack first of all thank you, reading over this thread again, i am really looking forward to this release, the special features sound great, i do have a question is this a one disc or two disc release. i realize that this will not sale as many as brand x or the latest release,
that is from one of the sources on the net, was just wondering if any docs were been done especially for this release?? hope to hear more about this, so many great releases announced so far.
 

Jack Theakston

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Not sure yet on if it will be 1 or 2 discs-- that depends on the special features, of which there are plenty. We hope that in comparison, this will be comparable to the Milestone PHANTOM DVD that came out a couple of years ago.

No documentary, but there will be a commentary track by Chaney biographer Michael F. Blake, and that will answer most any questions about the production. There will also be a generous photo gallery with some rare and never-before-seen photos taken on and off the set.
 

dana martin

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that sounds great, i know i as this one before, but is the art department going to be using onesheet elements in the cover art. and while everyone automatically thinks Chaney, because of his performance. this was film-making on a grand scale. unsure what the first film to go over a Mil in budget was, but this has to be close.
 

Jack Theakston

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No word on what the cover art will be yet. We have LOTS of posters to work from (some never before seen and quite striking). I'll keep this thread updated, though.
 

Mark Philp

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Although I've seen this many times, I've never seen a really good version. I believe this was one of the many silents that Universal destroyed back in the 40s or 50s, because they felt that silents had "no commercial value" anymore and didn't want to pay for storage.
 

Jack Theakston

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Unfortunately, there are no surviving 35mm prints or elements on this film (not counting snippetts in retrospectives here and there). All of the current video releases are from 16mm sources.

Only the previous Image edition was off of any good element, having come from an amalgum of original 16mm sources and dupe negatives that were in the Blackhawk collection. The rest are usually off of the Blackhawk 16mm prints that were done in the '60s and '70s, so the quality is certainly less than what the film deserves.

This new edition, as far as I know, is the first on DVD to be entirely mastered from an original 16mm Universal Show-At-Home™ print (in High-Def, no less!), which was always a print-down from the camera negative. Luckily, this one was in excellent condition and was printed before 1928, when the film was reissued with new titles and edited down further. This edition has all of the original titles, is sharp as a tack and fully tinted, and has a wonderful orchestral score written and compiled by the famed conductor, Donald Hunsberger that was recorded last year in the Czech Republic by Robert Israel.

Anyone who had a difficult time sitting through this film the first time around may want to reconsider, as the quality and detail really contrasts the high production values and makes for a much more enjoyable viewing experience.
 

Patrick McCart

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I'd like to add that it's a common myth that "oh, old movies don't improve much with HD."

If you've seen any of Criterion's DVD's of films shot on 16mm, you can see how wonderful even that format can look if properly handled via high-definition. Of course, they've transfered directly from 16mm camera originals - wheras we're talking about a 35mm film duplicated to 16mm. Still, HD can at least pull a huge amount of detail normally obscured.
 

Mark Zimmer

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The rumor mill at one time had been that David had come up with an actual 35mm print, but that must have been wishful thinking about this one. I'm certainly looking forward to a big improvement. When I talked to him last about this, he wasn't sure whether the economics would permit an upgraded version, but I'm very glad that he seems to have decided that they will.
 

oscar_merkx

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I am really psyched up about this release especially as Jack keeps updating this thread.

Cheers
 

Jeffrey Nelson

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Luckily I've held off buying this on DVD. I've got the old Republic laserdisc, and it's pretty bad. I have trouble sitting through it. Looks like the wait will have been worth it!

As for the first film to go over a million in budget, doesn't Griffith win the prize for that?
 

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