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Press Release Kino Lorber Press Release: RKO Classic Adventures and RKO Classic Romances (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, May 21, 2019.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]
    Kino Classics Releases Two Collections of
    Newly-Restored Pre-Code Classics
    RKO Classic Adventures and RKO Classic Romances
    Preserved by the Library of Congress and Restored by Lobster Films
    Now Available on Blu-ray and DVD


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    NEW YORK, NY -- May 21, 2019 -- Kino Classics is proud to announce the release of RKO CLASSIC ADVENTURES and RKO CLASSIC ROMANCES, two collections of pre-Code classics produced by RKO Radio Pictures in the early 1930s, newly restored by Lobster Films and preserved by the Library of Congress.

    Both collections become available on Blu-ray and DVD May 21. The SRP for RKO CLASSIC ADVENTURES is $34.95 for the Blu-ray and $29.95 for the DVD, and the SRP for RKO CLASSIC ROMANCES is $39.95 for the Blu-ray and $34.95 for the DVD.

    RKO CLASSIC ADVENTURES
    These potent two-fisted brawlers from the prolific RKO Radio Pictures studio were the types of movies that sold out theaters in the wild early days of sound film.The Painted Desert is a pistol-packing Western about feudin' families starring Bill Boyd and Helen Twelvetrees (and featuring Clark Gable in his talkie film debut). The Pay-Off is a cool-minded gangster movie directed by (and starring!) Lowell Sherman as an honorable mobster in a dishonorable racket. The Silver Horde drops Joel McCrea into the midst of a dreaded rivalry between two fishing groups - led by Evelyn Brent on one side and Gavin Gordon on the other.

    RKO CLASSIC ROMANCES
    These are tearjerkers that will tug every last heartstring. Millie is a grand melodrama about a divorcée (Helen Twelvetrees) who climbs the ranks at a luxury hotel, and whose tattered romantic relationships drive her to a life of independence. Kept Husbands circles around a bet made by a steel magnate's impish daughter, played by Dorothy Mackaill. She guarantees that she will get a plant manager (Joel McCrea) to marry her within four weeks. She wins her bet, but gets all the class issues that come with it. The Lady Refuses is a frank Pre-Code melodrama about a poor woman on the verge of becoming a prostitute (Betty Compson), who is hired by an aristocrat to woo his son away from a gold-digger. The Woman Between is a risqué romance in which Lili Damita unknowingly enters into an affair with her estranged stepson (Lester Vail). In Sin Takes a Holiday Constance Bennett plays a poor secretary in love with her boss - a womanizing divorce attorney. He proposes a sham marriage to Bennett to keep his lovers at bay, giving her what she wants in exactly the wrong way.


    RKO CLASSIC ADVENTURES
    Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: May 21, 2019
    Blu-ray SRP: $34.95
    DVD SRP: $29.95

    1930-31 / Adventure / 220 min / NR / B&W

    Director: Howard Higgin, Lowell Sherman, George Archainbaud
    Starring: Bill Boyd, Helen Twelvetrees, Lowell Sherman, Marian Nixon,
    Evelyn Brent, Joel McCrea
    RKO CLASSIC ROMANCES
    Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: May 21, 2019
    Blu-ray SRP: $39.95
    DVD SRP: $34.95

    1930-31 / Romance / 385 min / NR / B&W

    Director: John Francis Dillon, Lloyd Bacon, George Archainbaud,
    Victor Schertzinger, Paul L. Stein
    Starring: Helen Twelvetrees, Clara Kimball Young, Betty Compson,
    Lili Damita, Constance Bennett


    The price link below will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

     
  2. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I just watched disc 1 of the Classic Romance set. The two movies were very predictable but a lot of fun. They must have had very damaged originals to work with because even after restoration there are many lines and blots evidence of nitrate damage, although the image was mostly very good.

    On a side note — I am used to the smoking in classic films, but in “Millie”, everyone over the age of 10 seemed to puff their brains out and sometimes fogged the room until it was almost hard to see what was going on!
     
  3. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    Haven't seen "Millie" in a number of years, but what I mostly remember was not the smoking, but the abundance of boozing.

    I got the 'adventure' set and the print of "The Painted Desert" (1931) looks quite excellent, in terms of sharpness and contrast. Almost amazingly so, compared to the many years of seeing weak PD prints. Oh, there's occasional jitter and splotches, but compared to what is usually seen in similar vintage RKO fare (even though this was originally produced as a Pathe item), it did rather startle me as to how nice it looks. And it really visually 'pops' with all those great desert locales. I just loved the 'look' of it all. I read over at imdb about some of the original action scenes being trimmed out of the original negative for later stock footage, and you can tell where something is missing (like how a later attack on the wagons led to town by Boyd apparently occurs, but we don't see it, only Boyd arriving in town with a wounded driver). It's a shame, because the film is pretty pokey otherwise, and 'needs' those action scenes. As for the other two, "The Silver Horde" (1930) and "The Pay-Off" (1930) look okay, but less impressive, with the former quite decent, the latter a bit weak.
     
    Richard M S likes this.
  4. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    After watching both these sets, I am struck by the difference in quality of the acting and writing @RKO. These seemed very inferior.

    I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about classic films, but never had seen any of these and most of the actors were unknown to me. Perhaps in the Detroit area, except for musicals, we only had the TV package that included Warner’s and MGM movies. I do know it was very rare to see any film made before 1932, and perhaps that is why these seem so primitive to me.

    I will file these films under “interesting” rather than “enjoyable”.
     

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