New from Universal: Francis the Talking Mule - The Complete Collection in April

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JoHud, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. williampl7@aol.com

    [email protected] Stunt Coordinator

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    Scratch Black Cat (1941), The Monster and the Girl instead
     
  2. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    It figures they would finally release the others, as I bought the old set last year. ;)
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    I saw FRANCIS IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE theatrically when I was seven. I loved it, with its secret passageways and trap doors and the implications of ghosts. I've seen it only one time since, and thought it was slow and rather awful, and the only one of the series not directed by my late friend Arthur Lubin. Still, for the sake of nostalgia, I will probably pick up the set.
     
  4. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]

    FRANCIS IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE (1956) is definitely the "odd child" of the film series. (As mentioned) director Arthur Lubin is no longer involved. Donald O'Connor is conspicuously absent. Even Chill Wills isn't providing the "Talking Mule" voice any longer.

    It does have the (redeeming) virtue of (wisely) including Richard Deacon (a boyhood friend of Rod Serling and who was under contract at Universal Pictures at the time) in the cast. Certainly a most capable albeit underused actor-comedian. As a matter-of-fact I just saw him today in THE KETTLES IN THE OZARKS (1956)!

    I don't feel there ever was a bad entry in this (most) enjoyable series but it is apparent that the end was nigh.

    Whether there were definite aspirations to continue on only the film experts know for sure.

    Jeff T.

    :D
     
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  5. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Watched them and I can confirm that the discs are single-sided and the final three films are not presented in widescreen, but rather in open-matte as per most Universal DVDs from that era. These three look good at a 16:9 ratio, a 1.85 ratio looks too cramped, particularly on Francis In the Navy.

    However the transfers are just as good as the first 4.
     
  6. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Then the transfers are zoomed. Those last three should be either 1.85 or 2:1.
     
  7. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Francis In the Navy is probably the only one with that problem. I watched Francis Joins the WACs in 1:85:1 and it looked fine, but didn't take any chances with Francis in the Haunted House and watched that in 16:9 right off.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I checked my notes and NAVY should be 2:1.
     
  9. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I thought the last three looked good in 1.85, 2:1 would be cramped. In 1:85, the main titles are centered on the monitor and I did not notice any heads cut off.
     
  10. Bob Furmanek

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  11. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    So Just like Ma and Pa, and Their 50's Sci-Fi collections they went the cheap route using old, existing masters instead of new widescreen transfers.
    Dissapointing but for the price I'll still get it.
     
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