Fox 1950s CinemaScope shorts

3 Stars

20th Century Fox made quite a few shorts in the mid-1950s designed to show off CinemaScope and 4 track stereophonic sound. Several were classical music performances. They include:

Vesuvius Express (1953) The first travelogue released by Twentieth Century-Fox in CinemaScope, produced and directed by Otto Lang, is a photographic record of a journey from Milan to Naples, through Florence and Rome, on a streamlined passenger train. En route, the film takes time out in the cities mentioned to take a look at the landmarks—past and present—with the climax on the edge of Vesuvius’ smoldering crater (IMBD). Dir. Otto Lang 16 min

According to the InStereo website, the following were all released in 1954

Calypso Cruise. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec 23, 1954: “The islands of the Caribbean are visited in this Movietone CinemaScope in De Luxe colour which accompanies a holiday cruise liner to the major centres of interest. The vivid natural colouring of the West Indies is vividly caught in this pleasant and interesting short. Good.” 8 min.

Coronation Parade

Dancers of the Deep

El Toro

Fabulous Las Vegas. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec 23, 1954: “A very comprehensive survey of California’s fashionable gambling town is conveyed in this CinemaScope in De Luxe colour. Visits are paid not only to the swank hotels, restaurants and gambling resorts but also to the great Hoover Dam, and a series of angle shots provides a vivid impression of this gigantic feat. Very good” 17 min.

Finale from Symphony No. 4 Tchaikovsky

Haydn’s Farewell Symphony

The Empire Games

Jet Carrier. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec 23, 1954: “An outstanding CinemaScope two-reeler photographed in De Luxe colour and showing the famous United States aircraft carrier Yorktown at exercise, Excellent.” 18 min.

Land of Legend

Movie Stunt Pilot

Piano Encores. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec. 23, 1954: “A CinemaScope short in De Luxe colour which provides an admirable integration of sound recording and photography. Four pianists playing concert grand pianos play excerpts from the classics which have been specially arranged for this treatment. Imaginative photography enhances the excellence of the renditions. Very good.” 10 min.

Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor

Pride of the Nation

The First Piano Quartet

The New Venezuela

The Roger Wagner Chorale

Tournament of Roses

It would be fascinating to see these shorts either as a complete Blu-ray collection or as extras to a Fox feature. Do they still exist I wonder? Does anyone have any information about them? I assume none have been released on video?

Published by

Kevin Collins

administrator

32 Comments

  1. I know that the Rialto Cinema in Coventry Street in London had a 4 Track Mag print of Tournament of the Roses in the box a one time. The Miracle of Stereophonic Sound short I have seen at the NFT and at
    Bradford its great but the print has a bit of damage, but as we all know the Stereo sound is really good.

  2. Bob Furmanek

    The CinemaScope Specials ran from November 1953 until December 1956, averaging two a month. They were replaced with Movietone Cinemascopes in January 1957.

    Thanks Bob. That's fabulous. You seem to have nailed the lot!

    I'd love to be able to see them.

  3. So would I, but I suspect they are somewhat low priority at the studio.

    Here's a complete list of the 64 CinemaScope Specials:

    7401 – The Coronation Parade
    7402 – Vesuvius Express
    7403 – Finale from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4
    7404 – Dancers of the Deep
    7405 – Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
    7406 – Tournament of Roses
    7407 – The New Venezuela
    7408 – Haydn's Farewell Symphony
    7409 – A Day Aboard a Jet Carrier
    7410 – First Piano Quartet
    7411 – Motion Picture Stunt Pilot
    7412 – Stephen Foster Medley
    7413 – Valley of the Nile
    7414 – The Miracle of Stereophonic Sound
    7415 – Roger Wagner Chorale
    7416 – New Horizons
    7417 – Land of Legend
    7418 – Piano Encores
    7419 – Calypso Cruise
    7420 – Pride of the Nation
    7421 – Fabulous Las Vegas
    7422 – CinemaScope Parade
    7423 – El Toro
    7424 – Queen's Guard
    7425 – The Empire Games
    7426 – Flying to Fish
    7427 – Far East Bastions
    7501 – Tuna Clipper Ship
    7502 – Stampede City
    7503 – Birthday Parade
    7504 – Fifth Avenue to Fujiyama
    7505 – Supersonic Age
    7506 – Land of the Nile
    7507 – Tears of the Moon
    7508 – Isle of Lore
    7509 – Punts and Stunts
    7510 – Pageants and Pastimes
    7511 – Colorado Holiday
    7512 – Children of the Sun
    7513 – Clear the Bridge
    7514 – Sorcerer's Apprentice
    7515 – Naughty Mermaids
    7516 – Winter Jamboree
    7517 – Volcanic Violence
    7518 – That Others May Live
    7519 – Survival City
    7520 – Gods of the Road
    7521 – Desert Fantasy
    7522 – Water Wizardry
    7523 – Carioca Carnival
    7524/7601 – Lady of the Golden Door
    7525 – Queen's Guard
    7602 – A Thoroughbred is Born
    7603 – Adventure in Capri
    7604 – Pigskin Peewees
    7605 – Hunters of the Sea
    7606 – Honeymoon Paradise
    7607 – Cowboys of the Maremma
    7608 – Land of the Bible
    7609 – The Dark Wave
    7610 – Hunting the Netchik
    7611 – Spirit of the Race
    7612 – Catching Sea Creatures
    7613 -Outpost Korea

    View attachment 44962

    View attachment 44960

  4. I remember screening all of these CinemaScope Short Titles at my Theatre during the 50’s and 60’s, and have fond memories of all of them. I was also projectionist at the Theatre. I started working at the Theatre mid 1953, and saw the transition to Wide Screen in the Industry actually take place. It was a very exciting time. I was particularly fond of “Movie Stunt Pilot”, which featured Paul Mantz.

  5. I have been waiting for some of these shorts for years. Apparently they used to appear on the fox channel in the US as fill-ins some years ago. I screened many of them during the 60's as additions to programmes in the theatre I managed at the time. Not all were 4 track magnetic. As the years went by the cost of providing magnetic prints for shorts apparently was too much and from some point most of them were single track optical.
    The early ones from 1953 to about 1956 were all full track magnetic. They were great shorts in the early days and showed off the cinemascope screen and the stereo sound to perfection. Most were produced by Edmund Reek. They were great to supplement fox features.
    I have several on Super 8 as distributed by Derran Films in the UK.
    Warner Brothers also had a few great 4 track magnetic shorts Coney Island Holiday, Aloha Nui and Sportsman's Holiday are a few I can remember. I particularly liked Coney Island Holiday as it had the roller coaster ride and in 4 track stereo you thought you were on that rollercoaster.
    If these were released on dvd or blu ray they would be definite purchases for me as I really loved them.

  6. I guess my memory is slipping a little with age. I had recalled that all of the Scope shorts had Mag. sound , but of course, Wesaussie is correct, the later ones were single track Opt.
    I remember there were also two UK produced CinemaScope shorts in the early 50’s. One titled “Lilt of the Kilt”and an Irish one I am not sure of the title of, I may have been “The Emerald Isle”.
    As an aside, a bit of trivia. For the installation of CinemaScope in my Theatre, the Penthouse magnetic Sound Heads for the projectors were custom built in Brisbane, Australia, by my late friend, Motion Picture Engineer, Ron Jones, who was later, the inventor and developer of the “Rolling Loop” movement for Cameras and Projectors, which enabled the development of IMAX.
    The Rolling Loop was the only way to efficiently move the amount of film that IMAX required.
    Ron Jones initially created the concept to supply High Speed slow motion cameras to NASA.

  7. Ron Jones

    We Australians are an inventive lot!!!!! We even invented Vegemite, Kiwi Shoe Polish, the Stump Jump Plough and even refrigeration to ship our beef etc to Europe in general. And we have had collectors of film who had missing prints and soundtracks necessary to complete some restorations in USA.

  8. moviepas

    Ron Jones

    We Australians are an inventive lot!!!!! We even invented Vegemite, Kiwi Shoe Polish, the Stump Jump Plough and even refrigeration to ship our beef etc to Europe in general. And we have had collectors of film who had missing prints and soundtracks necessary to complete some restorations in USA.

    You also invented the bubbles in beer 😉 !

    [​IMG]

  9. :rolling-smiley:

    moviepas

    Ron Jones

    We Australians are an inventive lot!!!!! We even invented Vegemite, Kiwi Shoe Polish, the Stump Jump Plough and even refrigeration to ship our beef etc to Europe in general. And we have had collectors of film who had missing prints and soundtracks necessary to complete some restorations in USA.

    I'll give you the rest – but I wouldn't be braggin' on the Vegemite. Besides,I thought Vegemite was the black stuff that formed around the top of Catsup bottles.:rolling-smiley:

    You forgot to mention some good tv shows.

  10. The Fox "Movietone" 35mm Cinemascope shorts in my collection are all Optical and have now turned a gorgeous shade of DeLuxe pink.
    The shorts themselves have dated but are still of great historic and nostagic value.
    Yes a Blu-ray collection would be fabulous, but unfortunately the discs would not be commercially viable.
    The odd short would be great if included as an extra with any Fox movie of the period.

    [​IMG]

  11. Douglas R

    20th Century Fox made quite a few shorts in the mid-1950s designed to show off CinemaScope and 4 track stereophonic sound. Several were classical music performances. They include:

    Vesuvius Express (1953) The first travelogue released by Twentieth Century-Fox in CinemaScope, produced and directed by Otto Lang, is a photographic record of a journey from Milan to Naples, through Florence and Rome, on a streamlined passenger train. En route, the film takes time out in the cities mentioned to take a look at the landmarks—past and present—with the climax on the edge of Vesuvius’ smoldering crater (IMBD). Dir. Otto Lang 16 min

    According to the InStereo website, the following were all released in 1954

    Calypso Cruise. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec 23, 1954: “The islands of the Caribbean are visited in this Movietone CinemaScope in De Luxe colour which accompanies a holiday cruise liner to the major centres of interest. The vivid natural colouring of the West Indies is vividly caught in this pleasant and interesting short. Good.” 8 min.

    Coronation Parade

    Dancers of the Deep

    El Toro

    Fabulous Las Vegas. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec 23, 1954: “A very comprehensive survey of California’s fashionable gambling town is conveyed in this CinemaScope in De Luxe colour. Visits are paid not only to the swank hotels, restaurants and gambling resorts but also to the great Hoover Dam, and a series of angle shots provides a vivid impression of this gigantic feat. Very good” 17 min.

    Finale from Symphony No. 4 Tchaikovsky

    Haydn’s Farewell Symphony

    The Empire Games

    Jet Carrier. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec 23, 1954: “An outstanding CinemaScope two-reeler photographed in De Luxe colour and showing the famous United States aircraft carrier Yorktown at exercise, Excellent.” 18 min.

    Land of Legend

    Movie Stunt Pilot

    Piano Encores. Reviewed by Kine Weekly Dec. 23, 1954: “A CinemaScope short in De Luxe colour which provides an admirable integration of sound recording and photography. Four pianists playing concert grand pianos play excerpts from the classics which have been specially arranged for this treatment. Imaginative photography enhances the excellence of the renditions. Very good.” 10 min.

    Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor

    Pride of the Nation

    The First Piano Quartet

    The New Venezuela

    The Roger Wagner Chorale

    Tournament of Roses

    It would be fascinating to see these shorts either as a complete Blu-ray collection or as extras to a Fox feature. Do they still exist I wonder? Does anyone have any information about them? I assume none have been released on video?

    I saw VESUVIUS EXPRESS numerous times where I worked. It was a much loved favourite cinemascope short of mine..No doubt, I would have seem many of Fox's cinemascope shorts as we screened all Fox films. I also had the pleasure of meeting the Director, Otto Lang and saw SEARCH FOR PARADISE in Cinerama with him.

  12. Doug Bull

    The Fox "Movietone" 35mm Cinemascope shorts in my collection are all Optical and have now turned a gorgeous shade of DeLuxe pink.
    The shorts themselves have dated but are still of great historic and nostalgic value.
    Yes a Blu-ray collection would be fabulous, but unfortunately the discs would not be commercially viable.
    The odd short would be great if included as an extra with any Fox movie of the period.

    Maybe not commercially viable as a Blu-ray set but surely viable at least as a DVD collection. After all, Warner Archive released three DVD volumes of James A Fitzpatrick Traveltalks comprising 9 discs in all. It's a fabulous collection.

  13. Martin Dew

    Here are some screenshots of Winter Jamboree on Super 8mm film using the Eumig S938 stereo projector and Kowa 8Z anamorphic lens. The Cinemascope aspect ratio on Super 8 film is 2.66:1, incidentally. I'll post some of Honeymoon in Paradise too.

    Excellent! More please. Reminds me of when I had an 8mm camera and projector and a Fujica CinemaScope lens (It had the word CinemaScope written on the lens).

  14. Finally, some screenshots of Honeymoon Paradise on Super 8 (on a wall in a spare bedroom). One of the reasons I still love Super 8 and 16mm film is that you get an extraordinary perception of lifelike detail simply because the blacks really are black – I mean inky HDR-on-steroids black. It's a totally different experience to my digital UHD Projector/Dolby Atmos set up and my audience always loves a real film pre-show of ads, trailers or shorts before I show a BD on movie night.View attachment 45190

    View attachment 45191

    View attachment 45192

    View attachment 45193
    View attachment 45194
    View attachment 45195 View attachment 45196

  15. Seeing these cinemascope shorts released onto dvd /bluray may not be possible.It would depend on who owned the copyright ,especially the music. It may be a huge expense to get the copyright problem resolved.

Leave a Reply