TCM Treats Movie Fans to Rarely Seen Cinematic Gems Sunday,

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Steve Massa

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 7:17 am

One thing that was missing from the show was the backstory on how and where the fragments turned up - as not all of them were found in an archive. For instance the last reel of Baby Peggy's THE DARLING OF NEW YORK was found by silent animation expert Tom Stathes, who bought it in a group of cartoons and other film odds and ends. About three years ago he mentioned the footage to Ben Model, Bruce Lawton and myself at one of our Silent Clown Film shows, and we were able put our heads together to I.D. the film, give it a public "re-premiere, and get a copy made for Diana. All thanks to Tom's generousity and passion for film. The footage even goes on longer than was shown in the program where Baby Peggy is re-united with her rich grandfather, who throws a party where all the characters from the earlier part of story (including Max Davidson and Spec O'Donnell) come and congratulate Peggy.

I'm sure that probably all of the fragments had an interesting story on how they were found.
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Tommy Stathes

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 8:03 am

Many thanks for the acknowledgment, Steve. Most lost film fragment finds are fascinating stories, no matter how simple they may be. The FRAGMENTS program was a great introduction to this type of material and maybe in the future there could be programs about how and where these films are found and what they look like before and after preservation. These stories are often just as interesting as the films themselves.
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drednm

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 8:28 am

I'm still very curious about the fate of Flaming Youth. Has anyone ever heard what exactly happened to the copy Colleen Moore gave to MoMA? I think Moore simply said "lost," but what exactly happened? Did it crumble to dust? Or did they literally lose it? Did Moore give other copies of her films to MoMA as well?
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WaverBoy

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 10:57 am

Gene Zonarich wrote:I only have one, Colleen Moore film, "The Busher," which I only watched part of after recording it years ago on TCM.
Any RECOMMENDATIONS from Colleen aficionados? I know you're out there . .


And this is where I come in. Get ELLA CINDERS from Sunrise Silents immediately. And then see if you can hunt down TWINKLETOES, ORCHIDS & ERMINE and IRENE; these used to be available from Grapevine, but were discontinued last year. ELLA is my favorite, but they're all excellent. And BROKEN HEARTS OF BROADWAY is available from Unknown Video; this one doesn't rate as highly with me as those previously mentioned, but it is still a nice little film.
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LouieD

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:11 am

WaverBoy wrote:Get ELLA CINDERS from Sunrise Silents immediately.


No, get ELLA from ReelClassicDVD, the Sunrise Silents version is way inferior:

http://www.reelclassicdvd.com/silent_era.htm
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:17 am

LouieD,

:? I beg your pardon. That is just not the case. The current Sunrise Silents version of ELLA CINDERS is from an original amber tinted Koadascope. It is by far the best transfer of the film I have ever seen on commercial video. Rich spent months getting it right. I saw a snippet of the Reel Classic DVD version on Youtube, and sorry to say that I found it disappointing looking by comparison. I was going to buy it, thinking there might be some different sequences. But after seeing the clip, I decided not to. Maybe you only saw Rich's earlier transfer with the Fruit-loop tints? I don't know? The current one is terrific.
Last edited by Gagman 66 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:22 am

drednm wrote:I'm still very curious about the fate of Flaming Youth. Has anyone ever heard what exactly happened to the copy Colleen Moore gave to MoMA? I think Moore simply said "lost," but what exactly happened? Did it crumble to dust? Or did they literally lose it? Did Moore give other copies of her films to MoMA as well?


Ed,

I've addressed this several times, but you seem to keep missing it. Several pieces that I have read clearly note that Colleen gave several films to the Museum Of Modern Art, not just FLAMING YOUTH. But than they also say that it was Warner Brother's who let them fall into ruin.

Gene Zonarich,

Here is a wonderful scene from TWINKLETOES.

<object width="480" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZmB9lUIPxHI?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZmB9lUIPxHI?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="390"></embed></object>
Last edited by Gagman 66 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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westegg

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:25 am

It does my heart good to see Colleen Moore prints being debated in 2011!

:D
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gatester

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:27 am

Some of these movies were deliberately destroyed because of the content. Like THE MIRACLE MAN showing fake preachers & FLAMING YOUTH with all that sex & booze. & Clara Bow stripping down for all occasions... I could be wrong but it just seems odd to me.
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:34 am

westegg wrote:It does my heart good to see Colleen Moore prints being debated in 2011!

:D


I'd like to debate plenty, Unfortunately, very little is available at the present time. Not even LILAC TIME on DVD. I agree that Colleen was one of the most magnetic Stars of the Silent era. That is what is so frustrating to me.
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LouieD

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:36 am

Gagman 66 wrote:LouieD,

:? I beg your pardon. That is just not the case. The current Sunrise Silents version of ELLA CINDERS is from an original amber tinted Koadascope. It is by far the best transfer of the film I have ever seen on commercial video. Rich spent months getting it right. Maybe you only saw Rich's earlier transfer with the Fruit-loop tints? I don't know? The current one is terrific.


I must have the old one because the copy I got sucks. Who knew a pirate did upgrades?
Last edited by LouieD on Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:42 am

ELLA CINDERS is Public-Domain. It is not pirated. But the Kodascope is missing a cople reels. Are you sure that your copy is from Sunrise Silents? Clarity wise the old version is very good. It just had the Fruit-loop tints. Every color of the Rainbow. There were other Public Domain versions floating around that were really bad. One from a company called Golden Hollywood Video.
Last edited by Gagman 66 on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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drednm

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:50 am

Ed,

I've addressed this several times, but you seem to keep missing it. Several pieces that I have read clearly note that Colleen gave several films to the Museum Of Modern Art, not just FLAMING YOUTH. But than they also say that it was Warner Brother's who let them fall into ruin.


Yes Jeff but that's not a very precise answer. I was wondering WHICH other films she donated and HOW they became lost.

-------------

Did anyone mention Moore's The Sky Pilot That's still around. So is Broken Hearts of Broadway. Several of her talkies are around as well: The Power and the Glory, The Scarlet Letter, Social Register, Success at Any Price
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LouieD

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:54 am

Gagman 66 wrote:ELLA CINDERS is Public-Domain. It is not pirated.


Right, but MANY of the other films he sells are certainly under copyright.
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 11:57 am

Ed,

I'm assuming APRIL SHOWERS, THE PERFECT FLAPPER, PAINTED PEOPLE, SO BIG, SALLY, NAUGHTY BUT NICE, WE MODERNS, Etc, all of these and others may have been given to MoMA? I'll try to get more information from Jeff Codrori. He thought that THE HUNTRESS was still around. According to Harold, apparently not. Though I hope that it is. Was pleased to hear that COME ON OVER exists in complete form.
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Danny Burk

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 12:59 pm

I don't remember seeing THE DEVIL'S CLAIM mentioned as a survivor. It's a Sessue Hayakawa film, with Colleen in a supporting part. It was shown at Cinesation a couple of years ago.
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WaverBoy

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PostWed Apr 06, 2011 1:02 pm

LouieD wrote:
Gagman 66 wrote:LouieD,

:? I beg your pardon. That is just not the case. The current Sunrise Silents version of ELLA CINDERS is from an original amber tinted Koadascope. It is by far the best transfer of the film I have ever seen on commercial video. Rich spent months getting it right. Maybe you only saw Rich's earlier transfer with the Fruit-loop tints? I don't know? The current one is terrific.


I must have the old one because the copy I got sucks. Who knew a pirate did upgrades?


Who knew a flag-waver against piracy supports pirates himself? Perhaps the flag he waves was the Jolly Roger all along.
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silentmovies74

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PostFri Apr 08, 2011 8:21 pm

The idea of pirating silent films is an odd one. We all know it goes on through various channels/companies. I wonder if the general line of thought from the point of view of the copyright holders is that they really don't care a great deal unless they are planning to release the films themselves? After all, the quality of many of these films are really not of the standard that can be sold legitimately to anyone other than ardent film buffs. Just a thought.
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missdupont

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PostFri Apr 08, 2011 11:52 pm

What I've been told by a couple of people is that Moore donated her films to MOMA. Years later, Warners asked for their films back from MOMA, and someone decided to give them all First National titles as well. When Moore came looking for her material years later at MOMA, they realized it had gone to Warners. When Warners was contacted, they found the Moore material, but it had deteriorated to dust by that point.
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Gagman 66

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 12:26 am

:? A tragic loss. Maybe If MoMA had kept them, most of the films would still be there? Although none of this makes allot of sense? You are sayind that MoMA had them than shipped them to Warner's? Why not just hold the movies for them? Why would they need to be hauled around from place to place? stupid!

Apparently WB still has LILAC TIME and a few others. I assume the studio now has a print of the restored HER WILD OAT. Harold said that IRENE, TWINKLETOES, and ORCHIDS AND ERMINE, had their copyrights renewed. But that isn't exactly what the guy from Eastman House told me a few weeks ago. So if Warner's has these titles or not is very unclear.
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Jack Theakston

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:03 am

I'm afraid the gentleman at Eastman House is wrong. Copyrights were renewed on all three pictures:

IRENE, a photoplay in nine reels by First National Pictures. (c)10Feb26, L22387. R122507, 18Dec53, RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

TWINKLETOES, a photoplay in nine reels by First National Picures. (c) 2Dec26; L23387, Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.; 19Nov54; R139407.

ORCHIDS AND ERMINE, a photoplay in seven reels by First National Pictures, Inc. (c) 23Feb27; L23692. Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 13Jan55; R143002
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Gagman 66

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:19 am

Jack,

All I know is He referred to those films and LILAC TIME as "having been out on Public-Domain VHS years ago." He also included THE PERFECT FLAPPER in the group. Now I know that only has a reel or two surviving. Shame because it Starred not just Colleen, but Syd Chaplin, and Phyllis Haver to boot.

So copyrights for IRENE, TWINKLETOES, and ORCHIDS AND ERMINE, were renewed in '53, 54, 55, respectively? Jeez, how long do the copyrights last? What about HER WILD OAT? For that matter, what about FLAMING YOUTH? It was still around back in the 50's. So I assume that Warner's retains the rights even if the film is lost? What do you have on the year LILAC TIME was renewed?

Did you see what I said about a scene from WE MODERNS having apparently been used in Fractured Flickers back in the 50's or 60's? Any chance that this is correct?
Last edited by Gagman 66 on Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:59 am, edited 6 times in total.
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CoffeeDan

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:26 am

silentmovies74 wrote:After all, the quality of many of these films are really not of the standard that can be sold legitimately to anyone other than ardent film buffs.


Which probably explains why most film companies don't produce thier own DVDs of their silent films in the first place.
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CoffeeDan

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:34 am

Jack Theakston wrote:I'm afraid the gentleman at Eastman House is wrong. Copyrights were renewed on all three pictures:

IRENE, a photoplay in nine reels by First National Pictures. (c)10Feb26, L22387. R122507, 18Dec53, RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

TWINKLETOES, a photoplay in nine reels by First National Picures. (c) 2Dec26; L23387, Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.; 19Nov54; R139407.

ORCHIDS AND ERMINE, a photoplay in seven reels by First National Pictures, Inc. (c) 23Feb27; L23692. Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 13Jan55; R143002


Unfortunately, copyright renewal doesn't always mean that physical copies of the films necessarily survive. There may be underlying rights issues involved that are more valuable and useful to the studios than the films themselves. A lot can happen in 50+ years.
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Gagman 66

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:38 am

CoffeeDan wrote:
silentmovies74 wrote:After all, the quality of many of these films are really not of the standard that can be sold legitimately to anyone other than ardent film buffs.


Which probably explains why most film companies don't produce thier own DVDs of their silent films in the first place.


Easily the same thing could be said about most films from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Even the 60's. Most young people are totally ignorant about Hollywood history. Quality wise I think the product was way better in any of those era's than it is today. So I totally disagree about the caliber of the films. I assume the original poster was referring to the condition of the material? Not the content?
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Gagman 66

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:43 am

CoffeeDan wrote:
Jack Theakston wrote:I'm afraid the gentleman at Eastman House is wrong. Copyrights were renewed on all three pictures:

IRENE, a photoplay in nine reels by First National Pictures. (c)10Feb26, L22387. R122507, 18Dec53, RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.

TWINKLETOES, a photoplay in nine reels by First National Picures. (c) 2Dec26; L23387, Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.; 19Nov54; R139407.

ORCHIDS AND ERMINE, a photoplay in seven reels by First National Pictures, Inc. (c) 23Feb27; L23692. Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 13Jan55; R143002


Unfortunately, copyright renewal doesn't always mean that physical copies of the films necessarily survive. There may be underlying rights issues involved that are more valuable and useful to the studios than the films themselves. A lot can happen in 50+ years.



Coffee Man,

That's exactly what I am saying 60-75 year copyrights are absurdly ridiculous! Read this quote from a friend of mine:


"What's particularly stupid about copyright law is that it allows owners to lock-up what they have no intention of using; the law OUGHT to say use it (within a reasonable time), or loose it."
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Harold Aherne

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:48 am

Copyrights were renewed in '53, 54, 55, respectively? Jeez, how long do the copyrights last?


From the 1970s until 1998, renewed copyrights lapsed on the 1 January that came after the 75th anniversary of the copyright registration; e.g. a renewed 1921 copyright expired on 1 January 1997. Copyrights registered in 1922 and renewed in 1949-50 were the last group to become PD under that law.

New legislation in 1998 expanded the term of protection for renewed copyrights to 95 years. Thus, a renewed 1923 film (or book, play, et al.) will retain protection until the first day of 2019 (barring laws that expand the term even further).

Yes, a copyright claimant or their successor retains the legal and intellectual rights to a work even if no copies exist anymore.

-Harold
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Gagman 66

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 1:53 am

Jack,

:? Frankly, we will be awfully lucky if the United States still exists in 2019. Never saw any notes concerning the screening of TWINKLETOES in London a couple three days ago. :(

What do you got on KID BOOTS? as it was based on a Stage-play maybe Paramount only had the rights for a short period of time. I can't figure out how else the Eddie Cantor Society could market this film unless it had fallen into the Public-Domain. Paramount wasn't just going to hand it over without a fuss.
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silentmovies74

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PostSat Apr 09, 2011 5:23 am

Gagman 66 wrote:
CoffeeDan wrote:
silentmovies74 wrote:After all, the quality of many of these films are really not of the standard that can be sold legitimately to anyone other than ardent film buffs.


Which probably explains why most film companies don't produce thier own DVDs of their silent films in the first place.


Easily the same thing could be said about most films from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Even the 60's. Most young people are totally ignorant about Hollywood history. Quality wise I think the product was way better in any of those era's than it is today. So I totally disagree about the caliber of the films. I assume the original poster was referring to the condition of the material? Not the content?


Yes, I was referring to the prints, not the films!
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