Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

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MovieQueen2012

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Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostTue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 pm

Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies editor Christel Schmidt will introduce a screening of the Taming of the Shrew (1929) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC on January 12, 2013 at 1:30pm. A book signing follows the program. To have a copy of the book held in advance contact the National Gallery of Art bookshop at 202-842-6477.

The 35mm restoration print is courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

http://www.nga.gov/programs/film/index.shtm#tamingshrew
http://www.facebook.com/MaryPickfordQue ... s?__req=10
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Last edited by MovieQueen2012 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jcp7701

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostMon Sep 24, 2012 11:10 am

I'm intrigued! Will this be the coveted original version, and not the 60's truncated re-issue? Thanks!
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greta de groat

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostMon Sep 24, 2012 2:21 pm

Did they fix the soundtrack? That drove me berserk in the one theatrical screening i saw of this. It sounded like the music was re-recorded and was way louder than the dialogue sequences, so you were alternately being bombarded with loud music, then struggling to hear what they were saying.

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MovieQueen2012

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostThu Sep 27, 2012 11:56 am

Hello Greta,

This is a new restoration by the Museum of Modern Art from material in the Fairbanks Collection.
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bobfells

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostThu Sep 27, 2012 12:24 pm

I saw the Fairbanks version at MOMA in 1973 and was very impressed. Fairbanks was excellent and he sounded great. Pickford didn't come off as well and I can understand why she felt, perhaps a bit too extravagently, that the film ruined her career. They would have been better off doing a modern dress romantic comedy, directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The problem was that as producers, no director was going to tell them what to do. At any rate, it would be terrific to see the restored SHREW out on home video.

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Jack Theakston

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostThu Sep 27, 2012 12:46 pm

If only the film were as colorful as the lobby set!
J. Theakston
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CoffeeDan

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostThu Sep 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Personally, I'd like to know if the original writing credit will be restored. You know the one: "By William Shakespeare. Additional dialogue by Sam Taylor." Since it was changed to "Adapted and directed by Sam Taylor" in the 1966 reissue print, some insist it was an urban legend. But several critics mentioned the credit in their reviews after the premiere, and it was even used in the film's publicity.

Here's one of those reviews -- Frederick James Smith writing in the November 2, 1929 issue of Liberty:

* * * (out of four -- excellent) THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

A lot of interest centers in the appearance of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. It is the talkies' first stab at Shakespeare. And, of course, it is the first co-starring venture of the lord and mistress of Pickfair.

The result is a rough, almost slapstick, adaptation (sexed up just a bit, as they say in Hollywood) of the immortal cure of the fiery-tempered Katharina as accomplished by Petruchio, gay blade of Verona.

Katharina, as you know, was a sore distress to her wealthy father until Petruchio came along, bent upon matrimony and (I regret to report) the handsome accompanying dowry.

Pies are tossed, breakaway chairs and tables are smashed over the eminent co-stars' august brows, and all the tried and true tricks of the early and unashamed Mack Sennett are interpolated.

Still, I doubt if Shakespeare would protest at this. Probably The Taming of the Shrew was done pretty roughly in those robust Elizabethan days.

The movie version, however, changes the basic idea of Mr. Shakespeare, as Hollywood versions always do. When Petruchio, groggy from a well directed boudoir bench, capitulates on the wedding night in Katharina's arms, it seems to me that the bridegroom has lost the battle, for all his bombast and storming.

And that, of course, was not what the bard intended, not by a long shot.

Mr. Fairbanks, in the role of Petruchio, far outshines his wife. Miss Pickford seems to me ill-fitted for the part of Katharina. Her shrewish tirades come nearer to being petulant pouts than storms to send all Padua quaking. The other members of the cast are merely incidental.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is short, running but little over an hour, and it isn't going to set the film world afire.

Even at that, Shakespeare does not get all the credit. Director Sam Taylor is listed as aiding in the dialogue. These improvements appear to consist principally of inserting Petruchio's comment, "What a wench!" here and there.
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Changsham

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostSat Oct 13, 2012 12:07 am

I have the laser disc which is the 1966 reissue. I quite like it and have watched it many times but agree with most of the general criticisms. Mary looks pretty but sounds hoarse and husky and is always scowling. Fairbanks is much better, quite amusing but his voice never seems to fit his silent dashing persona. Would have been a better film if both just remained producers and found others to play their parts. The supporting cast were better. But then there were few actors who were comfortable with sound and Shakespere has always been difficult to transfer on film. Dorothy MacKaill would have been great as Katherina IMO though. I will love to see the original uncut version.
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MovieQueen2012

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostFri Jan 04, 2013 12:32 pm

I like the 1929 sound much better. I'm looking forward to seeing MoMA's restoration from Fairbanks's material. It should be fun!

Best,

Christel
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John Martinez

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Re: The Taming of the Shrew (1929) Restoration

PostSat Jan 12, 2013 10:24 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:Personally, I'd like to know if the original writing credit will be restored. You know the one: "By William Shakespeare. Additional dialogue by Sam Taylor." Since it was changed to "Adapted and directed by Sam Taylor" in the 1966 reissue print, some insist it was an urban legend. But several critics mentioned the credit in their reviews after the premiere, and it was even used in the film's publicity.


I saw it today, and there was no "Additional dialogue by Sam Taylor" in the title cards. As mentioned in this thread, the source of the print shown was Fairbanks' own print donated to MOMA in the 1930s, not a reissue print.
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MovieQueen2012

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostSun Jan 13, 2013 12:38 am

John I hoped you enjoyed the program. I thought the print look and sounded pretty good. The audience seemed to really enjoy it.

Best,

Christel
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John Martinez

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostSun Jan 13, 2013 8:33 am

Christel,

I thought that the print was very good, and for an earlier talkie it's very well done technically.. You are right, the audience really enjoyed it. I thought that Pickford's performance was quite good, but as you said in your introduction, the way that Fairbanks walks away with the movie--well--it's pretty hard for anyone else in the cast to compare. Thanks for such a great program, the home movie and newsreel clips were fascinating too.
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FancyJimSherwood

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostSat May 03, 2014 9:09 am

Has there been any news since of this getting out on DVD? I'm sure Dennis Doros told me in the 90s that Milestone hoped to put it put eventually!
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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostSat May 03, 2014 3:52 pm

For those who have never seen it, here is a take-off of the Pickford/Fairbanks version from the 1930 British review film "Elstree Calling." Anna May Wong is Kate.

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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostTue May 06, 2014 2:56 pm

Very interesting thread here. First saw an extract from SHREW many years back, and when I saw the film itself, I was puzzled as to what had been done with it and why. Perhaps some of the other players's voices weren't clear on surviving prints. I'd be interested to find in what ways they differed, aside, obviously from the unsuitable out-of-period title cards. I've just had a look at the intro to the 1966 reissue, and some of the changes are mentioned, but would like to know if there was more to this as had heard / read that some of the dialogue was supposed to have been dubbed over. And was the removed footage restored? Even if it did 'tighten' the film, I'm sure many of us would like to see it as originally presented, 'additional dialogue' and all!

Even mucked about with, I found the film entertaining, especially as at the time talkies from that period were somewhat of a novelty to me. Very good that it has been restored, just surprised it wasn't earlier as Doug and Mary took great pains to preserve their work.
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David Alp

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostSun May 11, 2014 10:06 am

So have they got rid of that dreadful 1960's music????? My copy (from TCM) has awful 60's music on it (like from something like "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" etc), and I hate it; it really spoils the movie. It's not 1929 music!! This new restoration; have they removed all of that?????
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John Martinez

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Re: Restored Taming of the Shrew (1929) in DC on Jan 12

PostSun May 11, 2014 4:31 pm

David Alp wrote:So have they got rid of that dreadful 1960's music????? My copy (from TCM) has awful 60's music on it (like from something like "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane" etc), and I hate it; it really spoils the movie. It's not 1929 music!! This new restoration; have they removed all of that?????


The restoration shown last year was apparently sourced from a print from the original release, so there was no 60's music to remove-- it was the original soundtrack.

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