TCM - Robert Osborne & The Big Parade

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Rick Lanham

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TCM - Robert Osborne & The Big Parade

PostTue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Is someone trying to sabotage Robert Osborne? At least the last two times that he has introduced The Big Parade he has been provided information that TCM will be showing a tinted/restored print just as it was seen years ago. Then I look in vain for any tints, although it does look very nice 'n' all...

Thank you TCM for showing so many silents in one day, I do appreciate it!!

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Gagman 66

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:34 am

:roll: Here's the story as I believe it to be. The intro is more of less the same one that Robert first gave in May of 2004, and again in May of this year. The order has been shuffled somewhat, but it's still pretty much all the same information. I believe the perception was when this was originally written that TCM was under the impression they would be airing the newly restored version. That is being that 2004 is when the restored master in 35 Millimeter was completed. A project that started in 2002. Well, that didn't turn out to be the case. And Here we are all these years later, and it still isn't the case.

Also I thought that Jack was actually 39 when He died in 1936? Not 36? And yes, I know that in Thames Hollywood the chapter on Gilbert did claim that He was only 36. However, that was since dis-proven. Correct?
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Harold Aherne

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:53 am

Here's what I found on the Pringle family in the 1900 census (Pueblo, CO):

John G. Pringle, [no month] 1865, age 35, actor, married 4 years
Ida Pringle, [no month] 1877, age 23, actress
Cecile [sic] Pringle, July 1897, age 2, son

If the above date is correct, Jack lived to be 38. On his WWI registration, using the name John C. Gilbert, he also gave the date as 10 July 1897 (and the "J. Warren Kerrigan Co." as his employer--the same as Paralta Pictures?). I haven't located him in 1910, but in the 1920 census (taken in January) he gave his age as 22 and in the 1930 census (taken in April) he gave his age as 32.

Too much information? ;-)

-Harold
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Richard P. May

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 8:45 am

This thread seems to have gotten off the subject, but back to Osborne's commentary on BIG PARADE:
I didn't see his introduction yesterday, but if TCM is supplying him with a script that refers to the restored, tinted, film they are irresponsible.
Additionally, one has the impression that Osborne knows quite a bit about the films he is introducing, but an error this big contradicts that fact.

Disclosure: I supervised the restoration referred to. I'm quite proud of the results, and hope that some day it will get out there where people can see it.
Dick May
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pickfair14

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 9:02 am

Dick - if you were that close to the project, do you know why it hasn't been seen? Is it legal? or - as I hope - someone has still been gathering supplemental material for Criterion's fancy new blu-ray release this fall :)
My Mary Pickford Collection: http://www.211university.ca/
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Rick Lanham

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 10:47 am

Richard P. May wrote:This thread seems to have gotten off the subject, but back to Osborne's commentary on BIG PARADE:
I didn't see his introduction yesterday, but if TCM is supplying him with a script that refers to the restored, tinted, film they are irresponsible.
Additionally, one has the impression that Osborne knows quite a bit about the films he is introducing, but an error this big contradicts that fact.

Disclosure: I supervised the restoration referred to. I'm quite proud of the results, and hope that some day it will get out there where people can see it.



Here is the language that was included during the introduction:

After mentioning Renee Adoree -

"... an added treat, you'll be seeing this movie with color-tinted sequences, just as it had when audiences saw it during its original road show engagements including..." and then he mentions a theater's name.

But there were no color tints.

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drednm

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 10:58 am

was the film originally tinted?
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Rick Lanham

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 11:40 am

drednm wrote:was the film originally tinted?


The book "Epics, Spectacles, and Blockbusters" cites the AFI and says that it had "sequences to be processed in the Handschiegl process and shot in two-color Technicolor."

http://books.google.com/books?id=jhvrSw ... or&f=false


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drednm

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 11:44 am

and from SilentEra website:

Premiered 19 November 1925 at the Astor Theatre and at the Capitol Theatre in New York, New York. Released November 1925. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. Technicolor two-strip color process sequences.
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:20 pm

Richard,

:) Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them very much. It's sad that your hard work is still locked away someplace.

Ed,

:? Jack Theakston said a long time ago, on the Harold Lloyd Forums that the original release of THE BIG PARADE was all tinted. Warner's and George Eastman House were supposed to have restored all the original tints. As well as the Stencil colored sequence. Kevin Brownlow believes that there never was any Technicolor, despite what these other sources say.
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drednm

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:31 pm

Jeff, no idea..... but here the the 1925 review from NY Times and it makes no mention of color or tint:

http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review? ... 925&st=cse

Of course that still doesn't mean there was no color or tint.....
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Jack Theakston

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:34 pm

Dick can confirm this, but if my memory is correct, the film's about half tinted (mostly blue for night and rose or lavender for some other morning/twilight scenes). Around that time, MGM was making it a policy to nix tinting, so I don't think the re-issue in 1931 was done this way.

According to Technicolor's records, one sequence, 154 feet long, was printed up. I'm pretty sure this refers to the applied color sequence (the red cross on the side of the ambulance stuck in the mud). I think this may be a typo, as 54 feet seems more likely (the shot does not last very long). Again, Dick can come to my rescue on this one.

Handschiegl, who was working with William Kelley and Kelley Color at the time, was not responsible for this (none of Kelley Color's trade ads mention this title).
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:35 pm

Ed,

Do I have to set up an account and register to read this???
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drednm

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:42 pm

It's free... all you need is an email and ID and password..... lots of original movie reviews....
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 12:53 pm

Ed,

:? I must be doing something wrong, as it is not opening. Why does it say that my ID is not legal?

:evil: I'm so ticked off at some of the posters on the TCM forums I could scream. One of them inferred that Renee Adoree needed to lost 20 pounds. I mean She was only 110 to 112 pounds, and 5'1" inches tall. So if she lost 20 lbs, she would be just at or under 90 lbs! She was not in the least bit fat, she was just short and rather busty. This in a day when woman generally were not busty. That just wasn't fashionable. So They frequently hid her endowments in gunny-sack like outfits as a result. But there are numerous scenes in her films where the director decides to flaunt this feature rather than to cover it up.

Another person said that the March through the woods was quote "So unrealistic that it was laughable!" What the Hell are they talking about? They based this opinion, on having an Uncle that fought in World War 2. Well, World War 2 was very different than the first world war. This sequence has always been lauded for it's accuracy. has it not?
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 1:58 pm

Jack Theakston wrote:Dick can confirm this, but if my memory is correct, the film's about half tinted (mostly blue for night and rose or lavender for some other morning/twilight scenes). Around that time, MGM was making it a policy to nix tinting, so I don't think the re-issue in 1931 was done this way.

According to Technicolor's records, one sequence, 154 feet long, was printed up. I'm pretty sure this refers to the applied color sequence (the red cross on the side of the ambulance stuck in the mud). I think this may be a typo, as 54 feet seems more likely (the shot does not last very long). Again, Dick can come to my rescue on this one.

Handschiegl, who was working with William Kelley and Kelley Color at the time, was not responsible for this (none of Kelley Color's trade ads mention this title).


Here's an article from the LA Times that discusses the restoration, and mentions how they handled the tinting:

http://tinyurl.com/34bzo37

Also, Dick authored a great article on the restoration:

http://tinyurl.com/372hk3z
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Gagman 66

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 7:10 pm

azjazzman,

:D Thanks! Great links. But I can't read the second article, only the mention page concerning it. :(
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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 7:13 pm

Jack Theakston wrote:Dick can confirm this, but if my memory is correct, the film's about half tinted (mostly blue for night and rose or lavender for some other morning/twilight scenes).


I inspected an undated tinting continuity at the AMPAS library. This was for a 13 reel edition of the film, which was presumably the general release version. The original release version of THE BIG PARADE has sequences in black and white, blue, and night amber, with the finale in rose. These tints are used for entire sequences; in other words, there is no cross-cutting between colors.

Black and white is the predominant color in 7 reels, blue in 4 reels, and night amber in 1. Another reel is about evenly split between black and white and blue. In other words, this film is not a showcase for color - simple tints, and typical for MGM, no toning.

Reel 12 has a 31 foot section of that shot with an ambulance with a spinning wheel. (Contemporary accounts commented that the cross on the ambulance was colored red). This shot is marked "Handcolor" in the continuity.

I suspect that this shot was printed by Technicolor, as they probably needed more prints that an artist (such as Gustav Brock) could produce.

Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to see the WB restoration, which I believe follows the original tinting scheme cited above.

David Pierce
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Jack Theakston

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PostWed Aug 25, 2010 7:22 pm

Thanks David. Yes, that jives with my memory.
J. Theakston
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The Big Parade

PostThu Aug 26, 2010 3:22 am

The NY Times has to be paid for, have your credit card ready it says. I do belong but older than 80s material is non-refundable payment. Only an outline is given in the search of the page. Initially the link knocked me out as the page had moved or was not available until I logged on.

The LA Times Tinyurl is for page two but there is a page 1 accessible at the bottom of the page link.
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drednm

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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 7:31 am

I don't pay for NYTimes.... I'm just a registered user... Some stuff in the archives you have access to and some you have to pay for. But on a daily basis I have access to all of today's online paper...
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Richard P. May

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PostThu Aug 26, 2010 8:57 am

To all of you who have commented or had questions on the tinting, rather than repeat it please read David Pierce's entry above.
Also, the link to Susan King's article which appeared in the L.A. Times was after she attended a screening of the restored print at WB, prior to the Academy's screening.
That screening was very impressive, accompanied by Robert Israel leading a 22 piece orchestra.
Just for fun, a couple of years ago, I recorded the movie off TCM, then using the cutting continuity for a guide, put the tints where they belong, and a recording of the orchestra at the Academy screening on the sound track. It gives me a pretty close record of the effort many of us accomplished a few years ago.
I don't have any inside information regarding THE BIG PARADE being remastered for showing either on DVD or TCM. I guess it is just a management decision.
Dick May

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