Alice In Wonderland 35mm print mystery? Frame close ups here

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Darren Nemeth

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Alice In Wonderland 35mm print mystery? Frame close ups here

PostWed Mar 18, 2009 7:03 pm

I have the last reel from a film called "Alice Through The Looking Glass" copyrighted by Pathe in 1927. However, it is NOT listed in the Library of Congress' catalog of Motion picture copyrights, 1912-1939.

This is reel 5, multi-tinted safety film stock, runs 11 minutes and complete. I always thought it was this film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018640/ but just found it apparently isn't.

This is NOT the 1915 version. My reel ends with a dinner party attended by all the characters and an intertitle saying something like "Life is truly but a dream" or similar.

But here is a problem. All the character's costumes seem, to me at least, the same used in the 1915 version.

Compare them in the 1927 print frame shots and pictures from the 1915 shown at this site. http://www.alice-in-wonderland.fsnet.co ... savoy3.htm

Particullary this.. Same Mad Hatter and rabbit costumes.

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The mock turtle seems to be standing on the same rock in both films, also.

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I also viewed parts of the 1915 version that are on Youtube and can't decide if the Alice in my reel is Viola Savoy, star of the '15 movie.

What do I have here? I am completely confused. This is NOT a reprint of the 1915 version. Perhaps a sequel to W.W. Young's "Alice In Wonderland"?

These are some out of order frame close ups.

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Mike Gebert

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PostWed Mar 18, 2009 8:27 pm

He may be standing on the same rock but the rock doesn't seem to be standing in the same place.

My guess is the costumes and props came from a stage production, the way opera sets and costumes can get reused over many years by different companies, and that's why the same pieces were available to be rented in both the teens and the twenties.
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PostWed Mar 18, 2009 8:38 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:He may be standing on the same rock but the rock doesn't seem to be standing in the same place.


The black and white Mock Turtle photo is touched up to remove the background.

My guess is the costumes and props came from a stage production, the way opera sets and costumes can get reused over many years by different companies, and that's why the same pieces were available to be rented in both the teens and the twenties.


Sounds like a good theory.

Do you know of the best DVD source for the 1915 film?

The Alice dress is a perfect match in both films.
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Rodney

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PostThu Mar 19, 2009 6:32 am

Darren Nemeth wrote:
The Alice dress is a perfect match in both films.


Yes, but also not surprisingly a match for the fairly detailed illustrations from the book, so again they could be from the same source, or both based closely on the illustrations.

It's a very interesting puzzle. Could there have been material leftover from the earlier film that was used here but doesn't appear in surviving 1915 prints?
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Darren Nemeth

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PostThu Mar 19, 2009 10:16 am

Rodney wrote: Could there have been material leftover from the earlier film that was used here but doesn't appear in surviving 1915 prints?


That is what I am beginning to think. The framing is in the 1910s style. No closeups. All long shots just like in the 1915 film. Just the intertitles are late 20s.
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PostThu Mar 19, 2009 5:35 pm

Could they be domestic/export versions of the same film?? Weren't two cameras sometimes used to simultaneously expose two negatives for this purpose??
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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PostThu Mar 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Penfold wrote:Could they be domestic/export versions of the same film?? Weren't two cameras sometimes used to simultaneously expose two negatives for this purpose??


This is not the 1915 film or a different version of the same film.
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PostFri Mar 20, 2009 5:59 am

I think the answer may actually be in the link that you had in your first post - the one with the 1915 pictures.

The page states that during the production of the film, scenes from the Looking Glass were filmed but not used in the original prints. It has a still from one of those scenes (on the bottom right) which looks like a few of your photos.

The reel you have seems to depict the banquet scene from Looking Glass. If that is the case, you have some extremely rare and previously lost footage there.
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PostFri Mar 20, 2009 6:41 am

KenGriffin wrote:I think the answer may actually be in the link that you had in your first post - the one with the 1915 pictures.

The page states that during the production of the film, scenes from the Looking Glass were filmed but not used in the original prints. It has a still from one of those scenes (on the bottom right) which looks like a few of your photos.

The reel you have seems to depict the banquet scene from Looking Glass. If that is the case, you have some extremely rare and previously lost footage there.


Cool. There is another reel 5 out there. It was sold on eBay weeks after I got mine.

I loaned this reel to a certain video company last year for telecine along with another rare fantasy film. Should be out on video in the near future, I hope.

Will email the archives to see if they have other reels from this feature.
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PostFri Mar 20, 2009 8:46 am

It seems that Alice Through The Looking Glass may have been distributed after all. I was just looking through an online copy of the Educational Film Magazine from January 1920 and a list of approved films from the National Motion Picture League contains:

ALICE IN^ WONDERLAND.

Reels, 3; Producer, Young and Wheeler: Ex-
change. Eskay-Harris; Remarks: — Fairy Story.
In reel 1, cut scene where Alice steals the
tarts.

AND

ALICE, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.
Reels, 3; Producer. Young and Wheeler; Ex-
change. Eskay Harris; Remarks: — Fairy Story
by Lewis Carroll.

This is confusing - I thought Alice in Wonderland was more than three reels in length? If the reel lengths are accurate, it suggestions that you have a reel from an omnibus version combining both films.
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Re: Alice In Wonderland 35mm print mystery? Frame close ups

PostFri Nov 18, 2011 1:23 am

For those interested, I just sold the print. Please don't contact me about it. I no longer am the owner.

Its going to be in good hands tho and see a release to home video so everyone can enjoy.

Off topic but here is a poster for a glass slide presentation in a 1907 projection exhibitor's catalog.

Would be cool to come across this, the slides and lecture book?
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