New Warner Archive Vitaphone Shorts Set out Tuesday, 12/14!

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precode
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Unread post by precode » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:02 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:
precode wrote:No denying this is an outstanding, must-have set, but I must voice my teeny, tiny annoyance over the fact that once again, there is a total absence of subjects featuring African-American artists. Yes, I still have my laserdiscs, but it's well past time such great shorts as HI-DE-HO, PIE PIE BLACKBIRD, THE BLACK NETWORK, SMASH YOUR BAGGAGE, HARLEM-MANIA and yes, RUFUS JONES FOR PRESIDENT got their day on DVD.

Mike S.
(Mr. Benny ain't gonna like this)
Check out Warner Archive's earlier release, Warner Bros. Big Band, Jazz & Swing Short Subject Collection. All the Vitaphone shorts you mentioned, and more (with the exception of HARLEM-MANIA), are on that set.
To quote one of our greatest lyric poets:

D'OH!

Mike S.
(is my face red)

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Jim Reid
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Unread post by Jim Reid » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:36 pm

I'm having trouble finding this Vitaphone shorts set. Anyone got a link?

vitaphone
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Unread post by vitaphone » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:42 pm

Jim,

The company that supports Warner Archive's IT services is working through a glitch now and hopefully the Vitaphone set will be posted tonight or tomorrow. Worth the wait. Confirmed this at the source. They are happy people are looking forward to the set.

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Harold Aherne
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Unread post by Harold Aherne » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:29 am

OK, I found it by entering "Vitaphone" into the search box; it isn't in the New Releases or A-Z section yet:

http://tinyurl.com/2amo97h

I hope that it'll still be there by the time anyone sees this.

-Harold

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LouieD
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Unread post by LouieD » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:43 am

ORDERED!

vitaphone
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Unread post by vitaphone » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:44 am

Glitch has been resolved, it is now up on the Warner Archive site.

Ron.

BixB
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Unread post by BixB » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:00 am

Delighted to see the '29 Red Nichols short included. Hope the '29 Ben Pollack shows up on a future volume.
Joe Busam

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Jim Reid
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Unread post by Jim Reid » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:00 am

LouieD wrote:ORDERED!
Ditto!

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FrankFay
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Unread post by FrankFay » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:58 am

ORDERED!!! along with Lady of the Night and Lady of Chance (Shearer is easier to take in silents)
Eric Stott

sethb
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Unread post by sethb » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:57 pm

Yup, I ordered it as well, but still had a heck of time doing it.

The "Vitaphone Shorts" link on the Archive Page went nowhere, so I used the Search function and the word "Vitaphone" to locate it. This set will be a well-kept secret unless the Warner webmasters get their act together!

On the plus side, Warners was offering 10% off, which just about paid for the reasonable $2.50 shipping fee and the unreasonable NJ sales tax. Thanks! SETH

vitaphone
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Unread post by vitaphone » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:45 pm

All is working fine on the site since this morning. Here's the direct link:

http://www.wbshop.com/Vitaphone-Cavalca ... ARCHIVENEW

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Jack Theakston
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Unread post by Jack Theakston » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:58 pm

I'm happy to hear WB is going to try to get all the extant Vitaphone shorts out on DVD, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little baffled as to what we're going to do now for Capitolfest shorts!!
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"

vitaphone
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Unread post by vitaphone » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:17 pm

Jack,

Not to worry about Capitolfest. There are 53 "new" Vitaphone restorations, of which about 24 will have been exhibited by Spring, then onto DVD. That leaves 29 still to be shown. Plus 6 1929-30 Columbia Victor Gems one reel disk recorded shorts. So plenty still to show. Will work with Art Pierce as usual to ensure yet another nice show.

sethb
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Unread post by sethb » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:18 am

BTW, a heartfelt "thank you" to all the folks at The Vitaphone Project, Warners and elsewhere, whose time, effort and money made this DVD set and the restoration/preservation of all these historic shorts possible. SETH

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westegg
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Unread post by westegg » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:39 pm

Easiest thing for me to decide to order.

:D

Richard Finegan
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Unread post by Richard Finegan » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:34 am

The descriptions of some of the shorts on the Warner Archive site have been changed from what was originally posted.
They possibly got the info from IMDb because they copy an IMDb error on one of the shorts:
Mae Questel is NOT in "Bubbles" (1930). The lady in question is Marjorie "Babe" Kane.
Someone who has access to do so should send a correction to IMDb.

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FrankFay
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Unread post by FrankFay » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:56 pm

I'm enjoying the set but I don't think it's nearly as good a selection as the shorts in the Jazz Singer set. There are a few too many compilation reels for my taste. One or two of those "Aren't early films funny" reels are quite enough- this set has SEVEN. Still they're interesting because some of those clips are the only remaining footage from the pictures.

Still, this is only a minor complaint- the good stuff in the set is REALLY good, and maybe they'll follow through and issue more.


"I've got an ear for music- look- I've got a drum in there"
Eric Stott

sethb
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Unread post by sethb » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:36 pm

I agree with the above assessment. But it's interesting to see how silent films were viewed not even a decade after their demise -- as hopelessly antique curiosities and something to be ridiculed. Fortunately, some other folks had other thoughts.

The musical shorts are tremendous, and the Technicolor shorts are really terrific. I had not seen "Service with a Smile" before, and really enjoyed it; Leon Errol is one of my favorite rubber-leg comedians. Besides, at about $8 a disc, you can't go too far wrong.

BTW, does anyone know if a 1934 short with Georgie Price entitled "Soft Drinks & Sweet Music" is available on DVD? I saw it on TCM a few years ago, but haven't seen it since. SETH

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azjazzman
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Unread post by azjazzman » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:37 pm

sethb wrote:I agree with the above assessment. But it's interesting to see how silent films were viewed not even a decade after their demise -- as hopelessly antique curiosities and something to be ridiculed. Fortunately, some other folks had other thoughts.

The musical shorts are tremendous, and the Technicolor shorts are really terrific. I had not seen "Service with a Smile" before, and really enjoyed it; Leon Errol is one of my favorite rubber-leg comedians. Besides, at about $8 a disc, you can't go too far wrong.

BTW, does anyone know if a 1934 short with Georgie Price entitled "Soft Drinks & Sweet Music" is available on DVD? I saw it on TCM a few years ago, but haven't seen it since. SETH
Seth,

The Georgie Price Vitaphone that you reference was included in the "Vitaphone 70th Anniversary" Laserdisc box. And, as you say, it appears on TCM from time to time.

I'm sure it will appear on one of the subsequent Warner Archive Vitaphone sets.

There is an even earlier Georgie Price short, "Don't Get Nervous" (1929) that will probably be on the same disc. It is a real hoot.

sethb
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Unread post by sethb » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:25 am

I read about the earlier Georgie Price short in Scott Eyman's great book about the talkie revolution, "The Speed of Sound."

Now if I could only actually SEE it!! SETH

vitaphone
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Unread post by vitaphone » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:25 am

To all: the earlier 1926-31 Vitaphones will all be out eventually, so no worries. There are now over 100 (!) restored shorts that have not yet been issued on DVD, and several hundred thirties shorts.

The Georgie Price, DON'T GET NERVOUS (1929) is wonderful and shows the Brooklyn Vitaphone studios with Price nervous about making a talkie short. His on-screen director is Bryan Foy, who tries to calm him. Price's best line: "When you ask for more money, the synchronization is very very bad.".

The Red Nichols referred to above is the 1929, not 1935 Vitaphone. The band includes Pee Wee Russell and Eddie Condon.

The Project got Tal Henry's son, Tal Jr., to fund the restoration of TAL HENRY AND HIS NORTH CAROLINIANS (1929) and I sat with him when it was re-premiered at UCLA. He cried openly, seeing his dad on the big screen.

sethb
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Unread post by sethb » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:19 am

Thanks for the update and the good news -- and thanks also for your efforts in making the Vitaphone shorts accessible again. SETH

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westegg
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Unread post by westegg » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:13 pm

Yes, it's a joyous thing to know that Vitaphone shorts will be with us on a more consistent basis in compilation form.

:D

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Unread post by Phototone » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:51 pm

I just ordered both sets. I have (I think) all the laserdisc sets, including the "Dawn of Sound" box sets (3 sets) which also have shorts, including MGM early musical shorts. I love the music of the 20's.

Is the DeForest Phonofilm DVD still around. I have one, and it is great also.

BixB
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Unread post by BixB » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:02 am

vitaphone wrote:The Project got Tal Henry's son, Tal Jr., to fund the restoration of TAL HENRY AND HIS NORTH CAROLINIANS (1929) and I sat with him when it was re-premiered at UCLA. He cried openly, seeing his dad on the big screen.
That's a great story. I love that short and the bands Victor sides are really remarkable.
Joe Busam

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Unread post by WaverBoy » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:46 pm

Which Vitaphone shorts are missing either (all or some of) the film, the sound discs, or both? Parts of the Vitaphone Project web site appear to be woefully out-of-date, as evidenced by this bit from the FAQ:
Q: Are there any Vitaphone shorts available on home video?

A: The only availability on home video of Vitaphone shorts is on laserdisc. There are no VHS or other format tapes being sold of Vitaphone shorts, unfortunately, and that situation is not likely to change until the home video rights revert to Turner/Warner in 2001. George Feltenstein, who produced the many great lasredisc sets of Vitaphone material while at MGM/UA now works at Turner. He promises a real commitment to releasing this vintage material on tape and DVD as soon as they get the rights back in less than three years. Until then, careful viewers of Turner Classic Movies cable system may catch these and an increasing number of Vitaphone shorts.
I've only seen a few of these treasures so far, scattered as extras among a few WB sets I have, but I'm going to be picking up THE JAZZ SINGER and the two WAC sets hopefully within the next couple of months, and immerse myself in Vitaphone Paradise. I love '20s and '30s jazzy dance band/crooner stuff, so I think I'll be all over these.

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Unread post by Phototone » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:52 pm

WaverBoy wrote:Which Vitaphone shorts are missing either (all or some of) the film, the sound discs, or both? Parts of the Vitaphone Project web site appear to be woefully out-of-date, as evidenced by this bit from the FAQ:



I've only seen a few of these treasures so far, scattered as extras among a few WB sets I have, but I'm going to be picking up THE JAZZ SINGER and the two WAC sets hopefully within the next couple of months, and immerse myself in Vitaphone Paradise. I love '20s and '30s jazzy dance band/crooner stuff, so I think I'll be all over these.
Many, many of the shorts on the Laserdisc box sets, including the multiple-box sets "The Dawn of Sound" are appearing on DVD as extras on Features such as on "The Jazz Singer" DVD, or as stand-alone sets, such as the ones discussed above. Of course there are MGM musical and comedy shorts from this same early period that were on the laserdisc sets that are now appearing on DVD also. I believe MGM started making sound shorts in 1928.

The Vitaphone project lists discoveries of sound discs that can be mated with existing mute picture elements to make a complete subject, however just having the availability of materials is no guarantee that they will be "restored" because it costs money to do so. It all depends on who is willing to fund such a restoration, which is about $4500. per short. You can make donations or completely fund a particular restoration if you desire.

I would love to see a box set of all the early 2-color Technicolor fragments that survive from the early shorts and features. Some of these are on "The Dawn of Sound" sets on laserdisc. It's also a shame that "The King of Jazz" 1930 Paul Whiteman feature is not available on DVD. I have a VHS tape of this when it was released, but VHS tape is not optimum quality.

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Brooksie
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Unread post by Brooksie » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:38 pm

Phototone wrote:The Vitaphone project lists discoveries of sound discs that can be mated with existing mute picture elements to make a complete subject, however just having the availability of materials is no guarantee that they will be "restored" because it costs money to do so. It all depends on who is willing to fund such a restoration, which is about $4500. per short. You can make donations or completely fund a particular restoration if you desire.
Are 44 other Nitratevilleans other than me willing to contribute $100 each to the preservation of a short? It'd be a pretty neat way of practising what we preach!

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azjazzman
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Unread post by azjazzman » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:25 pm

Brooksie wrote:
Phototone wrote:The Vitaphone project lists discoveries of sound discs that can be mated with existing mute picture elements to make a complete subject, however just having the availability of materials is no guarantee that they will be "restored" because it costs money to do so. It all depends on who is willing to fund such a restoration, which is about $4500. per short. You can make donations or completely fund a particular restoration if you desire.
Are 44 other Nitratevilleans other than me willing to contribute $100 each to the preservation of a short? It'd be a pretty neat way of practising what we preach!
If it is a short featuring a 1920s or early 30s band, I'm in.

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azjazzman
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Unread post by azjazzman » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:30 pm

Phototone wrote:I would love to see a box set of all the early 2-color Technicolor fragments that survive from the early shorts and features. Some of these are on "The Dawn of Sound" sets on laserdisc. It's also a shame that "The King of Jazz" 1930 Paul Whiteman feature is not available on DVD. I have a VHS tape of this when it was released, but VHS tape is not optimum quality.
I don't have the impression that there is a whole lot of these fragments beyond what came out on LaserDisc. Certainly not enough for a box set. One or two discs maybe, but no more than that.

THE KING OF JAZZ would be lovely, but of course that is MCA/Universal and the Warners/Vitaphone people have nothing to do with that.

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