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Author Topic: Americom Home Movies
Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted February 14, 2008 01:03 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Years ago I picked up this little gem from the past, does anyone know the background to the company that once produced them?
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Graham. [Smile]

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Philippe Cuypers
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 214
From: 7318 Carnival Lane New Port Richey florida 34653
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 14, 2008 01:26 PM      Profile for Philippe Cuypers   Email Philippe Cuypers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
hi ! graham, the company was americom 8mm home video, just like on the front of the box, nice little short, they made a lot of different shorts, horror, cartoon, etc, a fun film, all the best philippe cuypers.

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Philippe Cuypers

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Joe Taffis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1592
From: United States
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 14, 2008 02:00 PM      Profile for Joe Taffis   Email Joe Taffis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
my favorite was The Curse of Frankenstein...great cover artwork!, and a nicely edited little 200' digest. I don't know about the company [Smile]

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Joe Taffis

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4554
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 14, 2008 02:28 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Graham,

I have a number of Americom films, and none of them came with instructions, though it wasn't hard to figure out. Finally, I bought one of their few 400 footers and sure enough......

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The 400' versions came with a 2-sided record.
I remember posting this list on the old Forum.

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Start projector on tone!

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Keith Ashfield
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: U.K.
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted February 14, 2008 04:18 PM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had a few of these Americom releases back in the 1960's- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (2 parts) and Curse of Frankenstein. I remember the set-up very well. Put the spot on the film in the gate of the projector - place "floppy disc" on record turntable and wait for the voice to say "Start projector on TONE".
It was great fun as I remember, having sound to the picture even though it was invariably out of sync two thirds of the way through the 200ft reel. Happy days [Smile] [Smile]

[ February 14, 2008, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: Keith Ashfield ]

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"We'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as a turnin' of the earth".

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Joe Caruso
Film God

Posts: 4105
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 14, 2008 04:49 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Doug, you by chance have a list from Walton-Mountain (Official)? Need to know the code number on an A&C BEAUTY AND THE BATH, also the run of Leon Errol and Edgar Kennedy they released - Thanks, Shorty

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4554
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 14, 2008 07:37 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Shorty,

Sure! Let's allow this thread to stay on topic and I'll start a new one.

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 14, 2008 09:36 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have the 2 "Frankenstein" releases mounted on a 400' reel and the sound is recorded on a mag stripe. I didn't do it - I bought it on Ebay a while back. It must be a home-made version being that I don't recall any of the Americom titles being sound editions, but oddly enough this reel I have is also in colour although it's pretty horribly faded. it's still a nice curio. I also have the "Dracula" and both "Fu Manchu" editions - all 3 are in B&W Silent with the accompanying record. I agree that the editing was just as good as any Castle title. Americom's editing was steps ahead of Ken - right up there with Castle and Columbia.

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted February 15, 2008 02:40 AM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah...so thats how to get it is in sync [Smile] did not no about those dots, thanks for that and will try it out this weekend any more informatation regarding the company and its product would be great.

Graham.

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James N. Savage 3
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1375
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted February 16, 2008 02:54 PM      Profile for James N. Savage 3   Email James N. Savage 3   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought they were so cool back in the 70's. Before I had a sound projector, I bought a couple these. I had the first two parts of Voyage. The first part "Frogmen", was o.k., but the second part, "Sea of Mines", was action-packed, with great explosions, etc. Also, the beautiful Barbara Eden was in it!

I still have "Cosmic Monsters". Its fun, with terrible FX [Wink] .

James.

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Brian Hendel
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 902
From: New York, New York
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 16, 2008 03:43 PM      Profile for Brian Hendel   Email Brian Hendel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I personally love collecting these Americom titles. I am very nostalgic about them - also remembering the days before I had real sound films. A number of Americom titles were actually released in magnetic sound editions. Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, 3 Stooges and Snow White, Ulysses, and a couple of Popeye titles were all released in color/sound. They still had the subtitles since Americom probably couldn't afford different negatives. The sound prints were all regular 8 since it was 1965 and super 8 was still on the horizon. The color on most of their prints has faded red, although one of my Popeyes isn't too bad. Another fun title worth picking up is their "Art Film" called Bon Soir with Annette Vadim frolicking around a Paris apartment with cool 60's jazz to play along on the disc. I think they planned on a "Bon Soir" series but only ended up releasing the one title.

As for Americom, they were mainly a flexi-disc record production company located in midtown Manhattan. They only dabbled in film for a couple years... They also made those old pocket flexi-disc single records as well as the old discs that used to come with magazines and booklets. Not sure when they finally went under.

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2941
From: Croydon, London, UK
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 - posted February 16, 2008 07:51 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One thing I don't undrstand about these is why the films were not run at 24fps - did some silent projectors only run at 18fps?

Doug - I didn't know they released any 400' films, so I wondered what title yours was?

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Adrian Winchester

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Brian Hendel
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 902
From: New York, New York
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 16, 2008 08:17 PM      Profile for Brian Hendel   Email Brian Hendel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I believe many early silent projectors were only 18fps - although some did offer speed control which really helped with synching the records up... Americom only released two 400'ers... When Comedy Was King and Let's Have a Party which was a compilation of clips from their cartoons/comedies. I'm desperately looking for the "Party" reel if anyone has one.

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Ricky Daniels
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 587
From: London & Kent UK
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted February 17, 2008 03:37 AM      Profile for Ricky Daniels   Email Ricky Daniels   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Adrian,

The idea was to offer a sound option to silent projector owners and hence the sales pitch along the lines of 'Sound movies for silent projectors' and everything geared for 18fps projection.

I still have 'Curse of Frankenstein', 'Birth of Frankenstein' and 'Horror of Dracula' all in color. These films brought me and my school chums many hours of enjoyment back in the 70's in the early days before Vhs. They've all now sadly turned RED (the prints not my chums!).

BTW Nice to see the old adverts Doug, somewhere I have an Americom ad with a great Horror of Dracula/Curse of Frankenstein double bill poster and if I ever find it I'll post it here! Any more adverts anyone?

Rick

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 06, 2009 11:03 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I also have the a 400' reel of both "Curse" and "Birth" edited in the correct order (I think) with the sound on a mag stripe. I also got it on Ebay. However, the reel has several splices that were done well, but I hate hearing the "ka-chink" every time one passes through through the aperture. The sound is ever so slightly out of sync (probably not detectable to a non-collector) and the color is beet red. I would never show it to anyone but myself - it wouldn't exactly justify to any of my friends why I even buy 8mm/16mm film and not just settle for the dvd if my "Curse" reel is an example of what film collecting has to offer.

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted February 09, 2009 08:10 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Notice how the ad says "Free record"? That's brazen nonsense.
Might as well have said "Free reel" included.

I ate at a restaurant today -- and they provided the plate, the knife, and the fork free!

[Cool]

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 09, 2009 10:49 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I feel the record was free being that the prices don't reflect an inflate to include the cost of the record.

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

Posts: 5468
From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 10, 2009 12:19 AM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
can we say this is "a primitive DTS" sound system... [Big Grin]

cheers,

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Winbert

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 10, 2009 07:14 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you listen to the records, they were processed so that they would match the silent speed of the average projector, but still maintain the proper pitch. You can hear the wavering in the sound..especially the music...which is the processing kicking in.

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1171
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 10, 2009 08:28 AM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I distinctly recognize the waver you're speaking of in "Birth" at the point when Paul says to Victor near the end of the digest "You promised to destroy it......" The word 'promised' is very dragged out. In "Horror Of Dracula" it's noticeable in the scene where Van Helsing is instructing Michael Gough's housekeeper what to do "If you don't....She will die" and in the chase music at the end. Aww hell, this is why we love this stuff - sure it was flawed and not precise, but when you're a 12 year old boy and vhs/laserdisc/dvd/blue-ray/ipod weren't even invented yet - this stuff was tops. Especially if your choices were silent horror movies with sound on cheap records or endless amounts of reels of home movies taken from 1957 to 1967 of every event that resulted in having the entire family together in some relatives' backyard or your grandparents 2nd honeymoon in California (snore).

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John W. Black
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 536
From: Deptford,N.J.
Registered: Mar 2008


 - posted February 12, 2009 12:22 AM      Profile for John W. Black   Author's Homepage   Email John W. Black   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Americom was distributed by Columbia.My 200ft Curse came with instructions,as if they helped!

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Beat em or burn em,they go up pretty quick

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Eberhard Nuffer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 141
From: Stuttgart, Germany
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted May 23, 2009 05:44 PM      Profile for Eberhard Nuffer   Email Eberhard Nuffer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi guys,

does anybody know which Laurel & Hardy feature the Americom excerpt "House Guests" (F19) was taken from? (I have not seen it). Was it from "The Big Noise"?

Were all of Americom's Popeye cartoons also available in coulour prints, or were just some of them? Were there colour versions of the Beetle Bailey cartoons as well?

I have seen that there were also 50ft editions of some of the films. Who can tell some titles?

Thanks for your help!

Eberhard

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted May 23, 2009 07:15 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
THE DANCING MASTERS

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Eberhard Nuffer
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 141
From: Stuttgart, Germany
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 03, 2009 05:14 PM      Profile for Eberhard Nuffer   Email Eberhard Nuffer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As we will be publishing an article about "Americom" in the next issue of "Cine 8-16" (a German magazine for film collectors and hobby film makers), I'm still hoping to get some more informations from you guys out there.

-Can anybody confirm if Americom's four-parter "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" was taken from the TV series rather than from the feature? (I have found conflicting informations about this)

-Has anybody seen F10: "Zorro the Avenger"? Is this the American version starring Guy Williams (1959, dir Charles Barton), or is it an Italian movie (1962) starring Frank Latimore?

-which of the Americom cartoons were also available in colour?

-there were 50ft "short editions" at least of some of the films. It seems that some of those 50 footers contained footage which was not included in the 200 ft versions. Can anybody give additional informations about this?

Thank you very much!

[ August 04, 2009, 11:23 AM: Message edited by: Eberhard Nuffer ]

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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

Posts: 4554
From: New York, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 03, 2009 06:01 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Eberhard,

The 4 excerpts from "Voyage" were taken from the 1961 feature film. I've never come across F10!

Doug

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I think there's room for just one more film.....

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