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Author Topic: The Story of Ken Films ....
Joe Caruso
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 09, 2010 08:38 AM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gee, wonder how my ugly face got on here

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: New Jersey
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 - posted February 09, 2010 06:56 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Gee, wonder how my ugly face got on here


My monitor screen just cracked.

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John Hourigan
Master Film Handler

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From: Colorado U.S.A.
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 - posted February 13, 2010 11:34 AM      Profile for John Hourigan   Email John Hourigan       Edit/Delete Post 
Great thread! I can thank (or blame) Ken Films for getting me started in this hobby. Riding my bike to K-Mart to buy their 50-foot digests with my allowance and putting on neighborhood films shows. (Still have those 50-foot digests spliced onto 400-foot reels. . . .)

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Greg Marshall
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Nashville, TN USA
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 - posted February 13, 2010 05:56 PM      Profile for Greg Marshall   Email Greg Marshall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know what you mean, John. The Kenner Easy Show PLASTIC projector, with those cartridges, was my very first in the early 70's. I grew tired of that quickly, and discovered the RACK OF FILMS at Woolco. Unfortunately, I grew up in a small town, and no one stocked the films... the Woolco store was in Nashville, and was about an hour from where we lived. A majority of what they stocked were the 50' and 200' films, and multiples of them. They never stocked any of the 400's.... probably a little expensive for alot of people at that time. Not that many color/sound 200's were there, but I do remember getting my Star Wars, Butch Cassidy, and a Mighty Mouse with color/sound. I HAD to have them, though, I did not own a sound projector. Grrrr... the monster ran deep!!!!!

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 13, 2010 06:30 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I started with the 50'ers from Castle that I used to get at a department store called Zayre's in Natick, MA back in the early 70s. Those were The Days!

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Joe Caruso
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 13, 2010 06:49 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scobey's Camera Shop in Long Branch NJ had many catalogs and films to go through, but it was from the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland, and that Captain Company that started me, then the ad in the color-section of the Sunday Ny Daily News that introduced me to a film aclled the Blackhawk Classic Preview-8 Sampler, the rest is history...Shorty

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Brian Hendel
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 - posted February 13, 2010 11:25 PM      Profile for Brian Hendel   Email Brian Hendel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Shorty - I remember ordering those Blackhawk Samplers - one silent and one sound and watching them over and over again. I remember they cost $3.95 each or something like that... I can barely remember what was on them except for Laurel and Hardy in some Western setting... and some skeletons dancing... other than that it's all a blur! There must have been a clip of a Lon Chaney horror film (Hunchback or Phantom) on there somewhere or I wouldn't have been entinced into ordering them.

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Joe Caruso
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted February 14, 2010 07:52 AM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There were two subjects, the PREVUE-8 and MOVIES THAT TALK & SING

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1166
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 10, 2010 10:50 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Where is Bob Lane today and where does the name KEN Films come from? Is it an anacronym derived of other names?

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1166
From: Highland Mills, NY USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 06, 2010 09:13 PM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What titles were released ni 400' silent digests from the UA/KEN catalog? I'm also still curious if anyone knows the answer to my question above this one.

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Mike Casaregola
Junior
Posts: 10
From: Catskill NY
Registered: May 2010


 - posted October 07, 2010 03:30 PM      Profile for Mike Casaregola     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know where Bob Lane is but I think the name Ken Films doesn't come from a person or person's name. In the dictionary the word ken means knowledge or understanding.

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Burton Sundquist
Master Film Handler

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From: Burnaby, B.C. Canada
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 - posted April 08, 2017 06:29 PM      Profile for Burton Sundquist   Email Burton Sundquist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...I am catching up on some of the very well researched histories on the Forum and elsewhere and came across this blog which should be of interest to members Regarding the History of Ken Films: http://westernfictioneers.blogspot.ca/2013/07/super-8-sunset-fade-of-super-8-western.html

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Paul Adsett
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From: USA
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 - posted April 08, 2017 08:50 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow, what a great read! Thanks for posting that Burton.
Your Western enthusiast friends might like to know that Derann Films in the UK released the full length feature of Shane on super 8mm, and what a fabulous print it is!

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Jeff Missinne
Film Handler

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From: Superior, WI USA
Registered: Nov 2012


 - posted April 14, 2018 09:31 AM      Profile for Jeff Missinne   Email Jeff Missinne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
According to several accounts I've read, Ken Films was named after Bob Lane's then-infant son.

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Tom Photiou
Film God

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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted April 14, 2018 11:12 AM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is a very good thread. I always like reading about the different companies that released our films on super 8.

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Matthieu van der Sluis
Master Film Handler

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From: Barendrecht, The Netherlands
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 - posted April 14, 2018 12:51 PM      Profile for Matthieu van der Sluis   Author's Homepage   Email Matthieu van der Sluis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's indeed a fun topic to read.
Alsso that link was great reading material.
Is Fuji LPP the only material that keps good quallity.
Agfa is much less?
I ask because I see full features from Agfa sometimes, even Disney features, not sure of Derann as well.

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Michael De Angelis
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 - posted April 14, 2018 10:59 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound also a Super 8mm feature release was part of the Selznick library along with the S-8's of Rebecca.

Don't forget that the Ken Films sales list in the '80's was printed "newspaper style" and the MGM releases included Laurel and Hardy's: The Devil's Brother and Bonnie Scotland at the cost of $300.00 for each feature that Derann also printed. James Bond's Dr. No was listed in one issue and never listed again.

Keith Wilton committed himself to The Three Musketeers project in providing the best shot for shot exposure/light settings, and in the UK that's termed: "Grading," and in the USA is: "Timing." Derek said to Keith that the expense to perfect "Musketeers" is becoming more expensive than worthly expected because too much time is devoted to the project, and this dedication is to the delight of collectors, the release is the most stunning on Super 8.

To clarify, Fuji had their low fade stock, and LPP is the low fade film stock only made by Eastman Kodak.

The best Fuji low fade stock is from 1980 and on, otherwise, the previous years of color film stock loses the yellow dye, and the film fades to purple.

UA had the best black and white Standard 8mm negatives taken from the source materials, which produced a gorgeous print down quality that's striking in appearance.

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Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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Matthieu van der Sluis
Master Film Handler

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From: Barendrecht, The Netherlands
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 - posted April 15, 2018 05:54 AM      Profile for Matthieu van der Sluis   Author's Homepage   Email Matthieu van der Sluis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank yoou, wow.
So I have to buy Laurel and Hardy from Ua.
From which year is that Tree Musketeers film?
There were a few made.

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Michael De Angelis
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 - posted April 15, 2018 12:24 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You have to buy the Laurel and Hardy films of Bonnie Scotland and The Devils Brother from Red Fox Films or Derann Films.

When you find any of these two Laurel and Hardy features, ask if they are printed on black and white film stock and not color film stock because a black and white movie on color film will have a blue and white or green and white appearance.

For instance, there are the MGM Red Fox / Derann prints of The Wizard of Oz, and depending on the film stock the black and white scenes look greenish bluish or perhaps sepia toned. However, the color content in the film is strikingly phenomenal. I would not personally mind sepia-toned on the black and white segments because that's how the film was initially released.

The Three Musketeers is 1948 version printed on Super 8 by Derann Films from the MGM negative and starring Gene Kelly, Van Heflin, June Allyson, Angela Lansbury and Lana Turner as the diabolical Lady de Winter.

When I referenced UA film prints, I was adding to the discussion that the company also made excellent Standard 8mm feature films.

--------------------
Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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Joe Vannicola
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From: Lincoln, DE, USA
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 - posted April 15, 2018 01:05 PM      Profile for Joe Vannicola   Email Joe Vannicola   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The main three companies I bought super 8 films from was Castle, Columbia and Ken. It was an event going to the store or camera shop to get the latest film catalogs. Ken films, unlike Castle or Columbia, placed their catalogs inside the film boxes. So you had to buy one their films in order to get a catalog. Those were the days.

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Joe

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Robert Statzer
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From: Richmond, IN, USA
Registered: Nov 2018


 - posted November 14, 2018 02:42 PM      Profile for Robert Statzer   Email Robert Statzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
In 1978, Ken and MGM came to an agreement for Ken to distribute selections from MGM’s vast library, starting with “Dr. Zhivago”.
What year did MGM launch their own Super 8 division? I'm thinking the earliest I ever saw a display of MGM offerings had to be 1980 or 1981. (Usually Tom & Jerry titles, but sometimes things like THE WIZARD OF OZ or Brando's MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY.)

quote:
I used to love those old "10 Commandments" Ken reels when I was a little kid in the 70's. I seem to recall that the 50' reels had different scenes than the two 200' digests.
I've always wondered why a 50' reel had material not found on the 200' version. (And some 200' reels had material not on their 400' counterpart.) None of the 50' SON OF ZORRO is on the 200' version. (The same thing was going on over at Columbia; the 50' BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE is the battle on the moon, while the 200' version is the aliens attacking earth.)

quote:
OK, I just got a copy of 'The Sound Of Music', and 'Butch Cassidy', both 400' versions. I have to say that both of these prints have kept, I'd say, 65-75%, if not more, of their color... especially TSOM.
My 400' VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA still looks fantastic. Can't say the same for my ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.. (I also have those two 200' reels from ONE MILLION that Walton put out...all footage not found on the Ken Films release. Combining them all would have made for a great 800' reel if it weren't for the color fade on the Ken Films version. My Walton reels still look fantastic.) ]

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BijouBob8mm

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Douglas Meltzer
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 - posted November 17, 2018 01:44 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert,

MGM's first Super 8mm releases came out towards the end of 1978. Their first catalog mentioned that 7 additional Tom & Jerry cartoons would be available in February 1979.

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It wasn't too often that the 50 footers had different footage from their big brothers. I was thrilled when I would find that they didn't repeat the same scenes. With Taste the Blood of Dracula, Ken used different subtitles to tell the story in their shorter version and the print is actually better than the 200' release.

Doug

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

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Michael De Angelis
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From: USA
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 - posted November 18, 2018 03:00 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have the 200' Singing In The Rain that contains the musical scenes of "Make 'Em Laugh" and "Singing In The Rain."

I also have the 400' Easter Parade and it's excellent because the songs make for the story of the film.

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Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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