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Author Topic: Collectors Club prints
Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted October 02, 2011 01:39 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What's the general quality of these like?

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Graham Sinden
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1117
From: Kent, UK
Registered: Aug 2005


 - posted October 02, 2011 03:19 PM      Profile for Graham Sinden   Email Graham Sinden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From the ones I have seen, Diabolical!

Graham S

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted October 02, 2011 05:14 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cheers, Graham. That'll do it for me.
[Smile]

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Thomas Smith
Master Film Handler

Posts: 313
From: Barking, Essex, UK
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted October 03, 2011 07:32 PM      Profile for Thomas Smith   Email Thomas Smith   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
thats not correct i have white zombie,carry on doctor
and morecambe & wise in the magnificent two all b/w
features and good prints

--------------------
t.smith

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted October 04, 2011 03:47 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I didn't realise they had put out any features. I was mainly referring to the cutdowns in the usual recognisable boxes.
How many features did they release?

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3201
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted October 04, 2011 04:45 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of my great loves was Collectors Club Michael and yes they did market a great number of films. First contact with CC was in the 70’s when they used to advertise in Exchange & Mart and national newspapers where you could become a member with them purchasing your first film at a very low price indeed. Of all the CC movies on offer you will find ‘Stepping on the Gas’ more common than others as it was the first title they offered you in silent form, then later with a music sound track added which was a bit of a novelty then. Once you became a member they would then send you monthly newsletters and also one film ‘film of the month’ which you could return if you didn’t like it or keep any pay. They also sent out regular mail shots with old artwork on promoting the next films to become available which you could buy from outright and the lists were regular and for me very exciting when arriving. As a youngster then I used to post them on my bedroom wall as they were so great to look at and in later years did purchase quite a few of the features and so many shorts.

With Collectors Club you had to balance the print quality against the rarity of the material offered to you as collectors of vintage films and yes they could be variable in print quality. After the initial huge number of silent classics such as Phantom of the Opera they moved into sound films bringing us White Zombie, Hounds of Zarroff and literally piles of sound films to build your own film collection affordably. Like our Tom I also have ‘White Zombie’ and the print is quite good and still today much sought after by Lugosi fans. Apart from the features collected over the years they sold a large number of 200ft prints including the Hollywood on Parade series, Harry Roy & his band, Golden Music Hall which featured British variety acts and piles vintage of cartoons. One of the nicer silent films from them was ‘The Great Train Robbery’ a 1903 film which is quite good to have and so many other silent’s as well.

Collectors Club gave us basically what we paid for, a reasonable print for a very reasonable amount of money and I believe they very much succeeded in this and also making films to view at home to the masses. As most will know they came in a bog standard yellow or later blue box with films titles stamped on its side in black ink which made for low production costs. As far as I am aware they gradually reduced issues with the coming of colour super 8 releases and others gained pace, but I was sorry when Collectors Club finally closed as they were extremely good to deal with and of the couple of faulty prints I sent back they replaced without question way back then. At our regular shows I usually include a CC release for nostalgia alone and speaking for myself the films issued have given so much pleasure.
[Cool]

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted October 04, 2011 05:06 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lee,
Thanks for such a nice potted history of CC.
How much did the prints sell for at the time?
Where was the company based?

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3201
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted October 04, 2011 06:25 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A 200ft Super 8 Sound Film would set you back around £5 in 1977 and Collectors Club used to be based in London.
Today there is what I call The Collectors Club Underground movement who strange as it may seem hunt down those little yellow or blue boxes and films within very keenly and this can only be encouraged and good to see. I know from when I have my trade stalls you often get a request for CC films so they are keenly followed as variable as the quality can sometimes be, and this will be due no doubt from a nostalgia point along with the rarity of the films content sometimes. It’s worth hunting down some of the old Movie Maker magazines which used to include reviews of CC films and these will have a guide price in as well. I did retain quite a few mail shots as well but these are in store so a bit hard to get hold of easily. Glad you liked my little memories of Collectors Club Michael and fond ones they are as well.

Worth looking out for in sound:
Hollywood on Parade 1932 200ft which also had a review in Movie Maker mag as follows..
‘A fascinating little studio publicity film with good print quality and excellent sound-vintage collectors will love it’
Jazz & Sand 200ft which features Wilson Kepple & Betty
Insurance 200ft Eddie Cantor
The Ghost House 200ft is a great little cartoon and very popular at my shows.
Betty Boops Rise To Fame 200ft
Music Lesson 200ft Flip the Frog cartoon.

Popular Features.
White Zombie 1932. Bela Lugosi classic which was filmed in about a week and a half but is so entertaining. Good vintage print and top of the wants lists I would say if you are new to CC.
Hounds of Zaroff 1932. Ideal double bill with the above and has the lovely Fay Wray in top form.

Above are a few ideas where to start for sound films but they did issue oh so many silent’s as well including some classic features.
The Cabinet of Dr.Caliagari 1920
Phantom of the Opera 1925
Nosferatu 1922

Happy hunting..

[ May 03, 2012, 06:37 AM: Message edited by: Lee Mannering ]

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John Skujins
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Greensboro, NC, USA
Registered: Mar 2009


 - posted October 04, 2011 09:43 AM      Profile for John Skujins   Email John Skujins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a mysterious cartoon from Collectors Club. It's a 200 ft B/W sound called "Lessons for the Birds." It's not on IMDB and I can't find any information on it anywhere. It's probably from the 1930s since three of the birds are caricatures of the Marx brothers. I'm curious about what company/studio made this and in what year. Anybody know? Anybody else have this one?

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted October 04, 2011 11:07 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, there's a Disney Silly Symphony from the early 30's called THE BIRD STORE which has three bird caricatures of the Marx Bros.
Is your short perhaps any relation to this?

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John Skujins
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 220
From: Greensboro, NC, USA
Registered: Mar 2009


 - posted October 04, 2011 01:03 PM      Profile for John Skujins   Email John Skujins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, it's not that one. "Lessons for the Birds" depicts a schoolroom full of birds (in a tree) with an owl as the teacher, singing a song with the chorus, "stay away from cats!" A black cat does show up to attack the birds, and ends up trapped inside a birdcage himself at the end.

There are similarities to "The Bird Store," with a school instead of a pet shop, a similar black cat, and the Marx brothers. Maybe one is a ripoff of the other.

I was unaware of "The Bird Store." I just watched it on YouTube, thanks for the clue!

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Thomas Smith
Master Film Handler

Posts: 313
From: Barking, Essex, UK
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted October 04, 2011 01:49 PM      Profile for Thomas Smith   Email Thomas Smith   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
good summary lee on collectors club fond memories
for me as well,i also have the vampire bat also
with fay wray and lionel atwill 3x4ooft sound

--------------------
t.smith

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2898
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted October 04, 2011 07:01 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Am I right in thinking that even some of their features were released on 200' reels? I can only once recall seeing a CC 400' reel box. And was every release b/w? If so, I wonder why they avoided colour, unless they had their own b/w printer?

--------------------
Adrian Winchester

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Dino Everette
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1535
From: Long Beach, CA USA
Registered: Dec 2008


 - posted October 05, 2011 01:05 AM      Profile for Dino Everette   Email Dino Everette   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have quite a number of the collector's club silent shorts and they are usually pretty decent quality but the main titles are usually remade, which I'm not fond of....But they did have some nice rare material as lee mentioned..Such as one I recently acquired and watched which was the uber rare Pearl White short from the Lightning Raider.
Overall I would rate Collector's club quality higher than Niles, and many of Perry's shorts..

--------------------
"You're too Far Out Miss Lawrence"

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Jonathan Sanders
Film Handler

Posts: 82
From: Bath, England
Registered: Oct 2005


 - posted October 05, 2011 01:13 AM      Profile for Jonathan Sanders   Email Jonathan Sanders   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CC sold their silent features (initially at least) on 200ft spools and these could be purchased through their "reel-a-month" scheme where they automatically sent you the next reel each month - very useful for schoolboys like me in the early 1970s! As far as I know, the sound features were always on 400ft spools.

I still have an almost complete run of their newsletters, starting with No.1 in June 1974 (though I'd already been a member for several years then). The last one I have is No.69 from November 1979. They introduced their sound range in July/August 1976 with TRAILS OF TERROR and THE CHEMIST (Buster Keaton).

Their Keaton range (mainly silent) was particularly good, with some titles hard to find elsewhere, such as THE BOAT and THE GOAT (the latter slightly abridged), also the rarer features such as SEVEN CHANCES (a nice print) and THE NAVIGATOR (so muddy they withdrew it after complaints!)

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3201
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted October 05, 2011 04:52 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John. Also like 'Lesson For The Birds' and you will find CC did change some of the titles they issued from time to time.

Frame shot  -

Here is a little video clip of a Collectors Club Betty Boop and being projected on a trusty Eumig Stereo projector which is still going strong after 32 years of more or less weekly use here.
http://youtu.be/dJ7JpwrRM-w

Johnathon are you also part of the Collectors Club underground movement as well? Join the club. He.

[ October 05, 2011, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: Lee Mannering ]

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Mal Brake
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 586
From: Neath, South Wales, UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 06, 2011 06:06 AM      Profile for Mal Brake   Email Mal Brake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I joined CC just after it launched and still have some of those re-titled cartoons,Ghost House, Range Rider, Jack & The Beanstalk and the already mentioned Lessons For The Birds and The Music Lesson.

Jonathan, later features were on 400ft spools but White Zombie was supplied (to me) on 8X200ft. The problem was I had 2 part 4's and no part 3 and had sync problems on another part. In fairness, these problems were rectified very quickly by CC. Fun days.

--------------------
I'm gonna live forever or die trying

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Colin Auty
Film Handler

Posts: 70
From: Morecambe Lancashire England
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted October 06, 2011 01:49 PM      Profile for Colin Auty   Email Colin Auty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi
I have found this thread very interesting
I wondered if Jonathon or Lee(or anyone else) could scan me a copy of their news letter showing the Sound Titles circa 1976/77.

My e-mail address is colinauty(at)aol(dot)com

Thanks Guys
Colin

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Jonathan Sanders
Film Handler

Posts: 82
From: Bath, England
Registered: Oct 2005


 - posted October 07, 2011 04:53 AM      Profile for Jonathan Sanders   Email Jonathan Sanders   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As there seems to be more interest in Collectors Club than I realised - and I may be the only person with a virtually complete run of their newsletters (even CC themselves remarked in one they didn't have them all!) - I'm compiling a list of their sound releases for the record. I've started a new topic for ease of access.

It can now be seen that they did actually release several colour titles, including an 8-minute YELLOW SUBMARINE trailer, TREE IN A TEST TUBE (with Laurel & Hardy) and a two-reel abridgement of THE MAGNIFICENT TWO - though their feature version was in black & white!

[ October 07, 2011, 06:13 AM: Message edited by: Jonathan Sanders ]

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Colin Auty
Film Handler

Posts: 70
From: Morecambe Lancashire England
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted October 07, 2011 09:05 AM      Profile for Colin Auty   Email Colin Auty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jonahthan
Thanks for your time in making this available to the forum, it is very much appreciated.

Regards

Colin

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Joseph Banfield
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: FRANCE
Registered: Jun 2010


 - posted October 22, 2011 06:04 PM      Profile for Joseph Banfield   Author's Homepage   Email Joseph Banfield   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the collectors club titles that I thought was truly superb was 'Haunted Spooks" (1920) with Harold Lloyd. I must disagree with the person who said that "Seven Chances" by Buster Keaton was exceptional. My print of this film is quite average and I certainlly do not find the quality of the print to be exceptional in any sense of the word...dismall may have been a better word to describe this release!

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Joe McAllister
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 179
From: London England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted October 23, 2011 04:01 AM      Profile for Joe McAllister   Email Joe McAllister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have often wondered about the quality of CC's later releases as the one's I have seen were duped titles from other (American) distributors of the day. So none of the titles were as good quality as those available from the likes of Blackhawk and Thunderbird, though generally better than the Perry's prints I have seen. The quality of different copies of the same title also varies enormously from acceptable to miserable.
Some titles like "KIng Kong" and "The Magnificent Two" were in copyright when CC released them so should have been properly sourced and licensed. However as the rights to "King Kong" Were owned by Heritage then taken over by Mountain that may have been a pirate version too. Has anyone had the opportunity to compare it with the full Mountain release?
Given their habit of duping titles I think that whenever you see one of their titles there must be better copies available. That being said I enjoyed owning many of their titles when I was growing up collecting. I wish I still had their version of "the Great Train Robbery" which had been somewhat re-edited with comic inter titles.

--------------------
Always interested in privately produced amateur and home movies.

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Jonathan Sanders
Film Handler

Posts: 82
From: Bath, England
Registered: Oct 2005


 - posted October 23, 2011 04:33 AM      Profile for Jonathan Sanders   Email Jonathan Sanders   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joseph, I think you must have a bad print of the CC SEVEN CHANCES - although I'm a bit puzzled that on the other thread devoted to the film, you wrote:
quote:
the quality is good but certainly nothing to write home about
which in my book is very different to "dismal"! [Smile]

SEVEN CHANCES is the only CC release, I believe, for which they quoted customer comments in their newsletter (April 1976)
"You are to be congratulated on such quality."
"A beautiful print... unbelievably good for cinema of 51 years ago."

My own print isn't as good as those comments suggest, but I've had many CC releases over the decades and, as I said before, it's certainly above-average for them. Compared to their release of THE NAVIGATOR (which they withdrew) it's night and day! Maybe the Super 8 copies of SEVEN CHANCES are better? In Film Collecting No.6's Keaton survey Richard Warner described it as "reasonable quality with a quite good gradation of tone..." (by contrast he described their release of COLLEGE as "rather poor").

As Joe notes above, the quality of the same title could vary a lot (the same is true, in my experience, of 1970s prints from other UK sources too, as Super 8 Collector magazine always noted). I had the Harry Langdon two-reeler REMEMBER WHEN? in a nice Standard 8 CC print, and the Super 8 CC copy I thought would be an upgrade was unwatchably washed-out in the second reel. Some of their prints could be very unsteady too (poor slitting?)

The CC two-reel abridgement of KING KONG was silent only, by the way. Maybe they felt that reduced their copyright infringement (!) but I recall it was available only for a limited time, as was a two-reel silent edition of Chaplin's MODERN TIMES.

As a general point, I'd certainly agree with Joe that most CC titles were available in better quality in the US or elsewhere, but in those days it was much more difficult for the average UK collector to import than it is now. Also I believe some of their titles - SEVEN CHANCES, THE NAVIGATOR, THE GOAT, just thinking of Keaton - were pretty much world exclusives, unless they had a limited release from Enrique Bouchard?

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