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Author Topic: Niles Films.
David Hardy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 944
From: Johnshaven Village , Montrose, Scotland
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted June 28, 2019 07:21 AM      Profile for David Hardy   Email David Hardy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Folks

I know Niles 8mm prints were very variable quality wise from what i have read on this forum.

However can or does anyone know the history of Niles Films ?

For example who owned it and when they first released prints ?

Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Thank You
[Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

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David Hardy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 944
From: Johnshaven Village , Montrose, Scotland
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted June 29, 2019 04:25 AM      Profile for David Hardy   Email David Hardy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi folks can anyone answer my query ? [Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 6916
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 29, 2019 09:26 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They seem to be one among the many, Dave: a little catalog based company out in the Midwest.

 -

-kind of a lesser Blackhawk!

I'd like to learn about them too. Despite their reputation I've always had a warm spot in my heart for them: my very first feature film is a Niles print. Even though there are times it runs up close to watchable limits, I screen it maybe once a year for old times sake and won't ever sell it.

Cattle Queen of Montana

-here's hoping other people can do more justice to your question than that!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

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From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted June 29, 2019 09:32 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They had access to a lot of features:-
http://8mmforum.film-tech.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=011373#000000

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Maurice

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Leon Norris
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 943
From: Elkins Park, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted June 29, 2019 09:38 AM      Profile for Leon Norris   Email Leon Norris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I like Niles they did have some good titles! I'm glad I kept some of there catalogs which were done up pretty well! And they had good prices! And some nice sales! Each month!

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Panayotis A. Carayannis
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 953
From: Athens,Greece
Registered: Jul 2008


 - posted June 29, 2019 11:34 AM      Profile for Panayotis A. Carayannis   Email Panayotis A. Carayannis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Generally,their sound films are from good to very good. Their silents were copies of Blackhawk editions,from very average to very bad,like those of Collectors Club. The b&w features were public domain.When they later upgraded themselves with exclusive releases of the Sherlock Holmes series,the Benedict Bogeaus color adventures from the fifties and several other later titles,the quality of those,came from "original" elements and was very good to exellent.Unfortunately,most of the color ones have turned reddish by now! Of course,in every case there are exceptions.

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1621
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted June 29, 2019 02:13 PM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I bought a couple of the 400ft Sherlock Holmes extracts in the past.

Pretty awful prints. Actually, just awful prints.

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David Watson
Film Handler

Posts: 83
From: United Kinddom
Registered: Mar 2013


 - posted June 29, 2019 02:30 PM      Profile for David Watson   Email David Watson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I bought a niles full length feature 'The Undefeated' with
John Wayne and Rock hudson nice sharp print,but has a little fade now
must been good though when first released.

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Leon Norris
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 943
From: Elkins Park, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted June 30, 2019 10:03 AM      Profile for Leon Norris   Email Leon Norris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Niles were always up and down! You just did not know what type of print you were getting! They did have a lot of good stuff! But it was a 50/50 chance of getting a good print!

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Joe Caruso
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 01, 2019 09:56 AM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Washy sometimes - GOLF SPECIALIST had a "dupe" look, so went with Blackhawk on that - Niles had some unusual titles, yet 50-50 on the quality - I thought that someone should put together a book or treatise on these other companies, some of the individuals are still around to talk of it - Can't add anything towards Niles, except that I have several of their releases and fortunately, the shorts maintained a decent sharpness - Shorty

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 01, 2019 10:49 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My Niles feature came looking faded, but during fades to and from black there are these brief couple of frames where the color is spectacular.

That and the fact that it's no worse today than I got it 16 years ago makes me wonder if it wasn't always just a little bit awful.

Let's think about this: in the mid 1970s this was $199. Also in the mid 1970s, for about 23 times this much money my parents bought a very nice, brand new, mid-size station wagon, so this film would cost more than a typical car loan payment back then.

Sometimes that $199 must have stung a little!

-I got mine for about 30 bucks: I can live with that.

"How come you never show that movie we spent 200 bucks on?"

"...ehhh! It's more a 'guy movie', I don't think you'd enjoy it....-at all!"

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Leon Norris
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 943
From: Elkins Park, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted July 01, 2019 01:10 PM      Profile for Leon Norris   Email Leon Norris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Even back then film was high! But we brought it!

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 01, 2019 02:06 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Buying an expensive, great film is OK. Buying an expensive film that's sub-par is like being that guy with the new Mercedes who's stuck over on the shoulder waiting for the tow truck!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1621
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted July 01, 2019 03:13 PM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And the real disappointment was that those Sherlock Holmes were very well edited.

They would have been real repeaters had it not been for the dreadful picture quality.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted July 01, 2019 03:57 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I purchased the Niles print of The Golf specialist back in 1976 when I first got in to Super 8 film collecting. The print quality was so bad that I never again considered buying Niles prints.

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Leon Norris
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Elkins Park, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted July 01, 2019 04:11 PM      Profile for Leon Norris   Email Leon Norris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's a another film company like Niles and that was Thunderbird films! You just did not know what kind of print you are going to receive. But they also had good stuff!

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 01, 2019 05:20 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
-sad part is it's not rare to find Niles prints at CineSea or on E-bay. I shy away from them, but if their problem is more inconsistency than true print by print crappiness, I bet I've passed up a few good ones.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Leon Norris
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Elkins Park, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted July 03, 2019 10:50 AM      Profile for Leon Norris   Email Leon Norris   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The only way I will buy a Niles print is to know how the print is!

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 03, 2019 11:14 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I watched Cattle Queen of Montana last night, based at least in part on this thread.

-it runs the gamut: sharpness, color, sound, steadiness neither all good or all bad everywhere in the print. Sometimes everything lines up at the same time and it's pretty good for a minute or two!

It's not very well written either, but I guess that can't be Niles' fault!

-still the same: when I got this thing and could project an entire feature for the first time, I thought it was pretty good. Even though if I ever nominate it for Friday Night Feature, I hope Doug does an intervention (and let's my wife know too! -obviously something's not right!), it will always be kind of a favorite.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10125
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted July 03, 2019 11:26 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Shorty, they were very "hit or miss", but they did come up with great "odd' releases and many that no one else did.

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Gary Crawford
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Posts: 978
From: Manassas, VA. USA
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 - posted July 05, 2019 06:29 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes...Niles was an enthusiastic film company that churned out hundreds of films.....and sold so called "used" films in 16mm..which I suspect were new dupes. The very first 16mm feature I ever bought was from that used list... Night at the Opera. It's own releases ranged from the totally unwatchable(White Zombie) to the superb...such as The Invisible Ghost and Meeting at Midnight and Rocketshop. And inbetween. They sent out a catalog every so often in the same small newspaper format as The Big Reel and , at the time, Blackhawk. While they did dupe other companies' releases quite a bit, they did advance the cause of film collecting, offering prints for a smaller price than other companies. And a wide range of films. The quality of those prints fully depended on the quality of their originals. Good originals.....good prints. As I recall, they also were pretty fast on shipping out films.
Someone mentioned on here Thunderbird.(Donahoo) That one man company took collecting a big step forward by being the first to go through Library of Congress copyright records and find titles that, for some reason or other, had not had their copyrights renewed. And so we got our first Super 8 sound chapters of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe and features like the 39 steps, My Man Godfrey, etc. His quality was pretty consistently good. At one of the Cinecons in Hollywood, he was there ANd...when you got your registration envelope, you found a short edited nice version of the silent cartoon with score, Felix All Puzzled....either in Super 8 or 16, depending on what you collected. I still have and show that little gem. Mr. Donahoo had his personal problems, but he was a VERY enthusiastic supporter of film collecting and collectors and helped prove that we super 8 people would buy feature films in the format and would buy serial chapters as well. I think he was perhaps one factor that led Columbia and others to put out 8mm digests of their films, knowing that there was a market for them.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 05, 2019 07:58 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have another one: "You're in the Army now!" which is great for two reasons.

-Number one: Despite the "Technicolor" title card, it's in wonderfully grainy back and white, which goes to show Niles had a sense of humor!

-Number two: The early scenes are set at Camp Upton during WWI. In 1947 the Army turned the camp over to the Department of Energy and I work there now.

(Nobody writes musicals about us any more!)

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10125
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted July 05, 2019 12:18 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have that "My Man Godfrey" (my favorite screwball comedy!). Is has good contrast/grey tones. just a little light on the focus).

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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