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Author Topic: First Men in the Moon
Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 28, 2006 04:33 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
First Men in the Moon
Columbia Pictures, 105 mins, 2000ft
Color, CinemaScope Anamorphic print
Available from Derann

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First Men in the Moon is loosely based on H.G.Wells’ story about a journey to the moon in Victorian times, but the film version has a real modern twist. It starts out with a 20 th century United Nations space flight, landing on the moon, and finding evidence of a previous trip carried out in the late 1800’s! This film was made in the early 1960’s , before the question of who would be the first country to land on the moon was resolved, so the film makers wisely resorted to a UN expedition.
The film is firmly in the fantasy genre, and stars the scene stealing Lionel Jeffries as an eccentric scientist who invents an anti-gravity material. Edward Judd plays the part of a young entrepreneur who teams up with Jeffries to launch a lunar expedition. Some good looking scenery is provided by Martha Hyer as Judd’s wife, and she inadvertently gets taken on the spaceship. They take off in a sphere, coated with the anti-gravity paint, and controlled by Venetian blinds! When they land on the moon they encounter a civilization of ant-like creatures and are chased by huge caterpillars, all in ‘Dynamation’ provided by Ray Harryhausen. This was Ray’s first film in CinemaScope, and he had so many problems that he said he would never do another scope film- and he never did!
First Men in the Moon is a fun movie for the whole family, set in the Jules Verne genre of adventure/fantasy films.
The Super 8 print from Derann is fairly good, not quite top notch throughout, but still very acceptable. Most of the scenes are fine with good sharpness and great color, but some of the others are a little soft focus with weaker color. The film was photographed in 'Lunacolor', whatever that is! The original sound track comes supplied as mono, but it is well worth re-recording the Dolby stereo track from the DVD, as I did, to get superb quality sound, which adds a lot to the enjoyment of this film. The stereo really brings out the great music score and space-like sound effects.

Print B+ ( CinemaScope print ,needs 2X anamorphic lens)
Sound B (mono) as supplied from Derann
Sound A+ with stereo re-record.

[ July 31, 2013, 05:48 PM: Message edited by: Paul Adsett ]

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
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Douglas Meltzer
Moderator

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


 - posted October 28, 2006 08:32 PM      Profile for Douglas Meltzer   Email Douglas Meltzer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

Thanks for the review. This charming film has long been one of my favorites. "Poor Cavor! He did have such a terrible cold!"

Doug

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

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Larry Arpin
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 953
From: Sunland, CA, USA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted October 24, 2007 12:38 AM      Profile for Larry Arpin   Author's Homepage   Email Larry Arpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is a screen capture:

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My print is a little on the blue side, but I much prefer this over the DVD which leans toward the yellow side. I enjoy watching this very much and is highly recommended for any Ray Harryhausen fan as it is the only scope film he made. I will try to capture some of the moon shots along with my 16mm letterbox Technicolor print.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 30, 2007 03:38 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Larry,
Nice screen capture! My print quality is quite soft on some scenes, particularly the shots on the moons surface, but other scenes are fine, and the film is a real Victorian charmer.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
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David Kilderry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 963
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted October 30, 2009 04:50 AM      Profile for David Kilderry   Author's Homepage   Email David Kilderry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul/Larry, is the soft focus apparent from one reel to another or just the moon scenes you mention?

Is it possibly due to the Dynamation production process combined with scope that those scenes are soft?

Were these scenes soft in 16mm or 35mm prints?

I am considering the purchase of this title on Super 8 and soft focus is almost as annoying as colour fade to me.

David

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 30, 2009 10:02 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi David,
I would say that this film is generally on the soft side throughout, although the 'Dynamation' scenes do appear to be the worst. Not a bad print really, just not up to the best that we know Derann can do. I found that re-recording in stereo really boosted the enjoyment of the film, particularly the roaring of that monster caterpillar! Definately a fun film to have.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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David Kilderry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 963
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted October 30, 2009 06:23 PM      Profile for David Kilderry   Author's Homepage   Email David Kilderry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Paul, appreciate your reply.

I am thinking that I should get it anyway and see for myself; I do love the film.

David

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

Posts: 3063
From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
Registered: Jan 2012


 - posted February 04, 2012 06:19 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
Just a reminder that a new book dedicated to Ray Harryhausen
is soon to be made available and should be a most sought after
volume, comprising as it does the four issues of the Harryhausen
magazine from the seventies(mags that are changing hands at
$600.00 for the first three issues.I'm nearly tempted to sell but
not quite.Anyway e-mail Ernie info@archive-editions.com for
further info you won't be disappointed.Here's the chance to own
the four issues of "FXRH" in book form.

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David Hardy
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 955
From: Johnshaven Village , Montrose, Scotland
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted May 17, 2017 04:53 AM      Profile for David Hardy   Email David Hardy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My print which I bought new from DFS has a slightly blue
tint to it on some scenes. I cant remember about the soft
focus though.

As for the sound Mono as supplied.

Do you realize that the Stereo tracks from DVDs etc may not be
'authentic' as most of the films were never recorded like that
originally. They are "electronically enhanced " mixes from the
original Mono masters.

However in this case it may be real stereo as they may have transferred the sound via a 70mm 4 track master that was used
in Germany for a premier 70mm showing when first released.

I prefer to hear my films "pukka" as originally intended.
But hey that's just me !
[Smile]

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" My equipment's more important than your rats. "

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Tom Photiou
Film God

Posts: 4837
From: Plymouth U.K
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted May 17, 2017 04:10 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have to agree with you there David, all our films are as supplied and putting the 1200HD via an old stereo Pioneer amp the sound we get is generally A1 with great range and our audiences never believe i am projecting twin speaker mono sound. [Wink]

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

Posts: 7477
From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted May 17, 2017 05:47 PM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
On almost all DVD's, especially of older films, there is generally always an option to rip the original mono or stereo track (where applicable) if you so wish.

I have seen DVD files when opened up contain as many as 10 to 15 different sound track options to choose from if you prefer something different to the default track.
Many are often in multiple languages also, which offers further benefits and choice options from the modern technology now to give to our original films.

Even using only the original mono track,this will still sound far better and cleaner if transferred onto our films as this super clean noiseless and lossless source simply was not available during the period nigh on all of our films were made and certainly was never utilized by their originators.
The creators of our DVD's have done all of the hard work for us by cleaning these tracks themselves beforehand to make them presentable now in this modern era to today's audiences on digital sources.

This cannot be said frequently of course, for the original soundtracks placed onto our magnetic stripes by distributors of film back then.

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Burton Sundquist
Master Film Handler

Posts: 318
From: Burnaby, B.C. Canada
Registered: Feb 2017


 - posted July 13, 2019 11:42 PM      Profile for Burton Sundquist   Email Burton Sundquist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...This has always been a favorite of mine since I first saw it at 8 years old. It is now appreciated as a Scope Super 8 feature
with, as Paul has done, a re-recorded Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack! You are right Paul, it makes a huge difference! David may be right too about this film having a stereo presentation in 70mm, and that could be the source for the DVD. Either way Great improvement! Thanks Paul for the suggestion and thanks again Ricky for the Print!

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[ July 14, 2019, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: Burton Sundquist ]

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 5003
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 14, 2019 03:44 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Glad you did that stereo re-record Burton, well worth the effort. This is a timeless Victorian fantasy which I find quite charming. And of course there's also the very attractive Martha Hyer............. [Smile]

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1633
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted July 15, 2019 01:03 PM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always used to look at that one in the Derann newsletters back in the day and wish I had more cash.

What a colourful print.

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