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Author Topic: L & H films Please Advise
Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted December 19, 2003 09:35 AM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, to all.
Please can some one advise me on collecting Laurel & Hardy films.
I have managed to obtain some of their shorts and one feature, I realise that these films are old and not to expect to much in the way of quality, but a few of the films I have got seem to suffer from two problems, poor contrast with washed out faces, little detail, and soft focus.
Is this typical of most super 8 versions of these films or is there a certain brand names for instance Blackhawk or Castle etc that I should look out for, most of my collection if not all are Walton prints.
I can remember being at a convention many years ago at a London venue, was it the Top Hat? Can’t remember, anyway they showed a lovely Laurel & Hardy film that was super looking. Could this have been a new Derann print, I remember them being there.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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Trevor Adams
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 763
From: Auckland,New Zealand
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 19, 2003 03:23 PM      Profile for Trevor Adams   Author's Homepage   Email Trevor Adams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is a bit of pot luck Chris.I have Blackhawk and Niles prints that were to contrasty or rather washed out-right from new.Also have good prints from the same stables. Most of my Waltons are OK-I have reservations about the quality of sound on Walton films though.Trev

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Trevor

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Joe Caruso
Film God

Posts: 4105
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 19, 2003 03:57 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Chris - CASTLE FILMS never released any Hal Roach/Laurel & Hardy films - BLACKHAWK was the sole distributor in the mid-70's particularly - Nine times out of ten, they hit the mark with exquisite pre-print material - MEN 'O WAR is washy at times, versus BLOTTO which always looks stunning - New material made later releases somewhat better - The majority of the silents are superb, at least I've never come across a dupey positive; just fortunate I suppose - CARNIVAL, CORNET and ATLAS released some of THe Boys films in truncated 200' editions that were so-so - NILES had THE FLYING DEUCES, and I think a version of 'March Of The Wooden Soldiers', but stick to BLACKHAWK for the prime Roach featurettes and shorts (and in those lovely olive green and pink boxes if available) - I've remained steadfastly loyal to collecting BLACKHAWK (still do after some forty-odd years), and have all the confidence in their content; SENNETT KEYSTONES are especially sharp - Films with soundtracks, or the later "scored" silents utilize new pre-print material with sharp focus - Stay in touch - Shorty at jvcaruso@bellatlantic.net

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Brad Kimball
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted December 20, 2003 01:01 AM      Profile for Brad Kimball   Email Brad Kimball   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Joe("Shorty"). I own the NILES stuff and it's crapola. Sound quality is ok, but the prints are very dark and hard to see ("Wooden Soldiers" esecially). I don't think it was NILES' lab-work so much as a matter of lack of good negs. The BLACKHAWK's, like Joe stated, are by far the best. However, the synch on "Pardon Us" seems to be tad off in their neg being that I own two prints and they're identical and "Them Thar Hills" is a bit washed out in spots. "The Music Box" is very sharp with good booming sound as well as "Way Out West".

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D'Arcy More
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: Peterborough Ontario
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 20, 2003 07:07 AM      Profile for D'Arcy More   Email D'Arcy More   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just lucked out on Ebay last month with 9 Laurel and Hardy Blackhawk shorts with a Buy It Now option. I didn't even think.......just bought as the price for the lot was $65. I knew that being Blackhawk prints the chances were very good they'd at least come from decent negs. Turns out the films came from a private collection and were only run a handful of times. 7 of the 9 prints were mint with no lines or scratches. Blackhawk is the way to go for sure. Their print of Chaney's Hunchback of Notre Dame is stunning with a booming music score (with mixed in sound fx) that will make you forget it's a silent film! D'Arcy

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Mike Newell
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 826
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 25, 2003 06:28 PM      Profile for Mike Newell   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Chris

My personal preference in Laurel & Hardy on 8mm is the polyester prints issued by Derann in the 1980s. Despite being processed
on coloured 8mm stock which gave them a slightly blue look they were miles superior in terms of print quality to Blackhawks or Waltons.

Waltons had the disadvantage of always being slightly edited and
Blackhawk always hacked off the original titles in favour of their own and any I ever came across had a grainy look to them.

I accept that I have seen Betty Boop and Ub Iwerk cartoons from Blackhawk that were excellent but unfortunately can not say I have seen Blackhawks in anywhere near mint condition it just didn't exist with prints produced in the 1970's.

The polyesters produced in the 1980s were so good in quality because they came from the library prints held by a certain British television station.

If you get a chance look out for titles such as Below Zero, Them Thar Hills, Fixer Uppers, Chickens Come Home(600), Helpmates and Helpmates,Tit for Tat,The Music Box (600)full length and Way Out West. They are usually always excellent.

Other titles such as Another Fine Mess (is okay )Brats and Live Ghost are soft and Fraternally Yours (3x400)has negative damage on reel 3.

Also be wary of bootleg polyesters produced about the same time.

They are all sepia in colour and are usually darker prints while still being sharp. Any Old Port, Scram and Come Clean are examples but The Music Box (600)also turns up from this source with more marks and scratches.

There are also USA polyesters which are all bright red.

Be careful what you are buying stick to dealers such as Derann,Paul Foster, Perry's Independent 8 etc.

All the best

Mike

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Tony Milman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1336
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 26, 2003 03:52 AM      Profile for Tony Milman   Author's Homepage   Email Tony Milman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chris,

I agree with Mike in terms of the poly prints and would just add that if you see Mike flogging anything on ebay (superelvis) you can always rely on the quality of his descriptions. I have bought a number of prints from him and all have been excellent.

HNY

Tony

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Tony

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Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted December 27, 2003 02:23 PM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for all your replies, I have bough some more L & H films from eBay and a collection of 6 L & H shorts for £76 which I must say I am quite happy with. But would still like to find sharper and clearer prints with good contrast, I will look for polyester prints but would like to know that just by looking at the film how can you tell if it is polyester, please don’t tell me it says so on the leader.
I have got ten shorts and one feature Flying Deuces Which is not the best print in the world, but will keep until a better one comes up. Thanks again to you all. Chris.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 27, 2003 04:24 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Chris,
The best way to tell is to try tearing a little off the leader of the film. Poly stock wont tear but Acetate will. Generally Poly stock is thinner and and more flexible compared to the thicker, stiffer Acetate stocks.

Kev.

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GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Tony Milman
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1336
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 28, 2003 08:51 AM      Profile for Tony Milman   Author's Homepage   Email Tony Milman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Chris, I have also been told that by holding the film up to the light you will be more able to see through poly stock than non poly. It has more of a herringbone look to it than acetate.

Tony

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Tony

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Mark Todd
Film God

Posts: 3846
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted December 28, 2003 05:32 PM      Profile for Mark Todd   Email Mark Todd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just out of interest I`m selling some nice polyester L+H prints, I`ll list them on the for sale page and a few nice other bits for sale to Europe, maybe elsewhere.
I love the kodak Poly L+H`s but you do have to be a bit wary as many are a bit off but a good un is very nice.
By the way Kevin is that the real you, I can`t see your motorbike in the background, have you got a new one yet.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted December 28, 2003 06:48 PM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
Yes Mark, Thats the real me minus bike. Hopefully once the hands are fully mended I will get myself another Kawasaki. Taking the strain with the train at the mo and while it's cold.
Thanks for asking, Kev. [Wink]

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GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Mark Todd
Film God

Posts: 3846
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted December 29, 2003 05:37 AM      Profile for Mark Todd   Email Mark Todd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Kev, good job we in the UK have the most reliable, clean, cheap, and roomy train service in Europe or I expect you might be having a roughish time.
Hope the mending still goes well and good luck with the new baby in the new year.
Any news on the roller fitting type ponderings for the Elmo`s yet.
Best Mark.

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