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Author Topic: ESO-S Pictures
Joe Caruso
Film God

Posts: 4105
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted February 28, 2008 03:50 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I had spoken with Harry Hilfinger a month or so again after he came out of hospital, was wondering what had happened to him as I hadn't heard beforehand, but now I just called and the phone number is no longer working - If anyone knows something please report - Shorty

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David Ollerearnshaw
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1373
From: Penistone Sheffield UK
Registered: Oct 2012

 - posted December 07, 2012 06:36 AM      Profile for David Ollerearnshaw   Author's Homepage   Email David Ollerearnshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In Memory of
Harrison "Harry" Penrod Hilfinger
January 29, 1917 - April 13, 2011

Harry Hilfinger, 94, Kansas City, Missouri, a lifelong resident of Kansas City, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on April 13, 2011. Harry was born January 29, 1917 in Kansas City, Missouri, son of Harrison and Ruth (Tibbals) Hilfinger. He graduated from Westport High School, received his BA from UMKC and his MA from USC. He was an accomplished saxophone player, performing in Kansas City nightclubs starting at age 16. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Navy. Harry established ESO-S Pictures in 1935 in his parents' basement, one of the first full service home movie stores in the country, which later also offered one day service on football game films to high schools and colleges in the Midwest. He was a member of the Country Club Christian Church. He leaves his wife Cleta Fontelle Hilfinger; his daughters Judy (Michael) Quinn, Peggy (Michael) Schwartz, and Nancy (Stan) Stalnaker; and granddaughter Mindi Schwartz. Visitation will be held from 1:00-2:00 p.m. followed by funeral service at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Country Club Christian Church, Main Chapel, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri. Burial with Military Honors in Mt. Moriah Cemetery South, 10507 Holmes Road. Condolences may be made at www.mtmoriah-freeman.com. Arrangements under the direction of Mount Moriah & Freeman Funeral Home, Kansas City, MO.

I bought quite a few 16mm advert reels and shorts from Harry at ESO-S Pictures over the years. It was always a pleasure to talk to Harry on the phone, then eagerly wait for the films to arrive.

Surprised there was no mention on 8mm Forum about his passing though.

I love the smell of film in the morning.


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Joe Caruso
Film God

Posts: 4105
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted December 07, 2012 08:28 AM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm surprised too. Harry and I had alot of deals over the phone/through the mails - That is one source for many of my 'sealed' items - I hope he realizes that many miss him and remember him always, Shorty

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Bill Phelps
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1482
From: USA
Registered: Jan 2009

 - posted December 07, 2012 05:02 PM      Profile for Bill Phelps     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I never met him or spoke with him but my first commercially produced 8mm film I bought was from ESO-S Pictures....

The Jetsons Jet Pilot 200' with the original box. I got a few other titles from him as well...nice prints at great prices.

My favorite KIKO cartoon I also got from Harry...a perfect 16mmm print of the Castle 'toon THE BIG FIGHT.

I wish I could have got to know him better.



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Alan Rik
Film God

Posts: 2211
From: New York City, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted December 20, 2012 07:47 PM      Profile for Alan Rik   Email Alan Rik   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I recently picked up from a collector a nice little Bolex regular 8mm projector. He gave me a box of films with it as well and said they were home movies. Then he said they were the personal home movies of....Harry Hilfinger!
I have about 10 x 200ft of movies dating from the 50's-70's. I haven't seen them all, just 2 reels as the cement splices break and I have to resplice them, but what I have seen is really interesting to me.
One reel is the 1953 Topeka Kansas State fair. There is the freak show, the little circus monkeys running around, the really primitive looking carousel, just cool, cool footage.
And then near the end is Xmas Morning with 3 little girls. They open their presents, smile at the camera...just a great slice of Americana.

Here is a link to a youtube video. Its just a few seconds long but you get the idea.


Strange how films that were made in Kansas worked its way to Brooklyn, New York.
And even stranger is that the day I picked them up I came home and looked up Harry Hillfigger (Thats what the seller told me his name was) and couldn't find anything on him. I came on the forum and this post from 2008 was revived. The same day I picked up the films. Now where is Sylvia Brown? [Smile]

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Jeff Missinne
Film Handler

Posts: 69
From: Superior, WI USA
Registered: Nov 2012

 - posted December 22, 2012 07:46 PM      Profile for Jeff Missinne   Email Jeff Missinne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Harry Hilfinger was one of the nicest and most knowledgeable guys in this whole hobby or business or whatever; there'll never be anyone to replace him. I felt the loss and sadness immediately on learning of his passing; I always assumed Harry was an older man but never realized he was around or past 90 the last time I wrote him and bought some film supplies. We'll all miss Harry; adios old friend.

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Claus Harding
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1149
From: Washington DC
Registered: Oct 2006

 - posted December 23, 2012 04:16 PM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
R.I.P Mr Hilfinger.

A couple of years ago, I acquired a film of his called "Midnight Fantasy" on R-8 which seems to have been done by him and some friends.

I knew nothing of him, so I was curious about this ESO-S label of his...good to get a bit more info, as I was wondering about where this odd little local sci-fi flick had come from.


"Why are there shots of deserts in a scene that's supposed to take place in Belgium during the winter?" (Review of 'Battle of the Bulge'.)

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David Michael Leugers
Master Film Handler

Posts: 264
From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted December 25, 2012 12:26 AM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I came across ESO-S near the end of the "golden" years of amateur film making as video was taking over. He had a lot of really great and interesting film stocks that no one else sold here in America. I talked with him once when my B+H Filmo 70 DA quit working and he fixed it for me for a whopping $35!!! I always thought he did me a favor because he liked the idea I was shooting 16mm film of my little kids instead of shooting video. What a pleasure to talk with him and do business with. I never would have guessed he was older than my parents. RIP Harry.

Live Free or Die

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Judy Hilfinger Quinn
Posts: 1
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: Feb 2014

 - posted February 19, 2014 10:11 PM      Profile for Judy Hilfinger Quinn   Email Judy Hilfinger Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I so appreciate the kind words about my father, Harry Hilfinger. I read that some on the forum may have some of the movies with images of children, those are of my sisters and I. Having just lost our mother this week, we are eagerto be able to see them. I'm wondering if anyone has any of these home movies would be willing to trade movies, or we could buy them. p.

With how,


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