This is topic " The Flinstone Flyer " (Flinstones TV Show) Columbia in forum 8mm Print Reviews at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 13, 2009, 09:38 AM:
This would have to be my one and only review of a TV film on Super 8, but it is a significant release.

In the 1970's Columbia did a fine job of releasing quite a few of the Hanna Babara animated TV shows on Super 8. There are at least four individual TV series that were released in the 400ft format ...

Scooby Doo
Top Cat

(Note: these are verified ones. There may be more but these are the only ones I have seen.)

In most cases these were released in the more common 200ft releases. This would work for some of them, such as Yogi Bear or Huckleberry Hound, as the original cartoons were six or seven minutes long, perfect for a 200ft release. The 400ft release format, however, allowed for a nearly complete episode of the TV series in the super 8 format.

There were a number of Flinstones episodes released, but none are more significant than this one ... "The Flinstones Flyer".

Why is this?

Because this was the very first episode of the series. This was not the very first animation of the Flinstones. There was a promo reel shown as "The Flagstones" to the networks from the imcomplete as of that time, "swimming pool" episode, which was number 3, but it was only a minute and a half. This was the first full episode, first seen way back in 1960, which means it was animated in 1959, way back when the theatrical cartoon was still in production in the US!

The storyline is as follows:

Fred notices that Barney is building some contraption in his yard. Barney says that it is a flying machine. Fred likes it and takes it for a spin. It's too small for Fred and he crashes it, of course, (he insists on calling it "Fred's Flying Machine."
Later in the episode, Wilma wants Fred to take her to the opera.
Fred is desperate to escape this terrible fate and besides that, he wants to go bowling! Meanwhile, Barney has built a new and improved flying machine, and Fred and Barney decide to escape away in it, but they only find that the opera house is right next to the bowling alley!

Anyone who is familiar with the Flinstones, will note the difference in the design of the characters right away! Barney also has that strange voice that he had in the early episodes, (Mel Blanc, who did Barney's voice, hadn't decided on a voice yet).

If you notice that this episode has more than it's share of good gags, this is no accident. Micheal Maltese, Chuck Jones gag writer, did the story work on this episode, the only one that he did this for, and it makes the episode stand out. Warren Foster, Friz Freleng's gag man, (also from Warner Brothers) worked on quite a few of the later episodes. These vintage gag men really helped this series stand out.

The Flinstones were a first in many ways. The first animated series to be taken seriously in prime time, (series made for TV, that is). The Flinstones, it could be said, were the first topical and "modern Stone-age Family" that had a sex life, as Pebbles, they're daughter would show later on.

The original series lasted for six years and spawned series after series which last on TV until this very day!

Now, onto the print!

Columbia had "Triangle" film labs do they're printing on these, and they did a very good job! It was printed on the "better" eastman film stock of the mid 1970's and it shows, as I have not (as yet) ran into a copy of this with faded color. This episode is no exception. The color is rich, saturated and as good as anything I have seen.

The sharpness of this print is quite good as well. They must have had a great negative to work with, straight from HB's vaults. It is as good as TV print in quality!

It does not have the look of being dupey in the slightest. Great grain as well. This 400ft reel is about 19 minutes long.
Since HB and Columbia decided to not include the original opening and closing title sequences, this allowed for more complete story's to be told in this format and though I would love to have these original beginnings, losing them allows me more story, so it's a decent compromise.

I believe that Columbia also released this episode in a shorter 200ft format. I would be interested to know, (if somebody has both versions) if there is footage is the 200ft that isn't in the 400ft.

It should be noted that boxes for these releases were made with a substandard paper, lighter than the standard cardboard, so beware, as these boxes are more suseptible to rips.

A great film to put in your collection and treasure! I think I'll watch it again!

Posted by James N. Savage 3 (Member # 83) on August 14, 2009, 02:01 PM:

Great review and history on The Flintstones!

I have one 400 foot episode as well- "Ann Margrock". The colors are still good on mine. My only complaint is that the editor chose to cut out Pebble's dream sequence, when Ann Margrock sings "This Little Lamb". She does sing a small part of it later in the show, but I miss that dream sequence.

I believe its the only edit, besides the beginning and end credits.

Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on August 14, 2009, 04:40 PM:

Nice review! I have this one and the 400' Fred's Monkeyshines' and the 200' Fred Goes Ape.

It was my understanding that Barneys voice changed after Mel Blancs near fatal car crash in 1960-61 and his voice was much deeper.

I am a big fan of the Flintstones and I was really blown away as to how good these prints are, and that they are nearly complete. The color on mine is excellent.

I have five 16mm episodes and only 2 of them have ok color. One of them is completely red. I will replace it some day but it's nice to have the show at least.

Posted by John Hourigan (Member # 111) on August 14, 2009, 11:33 PM:
Agree regarding the print quality -- I have one 400' Flintstones print and it is one of the best prints in my collection. The sound quality is outstanding, too.
Posted by Brad Kimball (Member # 5) on August 15, 2009, 12:42 PM:
I have a 200' version of "The Great Gazoo". Color has such a small amount of fade - it's barely noticeable and the sound is terrific. No titles at all - just abruptly begins where they encounter Gazoo in the episode. As far as the song edit in the 400' "Ann Margrock" episode - it was probably a music rights issue in orer to let the song remain unscathed. I have "Ten Little Flintstones" in 16mm along with one-or-two others which the titles escape me and although they are not faded yet - they are pretty spilcey and gritty (like a Late Show print from tv years ago). Every time I bid on the Super 8 versions of "Flintstones" or "Jetsons" episodes I always get slammed by outbidders.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 15, 2009, 12:43 PM:
I didn't kn ow that about Mel Blanc, but it does make sense, as I noticed that his voice did deepen after his Warner Brothers years, but I always thought it was just impending old age.
Posted by Brad Kimball (Member # 5) on August 15, 2009, 12:47 PM:
I have a book that stipulates that the cast recorded many episodes from an ersatz recording studio that Columbia set up in Mel Blanc's bedroom while he was bed-ridden for several months from the accident.
Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on August 17, 2009, 12:23 PM:

I was once told by a dealer there were only a handful of these prints made, of the Flintstones Flyer. And of the few that were made, less than 6 were English sound, the rest Spanish.

Now I do not know how truthful this is, but it's what I've been told a long time ago.

My copy is holding up well. Although it does look like some color warming is starting to set in.

Posted by Robert Wales (Member # 502) on August 17, 2009, 04:50 PM:
I have my doubts Chip's dealer told him an accurate story about the rarity of 'The Flintstone Flyer'- I had a print of this for many years and know of at least one other in the public library of the city where I grew up.
Posted by Brad Kimball (Member # 5) on August 17, 2009, 10:31 PM:
I could see if when the dealer years ago tried to order numerous copies perhaps only 6 in english were available at the time, but I doubt that Triangle would agree to only print 6.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 21, 2009, 11:51 AM:
Bill Phelps ...

A question about your copy of "Flinstone Flyer".

Is it a good deal shorter than your other Flinstone episodes?

My 400ft of this title runs only 15 minutes, (the other Flinstones episodes are a good 20 or so minutes). It is also a UK printing of this title, (judging by the leader and the "lilly"
, which, in itself, is interesting, as it is not a British woman alone, but a British couple, dressed in a VERY 60's British outfit. Also strangely, the episode has perfect color, but the "lilly" looks awful!).

I'm curious as, if there was a US printing of this specific episode, was it longer? The UK episode which I have, has no splices, but is an obviously crudely edited, (spliced) episode.
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on August 21, 2009, 07:16 PM:

I'll have to get back with you about that...I am not at home right now. I have 2 400' episodes and I will compare them.

I do remember some very abrupt cuts at the bowling alley that actually take away from the gags!

I don't remember the other episode running over 20 min...its on a 400' reel and one of those full is 20 min. Right?

Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on August 22, 2009, 05:37 PM:

Well I didn't screen them but compared them on the rewind splices and both of them (Flintstone Flyer and Fred's Monkeyshines) both are a full 400 feet.

I would have to screen them and time it to say for sure but at 400' I would say they're a good 20 min each.

Flintstone Flyer also has the 'British couple' in the leader...printed by Triangle.

I don't know if that answers your questions...hopefully!

The next time I screen them I am going to time them, I'm curious.

Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on August 24, 2009, 12:00 PM:

The print I have is obviously much shorter than the other print. I timed my flistones flyer and it came out to fifteen minutes, while the other one times out at a little over twenty.
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on October 24, 2009, 11:13 PM:

I finally screened it last night (sorry it took two months!) and from first image to last image it's 19 min 27 sec (The Flintstone Flyer)

It starts with Fred on the hammock. No opening titles or closing titles. The final shot of the boys crossing in front of the moon in the flyer is B&W! There are no splices in my print.

I believe there is a section at the very beginning of the episode cut out, and the section at the bowling alley has an abrupt cut but other than that the story flows smoothly.


[ October 25, 2009, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: Bill Phelps ]
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on October 25, 2009, 08:54 AM:
Very strange indeed!

I know that my copy, running at the proper 24 fps, only goes about 15 minutes, but there must be more cut out of it than in yours. Does yours have that customary "Flinstones" title card before that first shot of Fred in the hammock?

The last shot is color on mine.

It has Fred trying to sleep, then going over to barney to find out what the pounding is all about. Barney shows him his machine and Fred goes back, onlt to soon find Barney flying past him. This gets Fred up and he then goes over to try it himself, insisting it be called, "The Flinstone Flyer". Right after barney walks off, saying, "Well, back to the drawing board!" ...

... we then cut to Fred in bed, acting like he's sick.

My question is, does yours have about four minutes of material at this spot, explaining why he is in bed? (as Wilma and Betty wanted Fred and Barney to take them to the opera), as this seems to be the part where a majority of material missing.
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on October 25, 2009, 09:05 AM:

Yes, that's it...after Barney says 'back to the drawing board' we have Fred finding out from Wilma about the opera, getting angry with Barney, brainstorming their "clever" idea and Fred acting like he is sick...also no title of Flintsones.

That stinks! And there are no splices? That would be a cutdown of a cutdown.

Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on October 25, 2009, 12:46 PM:
Mystery Solved!

That burns me up. It is, in fact, a cutdown of a cutdown!
I wonder if, on the original negative for this, that scene got scratched up or damaged, and they had to edit out that whole section, instead of just a splice are, as I can verify that there is NO splice throughout the whole print.

This print I have is definitely from a british origin.. OK, I guessing that, as therer is a lilly of a very british couple.
The question is ...

1. Was this an earlier edition of the digest?
2. Was it a later edition of the digest?
3. Was it a pirate/bootleg version?

I did notice that the negative used has a little more surface specks than normal. Most of these Flinstones appear to have absolutely impeccable print quality and color, considering that they come from early 60's TV
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on October 25, 2009, 01:07 PM:

Do you have the original Columbia box? If you do than it might be a later issue of the title and probably not a bootleg. I have the original box with mine and it is in very good shape.

It sounds like some other members have this title...maybe at some point we could get there input about there copies and that would answer the remaining questions.

Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on October 25, 2009, 01:15 PM:
I bought this from Derann's used list, and it just had the main title card, with the characters, taped onto a generic box.

All I know is I feel screwed, but, perhaps, on a plus side, I might have a REEL rarity!
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on October 25, 2009, 02:03 PM:
Well because your print doesn't have any splices I would think that it was offical, maybe just a later issue. If it had a splice then it would be obvious that someoone had tampered with it.

I have a Blackhawk print of "PLUNGE THRU THE TRESTLE" that is the last reel of an old silent that features an actual staged crash of a real steam engine off of a trestle bridge at the climax of the film. I remember watching the print for the first time in anticipation of the crash and...the train is approaching the bridge...CUT...people swimming in water?

Someone had cut the section out of the film! Man was I bummed! The seller didn't even charge me for it. So I'm still looking for that one.

Posted by David Ollerearnshaw (Member # 3296) on October 23, 2012, 05:02 AM:
Although this is an old thread, I think Columbia titles were at one time distributed by Mountain Films here in the UK. If you read some of the old reviews many complained of shorter running time and the print quality was not up to the standard of 'American' prints at the time. Regent Films of Blackpool used to import American prints.

My 4x200ft colour version of "The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad" is a poor print, both poor colour, soft dupe look and poor sound. This was a Mountain Release in the UK. The quality was so poor I would have said it was copied from the 8mm American version. Whereas my 4x200ft "Jason And The Argonauts" has very good colour & sound. This was bought second hand from Famous Films Miami (Art & Eve?) Loved to deal with them, spent a small fortune with them. The list were always filled with a few rare titles.

I have a few "Flintstone's" on 16mm the colour the last time I viewed them was very good. One of my favourites was when they went to the scouts camp and had a good sing song. Got these from Thornhill Entertainment 15 years ago. Have to check I think? I have a couple in super 8 too.

Happy days for collecting.
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on October 23, 2012, 05:22 AM:
David, Perhaps this is what Osi has? A Mountain UK print. Interesting!

I have about a dozen Flintstones on 16mm including CAVE SCOUT JAMBOREE...very cool episode.

Bill [Smile]
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on October 24, 2012, 01:22 PM:
Yep! It must be a Mountain Films print, (and it's here in Mountain Home, Idaho, of all places!) [Smile]
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on October 24, 2012, 03:24 PM:
I always fancied Betty Rubble,does that make me a bad person?
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on October 25, 2012, 12:35 PM:
Yeah, I thought she was cute too! Sweet gal!

(thought the animated "Ann Margeret" character in a Flinstones episode was the "bees knees!" RRRROWR!) [Big Grin]
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on November 07, 2012, 10:27 AM:
Here are a few pages from a later Columbia catalogue

[ November 08, 2012, 08:23 AM: Message edited by: Panayotis A. Carayannis ]
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on November 07, 2012, 12:15 PM:
Cool, thanks for that addition to this review! Even more info!
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on November 07, 2012, 01:35 PM:
....the second page  -
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on November 07, 2012, 05:39 PM:

[ November 08, 2012, 07:47 AM: Message edited by: Panayotis A. Carayannis ]
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on November 08, 2012, 07:34 AM:
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on November 08, 2012, 12:31 PM:
Good gosh! Did they release nearly the whole run of the show on super 8?
Posted by Pasquale DAlessio (Member # 2052) on November 08, 2012, 05:04 PM:
No it just makes you in- [Big Grin] toon with the rest of us!
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on November 10, 2012, 12:47 PM:
OOOOORG! Bad Joke alert!

I must say, the Columbia Films Flinstone releases were impeccable! They were very sharp and in most cases the color on the Columbia releases has held up very well, where the re-releases (by Mountain Films, for instance) have varying degrees of fade.

The Jetsons releases were also just as good by Columbia. I wonder how good the image quality is on the 400ft Scooby Doo releases?

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