This is topic Stinking Collection of Castle Films - Aarrrgh! in forum 16mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on February 18, 2013, 11:33 PM:
Any of our resident experts on Castle titles want to take a glance at this? I've acquired about 2 dozen Castle titles in 16mm sound, all full versions. A few are faded color, most B&W. Most are spliced together and thus are missing the lab leaders and even a bit of the very start or end, but otherwise look respectable - most have no splices, all have medium to little scratches and wear. Even with the ends trimmed and no original boxes or reels, these would have a bit of value - except that they're stricken with a strong case of vinegar. O f the ones I've screened, the best play adequately, while the worst have a bit of curl, making edge-to-edge focus impossible.

Before I bin any of them, or toss them in the farthest corner of the shed, please tell me if anything rare or important is here.

REEL #1 [Kodak Safety 1959, 1960]
- War of the Planets - digest from This Island Earth (c1955 Universal)
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein - digest (c1948 Universal)
- Creature from the Black Lagoon - digest (c1954 Universal)
- Bride of Frankenstein - digest - Boris Karloff (no copyright, 1935)

REEL #2 [Kodak Safety 1959, 1960, Eastmancolor 1960]
- Ten Fathoms Deep (c1952)
- The Cold Penguin - Chilly Willy ("Fairy Fables" by Castle; orig title "Chilly Willy", 1953) COLOR VERY FADED!!!
- Yesterday Lives Again - Old Time Movies edited by Eugene W. Castle (no date)
- A Weak-End Driver (c1957)

REEL #3 [Kodak Safety Postive 1961, 1958, 1960 x2]
- The Harlem Globetrotters (c1956)
- Hold the Lions, Please - Bugs Bunny (c1942)
- The Invisible Woman - digest (c1940, 1951) with Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore
- Here Comes the Circus (no date, looks like 1940s)

REEL #4 [Kodak Safety Positive 1956, Kodak 1960, Eastmancolor Safety 1960]
- Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves - digest (c1943 Universal, c1956 United World Films)
- The Great Chase - extract from The Bank Dick with W. C. Fields (c1949) ONE SPLICE!
- The Gay Nineties Live Again - Old Time Movies edited by Eugene W. Castle (no date)
- The Rockabye Legend - Chilly Willy (no date, Walter Lantz 'Cartune' orig "Legend of Rockabye Point" 1955) COLOR FADED TO RED!

REEL #5 [Kodak 1959, 1960, Eastmancolor 1960]
- Jabs and Jolts - The Sport Parade - really campy boxing & wrestling (c1951)
- Wee Gee's Camera Magic - cp 1946 film of same title, this one is awful (c1960) COLOR AND FADED TO RED
- Deep Sea Adventure (c1953)
- Barber of Seville - Woody Woodpecker (c1948)

REEL #6 - [Kodak Safety 1959-1961]
- 1. Movies Greatest Headlines (c1952) - sprocket damage on picture for about 2/3rds
- 2. [Official Films!] Charley Chaplin in Laffing Gas (no copyright)
- 3. Railroad Story (c1951)
- 4. Africa Untamed (c1953)

REEL #7 Terrytoons reel [Kodak 1945]
- Dog Wanted (aka ‘Happy and Lucky;’ 1938) abridgment of Puddy the Pup cartoon
- Kiko at the Bat (aka ‘Play Ball,’ 1937) slightly abridged? - pretty decent baseball affair starring Kiko the Kangaroo.
Posted by Joe Balitzki (Member # 438) on February 19, 2013, 04:02 PM:
Being that Castle made enormous quantities of their titles I would throw them out. While some of the titles are desirable, they can all be replaced as they turn up now and then. However, finding them and getting them at a reasonable price won't be easy.
Posted by Vidar Olavesen (Member # 3354) on February 19, 2013, 04:06 PM:
And talking about vinegar smell ... Is it dangerous for other films kept close to each other? It's a chemical prosess, right? Would it affect anything, even running it in the projector, is it any harm in that?

I have one vinegar smelling one myself, and dare not use it before I know it's safe
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on February 19, 2013, 04:28 PM:
Joe, thank you for weighing in on this. I really appreciate it.

Vidar, using VS film is not at all a problem, and probably helps it. Since VS is simply the acetate molecules breaking down into water and acetic acid {a reaction that increases with presence of moisture and acetic acid(!)}, you want to store that film away from other acetate films. The cooler and drier VS film is, the slower the deterioration progresses. Projection probably helps release vapors, too. Just keep other films away from that smell. Some like to thoroughly clean the projector after running VS film, but you'd have to prove that vapors penetrate the chrome projector parts for that to seem necessary to me.
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on February 22, 2013, 04:13 PM:
I guess anyone else who's seen this agrees with Joe! No other responses. That's fine. But I'm not intending to "replace" any of these Castle titles for my collection.

What I'd appreciate knowing is which of these titles are "desirable" or rare?
Posted by Joe Balitzki (Member # 438) on February 22, 2013, 04:36 PM:
None of them are rare as so many prints were struck. Condition wise, some are rare if its like new with zero splices and complete lab leaders. The only prints that are rare are those with excellent color that were printed on Low-Fade Stock. Or a Mint condition Original CineColor print. Even those turn up from time to time but not very often. The Horror/Sci-Fi titles are always Desirable and Popular among collectors that do not already own them or are looking for a better quality print.
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on February 22, 2013, 10:27 PM:
Thank you again for your reply, Joe (and nearly instant!). Makes sense. It's hard to comprehend that each of these shorts cost the equivalent of about $200 or more in today's dollars, and now they're rotting themselves into uselessness.
Posted by Dino Everette (Member # 1378) on February 23, 2013, 01:13 AM:
Bill don't forget I have a growing supply of rotting film for you whenever you want to pick some up. [Big Grin]
Posted by Pasquale DAlessio (Member # 2052) on February 23, 2013, 03:11 PM:

I sent you a PM about reel 1.

Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on February 23, 2013, 03:32 PM:
Thanks guys, I will PM you both next! [Smile]
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on February 23, 2013, 06:45 PM:
It's too bad all those films are VS. I can't answer your question about what is rare but one of the titles that sticks out for me is RAILROAD STORY. To me that is a good one and has very nice Lionel model train footage and does have value to train enthusiasts.

Bill [Smile]
Posted by Joe Balitzki (Member # 438) on February 23, 2013, 08:16 PM:
I want to clarify my mentioning about Castle Films prints on Low-Fade Stock. Some were printed in/on: Ansco, Kodachrome, CineColor, and for a very short time in IB Technicolor. Some Ansco prints are fine while others are not. CineColor prints are the equivalent of what what was shown Theatrically as the same process and lab was used to make prints. The same goes for the IB Technicolor prints which are the rarest as they were only available for a short time. They likely were discontinued because of poor sales as they cost more to make and were sold at a higher price. I have never seen one myself nor do I own any. I do have a Beautiful CineColor Castle print in 16mm Sound. CineColor prints were struck in Standard 8mm but in Silent prints only as at the time there was no Standard 8mm Sound Format. Finding any Castle Films prints with Excellent Color is Rare as the majority are in Eastman Color.
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on May 02, 2013, 02:39 PM:
Long-time no post here. Finally watched the last of these reels last week, and Bill P., my family and I did especially enjoy "Railroad Story." Other than the ends being cut off, these films were minty or at worst lightly worn. It's a collector's tragedy that they're all stricken with vinegar and near worthless. Some were cupping and unfocusable, some weren't.

[ May 13, 2013, 11:12 PM: Message edited by: Bill Brandenstein ]
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on May 13, 2013, 11:13 PM:
PASQUALE - check your PMs!
Posted by Dan A. Caprio (Member # 2089) on May 14, 2013, 08:16 AM:
If their VS affected their worthless ...especially faded color... ... [Roll Eyes]

[ May 14, 2013, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Dan A. Caprio ]
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on May 15, 2013, 12:45 PM:
Exactly. I would never offer these for sale. A few I'll keep for awhile, like "Railroad Story" isn't warped yet, but in the long haul I haven't a way to freeze or store VS prints, so they're worthless to me too. But fun to watch once or twice, particularly since I've seen NONE of these before! Pretty basic stuff, I know, but still new to me.

Thankfully I didn't lose my shirt on the rest of the collection these films came with.
Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on May 17, 2013, 12:34 PM:
WEE-GEE CAMERA MAGIC is a novelty, no matter how awful the smell - I'd salvage what I could, then junk the rest - Replacements are hard but not impossible through dealers, and Cinefest, Cinevent and around here - Shorty
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on May 20, 2013, 12:09 AM:
Joe, it appears (but I don't have the wonderful Castle Films book) that this is the later and inferior of 2 shorts with the same "WeeGee" title. Of everything we screened listed above, it was the worst of them (by family's reaction). Wouldn't the older, B&W one have been better? Even so, no motivation to find out!

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