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Castle films vs. Universal 8

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  • Castle films vs. Universal 8

    In my opinion, the print quality of the Castle Films output, was a good deal better than Universal 8 's output. Granted, Universal 8 put out 400ft and 200ft digests, but boy, could they're print quality go from OK or just passable, to downright poor. Your opinion, ladies and gentlemen?

  • #2
    I don’t have too many U8’s OSI but the few that I have were very good prints when new, much sharper than the typical Ken prints.


    • #3
      When Castle Films was purchased by Universal Pictures in 1947, it was made a division of their newly formed subsidiary United World Films. Castle had access to the original 35mm printing elements held by Universal, which they used in most cases. Quality was usually excellent. When the Castle name was changed to Universal 8 in 1977, a lot more changed than just the name. Universal 8 was run by a different management team. Universal 8 no longer used the 35mm elements held by Universal, instead they took the cheap route and just duped existing 16mm prints. Quality dropped and Universal 8 prints became murky with poor contrast and sharpness.


      • #4
        I have a Universal 8 print of Abbot & Costello's "Who's On First" purchased in 1981. The quality is very good. I watched it just a few months ago. I still have a bunch of Castle films purchased in the late 1970's. I haven't seen those in years. I should take one out of storage and check it out!


        • #5
          I always thought Universal 8 was one of the better super 8 distributors in terms of print and editing. I know a few were pinky about even when new.

          Shame they went down the road of so many crappy releases at the end like Electric Horseman, Little Miss Marker, The Nude Bomb, Incredible Shrinking Woman and dare I say it Xanadu. I never had many 200ft Castle editions but have been impressed by the print quality and editing of the ones I own.