Posts Tagged ‘Cinecolor’
The following movies were eventually released on good quality DVD’s:
APACHE RIFLES (Admiral-Fox/1964)
Picture and sound track were a jumbled mess. Technician at VCI eventually matched everything up. (I still owe someone a steak dinner!)
THE COWBOY (Lippert/1954)
35mm color negative ruined by mold. Used 16mm color “EK” (print from the original color negative) for the DVD. Black and white duplicate negative and color “separation negatives” survive. BTW, I had a blast producing the commentary track with the authentic old cowboys who were the stars of the film.
THE GLASS TOMB (Hammer-Lippert/1955)
Original 35mm material missing. Used 35mm release print borrowed from the British Film Archive
THE GREAT JESSE JAMES RAID (Lippert/1954)
35mm color material missing. Used a 16mm color “EK.” 35mm black and white negative survives.
LIKE IT IS (Psychedelic Fever) (Lima/1968)
Missing sound track. Used audio from a bootleg VHS bought on eBay. Sometimes pirates serve a useful purpose!
MAN BEAST (API/1956)
Master 35mm material was cut for release in the UK and the excised scenes scrapped. Used missing footage found in a 35mm US release print. Scenes that were deleted prior to its US theatrical release were found in a Spanish dubbed print and are included as a Special Feature on the DVD.
Color camera negative survived – without titles. Used titles off a like-new 1956 16mm color print I bought from a collector on eBay. Not the first time a film collector has saved the day.
MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR (Palo Alto-Lippert/1954)
35mm sound track decomposed. Used track from 16mm Armed Forces negative, which was longer than the theatrical release version. Extra scenes are part of the DVD special features.
MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (Republic/1941)
Nitrate picture and track negative decomposed. Used a “fine grain” master print borrowed from the British Film Institute
OUTLAW WOMEN (Howco/1952)
Original 35mm Cinecolor material decomposed. Used mint 35mm Cinecolor print
SEA DEVILS (Coronado-RKO/1953)
Combined 3-strip Technicolor negatives located at Technicolour in London and restored by Canal+, owner of Eastern Hemisphere distribution rights.
SHOTGUN (Champion-Allied Artists/1955)
Badly faded camera negative was all that survived. VCI technician was able to bring the color back to life in a tedious process of correcting the color scene by scene. (Another steak dinner, this one due Doug at Film and Video Transfers)
SINS OF JEZEBEL (Lippert/1954)
Original 35mm color negative missing. Used mint 35mm AnscoColor print labeled “Roadshow Version”. Could find no difference between the Roadshow and Regular release; not surprising given its penurious producer, Robert L. Lippert. Note: Fortunately AnscoColor, unlike widely used Eastman Color, does not tend to fade.
STRANGER ON HORSEBACK (Goldstein-UA/1955)
No color film elements known to exist. Used 35mm AnscoColor release print borrowed from the British Film Institute. 16mm black and white negative survives.
THUNDER IN CAROLINA (Howco/1962)
As with “Apache Rifles,” picture and sound track were a jumbled mess. Technician at VCI eventually matched everything up. (Guess I owe three steak dinners.)
AVAILABLE ON DVD FROM
There are movies which Kit Parker Films owns rights but cannot find suitable elements. Maybe you can help!
“The Black Pirates” (Salvador-Lippert/1954) Original AnscoColor negative missing. Duplicate negative with Spanish main and end titles survives, but was damaged by improper storage.
“God’s Country” (Lippert/1946)
Original Cinecolor nitrate negative decomposed in the 1960s. 35mm and 16mm black and white duplicate negative and sound track survive.
“Highway 13” (Lippert/1948)
Not really missing, but we had to use the 16mm negative which was less than optimal. I was told not to bother because the whole movie took less than 3 days to produce but, hey, it’s a mini-masterpiece!
“Rawhide Trail” (Terry and Lyon-Allied Artists/1958)
Nothing at all. The Allied Artists library was split between Warner Bros. and Paramount years ago, but this independent production was not among them.
“Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case” (Republic/1941)
Nitrate negative decomposed. Not released to television so no duplicate negatives produced.
“The Incredible Face of Dr. B”
and “House of Frights”
Mexican films from 1963 that were also released in English language versions. Although the Spanish negatives survive, the English versions apparently do not.
“Let’s Live Again” (Seltzer-Fox/1948)
Only a mediocre 16mm negative and print survive.
My fascination with films began with the Pincushion Man.
When I was young, everyone watched movies in the theatre or on television. That’s it…no DVD, Cable TV, Satellite, and YouTube; in fact, no digital anything. Home movie enthusiasts watched home movies on 8mm (16mm if they were lucky) and that’s about it. Then, as now, there was a big demand for movies at educational institutions, and all kinds of organizations and institutions. That need was fulfilled by 16mm film, and distribution of them was a good sized business from the 1920’s to the late 1970s. A portable 16mm projector, screen and, of course, a film was all that was required. It was a hassle, but that’s how it was done. The AV guys who ran the projectors had the same appearance and personality of computer nerds today. Film buffs remember them, but most young people won’t know what I’m talking about,
8mm was the primary format used for home movies, and my father shot a lot of them. To augment family films he showed ten minute silent versions of sound movies, mostly cartoons, which were sold in photo shops under the Castle Films label. One was The Pincushion Man, a re-title of Balloon Land (Ub Iwerks, 1935); it mesmerized me with its bizarre characters and surreal color (Cinecolor, a two color process). Dad had two others, Little Black Sambo and Sinbad the Sailor, also 1935 Cinecolor cartoons from Ub Iwerks, but to me there was Pincushion Man and then all others.
That was the origin of my interest in films. The next year I went to the movies and saw a feature film compilation of silent comedies, Robert Youngson’s The Golden Age of Comedy (1957). It was, and is, terrific. (I can’t believe it still isn’t out on DVD.) [*]
Soon after, I began collecting my own Castle Films, “dirty dupes” from Home Movie Wonderland, and eventually switching to Blackhawk Films. Blackhawk was the best; silent comedies, and the be-all-end-all of comedy, Laurel and Hardy. Then I got interested in the physical prints as well as content. My first Kit Parker Films “catalog” (three pages) offered 8mm movies for sale. I think I was 11, and my inventory came from offbeat mail order catalogs. At 13, I began borrowing 16mm public relations films produced by oil companies, railroads, and other corporations which offered them free to organizations through a distributor called Modern Talking Picture Service. They had film exchanges throughout the country, and offered countless numbers of films on the behalf of a corporate clients. By and large, they were well produced and entertaining. I told Modern there were several resorts where I lived that were interested in showing those types of films. The sources of entertainment were very, very limited in those days in semi-rural areas like Carmel Valley, California, where I grew up. Modern, who was paid by the sponsors every time a film was shown, asked me if I would sub-distribute for them. My folks took me to their San Francisco office, and when they saw me, they were stunned and amused by my age. They looked at each other wondering what they got themselves into. I got the films, though!
At 14 I started a weekly kiddie matinee at the local community center which showed a feature, short subjects and sometimes a serial, every Saturday at the local community center. Tickets sold for $.35 and it was a big success. Over the next four years, I ordered the films (the best part), ran the projector and bought the candy. The profits went to maintenance of the building.
By 14 my collecting was 100% 16mm…I bought and sold prints. As my collecting continued I also began shooting my own movies with a Bolex camera my folks gave me one Christmas. Although I never really had an interest in shooting movies, the news anchor, Mike Morisoli, at KSBW-TV (stood for “Salad Bowl of the World”!) in Salinas, California, had faith in me and provided unexposed film to cover events such as rodeos and car racing. Back then news stories were all filmed, and my footage ended up on the 6 O’clock News…way cool for a 16-year-old.
At 18, KSBW Program Director, Dwight Wheeler, hired me as the weekend film editor. In those days television broadcast only network shows, live programming (mostly the News) and lots and lots of film…no video tape. There were racks and racks of TV shows at the station, and even more feature films! At one time or another they had, MGM, Columbia, Universal, Warner Bros. and United Artists. The best distributor was NTA…they had 20th Century-Fox and Republic Pictures. Syndicated TV shows ranged from Sergeant Preston of the Yukon to Gilligan’s Island.
My job was to assemble the filmed programs and add the commercials. I had to find the best spots to insert commercials into feature films, and sometimes editing them down to fit into specific time slots. Everything had to be timed right down to the second. I learned fast because of my film experience, so soon after had lots of spare time which allowed me to study how the technical directors worked. A “TD,” as they were known, sat at a large console full of switches and buttons, like you’d see today at a recording studio. They pushed the buttons and moved levers at the correct time to assure everything went on the air at precisely the right moment. Today only live programming still uses a TD; everything else has long been computerized. During half-hour news program there could easily be scores of decisions and manipulations; most had to be anticipated five seconds ahead of the actual event. On the weekends when only the TD and I were at the station, they would teach me how to do the job. I was a fast learner and had quick reflexes, at least in those days! When one of the TD’s quit, the others recommended to the Chief Engineer that I take his place, and I went from the film room to the control room. I became akin to a super projectionist…and had a ball. A few months later I was the TD in charge of all of the prime time programming.
1967 the Viet Nam war was raging, and young men were being readily drafted. I didn’t want to end up in a jungle shooting people, so joined the Navy Reserve, and ended up on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. It was a small city with over 5,000 officers and men. Logically, they put me in charge of the ship’s entertainment television and radio stations; illogically they moved me into the Public Affairs Office for the duration where I worked on the daily newspaper, gave tours of the ship, and mostly shuffled papers. Morale on the ship was poor; I think our Captain idolized Captain Bligh, and my Chief Petty Officer was never happy because flogging was outlawed.
Fortunately I had enough free time to work on creating my passion, Kit Parker Films.
OF PART ONE
[*] Not to be confused with other productions on DVD with the same name.
Cool book about Castle Films:
Kit @Kit Parker.com
“’The Black Pirates’ (1954) was shit, and ‘Massacre’ was no good either.” — Producer, Robert L. Lippert, Jr.
By 1959 the Lippert/Fox/Regal Films contract was finished. However, Fox still needed B movies, and Lippert was always the man for that job. A new 7-year deal was struck.
The new production entity became known as “Associated Producers, Inc.” (API). Bill Magginetti continued running the company and, of course, Bob Lippert called the shots. When the API deal ended, “Lippert Pictures” was reactivated and produced another 10 films for Fox release.
Producer/director Maury Dexter was a pivotal figure during the Lippert-Fox years. Dexter told me he was born into poverty during Depression-era Arkansas. He became interested in acting, came to Los Angeles, and had a few bit parts in films, including the 3 Stooges short “Uncivil War Birds (1946), and became involved in TV and stage. He served in Korea, and soon after was hired by Regal Films head of production, Bill Magginetti, as his assistant. When Lippert fired Magginetti, Dexter took over. It was a good decision as Dexter was a natural organizer, could do many things at the same time, quickly and under pressure…the prerequisites for success at Lippert! In addition to overseeing the company, he personally produced and directed 16 feature films!
After almost two decades in production, Robert L. Lippert returned to Alameda where he died of a heart attack at the age of 67 on November 16, 1976 in Alameda, California.
Samuel Fuller was set to write and direct a Lippert production of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” in CineColor as announced in exhibitor publications in 1949. Walt Disney bought the project from Lippert Pictures, either because it inspired him to make his own version, which he eventually did 5 years later, or he had planned making it all along and didn’t want another version to compete against.
Robert L. Lippert entered into negotiations with the Estate of author L. Frank Baum for rights to produce a series of “Wizard of Oz” movies. The reason he abandoned the project is lost to history.
The shortest shooting schedule of any Lippert production was one day, “Hollywood Varieties” (1950).
The runner up at 58 hours is “Highway 13” (1948). Coincidentally, it was a 58 minute movie, so it literally took only one hour to produce one minute of screen time!
Lippert productions had a minimum of 50 daily camera set-ups.
Just to prove he could do it, producer Robert L. Lippert decided to direct a movie, “The Last of the Wild Horses” (1948.) When production fell behind he fired himself and Paul Landres completed the film. After that Lippert stuck to producing. BTW, Lippert accorded himself something he never allowed other directors…an extravagant (for a Lippert production) running time of 84 minutes.
After a day of filming “Massacre” (1956) in Guatemala Producer Robert L. Lippert, Jr. was relaxing in his hotel room and heard gun shots in the room next to him. Recalling that a General was staying there, he immediately calculated it was an assassination (it was.) Lippert didn’t want to be shot as an eye witness, so he jumped out the window and ran on foot all the way to Mexico, and the cast and crew, who were staying in another hotel, departed by plane.
Again during the filming of “Massacre,” Lippert, Jr. said he was on location in a rural town where he found the electrical power was at best unreliable. Of course power was essential. To proceed with filming he went to the local airport, such as it was, which was powered by a generator. He paid off government officials to obtain the airport generator during the daytime hours. Daytime air operations ceased, and each night the generator was returned to the airport thus enabling planes to once again take off and land.
There wasn’t enough money in the production budget to afford a pirate ship in “The Black Pirates” (1954), so the movie begins with the “pirates” arriving on shore in a row boat. They never leave land for the entire movie.
Beloved character actor, Sid Melton, made 20 appearances in the early Lippert productions before becoming a TV mainstay. I asked him why he was in so many, and he replied, “Mr. Lippert had faith in me.” The fact Melton was willing to work for $140 a week may have helped. (2)
Between 1955 and 1965, Lippert co-financed and/or co-produced four European productions not released by Fox: “The Quartermass Xperiment” U.S. title, “The Creeping Unknown” (U.K./1955), a Hammer Films production released through United Artists; “The Last Man on Earth” (Italy/1964), filmed in Rome and released by American International Pictures; “Walk a Tightrope” (U.K./1965), released through Paramount; and “The Woman Who Wouldn’t Die” (U.K./1965), released through Warner Bros.
Margia Dean, Actress and Producer
Several years ago I met Margia Dean, still charming and beautiful, who appeared in 39 Lippert productions.
She revealed a story about Clint Eastwood who appeared with her in “Ambush at Cimarron Pass” (1958). Years later at a Hollywood function, she ran into the by-then renowned actor-director and couldn’t resist chiding him, “Just remember, I got top billing over you!”
Here are some more fun bits she told me on June 17, 2011: “I was executive producer of ‘The Long Rope’  starring Hugh Marlowe. That was the only one for Fox. I was associate producer on a couple of others. It came in on time and made money. I remember that I had difficulty getting respect because I was a woman [producer] and that was very rare in those days.”
“There was a scene in a little Mexican town and it was too bare, so I suggested that they have a few chickens and a stray dog for some atmosphere. Someone said “the producer wants chickens” and when I came on the set it was swarming with chickens! The writer [Robert Hamner] told me I was the best producer he ever worked for and he worked for several big producers. I remember one was Aaron Spelling.”
I remember that the star wanted some aspirin so I asked the driver to go to the drug store and get some and he replied that according to the union he couldn’t go, he could only drive, so I went along, and got the aspirin. Then, in a cantina scene I asked the prop man to put some serapes on the wall and he said he couldn’t, I would have to hire a drapery man, so I hung them! I hired the director [for “The Long Rope”, William Witney] whom I worked for in another film (Secret of the Purple Reef)  and I sensed he didn’t like taking any suggestions from me!”
* Mr. Lippert did produce, direct and or edit some good films!
The Robert L. Lippert Foundation. Good overview with biography and filmography, the latter of which I am in the process of revising.
Maury Dexter interviewed by Tom Weaver in “I Talked With a Zombie”
Interview with Margia Dean (special feature on the “Savage Drums” DVD)
Sources: Conversations between Kit Parker and Robert L. Lippert, Jr., Maury Dexter, Margia Dean and Sid Melton; issues of Motion Picture Herald and Film Daily Yearbook; the Kit Parker-Lippert Collection at the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; interviews with Maury Dexter and Sid Melton by Tom Weaver in “I Talked With a Zombie” (BearManor Media, 2011).