Posts Tagged ‘horror movies’
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
The Fiend Without a Face…
…became Richard Gordon’s most well known movie, but most film fans do not know his name because he generally didn’t take a screen credit. On the other hand, classic horror movie fans know him well as the producer of “The First Man Into Space,” “The Haunted Strangler,” “Corridors of Blood,” and many others.
I first met Richard Gordon over 30 years ago when he sold rights to one of my movies. He began Gordon Films, Inc. in 1949 as an international sales agent importing and exporting films to the United States, and was still going strong over 60 years later. He was the consummate film fan, particularly of movies from the 1930s, who knew every bit player as if they were family members. During that time he produced two dozen, mostly horror movies, and was the last person living who had worked with both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Dick was working on a deal to sell a few of my movies to England when he was stricken a few months ago.
Dick was born in England in 1925, and was a textbook example of an English gentleman; reserved, articulate, private, well spoken, respectful, cultured (he had an amazing art collection,) mannerly (the type who would stand up when a lady got up from the table), and a canny businessman. He upheld a custom, from an era of long ago, of hanging up pictures of his clients on the wall behind his desk. But there was a lot more to Richard Gordon.
Dick and his friend Joe Cattuti, were devoted to each other, and the two of them travelled around the world for half a century. Dick and Joe, and my wife, Donna, and I, had dinners with them which always lasted over 3 hours. Joe and Donna would talk about all kinds of things, but it always started out about fashions. Dick and I focused on movies: How it was going to the movies as a child in England; how he and his brother, Alex*, asked strangers to accompany them into horror movies (there was an “H,” for horror, rating which excluded youngsters from attending without an adult,) his time in the British Navy in WWII where he learned German (and how it helped him in business), how his father, whose favorite movie was “The Thief of Bagdad” (1924), hated his own job and encouraged his sons to go to America and give a shot at their passion.
I asked him what he thought about the fact that each of his movies entertained millions. He looked bemused and responded, “Well, not quite millions.” I defended my math: First there were movie theatres, then countless airings on TV, and later cable, satellite, VHS, DVD, and now video on demand…all around the world. He paused for a few seconds and the look on his face told me he had never actually thought of it that way before. (Tens of millions would be more like it.)
One year I met him in Pittsburg at a horror convention where lots of old movies are shown, and old stars would sit in a room and autograph stills for a fee. On the flight there I thought to myself that it would be completely out of character for Dick to charge for an autograph; that he’d find it undignified, as well as disrespectful to his fans. When I got there he was signing autographs, and not only didn’t charge for them, he provided the stills.
Richard Gordon, a class act.
If you can only read one book over the next year, let it be “The Horror Hits of Richard Gordon”
Richard Gordon’s producer-brother, Alex, also had an interesting life in the movies:
“Bombproof,” in equestrian jargon, is a horse that can be put into any situation, remain calm, and persevere until the job is done perfectly.
Author Tom Weaver is just that way with interviews. The ones he’s conducted with horror movie stars, directors and producers, throughout a couple of dozen books…are all winners. He bats a thousand.
His latest, “The Horror Films of Richard Gordon” (BearManor Media, 2011), just came out, and I can’t wait to get my copy. A Weaver/Gordon combo is guaranteed to be a page-turner.
Out of many interviews, there have been occasions when the interviewees are problems…want to give only “yes and no” answers, are boring, senile, or even drunk! Even if all four, and the house is on fire, Tom somehow perseveres. He prepares in advance, and works harder conducting interviews than anyone I’ve known. He just makes it look so eeeeasy.
I first met Tom a few years ago when he agreed to come from his home in Sleepy Hollow,New York, toLos Angeles, and conduct interview/commentary tracks for one of my “Positively No Refunds” DVD double-features. I’ve met him a couple of times since, and he’s always comes across as a warm, thoughtful, teddy-bearish sort of guy…quick-witted, a master of plays on words…with a radio voice. He loves to wear comfortable clothes (I’ve never seen him in anything other than well-worn shorts and t-shirts,) and eat comfort food (packs more cholesterol in a day than most people do in a week, maybe two).
Now that I’ve introduced the Tom I know, the movies on the “No Refunds” DVD are “Bride and the Beast” (1958) and “White Gorilla” (1945). Charlotte Austin, star of “Bride” was one of the participants, along with beloved science fiction movie icon, Bob Burns. Both movies had “gorillas” in them, and for those who don’t know, Bob is the expert on movie gorillas. “Bride” bit-player Slick Slavin (Trustin Howard) also joined them. Tom didn’t need to worry about bomb-proofing with this group…just wind them up and let ‘em roll. The funniest commentary tracks I’ve produced so far!
People ask me how I come up with those witty descriptions of my movies on the back of DVD covers. The answer is easy…I don’t write them – Tom Weaver does.
The Horror Hits of Richard Gordon:
Other Tom Weaver interview books:
Charlotte Austin’s Filmography:
Bob Burns’ web site:
“Bride and the Beast” Trailer:
“White Gorilla” Trailer:
Bride and the Beast/White Gorilla “Positively No Refunds” DVD: