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 Posted:   Jan 23, 2012 - 10:05 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I went to the MOMA screening of the restored SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON about 15 years ago. First they ran a few minutes of the prints currently in circulation - an awful mess printed from a neg that had turned almost completely yellow. Then they flipped over to the new print. Absolutely fantastic. I don't know how many YELLOW RIBBON DVD's there have been. I got the first one that came out and thought it was fine. For years I had a partially faded Eastman print until I managed to land a "blue track" dye-transfer print (struck the year of release - same as my print of TYCOON). The color variation in the landscape is really amazing.

Also, several years ago I went to the Technicolor festival at the Egyptian Theater in LA. They ran YELLOW RIBBON. The print was 35mm dye transfer and had square cue marks in the upper left hand corner. So it was obviously either the NY or LA RKO station's air print from the mid-fifties when both stations ran 35mm.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2012 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Ray Faiola:
... I don't know how many YELLOW RIBBON DVD's there have been. I got the first one that came out and thought it was fine. For years I had a partially faded Eastman print until I managed to land a "blue track" dye-transfer print (struck the year of release - same as my print of TYCOON). The color variation in the landscape is really amazing.
...


Did the restoration at the MOMA or the 1950s dye-transfer print at the Egyptian Theater capture the amazing color variations in the landscape found in your 1949 dye-transfer print?

If you ever decide to screen that 1949 print in L.A. area I hope you'll let us all know. That would be worth the drive.

TYCOON is another early color film I'd love to see on Blu-ray.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2012 - 4:45 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)



Did the restoration at the MOMA or the 1950s dye-transfer print at the Egyptian Theater capture the amazing color variations in the landscape found in your 1949 dye-transfer print?

If you ever decide to screen that 1949 print in L.A. area I hope you'll let us all know. That would be worth the drive.

TYCOON is another early color film I'd love to see on Blu-ray.


Richard


Yes - both. YCM did great lab work on the restoration. But we're talking about projected film prints. Once a video engineer gets into the act, it all becomes subjective. Of course, some films have been tinkered with even in the lab. GONE WITH THE WIND went through endless "restorations", each looking very different from the other.

As for TYCOON, it's been a childhood favorite of mine since the days of Million Dollar Movie (when it was only shown in B&W). Most people think it a colossal bore. And, frankly, objectively I suppose it is. It's just one of those pictures that grabbed me early and I still enjoy it. It was also one of those Technicolor films that was reissued theatrically in B&W with new title sequences shot. Same as with DODGE CITY.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 4, 2012 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I like TYCOON. I can enjoy it for the color and composition alone, and for the presence of the actors all of whom I enjoy in almost anything they're in. I admit it's not exciting, but it's not the kind of story you see every day, either. I don't require that the film achieve greatness.

I'd like to see TYCOON on Blu-ray, along with FLYING LEATHERNECKS and JET PILOT.

But we're talking about projected film prints. Once a video engineer gets into the act, it all becomes subjective. Of course, some films have been tinkered with even in the lab. GONE WITH THE WIND went through endless "restorations", each looking very different from the other.

Yes, and some "restorations" of GONE WITH THE WIND are totally off the wall. The "Four Disc Collectors Edition" for instance. The color in that was yet another felony in the long list of felonies perpetrated by Ned Price at Warner Brothers. How does he get away with it? Why don't they fire him? Is he a major stockholder or something? Some "video engineers" as you call them have no grounding in film. Even when they have the original lab notes and reference elements to work with, they think they know better. One finds the most consistently wrong color and gamma in the early color films coming out of Warner Brothers Home Video. The increased sharpness and detail makes consumers overlook the color and gamma offenses, unaware that they can have both if only they insist on it.

Yellow on the brain.


Richard

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 2:42 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Bumped.

I would like to personally thank haineshisway for his crusade on behalf of THE SEARCHERS.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   That Neil Guy   (Member)

A new book on The Searchers comes out next week: http://amzn.to/VRLlb3

It looks like it could be really interesting.

"In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told and re-told over generations to become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas and one-act plays, and in the 1950s to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, "The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest... and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made!" directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.
Glenn Frankel, beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history: it is of the inevitable triumph of white civilization, underpinned by anxiety about the sullying of white women by "savages." What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America."

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Film historians are not, as a rule, social historians. The discipline of history is a science requiring a different set of skills from film history. I hope the author of that book gets the story of Cynthia Ann Parker right or leaves it alone. It's so easy to make the wrong assessment and to jump to the wrong conclusions.


Cynthia Ann Parker

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_Ann_Parker

The stories of women and children kidnapped by Indians on the Colonial frontier and the American west are hair-raising indeed. You should read the eyewitness accounts. Many of them witnessed the barbarous massacre of their parents and families before they were used as sex slaves. Some of them preferred to stay with the tribes rather be returned to a life of shame and humiliation among their own race. Cynthia Ann Parker's ordeal occurred long before "Stockholm syndrome" defined why kidnap victims would side with their kidnappers and abusers, and long before there was a therapy to deal with it. When she was recovered, she chopped off her hair and bared her breasts in protest. Then she breast-fed her Indian baby for the picture. The photograph was commercialized and inflamed public opinion against the Comanches in Texas. It was her way of telling the white men that she did not want to be rescued, and reminded them of their failure to protect her when it still mattered. She went insane.

There are many books about Indian captives and a couple of good biographies on Cynthia Ann Parker. There's also a couple of really twisted biographies in which the writers pontificate on how living with the Comanches put her in touch with nature and all that other flaky bullshit.

Alan LeMay lived in central Texas, where the story of Cynthia Ann Parker happened, and wrote about what he knew and heard from oldtimers there. All his western novels are authentic in terms of understanding the time and place. He gets the behavior and thought process of the pioneer right. The Searchers became his most famous story. In the novel, the Indian chief is named Blue Bonnet which happens to be the name of the state flower. In naming the Indian chief Blue Bonnet, Le May is telling us that he's as indigenous to the landscape as the soil itself, a metaphor that works remarkably well in the book. The filmmakers change his name to Scar, to tell us the psychological and emotional impact he has on the lives of the people he attacks. Ethan Edwards is forever scarred by what happened at the cabin, like Cynthia Ann Parker was forever scarred by witnessing the butchering of her family and being raised as a savage and used by savages. Other kidnappings, specifically the Oatman child sisters in Arizona, eom Ethan Edwards meets briefly clinging to each other as they stare wide-eyed at him at the fort, also inform the story.

Neither LeMay nor John Ford intended to tell a story about racial prejudice. They both understood that the story of Cynthia Ann Parker is really about rape followed by the subsequent descent into savagery, and the impact of rape on those who love her.

Although it is not a literal biography of Cynthia Ann Parker by any means, THE SEARCHERS is essentially a movie about rape.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   That Neil Guy   (Member)

Here's the author's bio

Glenn Frankel worked for nearly thirty years for the Washington Post, as a reporter, a foreign correspondent, and editor of the Washington Post Magazine. As Jerusalem bureau chief, he won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for "sensitive and balanced reporting from Israel and the Middle East." His first book, Beyond the Promised Land: Jews and Arabs on the Hard Road to a New Israel won the National Jewish Book Award. His second, Rivonia's Children: Three Families and the Cost of Conscience in White South Africa was a finalist for South Africa's prestigious Alan Paton Award. Frankel has been an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellow and a Hearst Visiting Professional in the Department of Communication at Stanford. He is currently the Director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   That Neil Guy   (Member)

double post

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

So the author is an accredited journalist. How nice. Oftentimes the most misleading and misinterpreted history is written by journalists. They don't know how to reconstruct historical evidence, and they routinely misconstrue myths for facts. The social science of history is a different discipline from journalism requiring a different training and a different way of thinking. But I suppose a journalism background is better than nothing. It is sufficient for writing film history, at any rate.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2013 - 6:27 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

Neil, that sounds really interesting. Thanks for the heads up.

 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2013 - 4:41 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

My brother-in-law is a journalist. Believe me, History is in trouble!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 19, 2013 - 8:47 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I found a recent article today about movies that should have won Oscars and did not. Some mentioned were films like Vertigo, Singing in the Rain, etc. I thought the comments posted below about The Searchers were very interesting. I loved to hear from some of you about how you think The Searchers influenced some of the other later movies referred to in this article.

The Searchers" (1956)

What movie most influenced the "American renaissance" filmmakers of the '70s? If you answered "The Searchers," take a cigar, pilgrim. This towering Western, acclaimed as the supreme example of its genre, the masterwork of director John Ford, featuring the best performance ever given by John Wayne, and firmly ensconced as one of the Ten Best Films of All Time in international polls devoted to such things, has left its DNA in dozens of later movies, from "Taxi Driver" to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Star Wars." Each year, new audiences discover its visual grandeur, shattering power, and the enigma of its monstrous hero Ethan Edwards: long before it became fashionable to take a "revisionist" view of frontier life, Manifest Destiny, and the Indian wars, Ford and Wayne had wrestled with the demonic side of Western myth and achieved a deeper, more disturbing complexity than anyone would afterward.

And yet in 1956 "The Searchers" came and went as just another, perhaps slightly above-average Western. The film, director Ford, John Wayne, supporting actor Ward Bond, the never-more-vivid Technicolor and VistaVision cinematography by Winton C. Hoch — none received an Oscar; none was even nominated. Probably they didn't expect to be, given the way both the industry and the culture regarded Westerns then. As Ethan Edwards would say, "That'll be the day!"

And the 1956 Oscar went to ... "Around the World in Eighty Days

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2013 - 12:47 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)


And yet in 1956 "The Searchers" came and went as just another, perhaps slightly above-average Western. The film, director Ford, John Wayne, supporting actor Ward Bond, the never-more-vivid Technicolor and VistaVision cinematography by Winton C. Hoch — none received an Oscar; none was even nominated.
And the 1956 Oscar went to ... "Around the World in Eighty Days


Did it really just come and go? I was a child when I saw it with the family in 1956 but it seemed to me to be a lot more than just an average western - it certainly had a very strong impact on me and I never forgot the film. My parents were not western fans but the film must have generated a lot of critical and public atttention for it to have been a family visit. As for it not being recognised in the Academy Awards, well that's irrelevant because many great films were never even nominated and the Academy rarely gave awards in those days for such genres as westerns or thrillers.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2013 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I was just pulling a quotation from the Internet, Doug. I too thought The Searchers stuck around in theaters for a while. My family went to see it when it opened.

I'm curious about the first western to win some Oscars. Was Eastwood's Unforgiven the first western to win a best picture Oscar? I know Dances With Wolves won an Oscar. I wonder if actors in westerns won Oscars before Unforgiven? Somebody here at FSM would know.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2013 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I was just pulling a quotation from the Internet, Doug. I too thought The Searchers stuck around in theaters for a while. My family went to see it when it opened.

I'm curious about the first western to win some Oscars. Was Eastwood's Unforgiven the first western to win a best picture Oscar? I know Dances With Wolves won an Oscar. I wonder if actors in westerns won Oscars before Unforgiven? Somebody here at FSM would know.




Joan.....

I would say that CIMARRON, based on the expansive novel by Edna Ferber, and which won an Oscar for Best Production in 1930/31, was a variety of "western"---an "opening and settling of the western frontier" kind of film.

Warner Baxter, playing "The Cisco Kid" in IN OLD ARIZONA, won the Best Actor award in 1928/29.

So.....Oscar-winning westerns go way back, not to forget Gary Cooper's Oscar for HIGH NOON, Walter Brennan's supporting Oscar for THE WESTERNER in 1940, etc.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2013 - 11:03 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Manderley, I didn't know any of that information. I really love the western genre and am glad to see early Oscars. Thanks for the information.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2013 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)


And yet in 1956 "The Searchers" came and went as just another, perhaps slightly above-average Western.


Did it really just come and go? I was a child when I saw it with the family in 1956 but it seemed to me to be a lot more than just an average western - it certainly had a very strong impact on me and I never forgot the film..



THE SEARCHERS was the sixth highest grossing film of 1956, pulling in about $8.5 million, behind only:

1. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ($43.0 mil.)
2. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS ($23.1 mil.)
3. GIANT ($14.1 mil.)
4. WAR AND PEACE ($12.5 mil.)
5. THE KING AND I ($9.0 mil.)

THE SEARCHERS had rentals of $4.9 million against a budget of $3.75 million.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2013 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)


And yet in 1956 "The Searchers" came and went as just another, perhaps slightly above-average Western.


Did it really just come and go? I was a child when I saw it with the family in 1956 but it seemed to me to be a lot more than just an average western - it certainly had a very strong impact on me and I never forgot the film..



THE SEARCHERS was the sixth highest grossing film of 1956, pulling in about $8.5 million, behind only:

1. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ($43.0 mil.)
2. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS ($23.1 mil.)
3. GIANT ($14.1 mil.)
4. WAR AND PEACE ($12.5 mil.)
5. THE KING AND I ($9.0 mil.)

THE SEARCHERS had rentals of $4.9 million against a budget of $3.75 million.


Thanks Bob. I suspected it must have been a "big" film at the time.

 
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