A studio B quality.

#1 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:44 pm

During the golden age of Hollywood, film studios came under three categories, A studios, such as Warner, M.G.M; B studios, such as Columbia, Republic, Universal, and those described as Poverty Row. It might surprise you to know that in the 1930s the top of the A list of studios was R.K.O; yet their films always have the look of a B movie about them. Universal Films were only saved from bankruptcy by the popularity of Abbott & Costello: Universal Studios films have the sharpest images of any that I have seen, and they produced most of those wonderful Audie Murphy westerns. I don't know whether Columbia ever climbed the ladder to be regarded as an A studio, but they produced those wonderful Harryhausen films, and in 1962 produced 'Damn the Defiant' at their British studio, which was the equal of anything put out by Warner's in the 30s.



Robert Crewdson

RE: A studio B quality.

#2 by David Hardy ( deleted ) , Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:55 pm

Those Universal Studios prints are usually very good but I do have a slightly " questionable" complete feature of "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" on 16mm film. It may be an ex TV copy. The image is a bit flat and lacks contrast. The Castle Films 16mm edited edition is outstanding.


David Hardy

A studio B quality.

#3 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:26 pm

It does sound like a TV print you have there David. One of mine is low contrast which does spoil it slightly. Have you noticed frequent cue marks?



Robert Crewdson
Last edited Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:23 pm | Top

RE: A studio B quality.

#4 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:26 pm

I remember in the late 70s/early 80s first hearing of Universal 8; they brought out a few features; they were issued in hard white plastic library cases. I bought 'Scarface' 1932, I think the cost was about £80 compared to the average price of £60. I was disappointed with the quality, I expected better. One of the sharpest Super 8 prints I have is the Columbia digest 'Two Fisted Law' with Tim McCoy, and a very young john Wayne, 1932.



Robert Crewdson

RE: A studio B quality.

#5 by David Hardy ( deleted ) , Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:47 pm

I cant remember if there is any cue marks Robert. I always thought the Universal 8 print quality was not very good or consistent when compared with the Castle Films originals. Yes Columbia did release some cracking good prints. The B/W ones were brilliant. Looked as good as 16mm.
Unlike good old Derann Films and Walton Films whose prints could be very grainy , flat and "soot & whitewash" at times.


David Hardy

RE: A studio B quality.

#6 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:29 pm

To some people Derann could do no wrong, but I had a few duff prints; the worst is an Errol Flynn trailer reel, on the leader it says Canterbury Films.



Robert Crewdson

RE: A studio B quality.

#7 by Panayotis A. Carayannis ( deleted ) , Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:34 pm

You've had me confused.Three subjects in one paragraph.Are we speaking about the look of the film studios ? RKO in the thirties,cheap look! Universal in the forties,Abbott and Costello.Universal in the fifties,Audie Murphy.Columbia in the fifties and sixties,Ray Harryhausen.Or are we speaking of how "my 16 mm print is..." ,or about the Derann 8 mm print quality?
Incidentally,the Flynn trailer reel is a Canterbury print,not Derann!!


Panayotis A. Carayannis

RE: A studio B quality.

#8 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:43 pm

I was talking about how RKO films had the look of a B movie, but they were the top studio of their day, everything I have seen with the exception of 'Gunga Din', and the Fred Astaire movies looked cheap, right up until Howard Hughes sold off the studio. Universal, which were a B movie studio produced better looking films. Columbia was also a B studio, but they were the equal of many of the larger studios.

The Flynn trailer reel I have was issued by Derann, but says Canterbury on the leader, so looks like they issued this illegally.



Robert Crewdson
Last edited Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:44 pm | Top

   

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