On the topic of box art on package films,here in the USA I feel that Castle Films had some of the best. Ken Films were more hit and miss but their boxes still held a charm of their own.
No I didn't, what happened was that after I bought a sound projector, I was only interested in sound films, or original silent. a work colleague had bought a projector and I started him off by giving him my digests. I only have a few castle films, which are imported, come in a stout box, mostly cartoons, and boxing.
I have a collection of Castle Films in the original boxes. I have collected them for years and will not buy an 8mm print unless
its in its original box. Castle films had two types of boxes. The early ones which I prefer had lift off lids the later ones had the
flaps at the top and bottom to remove the film.
Some of Columbia boxes artwork was quite good too. Ken Films okay too but Walton Films artwork was a bit "iffy" at times.
Derann Film artwork was very variable too. Ranging from poor to very good.
Burn me at the stake chaps, but even though I thought the Castle Films Universal Horrors were top drawer, their "Mummy's Tomb" to
me being the best, Ken tended to be a bit like Walton, at times like cereal box illustrations, I have yet to see quality like the German
Marketing, UFA, or Piccolo picture cases, truly works of art in themselves. Sturdy plastic cases, a world away from the flimsy Derann plastic efforts with beautiful stills decorating the container, in Marketing's case, not the flap boxes, but the closed cover boxes adorned with
high quality stills from the film. Columbia and Ken 400's in cases were lovely as well, but they came later. Usually, I'm not too concerned with box art, the film being the point of interest, but in the German camp, I think they are the last word in quality and style.
Boxes, Cases or whatever, although nice to display I found very hit or miss. Walton's boxes were mainly poor I think. Mountain Films, the ones with a still from the film were good. I have some Columbia in just a generic box with a small title label. Derann were also poor with the exception of the Disney's covers, but that would be them insisting on quality covers. They did improve when the plastic boxes arrived, but the less said about the case the better.
Iver Films were good I think. They had a couple of different types the plastic swing open clear lid and the plastic cases in the UK might have been better than the other seemed stronger.
As I mounted my films on larger reels the boxes were not needed anyway.
All the fancy cases all added to the cost anyway so cheap could be better.
Going back to Douglas's point at #4, these Disney films are of course available in longer versions, in fact much longer!
The full length versions are not Disney releases themselves as the original WDHM were. But it WAS Disney themselves that sanctioned the deal to release full length versions through the distributor Derann and, using their very own negatives from the Disney vaults themselves.
The WDHM 200 and 400 footers released during the 70's were fabulous prints back then. In fact some of THE very best I'd ever seen back then, wonderfully sharp and with outstanding vibrant colour, but even those don't come anywhere near the print quality of these prints from the Rank labs Derann used.
Just to dispel a myth on print quality, I also did this in "Movie Maker", the Disney prints had been held up as a yardstick by Bill
Davison for years as THE best prints, He had never seen the German stuff being produced, I sent him "King Kong" for review
in his review section, along with "For A Few Dollars More" and "Django", these were streets ahead of American prints for clarity and colour.
The Marketing prints from Germany were far superior to the ones produced for the American market. I have a few of the 200' Disney reels, they are good, but not that good.
"May We All Be Truly Thankful", to quote a mealtime prayer in answer to Vidar's lament. I care not for modern film, their "stars"
or the ENDLESS shoot outs, explosions, ridiculous fight scenes, have you noticed EVERYONE is a bloody Kung Fu exponent and
the inevitable car chase, In the words of the Bard, from act II scene III of Richard the turd, "Watta loada bollocks". It just makes
me tired all over to sit through this garbage. Give me the old stuff any day.
Sir Lew Grade wanted to bring some of the glory back to Britain, by trying to be another Alexander Korda, what few films I have seen of his I thought good, but they bombed at the box office. In an interview with Maureen O'Hara about 10 years ago in a newspaper, she said she had worked with all the big stars, Edmund Gwenn, Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power, and Errol Flynn. She said 'There aren't any stars today, just people who appear in films'.
I have a print on S/8 of his "Thief of Baghdad", a film that scared the hell out of me in B/W when seen on TV as a youngster.
As for Hollywood, I love the critics and their wit, here's a couple, " I Am A Camera"..... Me No Leica, on John Wayne's "Tycoon"....
...Several tons of Dynamite are set off in this picture-----none of it under the right people. That last one just about sums up my view
of pictures today.
Just thought I would mention that I have an unmentionable copy of 'The Thief of Baghdad', I think it's the sharpest image I have ever seen, I was amazed, so much better than films made 20 or more years later. What fantastic equipment Korda must have had. I haven't read any reviews like that. It reminded me of the description of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' in a TV listing 'Holmes investigates a problem that has dogged this family for years'.