Thoughts on the World 3-D Film Expo II, September, 2006 (held at the
Sorry for the late posting on this; we’re just now coming up for air.The two questions that get asked more than any other are: Was the show a success and when are you doing Expo III?
The Expo was a success in every way except financially (very similar toExpo I in that regard). Though the crowds were smaller, they more than made up for that in their enthusiasm for the shows. I would say that to me, three days stood out among any others:
The opening night of the Expo with the Gala party in the courtyard of the Egyptian, followed by “Those Redheads From Seattle,” “Popeye,” and “Taza, Son of Cochise.” Rhonda Fleming was there for Redheads, as well as the Bell Sisters and Gene Barry and the composer, Ray Evans. In fact, it seemed that the entire family of the Bell Sisters was there as well! The Q&A with Leonard Maltin after Redheads was, I think, the first time the Bell Sisters had been in the public eye in quite some time and they gave us some marvelous stories about the film. Ms Fleming was, as always, beautiful and a terrific interview. A very emotional night for all.
But for a real emotional evening, nothing beat Friday, September 15. Firstly, we ran “Kiss Me Kate,” and for the first time in 50 years it was seen correctly: Wide screen, Technicolor, and magnetic stereo sound! Truly magnificent, and we had the Howard Keel family in attendance to make the evening just perfect. There were tears in many eyes at just being there for this presentation… and the theatre was packed!
The second show that evening was “The French Line,” which was attended by Jane Russell herself! I grew up in Los Angeles and am not easily star struck, but…Jane Russell! She had never seen the film when it was released (it had been condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency, so she did not attend the premiere). After the screening, I asked her what she thought of the film. She shrugged and said, “I don’t see what the big deal was.” But she’s wrong: She’s very sexy in the film and I can see why certain 1953 audience’s were put off by it.
The best moment for 3-D, I think, was Rarities II on Sunday, September 17. We promised to make some 3-D history, and I think we did. For those who have been asking for a list of what we ran, see the complete list, below.
There were other highlights: Christina Hart and Chris Condon attending the screening of the fully restored “The Stewardesses,” seeing “Diamond Wizard” and “Jivaro” for the first time ever in their original 3-D versions, and the huge crowds for the audience favorites such as “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” “House of Wax,” and “Dial M For Murder” come to mind. But finally, it was the event as a whole that did it for me. Just the idea that we’ve put on a great show and now we can….what? Is Expo III going to happen? Well, I’ve learned never to say “never” on this subject. There are still nine “Golden Age” films that have not been screened in over 50 years, so we still have quite a bit of work to do. But maybe someday Expo III will happen…just not now, please.
Thanks very much to everyone who worked on this; the “special thanks” web page is at:
And for those who would like information on the 3-D Film Preservation Fund: http://www.3dfilmpf.com
Rarities II, as seen on September 17, 2006:
1. “3-D Jamboree” Very special “Mickey Mouse Club” piece featuring Roy and Jimmy and Annette and all of the Mouseketeers. This had never been seen outside of Disneyland, and even then, not for many many years.
2. Original titles and end sequence for “New Dimensions” (1940); this footage had been cut from the 1953 re-release entitled “Motor Rhythm”.
3. Lumiere test footage (1934)
4. “Thrills For You” 1939 Pennsylvania Railroad short run at the 1939 San Francisco Exhibition and presumed lost since then.
5. Only surviving Vectograph 3-D footage
6. Crespinel test footage (1927)
7. Original dye transfer Technicolor print of “Third Dimensional Murder” (1941)
8. “New York City in 3-D” (2006) Short subject newly produced
9. “Carmenesque” (1953) New print of the only surviving footage from the unfinished Sol Lesser feature, “3-D Follies”; this footage was in 2-D.
10. “Day in the Country” (1953) This had been considered a “lost” film, until a very faded anaglyphic print surfaced. We digitally extracted the left and right eyes, then made new film elements in order to show the film (for the first time ever) in dual Polaroid projection.
11. “Kelly’s Plasticon Pictures: Thru’ the Trees Washington D.C.” (1922) This also recently surfaced, as a 35mm nitrate anaglyphic print. Again, the two eyes were digitally extracted and the footage was shown in dual projection. This footage (most of which was likely never publicly screened in 1922), is the oldest extant moving image footage. And by the way, it looks terrific.