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An infuriatingly excellent restoration from The 3D Film Archive.

Do you know that the 1941 film of THE MALTESE FALCON directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart was produced as a “B” movie?

I will wager not. It, however, was.

Today when we think of “B” movies we think of low budget action films that only a cult audience cares to see.

This was not the case in the days when the studios made movies. “B” movies were free from studio interference. Depending on the crew making them they could, like THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) be “A” movies done on a “B” budget. The 1941 version was the third telling of that story.

THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE (1953), billed as “The First 3D Musical” was, surprisingly, produced as a “B.”

This was all to the good as that means there was no studio interference in its making.

The first thing that came to mind when I watched it this week in 3D on the big screen in The Cineforum was how wonderful this film felt to my eyes. 2D vision is not natural. We see in 3D. Each of us watching a regular movie gets eye strain to varying degrees.

With good 3D that does not happen. I know, I know all the stories talk about eyestrain from wearing the glasses. Like so much we read that is wrong. The eye strain comes not from the glasses but from improperly aligned 3D.

The 3D in THESE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE is aligned perfectly. This is golden age 1950s 3D probably better than it was seen anywhere at that time.

The commentary track on this film deals mostly with the technical aspects of the restoration. That, plus the excellent bonus features, brings home with polished crystal clarity why it is vital that any company looking to issue any 3D title on Blu-ray should knock on the door of The 3D Film Archive.

If not satisfied with what they first achieve The 3D Archive crew will go back and do it again until they are satisfied as Thad Komorowski, we are told, did with his work on this film.

I titled this piece “Infuriatingly excellent.”

This restoration is infuriatingly excellent because with it we can see what happens when a studio like Paramount pulls out all the stops while trusting its material to more than capable hands.

Lillian Gish said that star quality is that little bit extra we give of ourselves. In the case of The 3D Film Archive they give a lot extra. Spurred on by their love of the medium as well as their love of motion pictures this outfit is a star among stars.

The infuriating part comes from my realization of what Olive Films could have won for us had they opted for a 3D Film Archive Restoration of their upcoming release of MONEY FROM HOME (1953).

It would have been quite the feather in their cap.

Well, it ain’t.

The good news not only is that this fine restoration of THOSE REDHEADS is now in the can for posterity but also that another Paramount title, CEASE FIRE, is also in the more than capable hands of The 3D Film Archive. CEASE FIRE was actually filmed on location in Korea during the last days of the Korean War. It was filmed with actual soldiers some of whom were killed before the film was released.

Kino Lorber deserves a huge pat on the back for stepping up to bring these titles to life in the format they are meant to be seen. That means that future generations will benefit in way past generations could not.

THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE is a great movie with much to offer. I, for one, will watch anything with Agnes Moorehead.

I’m looking forward to CEASE FIRE. I hope someone steps up to the plate for MONEY FROM HOME while one of the film’s stars, Jerry Lewis, is still here to appreciate it. If that happens I will re-title this piece “Delightfully excellent.”–Reg Hartt 2017/05/18.

These people deliver star quality.





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