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Thanks for the info on the restoration and showing of the films.
The period of 2002-2-03 was extremely hectic for me. As I mentioned, I caught a couple of them at that time but was too busy with work and family to be able to follow what was going on. Now I understand a bit more about what happened.
These days I'm retired and able to spend more time and thought with the Chan films.
In the late 40s and early 50 my dad owned and operated a movie theatre. I practically grew up there and saw movies several nights a week. I became hooked on all sorts of things. The Chan films were at the top of the list. When the local tv station began running them late on Wed nights a few years later I watched whenever I could stay up late. Over the years I've caught them whenever I could. It's great to find a place where other folks share my love for these films.
Watching "Castle in the Desert" last night in the chat room was lots of fun. I'll be back.
The company and the movie were both enjoyable. One thought about the film -- it was a reminder that even at the very end of Fox production the same care was taken with the films that had always been there at that studio. The atmosphere and direction hold up well today.
I have to correct one thing that Rush said:
"Every existing Charlie Chan film, except 'The Black Camel,' was restored by 20th Century-Fox."
I think Rush meant "Every existing Fox Charlie Chan film, except 'The Black Camel' . . . .
Would that they really HAD restored all of them!
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Every existing Charlie Chan film, except "The Black Camel," was restored by 20th Century-Fox. Also included in the films was "Behind That Curtain," which can barely be thought of as a Charile Chan picture, as he shows up for the last five minutes or so of the film as something of an after thought. All of the restored movies were aired, I believe, in 2002, and were set to be shown again during the ill-fated Chan festival of 2003. These films are now being released in DVD sets. Hopefully ALL of the films will eventually be issued.
Turner Classic Movies used to show five Monogram Chan films with some regularity until a few years ago: "Charlie Chan in the Secret Service," "The Chinese Cat," "The Jade Mask," "The Shanghai Cobra," and "The Scarlet Clue." All of these, plus "Meeting at Midnight" (a.k.a. "Black Magic") are on the "Charlie Chan Chanthology" released by MGM Home Entertainment in 2004. I never personally saw any other Charlie Chan movies in TCM, but have heard, I think, that some of the Fox films were shown on that network.
Thank you for your particiapation during tonight's Chat and Film Viewing!
I guess that the only Monogram films restored so far are the ones previously shown on TCM.
That is correct, as far as I know. Warner Brothers holds the rights to the rest of the Monograms (eleven of them - the final films of the series), and rumor has it that they would like to release these on DVD possibly as soon as next year. Are they currently restoring them? I have heard nothing in that regard. They also control "The Black Camel," at least in the U.S. and Canada.
I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed our humble gathering last evening.
Warners is currently conducting an extensive search for the best existing prints for the Monogram films that they control in preparation for their planned release of those films and Black Camel.
As most are aware, most circulating collector copies of these latter films are derived from 16mm prints, many with dubious quality. The Monogram library was not well maintained over the years and changed ownership several times which makes tracking down these prints difficult.
Hopefully if Warners is successful in their search we will be able to see these films the way they were meant to be seen (with a clear picture and good sound).
As has been said before, it is very important that the Fox releases do well sales wise. The better Fox does with their releases, the more effort Warners will put into theirs. Fortunately, most of the evidence points to Vol 1 being a success.
PS - Warners is also tracking down the best available prints for another Monogram series: The Bowery Boys. I suspect many Chan fans also enjoy the antics of Leo Gorcey and the immortal Huntz Hall.