JACK AND THE BEANSTALK 1952 JACK AND THE BEANSTALK 1931
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JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1952)
and JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1931)
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1952) starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Buddy Baer and Dorothy Ford. Directed by Jean Yarbrough. In one of their only color film appearances, Bud and Lou star in this wonderful adaptation of the beloved fairy tale. Lou, of course, is Jack - the dimwitted young fellow who trades his family's cow for a handful of "magic" beans. While Bud, naturally, is the sly, cheap butcher who plans to get the cow. When the beans really do turn out to be magic, Bud and Lou climb the beanstalk to defeat the giant who has been terrorizing the village for years! Full of great comedy and music, this is a delightful film. The quality is top notch and the SuperCineColor process is lovely!
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1931) When Bimbo's cow gets bopped on the head by a huge stogie dropped by the giant in his cloudy domain, he decides to plant his magic beans, climb the beanstalk and give the giant a piece of his mind. When he arrives, he discovers he must also save lovely Betty, who is being held prisoner! A crazy surreal romp from the Fleischer studios! Lots of fun!
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It should also be noted that the image here isn't quite as nice as that of the Roan release. Sadly, however, the Roan version (like so many other vintage titles from Roan) is now only being offered as a DVD-R.
The "gunpowder-in-the-eggs" scene is a mess with splices and frames missing. There is severe negative damage, watermarks, etc. The color varies from OK to reddish-green. (Like old Eastmancolor.)
About the story: Put your digital TV on a softer focus and enjoy it anyway. It's a cute, short, low budget production to be sure, but not without its charm. Lou is knocked out while babysitting a precocious kid and dreams up the entire story. Of course, he is Jack and Abbott is the butcher who climbs up the beanstalk with him. The songs range from OK to terrible, but Buddy Baer plays a great giant. He's related to Max Baer (Sr.) who played the giant in "Mama's Little Pirate-Little Rascals". A bit childish, but fun and definitely for Abbott and Costello fans. (I hope I find a better copy of this film someday.)
This review is ONLY FOR THE RCF (REEL CLASSIC FILM)edition of this film.
Someone destroyed the movie by hard matting the Academy Ratio (1.37:1) presentation, and recording it on the DVD-R! as widescreen.
It thus appears letterboxed on the full frame. (Letterboxed down to 1.98:1 ratio - What did they think they were doing - Creating a VistaVision presentation? heavens).
Luckily, on my equipment, I'm able to restore the correct aspect ratio for viewing (squeezing it back to 1.33:1), but then the obvious problem is the top and bottom of the film is missing. (When was the last time you saw the "Warner Bros" logo cut off at the bottom so that you can only see about 1/2 of the WB shield?....)
At least they kept the film color presentation in tact. (Modern Story:
Black and White (Sepiatone); Fanasy story: Color (Supercinecolor))
The result is a very soft, (but clear and clean) presentation of the film on a DVD-R.
Audio....hhhmmmm... I'd like to not bother...but, since I've started: MPEG-1 dual mono at 224kbps. Remember when you had that mix-tape that you played so often that it wore thin. So thin that the sound actually started to sound like it was in a tin can -- and squeaked!!! Yep... no joke. No audio compression was applied.
Avg video Bit rate 4.88 Mbps, Total Avg Authoring Bitrate 9.0 Mbps
Okay, so maybe RCF isn't at fault here. Maybe they just presented whatever they had, so let's not lambaste them. But suffice it to say, if you can't get your hands on a better copy, this version will do quite admirable. (It is clean and clear).
But, if you're looking for something to add to the library...skip this presention RCF has distributed. Sadly, I don't have any other copy but an old VHS...maybe I'll take that to the local video store and let them convert it... it can't be any worse.
Thanks for the nice try RCF...but back to the drawing board for this one.