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 film itself is fairly enjoyable for the young at heart and A&B fans. It's of course very juvenile, but has its charms. If you grew up watching it, then you will have fond memories of it. It's not their best film, but a worthy addition to any A&B film fan's collection.
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.)
Granted, the usual irritating mannerisms weren't plentiful - but there was still plenty of, "Why, you..." and fist shaking.
This movie most notably lacked a good script. It took some good ideas (the Jack story is embedded in a modern-day tale of babysitting for a bratty little kid, some potentially charming embellishments on the fairy tale itself), but the writing (this thing must have been churned out in a week or two) didn't do anything with them. The songwriting and choreography are similarly uninspired.
The other thing that wasn't there was quality acting/directing (for example, the giant spends most of his time standing around looking threatening).
My sons (4 and 5) are big movie fans, and will sit and watch almost anything - they lost interest in this within a few minutes. I made the mistake of continuing to watch, waiting for something good to happen. It never did.
So heres the details on the Good Times Home Video Version
Filmed in 1951 (release 1952) using the "Spherical" Cinematographic Process in the Academy Standard Ratio of 1.37:1, this presentation gives us the Full Frame (1.33:1) which is exactly what the director intended us to see.
The original coloring of the film was as so:
** Modern Story:Black and White (Sepiatone);
** Fanasy story: Color (Supercinecolor)
This DVD-5, MPEG2 encoded Movie was about 7 Mbps on Average (with the total disc at 7.16 Mbps)
The audio is a little weak, but definitely clear and intelligible. Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dual Mono) at 192 Kbps.
While the film still appears a bit washed out in comparison to modern presentations, it STELLAR!!! for a 1952 public domain film presentation on DVD. Hence, on a scale of 1-5 (3 being average modern DVD) this would score at 2.85/5) Very good indeed. (Especially in comparison to the "Reel Classic Film" edition of this movie. Just don't buy that version as long as this one is available.)
Pick it up ... its worth the collection!