The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Discussion On All Aspects Of The Film.

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The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby AlamoMo on Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:24 pm

Saving The Alamo

In his most recent Digital Bits column, restoration guru Robert Harris has announced a full-on drive
to raise enough cash to digitally restore two versions of John Wayne's The Alamo -- a 172-minute
general release cut, which would be rendered in either 70mm or in digital 2K or 4K, and the full-boat
192-minute road show version (not counting the overture, entr'acte and exit music).

Image


A frame of the original 70mm print of The Alamo as it exists today.

How many people out there are dying to see the three hour and 12 minute version of Wayne's 1960
epic, restored to full and glorious perfection? Well, myself for one. I'm totally queer for lustrous large-
format films of the '50s and '60s. But this project isn't about anticipating public clamour as much as
doing the right thing by a solid, engaging, well-crafted film about true-blue patriotism, and especially
one valued by old-school conservatives who believe that preserving the memory of a valorous episode
in Texas history is an essential, sacred duty.

The 172-minute version will be strictly intended for theatrical screenings while the 192-minute version
will be accessible only on DVD and Bluray.

I've been hearing about this project for years, but a commitment from MGM to render a 70mm print at
the end of the year-long restoration process has been secured. Various other parties have stepped up to
the financial plate in terms of pledges and whatnot. There's no question that this beautifully shot, slightly
stodgy epic needs to be digitally restored, as the original visual elements are pretty much degraded and
cracked and faded all to hell. Is The Alamo a great film? No, but it's a pretty good one, and Harris's new
venture deserves respect.

Link To Article:

http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2009/03/ ... e_alam.php

Many thanks to Cole_Blooded for sending me this to post
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:00 pm

Better than nothing, but still no Director's Cut theatrical release, which is what we've all been pining for, anyhow.
The DVD transfer from the laser disc Director's Cut should be simple; no great restoration effort needed there.
It's the completely restored THEATRICAL print that is a must, now. Don't they at least have an extant 70mm print
of the short version? Why not just take the damaged bits from the destroyed 70mm Canadian print, restore them
and then merely splice them back into the shorter print? Of course the colour contrast between the restored segments
and original short print might not be avoidable but I say it's still worth a try. What do you say?
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Seguin on Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:02 am

Great news, except for the fact that they don´t intend to make a directors cut theatrical release. I wonder why not?

Nef, you raise a couple of good points. As for the colour contrast, if they splice those two versions together, I´m sure they could even it out somehow so the colours would be same in the end. They must have some kinda technology to do that. Or they could colour each frame, much the same way they do with old black and white films.

Btw, is´nt it possible to show the directors cut in a theater even if it´s on a disc instead of film? Don´t they have some kind of projector for that?
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Cole_blooded on Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:17 am

A wonderful article here concerning John Wayne`s The Alamo! ;)

TED COLE....aka....Cole_blooded 8-)

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/ ... 32009.html
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby AlamoMo on Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 am

Thanks for posting this further update Ted

" This Will Be Worth Keeping An Eye On "

I would love to hear John's and the Marshal's thoughts on this one ????

Regards

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Reb_Al on Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:34 pm

Nefarious wrote:Better than nothing, but still no Director's Cut theatrical release, which is what we've all been pining for, anyhow.
The DVD transfer from the laser disc Director's Cut should be simple; no great restoration effort needed there.
It's the completely restored THEATRICAL print that is a must, now. Don't they at least have an extant 70mm print
of the short version? Why not just take the damaged bits from the destroyed 70mm Canadian print, restore them
and then merely splice them back into the shorter print? Of course the colour contrast between the restored segments
and original short print might not be avoidable but I say it's still worth a try. What do you say?


On the site where the article regarding the Alamo restoration there is a message board here are a couple of quotes:

Everything would be performed using 65mm pre-print and / or 70mm print. In the end, we would expect that over 800,000 65mm frames would be scanned at 8k resolution, plus another 45,00 frame of VistaVision.
The sections of the surviving 70mm print necessary to reconstruct the Roadshow version would be optically printed to Eastman 5272 in the VistaVision format, and then scanned in 6k for further attention.
MGM performed preservation work on the Roadshow audio several years ago as part of their ongoing asset protection program, so fortunately one problem is solved.
Keep in mind that these elements are now fifty years old.

Both versions will be available for DVD and Blu-ray. The new theatrical version would be the shorter of the two but with Roadshow music, based upon the need for perfection of image, which will not be totally attainable for the additional footage with the exception of about a five minute sequence. As I'm certain you're aware, projecting an image on a 50-70 foot screen necessitates superb quality.
Image
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby michaelalamo on Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:42 pm

Preview: The Alamo Restoration
Hi,
This was just sent to me by England's Laurence Golbey. It seems they are really trying to save John
Wayne's epic film, The Alamo.

In the article they describe exactly what is going on with the print at this time. It doesn't look too
good. The film has gone pink and is showing signs of "vinegar syndrome". The good news is that
it still can be saved and there are people contributing to do just that. But they might need our
help.

Here is the article.
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/ ... index.html

Mike
Image

NOTE: Mike, I've moved your post over here, as we're already discussing the restoration of the Director's Cut here. Thanks. -Ned-
Image
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby AlamoAl on Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:53 am

Great articles , I certainly hope to see a Roadshow /directors cut of this film somtime in the future. ;) I have the laser disc and a friend can record it for me :D (He did tivo the film when it ran last Tuesday the 17th.) Having a storebrought restored DVD is what I am looking forward to; :D however the idea of a chance to see it on the big screen again just tingles my toes right thru to my fingers. :o Thanks for the articles guys. :D
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby MUSTANG on Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:27 am

Where I spoke to the Director of Licensing at Wayne Enterprises, they said they didn't have any indication that an expanded 50th Anniversary edition would be forthcoming.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:37 pm

That makes sense since they don't own it. Isn't it MGM/UA's? Don't they have the say so of what is going to be done and is this actually going to happen? I'd love to see the film again in a theatre but I live just outside Toledo and we don't get re-issues even though they have restored the theatre it originally played here when I saw it as a kid. Actually they revamped it and it's not anything like it was. Younger people were in charge and had no idea what it was like to spend a few hours in the dark in a masterpiece of movie palace.
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The Reconstruction & Restoration of The Alamo

Postby Robert Harris on Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:33 pm

Alamo John UK has suggested that I join your group and update you to what is occurring. As an introduction, please visit this web address:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/ ... 32009.html

Donations are now being accepted via check, but credit card (followed hopefully by Paypal) will set by 8 April.

This restoration has been in the works for half a dozen years, and can now be accomplished as digital technology and
new processes which we are creating will finally allow us to move forward, beginning with an 8k digital scan of the
surviving 65mm elements.

The final result will be two versions of the film:

The General Release version in 70mm and 4k Digital Cinema with Overture, Entr'acte, Intermission tag and Exit Music.

The Roadshow prepared for home video only, in both Blu-ray and standard definition DVD. The overall quality of the cut footage will not hold up to
projection on huge screens.

It should be noted that the actual Roadshow has never before been seen on home video. What is generally considered to be a roadshow home video release is in realty... not.

It is our goal to bring John Wayne's epic film The Alamo back to Texas in 70mm this time next year!

Any aid toward saving the Alamo will be greatly appreciated.

RAH
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Re: The Reconstruction & Restoration of The Alamo

Postby AlamoMo on Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:50 pm

Robert

Once you have Pay Pal up and running you can count on me
for a donation towards this wonderful cause you are involved in and
I for one look forward the seeing the dream completed and once again
watching The Alamo in all it's glory on the big screen in 70mm

Can I wish you once again good luck Robert

Regards

Mo
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby NefariousNed on Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:38 pm

Once again, welcome, Robert Harris. QUESTION: Why won’t the restored footage hold up to being projected onto a large screen? Cannot a restored 70mm print copy be made of the cut footage only and then interspersed into an existing 70mm print of the short version of the film? (Given there is an existing 70mm print of the short version, that is.)
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Robert Harris on Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:51 pm

The extant 70mm print is a large step down from the quality of the dye layers held within the original 65mm negative and separation masters.

Because the print has no color and is faded, the color must come from another source of even lower quality.

To attempt to intercut between the high quality original elements and dupes would be quite disruptive toward viewing the film on huge screens. For that reason, the Roadshow will only be available for home video. A Blu-ray release would still hold up nicely on a 10+ foot screen.

The Alamo is a film with amazing cinematography, and it is extremely important to keep the quality at the highest level possible from shot to shot, and scene to scene.

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Davy on Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:00 pm

You see how it is fellas ... its dun broke and it needs ta be fixed as best he can! The fly in the buttermilk is some of it is missin I reckon ... so I reckon we all must do our share ... so brung on the PAY PAL! :D

Thank you kindly for your work on it Mr. Harris sir! We do appreciate it, & glad you are here as well

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:34 am

Robert,

I've been following your attempts at this restoration, and wish you the best at preserving my favorite film of all times for posterity. And I am VERY curious to know what the difference would be between the home video "directors cut" release and the actual "road show" version. I had thought all that was missing was the Todd-AO title frames. The full-length video version seems to coincide with the Dialogue Continuity -- unless the differences come in non-dialogue action sequences represented in the dialogue continuity only by a description of the sounds.

I will try to send everybody your way that I can, from the streets of Alamo Village.

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby MUSTANG on Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:00 am

Robert, I too, welcome you to the Forum and commend you on such a worthwhile endeavor. Hopefully, others feel the same way and will contribute to the restoration. I am confused as well regarding your comment regarding the "road show" version comparison.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Robert Harris on Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:50 pm

Thanks for the kind welcome.

When we do a restoration or reconstruction, we research, measure, create and continually work with a continuity which serves as a guide
of what the film should be. We work with synchronizers, foot by foot and frame by frame. There are a couple of differences between the
video version of the Roadshow and the actual Roadshow. The first hits during the main title sequence with a missing Todd-AO credit.
The second that we noted is in a sequence as Mr. Wayne and Mr. Widmark exit Travis's HQ and have a discussion in the street.

To best illustrate the difference between the two, here is a continuity page as the film properly exists, as opposed to a re-cut of bits of
shots to cover damage. The shots in question are 38-40. As a quick guide the meanings of the numbers are as follows: The first is the
footage in feet and frames at which the shot begins on the reel. The second is the end of the shot. The third is the actual length of the
individual shot. The fourth is the shot number, followed by brief description. NOTE: I'm unaware of the function of tabs in this software
so information appears formatted to the left. Shots not in General Release version are in RED

As a note, all numbers equate to 35mm print as reference, which runs at 90 feet per minute, 1 1/2 feet per second.

MS = Medium Shot; LUS = Long Up Shot; MCS = Medium Close Shot; LS = Long Shot; MLS = Medium Long Shot.

FG = Foreground; BG = Background; BTC = Back to Camera

Compare to your video and you'll spot the differences. Hope this is helpful.

THE ALAMO

Reel 5B
Page Three


137-0 160-10 23-11 21 MS Harvey next to wagon - turns, exits FG L followed
by Wayne and Widmark


160-11 172-9 11-15 22 LUS Harvey / Wayne / Widmark up stairs - Curtis
nearby - enter Travis’ quarters


172-10 189-6 16-13 23 MS Int. Day Travis’ Quarters - Travis / Wayne /
Widmark enter room - pan L to inc O’Brien


189-7 233-4 43-14 24 MS O’Brien / Wayne - child enters BG - O’Brien starts
to turn BG


233-5 303-14 70-10 25 MS O’Brien through door BG - closes door leaving
Wayne with Curtis - Curtis exits L - Widmark / Harvey
enter R - pull back inc Curtis L - Harvey offers cigars -
Wayne sits BTC


303-15 322-13 18-15 26 MCS Wayne / Curtis


322-14 372-4 49-7 27 MCS Harvey / Widmark - Widmark walks to BG


372-5 381-11 9-7 28 MCS Wayne / Curtis


381-12 385-2 3-7 29 MCS Harvey - Widmark BG BTC


385-3 388-1 2-15 30 MCS Wayne / Curtis


388-2 433-15 45-14 31 MCS Harvey - Widmark BG BTC - Widmark turns,
walks to FG


434-0 438-12 4-13 32 MS Harvey / Widmark - Curtis / Wayne BTC L -
Widmark exits R - Wayne / Curtis rise


438-13 442-15 4-3 33 MS Widmark walks to door, stops


443-0 450-5 7-6 34 MS Curtis / Wayne / Harvey


450-6 453-10 3-5 35 MS Widmark exits R


453-11 504-12 51-2 36 MS Curtis / Wayne / Harvey - Wayne exits R


504-13 537-4 32-8 37 LS Ext. Travis’ Quarters Day - Wayne down stairs to
Widmark


537-5 552-7 15-3 38 MCS Widmark - Wayne BTC R


552-8 561-4 8-13 39 MCS Wayne - Widmark BTC L


561-5 566-13 5-9 40 MS Widmark / Wayne - Wayne exits FG L


566-14 574-7 7-10 41 MLS Wills stands on wagon men around
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Davy on Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:59 pm

Ok .. its clear to me now! :o :lol:

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby MUSTANG on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:09 pm

Robert, aren't the "red" scenes the "pyrotechnics" sequence?
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Robert Harris on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:18 pm

You got it!
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby AlamoMo on Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:56 pm

Totally Mind Blowing Stuff

Well done to all involved

Regards

Mo
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby MUSTANG on Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:05 pm

Robert, is the Deluxe Letter Box Edition of the Restored Director's Cut (laser disc version) then the original Roadshow version, or does that have missing elements as well?
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Robert Harris on Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:07 pm

The laserdisc is NOT the original Roadshow. Close, but no cigar.

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby MUSTANG on Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:38 am

Robert, please check your PM.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Robert Harris on Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:12 pm

We have been adjusting our fundraising plans and will be seeking Corporate sponsorships only toward the restoration.

I'll keep you folks in the loop as things progress.

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby NefariousNed on Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:45 pm

So, what's the latest on this project, Mr. Harris? Time is drawing close.
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Richard Harris' newly digitized version of The Alamo

Postby rudybukich10 on Mon May 03, 2010 12:20 am

Does anyone out there know of the status of Mr.Robert Harris' efforts to completely remaster The Alamo digitally?
There was (and I hope still is) a fundraising drive to pay for the cost of his saving of The Alamo; the Jacob Burns FIlm Center in Pleasantville, NY appears to be accepting contributions. (I apologize if you have already covered this topic but I am really looking forward to this restored version.)
One of the newsletters I received talked about a showing in March, 2010 in San Antonio's Majestic Theater but that never materialized. Has anyone heard anything new?

The address I have (which I hope is still in use)
Jacob Burns Film Center
405 Manville Road
Pleasantville, New York
10570
This address will handle both corporate as well as individual contributions.
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Re: Richard Harris' newly digitized version of The Alamo

Postby Davy on Mon May 03, 2010 12:34 am

rudybukich10 wrote:Does anyone out there know of the status of Mr.Robert Harris' efforts to completely remaster The Alamo digitally?
There was (and I hope still is) a fundraising drive to pay for the cost of his saving of The Alamo; the Jacob Burns FIlm Center in Pleasantville, NY appears to be accepting contributions. (I apologize if you have already covered this topic but I am really looking forward to this restored version.)
One of the newsletters I received talked about a showing in March, 2010 in San Antonio's Majestic Theater but that never materialized. Has anyone heard anything new?

The address I have (which I hope is still in use)
Jacob Burns Film Center
405 Manville Road
Pleasantville, New York
10570
This address will handle both corporate as well as individual contributions.


Rudy

This question was asked a while back too ... we are all wondering (and wishing) the same thing and yet no information seems to be forthcoming on the Harris "Alamo" restoration project ... there is a push to play the laser disc version at the San Antonio OMNI theater for the Alamo Gala this year in October ... if you do not know about that already. We all are waiting for news on the film restoration with bated breath. Sorry I wish it were otherwise .. if some one knows anything new .. hopefully they will share it with us pronto! :cry:

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon May 03, 2010 2:29 am

Boys, I would imagine that, since Robert Harris (not Richard Harris please) knows about this site and thread -- has actually posted here himself -- that we will be the first to know when something positive happens. I too am wondering, but I'm sure he will jump in here and tell us as soon as there is something positive to report. It's bad kharma to talk about how something is NOT happening.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby TexianAtHeartII on Mon May 03, 2010 4:35 am

RLC-GTT wrote:Boys, I would imagine that, since Robert Harris (not Richard Harris please) knows about this site and thread -- has actually posted here himself -- that we will be the first to know when something positive happens. I too am wondering, but I'm sure he will jump in here and tell us as soon as there is something positive to report. It's bad kharma to talk about how something is NOT happening.


well now, I just don't know about that. I had Kharma once and she wasn't bad at all. In fact, she kept coming around and around and around.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon May 03, 2010 4:57 am

TexianAtHeartII wrote:
RLC-GTT wrote:Boys, I would imagine that, since Robert Harris (not Richard Harris please) knows about this site and thread -- has actually posted here himself -- that we will be the first to know when something positive happens. I too am wondering, but I'm sure he will jump in here and tell us as soon as there is something positive to report. It's bad kharma to talk about how something is NOT happening.


well now, I just don't know about that. I had Kharma once and she wasn't bad at all. In fact, she kept coming around and around and around.


Why do I even try? :roll:

:lol:
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby NefariousNed on Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:08 pm

So what's the latest on this? Time's running out.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:18 am

I have not heard a thing. Wish I had.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby AlamoMo on Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:44 pm

Here's an interesting item sent to me today by
an Alamo film friend here in the UK.

Just click on this link below

Regards

Mo

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/ ... 40609.html
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby caplock on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:15 pm

AlamoMo wrote:Here's an interesting item sent to me today by
an Alamo film friend here in the UK.


The most interesting part of this item is the news that work on the restoration is moving forward. I'm hoping against hope that they can get it done before it's too late.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby RLC-GTT on Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:28 pm

caplock wrote:
AlamoMo wrote:Here's an interesting item sent to me today by
an Alamo film friend here in the UK.


The most interesting part of this item is the news that work on the restoration is moving forward. I'm hoping against hope that they can get it done before it's too late.


Um........ The page was created in April of 2009.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Davy on Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:44 pm

This is not boding well for a Dir Cut if they (MGM) still own the copyrites to the Wayne "Alamo" film ... however if they sell them ... fat chance! :x :roll:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101103/media_nm/us_mgm

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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:25 pm

They went bankrupt yesterday. Whoever buys whats left might just give us what we want. There's a lot of MGM material out there. Don't know what it means to the casino's. We got one just a wee bit North. Haven't theard that it is closing. Money is still coming in. Wonder what Thalberg and LB Mayer would think of this empire they built and lost.
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Re: The Reconstruction and Restoration of THE ALAMO

Postby Davy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:34 pm

Fargo Fenwyck wrote:They went bankrupt yesterday. Whoever buys whats left might just give us what we want. There's a lot of MGM material out there. Don't know what it means to the casino's. We got one just a wee bit North. Haven't theard that it is closing. Money is still coming in. Wonder what Thalberg and LB Mayer would think of this empire they built and lost.


Well .. we can dream .. but I will NOT hold my breath! :roll: :D

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
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