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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Black and White episodes of Dragnet

   
Author Topic: Black and White episodes of Dragnet
James Westbrook
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 04-07-2011 02:59 AM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, they are available on DVD. However, if any of you have watched them, you will note the prints they mastered the DVDs from are 16mm and are sometimes worse for the wear.
I recently purchased the book "My Name's Friday" about Jack Webb and in the introduction it mentions the black and white episodes from 1951 to 1955 were taken out of circulation in the mid 1960s and that the nitrate negatives have since been placed in storage and nearly all the prints have been discarded.
This raised some questions in my wee little mind, namely that the later black and white episodes - 1956 through 1959 - have also disappeared as well, that not all the prints have been destroyed AND...was it the norm for television shows to be shot on nitrate film stock in the 50s?
I would like to see more of the black and white episodes.
Interestingly, a bonus feature on the Dragnet 1969 DVD was a black and white episode from the 50s. Universal, or Shout Factory, had to borrow that print from a collector.
Assuming Universal has the collection of negatives in their vaults, are they simply not printing them or releasing them because the copyright has expired and they may be "public domain" or did the "nitrate" stock deteriorate to the point of having to be discarded?

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Bruce McGee
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1765
From: Asheville, NC USA... Nowhere in Particular.
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 08-26-2011 10:19 AM      Profile for Bruce McGee   Email Bruce McGee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I doubt that the negatives for Dragnet are nitrate.

I've seen some of the B/W Dragnet shows. They were just as good as any other episode of the series. DUM-De-DUM-DUM!

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Martin McCaffery
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1525
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-26-2011 11:25 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Was there ever 16mm nitrate? I was under the impression it was always safety film.

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James Westbrook
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 08-26-2011 12:53 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't believe there was 16mm Nitrate.
One of the reasons 16mm copies of it exist is that Webb allowed additional copies of certain episodes struck as numerous schools and organizations would request a copy of a certain episode.
Other 16mm copies were grabbed at the local tv station level, as some of the prints had the syndication title Badge 714.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4131
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 09-04-2011 10:30 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was told by the late John Pytlak that nitrate was over by 1948. It would therefore be illogical for TV to use old film. Louis

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 7408
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 09-04-2011 04:39 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
True, 16mm never used nitrate since no projector had any form of fire preventive (like enclosed magazines, firetrap rollers, shutters..et.al.) measures, along with no training on handling flammable material and safety procedures.

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James Westbrook
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 09-05-2011 01:53 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This would not be the first time an author of a so-called "definitive" book got bad or wrong information and ran with it.
I'm thinking the negatives to the black and white Dragnets must have been lost or destroyed.
Universal did pull an interesting stunt with the dvd series of Emergency:
The first season had 35mm prints struck for the dvd.
The second season had 35mm intertwined with 16mm syndicated TV dupes. Seasons 4 and 5 were all 16mm.
Season 6 was all newly struck 35mm prints. This was their last season.
Stands to reason. Universal/NBC/Comcast is quite huge. They are not going to know what they have in their film vaults.

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Jeff Taylor
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 579
From: Chatham, NJ/East Hampton, NY
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 02-14-2012 12:54 PM      Profile for Jeff Taylor   Email Jeff Taylor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Regarding the concept of 16mm nitrate, the entire reason that the gauge was established as 16mm rather than 17.5mm was to prevent some wiseguy from taking 35mm nitrate stock and splitting it in two to produce two strips of single-perf 17.5mm nitrate stock for "amateur" use. By establishing it as 16mm there was more assurance that film for this gauge would be safety acetate stock. Monte's right, no 16mm projectors were ever produce with fireproof magazines and fire rollers, because there was virtually no chance that nitrate stock would ever be used.

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