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1930 film Soup to Nuts

Old 10-31-05, 01:57 PM
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1930 film Soup to Nuts

This film, which marked the screen debut of the Three Stooges, was released on DVD in May but does anyone know the fascinating story behind it? Stooges fan club president Gary Lassin posted this at a Stooges fan site sometime ago -

Here’s everything I know.

First off, I don’t think “Soup to Nuts” was ever officially re-released to theaters following its original 1930 release. I base this on the fact that I’ve never seen any posters, pressbooks or other publicity items from a re-release of the film in my 25 years of collecting. That doesn’t mean it was never re-released, but I haven’t seen any evidence of it.

When I took over the fan club in 1986, “Soup to Nuts” was presumed to be a “lost” film. No Stooges fans had ever seen it and no one could locate it in any form. In the late 1980’s, the club undertook a concerted effort to try and locate the film. Through a tip from film critic and club member Leonard Maltin, we discovered that the UCLA Film & TV Archive actually had a print of the film. The UCLA archive is a huge depository of films, kinescopes,etc, second only to the Library of Congress in Washington.

In 1990, we made contact with Eddie Richmond, the curator at UCLA who told us that Fox had given UCLA the only remaining print of the film some time in the late 1960s. This was a nitrate print, which was the type of film stock used by the motion picture industry until the 1950s. Unfortunately, nitrate film is highly volatile and over time eventually turns to dust. Proper storage techniques can prolong the life of nitrate film, but eventually it will disintetgrate, even when properly stored

Anyway, Eddie told us that the nitrate film had actually been screened in UCLA’s own theater once or twice during the early 1970’s. However the film was beginning to deteriorate, so in 1977 the Archive wisely made a preservation negative (on modern acetate stock) from the nitrate print. By the time we got in touch with Eddie in 1990, the nitrate print was completely shot. All that was left was the preservation negative, Unfortunately, adequate funding did not exist to make a positive print from the negative, so essentially the film was still “lost”.

At this point, I submitted a proposal to executives at Fox (who still owned the legal rights to the film): I would pick up the cost of making a positive print and in return, the fan club would get the exclusive right to screen the print at our annual conventions.

The proposal was accepted, the print was made, and in 1991 we showed the film at our convention. This may have been the first truly public showing of the film since the 1930s, but again we don’t know for sure. We’ve screened it at several conventions since then. But more importantly, the existence of this print has enabled fans around the world to finally view the film, as it was shown on AMC (without the exit music) and probably also used to make the recently released DVD.

So that’s the soup to nuts on “Soup to Nuts”.
rdf8585 is offline  
Old 10-31-05, 05:35 PM
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Definitely expected the film buffs here to have more to say about it, a rather fascinating saga.
rdf8585 is offline  
Old 10-31-05, 05:57 PM
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Would love to see the Three Stooges debut film!
emhello is offline  
Old 10-31-05, 06:41 PM
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Saw this at Target for 5.50 yesterday.. gotta love DVD!
laserken is offline  
Old 11-01-05, 02:52 PM
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thats a good story. Wish more people were taking the time to preserve films. Anybody have the disc? Reviews on picture and sound?
Cameron is offline  

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