Brats - Silent Version

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David Pickard
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:24 pm

Brats - Silent Version

Postby David Pickard » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:59 pm

I was wondering if the silent version of the Laurel & Hardy film 'Brats', which was prepared by the Hal Roach studio for cinemas that hadn't made the transition to sound, still exists and - if so - is available to view?

William Ferry
Cugine
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:37 pm

Re: Brats - Silent Version

Postby William Ferry » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:56 pm

I may be totally wrong, but I think the answer might be "yes". Or at least it exists somewhere. I used to have a silent 8mm Blackhawk print. It seemed to me the intertitles must have been of original vintage, as the font "looked" authentic, as opposed to the more modern looking typefaces Blackhawk used for its releases (in particular, the sans serif type). This should hardly be taken as more than my opinion, but I mention it for what it may be worth.

Richard M Roberts
Godfather
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Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 6:30 pm

Re: Brats - Silent Version

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:28 am

William beat me to the answer (been out busy, just getting to look at the site for today), I think Blackhawk, who had silent versions of most of the Laurel and Hardy talkies, used original silent versions of any of those talkies the Roach archives had any materials on, so their silent BRATS may have been original. My question to David is, why do you care? Silent versions of Roach shorts from 1930 were made from the sound versions, they were not shooting new footage for silent versions at that point, it would be very unlikely for there to be any new or different footage in the silent version of BRATS.

This may be an indicator, but the Blackhawk silent version of BRATS, which was only available in 8mm, ran 300 feet in standard 8mm, where the sound version ran 350 feet in standard 8mm, that means the silent version was three minutes shorter than the sound version, and had even more footage taken up with subtitles, so go figure, there a lot of footage missing in the silent version that was in the sound version.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

David Pickard
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:24 pm

Re: Brats - Silent Version

Postby David Pickard » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:34 pm

Thanks very much William and Richard. As an avid Laurel & Hardy fan I'm always looking out for different versions of their films, however minor those differences may be (and I know that's sad, but hey, that's what collecting's about). But from what you say the only difference apart from the inclusion of intertitles is that some of the footage in the sound version is likely to be missing from the silent version. Good to know - clears that up nicely for me.

Chris Seguin
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: Brats - Silent Version

Postby Chris Seguin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:18 pm

I’d imagine the reason the silent version ran 50’ shorter is that Blackhawk had a habit of cutting frames from their silent “adaptations” to approximate a natural speed at 18fps. Run the silent BRATS at 24fps and it’s gonna look pretty darned zippy.


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