Way Out West - Preservation

So no one else will miss it, in l993 we manufactured a new 35mm preservation fine grain, converted from the best surviving pre-print elements, which turned out to be a nitrate, studio vault, file print.

Since WAY OUT WEST has been such a popular title, the original negative and period dupe negatives sustained heavy use and damage by a proliferation of careless and often cheap licensees who effectively raped and ruined the material as fast as they printed it. Decades of tatte red inventory cards documenting storage, printing and shipping records indicate these elements were tossed around more often and handled more thoughtlessly than the deed to Cy Roberts' mine in the picture itself. Then to read the certificates of destruction as the nitrate wore out or deteriorated year by year ... is not a happy story. Not at all.

Of very minor interest abstruse interest for only the very deepest-dyed L & H aficionado who is consumed with interest by every possible technical detail: in the campfire scene, reel four, screen side right -- the flickering is actually inherent light fogging on that edge and can be traced back to the original camera negative. They shot it that way. Evidently Messrs. Roach, Horne, and Laurel approved it in the rushes. Or had more important issues to resolve.

And "now that we've taken you into our confidence, you might as well know the rest." The preservation fine grain and derivative safety dupe negative are now securely stored, in the safe, on the second floor, of a secret oasis; Michael Finn, Custodian & Proprietor.

At the ball, that's all.

-- by Richard W. Bann --