June 2020

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3-D Rarities Vol. II 3-D Blu-ray

3-D Rarities Blu-ray cover art.

3-D Rarities Vol. II is the sequel edition of the one of the best 3-D Blu-rays ever produced. The original 3-D Rarities Vol. 1 3-D Blu-ray, released in 2015, was reviewed in our July 2015 issue.

This time around, more rare stereoscopic films have been restored by the 3-D Film Archive presented by Flicker Alley. The collection does not disappoint. The 3-D Film Shorts section was so enjoyable that time passed by way too quickly, leaving us wanting more. Of course, we expect a 3-D Rarities Vol. III will be produced to entertain us at some point in the future.

3-D Shorts
A Day in the Country is narrated by Joe Besser, who was one of The Three Stooges. Besser's casual narration and humor comes through as the film is loaded with many 3-D gimmicks, including chicken eggs being dropped from a barn toward the camera, boys climbing trees and falling toward the camera, and a multitude of others. The 3-D Film Archive points out that some ghosting is present during this film but the ghosting we saw was minimal and didn't deter from the pleasure of the transfer.

Black Swan is the next short featuring a classical music ballet piece followed by one of our favorite shorts, Mid-Century Memories in Kodachrome Stereo narrated by Stereoscopic Anthropologist Hillary Hess. This short features Stereo Realist slides including some by professional photographers. We particularly enjoyed the images of the Lincoln Futura, the car that would later become world famous when it was transformed into the greatest television car ever made, The Batmobile.

Games in Depth produced by Polaroid has some interesting images and one of the most eye-crossing 3-D segments ever when a motorboat is shown in a double-exposure going left to right and right to left at the same time. The 1960s dance segment makes us wonder if Frankie and Annette are going to show up. What Polaroid was using this film to promote is a mystery and another oddity saved for posterity in 3-D on this Blu-ray.

The next two shorts are also highlights on the Blu-ray with a 3-D sequence promoting the 1968 film Frankenstein's Bloody Terror. It is a credit to the long time preservation work by The 3-D Film Archive that we can enjoy seeing thes gems. Frankenstein's Bloody Terror is followed by the trailer for the 1983 documentary The 3-D Movie. This trailer is particularly enjoyable as it has several 3-D clips from movies that we'd like to see released in all their stereoscopic glory, including a clip from the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis 3-D film Money from Home.

El Corazón y la Espada
3-D Review did a feature article in our June 2019 issue about the crowd funding campaign to rescue El Corazón y la Espada conducted by 3-D Space. The results of more than 300 Kickstarter donors, all listed in the credits on the Blu-ray, helped save another "lost" 3-D movie.

El Corazón y la Espada was filmed in 1953, during the peak of the 3-D movie craze, and was released in the red/blue anaglyph format in Mexican theatres in January 1954, followed by a limited 3-D release to Spanish language theatres in the U.S. beginning in February 1954. Two years later, a 2-D English language version was released in the U.S., retitled Sword Of Granada. The Spanish 3-D version was last screened in 1955 and the flat English version only aired sporadically on TV. After 1975, it disappeared entirely.

The original 3-D left and right camera negatives were located, but were in rough shape and had been deteriorating. The 3-D Film Archive was able to do a lot of work to make the film watchable again and have succeeded with spectacular results. With the successful Kickstarter campain, The 3-D Film Archive was be able to:

  • Produce new 4K scans from the original camera negatives.
  • Perform frame-by-frame restoration, stereoscopic alignment, dirt removal, and scratch cleanup.
  • License the English audio track and create English sub-titles from Sword Of Granada, which is the name the film was released in 2-D in the U.S.
  • Include the entire feature film (for the first time ever in discreet left and right 3-D) with commentary on the 3-D Rarities Vol. II Blu-Ray.

The audio commentary for El Corazón y la Espada is a fact-filled history of Mexican cinema as well as the background of the original 3-D production.

Harold Lloyd Realist Slides
The final treat on the 3-D Blu-ray is a collection of Stereo Realist slides from silent film star and 3-D stereographer Harold Lloyd. The slideshow is narrated by Lloyd's granddaughter Susan Lloyd Hayes and is a loving tribute to Lloyd's stereoscopic legacy. Several books of Lloyd's 3-D images have been printed over the years but the clarity of seeing them on the 3-D TV screen is a real treat.

"I hope to see more of Lloyd's home made stereo slides on my 3-D TV," said 3-D Review Online Magazine editor Van Beydler. "I have seen a few of these slides before printed in books, but the bulk of the Harold Lloyd images featured on the Blu-ray are newly released to the public and have never been seen outside of the Lloyd family. Lloyd's access to Hollywood celebrities gives viewers full-color immersion and an intimate connection to the time period. I love to see pop culture icons like Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Abbott and Costello, President Eisenhower, and others in 3-D. Plus, the narration of the stories behind the images gives them even more depth (pun intended). Thanks to the Harold Lloyd Entertainment, Inc. for being a part of this. I hope more Realist slideshows of Lloyd's work will be included in future releases, as well as specially produced shorts like Mid-Century Memories in Kodachrome Stereo. Susan Lloyd Hayes' narration talks about many of Lloyd's fellow Hollywood celebrities also using their Stereo Realist cameras at the time. What a treat it would be to also locate and license those stereo slides for future releases. I would love to see 3-D slides taken by Hope, Skelton, Eisenhower and others, wouldn't you? Maybe a stash of long lost stereo slides will show up in a southern California storage locker like on the Storage Wars TV show or walk into one of the Antiques Roadshow events like the one featured in the February 2016 3-D Review article Jazz Legends on Nearly 2,000 Stereo Realist Slides Discovered in Arkansas. We can only hope that these "lost" 3-D treasures can be shared. Thanks for the diligent work of those producing this 3-D Blu-ray as they continue to bring a front row seat to those who love 3-D imagery."

A special 16-page full-color booklet is included with the Blu-ray. Read the booklet from cover to cover because there are more interesting facts about the location and preservation of some of the 3-D films in this collection in the booklet. There are also 3-D related images printed on the front and back of the jewel case inserts. A 3-D Rarities Vol. II trailer is available online.

The only bonus material we would have liked to see again are the 3-D photo galleries like those featured on 3-D Rarities Vol. 1, which had 3-D photo galleries of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), New York World’s Fair (1939), Sam Sawyer View-Master® reels (1950) and 3-D Comic Books (1953). It would have been great to have presented more View-Master® 3-D galleries on Vol. II.

3-D Rarities Vol. II is available to order online directly from the Flicker Alley website. We also highly recommend you order 3-D Rarities Vol. 1 if you don't already have it in your 3-D Blu-ray collection.

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H.R. Pufnstuf Lenticular Photo and The Banana Splits View-Master® Reels

H.R. Pufnstuf lenticular art.

A 19" x 14" lenticular featuring H.R. Pufnstuf is a rare stereoscopic image. The lenticuarl shown is authographed by Sid and Marty Krofft, who produced the TV show that aired a total of 17 episodes on NBC-TV from 1969 to 1970.

The Kroffts created the H.R. Pufnstuf character for the HemisFair '68 World's Fair where they produced a show called Kaleidoscope for the Coca-Cola pavilion. The character's name was Luther, and he became a mascot for the fair. After the show was on the air, an H.R. Pufnstuf puppet show was also produced at the Six Flags Over Missouri theme park.

Six Flags Over Mid-Missouri featured an elaborate H.R. Pufnstuf puppet show at The Krofft Puppet Theater in 1971. H.R. Pufnstuf and his pals Cling and Clang also made life-size appearances at the park.

Sid and Marty Krofft Puppet Theatre at Six Flags Over Mid-Missouri in 1971.
The Sid and Marty Krofft Puppet Theater at Six Flags Over Mid-Missouri in 1971 and a section of the 1971 Six Flags Over Mid-Missouri map showing the location of the theater at the park.

Synopsis
Mayor H.R. Pufnstuf, a dragon, and the other residents of Living Island try to help young Jimmy, shipwrecked and led to their island, escape the evil clutches of Witchiepoo, a zany witch who wants to steal Jimmy's talking flute for her collection of magical objects. But even as Jimmy tries to keep his talking flute out of Witchiepoo's evil grasp, he is also trying to find his way back home.

The Kroffs also produced the costumes for the TV show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, which is available in a Banana Splits View-Master® 3-reel packet. There was never an H.R. Pufnstuf packet produced.

Banana Splits View-Master packet art.

Banana Splits The Movie poster art.

An outlandish horror/comedy movie titled The Banana Splits Movie was released in July 2019 in which a maniac dressed in a dog costume wreaks bloody havoc during the taping of a popular children's television show.

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Doctor Who 3-D Glasses Paper Doll

Doctor Who Paper Dolls book cover art.

Doctor Who paper doll.

Doctor Who famously wore a pair of 3-D glasses in one episode of the long running science fiction television show. A book featuring Doctor Who paper dolls includes artwork of the 10th doctor sporting his anaglyphic specs. In the time of stay-at-home, a promotion was shared on Facebook featuring one of the doctor's fashion statements.

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3-D Wishlist - Thunderball

Thunderball poster art.

We would like to see a 3-D version of Thunderball. The underwater sequence would be awesome in 3-D! What movies would you like to see converted to 3-D and released on 3-D Blu-ray?

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Auction Results

1966 Budweiser Making Friends is Our Business View-Master® Set

Budweiser Making Friends is Our Business View-Master® Set cover

Budweiser Making Friends is Our Business View-Master®  viewer, box and reels

Budweiser Making Friends is Our Business View-Master®  viewer, box and reels

Making Friends is Our Business hardback book cover.

A special red Christmas holiday season 1966 presentation box Anheuser-Busch View-Master® reels with Model F lighted viewer made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Anheuser-Busch was offered in an online sale for $339 with no bids. The set features 14 Anheuser- Busch Brewery reels and 1 demo reel, a presentation letter from Brewmaster Edward H. Vogel Jr. Printing on the box reads Making Friends is Our Business. A hardback book titled Making Friends is Our Business was published during the same time period.

Contents
Sawyer's Model F Bakelite Stereo Viewer with Demo reel View-Master® Picture Tour of Scenic Wonders USA DR-49
Reels 1, 2, and 3 are from Packet A988 (A988-1, A988-2, and A988-3)
Reel 4 Tour of Grant's Farm St. Louis County
Reel 5 Tour of Grant's Farm St Louis County
Reel 6 Clydesdales
Reel 7 Wild Animal Kingdom Tampa Florida
Reel 8 Wild Animal Kingdom Tampa Florida
Reel 9 Wild Animal Kingdom
Reel 10 Brewery Tour St. Louis
Reel 11 Water Crafts Miss Budweiser Miss Bavarian
Reel 12 Construction of Los Angeles Busch Gardens Monorail
Reel 13 Construction of Los Angeles Busch Gardens Pavilions
Reel 14 Construction of Los Angeles Busch Gardens
Custom Making Friends is Our Business red box

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