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The Original Footage of 1930s Broadway Shows

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allofmylife
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This is the guy who is sitting on the greatest treasure trove in the history of Broadway. Watch the film and see for yourself.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-gregory/the-great-american-musica_b_103336.html

and STILL they don't show any of Ray Knight's amazing films (of which the Pal Joey footage is only a tiny part.)

This should be put into the Billy Rose collection tomorrow morning!!!!!!!!!
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
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morosco
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Wow. I'm concerned about all those treasures being vulnerable to time and housekeeping abilities. These items should all be put in a protected environment asap.
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allofmylife
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I visited Miles (who is a gracious man) many times and I am always terrified of some calamity befalling the collection. It is really amazing when he pulls out Oscar Hammerstein III's 1926 typewriter manuscript for "Show Boat." The mind reels, the throat dries the fingers itch, the brow glistens the hands shake and for most of us, the heart skips a beat.

And don't get me started on Richard Rodgers' personal LP collection....
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
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thetinymagic2
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This is amazing and should be in a professional archive.
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Connemara
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This is the first article I've seen on Miles. Great stuff. If I had the money, I would make sure the Ray Knight films are archived ASAP. Tomorrow if possible.

EDIT: I'm glad Miles has decided to finally do something with these films (or at least thats the impression I got from the article).
Updated On: 6/3/08 at 01:49 AM
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allofmylife
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here's an example from The Ray Knight collection

http://www.youtube.com/user/thenicerguy

The color footage at the back is from Ray Knight's collection footage of "Pal Joey" in 1940. Damn, that's Gene Kelly, onstage at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York, dancing right in front of us. My hair goes up every time I see it. The makers of the Kelly documentary must have obtained this from Miles. They have matched it to the overture music of "Plant You Now, Dig You Later" which is not what the footage is actually from. It's actually the dance sequence in "You Mustn't Kick It Around" but what the heck. IT'S GENE KELLY LIVE!!!!!!

He's doing his classic windmill moves over and over. And as I have said before, look at the joyful expressions on the faces of the other dancers. It's almost as if they know they are in the best show they'll ever perform, dancing with the best leading man they'll ever share a stage with.

It really is thrilling.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
Updated On: 6/3/08 at 04:11 AM
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folkyboy
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wow. that really is amazing!
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PalJoey
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Thanks for posting that. I love Miles Kreuger's book on Showboat.

And why, why, WHY are they casting a non-dancer in the new Pal Joey revival?
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Um, aren't these BOOTLEGS???!!!! Shouldn't this dude be arrested?
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best12bars
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When the gin is THAT old, it's called vintage, baby.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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philcrosby
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Unfortunately, Miles is a little crazy, and has rebuffed all offers to conserve that collection unless he stays in control. The danger is that in his zeal to preserve and keep that collection together, many valuable items will be ravaged by time and the elements.
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Someday people will clamour to get their hands on my Wicked bootlegs archives!
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I'm sure they've already faded and decayed significantly over the years. All film, no matter how well-preserved, does. These gems need to be digitized, restored and hopefully remastered.

Unfortunately, Miles' ego is preventing any of that from happening.

It's sad when someone's entire identity is defined by their belongings.

He's a "possessor" cleverly disguised as a "curator." He's not preserving anything. He's sitting on it proudly, and OWNING it.

Good for him.

I find it creepy and pitiful.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Thanks for telling us about this re: The Original Footage of 1930s Broadway Shows
If I heard the bells and the banjos ring
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When he brought out Oscar Hammestein's 1925 typescript for "Show Boat" I tried to touch it.

He slapped my hand.

Obviously, now that the cat's out of the bag and I see others know about hm, he's the guy I've been talking about on this thread for years, sitting on a king's treasure, getting gov't relief but not allowing anyone to curate his enormous trove.

And don't get me started about the cats and dogs.

You have to understand, this is no pack rat. What he has there in amazing bulk is stuff like you've NEVER seen before. HUGE amounts of paper. EVERY Broadway playbill and souvenir program. It is truly gasp worthy.

I just wish he had the same approach to this enormous collection as Ron Borst has to his phenomenal motion picture poster collection.

And the sad thing is, they're just miles away from each other out here in Los Angeles physically, but light years apart in attitude.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
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Imagine being able to see live color footage from Finian's Rainbow (and all the rehearsals and costume tests and dance run-throughs) and watch Ella Logan sing "Look To The Rainbow." Or to watch Bob Hope singing to Eve Arden and Gypsy Rose Lee in "The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936." Or Ray Bolger dancing in "On Your Toes" or "The Farmer and The Cowman" from the original cast of "Oklahoma." All in color, all as clear as day and all shot LIVE from the tenth row in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

That's what that unique treasure trove is all about. In Mile's closet, slowly turning to guitar picks, is the ONLY recordings of all those great musicals.

(He grabs and pulls out another hank of hair....)
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
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this stuff is amazing and worth bumping
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
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"Imagine being able to see live color footage from Finian's Rainbow..."

Except that the longer it sits there, the less color there is. It's fading away as we speak.

I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't any color left at this point.

...and after that starts the major deterioration...
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Ed_Mottershead
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Just a few thoughts on this. While I can respect Krueger's right to keep these in storage for himself, it does seem criminal that, unless preserved digitally -- and soon -- mementos of these performances will be gone permanently. If the stated goal is to "preserve" these artifacts, you would think that Miles would be HAPPY to see that their preservation is permanent. I don't know how old he is, but he ain't no spring chicken and of what value will these be to him in 20 years? Is it so important to this man to be able to say "I've got something that you don't"? (ala Ken Mandelbaum, another real pr___ if there ever was one). I'm sure he could be well compensated and his lasting memorial would be, "Thank God for Miles Krueger," rather than "That Kruder b_____d." Think how indebted opera lovers are to Colonel Mapleson for his primitive recordings (VERY primitive) of the Met greats in the early 1900's, often the only trace we have of some of these singers at all. C'mon, Miles, lighten up. At least let them be transferred digitally and kept in an appropriate institution or library. Lovers of musical theatre will be forever greatful to you if you do!!
BroadwayEd
Updated On: 6/3/08 at 02:45 PM
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It's a sad thing to watch this stuff fade and die.

I've never even seen a color photo from "On Your Toes."
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699
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Some thoughts on that video and this thread-

1) Well, that house is the musical comedy equivalent of Grey Gardens save for the raccoons and cat urine.

2) He has actual footage of Merman in Gypsy. Wow.

3) I would be more than glad to help him start a library if he really is interested. I'd be more than happy to help ANYONE start a library with that material. He just needs to realize he needs to start one. Now.

4) Re: Ken Mandelbaum- Ken's still alive? I assumed he passed on as I haven't heard ANYTHING about him since Broadway.com stupidly discontinued his columns a few years ago. How come he isn't writing another book? Or is he?


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So, I watched that "Great Grey Way" video clip... and it IS Grey Gardens. Totally.

Miles was more interested in showing off that Show Boat book he wrote, and his very own Hirschfeld and telling us how he was almost Freddy in My Fair Lady than he was in sharing the actual collection.

Whatever.

One thing I did learn. A post house of some kind donated free time, and transferred a few of those old 1930s home movies to DVD. (Hopefully to a full Digibeta master as well.) That's better than nothing. At least a small part of it is "digital" now. But his entire collection is rotting in front of us... on camera!

Those old 78 records from the 19th century, his old programs and Playbills, and especially his old movies (including Harold Arlen's home movies, not just the old Broadway bootlegs!) need to be scanned and transferred digitally.

Of course, he still has his To-Do list posted on the wall from 1985, so that tells you how far along he is with preserving his collection.

I'm sure his hours are spent talking about all the cool stuff he owns, rather than trying to preserve it.

And what kind of "library" is it, if it's not open to the public?

I'd like someone to "fund" my private DVD library. I have over 1,000 DVDs. Won't somebody help me pay for it, and organize it?

Please?
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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I could use some help too, Besty re: The Original Footage of 1930s Broadway Shows
If I heard the bells and the banjos ring
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Interesting. I was told the history of the Ray Knight films by another collector friend.

The Knight films were hotly sought after by several people. Unfortunately, by the time Miles Kreuger aquired them, several of the choicest films were "missing", including the only known performance footage of Fred and Adele Astaire, which Knight had aquired from another collector.

The Astaires clip has never turned up.

I wonder if Miles showed the interviewer his vintage IB print of COVER GIRL. At one time it was owned by MOMA.
"Hurry up and get into your conga clothes - we've got to do something to save this show!"
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allofmylife
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The Fred and Adele Astaire footage is from a rehearsal of "Smiles." Sadly, they only occupy a fleeting glimpse as the filmer was more interested in Marilyn Miller. I wonder if there is any footage of the chorus boys?

One of them was Bob Hope.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=972787#3631451 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=963561#3533883 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955158#3440952 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954269#3427915 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=955012#3441622 http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.cfm?thread=954344#3428699