One Morning In November
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written by: Larry Somerville||Date: 01.06.2009|
|Danish United Artists trade advert 1959. Editors collection|
The first time I viewed “The Alamo”, was catching a glimpse of this film on television. I never thought much more about it.
In 1990, I heard about the film again when Bob Bryden told me the story of the production of the film. I started to gain interest in the film as he related to roe that the film was cut from it's original length and, that no copies of “The Alamo” existed in it's true form. The enthusiasm became contagious when Bob told me that there were people who had been looking for this film for many years. I was invited to a special screening of a 'forgotten copy' of “The Alamo”. The admission was $25.00 (GST and PST included) -[EDITOR: For readers outside Canada -the GST is a recently IMPOSED tax] -a true bargain in retrospect!
As the day of the showing approached, my anticipation grew. Could this be the one print that missed the editor's scissors? I got up early, picked up Graeme Burk and we headed off for the Eglinton Theatre. There, we met several of the people who had such a fascination for this film. The projectionist came to the lobby to tell us he was prepared to show “The Alamo”. One asked, judging by the loading and the number of reels - could there be the origina1212 minutes? (EDITOR: 192 without music bits, I believe). The projectionist said 'not likely'. I felt for these people who were looking for so long and appeared to be receiving yet another disappointment in their search.
At this point - WE ENDURED THE MASSIVE CROWDS TO FIND OUR SEATS FOR THE SHOWING (there were 18 of us in a 825 seat theatre). We took our seats and the soundtrack began to play. (I didn't realize until after that this prelude music was coming right off the film.) Then the film itself began, I sat back and enjoyed. I kept my ears open as I listened to the experts on this film point out parts of interest. My anticipation grew again as we approached a scene in the movie that is only in the original print. As the scene appeared before my eyes, I was excited for these people whose search was over - they had found the treasure they were seeking! There were tears in their eyes.
At this point, I settled back and enjoyed this EPIC the way it was meant to be seen. The only things missing were the popcorn and the crowds which I'm sure were there when this film opened so many years ago. This was truly a great film experience. I'm very grateful to Bob for allowing me to share in this presentation.
|More in 70mm reading:|
"The Alamo" lost 70mm version - This letter which started it all
The Finding Of The Lost Alamo
Remember the Alamo?
November 24, 1990: In Retrospect
I Was There
There are two things which have tormented me for most of my adult life
An Update On The Long Version
The Reconstruction and Restoration of John Wayne's "The Alamo"
"The Alamo" articles and letters appeared in "The Spirit of the Epic" magazine in June 1990. Reprinted here with permission from Robert Bryden
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