3-D RARITIES  [Blu-ray] [USA Release]
In Commemoration of the Centennial of 3-D Motion Pictures!
It has taken over 30 years for the 3-D Film Archive to assemble and restore the material in ‘3-D RARITIES,’ with an eye-popping collection of ultra-rare and long-lost movies, which Flicker Alley and the 3-D Film Archive are proud to present here for the first time on Blu-ray.
Selections include Kelley's Plasticon Pictures, the earliest extant 3-D demonstration film from 1922 with incredible footage of Washington D.C. and New York City; New Dimensions, the first domestic full colour 3-D film originally shown at the World's Fair in 1940; Thrills for You, a promotional film for the Pennsylvania Railroad; Around is Around, a 3-D animated gem by Norman McLaren; Rocky Marciano vs. Jersey Joe Walcott, the only 3-D newsreel; Stardust in Your Eyes, a hilarious stand-up routine by Slick Slavin; Theatrical Trailer for The Maze, with fantastic production design by William Cameron Menzies; Doom Town, a controversial anti-atomic testing film mysteriously pulled from release; puppet cartoon The Adventures of Sam Space, presented in widescreen; I'll Sell My Shirt, a burlesque comedy unseen in 3-D for over 60 years; Boo Moon, an excellent example of 3-D colour stereoscopic animation...and more!
Presented in high-quality digital 3-D, all films have been stunningly restored and mastered direct from archival materials. Meticulously aligned shot by shot for precise registration of the original left/right elements, these historic 3-D motion pictures have never before looked this good.
The date of the first documented exhibition of a 3-D film occurred on the 10th June, 1915. 3-D Rarities commemorates the centennial of 3-D motion pictures!
Cast: Macdonald Carey (archive footage), Richard Carlson (archive footage), Nat 'King' Cole (archive footage), Charlie Crafts (archive footage), Joanne Dru (archive footage), Katherine Emery (archive footage), José Ferrer (archive footage), Stan Freberg (archive footage), Paul Frees (archive footage), Rita Hayworth (archive footage), Trustin Howard (archive footage), Veronica Hurst (archive footage), John Ireland (archive footage), Don Kenney (archive footage), Thad Komorowski (Audio Commentary), George 'Beetlepuss' Lewis (archive footage), Rocky Marciano (archive footage), Russ Morgan (archive footage), Lloyd Nolan (archive footage), Michael Pate (archive footage), Aldo Ray (archive footage), Barbara Rush (archive footage), Gerald Schnitzer (archive footage), Shirley Tegge (archive footage), Jack Theakston (arc Audio Commentary hive footage), Jersey Joe Walcott (archive footage) and June Wilkinson (archive footage)
Producers: Bob Furmanek, Jack Theakston and John McElwee
Image Resolution: 1080p (Black-and White and Colour)
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1, 1.66:1 and 1.75:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Running Time: 147 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Flicker Alley
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: These early 3-D films were exhibited using the red and green process but the preservationists involved in restoring these films have converted them to the modern 3-D polarized process with some astonishing results. We see a travelogue of Washington D.C. and New York City with some amazing depth, followed by some “gag” footage that uses the process to its fullest bringing various objects off the screen and into your face. Audiences at the 1939 New York World’s Fair were the first to see the new polarized 3-D process, similar to the modern 3-D we have today, and the disk features the second polarized 3-D film, ‘Thrills for You’ , a promotional film from the Pennsylvania Railroad documenting the wonders of traveling by train. This is followed by a Chrysler promotional film, New Dimensions, which features a stop-motion look at building a car with many objects hitting you in the face.
It has taken over 30 years for the ‘3-D RARITIES’ to assemble and restore the material of all of the 3-D films that have been stunningly restored and mastered direct from archival materials by 3-D Film Archive Technical Director Greg Kintz. Meticulously aligned shot-by-shot for precise registration of the original left and right elements, these historic 3-D motion pictures have never looked this good. ‘3-D RARITIES’ is the demonstration disc that belongs in the collection of every aficionado of 3-D films. The 3-D effects in this collection put most modern efforts of 3-D to shame. Bob Furmanek, Greg Kintz, Jack Theakston, and the late Dan Symmes have restored these short films to the point that they almost certainly look better than they ever have in the past. The ‘3-D RARITIES’ has a varied collection of films divided into 2 main categories:
THE DAWN OF STEREOSCOPIC CINEMATOGRAPHY
Kelley's Plasticon Pictures [Anaglyphic] [1922 / 1923] [480i] [1.37:1] [7:48] Once again we view Black-and-White 3-D footage that includes ‘THRU’ THE TREES Washington, D.C.’ which features footage of The White House, The Pan-American Building, The Patio, Aztec God, Arlington Military Cemetery and New York City. With the 3-D footage we view, some of the shots are excellently composed to create the illusion to make you feel that “you are there.” Though the film footage is very old, some of the effects are just wonderful in their use of depth of field, especially as at the time the filming in 3-D was very experimental. You have the option of an Audio Commentary by Jack Theaston that is very informative about the early adoption of filming in 3-D.
William T. Crespinel / Jacob Leventhal Tests [Anaglyphic] [1924 / 1927] [480i] [1.37:1] [5:46] Most of the Black-and-White photographed footage includes some great shots, like a man pointing a gun, a witch throwing acid, and a Nathan's hot dog on the end of a long stick. It also delivers a range of activities that break through the fourth wall, including a baseball game, a parade and even a Charlie Chaplin imitator. Again, you have the option of an Audio Commentary by Jack Theaston that is again very informative about the early adoption of filming in 3-D.
John Norling / Jacob Leventhal Tests [Anaglyphic] [1935 / 1940] [1080i] [1.37:1] [3:25] This Black-and-White footage includes Riverside Drive as it enters the George Washington Bridge, the Thunderbolt rollercoaster on Coney Island, and baseball players pitching and sliding towards the camera. This demo gags get a bit more involved, but some things don't change, as more baseball players sends the ball right at the audience.
‘Thrills For You’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [8:26] This excellent Black-and-White film was produced by the Pennsylvania Railroad and promotes the luxury features of its train cars for travellers in the 1940s. It also shows off the very luxurious train carriages of the era really well, including a striking look at the manufacturing process, which has very good quality 3-D effects.
‘New Dimensions’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [9:08] This really excellent 3-D Colour film was produced for the New York World's Fair by the Chrysler Motors in May 1940 and is a Technicolor remake of Chrysler's 1939 Black-and-White 3-D film ‘In Tune With Tomorrow.’ The 3-D film shows the assembly of the luxury Plymouth sedan with brilliant stop-motion animation and it is brilliant animation. It is a remarkably innovative and surprisingly entertaining stop motion short from Chrysler Motors and one of many dawning shorts filmed and released at the outbreak of the Second World War.
‘Now Is The Time’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [3:13] At the start of this 3-D film, they ask you to “Now Is the Time to Put on Your Glasses.” Animator pioneer Norman McLaren produced this 3-D Colour film and created this stereoscopic film in approximately five weeks, the likes of which had not been seen before. Now experience the ground-breaking work of Norman McLaren in a new dimension. This is a very well-made 3-D film, which also lends itself to 3-D very well. Norman McLaren, C.C., C.Q. (1914 – 1987) was a Scottish Canadian animator, director and producer known for his work for The National Film Board of Canada.
‘Around Is Around’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [7:28] This 3-D Colour by Technicolor film is a presentation by The National Film Board of Canada and you can now see Norman McLaren’s work afresh in this stunning new print. This Stereoscopic film was originally commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain, and was in collaboration with the British Film Institute. This is an early abstract 3-D animated short film by animation master Norman McLaren who demonstrates some of the best spherical use of 3-D that may have ever be seen. Presented in a new restoration of this 1951 short, which the first stereoscopic animated film ever made, in using a cathode-ray oscilloscope to create an incredible 3-D effect, especially with waveforms and made something even more surreal, but which works just as well as 3-D eye candy. The sound-track was appropriately conceived and certainly added an appreciable amount to the somewhat eerie and hypnotic effect of the oscillography disporting itself in its light-bath of glorious Technicolor images.
‘O Canada’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [1:32] Take a Colour 3-D trip across Canada with this animated interpretation of The National Film Board of Canada presentation anthem that takes a 3-D trip across the country from coast to coast by Norman McLaren with the national anthem played over animation representing the character of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. It is a technique later adapted to create the star-gate sequence in Stanley Kubrick's ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ but this is a very well-made 3-D film and shows off the love for Canada.
‘Twirligig’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [3:35] This early abstract Colour 3-D stereoscopic animation was hand-drawn by Gretta Ekman, a disciple of Norman McLaren's and was commissioned for The National Film Board of Canada. Offering beautiful, if not bizarre subjects, to create something equally unusual, artistic and it combines the techniques used in the previous three films, to create something equally unusual and artistic.
‘Bolex Stereo’ [Polarized]  [480i] [1.15:1] [10:32] This fascinating promotional 3-D Colour film, that was produced by Bolex Cameras to promote its 16mm Bolex Stereo Kit 3-D lens system at the staggering price of $110.00, and we view this film with a very strange and weird aspect ratio. This is a sort of travelogue film that includes footage from Hawaii and other exotic locations. This was a very Interesting addition to the set, and the 3-D itself was not particularly deep and I presume that is was filmed with the home cine camera which they were advertising. It's a product of its time without a doubt, and has great 3-D effects and a look at times long gone. At the end of this Part One section, you get a black-and-white notice appear to tell us “Due to the new technique of projecting 3-D PICTURES, it is necessary that we have a short INTERMISSION.
HOLLYWOOD ENTERS THE THIRD-DIMENSION
M.L. Gunzburg Presents Natural Vision 3-Dimension [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [5:23] This 3-D Black-and-White short features “Time For Beany” which is the American Television classic children’s characters in 3-D and we are introduced to Beany and Cecil (voiced by Daws Butler and Stan Freberg, respectively), and is a good reason to check this out, as it is brilliant in 3-D. You first get to meet Lloyd Nolan of ‘Peyton Place’ and he introduces Miss Third Dimension, who is Shirley Tegge, Miss U.S.A. of 1949, and preceded the 3-D film ‘Bwana Devil’ during its theatrical release. We hear about the health benefits of the Natural Vision 3-D process.
‘It Came From Outer Space’ Trailer [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [3:39] This was the first ever Black-and-White trailer produced in 3-D to promote the actual 3-D feature film and although photographed in the standard 1.37:1 aspect ratio, it was the first 3-D feature film to be shown in major cities in America in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. We also get included an Extra-Added-3-D Attraction trailer, which features Hollywood’s First Musical Featurette in 3-DIMENSION and featured Nat "King" Cole and Russ Morgan and his Orchestra, in a Sensational Revue! Universal Pictures offered exhibitors “the First All 3-D Program.”
Rocky Marciano [Champion] vs. Jersey Joe Walcott [Challenger] [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [16:36] This was the first and only 3-D black-and-white newsreel to feature the Heavyweight Championship match at the Chicago Stadium from the 15th May, 1953 and was narrated by Jimmy Powers. This was really interesting to view, especially with the look of the slow motion knockout punch by Rocky Marciano that made Jersey Joe Walcott lose the boxing match which his managers disputed the decision, but you get a repeat of the slow motion film and you can definitely see why Jersey Joe Walcott lost the fight. The fight itself is a tremendous short, and the newsreel film gives us a brilliant 3-D presentation of a sporting event that is very intriguing.
‘Hannah Lee’ Trailer [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [2:07] Approximately 18 seconds of this Colour trailer is presented flat due to some stereo footage remaining lost, but the real enjoyment is in the awkward delivery of the star John Ireland as he attempts to sell the film by directly addressing the audience. Unfortunately it did not end well for John Ireland and his wife Joanne Dru took Jack Border to court over some financial problems, whether they won their case has never devulged.
‘Stardust In Your Eyes’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [6:10] With this 3-D Black-and-White film, stand-up comic Slick Slavin [aka Trustin Howard] presents his impressions of various Hollywood personalities including James Cagney, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Peter Lorre and Humphrey Bogart, in this short 3-D film that was produced by Phil Tucker, and it was originally shot to accompany the 3-D feature film ‘Robot Monster.’ This was lost until 1985 when it was found by the 3-D Film Archive in a Hollywood movie lab and rescued in the nick of time, because the negatives were slated to be junked. ‘Stardust In Your Eyes’ captures the talented Slick Slavin [aka Trustin Howard] at his hilarious best.
‘The Maze’ Trailer [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [2:16] Richard Carlson introduces ‘The Maze’ to theatrical patrons in this Black-and-White 3-D trailer and was shot by director William Cameron Menzies. The beginning of this trailer, which has some of the best 3-D effects of the entire disc, gives way to very traditional horror filmmaking, and makes the kind of 3-D film you would like to view.
‘Doom Town’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.37:1] [15:25] This short 3-D documentary features an atomic bomb test in Nevada and features some brief footage of Las Vegas and was an anti-nuclear test documentary and the first documentary to be shot in 3-D in both Black-and-White and Colour, and is excellent. This 3-D short premiered in Los Angeles on the 2nd July, 1953, with ‘College Capers’ and ‘The Maze’ before disappearing from distribution for decades before the recovery of the original negatives by Bob Furmanek in the 1980s. Even so, seeing an atomic bomb explode in 3-D colour is something to behold and is totally spectacular.
‘The Adventures of Sam Space’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.75:1] [9:13] This 3-D Colour animation, has two boys, Chuck and Sam who find a time capsule in a cave and take it to Professor Seateck. The professor finds that the capsule contains a message that had been sent to the planet Meeca whose inhabitants helped Earth in its defence against attacks by the Space Islands in 1960. Sam, Chuck, and the Professor travel to Meeca with the Meecan robot Robo. They are attacked by the Space Islands en route, but arrive safely to meet with the friendly Meecans. This 3-D 1953 short was produced originally in the style of George Pal's Puppetoons by Paul G. Sprunck, a writer/director who had worked on the Puppetoons. Though obviously aimed at young children, it might be a little too much for some. As a piece of animation history, it's just a lot of fun, and with the 3-D work, it gives you a good image depth of 3-D.
‘I'll Sell My Shirt’ [Anaglyphic]  [1080p] [1.75:1] [9:54] Another 3-D Black-and-White oddity from 1953, ‘I’ll Sell My Shirt’ features the so called “comedy” team of George “Beetlepuss” Lewis and Charlie Crafts in a burlesque film featuring a swinging (literally) stripper and an uncomfortable bit of the two men doing all they can to get another woman undressed. It’s actually one of the rarest of all 3-D films and certainly appeals to an audience of its time. Feminists today will be horrified, but it is an interesting curio nonetheless. I thought this was very unfunny, especially with two men who are misogynous dinosaurs who would not be allowed to be filmed in the 21st Century and a complete waste of film. The opening sequence with Dorothy Burke was photographed with the camera shutters out-of-phase. The watery 3-D image during the fast movement was baked-in and cannot be fixed.
‘Miss Sadie Thompson’ Trailer [Polarized]  [1080i] [1.66:1] [3:00] Columbia Pictures adapted W. Somerset Maugham’s story “Rain” as a vehicle to showcase Rita Hayworth, and was one of the studio’s biggest star and was promoted in the 3-D process and declares “Rita Sings in 3-D…Rita Loves 3-D.” This trailer is zoomed to 1.66:1 from the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This was really great to see, especially seeing Rita Hayworth in 3-D seems like a pretty good business plan, and to cast her in a classic story adapted from a W. Somerset Maugham tale was a pretty smart move. This trailer capitalises on her attractiveness and the more sordid elements of the plot, and though the 3-D isn't mind-blowing, it's 3-D effect is worth viewing and gives you another perspective on Rita Hayworth.
‘Boo Moon’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.66:1] [7:33] ‘Boo Moon’ is a theatrical Casper cartoon short released in 1954 in the 3-D format as a “Stereotoon” and it was produced by the Famous Studios for the “Casper the Friendly Ghost” cartoon series and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Casper emerges from a subway station, following a crowd of scared strangers and he encounters a man saying “see the wonders of the moon for ten cents,” and offering a sight through a telescope. Casper scares the man away, and then uses the telescope to see the moon. Casper then flies to the moon for a visit. Casper lands on the moon, disappointed to find no man on the moon decides to lay down to nap, then tiny moon men emerge from holes. They capture Casper, like Lilliputians did to Gulliver, and then place him in a cage on wheels, in which they tow him to the Ruler of the Moon, King Luna. The King addresses Casper as a monster, and treats him as an enemy. Casper playfully picks up King Luna, and the king has him placed in the royal dungeon. A dejected Casper is imprisoned. Then animated trees attack the city of the moon men. The moon men defend their fortified city with flaming missiles. The tree monsters fight back with water, and then break through the town walls. When the fight seems lost to the tree monsters, Casper escapes his cage, and helps the moon men. Casper goes underground. The friendly ghost then pulls trees' parts through the moon surface and ties them together, immobilising the trees. The frustrated trees writhe and strain against the knots Casper has tied. Casper and the moon men have won. Then and only then does King Luna embrace Casper as a friend. King Luna knights Casper for the valiant defence of his people. Then all the moon men join in singing the Casper theme song. This Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon short is presented in 3-D in its original theatrical widescreen aspect ratio. This short has been shown for years on American Television in the horrible pan and scan version with the left and right sides chopped off the screen images. The 3-D imagery and restoration are totally awesome and is really excellent and spectacular; and such a shame there is not more of this fantastic 3-D Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon shorts. The 3-D cartoon is a totally vibrant animation, which takes advantage of Casper's translucent look to achieve some great fun 3-D effects. Voice Cast: Cecil Roy (Casper), Jackson Beck (King Luna/Moon People), Jack Mercer (Moon People) and Allen Swift (Lookout characters). Directors: Izzy Sparber and Seymour Kneitel. Composer: Winston Sharples. Animators: Gordon Whittier, Larry Silverman, Myron Waldman and Nick Tafuri.
3D Blu-ray Image Quality – The shorts are presented in a really excellent 1080p encoded image. The image presentation is totally excellent and the Black-and-White footage, particularly in the 1920s, which has very good grey scale with solid blacks and really fine contrast. As we move into the Technicolor era in the 1940s, colours are rich and vivid with far less in the way of visible print damage than we have any right to expect. The occasional scratch or fibre are visible in the aperture is the exception rather than the norm. The 1920s footage looks terrific with the only major flaw being some fading noticeable between the left and right views. The Casper short, ‘Boo Moon,’ with its vibrant colours and pristine images, actually looks better than many 1080p encoded image transfers of animated shorts being released from other larger studios. The video presentation is not perfect, but very nearly so. Enough cannot be said about the sublime quality of the 3-D presentation in this release. Alignment issues have been corrected for this release, and other than a few isolated instances where flaws in convergence have been baked into the prints, the 3-D presentation approaches perfection. There is occasional ghosting images was minimal to non-existent when viewed on my active display. This is a definitely a Blu-ray reference quality 3-D presentation. Please Note: The films can also be viewed in 2-D for those without a 3-D TV and curious about these historic films, but will miss out on something totally spectacular in 3-D.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The audio is presented in a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound is really excellent for what it is, since directional audio between the 1920s and 1953 was fairly non-existent in film. The audio has greater dynamic range than we have any right to expect, and there is none of the hiss or popping that is often perceptible in releases from this era. Dialogue and music are blended really consistently well for a very fine audio mix.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Kelley's Plasticon Pictures [Anaglyphic] [1922 / 1923] [480i] [1.37:1] [7:48] This Audio Commentary is by Jack Theakston and here we get a nice “Hi” from Jack Theaksto and informs us that we are watching the oldest surviving American 3-D film in “StereoScopic.” “Kelly’s Plasticon Pictures” is William Van Dorin Kelley, a colour film pioneer and invented in 1913 by William Van Doren Kelley and Charles Raleigh, whose company Prizma Incorporated was responsible for the production of short 3-D films. This particular 3-D short was rediscovered by the 3-D Film Archive in February 2006 and luckily they were able to preserve the film in the nick of time, because the original nitrate film began to degrade very badly. Here Jack Theakston explains in great detail of the technical information on the “Prizma” colour film process and the problems they encountered. On the 27th December 1942 K William Van Doren Kelley exhibited a 3-D short entitled ‘Movies of the Future’ at the Rialto Theater in New York City. William Van Doren Kelley would certainly have been aware at the time, of the coming of a number of 3-D films, including a September 1922 screening of the first American 3-D feature ‘The Power of Love,’ shown in Los Angeles and also inventor Lawrence Hammond’s “Teleview” system, which would premiere 5 days after ‘Movies of the Future’ at the Selwyn Theater in New York. Many of William Van Doren Kelley’s 3-D films had their first booking at the Rialto Theater or the Rivoli Theatre in New York, as to the 3-D short ‘Thru’ The Trees – Washington, D.C.’ was never shown to a paying audience, but instead was shown to a Technical Convention in Swampscott in Massachusetts on 27th June 1923 and at the Society of Motion Picture Engineers meeting in October 1923 and both 3-D film demonstration was done by William Van Doren Kelley himself, personally. At these meetings, William Van Doren Kelley explained in great detail of the technical features of filming in his Prizma 3-D format. When the 3-D short was discovered by accident, it was sent to the YCM Laboratory in Burbank in California and Richard Dayton first cleaned up the nitrate negative for damage, but sadly such degrading cannot be stopped or reversed, it can only be slowed down, so preserving this 3-D short was very important, Richard Dayton also repaired the splices and the perforation damage, permitting this delicate print go through an optical printer and then first made a new negative and then attempted colour separation, in order to get discrete left and right images. The final shots seem to have been taken around Coney Island area and the train shot is unknown, but was probably in the New York City area or Brooklyn. The girl on the swing of course is always used in 3-D film shorts or demonstration reels, and it is not a 3-D short without the obligatory roller coaster ride. So ends a very interesting first of three in total audio commentaries and Jack Theakston is a very knowledgeable expert of all aspects of this 3-D short and is well worth a view with this audio commentary.
Audio Commentary: William T. Crespinel / Jacob Leventhal Tests [Anaglyphic] [1924 / 1927] [480i] [1.37:1] [5:46] Once again we get a nice “Hi” from Jack Theakston and again informs us that we are watching a 3-D Demonstration Reel, that was either filmed by William T. Crespine l or Jaco Leventhal or both of them, he is not sure, as there was not much historic information on the 3-D test reel. As a precursor to the previous 3-D test reel, this one is a 1923 3-D demonstration Test Reel and was shown in the Roxy Theater and was totally rejected for not having “enough off screen activity effects.” But in 1925 Pathé took up the baton for 3-D films and designated it as “StereoScope” films and carried on until 1926. We then move on to the WestPoint Academy shot, which was filmed in 1925 and obviously had more off-the-screen filmed activity and the convergence image was way off and the restoration credits must go to Dan Sims and the wonderful 20/20 3-D film restoration process. The old hag we see on the screen is from 1926 and as will observe there is a black ring in front of the 3-D lenses, well Jack Theakston reckons it was used to inform the person in front of the camera where to aim their finger for the 3-D effect. The next shot is of the horrible gross hand with the long black nails, and Jack Theakston thinks it is the worst 3-D effect ever and I agree, as you get a lot of ghosting images. The boy with the slingshot was filmed in 1926 and again notes the black ring in front of the camera lens. Next up is the cannon shot and again was filmed in 1926 and you get to see some amusing animation at the end and the convergence was also way off to. Next up is the man who is a photographer and again was filmed in 1926 and Jack Theakston informs us that the guy behind the camera, who makes the lens comes towards us, is a gag they used many times to demonstrate the 3-D effect. Next up is the man with the sword and was filmed in 1925 and seems to have been copied from the Pathé Stereo Cards. Next up is the man in the costume with a gun and was filmed in 1927 and again was based on the Pathé Stereo Cards of 1925. Next up is one of Jack Theakston’s favourite 3-D test film and also the weirdest, which was filmed in 1926 and it is of the animation of the Chinese puppet men who chops of a man’s head. Next up is a man with a bow and arrow, which was filmed in 1926. The Chaplin impersonator was filmed in 1927 and again was based on the Pathé Stereo Cards system. And so ends another audio commentary by Jack Theakston of this particular 3-D Test Demonstration reel, was okay, but he was not very forthcoming with the technical know-how on the 3-D process, especially what we heard in the previous 3-D Demonstration Test reel. But despite this, so do give it a whirl, as it makes watching this 3-D Demonstration so much more interesting, than watching it without the audio commentary.
Audio Commentary: ‘Boo Moon’ [Polarized]  [1080p] [1.66:1] [7:33] Here we are personally introduced by Thad Komorowski and says a big “Hi” and Thad Komorowski informs us about the Casper the Friendly Ghost and the Paramount Pictures Cartoon entitled ‘Boo Moon,’ which was brought out in 1953 just as the craze for 3-D was going out of fashion. But Thad Komorowski feels this “Stereotoon” were wonderful and were even more spectacular 3-D effects that paramount Pictures were good at, but this particular 3-D animation was very expensive to make and it shows how Paramount Pictures loved these cartoons and especially in 3-D and I personally think this Casper the Friendly Ghost 3-D cartoon is stunning and we are told that at the time, the typical cost of this 3-D animation was around $30,000 and eventually they made two 3-D cartoons at a cost of $70,000 and even if the 3-D craze had lasted, the cost would have been totally prohibitive, especially at the time they made the two 3-D cartoons, which is a shame. But something Thad Komorowski points out and something I noticed, is that the King on the moon, is the same one that was in the Max Fleischer Gulliver’s Travel cartoon, and was done by the same cartoonist. Thad Komorowski also praised the 3-D animation and especially the brilliant Technicolor images, that seem to burst out of the screen, but originally only saw this Casper the Friendly Ghost with a faded print on American TV, but now seeing it for the first time on this Blu-ray disc, he cannot rave enough over it and I second it, as the colours are spectacular. Thad also tells us that why Casper the Friendly Ghost was so successful, especially with children is because the style is timeless and still today children love these special cartoons, because a lot of thought went into making these Casper cartoons. So ends another nice audio commentary and is well worth a listen.
Special Feature: ‘The Bellboy and the Playgirls’ [Polarized or Anaglyphic]  [1080p] [1.66:1] [2:04] This sample 3-D Colour footage was an American-German 1962 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who wrote and produced this approximately 18 minutes of footage this film and it features June Wilkinson and Don Kenney. The actual film was released with the tagline: “June is busting our all over! In COLOR plus the new depth perception . . . it puts a girl in your lap!” Showing impressive depth of impressive cleavage and it's also notable for being edited by arguably the greatest exploitation American film director Jack Hill.
Special Feature: 3-D PHOTO GALLERIES: Here we get to view four separate 3-D features and they are as follows:
‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’   [1.78:1] [2:00] Producer Carl Laemmle used CameraScope to create 3-D stills to promote the feature film starring Lon Chaney, and these stills are presented here in 3-D and what a shame the actual film could have been shot in 3-D as it would of looked totally spectacular. By the way, it was Universal Pictures “Super-Jewel” of 1923 and went onto gross over $3 million dollars.
‘New York World's Fair’   [1.78:1] [2:20] The 3-D View-Master stills were produced for the 1939/1940 New York World's Fair and are presented here with some spectacular 3-D image results. I use to own a View-Master and at the time I thought it was totally spectacular and wished films were in the same stunning 3-D images and these 3-D images brought all the magic back to life again. With the 15 3-D picture images from the 1939/1940 World's Fair in New York are more effective in terms of the 3-D on the title side with a moody piece of art-deco design, than the sculptures and exhibits they depict on half of each frame, but they are well worth a look.
Sam Sawyer View-Master reels  [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:30] Here we get to view ‘Sam Sawyer and The Flying Saucer Pirates’ Reel No. SAM-6. The 3-D View-Master images are presented on the right side of the screen with the text narrative presented on the left. The frames advance periodically without the necessity of using the arrows on your remote control, but readers of the text narrative may wish to press pause occasionally before advancing to the next frame. Again the 3-D Colour images are truly spectacular. The character was designed by Paul G. Spruck, a well-known artist, and went on to produce a total of six Sam Sawyer 3-D View-Master reels.
3-D Comic Books  [1080p] [1.78:1] [3:10] This demonstrates how the 3-D Film Archive can transfer anaglyphic 3-D comic books from the 1950s and into some amazing awesome 1080p quality 3-D and is a stunning presentation and the 3-D images look far superior, than when you actually look at the actual 3-D Comic Books, which includes Mighty Mouse, Tor, Captain 3-D and the Three Stooges, as well as a selection of ads, “Blinkies” (which shows a different image to each eye) and a parody of the concept of 3D. As someone who was always disappointed with 3-D comic books, it is really great to see it done in a proper very professional way and again they look totally spectacular. Sixty-two years later, the original comic book pages are yellow and faded. Their unique stereoscopic restoration techniques have restored this beautiful artwork and they can now be seen in HD quality and far surpassing the original anaglyphic comic books from 1953.
BONUS: The beautiful stunning lushly illustrated 24 page booklet with Introductions by Leonard Maltin and Trustin Howard [aka Slick Slavin]. Plus essays by Julian Antos, Hillary Hess, Thad Komorowski, Donald McWilliams, Ted Okuda, Mary Ann Sell and Jack Theakston. It’s a really great companion with this stunning 3-D Blu-ray presentation.
Finally, ‘3-D RARITIES’ is definitely a reference quality 3-D Blu-ray disc that you are more than likely to watch many times and I can tell you that it is that good 3-D image experience. The 3-D image and audio presentations are consistently excellent with the short films. I hope that ‘3-D RARITIES’ enjoys the success that it deserves, and hoping that the film studios that are not sitting on top of other unreleased 3-D films from the Golden Age of 3-D collecting dust and please take notice of this release and let those who hold these rare 3-D films out of their vaults. I hope also that we get to see the release of Volume 2 of ‘3-D RARITIES’ some day in the very near future, but I will not hold my breath. But ‘3-D RARITIES’ is a must-have triumph for any 3-D Blu-ray Collector’s Library. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso