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16mm movie film 101st Airborne WWII Medals ceremony

Started by Bob Hudson , Dec 03 2017 01:28 PM

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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 01:28 PM

I buy and sell old movies and a while back picked up a very sorry lot of 16mm films. They reeked of vinegar and and in some cases were severely dried out and curled up (at it's worst old movie film can look like a chain of raisins). 

 

Today I started stripping the film off the reels and after gettiing past many, many feet of ruined film I got to film that looks like it might withstand the rigors of a movie projector. 

 

I clipped snippets from the films and laid them out on my light table to see what was on them. 

 

To my shock the first one showed what I assume is a 502nd PIR officer. 

 

1.jpg

 

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#2 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 01:30 PM

Now I have to dig out the projector and see what it its all about. Here's another scene:

 

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#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 01:31 PM

One of the other films also shows what seems to be a WWII scene:

 

5.jpg



#4 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 01:57 PM

The reel is marked SILENT 101 (no sound track) and the reel itself is German, possibly from an German army signal unit:

 

6.jpg



#5 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 04:13 PM

Here's my first test shots, pointing an HD camcorder at a small screen showing the projected image. The image quality in this is pretty nice, much better than what this little movie shows. However like so much old film this is curling and drying and which makes it harder for the film to stay in sync as you'll see with the jitters in this:

 



#6 sgtdorango

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 04:31 PM

Great find...that looks like Gen Ridgeway awarding the medals maybe?....mike

#7 BILL THE PATCH

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 04:31 PM

That's cool, you probably have the only copy that's exists. Is that a legion of merit medal?, Good save

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#8 custer1

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 04:36 PM

Looks like the same field where the 2nd PUC award took place in spring 1945.

#9 custer1

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 04:42 PM

I think the last guy decorated on the stage might be Ned Moore, Div G-1 (I think). maybe him at the end as well. Yes, looks like a Legion of Merit. Nice film find. Thanks for posting.

#10 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 06:33 PM

Would Ridgway have been presenting awards and medals as a Corps commander?

 

Here's the full 7 minues and 30 seconds. There was another few minutes of footage that was totally trashed by age.

 



#11 Blacksmith

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 06:53 PM

We rightfully talk a lot about preserving history. I can't think of a better example. If indeed that is the only copy of that footage, I believe it's extremely significant. Looks like various levels of colors received streamers beyond the personal awards. Thank you for posting this Bob.

#12 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 05:19 AM

That is awesome! 

As an A-V geek myself I know the sometimes painstaking work to get those old films to run!

 

And AWESOME "unofficial" unit flags in use!


Edited by Mr.Jerry, 04 December 2017 - 05:22 AM.


#13 bobgee

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:49 AM

Outstanding find & save, Bob. Hopefully you can capture some great still shots from it. Bob



#14 Bob Hudson

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:22 AM

I know the sometimes painstaking work to get those old films to run!

 
Yep - when you stick an old film especially on a projector it's going to be either run or ruin when you press PLAY.
 
This film was part of a batch from estate sale. I honestly did not think any of the films would run at all, but after discarding the first several feet of most of them they were playable.
 



#15 R Michael

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:43 AM

Man that is way cool!! I know nothing about early film. I have about 5 reels of 16mm film I bought a while back that supposedly has gun camera footage. Don't have a projector nor the big money to have put on a DVD..

 

mike



#16 Bob Hudson

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:06 AM

Man that is way cool!! I know nothing about early film. I have about 5 reels of 16mm film I bought a while back that supposedly has gun camera footage. Don't have a projector nor the big money to have put on a DVD..

 

mike

 

Here's some 16mm gun camera footage I copied to video several years ago - pre HD. 

 



#17 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:20 AM

It can be hard syncing frame rates/shutter speeds, that what the machines the big boys have do. I just point and shoot and do my best to ride the speed to not induce seizures. usually good enough to see what is what.  Good thing I am in charge here or they would have tossed the "old" projectors years ago.



#18 BEAST

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:30 AM

Bob, It is amazing what you find! It is hard to believe what is still out there.

#19 R Michael

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:24 PM

Bob, That is great! I think I need to invest in a 16mm projector..



#20 Bob Hudson

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:19 PM

I use an old Sanyo HD camcorder. This camcorder gives some of the best results Ive ever had shooting video on a projected screen. You can buy a camcorder like that and a used projector for perhaps $200 - I did modify my projector slightly to further reduce flicker.



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#21 stealthytyler

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:24 PM

Looks like a really fun hobby. I might have to get into this myself! Good work Bob 



#22 Bob Hudson

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 04:56 PM

 
Here's remnants of a newsreel that shows some 101st troops in Berchtesgaden. It has a soundtrack but that doesn't work on my projector so once it gets to the part where President Truman speaks it is not too interesting unless you can read Presidential lips, but after Harry come the bathing beauties with brush-on tans:

 

 

I discovered that my projector could play the optical soundtrack on that newsreel, so I recorded it again, using a microphone in front of the projector's speaker. It sounds much better than I would have expected, considering the noisy projector motor was just a few inches from the mike (I put a book between them as a sound baffle).

 

This movie was on a very large reel and it turned out there were 3 movies spliced together, each about 10 minues long: the newsreel, a sports piece on 1943 St John's basketball and a low budget "why we fight" movie about Illinois. This movie program would have circulated through any Army unit that had a projector.  

 

So here's the talkie version:

 



#23 huntssurplus

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:10 PM

WOW! This is really cool! I know my grandpa has some film from his time in the air force! I may look into buying one of these to watch it!

Hunt 



#24 RustyCanteen

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:55 PM

Great find Bob!

 

I bought a couple of projectors at flea markets (outdoor ones) and while the projectors were very nice, the bulbs did not work in either one. I seem to remember tracking down a replacement bulb, but the cost was 5 times what the projector cost, so that is something to consider when thinking about a projector.



#25 Bob Hudson

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:38 PM

Great find Bob!

 

I bought a couple of projectors at flea markets (outdoor ones) and while the projectors were very nice, the bulbs did not work in either one. I seem to remember tracking down a replacement bulb, but the cost was 5 times what the projector cost, so that is something to consider when thinking about a projector.

 

Yep - the bulbs can be quite scarce. Also, projectors are old complex electro-mechanical devices and you can buy 5 to find one that works. 

 

But it is fun to bring these old films to life. The ones shown here came mostly from one batch and it now appears that batch came from the Army in WWII. So, it's quite possible these haven't been projected since 1945.




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