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Customer Review

5 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where are "Four Winds Island", "Mystery in the Mine", "Ambush at Devil's Gap" and..., 19 May 2013
This review is from: Children's Film Foundation Collection: Weird Adventures (The Boy Who Turned Yellow | The Monster of Highgate Pond | A Hitch in Time) [DVD] (DVD)
...and "Five Clues to Fortune" aka "The Treasure at Woburn Abbey? Or "The Young Jacobites" with Francesca Annis from 1960???

Each time when BFI releases another triple DVD with 3 CFF movies, I am disappointed, because they keep ignoring the really good and suspenseful CFF movies for kids from the 50's and early 60's and two of their movies are usually from the 70's when CFF was not producing good stuff any longer.

Well, hopefully next time...
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Showing 1-10 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 May 2013 16:52:57 BDT
I am also waiting for "Five Clues To Fortune", but at the moment, the BFI's policy is three hour long features per volume and an eight episode serial would run at least a couple of hours and so would have to have a separate release...although they have already issued the serials "Five On a Treasure Island" and "Five Have a Mystery to Solve".

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2013 17:16:02 BDT
C. Mathieu says:
Hi,

I e-mailed a few times with BFI over the past 3 years and they claim not to have the video masters for those best 6 CFF movies any longer even though those video masters are available in Germany.
So I don't see much hope that they will ever be released. Hopefully they will get released on DVD in Germany, maybe even with the original English track and the German dubbing.

Yes, it was a very pleasant surprise 3 or 4 years ago when BFI released "Five on a Treasure Island" and "Five have a Mystery to solve". I've seen FOTI once on German TV in 1962, but the other one never has been aired on German television.
Both came with beautiful booklets!

Cheers,

Chrissie

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2013 18:02:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 May 2013 18:03:01 BDT
Yes, I have a friend who knows Anna Home, who ran the CFF (now the CFTU) and she told him that all the 35mm prints and negatives of the old CFF films have been transferred to the BFI.

However, a few of them can't be traced, such as "Five Clues to Fortune"; "Four Winds Island" and "Swift Water".

As a cinema projectionist in the 1960s, I ran most of the CFF features and serials for the children's Saturday matinee shows at the cinema where I worked, usually consisting of a CFF feature, followed by the latest installment of a CFF serial and a Walt Disney; MGM, or Universal Technicolor cartoon. I kept a few 35mm frames from the CFF stuff and still have them decades later. We stopped showing the children's Saturday matinees in 1974, so all the later CFF films made in that year and beyond were never shown.

Posted on 31 May 2013 21:47:11 BDT
I agree the serials are some of the best output of the CFF, and hopefully we will see some of them being released in due course.

I have a fantastic 16mm print of Ambush at Devil's Gap, it's a wonderful adventure filmed on location in the snowy Scottish highlands.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2013 17:08:15 BDT
C. Mathieu says:
Hello J. Rossington,

I think we corresponded once in Britmovie dot org and you were not willing to make me a copy. Did you transfer it onto DVD meanwhile?
I have 67 mostly old CFF movies on DVD, maybe we could make a trade?
My e-mail is waldenpond 88 at hotmail dot com.

Cheers,

Chrissie

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2013 17:09:53 BDT
C. Mathieu says:
Yes, I remember that it was filmed in Scotland near some castle. I watched it way back in the late 60's on German TV and tried everything to get a copy. BFI claims that they don't have the video master, so it will never be released on DVD :(.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2013 17:25:45 BDT
Dear Chrissie

I'm sorry, the reason is that I don't have the equipment to make a DVD copy from my film print, and to get it professionally done would cost a small fortune as it is 6 reels long!

If the BFI do not have this film in their archive I would be happy to talk to them.

Kind regards

John

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2013 17:56:31 BDT
Chrissie, it has nothing to do with the BFI not having a video master. They most probably have the original 35mm negatives, or at least a good condition 35mm print that could be transferred to DVD if they wanted to do it. When I ran the 1967 serial "Ambush at Devil's Gap" in 1968 at the cinema where I worked, there were six episodes and the copy number was number 40. Many copies were printed for distribution to cinemas all over the country. So hopefully, at least one of these prints has survived. After the last run, the film was sent back to Rank Film Distributors, who at that time handled the cinema distribution for CFF films.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2013 00:47:05 BDT
C. Mathieu says:
Hello Mr. Db Rayner,

Thanks for writing back.

I only repeated what BFI wrote back to me: they cannot release "Ambush at Devil's Gap", "Mystery in the Mine", Five Clues to Fortune", "Fourwinds Island", "River Rivals", "Raiders of the River" and "The Young Jacobites" on DVD, because BFI has no video masters from these 7 CFF movies.
And those are exactly the ones that I'm searching for for several decades :(.

From what I understand, those CFF movies without video masters cannot get transferred onto DVD without the video masters. They obviously cannot transfer them from 16 mm or 32 mm directly onto DVD.
I was heart-broken when I found that out last year.

Also I heard from somebody who contacted BFI recently that they plan to release 60 CFF movies over the next 10 years.
Well, I guess that will be all new CFF movies from the 70's, 80's and after, not the excellent old 50's and 60's CFF films :(.
And I could care less about the 70's, 80's etc CFF movies. They are not as thrilling (more funny instead to the point where it gets silly), lack the good actors from the 50's and 60's and moreover have bad scores/soundtracks.
I'm very very disappointed to say the least. I was hoping to be able to see these 7 CFF movies once more in my lifetime.

When my husband and I spent 4 1/2 months in Uxbridge, UK, 5 years ago, I called CFTF (former CFF) who told me that all CFF films would now belong to BFI.
When I called BFI, I was told that they cannot transfer them on DVD's without video masters. And when I asked them if it would be possible to at least watch them at the BFI (like they did in August 2009 with "Five have a Mystery to solve"), they said no.

Cheers,

Chrissie

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2013 00:51:00 BDT
C. Mathieu says:
Hello John,

That's a very generous offer and I would be very very happy if you would talk to them and if they finally could put it on DVD. In that case I would pre-order it and tell the many German CFF fans (the baby Boomer generation) that it will be released in the UK.
BFI could make a fortune with these old CFF movies on DVD!

Thanks again :)!!!

Kind regards,

Chrissie
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