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Author Topic: Final Takeoff film  (Read 34844 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2016, 04:57:02 PM »

The film is a series of scene's spliced together.  I wonder what happened to the sections not used?  Trashed?  Stuck away in someone's desk or filing cabinet?

The classic "cutting room floor."  The story behind the film is truly bizarre.  The film was allegedly shot in 16mm by someone named Sid Marshall (all we know about him is his name). Somehow the 99s in Oklahoma City ended up with a copy.  'Long about 1987, T.C. "Buddy" Brennan talked somebody at the EAA into producing a film to go along with his book "Witness To The Execution" (Renaissance House, 1988).  The film included the home video interviews Brennan had shot with the islanders who were, of course, witnesses to Earhart's execution by the Japanese.  To make the film more interesting, the EAA asked the 99s to loan them their copy of the Last Takeoff film.  The EAA made an analog video (VHS) dub of the 99s 16mm film and included it in the Witness To The Execution film.  (Here's where it gets good.)  Instead of returning the 16mm print to Oklahoma City the EAA gave it to a former president of the 99s who lived near Oshkosh. She assured them she would return it to Oke City.  She didn't.  She kept it along with other memorabilia she had forgotten to return to the 99s.  When she died, her son, the executor of her estate, auctioned off all her stuff out of resentment for the attention his mother paid to the 99s and not to him. The EAA never knew about it until the 99s inquired about the whereabouts of their film.  By then the deed was done.

EAA gave TIGHAR a copy of the VHS dub at my request with permission to use it as we choose as long as we don't monetize it.  I had it digitized and put it up on our Youtube channel.  Everyone, including me, has always assumed it was "as advertised."  Makes ya wonder what else we're missing that has been staring us in the face.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2016, 05:17:16 PM »

I've stood on the wing of the Pensacola sort-of-replica that has the same cockpit hatch arrangement as NR16020. Climbing into that cockpit via the hatch is no mean feat. 

Is that the correct sized prop on the NMNA Electra? It looks awfully short, unless the perspective is throwing things off.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 EC
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2016, 08:13:49 PM »


Is that the correct sized prop on the NMNA Electra? It looks awfully short, unless the perspective is throwing things off.

The NMNA Electra is a 10A. They aborted the rebuild as an NR16020 replica before they hung the big engines.
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2016, 10:58:49 PM »

Ran across this info tonight on Syd Marshall!

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/51274550
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Kurt Kummer

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2016, 01:38:28 AM »

Wow!  As Ric and others have said before, it is truly amazing what things can turn up over seventy years after the events of 1937.  Great job Randy.  Now all we need is for someone in Australia to track down the original film at the network, or maybe with Syd Marshall's family.  Wouldn't it be great to see what else Syd's camera recorded in July of 1937?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2016, 06:51:30 AM »

Ran across this info tonight on Syd Marshall.

Good work Randy!
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2016, 07:05:33 AM »

Wow!  As Ric and others have said before, it is truly amazing what things can turn up over seventy years after the events of 1937.

We know of a LOT of good, primary source material out there - film, photos, letters, documents- that is not accessible to researchers because the owners want exorbitant amounts of money for it or refuse to share it at any price. Extremely frustrating. It's tempting to name names and publicly shame them, but it would probably only further entrench them or drive the prices higher.
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2016, 06:47:39 PM »

Who was it Ric?

I don't know, but it's not Fred.  He has a mustache.

Might the man in the white shirt be the same fellow in this photo, labeled 'Arrival at Lae'?

https://tighar.org/wiki/File:15ArrvlChater.jpg
H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2016, 07:34:51 PM »


Might the man in the white shirt be the same fellow in this photo, labeled 'Arrival at Lae'.


No. That's Eric Chater and his wife.  Chater was the manager at Guinea Airways. He was killed a year later when he walked into a turning prop.
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2016, 10:27:39 AM »

This is from the Old Forum Archives:https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Forum/Forum_Archives/200009.txt

Date:         Fri, 1 Sep 2000 10:28:04 EDT
From:         Cam Warren
Subject:      Re: Takeoff film

Some years ago Joe Gervais tracked down Sid Marshall in
Australia, who shot the original footage.  Joe said the film was
in very bad shape, patched together with Scotch tape, and broke
more than once when run through the projector. I don't recall
if the 99's actually got the original, but - as you say - it
turned up missing after being borrowed by someone. The home
splicing job likely accounts for the out-of-sequence scenes.

Cam Warren

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From Ric

What scenes do you think are out of sequence?    [End of excerpt from Old Forum]


    So far that is all I have found in the Forum.
    At first I was excited by the thought of what might have been left on the cutting room floor.  But on reflection my hunch right now is that Syd Marshall himself put together all of his AE footage, pretty much in chronological order.  What he left out would have been what he considered non-AE footage, which might of course have some interest for us, but probably not too much, as far as AE is concerned.
    Marshall did assert in that 1970 interview for the Australian Women's Weekly (kudos to Randy Conrad for that link!) that he considered his film to be history belonging to the Australian people, not to be sold to the highest bidder.  In light of that it wd be of interest to learn where it wound up after his death in May 1975, and how well it is being preserved or even restored.
    I will add a couple of footnotes on Marshall in a separate post.

H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2016, 04:26:17 PM »

   At the time he filmed AE, Sidney David Marshall was already well known in his native Australia for having in 1934 made an historic first flight directly across the Coral Sea, 400 miles from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea to Cooktown in Queensland Australia.  He piloted a small single-engine monoplane, a Westland Widgeon that he had bought from his employer in Lae, Guinea Airways.
   Not long after filming Earhart’s final takeoff the 35-year-old aviator went back to Australia to start his own business, Marshall Airways.  He was eventually awarded the MBE for his achievements.
    Over the years he acquired a collection of older aircraft, near the airport in Bankstown, a Sydney suburb, including a DC-2 and an Electra 10B, pictured here:
http://www.secretsofasydneypast.com/2008/05/marshall-airways-lockheed-electra.html
http://www.secretsofasydneypast.com/2008/05/dc2-sid-marshall-collection-bankstown.html
    Marshall died on May 7 1975, at age 72, in Georges Hall, near the Bankstown airport.
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5865537/sid_marshall_death_notice/
    One admirer of Marshall paid tribute to his career in aviation, on the date of his burial, by flying a Tiger Moth biplane under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The authorities were not pleased with his violation of the Air Navigation Act, and he lost his appeal in court a year later.  https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5865500/stunt_flight_tribute_to_syd_marshall/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5862014/syd_marshall_burial_12_may_1975/

H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
3555R Prof of Philos, ret.
 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 10:29:59 PM by Harbert William Davenport »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2016, 09:47:03 AM »

   ...his employer in Lae, Guinea Airways.

That explains what he was doing in Lae.

...and an Electra 10A, pictured here:

No registration letters visible but that's  VH-UZO, c/n 1107 delivered to Ansett Airways on July 8, 1937 and last known (1978) to be on exhibit at the Marshall Airways Museum, in Bankstown, NSW as VH-ASM (note the "ASM" on the tail of the airplane in the photo).  Today there is no Marshall Airways Museum listed but there is an Australian Aviation Museum in Bankstown.  No Electra listed in the collection. 
I have a vague recollection of hearing about an Aussie Electra being purchased from a museum for rebuild to airworthy condition.
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2016, 08:06:30 AM »

Is it possible Ric and Herbert that Sid's film is stored
in the archives at this museum today as we speak?
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2016, 09:18:18 AM »

Good thought, Randy.  I have sent an inquiry to the Museum, by email.

Here is the reply I just received from the Australian Aviation Museum.  So far it seems that Sid Marshall's wish that his film be preserved as history belonging to the Australian people has not been fulfilled...

aviationmuseum@bigpond.com
12:43 AM July 20, 2016

Hi Bill,
The museum does not have a copy of the 1937 film.  Our chief librarian viewed the film some years ago, but the museum never acquired a copy.

When Sid Marshall died, his business partner Jack Davis or Davies took over the business.  Jack is now in poor health, reportedly also with dymentia.  It is reported that his wife has many of the business records etc, but is not happy to handle enquiries.

It may be that the national film archives has a copy of the film you are looking for.

Regards

Mike McGree
Museum Coordinator, Australian Aviation Museum
H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
3555R Prof of Philos, ret.
 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 06:07:54 AM by Harbert William Davenport »
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2016, 07:51:55 PM »

Sid Marshall is reported to have loaned his film to the Australian Broadcasting Commission (now Corporation), presumably for the purpose of their making a copy of it.  See the August 1970 Australian Women's Weekly article that Randy found: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/51274550

So I have emailed the ABC archives dept, to inquire further, & will post any response here.
H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
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