The Super 8mm World

Way back in ancient times – well, “ancient” meaning at least the 1970’s – if you wanted to watch a motion picture at home, there were few options.  You could wait until the local television station broadcast it as a “Movie of the Week,” or you could purchase the movie and watch it at home on your own electronic equipment.

DVD?  Nah.

VHS?  Nah.

Beta?  Nah.

No, I’m talking about Super 8 movies.

Wha?

Many motion picture studios produced heavily-edited “selected scenes” Super 8mm films for home purchase.  The earlier prints were black-and-white silent transfers with intertitles; later editions featured sound, color and bridging narration.

For example…

Here’s Star Wars (not Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) on 8mm film.  This version has sound, some narration, and has been trimmed down to a 20-minute running time.

Now the person who posted this Super 8 version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show was slick.  He flipped the negative at the beginning, so as to not alert anyone of his copyright infringement by posting the video on YouTube.  Anyway, here’s his version, in two parts.

Another legendary classic, The Poseidon Adventure, was released as a Super 8 black and white subtitled film.  Wow.  This could have been shown on the Titanic when that boat sank.  Ha.

One of my favorite science fiction films of the 1970’s was Logan’s Run.  Here’s the home movie 8mm version of that film.

If you felt the urge to go swimming… and suddenly you’re followed by a killer shark… yep, they made a Super 8mm version of Jaws back in the day.

Of course, the Super 8mm format worked best when the studios didn’t have to edit the film down to the length afforded by tiny film reels… perfect length for animated cartoons.  As can be seen by this Super 8mm Tom & Jerry transfer.

So anyways, I thought you would get a smile out of these classic movies and the early attempts to edit them down for home viewing consumption.

So now I gotta put the projector back in the closet, put the white screen away…

Jeez, now I know why we all went to VCR’s and DVD’s.  Putting away all the equipment was much easier now than it was back then. 😀

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