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2004.06.23

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Filmbrain got his hands on a DVD that contains all Stanley Kubrick's films prior to KILLER'S KISS . [Read More]

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Girish

I wonder: is Kubrick's first feature, "Fear And Desire", available on video or DVD? It was rumored that he bought up all available prints and tried to "erase" the film from his filmography.
I've just netflixed "Lord Love A Duck" upon reading your recommendation. I had never even heard of it before that. So, thanks!

Filmbrain

Yes, Fear and Desire is included on this DVD. The quality is extremely bad -- several scenes can hardly be seen at all.

The review should be up in a couple of days.

Cindy Hite C.

Filmbrain: It is clear, by your utterly shallow review of Kubrick's early documentary effort, that you are not only unappreciative and shortsighted in terms of its entrepreneurial spirit, and totally unfamiliar with the Flying Padre's renowned narrator, broadcaster/news anchor, Bob Hite, but also with the art of narration itself; so let me tell you just a little about my Dad, Bob Hite, and his expert read for Kubrick's Padre. The Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, The Shadow, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, amongst others originated at WXYZ-Detroit, were highlighted by Bob Hite's classic narrations for over five years until he was hired away by CBS, NY, in 1944, where he helped usher in the medium of television. His work remained mostly national, as it was at WXYZ, but he also anchored the tri-state/metropolitan CBS evening television news, solo, and with Peter Thomas for many years. In the mornings he brought listeners The CBS World News Roundup, and it was his stirring delivery on CBS Radio that brought our country the first news of the Victory in Europe. Cronkite personally chose Bob Hite to announce his Evening News, which Dad did for ten years until he retired in 1979. Bob Hite's voice on CBS radio and television contributed to the overall sound that created the "Tiffany Network" image. And I am quoting industry leaders. According to radio history chronicler and WXYZ biographer, Dick Osgood, "He [Hite] projected such a persuasion, he could read the telephone directory and make you want to buy the numbers." Don Hewitt, of CBS's 60 Minutes, described Hite's voice as "one of the best he has ever heard... He [Hite's] was one of the voices that made CBS, CBS." And long-time colleague, Charles Osgood of CBS Sunday Morning, said that Bob Hite "set the tone for much of what CBS did." Walter Cronkite said of Dad that he "was one of the busiest announcers," whose voice was already familiar to Cronkite before he joined CBS ten years after Dad. And, speaking as his daughter, no Christmas would be complete without my father's reading of "The Night Before Christmas."

Reference Kubrick's documentary flick, Hite's narration in "The Flying Padre" was, in fact, perfectly performed for that particular film and the script. If you switched Hite with Doug Edwards (who also came from WXYZ), and had Dad read Kubrick's next documentary, The Day of the Fight, and Edwards read Padre, each would have changed his style to suit the piece and, well, you get my point. Flying Padre was actually a cool little story for those innocent times, 1951, that reflected Kubrick’s fine sense for the off beat. The narration style helped to create interest and was heartwarming as was meant for that story. As a matter of fact, the educated ear will note all the careful nuances of expression given the read by the narrator, Hite, and you will come to see that he actually made the most of the material he was given to work with and truly brought across the meaning to the various scenes. Those whose ears are overwhelmed by modern audio technology must take pause and try to study such pieces with a bygone era perspective. My father’s talent and voice live on, inherited by my brother, Bob Hite, Jr., #1 rated news anchor in Florida, at WFLA, NBC affiliate channel 8, for 29 years! For attribution purposes to this reply, see the front page feature article, "Voice of Radio Falls Silent," done for my father's obituary in the Palm Beach Post, February 19th, 2000, by their staff writer, Howie Paul Hartnett. Articles appeared in papers across the country and around the world, even in the Cook Islands, about the death of the Lone Ranger’s story teller.

Sincerely contributed by Cindy Hite C., West Palm Beach.

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