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Double Harness

Double Harness(1933)

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[Editor's note: Double Harness was not viewed prior to the publication of its entry in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40. This entry was revised after a 2007 viewing of the film.] Hollywood Reporter news items list Betty Furness as a cast member, but she was not identifiable in the print viewed. An Hollywood Reporter news item announced that director John Cromwell would also produce the film, but only Merian C. Cooper and Kenneth Macgowan are credited onscreen.
       As recounted in a Los Angeles Times article in April 2007, Double Harness was one of six films that were being broadcast on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable station after having not been publicly screened for decades. The other five films included Rafter Romance (1933), One Man's Journey (1933), Stingaree (1934), Living on Love (1937), and A Man to Remember (1938, see entries below). The Los Angeles Times article and on-air commentaries before the broadcasts of each film related that the rights to the pictures had been in legal limbo since the early 1930s when executive producer Cooper left RKO and received the rights to six of the studio's films. Later, Cooper and a business associate, Ernest L. Scanlon, became embroiled in a dispute that left the films' status ambiguous.
       The Los Angeles Times article continued that, in April 2006, following an inquiry from a curious fan, TCM investigated and eventually learned that 35mm copies of five prints used for television distribution in the 1950s were held within the Merian C. Cooper Collection at the motion picture archives at Brigham Young University. The films were subsequently restored and, with the addition of a Dutch copy of the sixth film, A Man to Remember (see below), the package was shown on TCM in April 2007. For Double Harness, an additional two-and-half minute sequence that had been cut from the print made for television distribution, was located in a French negative discovered in the National Center for Cinematography in France. The brief segment had been cut because it indicated that the characters of "Joan Colby" and "John Fletcher" were having pre-marital sex.