There’s a restoration all ready to be done. A nice print of the 1930 release has been found. (What a tragedy that a complete Technicolor camera negative doesn’t exist! Fortunately, the camera negative for “Whoopee” exists. I.e., black-and-white film with the red/green on alternate frames, which is what came out of the camera.) A good set of disks is also in the hands of the restorers.
The project needs money. I’m surprised there hasn’t been some crowd-funding effort.
That tends to comport with what I’d heard. It’s just such a historically important film, and it’s sad that it’s been so neglected. But, I guess when you get outside the Warners sphere, into the MCA holdings of Univeral/Paramount fare, there is tons of material that needs preservation. I’m also hoping they’ll manage to work on their early-talkie Tom Mix westerns.
Seems funny, because I was just watching a Freddie Rich “Vitaphone” short the other day (which included a few suprising shots of Jimmy Dorsey, Berigan, etc., and a nifty rendition of Chloe- Song of the Swamp, which I loved), and appreciating how nicely preserved this little one-reeler looked. And yet, “King of Jazz” is so neglected.