Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze – Detarnished!

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Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze – Detarnished!
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1975
Original Running Time:
100 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
83 minutes
Fanedit Of The Year 2011 Winner
Synopsis:
This edit takes Slark’s original ideas for Doc SalvageD The Fanedit of Bronze! and refined it to the highest level, seeking to bring dignity to a beloved character, and his many fans!
Intention:
Hollywood lore says that Warner execs were fearful that a serious depiction of a pulp hero would not play to audiences in the mid-‘70s, and that they insisted the film be given a “camp” approach, akin to the 1960s TV series “Batman”. Rumor has it that a “straight” cut of the film does exist, somewhere in Warner’s vault. The idea of this edit was to try to extricate as much of the cringe-inducing “camp” as possible from this film – in effect, imagining what that “straight” cut might have been like.
Special Thanks:
I would like to thank my “advisors” on the fanedit.org forums: Gantz101, Monroville, Jorge, Spence, ImperialFighter, JMB, Blackhawk, Bleujayone, MonkandHam, Dwight Fry, Ray Zell, Ripplin, Hebrides, and imp_ardnfi. And I would like to thank all the past and present administrators of fanedit.org for providing a site that inspires and facilitates all this.

There is a much more extensive list of thanks in the crawl that follows the movie, but I would like to single out Mr. Ron Ely – to whom I have dedicated this fanedit – for a wonderful performance that made all the time spent on this project bearable!
Release Information:
DVD
Special Features:
Full Subtitles
Faneditor’s (Text) Commentary
“Fragments from the Faneditor’s Floor” Cut Footage Section (featuring special “wiseass” captions)
Reconstructed Featurette
2 Trailers
DVD_ROM folder including un-filmed sequel script
Editing Details:
Needless to say, a fanedit that takes THREE YEARS to complete is going to have a lot of “Edit Details” – it seems less-than-practical to imagine a comprehensive list here. Suffice it to say that this is, as my friend and key advisor on this project, Imp, put it: “a head-to-toe re-edit”. For the record, the fanedit includes a running “text commentary” – on the second subtitle track – that goes into much of the “Edit Details”
Cuts and Additions:
Likewise, the “cut-list” is rather extensive, and is not easily described in terms of scenes/lines cut. (We’d be here into next week.) Perhaps the best way to get a feel for the “cut-list” is to view the “Fragments from the Faneditor’s Floor” section of the disc, a ½-hour of UNEDITED clips from the original film, provided for comparison. The “Fragments” section is liberally peppered with wiseass captions that are pretty funny. (But then again, of course I think so – I wrote them.)
DeTarnished: The Newsreel

Doc Before and After:

The Bad Guys Before and After

The Shipboard Brawl Before and After

The Main Event Before and After

DETARNISHED - Label
DETARNISHED - Cover (Mild Tarnish) v3
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie/Show Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1975
Original Running Time:
100 minutes
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
83 minutes
Fanedit Of The Year 2011 Winner
Synopsis:
This edit takes Slark’s original ideas for Doc SalvageD The Fanedit of Bronze! and refined it to the highest level, seeking to bring dignity to a beloved character, and his many fans!
Intention:
Hollywood lore says that Warner execs were fearful that a serious depiction of a pulp hero would not play to audiences in the mid-‘70s, and that they insisted the film be given a “camp” approach, akin to the 1960s TV series “Batman”. Rumor has it that a “straight” cut of the film does exist, somewhere in Warner’s vault. The idea of this edit was to try to extricate as much of the cringe-inducing “camp” as possible from this film – in effect, imagining what that “straight” cut might have been like.
Special Thanks:
I would like to thank my “advisors” on the fanedit.org forums: Gantz101, Monroville, Jorge, Spence, ImperialFighter, JMB, Blackhawk, Bleujayone, MonkandHam, Dwight Fry, Ray Zell, Ripplin, Hebrides, and imp_ardnfi. And I would like to thank all the past and present administrators of fanedit.org for providing a site that inspires and facilitates all this.

There is a much more extensive list of thanks in the crawl that follows the movie, but I would like to single out Mr. Ron Ely – to whom I have dedicated this fanedit – for a wonderful performance that made all the time spent on this project bearable!
Release Information:
DVD
Special Features:
Full Subtitles
Faneditor’s (Text) Commentary
“Fragments from the Faneditor’s Floor” Cut Footage Section (featuring special “wiseass” captions)
Reconstructed Featurette
2 Trailers
DVD_ROM folder including un-filmed sequel script
Editing Details:
Needless to say, a fanedit that takes THREE YEARS to complete is going to have a lot of “Edit Details” – it seems less-than-practical to imagine a comprehensive list here. Suffice it to say that this is, as my friend and key advisor on this project, Imp, put it: “a head-to-toe re-edit”. For the record, the fanedit includes a running “text commentary” – on the second subtitle track – that goes into much of the “Edit Details”
Cuts and Additions:
Likewise, the “cut-list” is rather extensive, and is not easily described in terms of scenes/lines cut. (We’d be here into next week.) Perhaps the best way to get a feel for the “cut-list” is to view the “Fragments from the Faneditor’s Floor” section of the disc, a ½-hour of UNEDITED clips from the original film, provided for comparison. The “Fragments” section is liberally peppered with wiseass captions that are pretty funny. (But then again, of course I think so – I wrote them.)
Cover art by slark (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

DeTarnished: The Newsreel

Doc Before and After:

The Bad Guys Before and After

The Shipboard Brawl Before and After

The Main Event Before and After

Trusted Reviewer reviews

Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
An older fan-edit that is absolutely worth standing alongside the most recent work. I have to give credit to Slark for the opening title cards. It set me in the right frame of mind to enjoy this edit with appropriate expectations. In short: it is not a good movie. There is no magic wand that can make it a good movie. But there is a certain charm to it, and particularly for fans of pulp serials or Doc Savage himself, what this edit HAS done is revealed a kernel of what could've been a good movie. As the title cards say "If someone watches this and complains that they wasted 1 1/2 hours of their time, I'll consider that a victory because they didn't turn it off after 3 minutes!" Well, I watched it all the way through, and for a Doc Savage fan, it wasn't time wasted at all.

After trimming so much away, what we're left with is a smoothly edited film that gives a focused and consistent narrative: an old-school adventure serial of globe-trotting and scientific mystery. Now, there are parts that are super-cheesy and have been left in...they're just endemic to the story. The music is a horrible choice for making you take any of this without eye-rolls, but it IS "The Doc Savage March". While I would've scrapped the entire score, I understand the desire to keep at least the main theme. There are also some lines and scenes which are pretty campy and over-the-top ("Mona, you're a brick." Bwa ha!) but honestly it's kind of the charm of the film. You're just not going to get a serious action movie out of this, so why not leave in some of the less offensive wacky fun? Some of the inventions and effects work are also super-forced and campy, but they are consistent with the novels, so really you just have to keep them as they were realized.

The intro to the film is the major win here, and I'd love to see a whole movie done in a similar vein. What's here seems more like a long TV episode akin to a Magnum PI or Knight Rider...about the same level of quality, budget, acting, cinematography, etc. But this pared down version gives us a film that could stand alongside many of the big movies of the late '70s/early '80s.... it's not any cheesier than many of Moore's Bond films, not any more camp than ridiculous comedies with former SNL members. And what it does have is a really fantastic portrayal of Doc by Ron Ely! Until we get a Hollywood update (a matter of time), this is the best realization of those old novels a fan could hope for. Thanks to Slark for salvaging something from the wreckage.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
A guilty pleasure. The Man of Bronze leaps off the written page and onto the big screen with his colorful team in tow. Thank you for salvaging Doc's movie adventure and exposing the little gem that lay hidden under the movie studio's official release. Until we see a full-feature, modern version of Doc Savage (Shane Black and Dwayne Johnson: make it happen!), this lovely yet clunky rendition is the best Doc outside of the books.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
10.0
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N/A
Audio Editing
 
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10.0
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10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This fanedit is now a very nice old fashioned adventure movie.
As the title of the first version of this edit said: it is really Doc SaLvaged.
Being a faneditor myself, I rarely try to make a very bad movie better. I usualy prefer to change it into something else. Part because I find it fun. But also part because I know that turning a very bad movie into something good while staying somehow true to the original is VERY difficult.
This edit succeed in doing that. I know it was a hard labor of love to complete this work, but Slark stayed focused on his goal and the result is a surprising good old movie.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Owner's reply November 22, 2012

Reviews from all quarters are, of course, always welcome. But there's a special feeling attached to getting a positive review from those who've sat - with distinction - in the editor's chair.

So thank you, TMBTM, and a special thanks to Neglify, LastSurvivor, and BionicBob for their reviews. And thanks to all of you for your own contributions to the world of fanediting!

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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
This edit is absolutely perfect! I had never heard of this movie before I heard of this edit. So I wanted to see the original, and man was it bad. It was so bad in fact that it's taken me almost a year to watch the fanedit.

And I am so glad I did. Slark has turned a bomb into a smashing success.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Owner's reply November 14, 2012

Heh heh...

Yeah, I do always try to impress upon my friends that they should watch the fanedit FIRST - for that very reason!

Thanks for the good words, Neglify!

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(Updated: November 14, 2012)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
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10.0
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N/A
Enjoyment
 
9.0
October 15, 2011

I have to admit that before reading all the positive reviews on Slark’s ambitious Doc Savage fanedit, I really didn’t know much about the adventures of the man of bronze. I actually thought he originated as a DC comic book character, so that’s my knowledge for you. Curious to see what all the fuss was about I soon realised this would be something which would tickle my fancy.

For a movie which is steeped very much in the camp comic book style of William Dozier’s Batman series, Doc Savage is no easy task for anybody to take on as a fanedit – particularly if the intention is to strip away the most ridiculous elements (of which there are many) and present a serious take on the character. Well, okay, not completely serious, as the footage just isn’t there for such an edit – but certainly a version of the Doc which at least draws you in with some degree of authenticity and believability.

Settling down with my girlfriend (who knew even less about Mr Savage and his Fabulous Five) to watch Slark’s 83 minute version, I was immediately impressed with the wonderful newsreel opening, neatly combining some scenes from the film which Slark had chose to cut with different stock photos to tell a little bit of the back story about our hero. Very nicely executed with a quite brilliant voiceover too. After this, it’s straight to Savage’s secret base in the Arctic which is mercifully free of Don Black’s “Doc Savage” theme song. Some very impressive sound effects replacement here and I knew from this moment on that I was in for one of those truly special fanedit experiences.

Indeed edits such as this do make me somewhat envious in that I wish I could afford some of the tools which were available to Slark. By that I mean software like After Effects (at least I assume it was AE or some similar programme!) which has helped remove things such as Doc’s cheesy twinkle in his eye, or most noticeably improve the scene of the man drenched in gold at the end of the film. The work involved here is quite staggering really and it’s easy to see why the edit has attracted such high acclaim.

Yet, with the risk of being shot down in flames, I would still have liked Slark to go even further and remove more of the ill fitting music score. Considering some of the impressive Foley work executed for the aforementioned Arctic scenes, it would not have been impossible to do, but hey that’s just a personal preference.
Editing. Very impressive and as natural as one could wish for from any fanedit 10/10

On the picture quality front, this is every bit as good as the commercially available DVD. Nice stable image and the newsreel footage placed into the film fitted in more or less seamlessly. 9/10

Audio – no harsh cuts at all and balance is about as perfect as one can get. 9/10

Overall then, this is certainly a contender for fanedit of the year and I must commend Slark for the passion and drive he had to make this edit as good as possible. I’m tempted to give it a 10/10, but because I feel some of the music score could have been altered to make it even better, I will give a 9/10.

Doc Savage has indeed been rescued. Mission accomplished :)
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Overall rating
 
9.7
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9.8(6)
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9.5(6)
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9.7(6)
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9.7(6)
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9.6(13)
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(Updated: May 13, 2023)
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8.5
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9.0
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8.0
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8.0
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9.0
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8.0
I actually watched this Fanedit first before seeing the theatrical version. But i could watch the theatrical version on its own, Is it super cheesy and weird. Oh Yes. Im still scratching my head as too why all the bad guys are sleeping in oversized baby cradles. But To me there worst thing a movie can be than being cheesy and that being boring. Like Phantom Menace Boring. But this cut dose bring the cheese down a few slices and if your allergic to cheese. Than this version is for you. Personally i could watch either one. Depending if i want to watch something wacky or something more more restrained.

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Yes
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Digital
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9.0
Amazing. That's all there is to it. The editor has retrieved a pretty decent film from the shell of a truly bad film: something watchable and enjoyable, rather than something you might own on a "completist impulse," or out of a sense of the macabre, or for masochistic reasons, or to torment your friends and family. The original version has some good bits but overall, its just awful. Too much is played for laughs, but without being very funny or cleverly camp or even enjoyable. Cutting away the dreadful (the villain who sleeps in a baby cot, the sequence of fighting in sumo, king fu etc. etc.) and the laboured (like the villains' tiresome evil-laugh-festival), and removing the silliest (the Sousa marches, the twinkle in Doc's eye near his fortress, the sparkles on the main villain's black coat etc.) makes a big difference. The movie is shorter, but less is very clearly better. The opening newsreel makes great framing device. Of course, there are problems that the faneditor cannot fix (Monk, for example, is woefully miscast: in the pulps he is a loud, ape-like, musclebound hulk who can bend coins and straighten horse shows with his bare hands in the pulps, not an affable, portly fellow who likes to cook, as the movie suggests), but within the material available, we have an absolutely astounding piece of work.

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(Updated: August 05, 2014)
Overall rating
 
9.7
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
"Mona, you're a brick."
That line really cracked me up. I am so glad I finally got to check this edit out. My history with Doc Savage consists solely of going to see this movie in the theater with my dad when I was 7 years old. I remember seeing glowing green snakes whenever I closed my eyes for hours afterwards. It is the only movie I ever saw in a theater with my dad.

You have really worked wonders on this. I hadn't seen the movie again since it was in theaters. I was excited when the dvd became available, until I actually tried to sit thru it. The camp aspect gets compared to the 60s Batman TV Show, but in general, I find this movie has what I call a Gilligan's Island sensibility--characters are not affected by climate or situation or common sense. If the bad guy likes wearing black turtle necks and sparkly sport coats, he'll wear them in the jungle, on a boat and possibly to bed. Removing the sequins from the sport coat in the one scene was genius, I thought, because it is just about impossible to improve a movie whose whole sensibility is so ridiculous. But you did improve it dramatically through so many smart editing choices.
Of course, I hate the Sousa marches, most of which you removed. Unfortunately, it made some of the remaining ones stand out more. The movie, for me, was really moving along well and then the first fight on the boat features the silly Stars n Stripes music. I'm not an editor, but if I were, I would not change a thing in your edit except changing the music in 3 scenes--none of which feature dialogue. --The fight on the boat, a driving scene and a horse-riding scene (the 3 scenes occur in that order). But then I guess the challenge becomes choosing the right music (on the bright side, you cannot do worse than the Sousa marches). It can't be as well known as the Indiana Jones theme, but if you could find something in that vein but much much more obscure, I think that might make things miles better. (I'm hoping your possible version 2 deals with this. Even in scenes where you have removed the terrible music might be improved by adding the right background music, while keeping the great foley work you did. The fight around the gold pit, I think, was a place that could have used this).

The other minor suggestion has to do with the film grain, or lack of it. Again I must mention that I am not an editor myself and therefore can't speak with any expertise. But one thing I didn't like about the movie was how it looked like it was shot on videotape. It looked like an episode of Gilligan's Island or the Brady Bunch. Is there a filter that could give it a more cinematic look? Or could it be letter-boxed without losing too much?

These are minor suggestions, not complaints. This is an absolutely great edit. You've detarnished not only the movie, but my memories of going to see the movie. An easy recommendation! :-)

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First, I have to say that I owe Tony a sincere apology. When he finished his edit, he sent me a copy in the gold case with a beautiful cover and I never thanked him for it. I feel pretty bad about that. As we used to say in the Army, there is no excuse, but there is an explanation. A lot of the delay was due to my natural procrastination. But the other factor was that my wife is the serious Doc Savage fan in our house. Sure, I am a Doc fan but not at her level. She has all the books, the radio shows, the comics, even a fair selection of the original pulps, and a vast assortment of reference material. She takes Doc Savage very seriously. So, of course, I wanted her to see this fanedit. As any real fan would, she detested the original movie so much that I could never convince her to watch it. So, I finally just showed it to her without telling her what we were watching. That was a long time after I got the DVD. I asked her to write something about this version and she did. Here it is:

"Thank you for getting the Doc Savage fan edit I know that I refused to watch it for a very long time, and I know that you know how deeply scarred I (and other Doc fans) were by that horrible movie. You were wise to start watching it, finally, without telling me what we were watching.

"The text introduction was really good – made me want more. I loved the way they changed the beginning of the movie into an old-time newsreel, too. The rest of the movie was almost painless – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to Sousa again without cringing. And finally, the extras helped me to relive that old pain in all its glory…and in doing so, to really appreciate what a fine job was done in paring the movie down to its very best parts.

"Please thank whoever the editor was – I didn’t think it could be done!"

I liked it, too. I didn't hate the original as much as she did but it was hard to like it. Tony's edit improved it at least an order of magnitude, arguably several. It is actually watchable now without moaning at the bad parts. There aren't any bad parts, now. It is quite an achievement. I appreciate any fan edit but it is something different to start with a good movie and make improvements than to start with a very bad movie and make it decent.

Technically, I think it is nearly flawless. The video and audio quality are equal to the source and the edits are smooth and hardly noticable. The amount of fixing of small things that add up to a major change in the tone of the movie is hard to grasp. He went so far as to insert new video and sound effects, something I would not even contemplate trying.

BTW, it was my wife who made the request that the kiss at the end be removed as she considered it very out of character for Doc. I appreciate Tony giving her credit for that.

And, very belatedly, thanks for your super job.

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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
This was one of the first fan edits I watched. After the Massive disappointment that was the original film, this movie was a welcome relief.

This edited version is a good movie, in and of itself. It is a fun, rather lighthearted, adventure film. It ends up feeling a lot like the movie “The Princess Bride” or perhaps like a slightly more lighthearted Indiana Jones.

The original film was ridiculous. It was plagued by poor directing choices, a bizarre musical score, ridiculous special effects, and unfunny jokes. The secondary villain for some reason, sleeps in an overgrown crib and sucks his thumb. Wut? It was a bad movie, but it was made by some very talented actors, and (after having watched this edit) it appears that there was a lot of potential in it.

When compared to the original, this edit goes from being merely good and fun to being Great, Extraordinary, completely amazing, or whatever other superlative you’d care to throw at it. Yes, there is still some ‘Adam West-y’ dialogue, and there are a few moments of ridiculousness, but that is part of the charm. And, at this point, it is so secondary to the real story that it actually functions as a bit of comic relief. The pacing is good, and the movie is so much FUN to watch. Detarnished is funny, suspenseful, and enjoyable. This movie, by and large, is the epitome of the perfect geek movie.

If you balked at the original, watch this movie and be astounded. If you enjoyed the original, or see the whole concept of fan edits as blasphemy watch this movie anyway. I think you’ll be surprised. If you've never seen the original, go out and buy it so that you can watch this version and enjoy it with a clean conscience.

Had this been commercially released, it would be regarded as a classic. It would be one of those films that gets re-released every two years, and that everyone (EVERYONE) has seen a dozen times over. Sadly, it was not to be. My hat goes off to Slark for creating something so beautiful out of such dubious materials.

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Owner's reply October 14, 2012

I am humbled - yet gratified - by these words of high praise. Many thanks.

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