3-strip Technicolor, year by year

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by benbess, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. ajabrams

    ajabrams Second Unit

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    I just have to add some more words of praise for BECKY SHARP. If you haven't seen the Robert Gitt restoration, then you really haven't seen it. The great majority of the film has been restored to 3-color and the few remaining scenes that are in 2-color have been very nicely upgraded. It's still a very dramatically and comically effective and entertaining film and for me, has the ideal Becky -- Miriam Hopkins is wonderful in the title role. Also Rouben Mamoulian's direction and use of color is terrifically innovative. Add to that a great supporting cast. For me, it's much preferable to DANCING PIRATE and really deserves a first-class release on Blu-Ray not only for its historical importance but because it's great fun to watch!!
     
  2. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Moreso, UCLA has already done a fine restoration from the original elements that could be utilized for a Blu-Ray.
    A complete list of the live-action Technicolor 3-strip shorts from 1933:
    Audio Productions Musical 1-reelers
    Bolero, Dance of the Hours, Fingal's Cave, Hymn to the Sun, Les Preludes, Unfinished Symphony
    Doughty & Assoc. Inc. Advertising shorts
    Congoleum Playlets No. 1-6, George Washington Coffee Playlets No. 1-3
    General Films, Inc., Race Night Shorts
    Wilding Pictures Advertising Shorts
    Seeing is Believing (2-reeler), World's Fair (1 reel)
     
  3. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    It would be interesting to see those shorts collected on a blu-ray.
    I would buy every one of these early color films from the 1930s on blu-ray.
    This thread needs a master list of 1930s color films, in chronological order, with blu-ray or DVD status next to the title.
    Can't.
    You beat me to it.
     
  4. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    That's a shame about Fox. that was right after they made such a BIG deal about "The Gangs All Here" being restored & rereleased! First color film for Busby Berkely. and my first Technicolor film seen at a theatre. HOOKED I was.
     
  5. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I'm not sure what to infer from Criterion's notes there, but it sure sounds like The Red Shoes got Warner's Ultra-resolution treatment.
    I have been dying to get this Blu-ray but have balked at the price (I usually don't like to spend more than $14.99 for a single disc title) but I'm just going to have to spring for the extra few bucks and get it.
     
  6. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I think it's worth it. If you like films from this era I doubt you'll regret it. I think it did have ultra rez. Looks it to me anyway. I never would have guessed it was such a ruin, because now it's just about perfect.
    But take the words of RAH, who really knows what he's talking about and said it in a few words a couple of years ago:
    RAH:
    "There is little that has not been already written about The Archers' production of The Red Shoes.
    It remains one of my favorite films, and has been for decades.
    I've owned a beautiful 35mm dye transfer print, as well as several 16s, one an early original from Technicolor London. As photographed by the late Jack Cardiff, it is one of the masterpieces of the Technicolor art.
    Criterion's new Blu-ray of The Red Shoes looks to be a virtual clone of that early dye transfer print.
    Only far shaper, more highly resolved, and with an image harvested from the camera originals, yields shadings that were never totally visible.
    If one were ask how many "perfect" films exist in our cinema heritage, I would not be able to come up with a number. Less than one hundred? Certainly. Less than fifty? Probably.
    Regardless of precisely where it might fit in the pantheon of perfect cinema, The Red Shoes has its place, as one of the wonders of the world of cinema.
    As a Blu-ray, The Red Shoes would have been severely lacking, as it has been in the past, had several organizations not stepped up to the plate, had UCLA's Robert Gitt not stepped in to take the project's reins, and had Warner Bros.' MPI Digital facility not given the work their kid glove treatment, pulling out every bit of available digital magic to remove mold, scratches, dirt, flicker, processing and coating problems, and as a final service, to put the entire film through their latest registration process.
    This is what film restoration is all about when digital tools are used properly.
    The final result is a perfect piece of cinema, matched to a perfect film restoration, yielding a perfect Blu-ray presentation.
    Criterion's Blu-ray of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes is Extremely Highly Recommended.
    And for those who may shy away because they perceive it as a "dance" film.
    "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
    Cinema doesn't get any better.
    RAH"
     
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  7. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Thanks for these posters. Beautiful. Feel free to add in the early 1930s as your time and knowledge allow. That would be great. And, of course, anyone else can add in what they know as well. My guess is that very few of the early 2-strip negatives survive in good shape. But I just don't know.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm unaware of any two-strip negs. I believe everything was single neg double frame -- over / under. Two color prints were an interesting affair. The earlier were two prints, glued together, with later imbibed.
     
  9. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    For 1939, we appear to have the following titles:
    Dodge City
    Drums Along the Mohawk
    The Four Feathers
    GWTW
    Ice Follies of 1939
    Jesse James
    The Mikado
    Over the Moon
    Private Lives of Elizabeth
    Swanee River
    The Wizard of Oz
    As we know, GWTW and Oz are two of the crown jewels of the MGM/WB library, and have been given the royal treatment. But I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen any of these other titles. The Mikado was recently released on blu, and it's gotten ok reviews. Which non-Fox titles might be worthy? And Richard--W, if you're willing to post a few of these wonderful old posters from 1939, I'd be grateful.
    Btw, the photo in the first post of this thread is I think of the great Jack Cardiff with an early Technicolor camera. What a remarkable man he was....
     
  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    The Ice Follies of 1939 contains only a Technicolor finale sequence as I recall. I have it in the Joan Crawford laserdisc collection. I've never bothered to get the Warner Archive edition. It isn't one of Joan's or James Stewart's crowning achievements. The Women also had a Technicolor fashion show sequence as a 1939 release.

    Shirley Temple's The Little Princess should be in this list. Fox issued a very nice looking official DVD of it after years of awful public domain releases.

    The complete title for the Bette Davis-Errol Flynn classic is The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.
     
  11. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Matt H. Thanks!
    But probably a no-go on The Little Princess. As we recall, Fox threw the 3 strip negative in the trash.
     
  12. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    Drums Along the Mohawk was released on DVD a few years back, not bad, but it did have visible and annoying fringing problems, so probably taken from a later composite rather than OCNs. I'd prefer, if resorations were to be done, to see North West Passage restored first. Hell of story, and a lot of the impact doesn't come from seeing anything, but from having the survivors stagger on scene and tell us, with just words, what they have seen or experienced. Amazing film.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There are no OCNs. Only a c.1976 CRI and separation masters from same, which are garbage. A low point in the art (or business) of film preservation.

    These films cannot be restored, only digitally cleaned and maneuvered.

    RAH
     
  14. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    I would love to see a restored version of a two-strip Technicolor classic from 1930: Eddie Cantor's 'Whoopee!'.
    I have a tolerable DVD of this title but it does deserve best-possible treatment, if any original elements survive.
     
  15. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    Why in the world didn't they make safety positives in B&W from the OCN?
    (Rhetorical--mostly).
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Because...

    1. They were going for the most film run through the printers, or

    2. They were idiots.

    There is not a single iota of logic in this entire situation.

    RAH
     
  17. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Actually, the reason being that one CRI takes up one third as much space as three black and white negs that need to be optically printed to be recombined.
    It wasn't the smartest decision, but there was a definite thought behind it.
     
  18. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    Deeply disappointing, but c'est la vie. Here's hoping the cleaning and maneuvering can be done at some point.
     
  19. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    1940:
    Bitter Sweet
    The Blue Bird
    Chad Hanna
    Doctor Cyclops
    Down Argentine Way
    Irene
    Maryland
    Northwest Mounted Police
    Northwest Passage
    The Return of Frank James
    The Thief of Bagdad
    Typhoon
    Untamed
     
  20. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    There were a lot of Fox productions in Technicolor in 1940. Zanuck went for it in a big way, and then his successors put them in the trash. Sorry to keep harping on that. What about these for blu?
     

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