A Few Words About A few words about...™ Call of the Wild -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    William Wellman's 1935 Call of the Wild, with Clark Gable and Loretta Young, was the third filmed, the first in sound, and would appear to be followed by six, count 'em, six more. The first -- 1908 -- D.W. Griffith.

    Those who dislike film grain may not enjoy this exercise in Blu-ray, for Fox has done a superb job of replicating the original look of the film. While no original negative survives, what we have is still a beautiful representation of the original, with very comfortable shadow detail, nice resolution, and crisp blacks and whites.

    A quality production, that holds up well after almost 80 years.

    Mr. Gable and Ms Young apparently got along well during the shoot, as their daughter, Judy Lewis, was born just three months after the film's premiere.

    Image - 4

    Audio - 4

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
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  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I do dislike film grain but as I've been putting up with it all my life, I'll probably buy this disc. Three elements I do like are William Wellman, Clark Gable and Loretta Young.
     
  3. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    How stable is the image in terms of film movement? The DVD from what I remember had a noticeable amount of gate weave.
     
  4. Martin Zandstra

    Martin Zandstra Auditioning

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    I like a bit of gate weave, it reminds me that I'm watching (an old) film and not a modern, digital special effects extravaganza (which I also like....)
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The problem with gate weave, is when it morphs from projection gate weave, to multiple dupe gate weave, with things moving in all directions...

    which is precisely when our wonderful stabilization tools come into play.

    RAH
     
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  6. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    I can somewhat understand liking gate weave, but to me it only serves as a distraction which should be dealt with wherever possible.
     
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  7. Steen DK

    Steen DK Stunt Coordinator

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    I read the book to tatters when I was a kid, but I'd no idea this movie even existed... Does anyone know if it differs wildly from the book (which would probably upset me)?
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Have not read the book. Does the main character look like Clark Gable?RAH
     
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  9. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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    No, he's some kind of Saint Bernard cross.
     
  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    My review touches on the differences between the two. You can find it here.
     
  11. Steen DK

    Steen DK Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, in my head all male characters in books look like Clark Gable. Ok, maybe only half - the other half look like Errol Flynn. (That seems worthy of a topic: Where the hell are Errol Flynn's films on blu-ray?)

    Ah, thanks.
     
  12. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    It does differ pretty wildly. I don't think there's ever been a faithful film of the book.
     
  13. Steen DK

    Steen DK Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sure it would be hard to do. I seem to remember that much of the book is sort of written from the perspective of the dog. Or am I way off?

    (I really should read it again.)
     
  14. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Yes, the book is entirely about the dog, sort of like how Black Beauty is all from the POV of the horse.
     
  15. Ray Faiola

    Ray Faiola Stunt Coordinator

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    Can we assume this is the edited reissue???
     
  16. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

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    According to the Greenbriar Picture Shows site:
    "Fox's Blu-Ray of this is just out, and the news is good. For the first time since 1935, we're given a complete version of the Clark Gable-Loretta Young starrer directed by William Wellman. Reviews haven't emphasized it, but this Call Of The Wild restores a Code cut that had gone missing in all prints and previous DVD/video releases."
    http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com/2013_12_01_archive.html
     
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  17. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Looks like Amazon didn't mess up its runtime information after all. Most other websites listed the same runtime as the DVD, and I even jokingly posted about it in the original preorder thread, but I scarcely expected it to actually be true. Even the RAH assessment didn't mention it.

    This is big news since 11 minutes of new footage has been added. A pretty major breakthrough for this film and some deep gratitude for Fox for correcting since the common perception was that the cut footage was lost possibly forever.
     
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  18. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    This is great news. Since the film has been restored to its full running time and as this was the last 20th Century Pictures feature before the merger with Fox, is the opening fanfare 20th Century Pictures or 20th Century-Fox ? The fanfare till now on all releases has been 20th Century-Fox with the copy write on the title card saying 20th Century Pictures. The only time i have ever seen the 20th Century Pictures opening was on the Fox Movie Channel during a promo showing how the fanfare has morphed over the years.
     
  19. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    There's a Japanese animated feature version of "Call of the Wild" from 1981 that's a lot closer to the book than any of the live-action versions, because it's told entirely from the P-O-V of the dog, Buck. It's an excellent film and I did a blog entry where I compared it to another animated version, from 1990. For some reason, it's been the most popular entry on my blog. Perhaps students who've been assigned the book are researching paper ideas. Here's the link:

    http://briandanacamp.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/jack-londons-the-call-of-the-wild-two-animated-versions/

    I have the film on an old English-dubbed VHS and can only wish the longer Japanese version were available somewhere--with or without subs.

    Here's a shot from it:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Checked out the blu-ray, and to my amazement the Twentieth Century Pictures fanfare and opening logo is indeed included.
     

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