A Few Words About A few words about...™ Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned... -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 27, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The footage certainly exists. I asked the film's editor, Anthony Harvey, about the original ending, and was told that the footage was in place, but was removed after the Kennedy assassination, which occurred only eight weeks before release. It's interesting how many films either in production or about to go into release were affected by the tragedy.

    The actual lift stayed with Mr. Harvey for several years, and when he came upon it amongst his things, he returned it to SK.

    I'm told that the studio has made efforts to add it to this, and earlier DVD releases, but apparently for whatever reason is has not been made available to them.
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It is probable that neither Mr. Kubrick nor cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, currently 95 years old, achieved anything with the footage. But rather, it is what it is.

    Since the original negative does not survive, what we see was created from the finest extant film elements, inclusive of a not terribly well made fine grain master. "Gritty and not robustly detailed" in this case may well simply mean "dupey."

    RAH
     
  3. BrianSiano

    BrianSiano Auditioning

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    Alexander Walker's book _Stanley Kubrick Directs_ says that Kubrick used "othochromatic" stock to give the battle footage a documentary, shot-in-battle texture. I can't say whether Walker got the tech detail correct or not, but that's all I know.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Thanks Robert and Brian too! I feel so extanted! You taught me a new, to me, word this week Robert, I feel like a human Extantanista. I quess it's part dupey and part style.....this Strangelove. It sounds as if this also might be your fav movie...? Now, don't throw pies at me but if you do, I like coconut creame.
     
  5. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Wasn't a line of dialogue spoken by Slim Pickens also ADRed due to the assasination? I seem to recall reading that when Pickens goes over the items in each soldiers survival pack, he originally said something like, "A fellow could have a fun weekend in Dallas with all that", but the city was changed in ADR following the JFK assasination.

    A lot of films were altered after Columbine, too. SCREAM 3 had its violence toned back considerably, and I think even the plotline may have been changed from what was originally intended. I remember that Kevin Smith got some worried calls from Miramax around this time, too, as we were mixing DOGMA at Skywalker Sound for its Cannes screening when Columbine occured, and some of the violence in that film was suddenly an issue (i.e., Loki shooting up the boardroom). Kevin didn't cut anything at that point, but it was definitely suddenly on the Miramax executives' minds.

    Vincent
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Vincent, I think you could have a big weekend in Vegas with a copy of the Strangelove BD.
     
  7. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    The release of The Quiet American (with Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser) was delayed owing to the attacks on 9/11 as the studio did not want to market a film suggesting a US government conspiracy to stage an attack and blame a despised enemy on the heels of the attacks on NYC.

    Films and other forms of pop culture are not immune from the pressures of current events.
     
  8. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    Wow, that 2004 release looks really bad. As you said, it's indeed way too dark and the framing looks wrong. I just finished watching the BD and thought it looked great.

    It's interesting how this film just gets better every time you watch it.
     
  9. iDarren

    iDarren Stunt Coordinator

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    Was this ever screened in cinemas with the shifting aspect ratio, or was that just created for home video releases?
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The use of the word "ever" comes into play here. The OCN had varying aspect ratios as it was shot with more than one camera. Same situation with Lolita. To add a widescreen matte, the lab must go to an optical dupe, which is not a good way to go.

    So, ever? Probably.

    However, the film was designed to be to run with a proper aperture plate in projection, and with the image properly centered.

    RAH
     
  11. esl88

    esl88 Auditioning

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    The restoration and picture quality for Strangelove is fantastic. I think the only person who had the audacity to criticize this amazing release is the ever-annoying Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere. I wish someone would have a talk with this guy and explain that grain is not the enemy. The guy could wind up doing a lot of harm to catalogue titles with his oblivious anti-grain crusades.

    Jeffrey's review: http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2009/06/beware_of_stran.php
     
  12. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Wow, that was a great laugh . You should check out his review of The Third Man too, it's even more hilarious.

    And Dr. Strangelove didn't even struck me as obtrusively grainy to me? I've seen titles with much more grain. In any way, Mr. Wells should be happy he held onto the 2001 dvd, if not for the much less visible grain then for the alternating ratio.
     
  13. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    That would be a very interesting thread: "Films Changed Because of Current Events Prior to Release." Well that's a clumsy thread title, but you get the idea.
     
  14. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    A film release that was changed for "current events" is the second screen adaptation of The Quiet American in 2001. Originally meant to come out just after 9/11, its release was delayed (and done on fewer screens than initially planned) because a key plot point suggests


    a government conspiracy by the US was responsible for a terror attack against civilians.
     
  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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  16. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Man, be sure and get a bottle of Pure Grain Alcohol and some Fluoride-free water.
     

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