A Few Words About A few words about...™ Hit the Deck -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 9, 2014.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,198
    Likes Received:
    5,011
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    XenForo Template

    With Hit the Deck, the latest Warner Archive title to arrive on Blu-ray, there's quite a bit more going on than meets the eye.

    It's a quality production, with great talent, both in behind and in front of the camera.

    Technologically, it's one of the earlier M-G-M CinemaScope productions, photographed on the relatively early Eastman Color 5248 stock.

    What's important to know, is that a great deal of effort and expense has gone into the release.  There's nothing "off the shelf" about it.

    Warner Bros. has gone back to the original camera negative, and created a new wet-gate interpositive for scanning.  Color is superb, and resolution and detail are so good that one can easily see that the separation masters used to create the main title background, were re-composited (in 1954), out of sync.  Watch the sailers as they march across the screen.

    Audio has been harvested from the original stems, and remixed in 5.1.

    The cast includes many of the big names from the studio "stable."  Jane Powell, in one of her final roles, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Vic Damone, Gene Raymond, Ann Miller, and a young Russ Tamblyn.

    While not up to the greatness of a Singin' in the Rain, Anchors Aweigh, or Gigi, (I'd consider Hit the Deck an A- production), it remains sixty years after it's release, an entertaining musical, with great talent, and one of those technological marvels that make up the early days of CinemaScope.

    A beautiful Blu-ray from the Warner Archive.  With a history of past theatrical (1927) and film productions, based upon the original work, produced throughout several decades, it serves as an interesting comparison to Follow the Fleet.

    The new Blu-ray is a gorgeous representation of Eastman and the Cinemascope / Stereo process in it's early years.

    Image - 4.5

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,499
    Likes Received:
    644
    Real Name:
    Ray
    Great news about this release. Now if WHV or WA could do something about the much better known titles they control that are aol on blu-ray (Yankee Doodle Dandy, Top Hat, Wuthering Heights, etc.), I'd feel much better about their efforts.
     
    AnthonyClarke and Mark B like this.
  3. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    333
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    Real Name:
    Robert Smith
    Thanks, ordered on the strength of this review.

    Do you know when we may expect more of the great MGM musicals of the 50's? The Band Wagon, Bridadoon, et al. The ones we have seen on Blu-ray are really nice.
     
  4. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    746
    Location:
    Woodend Victoria Australia
    Real Name:
    Anthony
    Yes, bring us Wuthering Heights the Musical. Haven't seen that for years.

    But Joe Doakes is totally right .. where are the Fred and Ginger classics, The Band Wagon, Yankee Doodle Dandy, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, On Moonlight Bay, Two Weeks with Love, The Pajama Game, SHOW BOAT and so many more.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,198
    Likes Received:
    5,011
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Three strip is expensive. Yankee would be first on my listRAH
     
    Richard Gallagher likes this.
  6. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    616
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    Show Boat is being worked on right now I hear.
     
    AnthonyClarke likes this.
  7. JoelA

    JoelA Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    376
    Location:
    The Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH
    Real Name:
    Joel Arndt
    Agreed. Hit the Deck is drop dead gorgeous in its presentation. Too bad the same can't be said for much of the R & H Collection released by Fox.
     
  8. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,438
    Likes Received:
    1,150
    Location:
    High Country, Alberta, Canada
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Just adding my voice to the chorus here. Beautiful presentation of early 2.55:1 'Scope.

    And that sound! Nothing like working from 4-track stereo stems, especially for a musical. Wowzer!
     
  9. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,621
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Kent "The Garden of England", UK
    Real Name:
    Keith Cobby
    I watched the blu-ray today and it was the first time I had seen the film. I agree with all the positive comments about the excellent quality of the bly-ray and it is to be hoped that there are many other films of this quality ready to be released. The film itself was very derivative of earlier and better efforts and for me it only sparkled when Ann Miller appeared. I would be satisfied if Warner Archive handled all of Warners classic output from now on.
     
  10. Edward Weinman

    Edward Weinman Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    85
    ...from a totally objective view point of course, anything with Jane Powell sparked...
     
  11. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,621
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Kent "The Garden of England", UK
    Real Name:
    Keith Cobby
    Jane had a lovely singing voice and was never better than in Seven Brides - long overdue for a blu-ray release.
     
    ahollis likes this.
  12. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,737
    Likes Received:
    768
    Real Name:
    Robin
    I watched this disc last night and, like everyone else, was delighted with the high quality. I was particularly impressed with the sound: quite a bit better than the CD.

    By coincidence, not by design, I had a Gene Raymond double-bill yesterday. I also watched Plunder Road.
     

Share This Page