A Few Words About A few words about...™ McLintock! -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Olive is going to begin taking my commentaries personally.

    What does one say about a McLintock! from Olive?

    I'm not even certain where to begin.

    The new Blu-ray is kind of adequate, until you realize that it could, and should be beautiful.

    Follow me on this.

    Batjac signed a deal with Paramount for a number of the Batjac productions, of which McLintock! is one.

    Whether McLintock! was included in the package, I have no idea, but it is Batjac.

    It was originally released via United Artists, but for whatever reason, fell into the public domain, and has been released by every hick home video entity here and abroad, with varying results.

    Olive Films' release of McLintock! appears to be just another one of the PD things, albeit with a decent print -- not great -- but decent, and with all the requisite problems that come from using a print as a source.

    Using a dye transfer print as a source, isn't a necessarily easy thing. Very high contrast is only the beginning. No real resolution. Just a pleasant softish image, which would have look great in projection.

    And then the wear on tear on the print, which in this case is minimal.

    But checking out this disc, for which I had high hopes, I kept asking myself "why?"

    Why go to a PD source, when you have a studio contract, and the studio has a contract with the production company holding the elements?

    With that relationship in place, why bother even putting the film out, if the source must come from PD?

    Sorry. Not a happy camper. Don't get it.

    What we have here is a decent looking image, which could have been both original and spectacular. Occasional ticks, scratches, some of them cut-through into the dye layers.

    High contrast. Whites blooming a bit. Limited shadow detail.

    What can I say.

    A high quality public domain disc.

    But why?

    Image - 2

    Audio - 3.5

    RAH
     
    FoxyMulder likes this.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You confuse me with your description of the disc's video versus your actual numerical grade. Personally, I think this is one of Olive's lesser efforts as I was darn right disappointed in it. I thought the HD broadcast on HD Net Movies gave a more pleasing picture than what this BD did for my eyes. I hate comparing the two (TV broadcast versus BD) for obvious reasons. However, I felt letdown by this BD. My grade is about a 2.5 which isn't much different than your grade.
     
  3. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Probably because Olive wanted to reap all the profits and not pay the licensing fee to Paramount.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There can be superb public domain.

    Which is great when nothing else survives.

    In this case, nice PD. But far from what it should have been.

    RAH
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Just noted the legend "copyright c 1963 Batjac Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved." on the back jacket.

    While I'm aware that copyright discussions are verboten here, anyone know what Olive might be trying to say here? Can't be about copyright, as there is none.

    RAH
     
  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I believe it was determined in 1994 that music was still under copyright by Batjac.
     
  7. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    This is an odd one. I imported the R1 Paramount DVD & think it looks just about perfect (& with some great extras), & now this Blu-ray? I won't ever see it, as I decided not to buy a multi-region player. I didn't think anyone used a dye transfer print for transfers anymore. You can't really telecine it, the Spirit TK is designed for low contrast film: original, interpos, interneg, & at the end of the line, a low-con print. I'll stick with my DVD.
     
  8. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Even a poor blu ray should be better than the DVD, i'd expect some edge enhancement and many artifacts on the DVD, i'd hopefully expect no edge enhancement or artifacts on the blu ray.
     
  9. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Well I think we'll have to disagree on that one. The source used for the DVD/Blu is all important.
     
  10. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Exactly, Billy Batson! McLintock on Blu is a travesty. What an utterly painful viewing experience. I bought this thinking I was going to get an improvement on the fairly stellar Paramount DVD - which wasn't bad but could have been better. But the PD print used for the Blu-ray is so far off the mark of perfection it doesn't even rate consideration - especially when there are finer elements to choose from that are readily available if just a tad more time, effort and money had been put forth. The Olive disc just looks soft, it's colors garish, its flesh tones very pinkish, it's contrast infrequently blown out.

    The whole image just looked cartoonish. Maureen O'Hara's lime green dress, as example, became a bilious glowing swamp frog green; the yellow feathers in her hat a sickly lemon. Factor in the inexcusable failure to even think of cleaning up the age related artifacts (not many, in fact, but then all the more reason to do some light touch up and make things just right) plus the absence of virtually ANY extra materials which the Paramount disc had in abundance...and let's be honest - this disc is a Frisbee. Fling!
     
  11. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    My point is if the source is great and they sharpen and cause edge enhancement issues, as is common with DVD, then to me that is unwatchable, it sounds like the blu ray of this one is also unwatchable, so i take it the DVD of this film is one of the rare ones with no edge enhancement, or i should say no excessive sharpening issues, that's great then and i can agree you with now.
     
  12. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Disappointing news. I was fortunate enough to see Miss O'Hara in May (still looking beautiful and as sharp as ever!) which has inspired me to see more of her work, so I wanted to pick up this film. Sad to hear it's not what it could have been.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I must make the point here, that many people are going to feel that McLintock! is fine. The scratches, which cut through the dye structure are not horrific. Colors are very rich and bright. Image has a velvety texture.

    Any many folks are going to believe that this is a Technicolor production, and is designed to be bright, overly garish and with burned out whites. Carmen Miranda at her most colorful!

    One of the other interesting attributes of this Blu-ray are the reel changes, with certain reels having a totally different color balance the previous, which is generally not how dye transfer prints were prepared for distribution.

    RAH
     
  14. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I just ordered the SD Collector's Edition from Paramount new for $3.74 shipped. If a new Blu is produced that surpasses this effort from Olive, I'll consider it, but for now I'm happy to get the SD and all the extras therein. It's never been one of my favorite Wayne titles, but every so often it's worth a watch.

    I'm finding with certain public domain titles, e.g. THE STRANGER, that the official studio produced DVDs are better than the Blus that have so far been released.
     
  15. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Bingo, Ignite Films' HD transfer was likely cheaper get. Paramount's print may still only be available in a SD transfer and Olive would have had to pay extra to get a new HD scan.
     
  16. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    It was remastered in 2005 and definitely would have been HD. In fact, Paramount's version is available in HD on TV and from streaming services.
     
  17. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    There is still the hope that Paramount and Batjac Productions will release a proper authorized HD transfer of this title through Paramount's distribution deal with Warner...it could easily be included as a double-feature with "The Searchers" and/or "The Cowboys"...that's my hope, anyway!!!
     
  18. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Hmmm. It could also be that Paramount wouldn't let Olive have their print and Olive instead took advantage of their distribution deal with Ignite. There has to be some reason why Olive didn't use Paramount's given Olive's otherwise close relationship with them.
     
  19. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    It might be that the source material for Paramount was Batjac and Olive didn't have a deal with Batjac.
     
  20. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    If this was indeed the case, I would think Olive should have tried to release other John Wayne PD titles, like Winds Of The Wasteland or Lawless Range. The current releases of these films range from fair to downright terrible. Seeing as Paramount has a very nice looking SD version already out, and will probably release this to BD one day, then it is curious as to why Olive would pick this PD title to release.

    Their upcoming release of the PD title Angel And The Badman makes more sense, as there really is nothing close to Republic's 45th anniversary Laserdisc release on the DVD market now, in terms of transfer quality.
     

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