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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I love the way that rights and licenses move around.


    As I recall, the Selznick titles ended up owned by ABC, which then linked them with Disney. Somehow they've made their way over to MGM, and are being released via Fox, after a brief visit to Anchor Bay.


    The important thing is that Notorious (as well as Rebecca and Spellbound) are finally out on Blu-ray.


    But how does it look on Blu-ray.


    In a word, brilliant! And proper.


    Released in August of 1946, it looks very close to what it would have looked like on day one. I'm not certain if this is derived from a fine grain or a dupe neg, but regardless, the resultant image as scanned and timed for high definition, is as perfect as possible. The film is uncut, and retains the RKO end title.


    Almost the entire first five minutes is dupe, whether from built-in printer functions or opticals, and it look as it always has. No problem. Get into production photography, and Notorious shines. Rich black, blacks, subtlety in the gray scale. An occasional slight scratch showing through, but never anything untoward.


    For those who be unaware, and have never seen a pre-Psycho Hitchcock film, Notorious, along with Rebecca are A+ quality. Spellbound follows behind, probably as B Hitchcock, but still a film that demands to be seen.


    Notorious is an extremely stylish film, using Mr. Grant and Ms. Bergman perfectly. Watch for one of the greatest kisses in screen history, and that shot of the key.


    Notorious is one of a handful of films that totally stands the test of time.


    True vintage sand...or film grains.


    A great release from MGM via Fox that (along with Rebecca and Spellbound) is probably the best bang for the buck on Blu-ray. I heard it has been seen at Costco for under $10.


    Anyone wondering if this is a "blind buy." The answer is yes!


    Notorious is brilliant, classic filmmaking at its very best. Hopefully, there will more Selznick releases in the near future.


    Very Highly Recommended.


    RAH
     
    cannon1 likes this.
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As a point of reference, to the best of my memory, the Selznick package of films is inclusive of the following:


    Portrait of Jennie

    The Paradine Case

    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

    The Farmer's Daughter

    Duel in the Sun

    The Spiral Staircase

    Since You Went Away

    Intermezzo

    Made for Each Other

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    Nothing Sacred

    A Star is Born (1937) - rights held by WB

    The Garden of Allah

    Little Lord Fauntleroy


    I may have overreached or left one or two out, but overall great and important films, that should be on Blu-ray.


    RAH
     
  3. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Unfortunately, I do not live near a Costco so I'll have to wait a bit to pick up these Hitchcocks relatively inexpensively online. Good news about the transfers though.
    Those two never even got DVD releases. Their last official home video releases were Anchor Bay VHS tapes, so a future release of these two in particular would be most welcome.
     
  4. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was on DVD and I have it and the LD. Anchor Bay got the issuing rights from ABC Films who owned the Selznick package. Disney bought ABC and were supposed to have spent a lot of time restoring A Star is Born(1937). Anchor Bay were also going to release some Disney titles at one time and not sure if they did or not. Anchor Bay(in Michigan) was sold to another party so I am hazy about all these things Anchor Bay. I never got around to buying A Portrait of Jennie when it was available.
     
  5. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Still can't find a Region 1 DVD (OOP or not) of that film that's not a bootleg, though there was a laserdisc. There does seem to be a quality UK DVD release.
     
  6. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    I am so glad to read this. I was most likely going to pick it up on Blu anyway, but I hadn't per-ordered it in case it had serious flaws with the transfer. I'm happy to read that is not the case.
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Actually viewed this again this evening along with a few of the featurettes, which are very well done.

    I had a 35mm print (1954 re-issue) and was always amazed by the look of Cary Grant's hair as captured in this film. And by that, I refer to visible texture and depth. The Blu-ray replicates this perfectly.


    Those who have never seen Notorious are in for a treat. There is no doubt that this film, that tells its story along with the multiple levels of interrelationships between the characters, is right up there with Vertigo, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt and North by Northwest


    One of Hitchcock's best.


    An amazing work from a great screenplay by Ben Hecht


    RAH
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I'm really glad to see these 3 Hitchcock films are out on BD. I hadn't seen any information about them prior, so a very pleasant surprise. Worth the Amazon price if Costco isn't stocking it. Notorious is high on my list of Hitchcock films to be on blu ray! Thanks for the review Mr. Harris. Hmmm, vintage sand...:)
     
  9. Adam Gregorich

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    You may be able to check Costco's website and see if your local Costco has them. Find your location on Costco's website and click on the new items link. This is what mine looks like: http://www.costco.com/InTheWarehouse/Detail.aspx?whsNo=747 Notice the Hitchcock Blu-ray Assortment under Media.
     
  10. ShellOilJunior

    ShellOilJunior Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't seen Notorious in several years (or Rebecca and Spellbound) -- I can't wait to dig into these again this weekend. So glad to see MGM handle this release properly!
     
  11. AnthonyP

    AnthonyP Stunt Coordinator

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    In case those two were mentioned as being amongst his titles that needed a Blu-ray release. Kino has/is releasing both ('Nothing Sacred' already out and 'A Star Is Born' in a couple of weeks).
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Am aware. Would be nice to see them derived from original pre-print elements.


    ASiB would have to come from WB.


    RAH
     
  13. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    A couple of more titles that Disney restored that I think were somehow related to Selznick: GONE TO EARTH and THE WILD HEART (Both versions were restored) INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN WIFE (I think only the short version was restored, but am not 100% sure.
     
  14. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    Still can't find a Region 1 DVD (OOP or not) of that film that's not a bootleg, though there was a laserdisc. There does seem to be a quality UK DVD release.


    You are right and I have both and the DVD is legit. It is amazing how many items that were on VHS and never made it to LD or DVD but then there are some on LD still not on DVD but the gap has narrowed. Many VHS that came out of lesser, obscure films were of poor VHS quality thru small distributors and are not worthy of being dubbed on to DVD from that source but then it is, often, the only source of the title. I often see bundles of VHS turfed but that I have never seen before and the titles, and, even the performers are unknown to me on many and I had a shop selling VHS. Some Red Shield type stores sell these things for 50c and even free. Few want them now even free. I got given a large tub full last Sunday from a stallholder at a market. I did not bother to look at them yet. Not much point. I guess they had a stall and didn't sell any.
     
  15. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    Gone to Earth.


    This title got a goof UK release a while back.
     
  16. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I only have The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on VHS, and I haven't watched it in quite some time. I'd relish a Blu-ray of this terrific film.
     
  18. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I don't remember a DVD of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I did have the laserdisc and I did get the UK Region 2 DVD a few years back. I pretty much got all of the Anchor Bay releases of the Selznick films when they were released and still have most of them, but never saw a Tom Sawyer DVD.

    The Region 2 DVD is not bad and is certainly better than the laser and I recommend it to anyone that is region free.


    This title was played every summer at a neighborhood theatre on Saturday Afternoon Kid Show. The titles also included, Jack the Giant Killer, The Magic Sword, Zotz!, The 13 Ghosts, and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. They also played a Stooges short and serial, Batman and The Purple Monster Strikes are two that I remember.
     
  19. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I bought all 3 of these Hitchcock films at Costco today, 9.95 each. Rebecca looks very nice, I am watching it now. Packaging is amateurish to say the least.
     
  20. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I thought that ASiB 1937 was a PD title. I have a few copies from PD distributors, and it is available on PD sites on the web. As with most PD titles, I have never seen a video of it that looked any good at all, so hoping for the new release to rectify that.
     

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