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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 7, 2014.

  1. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    If you've never seen it before and the print is good, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS is terrific in 70mm. Unfortunately, ALL the great 70mm Roadshow houses here in New York City have been demolished (with the exception of the Ziegfeld, which didn't open until 1969 and is just a four wall box and the lobby looks like a $2.00 cat house). Because of health reasons I can no longer go to any repertory film festivals. Last year with the assistance of a couple of friends we went to Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theatre to see "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in 70mm. I don't know whether it was the same print that was run at the Dome in L.A. or not, however, between the lousy projection and marginal print, it was a BIG disappointment. I've run "Mad World" hundreds of times over the years and can say that it didn't even look as good as the original 35mm Technicolor dye prints. The last 70mm picture that I ran was "Hello Dolly" when it first came out. Although I haven't seen any of the new prints of "Hello Dolly", I can state for certain that the original prints were razor sharp and had one of the best mag tracks I had heard to date.

    I hope they have a great print of "80 days", you'll love it! As for "Ryan's Daughter", that originally opened at the Ziegfeld, but ran in other NY theatres as a re-run and looked better than at the Ziegfeld, where they were still using the Zeiss Ikon 70mm projectors with the bad turret design that caused endless focus problems.
     
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  2. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Second Unit

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    I saw AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS in the early 80's in a 35mm print with four track mag sound. I still remember a head turning surround sound effect with an arrow flying from the screen to the back of the auditorium. Other than that it has been the dvd that came out a number of years ago. I can't imagine there are too many decent 70mm prints left of this and I am very curious if this will be one of the 30 fps prints or one at 24 fps. I know the 24 fps was made in order to do 35mm reduction prints and indeed many of its initial engagements were in 35mm though advertised otherwise. But I also have read that some of the later reissue prints in 70mm came from the 24 fps negative. I think no matter how it looks (and my expectations are pretty low) the sound should be good. It is easy now with all the various digital sound process to assume that the older magnetic stereo tracks were sub par.... but when I went to Dayton two decades ago to see to films in three projector Cinerama, I was amazed at the beauty and depth of those 7 channel mag tracks.

    As for RYAN'S DAUGHTER, I do know at least one new 70mm print has been struck in the last decade, so hopefully the color will not have gone too pink.

    I have seen 70mm prints of DOLLY twice at AFI. The first time was about six years ago and the sound and image quality were stunning. Last year they ran it again and either the print has faded or the projectionist had not checked the lamphouse, but it looked somewhat weaker both visually and sonically.

    Will definitely try to post about what I found this year at AFI.
     
  3. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    I don't "think" that there are ANY "original prints" that could be usable today. Since there was never (at least to my knowledge, but you never can tell what was done in other countries) 70mm dye prints of any films here in the U.S., any Eastman prints that might still exist would be red.

    If you liked the 35mm 4 track Mag print you saw in the 80's, you'll be blown away if they have a good 70mm 30fps print of "ATWI80D". After seeing how they fixed up the 30fps Todd/AO version of "Oklahoma" on the new R&H Blu-ray set, I now believe ANYTHING is possible....if they have the will (and money) to do it.
     
  4. DP 70

    DP 70 Supporting Actor

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    I saw A 70mm print of ATWI80D at Bradford a few years ago on the Cinerama curved screen. The colour had gone but the 6 track was wonderful.

    There is a 70mm print of Ryans Daughter with 35mm Sep Mag track as the print is Mute, I saw it twice in London a few years ago it looked ok
    but not as good as an original print from the 65mm neg.
     
  5. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    That's the problem, the color is gone. While realize how expensive it is to make a 70mm print today, with the situation with Eastman Kodak, I was wondering how much longer the film stock will be available.

    The original 35mm prints of ATWI80D were dye prints. About 1968 UA re-released ATWI80D and not only was it on Eastman stock, they even cut virtually the entire prolog with Edward R. Murrow and the intermission.
     
  6. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Supporting Actor

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    I like the idea of a film fest, too bad the presentation was so poor. Moulin Rouge seems an odd choice, though, I think I would have chosen West Side Story; same era and that would have kept it large format. Although I guess the idea of a grouping of 70mm musicals doesn't mean much anymore, especially in a tiny theater.

    When I lived in L.A. I would go to any screening I could, but that was before the days of digital projection. I had a few disappointments, like a totally pink King and I, but mostly they were very enjoyable. One of my favorites was Oliver! at the Academy theater with Shani Wallis in attendance and Oklahoma! in 70mm at The Egyptian with Shirley Jones in attendance. Those were the days.
     
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  7. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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  8. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    I live in Las Vegas too, and was at the screening of Hello Dolly! on Saturday. I was surprised at the sound too, so I wrote a letter to the Cinemark customer service dept. This is their response.
    "Thank you for taking the time to share your most recent experience at the South Point 16 Theatre. I understand your disappointment with the sound in Hello Dolly only coming from the front speakers. Unfortunately, the audio was not re-mastered when they converted this Classic Film into a digital print. Our system is playing this movie as well as Oklahoma in its original Mono sound format. It will play the same tomorrow for the encore performances. The intermission is built into the movie as well. The intermission is approximately 3 minutes long. We did not have a manager or projectionist skip or fast forward through the intermission, it is built into the feature. The movie continued at the end of the intermission as intended. I did a test run of Hello Dolly today just to verify the sound level and found it to playing at a comfortable level. Because there is no technical problems to be fixed Tuesdays performances will be shown the same as the performances last Saturday."
    I also mentioned in my letter to Cinemark that people were saying Moulin Rouge was in mono as well. No "explanation" of that in the response. Were Hello Dolly! and Oklahoma! ever shown originally in a Mono sound format? Were the intermissions in these films meant to be just 3 minutes long?!? How could a theater manager not know the difference between an entr'acte and an intermission? If this is how these "film fests" are going to be presented, I'll stay home and watch the blu-ray versions. Cinemark should present these films with respect. I don't get it.

     
  9. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    No the DCP should have been in 5.1 as the Blu-ray is. They needed to program in a 10 or 15 minute intermission between the intermission title and the entr'acte. It is a very easy process with digital. It takes less than a minute to add that. The problem is that no one today in the theatre business knows what a roadshow presentation is. It is a lost art. CINEMARK screwed up and you deserve an apology.
     
  10. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    At the end of the letter, I was offered free tickets to another movie. I would really just rather see the film they claim to present in correct presentation. I don't believe any of these films were originally shown in mono. I wonder if it's Cinemark that screwed up, or if it was the specific theater. This is the only theater playing these films in my area. I've seen other films shown correctly from Cinemark in other theaters around town. Hmm...I wish Cinemark and this theater would just apologize, and fix it. I'm sure all new films are presented with correct sound. Why don't these films get it?
     
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  11. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    I just did a little research here online and found Hello Dolly!, and Oklahoma! were both shown with mono tracks with 33mm prints when released. But...with the blu-ray discs of both with surround sound, and the tracks existing, why give us mono? Just laziness?
     
  12. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    The original sound formats of Oklahoma and Hello Dolly were multi-channel stereo on 70mm film prints in the initial roadshow engagements. Later 35mm prints had either 4-channel stereo or optical mono.The new DCP's that are showing for both titles carry the full original multi channel sound mix. The theatre presented them improperly and is lying about it.
     
  13. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    Thank you so much Peter and Allen for clearing that up for me. I'm not a film expert, and needed someone to comment on this. I was so excited to finally see Hello Dolly in the movie theater! As it was intended to be seen. What a shame.
     
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  14. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    Of course when "Hello Dolly" went into general release back around 1971 the standard 35mm prints of "Hello Dolly" had a "mono optical track" with an academy curve. That said, WHY IN THE WORLD would ANY theatre chain run "Hello Dolly" today (even if it was available), MONO? Especially since they can probably only run digital projection and not film. I don't believe any film company would even make a "mono" digital version. :wacko:

    btw-Is that a typo where you refer to "33mm prints" :unsure:
     
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  15. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Mark,
    Express your concern to the Cinemark Home Office in Plano, TX. I've never seen a bad presentation of the restored roadshow films in the local Cinemark in Plano. Maybe because of its proximity to the Home Office...
    We have been treated to Overtures, 10-minute intermissions, Entr'acte, and Exit music. And great sound. So go ahead and complain. Someone certainly was careless over in your area.
     
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  16. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    Yes that was a typo Techman. I meant 35. I stand corrected.
    And I will send a complaint letter Jose. Thanks for the suggestion. I saw Cinemark's showing of West Side Story at another theater in town and it was correct. This theater happens to be the only theater in town to show these "fests". It's funny other theaters in town show the Cinemark Classic Series, but not these Cinemark movies.
     
  17. GlennF

    GlennF Second Unit

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    Well, this thread has laid to rest since July, but I finally got my copy of OKLAHOMA now that it is available out of the box set.

    Here are my impressions. No one may care, but I have no friends who have any passion about this subject whatsoever, so I will spill my guts to the internet gods.

    First, the Todd-AO picture looks amazing! the colour and clarity are excellent, especially in the outdoor scenes that make up the bulk of the first half. The picture is so clear I was watching the Kansas City number and looked twice and thought, "That looks like a young Ben Johnson," who, 16 years later would go on to win a supporting actor Oscar. I checked on IMDB and lo and behold, Ben Johnson it is. That I guess is why he disappears from the scene before the cowboys start with the serious dancing.(It is also interesting to look at the middle part of this scene and see where it has rained. You also notice puddles when Curly first comes up to Aunt Eller at the beginning. Weather must have been a nightmare. I guess that is why, for Arizona, it looks so green.)

    Yes, the buggy ride is horribly mistimed, but I actually didn't mind it. This is one of the few scenes to really take advantage of the wide, clear screen and seeing it in all its clarity was beautiful. Totally wrong, but beautiful. If nothing else it was interesting to see the conditions the scene was actually shot in. Of course the people in the train, and in the house off in the distance all appear to be a little nuts since they have all their lights on.

    It is interesting to compare the cinemascope and TODD-AO versions. Some scenes, like The Farmer and The Cowman song look completely different. The TODD-AO version is much darker. What is the truth? Only Robert Surtees could tell us and I don't think that is happening any time soon. However, it is interesting to see how they can play with the image.

    The sound? Put me in the unhappy camp. The orchestral music sounds wonderful, although I do have to turn my receiver up to an ungodly level and if I just choose to play the sound through the television I need to play it at a volume I have never used before.

    The voices are the problem. I agree with people like William Mck, Ken Koc and Rob Ray. They sound constricted, like they are coming through a crappy speaker, which my Polk centre speaker is not. The cinemascope version sounds much better. There, Gordon MacRae sounds like he should. On the TODD-AO version he sounds more like Dick Powell. I can't imagine what it is like for the ordinary viewer as not everyone has sound set-ups as sophisticated as most people on this site. I find myself torn between the two versions - do I want the sound or the picture? I understand many people have no problem, but I, and others, do, so something is a little screwy because with all the Blu-rays I own, I have never had this problem before.

    Oh well internet gods, I have had my say. Let the hatchet job begin.
     
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  18. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    I 'm glad you enjoyed the new disc. I also LOVE the Todd-AO version for its glorious image.
    And if you re-read the thread, you'll find much debate about the audio.
    Although my audio system can stand being ratcheted up much higher than for every other disc in my collection, I find it hard to understand why this was necessary. I have very many discs (SACD and Blu ray audio) that boast even higher audio fidelity than this disc which do not demand such extravagantly high amplifier output.
    And yes, there are other extant soundtracks which sound far better, including the old LD version which present the voices, especially Gordon's with a luscious natural aural bloom.
    But let's rejoice in what we have. I just wish alternative audio tracks had been offered for those people wanting more natural vocals or indeed a soundtrack with a more realistic output demand.
     
  19. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor
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  20. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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