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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Doctor Zhivago also had one of the great Act II openers. With the curtains closed and the lights not yet completely dimmed, you could hear that train rumbling along through the theatre speakers for what seemed like almost a minute, before the curtains began to slowly part, the train gave out a loud whistle and a huge mass of blackness on the emerging 70mm screen gave way to the Ural Mountains as the train came roaring out of a tunnel.
     
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  2. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Yes!
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    And a great deal of wear on the original 35mm elements.

    RAH
     
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  4. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    And the fuse lighting and dancing out of the darkness in Mad World.
     
  5. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Double YES. That was one hell of a second act opening. As was The Sound of Music in which several days or weeks passed between Act 1 and Act 2.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm not baffled by an intermission as much as I find it odd that anyone would want a movie to stop for a short amount of time during the movie. I've never watched a movie and thought how much I was enjoying the story and that a short break would somehow enhance the movie. That being said, if I had seen movies with intermissions, I'm sure I would have a fond memories of them and the theater going experience of that era.


    Just to clarify, I have no problem with them retaining the intermission on video. If there was an intermission in the theaters then the disc should maintain it. While I want the movie to continue, I would even watch the intermission in deference to that being the way that it originally played.

    I certainly get the idea of creating suspense with a 'cliffhanger' intermission (I'm a huge proponent of watching serialized TV shows week to week rather than watching an entire season in a few days because I think it enhances the serialized storytelling experience) but it seems needless when we're talking about a story that runs a total of about 3 hours.
     
  7. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Second Unit

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    And reserved seating. You were shown to specific seats, by an usher with a flashlight! For those who are saying they didn't have this and that at their local theaters, I was referring, strictly, to road show presentations. Neighborhood theaters were not road show venues. Those were exclusive to, in Philadelphia, Center City (or downtown in other cities), first-run houses. Also, we could take food into the theater, it was only drink that was only allowed in the lobby, and that was true even for our neighborhood theaters, back in the 50s and 60s.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  9. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    That is fantastic.
     
  10. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Those were the days.

    The Star! laserdisc and DVD supplement section has similarly detailed instructions for proper presentation.
     
  11. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    But didn't the DVD leave off the intermission?
     
  12. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Yes. Fox Video was obviously unclear on the concept.
     
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  13. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Second Unit

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    Fox also got the color wrong on the DVD of STAR!

    I still haven't received my OLIVER! Blu-ray. Does Screen Archives walk them to their destinations?!
     
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  14. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    I got my shipment of Oliver!,etc. today, and I ordered day one at 3pm! Why so many others got it so long before me is a mystery. But it's OK, it's here.
     
  15. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Same here. I think those of us who ordered all three titles got our orders processed last. My friends who ordered Oliver! by itself got their copies last week. Mine came yesterday.
     
  16. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    Yes, a great Act II opening.

    But, when the picture came, you could once again see the graininess of one of the worst 35->70 blowups of all time.

    I projected the film in 35mm (roadshow) for nearly a year and the 35mm prints actually looked better than the 70mm prints.

    Still a great film.
     
  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    As much as I want Star! on Blu-ray, I want the color to be done correctly. That DVD looked nothing like I saw on its premiere engagement.

    The Oliver! Blu-ray is very much like I remember.
     
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  18. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I kid you not, I could read an entire book consisting of notes to theater managers and projectionists.

    But I'm wondering -- besides road show presentations -- how many other movies would such things have been created for? Maybe not a lot? Were instructions regarding elements of presentation other than overtures and intermissions, etc., very common?
     
  19. Cineman

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    There was an "enhancing the experience" element to those intermissions of the past that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet. If it has been alluded to elsewhere in this thread, forgive me for repeating it here:

    Assuming the length of the film warranted it, the break not only allowed for a trip to the potty and another (or first) trip to the concession stand but, quite memorably in several instances that I experienced first hand, gave us the chance to turn to one another to remark on how great it has been so far. Consequently, it "enhanced" the communal experience in that it encouraged us to share our enthusiasm for what has come already. Yes, there was a time when filmmakers were so confident in what they had delivered at roughly the half-way mark that they could insert a formal break in the narrative to give us all a chance to express our appreciation for it among our friends and family.

    I can recall times when what we had watched just before that intermission break was so good, so impressive, we could not wait for the lights to come up during that break so we could turn to one another and share our thoughts. It made the event more fun and enhanced the experience! Notable examples off the top of my head were the intermission breaks during LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, FUNNY GIRL, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The first "half" of those particular movies before the intermission was so good, so impressive, we were bursting with enthusiasm and could not wait to talk about it. And it is as if the filmmakers knew very well that what they'd delivered up to that moment would not only deserve our enthusiasm but would give us the chance to share it and thereby enhance the enthusiasm for what was to come.

    Providing something great and then teasing the audience by making them wait a few moments for the rest was an element of showmanship that filmmakers of the past understood very well. That second dimming of the lights and second curtain opening generated a well-earned second shot of adrenaline for those movie-going events.

    Dare I say...it might not speak so well for modern fare that there would not likely be very much positive to talk about, to enthuse about at roughly the halfway mark, even in the biggest budget, most supposedly "prestigious event" offerings, to survive an intermission break much less for the audience reaction to be improved by one. Of course, that is just my opinion about it.
     
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  20. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    When I was in the booth we would get notes on occasion. I remember one from Redford about the multi-aspect ratios for The Horse Whisperer for example.Usually you'd get a note in the cans when there was something unusual or specific to be done, it was maybe something you saw a few times a year.
     

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