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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I couldn't be more thrilled that Columbia (in this case) and Fox are sub-licensing product, and this new release of Joshua Logan's Picnic is a cause for celebration.


    With a superb cast, and based upon the Pulitzer Price winning play by William Inge, Picnic is a film that bristles with small town Americana, beautifully brought to the screen through the eyes of cinematographer James Wong Howe.


    1955, a relatively early year for Eastman's color negative process can be problematic when it comes to preservation and restoration, but one would hardly know it from the looks of Picnic, which gets very high marks for the gradations of its color, detail and grain structure.


    This is another of those blind buys that I occasionally mention, as it's one of the great films of the era, and not to be missed.


    My hat is off, once again, to Twilight Time, for freeing the film from the studio vaults.


    Uncompressed stereo tracks.


    Highly Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Yes, it looks amazingly good. Expensive, but worth it. A friend of mine who was alive in this era says that this film shows better than almost anything other what it looked like to live in small town America in 1955.
     
  3. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I don't cotton much to terms like "grain structure" - but this transfer is the poster child for what fine grain looks like. It's not HEAVY (so many people on chat boards love it when the grain is HEAVY), it's FINE and barely noticeable unless you're sitting with your nose up to the screen. Grain should not look like popcorn balls. This is a stunning transfer of a stunning film. I wrote about it this very day over on my site. It's a must-have for anyone who loves great filmmaking, wonderfully written stories, great acting, and the art of cinematography (what James Wong Howe does with two actors and a few Chinese lanterns is art of the highest order). Add to that an absolutely perfect score by George Duning, a composer who never ever gets the due he's due (I will be rectifying that very soon, oh, yes, I will be rectifying) and you just have a wonderful viewing experience. To those who feel the price is too high - better to spend thirty bucks on a great film with a great transfer than thirty bucks of three or four films that aren't classics, just because you're getting a "deal." The "deal" is Picnic.
     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I'm late in coming to know Duning's name, but it just happens I've watched three of his films in the past few weeks, so let's hope that accounts for a critical mass in which he's now on the radar. Just glancing up and down his credits ... holy moley.
     
  5. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I agree! Can you give us a link to the site you mention? I'd like to read that review...
     
  6. JohnRa

    JohnRa Stunt Coordinator

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    Bruce, I agree with what you say, but even more, I LOVE the way you say it. This was a pleasure to read. :) I saw "Picnic" when it was first in theaters and that sequence you mention stunned me. It still does. I think the music deserves equal credit with the cinematography. Truly a magic moment.
     
  7. ShowsOn

    ShowsOn Second Unit

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    Seeing the Chinese lantern sequence in HD was worth the price of the disc.
     
  8. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    I agree with everything you've written, but just wanted to point out that Picnic is actually nearly $40 ($34.95 plus $4.35 shipping = $39.30), not $30. Doug
     
  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I finally found the time to watch this last night, and the picture and sound are as superb as described. I think this may be, so far, the gem of the Twilight Time collection (and I was blown away with the transfer on The Egyptian, but Picnic itself is a much better film).
     
  10. TheVid

    TheVid Stunt Coordinator

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    Glad to hear you are rectifying this. I can't wait! I have always wondered what happened to the music he wrote for another Kim Novak picture (in 1960), STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET . I love that theme almost as much as the one he wrote for PICNIC.
     
  11. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    First time in a long time I am going to do a "blind buy" of a film I have never seen. Bell, Book, & Candle just showed up as a pre-order for Twilight Time, a film I love, and this is a film I have never made the time to rent in spite of really enjoying Holden in Bridge on the River Kwai and Double Indemnity and RAH has never steered my wrong the few times I have blind bought movies on DVD or Blu-ray in the past.
     

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