A Few Words About A few words about...™ Strangers on a Train -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,141
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train is a classic, and it's nice to finally have it on Blu-ray.

    The image harvest is decidedly okay. Nothing extraordinary, but nothing problematic. Main titles are a bit soft, and are window-boxed, without reason.

    Blacks seems reasonable, with decent, but not wonderful shadow detail. Grain seems natural and consistent.

    The preview version is in standard definition, and does not appear to be flagged for wide screen. Nothing new in special features, the most recent being M. Night chatting about fate or some such thing.

    Great film.

    Very nice, but not wonderful Blu-ray.

    Image - 3.5 (preview version -1)

    Audio - 3

    RAH

    Updated: Have taken another look at this, and upgraded to a 3.5 (which would have been a 4, had it not been window-boxed). There should be no concerns about purchasing this one.
     
  2. Doctorossi

    Doctorossi Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    37
    Thanks, Robert. About what I anticipated, really.
     
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,775
    Likes Received:
    118
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    I'd like to own this. I will down the road.
    At least it's decent enough to get us by.
    Thanks RAH.
     
  4. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    8,436
    Likes Received:
    1,177
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    Brandon Conway
    As with any 4:3 SD content on a Blu-ray, the player/monitor should properly add sidebars to the image to preserve the 4:3 presentation when watching on a 16:9 monitor.

    Too bad it's in SD, though.
     
  5. ShellOilJunior

    ShellOilJunior Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    21
    I'm glad it appears to be acceptable. I just wish they put more effort into the release. I guess "film is film" to some...
     
  6. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,162
    Likes Received:
    2,214
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Bruce
    I don't get it, frankly. Why would this and Dial M not receive the proper treatment? I don't need an "okay" version of Strangers on a Train - I have the DVD for that.
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    14,546
    Likes Received:
    2,945
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Real Name:
    Matt Hough
    Exactly. The DVD is fine and even upconverts quite nicely. A Blu-ray should constitute a solid advance on that. Otherwise, why upgrade?
     
  8. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    379
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    David
    Geez, it looks like I may be cancelling another Hitchcock pre-order. Shame, really. The first DVD I bought was Strangers on a Train.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,141
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Updated: Have taken another look at this, and upgraded to a 3.5 (which would have been a 4, had it not been window-boxed). There should be no concerns about purchasing this one.

    Unless the preview version no longer exists, which is possible (although it should have been duped), a 2k scan as a new extra would have been proper here. We're talking about a very minimal investment.

    RAH
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1998
    Messages:
    6,380
    Likes Received:
    776
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Johnny Angell
    Ok, I'm not clear on what the preview version is. There is an HD version of the movie on this blu, isn't there? If that's ok, do I need to be concerned about the preview version?
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,141
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Only if you have an interest in how films went from preview to final versions.

    From matthewhunt.com

    Strangers On A Train, one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, was previewed in a form that's slightly different from the final release version. The preview version is sometimes mistakenly described as the British version, though the film's final American version was the only one shown on general release.

    Hollywood studios routinely modify films after they are previewed, though the preview versions are seldom released commercially. The Big Sleep, My Darling Clementine, and Blade Runner are notable exceptions.

    There are relatively few differences between the two versions. One rather superfluous sequence from the preview - in which Bruno and Guy order food - was shortened in the final version, to reduce the overall running time. Also, the build-up to Guy entering Bruno's father's room is more suspenseful in the preview version: a brief additional sequence, with shadowy lighting and ominous music, misdirects the audience by implying that Guy actually intends to murder Bruno's father.

    The film's ending represents the most significant alteration. The preview version ends rather blandly, with Guy's telephone call to his fiance; the final version inserted a new coda in which Guy is recognised by a vicar on a train, a more ironic and amusing ending.
     
  12. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    379
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    David
    I'll keep my preorder on this one, as it is one of my favorite Hitchcock films. The windowboxed credits are not a deal breaker for me; and it's a nice price.
    RAH, I thought the ending with the vicar was actually in the preview version, and that the phone call ending was the official release. I definitely like the vicar ending the best. Maybe I have them mixed up in my mind.
    ---EDIT---
    Don't know why I got them mixed up. Took a look at the DVD last night.
     
  13. mikeyhitchfan

    mikeyhitchfan Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    97
    Location:
    Costa Mesa CA
    Real Name:
    Mike
    Unless the preview version no longer exists, which is possible (although it should have been duped), a 2k scan as a new extra would have been proper here.  We're talking about a very minimal investment.
    RAH
    I have the preview version in HD from a TV broadcast, and it's looks quite nice. So, it does exist. I guess WB didn't think it was worth the effort. A great film at a great price. Can't wait!
     
  14. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    1,035
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Glen
    I agree with this, Matt. So many catalog titles are coming out now in Blu, it's getting to the point where I can't justify alleged upgrading on every title I already own in SD. I would much rather save my money for titles I don't already have or ones which represent a significant improvement over the SD.
     
  15. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1998
    Messages:
    6,380
    Likes Received:
    776
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Real Name:
    Johnny Angell
    RAH, thanks for the preview explanation. It being in SD won't stop me from buying the disc.
     
  16. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    379
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    David
    When Blu-ray started, I said I would not rebuy my entire collection on Blu-ray. However, as my primary interest is in catalog titles, I seem to be doing precisely what I said I would not do. If I were to make a list of titles I most want on Blu-ray, I'd probably find that I already own them on DVD. If it's a title I never watch very often, I stand pat with the DVD. Certainly, I'll pass if it is not a significant upgrade. I was going to pass on this, but RAH now has it rated a '4' if you discount the windowboxed credits (which I will). For a significant Hitchcock film like this, it's a good enough price for me to upgrade to the Blu. I'm still going to pass on Dial 'M' until it has a better price or comes out in 2D only.
     
  17. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 1998
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    Wilmington,De
    Real Name:
    Everett
    Same here.:D
     
  18. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,535
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Real Name:
    Allen
    Another one that agrees. I have made the decision to pass on this one and DEAD RINGER. I want to support the release of classic titles on Blu-ray, but these past two quarters have been over whelming to the wallet.
     
  19. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2000
    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Garland,Tx.
    Real Name:
    Matthew Anderson
    Thank you Mr. Harris for your review of this great Hitchcock film. It is one of my favorite Hitchcock titles and I always appreciate your honesty. Thanks also for your prior work on Lawrence of Arabia. I saw it on the big screen last Thursday night and it was good to see your name in the credits.
     
  20. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    6,171
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Livonia, MI USA
    Real Name:
    Kenneth McAlinden
    I agree that both versions should have been HD. If they would author with branching, it would probably take up less disc space to do than including the entire SD version version of the preview cut.
     

Share This Page