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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 19, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What a difference a year makes.


    The replacement of Kodak color negative 5248 with 5250 in 1961 plays a major role in film preservation, as 5250, properly stored, should be very printable.


    And Fox's new Blu-ray of Michael Curtiz's The Comancheros, is a perfect example of what can be done with the film stock when everything is handled properly.


    To view this new Blu-ray on a large screen is like being at a premiere screening of a new print struck from the camera original back in the fall of 1961.


    Color is beautifully rendered, grain looks proper, shadow detail, along with blacks are letter perfect. This is a magnificent job of taking a piece of film to Blu-ray via quality scanning and a well-produced HD master.


    Audio, both via a new 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as the original 4-track stereo in Dolby Surround are also perfectly rendered.


    From a personal perspective, I visited the Fox lot (when it was the original Fox lot) in the summer of 1961. Being given a grand tour, I was asked if there was anyone on the lot that I'd like to meet. Knowing that The Comancheros was in production, my answer was easy. I almost didn't recognize Mr. Wayne, as he wasn't wearing a hairpiece. He seemed genuinely surprised that a kid would know his history going back to the '30s, and kindly gave me quality time. I still recall shaking his hand, and getting a feeling that I had just stuck my hand in a mail box with a tight grip.


    Those apologists out there, who feel that it's alright for a film to look less than stellar if it's old, ie. from the '50s or '60s can get the record straight by watching this new Blu-ray from Fox.


    Here's a half century old production, that is perfect in every detail on Blu-ray.


    Very Highly Recommended both as a piece of entertainment as well as software.


    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    RAH,


    John Wayne is my favorite actor of all-time and one of the my more enjoyable experiences from my youth that I like to recall was going to the local movie theater with my buddies and seeing his latest film.

    I'm really looking forward to this BRD and appreicate your positive comments about it.







    Crawdaddy
     
  3. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Great review. You have a wonderful talent for saying a lot in a few words. And thanks for sharing that terrific story...Looks like one to buy.
     
  4. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Just for clarification, by "Dolby Surround" are you inferring that the original discrete 4-track mix has been encoded in Dolby Surround 2.0? Not a big deal, but I was just curious if the tracks are discrete or matrix for the original soundtrack.

     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The original tracks were discreet.
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Yes Robert, I know that. I was asking if the alternate original mix on the Blu-ray is presented in 4.0 discrete or 2.0 matrix, as you inferred by saying "in Dolby Surround."

     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Quote:


    Appears to be matrix.
     
  8. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    SOLD. I haven't even seen this film. Can't wait.


    And what a great story.
     
  9. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I've just got around to buying this BRD. Absolutely superb: a reference quality disc. Blu-ray done properly. Why on earth did I wait before buying it?
     
  10. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Great story, RAH. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] The craftsmanship on display in The Comancheros deserves a Blu-ray like this. The photography by outdoor and westerns specialist William H. Clothier deserves special mention. This cameraman was an artist and a true craftsman. He doesn't get enough credit, but he brought a special quality of light and color and composition to westerns for over thirty years. I'll buy every John Wayne film all over again that they put on Blu-ray.
     
  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I can't believe I've waited so long to order this title either. Time to make amends. I assume there's no difference in the film transfer between the 50th Anniversary Digibook release and the single disc Blu-ray?
     
  13. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    In the second poster, Nehemiah Persoff looks exactly like Jason Alexander. :laugh:
     
  14. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I love this movie, I find it so enjoyable, not an "important" western, but so much fun, & that Elmer Bernstein music score! I'll wait a bit for the Amazon price to nudge down & then import it to the UK.
     
  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Can anyone answer my question about the two Blu-ray offerings? Is the 50th Anniversary Digibook release the same transfer as the less expensive $16.99 disc?
     
  16. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    This is a wonderful film. Again it demonstrates how brilliant Wayne was with comedy! Anyone who says he was a lousy actor doesn't know what they are talking about. I too was a fan of Wayne, but I was a child in the early 70s, and was seeing films like True Grit and The Shootist. It seemed to me that the man had just always been around. This film is also the last hurrah of Michael Curtiz. Even though he may have had some help finishing this film, you can clearly see that its a Michael Curtiz film! Can't wait to get my hands on this one. Doug
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That's right!
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The Duke has always been my favorite actor. He was always underrated as an actor, how he was never nominated for The Searchers is beyond me. His performance in that film is one of the true iconic ones and is similar to Robert Mitchum getting passed up for The Night of the Hunter. Anyhow, I agree with you about Wayne being a very good comedic actor. One of my favorite comedies of all-time is Dononvan's Reef with him and Lee Marvin having a grand time on an island of paradise.
     
  19. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Gracias Robert!
     
  20. Guest

    Many of Duke's 1960s films have good comedic moments, like McClintock, Hatari, North To Alaska, and The Sons of Katie Elder. His interaction with Robert Mitchum in El Dorado, Kirk Douglas in The War Wagon, and Ben Johnson in Chisum are also great. I sure hope the studios will get with it and get all these films (and others) out on Blu-ray soon. I'm glad others are discovering Wayne's talents and taking a look at The Comancheros.
     

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