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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 8, 2013.

  1. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    I'll second that. There have been many Bluray, and HD TV shows/movies on Cable/Satellite where the make up effects i would have not previously seen are now remarkably obvious due to the Bluray/HD clarity.
     
  2. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    All this reminds me of the early days of CD, when for the first time I could clearly hear the lyrics, & started having some idea what Steely Dan were singing about! Seeing obvious fake stuff in movies doesn't really bother me (after all, no one stands up in a theater & shouts - this is fake, you're all just actors!). I've yet to see a submarine film where you don't see the wire pulling the torpedo along. But I won't be annoyed if they rub out the wires holding up the alien craft in the original War Of The Worlds.
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer

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    This has been one of my favorites since I "ran away" from home as a teenager in 1963 and sat through it three times before reluctantly returning home at 1:00 a.m. to -- not concerned, but angry parents. I remember the film vividly from that. All prior video releases have been horrible representations of what I remember. This new Blu-ray is okay. Not great...but ok. I can live with it. I can even enjoy it through multiple viewings. It wasn't perfect in 1963, and it isn't perfect now. Like most of us, I had hoped for better. But I really don't know how much better it could have been made, so I will delight in watching it on a very acceptable Blu-ray. The UA catalog has always been of particular interest to me, and there is a ways to go getting it out on Blu-ray (The Miracle Worker, Witness For the Prosecution, Birdman of Alcatraz, I Want To Live!, The Black Stallion, etc) and The Great Escape had for years been among these. Now we have it. It almost certainly won't be released in an improved edition, so we need to adjust our expectations. It's not a stellar release, but it's decent. I can live with that. What it "could have been" is immaterial at this point.
     
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  4. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Second Unit

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    Hi all. Finally picked this up yesterday.
    My opinion, for what it's worth:
    Is it a demo disc? No.
    But compared to my DVD, it's considerably better and well worth the purchase.
    Almost a revelation. My display is "only" a 46" (Sony XBR4), and on my set TGE looks very nice. Yes, I wish it were better, but it is what it is, and all things considered, I'm pleased with it.
     
  5. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    Steven Spielberg will. He loves those wires:

     
  6. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I think the distinction is, were they always viewable or newly viewable due to the advance in tech. If you could always see them then they should stay, otherwise...
     
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  7. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    I can agree to that...though most things that show up on BD transfers showed up on 35mm...or in the case of Patton, 70mm. Just because they were lost (and therefore, "errors" temporarily alleviated) when lower-res home video reigned, that doesn't mean they weren't visible in their original runs.

    Granted, sometimes when a BD transfer is sourced from the original negative, details can be seen that wouldn't have been in theatrical prints. But Patton's eyebrows and the strings in War of the Worlds are certainly not examples of this.
     
  8. iDarren

    iDarren Stunt Coordinator

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    What will this look like on a 100 inch 16x9 screen?
     
  9. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Not so great, but apparently will be replicating they way it looked during its early theatrical run.
     
  10. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I finally watched the Blu-ray last night, & enjoyed it as always, & thought the Blu-ray looked really good. The very first shot with the main title comes up & it looks very cold, & I'm thinking, oh no, but by the time they've got to the camp it all looks fine. I thought the colour, density & contrast were just about perfect, of course some people were disappointed that it wasn't sharper, but I thought it looked fine, & some scenes like the actual escape are very sharp. After two duff DVD's I'm very happy with this Blu. And what a movie!
     
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  11. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I have just watched the blu-ray and admit I am a bit disappointed with the picture quality. It is unfortunate that iconic films like The Great Escape were not photographed on a large negative format. Although there are some exceptions the best catalogue blu-rays of films of this vintage come from VistaVision/70 mm negatives.
     
  12. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I'm not convinced that is true, it's all down to whether the studio pays money on new film scans/restoration and less to do with 35mm/70mm, i mean just take a look at Spartacus or The Fall Of The Roman Empire as two examples which looks less than optimal on blu ray, then take a look at Shane which is 35mm, i think it's all to do with how the studio handles the film, sometimes they just don't want to pay for a better release.
     
  13. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    But it's been discussed ad nauseam that The Great Escape looks on blu-ray exactly as it has always looked. Regardless of the film gauge, every film is photographed and processed different, so that results will vary from film to film.
     
  14. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I don't believe that it does look as good as it can on blu ray but we discussed this earlier in the thread.
     
  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Just wanted to share this with the membership for other fans of this great film.....

    My wife and I took a vacation this weekend to America's Heartland (Omaha, Nebraska) to attend a special 50th anniversary screening (35mm) of the Great Escape. This event, produced by film historian and documentarian Bruce Crawford, was highlighted by a live in person appearance by Mr. David McCallum. Mr. McCallum spoke to a sold out audience of something like 990 people and then graciously signed autographs afterwards for anyone who wanted one (we were in the line for over an hour and there were plenty of people behind us so I imagine this went on for for close to 2 hours). A motorcyle that is of the same type that Steve McQueen used in the film was on display along with much memorabilla from Mr. McCallum's career and WW2 displays and re-enactors.

    I've seen this on a big screen before (as part of Cinemark's classic series) and have the wonderful BD, but to see this in a very full house on 35mm is something that can't be replicated. I understand that Mr. Crawford has produced close to 3 dozen of these events over the past 20 years (each with at least one "big name" special guest), but this was my first (and hopefully not last).

    The only sad part of the proceedings, which got an audible reaction from the audience occured when Mr. McCallum made a special point to note that his friend and co-star, James Garner, is "not doing well" and is in "need of prayers". On a more positive note, Mr. McCallum, who is 80, looked terrific and could easily pass for 20 years younger.

    For those wondering, he didn't spill any NCIS secrets :)
     
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  16. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    Not good news about Mr. Garner though. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  17. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Just arrived from Amazon, along with Creature from the Black Lagoon. I'll report on my impressions after I have a gander.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You can now buy this BD for less than $6 at Amazon.
     
  19. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    ^ Yup, just got it for that the other day and watched it yesterday. I wish the first 2 hours looked as good as the last hour (in general, times are approximate), I would be very satisfied with that, at least it was the most beautiful part re scenery that looked nice. Seemed strange to me how different that last section of the movie looked, probably a good explanation if I knew how the BD sources were divied up.
     

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