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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    While seeing Ben projected properly from a new anamorphic 70mm print on a vast screen would be one of the greatest cinematic experiences you could have, it is difficult enough these days to find a venue that can show ordinary 70 properly let alone anamorphic 70.
     
  2. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    I was fortunate enough to see "Ben-Hur" in 70mm in the early 1970s at the legendary Castro Theater here in San Francisco. Mr. Harris is right...as wonderful as home theater technology has gotten, it still can't hold a candle to the true cinematic experience at its biggest and best![​IMG]
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Fox has done great work with their 70mm reprints. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, take it. Not liking the film itself is no excuse. [​IMG]
    As for My Fair Lady, CBS put up money for the original Broadway production in exchange for the cast album rights and, apparently, film rights. Jack L. Warner loved the show so much he paid a then-record $5.5 million for the film rights. But the deal included a caveat: 7 years after the release of the film (which was contractually obliged not to be made until the Broadway production closed), its copyright would be turned over to CBS. It is a bizarre agreement, and I've never heard of any other one like it. But J.L. wanted the movie rights that much.
     
  4. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    He is even more over the top in Demetrius & The Gladiators. On the making of documentary he mentions Henry Koster trying to tone down his performance in The Robe, but it doesn't seem that Delmer Daves did the same for Demetrius!
     
  5. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    Then you will be happy to hear about the new anamorphic print of Khartoum that was shown last month at the Berlinale [​IMG]
    That print was done for MGM by the way and to my knowledge together with West Side Story was their first new print since the ca 2003 print of IAMMMMW, also an anamorphic print. Although I think this was not entirely a studio project but was pushed forward by Stanley Kramer's widow.
    I do agree on the scarcity of venues that can show UP70/Camera 65 movies but in Europe somebody made the suggestion that the problem could be overcome by buying one or two standard sized anamorphic attachments that could be shipped together with the prints so that in theory most 70mm theaters that do not have their own could show Ben Hur.
    In Europe I know of at least 4 cinemas by the way that still can show Ben Hur the way it is meant to be seen as they still have these attachments although they are rarely used for obvious reasons.
     
  6. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    @MatthewA:

    Actually I have so far seen these new prints from Fox:

    Hello Dolly !

    Cleopatra

    Patton

    South Pacific

    The Bible

    Star!

    That is a strange story about My Fair Lady. I still hope to one day see a print from the restoration.
     
  7. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    Got done watching THE ROBE and was amazed!!
    FOX did an incredible job with this film. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect but it's so much better looking than it's ever been on home video. I have the original DVD and honestly it's crap! This restoration brings with it bold colors and outside a few passing moments a sharp picture.
     
  8. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Do you perhaps know where in Europe those cinemas are located? I can't even find a theater here that shows 70mm films (or perhaps I'm not looking hard enough).
     
  9. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    I have only been to 4 cinemas that showed 70mm but there are many more, you might want to start here:
    Now showing in 70mm and 6-track stereo
    On the left side you can see the screenings sorted by date and on the right side there is a list of cinemas that show 70mm regularly and occasionally.
    The Dutch film museum repeatedly did 70mm festivals including some vintage prints that were in surprisingly good shape and if you look around you will surely find their contact info and then you can inquire when they will do their next festival [​IMG]
    When you come from the Netherlands there are also festivals in Kopenhagen, Karlsruhe and Bradford that are in reasonably close distance from you, Krnow would probably be a bit more difficult to get to but it is also a very nice festival once you are there.
     
  10. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I got a lot more out of THE ROBE via this tremendous new restoration on BD than I ever did before. I've seen the movie at least thirty times, on broadcast television, laserdisc, and DVD. It looks like a completely new movie. Unlike others who have criticized the "fakeness" of the matte paintings on this new release, I find them to be more beautiful than ever.

    No, it's not BEN HUR, but THE ROBE is an excellent film, and this new BD is required viewing for folks who want to appreciate the history of Hollywood filmmaking.

    EDIT: I would give anything to see these films in a proper theatrical venue, but Philadelphia is one of the worst cities in the country for repertory film exhibition.
     
  11. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    I have always wondered if, when "The Robe" was first released in 1953, some theaters had the option to open the curtains only about enough to show the center portion of the screen during the opening credits? (they seem to have been formatted as 1.33 x 1 and kept in the center for perhaps just such a case.)
    Then, when the credits end, as the filmed curtains start to open, the theaters curtains open along with it, revealing the full width of the then new CinemaScope screen.
    I think that this bit of showmanship would have made the audience gasp, as it did with "This is Cinerama" which used a similar ploy.
    I can't think of any other reason for the opening credits on the CinemaScope version to have not filled the entire screen. Would anyone know if there is any truth to this speculation?
     
  12. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Wow, thanks for the info. Probably I didn't search good enough.
    Nice to see that the Dutch Filmmuseum will do another 70mm Festival in 2011 (still some time, but it's nice to know). I will also definitely look into the other festivals you mentioned.
     
  13. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Move to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill "Triangle" and then if you still believe that after five years, I owe you a drink.
     
  14. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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  15. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    This is so frustrating. I got my copy of The Robe in the mail and it wouldn't play on either my Samsung BR player or my Dell laptop (which is BR-outfitted). So I went to Frys, bought a second copy, and the same thing happened!!!

    On the Samsung I get a message that says that, for the disc to play, the device has to be on HDMI. I don't have HDMI because it's an older TV (8 years) but I never had this problem before with any other BR discs.

    The laptop recognizes there's a copy of THE ROBE in it, but keeps trying to load it up and doesn't succeed.

    Can anyone help? I would greatly appreciate it!

    Desperate in Hollywood
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Can't imagine, Gerardo...unless it's a firmware issue (but that would leave the laptop out of the equation...).
    What model Samsung are you using?
     
  17. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Mike, it's a Samsung BD- P1000. I have downloaded the latest firmware from Samsung on it, and I keep getting a message that reads:

    "Due to analog output restriction, current setup cannot be displayed. To playback, please switch to HDMI outfit device."
     
  18. RDarrylR

    RDarrylR Stunt Coordinator

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    I think there's a new incarnation of BD+ used on The Robe. Maybe a firmware update will be needed. It plays fine in my PS3 though.
     
  19. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    So I suppose I have to wait for Samsung to release that firmware, right? I can't get that firmware anywhere else?
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well, I'm no expert. I hope one of the resident techies will chime in. It does seem odd that your laptop won't play it either.
    Your tale makes me worried about my Panny BD-10 being able to play it, though.
    I do know however that you need to get any firmware updates from the manufacturer.
     

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