Anchors Aweigh

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Nick*Z, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Yes, I believe it is differential shrinkage. Warner Home Video's DVD contains various glaring examples of Technicolor misregistration - regrettable for a film as beloved and enjoyed around the world as Anchors Aweigh. But WB seems to have fallen behind the times of late where their classic film library is concerned. Other films like That Midnight Kiss, The Great Caruso, The Harvey Girls, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Dodge City, Bathing Beauty, National Velvet and Showboat - all worthy contenders for 1080p upgrades, have either gone the way of MOD DVD or vanished entirely from their catalogue output.
    We keep getting promises from WB that they are doing the best they can. And in truth, their catalogue is so vast and in a state of deterioration from decades of neglect, that I suppose they are doing the best they can, given current resources and time. But I believe its about time the studio should face facts - and the singular glaring fact is that too many great films are being short shrifted simply because time and money are in equally short supply. Farming out some of these restorations to smaller companies might be the route to go, or banding with The Film Foundation and the AFI to ensure at least some of these titles get restored as well as preserved for future generations.
    This is not to say that WB hasn't done some very fine work on catalogue titles. But they do tend to be limiting their best efforts to the really BIG titles like Gone With The Wind, Citizen Kane, Ben-Hur, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, et al. Rightly so. These are beloved treasures in American cinema and deserving of restoration and preservation. But films like Anchors Aweigh and the other aforementioned titles, are just as deserving of their efforts. I fear, however, they're not even in line for consideration - and that's more than a pity - its a miscarriage of artistic justice!
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    One of the great movie-going experiences of my youth was going to an on-campus showing of Anchors Aweigh when I was an undergrad at Syracuse University.

    I don't think I had ever heard a movie audience so into the film that was being projected for them. There was laughing, dialogue interaction and prolonged applause for each of the musical numbers.

    What a terrific experience.

    It is a wonderful film with superb numbers by Kelly & Sinatra. I hope a Blu isn't too far down the road.
     
  3. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    The thing that puzzles me about Anchors Aweigh (which I'd love to have in my Blu library alongside On The Town) is that the registration problem (let's call it that) is only in the vertical plane, and only affects some shots. Now I'm sure somebody knowledgeable will shoot me down in flames talking about A and B rolls or some such, but I'd have expected differential shrinkage to be in more than one direction, and to affect all the shots in the reel - presuming that it is the storage of one of the Technicolor seps that causes differential shrinkage with relation to the other two seps. I was wondering if it could be possible that the affected shots exhibit a camera registration fault rather than a shrinkage issue?
     
  4. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    I don't believe it's a camera registration problem. If it were, then the misregristration would be exactly as you described above. But shrinkage can occur on ANY plain - horizontal, vertical, only the top half of the frame, only the left side of the frame, et al. The anomalies are endless and, regrettably, extremely distracting.
    I wouldn't hold your breath on a Blu-ray release any time soon - and even if one does come - it is likely not to be a complete remastering effort. I just checked out WB's A Streetcar Named Desire on Blu and it appears to have been minted fromt he same flawed digital elements as the DVD from some years ago - merely bumped up to a 1080p signal , as opposed to a complete - from the ground up - hi def scan. For shame! If WB is willing to do that to a major release like 'Streetcar' then Anchors Aweigh isn't even on their Blu-ray map. Regrets!
     
  5. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Cheers, Nick. I was confused by the problem being evident on some shots and not on others. I'd have expected the problem to be fairly uniform on the whole reel(s) affected. If diff. shrinkage can affect areas of shots let alone individual shots, my respect for Warner's restoration team goes through the roof!
     

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