BELLS OF ST. MARY'S and the @&!# annoying bar

Discussion in 'DVD' started by RobertGr, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Hi

    I have the Republic Pictures Silver Screen Edition of the film and it is a great transfer. Every video release and tv showing has that damn annoying gray bar slapped accross the screen covering up some info on the films main title page. I assume it mentions the film as an RKO release. In todays era of restoring films it is a wonder this classic films original credit has not been restored! Does anyone have a screen cap of what the title card should really look like without the gray bar?
     
  2. ScottHM

    ScottHM Second Unit

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    I've noticed that too, but I'd never thought to complain about it before. Do you suppose it'd do any good?

    ---------------
     
  3. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Maybe, maybe not depends how important Paramount who now owns the right thinks this is. You know this type of thing has always happened going back to Super 8 when Blackhawk Films redid the Laurel and Hardy and Little Rascals for the home market they made new titles taking out the MGM roaring lion and reclining lion on the main title pages. But this changed on the home video scene. A great example was Goodtimes colorized March of the Wooden Soldiers. They included the roaring lion and on the main title pafes left the reclining lion. Also look at the Paramount titles owned by Universal/MCA they for the most part all have the Paramount logo.

    I think the gray bar on BELLS is the lamest alteration I have ever seen and this has been this way for many many years. I was hoping some collector here would have a 16mm print with the films original opening - maybe Robert Harris knows what is exaclty under that bar as he knowledge of film is amazing!
     
  4. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I have the Universal R2 edition and not only is the grey bar there, but it's an appalling transfer.
     
  5. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    I wonder if UCLA has a print of the film with the original main titles?
     
  6. BernieV

    BernieV Stunt Coordinator

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    I noticed the bar during TCM's recent holiday telecast of Bells of St. Mary's. I don't recall the archival source, but it seemed like a decent - not perfect - transfer.
     
  7. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    According to the DVD Beaver review, the bar is hiding the words: 'Miss Bergman appears courtesy of an exclusive agreement with David O. Selznick.'
     
  8. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Not so that line appears on the main title beneath the bar and is quite visible indeed. I assume the bar hides "release through RKO" somewhere someone must have a print of the film and can tell us what is ibeing hidden maybe Robert Harris can help with info or someone at UCLA maybe Mr. Gitt.
     
  9. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    To quote the Beaver:

    "The final curiosity on this transfer is the masking of a credit immediately below the title that is supposed to read “Miss Bergman appears courtesy of an exclusive agreement with David O. Selznick.” Apparently, after the demise of Selznick International some well-intentioned editor sought to obliterate all external references to the producer. The gray block that appears on screen after one has already had the opportunity to view the credit, neither covers up the credit entirely, nor does it disappear for several brief seconds after the credit itself has dissolved to reveal a list of cast members – odd and distracting to say the least."

    They seem pretty certain about it?
     
  10. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    It says the DOS line under the bar. I believe it is a reference to RKO..check out the trailer, it is the same way.
     
  11. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    First of all it does refer to RKO, but this isn't really anything new. Those of us who are old enough to remember when just about all tv stations broadcast in black & white may recall that the distributors would make b/w prints of color movies for tv stations because it was cheaper than using color prints. It was pretty common in those days for them to put a black bar over references to color in the credits. MCA, which at the time owned the pre-'48 Paramount films, did that a lot and I've seen it from other studios too.
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    This explanation sounds more convincing:

    An unsuccessful attempt at explaining the gray box grafted over the studio name and copyright date on both the feature and trailer: Even though Going My Way brought Paramount needed recognition and bushels of cash, they chose not to pop for the sequel. Made under the banner of McCarey’s Rainbow Productions, Inc., the film was distributed by R. K. O. In 1957, National Telefilm Associates (NTA) obtained the theatrical rights and for years, all prints bore their logo. The U. S. video rights are controlled by Republic Pictures, and while their otherwise immaculate copy not only lacks the introductory R. K. O. tower, the telecine operator was instructed to obliterate all studio mentions.

    It was this thread which convinced me that ownership of the appalling UK R2 simply was not worth it; Artisan's R1 may not be perfect (viewing it on my LCD, it's better to turn the colour off altogether to get a truly successful mono image), but it's significantly better than Universal's effort across the Pond.
     
  13. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I don't want to derail the thread significantly, but this idea intrigues me. I have a 3LCD front projector and it has some colour uniformity issues (minor, but I see it--thankfully, no one else seems to, or they don't care) that pop up with B&W films. Did you do this because the source was a problem or do you routinely do this with B&W films? Are there adverse effects on PQ with B&W material when doing this (contrast issues, grayscale issues, etc.)? I've read about all sorts of heavy tweaking (some of it in the service menu--I'm reluctant to do that) to offset the colour uniformity issue, but your procedure seems like it could be the simplest solution to an image problem I've ever encountered.
     
  14. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    deleted--double post
     
  15. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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  16. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    In this case, it appears to be a transfer problem; it happens occasionally, with evidence of a vague colour, well, 'shimmering' is the best way I can describe it. It's usually poorer transfers affected in this way - Warner's 'On Dangerous Ground' was the last I can bring to mind, but aside from this 'The Bells of St Mary's' is pretty good and here, simply turning off the colour (I don't do it as a matter of routine) seems to do the job more than adequately.
     
  17. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    No contrast/grayscale problems then? I'll give it a try the next time I watch a B&W film--it's nearly time for my annual screening of The Third Man. Thanks for the reply.
     

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