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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 13, 2014.
"Khyber Rifles" is out in the UK (and I think Australia too) but I don't know of the quality.
Both Tyrone Power movies have been released elsewhere. KING is in 4:3 LBX from Australia, Spain and the UK. The Spanish edition is in stereo. A De Luxe edition has also been released in Spain of LLOYDS OF LONDON. An excellent transfer.
Re the UK cover of AMBER, it is unfortunate that a black and white still was used for it. I am sure some who are not in the know will assume it is a black and white film. I am interested to learn what the image quality is like on the FCA release. I am happy with my French Blu Ray (AMBRE), despite the non-removable French subtitles. I am guessing that an MOD release will lessen the likelihood of a US Blu Ray release. Pity, This is a Technicolor film which cries out for one (although we only have the compromised palette of Technicolor transferred to Eastman color. Nonetheless, the Blu Ray of AMBER compares favourably with other Fox Techncicolor titles such as LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (TT) and DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (TT))
In any event, since today (May 5) is Tyrone Power's centennial, here's a link to my tribute to him:
I received Amber yesterday. I may view it today. What about Fox classic movie series on BD? Have they release any more movies? Where do you look if they have? I am waiting for The Razors Edge which is at the top of my list for Blu-ray.I also hope for Let's Make Love and Don't Bother To Knockfor a summer release. Wish they would give us the last days of Marilyn with the restored Something's Got To Give.Here I still want Marilyn 1963.
Review for "Forever Amber" on DVDBeaver:
Color fringing out the wazoo in some of those screen grabs. I'm not happy that Fox didn't show this film some love. They never have.
Its very sad. I don't know if this month's UK (pressed) DVD release will look any better, but I suppose I'll eventually buy it and find out. Just a shame that Fox hasn't seen fit to give this film - as yet - a befitting Blu release. This was a very important film for the studio and deserves more love on home video.
I watched the film last night on my blu-ray and still found I enjoyed it. Since I did not have a copy of the film and had just read the book this Winter I enjoyed it. I would say buy it for those who do want a copy like me because the cost is cheap. I also pulled out this week Moby Dick and I thought Amber compared with Moby Dick looks better than the MGM DVD.
I wonder how the new Fox DVD compares to the French Blu-ray from 2012? I've never seen Forever Amber and am trying to decide which copy to invest in...
I think it's obvious that the film elements just aren't there to make a decent blu otherwise I'm sure Twilight Time would have snapped it up. It sounds like it needs a lot of clean up and restoration to make an acceptable transfer. As for being an "important" film for the studio, I don't see it that way and I doubt they do either. Certainly, it lacks the prestige and popularity of its major catalog hits like All About Eve, Gentleman's Agreement, Letter To Three Wives, How Green Was My Valley, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes etc.
Betty Grable was "important" to the studio too and considering how her movies bombed on standard DVD, I doubt we'll any Grable blu anytime soon.
I have been complaining over and over again about EACH individual Fox Archive Technicolored disc.
Add to that Laserdisc and even new Blu-rays.
It wasn't until I watched "State Fair" on the new R&H set that it finally hit home.
Almost all of these early Technicolor productions suffer from the same thing.
They mostly all have ugly crushed Blacks.
All detail under the black veil has been lost.
I can no longer blame individual releases, it's apparent that something terribly wrong occurred when these films were transferred to Eastman color.
It affects nearly every title.
So what is the story? What went wrong? How did those heavy blacks eventuate?
Does anybody have the answer?
I have the French Blu Ray of FOREVER AMBER (AMBRE). To my eyes, it compares favourably to the Blu Rays of LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN and STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, two other Technicolor titles from Fox which were also transferred to Eastman color preservation elements. I don't have it but, going by the reviews, DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK sounds like it may be the best yet from this type of print (possibly due to some restoration work it received for the John Ford dvd set it was originally a part of).
Some of the reviews at amazon.fr are positive regarding the image quality (it helps if you were taught French in school or somewhere). Those that are critical are probably by people who are unaware of the policy Fox went with regarding the original 3-strip negatives. Unless a mint IB Technicolor print is located for one of these Fox movies, they will never look as they did on their first release.AMBRE is a special edition which has a few extras (in French with no English subtitles). The only unfortunate side is that-unlike the release of DADDY LONG LEGS- the French subtitles are non-removable when you play the movie in English. I am willing to put up with this for the sharpness of the image. In some shots, the colors are quite vivid. I doubt that either of the SD editions would look (and sound) as good..
I bought "Stars and Stripes Forever" hoping that being a Blu-ray it would look good.
Result: yet another major Fox disappointment with crushed blacks everywhere.
I got rid of it as it wasn't up to the standard I expect from an expensive Blu-ray.
Sharpness and details (what you could see) were fine, but I just couldn't stomach all of those crushing blacks and ugly skin tones.
Those screen grabs of Fox Archive's "Forever Amber" don't look very good. (I'll give that version a wide berth)
"Forever Amber" was a 'prestige' film for Fox. The search for an actress to play Amber played out like the search for Scarlett several years before.
Well, I don't want to get into an argument over it but .....
Unlike Fox's other prestige productions, it only got a single Oscar nomination ... for David Raksin's score. The reviews weren't good and the film broke even (barely) thanks to re-shoots which caused the budget to climb. Unlike Mitchell's Gone With The Wind, Kathleen Windsor's pulp romance (didn't they call them bodice rippers?) isn't remembered much today. Unlike the copious documentation (as well as screen tests) attesting to the search for Scarlett O'Hara, the source of the "search" for an actress to play Amber is more likely Fox's publicity department of the day. Even Lana Turner turned the part down.
I'm not putting the film down. It's an enjoyable piece Technicolor fluff (though quite bowdlerized from the novel) but the film just didn't live up to the studio's expectations. To expect Fox to shell out for an extensive restoration job (which the film needs) for a limited shrinking market isn't realistic. Hey, I'd love for Fox to clean it up and release it the way it looked in 1947 for we aging baby boomers but I'm just trying to keep it real.
I have some production mementoes from Sodom & Gomorrah if anybody is interested....
Twilight Time doesn't get HD transfers made by request, it releases whatever transfer Fox has off-hand. Remember their letterboxed DVD release of Violent Saturday? Clearly a remaster could have been done considering we already got a blu-ray coming, but TT doesn't do its own remastering. It isn't Criterion, it doesn't have remastering facilities nor does the company have the budget to pay for new remastering (like Olive does). It's a real shoe-string operation that can't even afford to release DVD discs concurrently.
I mean its possible that the elements aren't in good shape, but in light of the quality French blu-ray of Forever Amber it doesn't seem to be the case with this particular film. More that Fox hasn't bothered to remaster it in the past 15 or so years due to its more niche status in today's world.
I also really wouldn't gauge the stuff we get off the Fox Cinema Archive as whether the elements are in poor condition or not. I doubt the MOD program ever had a remaster done from original elements let alone has any inclination of delivering a quality product. The Forever Amber MOD, as mediocre as it is, still stands as one of their better releases in terms of video quality.
I haven't seen the announcements for tomorrow's Fox Cinema Archives titles, so here they are -
Chad Hanna (1940) - Chad Hanna, a farm boy from upstate New York, joins a traveling circus in the 1840’s. Along the way he falls for a bare-back rider and in the end saves the circus from financial ruin. Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamoure, and Linda Darnell star in this film. Shown in 4:3 full frame presentation.
Springtime in the Rockies (1942) - Two Broadway dance partners rekindle their romance in a series of comic misunderstandings set around the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. Betty Grable, John Payne, Carmen Miranda and Cesar Romero star in this 1942 classic. Shown in 4:3 full frame presentation.
I hope they don't just recycle the old laserdisc transfer for Springtime in the Rockies.
A long-anticipated title, I always puzzled why they never released it on either the Carmen Miranda or Betty Grable sets.