Humphrey Bogart : Beat The Devil DVD...which one?!??? Best PQ is goal...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    want to get a copy of this Humphrey Bogart
    classic and there are a *lot* of different DVDs to choose from:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...322783-9548011

    which one offers the best picture quality?

    I'm not expecting Warner Brothers quality necessarily...but would just like to know which DVD version will offer the best that's available...

    thanks!
     
  2. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately, as to which existing DVD edition has the best picture quality, I can't say, but I will note this:

    The (very nice-looking) print of BEAT THE DEVIL that's been making the rounds on TCM, among other cable movie networks in the USA in the last few years, belongs to Sony Pictures Entertainment. One would hope that Sony/Columbia would give us a nice R1 DVD of it some day, as they already have with another classic PD staple, HIS GIRL FRIDAY.
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Peter,

    thanks for the input. That is good news (about Sony)...I'll keep my fingers crossed for a "definitive" release by a major studio with proper film-tape transfer and mastering.

    In the meantime (while I wait), can anyone recommend the best current DVD version? c'mon Bogart fans...someone out there *has* to have already gone through all of this...

    Thanks!

    dave [​IMG]
     
  4. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Columbia released this on Laser in a very nice print so maybe one of the PD companies may have taken this transfer for their DVD. Regretably I haven't seen any of them myself since I have the laser.
     
  5. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Dave, I originally had a Madacy version - needless to say, it was terrible. Sorting through WalMart's bargain bin, I picked up a Platinum version for a couple of bucks which was much better than the Madacy but is by no means great. There is a weird audio dropout early on in the film which lasts for about 3-4 seconds... there has to be a better version.
     
  6. Fredric

    Fredric Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got the Platinum and it's all right. The big question is "which one is the uncut version, with the different opening?"
     
  7. Jason-D

    Jason-D Agent

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    I have the Delta version and it looks pretty good to me. The only quibble is that a watermark has been added in one corner for a short period of time. This makes me think that it might be one of the better transfers available since they are trying to protect it. In order to answer any questions about a version with a different opening it would help to know what is different about the opening.
     
  8. Fredric

    Fredric Stunt Coordinator

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    It's been a while since I've done any research, but I found this on Amazon.com:

    Sorry to be insisting, but I seem to have gone on a real crusade re "Beat the Devil". I didn't want to, I just wanted to buy a decent DVD version. O boy! There isn't any. And it's not only the quality that is lacking, its the content. All you get is the US recut of Huston's film (1954, 89', not 1953, 100'). It really changes the character of the movie. To the bad.
    Check: Scene 1 should not be the flashback of the four crooks being marched off to the band - there is no reason to tell the plot as a flashback anyway. Spoils the whole layout. Scene 1 should be the following (censored in the US by the 50s - 50s, still sold today!!! - Censorship Board):

    Running Time: about 3'

    1 The Chelms, EU on the right, a walking stick in his right, JJ on the left, a basket over her left arm, walking towards you down a street. Camera first full shot, then moving in to half shot (waist upwards) , then half portrait (bust upwards). They are followed by a bunch of children, half seen behind their backs. A man they pass turns round to stare at them unpleasently. They turn round (towards each other).

    2 Portrait shot of six small boys looking very ugly, glaring at them. Mouth movements as if they were about to spit.

    3 The couple turns again, resuming their walk.

    EU: I must say I do resent the way these people stare at us. You'd think they might be going to spit.
    JJ: (spits over her left shoulder)
    EU: Gwendolen, dash it all!
    JJ: Here, it's unlucky to have someone spit at you unless you spit first.
    EU: What a filthy superstition,
    JJ: (chants[​IMG] May yours be defiled!
    EU: What's that about?
    JJ: These people may be thinking of putting a curse on us, like „may your grandmothers be defiled". That's why I say it first, just in case.
    EU: Wherefrom do you get all this stuff?
    JJ: My old Spanish nurse told me.
    EU: Surely you don't believe it now. You were only a child then.
    JJ: She wasn't a child. She was old.
    EU: I only wonder why your parents left you in charge of such a dirty, ignorant woman.
    JJ: They cared for nothing except to have me off their hands. I told you that. They'd have sold me on the slave market if they hadn't been afraid of the scandal. Besides my father was incompetent. I suppose he just didn't know how to contact the slave people.
    EU: I don't believe a word of it. Probably they were very fond of you, really.
    JJ: (making as if to spit again)
    EU: Stop it, Gwendolen! Don't do it!
    JJ: You'll be sorry if you run into bad luck just because you didn't take proper precautions. Suppose when we get to Africa there is a native raising and they are slaughtering all the Whites! (prepares to spit again)
    EU: Gwendolen!
    JJ: If you don't let me spit I'll just feel like standing here in the street and screeming with terror!
    EU: (looking to the left) Stop it, Gwendolen! Look: those men!
    JJ: (looks to the left too)
    EU: They might be fellow passengers.

    4 Morley, Marco Tulli, Peter Lorre descending down a street.

    Quite a difference, isn't it? Well, ask for the original!...
     
  9. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    So is that saying that there is no current DVD containing the complete uncut film?

    I don't know much about this film myself (have yet to see it)...I'm doing research on behalf of a friend who really wants to come over and watch it on my projection system...so I figured "hey...I'll buy it on DVD since I love Bogart films and wouldn't mind owning it". Now I'm discovering there are bunch of public-domain-esque DVD releases and a controversy about a cut versus uncut version...what an education!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Fredric

    Fredric Stunt Coordinator

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    I gave up trying to find the uncut version. I got the Platinum version of the DVD and I've been quite happy with that. It even has trivia!
     
  11. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Columbia should have the original- if they could release a legit version of His Girl Friday despite PD versions, why not the same for this film??
     
  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I guess I failed to ask (and the answer is probably no anyway) but is it out on "official" DVD in any other region?

    -dave
     

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