John Wayne, James Stewart 'Screen Legend Collections' from Universal June

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Hodson, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    From the DVD Forums:

    Thunder Bay is the big come on there, but I note from here that the previously open-matte The Glenn Miller Story will be in anamorphic widescreen.*

    And some more re-releases in June's other elease in this line, John Wayne : The Screen Legend Collection but it will be first time in anamorphic widescren in R1 at least for Rooster Cogburn, The War Wagon and The Hellfighters. I don't think they can improve on the current Reap The Wild Wind which is simply gorgeous.

    *EDIT - apologies for a 'senior moment'; just realised that it already is anamorphic widescreen. And I own the disc too!
     
  2. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Hopefully THUNDER BAY will be full frame, not widescreen as listed. There is confusion on this title-- it was the film that introduced the 1.85 AR in films as we know it today, but the film is composed full frame. In other words, it was chosen to introduce widescreen, but wasn't a widescreen film. I'm surprised if they do it-- at 1.85, the opening credits are totally clipped.

    Glad to hear GLENN MILLER is widescreen, as it should be... stereo track, too, I see.
     
  3. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Thunder Bay was originally in three channel stereo
     
  4. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Now lost.
     
  5. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    Very glad to see Next Time We Love - wish the prewar films were represented a bit better - but hey, I'll buy it.
     
  6. Jim Bur

    Jim Bur Stunt Coordinator

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    Good new about getting Thunder Bay out. Shenandoah has been previously released. Is their any theory as to why they aren't releasing the Anthony Mann directed "Strategic Air Command" as part of this collection. Strategic Air Command would be the only Stewart-Mann collaboration that has not been released on DVD.

    c Jim Bur
     
  7. Jim Bur

    Jim Bur Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, I'll answer my own question. It appears Paramount has Strategic Air Command, so it would be up to them to release it.
     
  8. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    Re: The Glenn Miller Story.

    I thought the problem with the first Glenn Miller DVD was that it was in widescreen and that it's supposed to be fullscreen! And now here they are putting out the same old transfer? And from what Jack says about Thunder Bay, it's going to have the same problem.

    See DVDBeaver's review of The Glenn Miller Story DVD:

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDRev...ler_story_.htm
     
  9. R-T-C Tim

    R-T-C Tim Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought I was the only one who wanted to see this on DVD!

    I do hope that Paramount release this one soon, it may be dated but is still entertaining.
     
  10. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Yup; realised my stupid error this morning and edited the first post.
     
  11. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    The Glenn Miller Story was on TCM the other day. I only watched a few minutes, but I *think* it was shown fullframe there.
     
  12. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    What is wrong with the previous GLENN MILLER STORY transfer is that whomever did the transfer had it framed too high. You'll notice the card in the opening title is not evenly centered. Had that not occured, the composition would be correct.
     
  13. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    What about this from the DVDBeaver review?

    "The image is cropped from the OAR of 1.37:1, approx 13% top and 12% bottom, to aprx 1.85:1, in order to allow anamorphic encoding (see comparison between VHS and DVD below). While Universal eventually did mask their films into 1.85:1, only 5 films were released in Widescreen in 1953, and this is not one of them."

    If you look at the widescreen DVD/fullscreen VHS comparison shots of that one frame, it doesn't seem like a matter of framing the transfer too high... there is lots of information lost both top and bottom.
     
  14. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    As informative as DVDBeaver is as a reference of quality, their technical aspects are often wrong. They write things that are based on what they see on video, not in any fact or based on careful study of 35mm material of which the film originates. Note that they state that only five films in '53 from Universal were made for widescreen: untrue-- U's entire Fall and Winter season was ready to be shown 1.85.

    You can't judge by a full-frame video master. As has been demonstrated on this forum in the past, because these films are over shot (that is to say, there is more image area on the film than needs to be projected), transfers are often "zoomed in" to protect the image from excess space or boom mics.

    However, even on that one sample image, it is quite clear that the shot is blocked out for 1.85, Universal's standard. Notice the odd amount of space above Stewart's head. I recently saw a 35mm print run and framed correctly in a theatrical setting at 1.85, and unlike the DVD, it framed perfectly.

    End result: GLENN MILLER STORY was shot during the late summer/early fall of '53, when Universal had already mandated it was going all-WS. Because of a totally unrelated mistake (a careless telecine operator), a website happend to report that the sky was falling and that Universal incorrectly matted a film shot in the Academy ratio.

    THUNDER BAY, however, came out in April of '53, as a quick "introduction" to widescreen-- an attempt to catch up with the upcoming slew of technical innovations such as 3-D, stereophonic sound and anamorphic widescreen (and Cinerama, I guess). It was the film that introduced the 1.85 for flat theatrical widescreen, chosen probably because the film is mostly medium and long shots. Similarly, for the next month or two, certain films that were already in the can before the introduction of flat widescreen projection techniques were being advertised as "available for widescreen projection" even though this was not the case. At Universal, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE fell under this unfortunate mistake.

    Obviously, however, once the idea was introduced, everyone was careful to make sure the next series of productions conformed to these standards. It wasn't difficult-- new viewfinders took care of the situation. But, there seems to be a feeling amongst armchair historians here and elsewhere that directors and DPs continued to compose for 1.37, despite orders from the head office, a fairly ridiculous idea if you think about it. Most of these films were being made so fast that there was no time to even THINK about defying the producers. On top of that, the studio's own projection rooms obviously would have made these transitions as well, and watching dailies in widescreen should have convinced any renegade film makers otherwise.
     
  15. DavidBC

    DavidBC Second Unit

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    I was just about to order Rooster Cogburn and The Spoilers! Guess i can wait a few more months.
     
  16. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    THE GLENN MILLER STORY is most certainly filmed for 1.85 presentation. I have seen it presented theatrically in that ratio (properly framed) and it looked fine.

    I have run an original 35mm print of THUNDER BAY in both 1.37 and 1.85, and it is composed for 1.37 presentation. The original 3 track stereophonic sound is lost.
     
  17. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Over at Universal's website they are giving specs for The War Wagon and Rooster Cogburn as Anamorphic widescreen. If this is true that would mean they have been remastered. However they cite the AR of Rooster to be 1.85:1. I hope that's a misprint!

    Anybody else a little miffed of the inclusion of titles that are already available? I wouldn't mind so much if the new titles were made available separately as well, day and date with the sets. In order to get Thunder Bay, I will now have duplicate copies of Glenn Miller Story and Shenandoah. And damn it wouldn't you know I just picked up The Spoilers a couple of months ago!

    On the other hand, these sets are so affordable that you would probably spend less on the whole set than you would for the individual new titles.
     
  18. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    I got the John Wayne Screen Legends this past weekend. "The War Wagon" was one of the worst looking DVD's back in the early days of the format. It was non-Anamorphic and the print was dirty. I watched the remaster from this collection and was truly impressed. Universal did a bang up job with it. It is finally Anamorphic and the print is clean. I viewed it on my Toshiba HD DVD player and was impressed with how great it looked. The other titles I did not watch but did check out how they looked. Rooster Cogburn also looked great.
     
  19. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

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    Universal is really doing a great job with their color films (Pirates of the Golden Age, Classic Western Round-Ups etc.), very impressive from my totally non-expert point of view. [​IMG] Looking forward to the Stewart set that I pre-ordered.
     
  20. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    "Rooster Cogburn" and "The War Wagon" are both 2.35:1 and 16:9 enhanced, as is "Hellfighters". The only flipper is the third disc with "Hellfighters" and "Rooster Cogburn". It is a DVD-10. While this may not give you the optimum bitrate for these two hour films, it should not be subject to the manufacturing and player compatability issues that some Universal flippers from past years have experienced.

    As for the Stewart set. Lost or not, the audio on "Thunder Bay" is DD 3.0. It's a little hissy in spots, but I'm pretty sure I heard discrete stereo effects including directional dialog throughout the first 20 minutes (all I watched). On the video end, the print used for transfer looks a little faded and grainy, and I really wish Universal had released it in 4:3. The credits are windowboxed to around 1.66:1, but everything except for that is matted to fill the full 16:9 frame.

    Regards,
     

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