Blu-ray Review Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, May 3, 2012.

  1. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    According to IMDb, release date was December 16, 1959, so my memory of seeing it then has us still living in my hometown, Columbus, Ohio. I have a vague memory of the surroundings, and hope to learn which theater (probably downtown) played it.
     
  2. TheVid

    TheVid Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't received this blu-ray yet, but expect it use a DTS lossless version of the discrete 4-track mix used on the Fox DVD. There are some odd anomalies in the original mix when it comes to the dialogue, but for the most part, it's properly directed across the 3 front channels. There are bits of (mostly) early dialogue coming simultaneously from left and right, as if the actor is standing directly under an overhead microphone aimed for both left and right pickup (which I understand can be the case in some early CinemaScope mixdowns). In any event, the 4-track mix on the dvd is accurate, even with the occasional out-of-phase dialogue placement. It's doubtful that Twilight Time would tamper with this original soundtrack.
    I'm really looking forward to this blu-ray, and expect it to be as close a replication of the original theatrical presentation as we've yet to experience in our home theaters!
     
  3. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    It's not common. The reviews for Désirée and Demetrius mention the highly directional dialog.
     
  4. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I meant in DVDs and Blu-rays in general. You've merely listed two Twilight Time releases. I would say those are the uncommon ones.
     
  5. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Fox tends to be the one studio that retains the directional dialogue. Other studios, especially Warner Bros. like to center everything. I believe Mr. Harris was on record years ago when My Fair Lady was restored as preferring more centralized dialogue tracks because most modern theaters and virtually all home setups weren't equipped to accurately recreate the original directionality so that the dialogue perfectly matched the character's onscreen position. I wonder if his philosophy has changed now that sound technology has evolved.
     
  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Well, I tried Journey to the Center of the Earth on the PS3 this afternoon, and I was still getting centralized dialogue across all three front channels using PCM to the receiver.
     
  7. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    I was talking about 20th Century Fox CinemaScope films from the 1950's and early 1960's. Most of them had directional dialog. Those two Twilight Time titles are 20th Century Fox CinemaScope films as is Journey.
     
  8. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Fox is the one studio that had directional dialog for most of their CinemaScope films when they were released. Most of the Warner Brothers CinemaScope films did not have directional dialog.
     
  9. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    I'll have to check to see if this is the same on DVD. I seem to remember it was directionalized but maybe I'm wrong. I'll check tonight if I can find it!
     
  10. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I just checked the DVD. It's directionalized but I can see why people think it's not. People aren't used to the sloppy mixes of the 50s where dialog was often recorded with 3 microphones, so that even though the closest mike was supposed to pick up the actor's voice, the other 2 mikes picked up as well. I noticed that with an actor in the center of the screen, his voice was mainly coming out of the center channel until he turned his head to the right and suddenly the left speaker picked up his voice. That's what I mean by a sloppy mix. It's just typical of 50's stereophonic sound. From a purist standpoint it's great to get this mix, but I have no issue with studios remixing soundtracks to tidy things up a bit by today's standards.
     
  11. Richard Kaufman

    Richard Kaufman Stunt Coordinator

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    That sold me. Just put in my order.
    I have a vague recollection from the laser disc (one of those wretched Fox $70 releases) that a number (or all?) of Pat Boone's songs were cut prior to the film's release and some were put back for the laserdisc.
    No one has mentioned this.
     
  12. Dick

    Dick Producer

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    I owned the laserdisc and the only song Boone sings onscreen was (and remains) "My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose," which is a sort of pretty number, but is interrupted by a cutaway to a shot of Lindenbrook (Mason) entering the house before returning to the end of the song. There is a second song from Boone available on the Varese Sarabande CD soundtrack, which is still available. I saw this film theatrically in 1959, and do not recall any song except the one we now see on DVD and Blu-ray.
     
  13. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Boone originally sang 4 songs in the film, but three were cut. There's a glimpse of him singing "Faithful Heart" on the raft at the end the trailer.

    There was a soundtrack EP issued by Dot with the four songs. It's very rare.
    DEP-1091 - Journey to the Center of the Earth - Pat Boone [1959] Faithful Heart/To The Center Of The Earth/My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose/Twice As Tall
     
  14. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Pat had only THREE songs to sing in the film. The fourth song on Dot is title song NOT from the ffilm. I have that 45 and it is not a soundtrack.
    When I was a kid and went to opeing day, all three songs were still in the film.
    How do I know ? back then I always bought any records before the film opened, so I could be this little 8 year old kid, and sing along to what was on the screen. I always did and they never kicked me out. I sang along with all three of Pats songs. Somewhere along the way, the other two were cut, but the version copyrighted at Library of congress is 135 minutes.
     
  15. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    I'm a little confused... is the 4-track soundtrack on TT's Journey Blu-ray a L-C-R with a mono surround, or L-R, LS-RS?

    I believe I read in another forum that the soundtrack sounded great when run thru a Dolby Surround decoder. I have an Oppo BDP-95 and run all hi-res audio thru the analog outs and avoid any digital processing whenever possible. What is the recommended listening setting?

    I'm also a little concerned to read dialogue is spread across all three front channels, which may indicate a steering problem in decoding/conversion if directional dialogue should be the correct outcome.
     
  16. John Skoda

    John Skoda Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have my copy yet, but the review mentions one surround channel and other comments indicate three channels across the front. I hope it's true. That's the way it should be--three front channels and one surround was the standard layout for CinemaScope 4-track soundtracks.
    As I said, for some reason, the Twilight Time DEMTRIUS and DESIREE were both L-R, LS-RS.
    Don't know why they would fool around with the channels this way. Especially since we're getting lossless sound, we should be getting the channels as they are. We shouldn't need a specific, branded processor to recreate a 'phantom' center channel when the original sound designers created a real one for us right on the print.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Just completed watching my Blu-ray copy.

    Wow. I remember being introduced to this film as a child,
    watching it several times on the ABC 4pm movie.

    All these years later, the film hasn't lost its touch. Still
    one of the greatest classic sci-fi films ever made and it
    looks rather spectacular on Blu-ray.

    You know, this is going to sound odd, but after all these
    viewings, I think this was the first time that I connected
    Alfred Napier with Alfred of the 60s Batman series. I never
    made that connection before for some reason.

    Also, the fact that one key scene in this film relates
    directly to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and was probably a
    huge inspiration to it.

    Finally, I do have this question...




    Quote:

    Just a tremendous experience watching this film again.
     
  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Yep, just lizards in "costume". Not as effective as what Ray Harryhausen would have done, but they served the purpose.
     
  19. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    They were Rhinoceros Iguanas fitted with prosthetics. I can't wait to watch this again, so I'm hoping that TT gets it shipped out tomorrow.
     
  20. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I did mean to mention that moment in the review. It seems crystal clear to me that Spielberg and Lucas got the inspiration for that moment in Raiders from this movie.
     

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