The Alice Faye Collection where are the reviews?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by RobertGr, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    I am surprised by the lack of any discussion of what I think is one of the top boxes of the young year THE ALICE FAYE COLLECTION. So far I have watched ON THE AVENUE, THAT NIGHT IN RIO and all the supplements on those two discs and I watched THE GANG'S ALL HERE. I need to finish the supplements on TGAH. So far the box is outstanding. ON THE AVENUE and THAT NIGHT IN RIO looked very good on image quality especially afdter seeing these films only on my Public Television outlet in the 1980's where the prints were totally washed out.

    "RIO" never looked good on the tv prints that circulated, that has been corrected. It might not look like Warners restorations but FOX did amazingly well with what they had to work with.

    There are shots in RIO though that do sparkle and some scenes featuring Carmin Miranda can be used as a test pattern as every color in the spectrum is probably on the hats she wore!


    I did see one review on DVD BEAVER about THE GANG'S ALL HERE being problematic. When I watched it I felt a deep sense of loss if what is rumored regarding FOX tossing their original materials on the film is true as it stands about 80% of the film looks very good and 20% seems to be off on color and contrast. I feel it is the very best this title has looked in some 30 years.

    The one thing I wish FOX would have done on GANG is this when watching the restoration comparison the clip showing the unrestored GANG looks brighter and a bit more colorful than in the clip showing the restoration. To that end I wish FOX would have put both versions on the disc. Tomorrow I will watch LILLIAN RUSSELL.


    Many years ago I had heard the reason these films were a no show on video was that FOX had sold their music publishing division years ago meaning to put these films out would have cost a fortune in music clearances. I do not know if they finally cleared the rights or of the story was urban myth.

    But so far the box is a winner and FOX does deserve support on this title as for years we all wanted Alice Faye on video and boy do we have her now big time now!

    : )
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I found THE GANG'S ALL HERE to be way too dark and the color rather anemic, especially compared to the clips from the movie used in the featurettes which shows how brilliant the color can look.

    THAT NIGHT IN RIO looked outstanding.
     
  3. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Totally agree on RIO, I thought I was seing things when I saw the clip of the Banana sequence in GANG in the documentary and then in the film itself. They looked like two different films with the clips looking totally wonderful.

    Someone on the TCM chat forum says it was the video colorists take on the film basically toning down the vibrancy.

    Maybe they should redo that one disc and offer a replacement?
     
  4. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    On the documentary on the GONE WITH THE WIND 4-disc set, one of the interviewees commented that they deliberately tone down the vibrancy of Technicolor because it would look unnatural to modern eyes. I couldn't disagree more strongly.

    The same thing happened when I watched the new Warners THE THREE MUSKETEERS today. The color was almost drab. I opened my TV menu and moved the color intensity up a couple of notches to give the color some of the sparkle it needed. But I shouldn't have to do that.

    As for replacements, well, if Fox isn't replacing that wretched Todd-AO version of OKLAHOMA! they foisted off on us last year, they aren't about to do that with GANG. Too bad. This could have been a Technicolor knockout.
     
  5. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Again your comments are on the mark, film restorations should bring the film as close as possible to the original theatrical presentation. You know what I would like, if they do not want to do a replacement they could put the film on another Alice Faye box as a supplement example when they put out HELLO FRISCO HELL put the version used of GANG in the featturete of the current box.
     
  6. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

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    I am no color expert whatsoever, but having just watched That Night in Rio (41), I thought it looked terrific. It will be fun to have its remake, On the Riviera (51), quite shortly too. [​IMG]

    Despite the warning that precedes it, Lillian Russell (40) looks very fine too but the sound struck me as being more than a little sharp? Beautiful film and Alice Faye seldom had a better character to play. All the other actresses who portrayed Lillian Russell through the years had their vocals dubbed, but Miss Faye sings divinely of course.

    I believe Fox did its best with The Gang's All Here (43) if it is true the original elements were actually destroyed at some point. I suppose that there are instances when "miracles" cannot be accomplished. Considering this, I am happy to have the film no matter what.

    Eagerly awaiting volume 2 [​IMG]
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Glenn Erickson over at DVD Savant is a bit under the weather, but has seen the Alice Faye releases and promises a review this weekend.

    Regards,
     
  8. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I have benn trying and trying to find out what are the extras on this set.
    Are they cut musical mumbers? The few reviews I have seen seen not even mentioned them.
    Is it supposed to be a secret?
     
  9. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Joe, on the disc of THAT NIGHT IN RIO there is a very brief deleted scene with Faye and Ameche where they dance and she sings a few lines. The most interesting thing I found about the clip is watch very closely at the end of the clip you hear a off camera voice exlaiming "that's it" or something to that affect. As soon as Faye hears this she quickly gets her arms off of Ameche and looks at him as if things were not exaclty going good at that point between the two stars.

    On the disc of THE GANGS ALL HERE there is a deleted scene with Phil Baker where he does a mock radio game show bit called "The 64.00 Question." The bit is funny and although it really would not have moved the plot along if included in the actual film it would have given the film more laughs.


    Also on GANG there are two radio shows from The Phil Harris and ALice Faye Show."

    ON THE AVENUE features a deleted RITZ BROS scene

    So far those extras plus the great docs about Faye have made the set A MUST HAVE!
     
  10. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

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    EDIT: Robert beat me to it. :)
     
  11. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    : )
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    A friend of mine has THE GANG'S ALL HERE on laserdisc and said the color there is very lush and vibrant, so I think it was clearly a choice made at the telecine console to dial down the color intensity a bit when GANG was being mastered for DVD. Just a hunch, you understand, but then, RIO looks great (so did WEEK-END IN HAVANA), so who knows?
     
  13. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    What makes it more frustrating is that GANG is VERY inspired in it's use of color in fact I rate it as one of the best uses of Techncolor in film. Stunning vision, sort of a live action "Pink Elephants on Parade" feel to the musical number at the end of the film.
     
  14. RobertGr

    RobertGr Second Unit

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    Something interesting on the web regarding THE GANGS ALL HERE!




    Cineric Deploys da Vinci’s Revival to Restore “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Gang’s All Here”
    DMN Newswire--2006-10-19--Cineric, a New York City-based motion picture film post-production facility, is using its two da Vinci Revivalä image restoration systems to renew the classic movies, “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Gang’s All Here.” The Revival toolset allows Cineric to scan material directly from the original camera negative at 4K resolution and correct extensive aging issues within the content, including shrinkage, dust, noise, color timing shifts, and flicker.

    “Revival has given us the ability to restore both of these films to pristine quality at optimal efficiency,” said Chip Wilkinson, director of development, Cineric. “Its open architecture has allowed us to interface all of our existing systems and instantly transfer data at high speeds within all pieces of equipment in the facility, greatly improving the speed at which we are able to complete the projects.”

    Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove,” a 1964 suspense comedy starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, and James Earl Jones, is being restored to 4K resolution for Sony Pictures, formerly Columbia. The 1943 romantic comedy, “The Gang’s All Here,” stars Alice Faye, Phil Baker, and Carmen Miranda, as well as the Benny Goodman Orchestra, and is being restored for 20th Century Fox. Both movies are expected to be complete during fall 2006.
     
  15. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    I can't believe that GANG was restored for THIS dvd. If so, Cineric should hang up their software. Even MOON OVER MIAMI, which I find disappointing on dvd, looks miles better than this.

    They all pale in comparison anyway to the really stunning transfer of DOWN ARGENTINE WAY released with the Grable box. It's by far the best looking of those pre-war "good neighbor musicals" on dvd.

    The transfer of GANG kind of reminds me of the one found on PIN-UP GIRL in the Grable box. Kind of like if you turn the contrast way down and the brightness way up yucky picture.
     
  16. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

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    Savant reviews the Alice Faye set here http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s2244faye.html

    Does anyone have problems with the sound of Lillian Russell (40)? I am wondering if my disk is defective, the sound is so sharp it makes all the music and singing sound almost off-key. I have read no comments about this in reviews so I am really puzzled. Heaven knows I watch a LOT of musicals and this kind of problem has never occured before.
     
  17. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    I just watched The Gangs All Here and it looked horrible. It had a mustardy look to it. Why they used this transfer boggles me. If you look at the restoration comparison, the 1994 master transfer was truer to how it actually looked: bright and eye popping, not muddy and yellow/greenish tinged. Two thumbs down to Fox for this film.
     
  18. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    It is an unmitigated disaster.

    Perhaps one of the top 5 films to show of the glories of the Technicolor process, reduced to a darkish mess that looks nothing like it should.

    Too bad we only have two thumbs to put down. This one's worth ten thumbs down. What a shame. Definitely stands along side OKLAHOMA! Todd-AO as one of Fox's worst mistakes.
     
  19. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    They definately need to do a product recall/replacement with this disc. What an absolute doozy. Whoever restored this needs to go bury their heads in the sand.
     
  20. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

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    Ditto for whoever at Fox accepted this "restoration."
     

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