The Man Who Knew Too Much (Paramount, 1956)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Richard--W, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    [​IMG] I saw the 1983 re-release many times, and it looked raggedy then. Each time Universal remasters this film for DVD -- in 2001, 2005, and 2006 -- there seems to be additional quality loss. It appears to be in the worst shape of all Hitchcock films of the 1950s. Can someone speak knowledgeably about the elements for this film? and the prospects of restoring it or properly remastering it for Blu-ray? Evidently Universal has plans to issue some Hitchcock titles in the fall of 2012.
     
  2. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I too would like to see this one. Doesn't seem that we have a man here who knows too much about it though...:)
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I really love it, too. Frankly, I'd rather have it than The Birds if I was choosing what to release.
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I can't speak for the elements, but I ran Universal's prime 35mm print of this a couple of years ago and it was gorgeous. No Universal logo at the front, either. It was on 2006 or 2007 film stock, so it was newly struck. Definitely had the clarity of a large format source as well.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Damn, I'm sorry I missed that!
     
  6. Brianruns10

    Brianruns10 Second Unit

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    Hopefully he'll chime in for an authoritiative answer, but I seem to recall reading Robert Harris stating that the elements exist (OCN, separation masters) to do bring this film back to life, but it needs a full restoration do it.
     
  7. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Acronyms are only useful after the title has been established. Starting a thread with an obscure acronym leaves everybody wondering what you are talking about.
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I have no idea what your abbreviation means.
     
  9. nealg

    nealg Stunt Coordinator

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    The Man Who Knew Too Much. He is referring, of course, to the Jimmy Stewart VistaVision version. Another thread on this was started earlier today.
     
  10. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    If that's true I hope they put RAH on it asap....There's probably still time to get it out for the 100th anniversary!
     
  11. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I think I saw that print under excellent conditions and, frankly, it did not compare to the original Vista Vision/Technicolor prints. I remember running an original print in the 1964 release (on a double bill with Vertigo), and had already seen it during original release.
     
  12. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    The VistaVision negative should be fine, just as The Ten Commandments was fine and To Catch a Thief was fine. They just have to go back to it and do it. The 80s prints of all these films were a joke, none of them taken from the camera negatives.
     
  13. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I simply do not understand this need in the Internet age to initials like this, especially when the title hasn't been established. Honestly, it would take me longer to type out the initials than The Man Who Knew Too Much.
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    There is no need for two threads especially with a thread title with nothing, but acronyms.
     
  15. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Yeah, but going back and doing it does cost money. Doesn't it typically cost a few hundred thousand dollars to scan these and digitally clean then up? And I think that's if they are in good shape....I sure hope they do just do it...
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    All 5248 OCNs beginning around 1955 through 1960 are faded to different degrees. All totally fixable, however.


    RAH
     
  17. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Thanks for your responses. I guess I have my answer. It's just that the print I saw run in 1983 was raggedy, and the DVDs are less than stellar, which suggested that something might be wrong with the elements. I have no way of knowing what the 1983 prints and the DVDs were taken from, do I.
    Recognize these? Double-feature re-releases from 1963, following a hit re-release of Rear Window in 1962. [​IMG] [​IMG] I would not be surprised if the print I saw of The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1983 derived from the 1963 prints. Poor quality though it was, it was not so poor that audiences could not enjoy it. In fact it held audiences enthralled, as did all the 1983 re-releases. Each of the five films filled auditoriums as long as 2 or 3 months in some venues. Most new movies don't even run that long today. Let's hope a proper transfer of The Man Who Knew Too Much is on Universal's slate for this fall.
     
  18. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I believe (Mr. Harris can correct me if I'm wrong) that the 1983 Universal/Hitchcock prints were all derived from fading internegatives - I don't believe any of them were taken from camera negatives or anything close to a camera negative. Having owned Tech prints of all those color films, seeing those 1983 prints made me want to vomit on the ground :)
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    In general, the 1983 prints were horrendous. Vertigo possibly the worst, with the other VVLA shows not far behind. I don't recall whether they were made from new dupes derived from older IPs, or simply used whatever dupes were available at the time. Jim Katz was behind the release via Universal Classics, and he did a test from the Vertigo neg, striking a dual system reel one, which was unfortunately too faded for commercial use. Even then, and this was13 years before our restoration, he was desirous of doing something special with the film.


    RAH
     
  20. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I went to see those 1983 rereleases, and I also remember clearly going to see Verttigo after its restoration, and the theater I went to was also packed.
     

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