Three-strip Technicolor on Blu-ray: any recommendations?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Vic Pardo, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    I only have two classic Technicolor titles on Blu-ray: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) and THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939). I've only watched one, ROBIN HOOD, and I was bowled over by it. This is as close to how I've seen it look on the big screen as any Technicolor film I've seen in home video. Just beautiful. I was wondering how many other three-strip Technicolor films from the 1930s and '40s are worth seeing on Blu-ray. I just looked up GONE WITH THE WIND on Amazon and the price is right. Is it worth getting? I see a separate thread on Disney films, so I'll leave those films to that thread, and another thread on GULLIVER'S TRAVELS. Have the Fleischer Superman cartoons ever come out on Blu-ray? The Warner cartoons from that period?

    I could probably come up with a list of feature film titles I'm interested in, although I'm quite sure most of those haven't even come out on DVD (e.g. WHITE SAVAGE, 1943; FRENCHMAN'S CREEK, 1944; I'VE ALWAYS LOVED YOU, 1946; DESERT FURY, 1947, etc.). So just off the top of my head, here are some titles from that period that I would like to see on Blu-ray:

    JESSE JAMES (1939)
    DODGE CITY (1939)
    THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939)
    DR. CYCLOPS (1940)
    MY FRIEND FLICKA (1943)
    PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943)
    CAN'T HELP SINGING (1944)
    NATIONAL VELVET (1944)
    CANYON PASSAGE (1946)
    THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN (1948)

    That's just a sample of the kinds of films I'm thinking about. Of these films, I have some on VHS and only two on DVD, CAN'T HELP SINGING and CANYON PASSAGE, both of which are gorgeous to look at. Imagine how awesome they would be on Blu-ray.

    If you can think of any Technicolor titles from this period that have come out on Blu-ray and meet your expectations, please let me know.

    Thank you.

    P.S. There are still quite a few 3-strip Technicolor films that I've never seen at all and that don't seem to have come out in any format yet, e.g. the Dorothy Lamour sarong films from Paramount: HER JUNGLE LOVE, TYPHOON, ALOMA OF THE SOUTH SEAS, BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON.
     
  2. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Supporting Actor

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    Yes, "Gone With the Wind" is beautiful on blu. Also, "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Shane," "Singin' in the Rain," "Samson and Delilah," "Easter Parade," and "The African Queen."
     
  3. Timothy E

    Timothy E Supporting Actor
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    Jesse James has been released recently on Blu-ray. Gulliver's Travels from Thunderbean is highly recommended, just make certain that you are getting the Thunderbean release and not one of the other ones that have cropped the original aspect ratio to create a widescreen version.

    Warner Brothers released the Superman Fleischer cartoons on a Blu-ray in the Superman BD collection, but the cartoons are in standard definition. (Don't ask me why they would do this. It is nearly as infuriating as the way they have marketed the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, releasing the same old ones in different collections while leaving the majority unreleased.)
     
  4. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Phantom Of The Opera is available as part of the Universal Classic Monsters Box (& as a single release). I think we'll all grow old & die waiting for Warner to release Dodge City & The Adventures Of Don Juan.
     
  5. revgen

    revgen Supporting Actor

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    Phantom of the Opera (1943) also looks good on Blu-Ray.
     
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  6. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    If you love 3-strip Technicolor DEFINITELY pop for the Powell & Pressburger releases from Criterion, LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP, BLACK NARCISSUS and THE RED SHOES are stunning.

    BLIMP may be the single best example of Technicolor on blu-ray that I've yet to see.

    JESSE JAMES is, IMO a major disappointment as the blu-ray looks nothing like Technicolor so caveat emptor on that one.
     
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  7. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I'd love to see NATIONAL VELVET on Blu-ray as well. It never looked on DVD...I believe it was one of MGM's early DVDs from 1997, and WB just repackaged it. On one of the chats here on the HTF years ago, WB said it was a big seller for them, so you'd think it would be a no brainer.
     
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  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Someone can fill me in, but I think Dr. cyclops was ruined in some way, years ago.I'd add the Lassie films to the list.
     
  9. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    Don't forget the absolutely stunning Twilight Time BD release of DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK.
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Unfortunately, looks nothing like Technicolor.

    RAH
     
  11. ajabrams

    ajabrams Second Unit

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    Remember that most of the FOX Technicolor titles are compromised because the studio disposed of the original elements in the 1970's--transferring it to Eastman stock. Some of them have been nicely remastered from what's available but it's not as good as it could have been if they had those original materials. I actually found the DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK a little disappointing - there's a loss of detail in dark scenes and some of the colors just don't look as thrilling as other Tech films of this period can look. A shame.
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Correct. If you look at Fox 40s titles like Leave Her to Heaven or Blood and Sand on Blu-ray, they just can't compare to the richness of Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, Samson and Delilah, or the Powell and Pressburger titles mentioned above. The Fox engineers have done what they can with the elements they have, but they're unsatisfying for those looking for that rich Technicolor look of the 1940s.
     
  13. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    Slightly off topic (since this is about blu-ray) but I'm AMAZED at how good DOWN ARGENTINE WAY looks on DVD. It looks really really good (and looks beautiful up-converted as well.)

    Back in the 80's our local PBS station used to show a lot of these FOX musicals late on Friday nights (11:30pm) and WEEKEND IN HAVANA always looked rich and stunning while ARGENTINE always looked faded and grainy (all elements were decidedly not equal.) Now, 30 years later, the results are reversed on DVD. Is there a chance ARGENTINE may have escaped the negative junking or is it more likely they just did a BETTER job at making the composite for this one?
     
  14. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I'm very pleased with Meet Me In St. Louis and Shane, l don't think Phantom Of The Opera looks great, it has some issues, some halo's are obviously present in that one and i don't think they re-aligned the three colours the way they have with some of the Warner back catalog, that's the ultra resolution process, other studio's have different methods, in fact out of the Universal Monsters boxset the two titles i have problems with are The Wolf Man and Phantom Of The Opera, especially The Wolf Man.

    Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes are good releases, both on the Criterion label.
     
  15. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    Shane gets another vote from me. It looks absolutely incredible.
     
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  16. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Yup, I'd forgotten about the Powell Pressburger films, just stunning!
     
  17. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    For me, the two best looking blu rays from Fox Technicolor era are NIAGRA and especially STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER. I think both are post nitrate era, but they give you the best looking Fox Technicolor out now. They must have had the original negative masters on these two. What a crime that all the nitrate 3-strip masters were destroyed.
     
  18. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    The 1943 Phantom of the Opera Blu-ray is out of registration. My review goes into severe detail about the problems we found therein, sadly.
     
  19. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    My short list (other than the two you already have) are
    The African Queen
    Singin' in the Rain
    Meet Me in St Louis
    Easter Parade
    Shane
    Black Narcissus
    The Red Shoes
    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
    Go get them all ... and I'd start with Meet Me in St Louis since I'm a sucker for Golden-period musicals. Bring on Kiss Me Kate, Annie Get Your Gun and The Harvey Girls in glorious Technicolor!
     
  20. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    A few I'd love to get really good HD versions of:Dodge City '39The Four Feathers '39Northwest Passage '40Unconquered '47Sarabande For Dead Lovers '48The Flame & The Arrow '50Bend Of The River '52The Greatest Show On Earth '52Scaramouche '52The Robe (4x3 version) '53Hopefully I'll get a couple of these.
     

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