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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 20, 2012.
Read RAH's comments here.
Wow. This title actually looks pretty good on the Fox Movie Channel, where they run it widescreen. I can't believe that some of their MODs titles are even worse than what they televise.
Ignorance. The purest form of ignorance.
Well, since Oh Men! Oh Women! is apparently an above average transfer in 16x9 wide screen, I'm going to order it.
Thanks Mr Harris for your incisive, witty comments re the ongoing debacle known as the Fox MOD Cinema Archives Collection. Has anyone viewed HOLIDAY FOR LOVERS, the movie in which Clifton Webb and Jane Wyman take their family on a holiday to some great rear-projection vacation locales? The Amazon site lists the ratio as 1.77:1 and I'm thinking this surely has to be a mistake.It was shot in CinemaScope (2.35:1) Someone has written a bad review based on that information (ie. they have not viewed the movie). Oldies.com cites the ratio as :16:9( LETTERBOX) which means it should NOT fill a 16:9 (ie. 1.78:1 or thereabouts) ratio. By the way, does anyone know when Fox caved in and shot a 1.85:1 movie in the post-CinemaScope era? I think they held out the longest, shooting everything in the 'Scope ratio as they'd pioneered the process, even when they had switched over to Panavision lenses. PRUDENCE AND THE PILL (coming out in Wide Screen in the UK soon) was 1.66:1 in the late '60's. I'm guessing it was around that time.
I just received a box of review discs from the last batch of 20th Century Fox Film Archives releases. Watching a couple, sampling a lot. If the quality is poor, I just move to the next.
"Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence" (1939) is a real find. Video quality is acceptable, neither stellar nor terrible, and the sound a bit hissy, but it is perfectly watchable and far superior to the noisy, pre-HD video masters in films like "Clive of India" and "A Message to Garcia." It's the feature debut of both Glenn Ford (who is the lead but gets fourth billing) and Richard Conte (under the name Nicholas Conte), who plays a veteran railcar hobo who befriends city-bred Ford, a New Yorker riding the rails to Arizona where he has purchased (sight unseen) a ranch. It's quite the populist picture and a very optimistic view of the American community in the depression, but not in the sentimental vein of Capricorn. Not everyone gets out ahead here, but optimism still rules the day, turning disappointment into possibility. I'd never heard of it before and was quite impressed and charmed by it. Actor Ricardo Cortez directs (turns out he directed a half-dozen films, and based on this I'd like to see more) from a script by Dalton Trumbo, and Ward Bond has a bit part as a hobo bully.
"Mister 880" (1950) is a lighthearted mystery with Burt Lancaster as an energetic Treasury Agent trying to find a counterfeiter of $1 bills in NYC (the telltale: Washington is misspelled as "Wahsington") and Edmund Gwenn as the Skipper, a generous old codger who cranks out dollars when he's broke. It has the tone of a romantic comedy and Lancaster is quite charming as the young hotshot who gets obsessed with the case while romancing an adorable Dorothy Maguire. This is another perfectly acceptable disc, clean and stable and decently mastered.
Fails in this batch so far: "Clive of India" and "A Message to Garcia" are noisy and look like they came from video masters from the last century, and as previously mentioned by so many folks, "23 Paces to Baker Street" and "Warlock" are bad pan-&-scan editions. To add insult to injury, "Warlock" has a dreadful image, with noisy color. I still have my "Warlock" DVD, which is done right, so Fox has no excuse on this one: the widescreen HD master is right there in their American library.
Tender is the Night: I won't comment on the P&S print--- my complaints in this area would prove redundant of what so many others have so wisely stated. P&S aside, the print looks good overall-- vibrant colors and strong detail in night and shadowed scenes. My main complaint: in outdoor, or sun-lit, scenes, the image shows signs of its age: somewhat faded colors, grain, and blur. Sound, however, is strong and consistent throughout. Bottom line: FCA's release of Tender is the Night looks and sounds good in spite of its aspect ratio and non-remastered handicaps. Recommended for those who have the desire and the dollars to add this "better than nothing" edition to their collection
Thanks, Justin, but I'll stick with my TCM copy and hope for better things in future. Meanwhile, I'd like to let the folks at Fox know that I just spent over $50 buying the new release Gable titles at WAC this morning.
Say One for Me: I have a confession: I'm obsessed with Debbie Reynolds! I've watched all of her films, and thanks to the powers of MOD, own most of them. FCA released The Second Time Around last year, and while an imperfect release, at least THAT title (filmed in CinemaScope) maintained its original aspect ratio and looked/sounded quite good. When I heard that FCA planned to release another of Reynolds' films, Say One for Me, I had high hopes. The film, largely forgotten by the public, offers Reynolds in a delightful array of moments with Bing Crosby, in particular, their opening duet of the title tune. With fond regards toward the film, and high hopes that it would resemble the ratio and quality of The Second Time Around, I bought the disc from Amazon. Unfortunately, Say One for Me-- at least this print-- needs work. The lack of widescreen, though not surprising, proves disappointing. I could, however, live with this if FCA had cleaned up the print a bit. Dirt and scratches surface throughout the film, close-ups often look blurred, extremely lit scenes often show signs of fading, and colors, though quite vibrant, lose something in translation because of the print's other issues. Sound, though reliable, could be better if louder in some scenes (some of the dialogue proves difficult to distinguish) and remastered in others (some of the music sounds garbled or inadequate due to age). Bottom line: I'm happy I bought the film-- again, I collect Reynolds' films and always enjoy her work. However, I can't help but admit my disappointment in, and frustration with, this release. Recommended: Unless you're a hard-core Reynolds or Crosby fan, I'd skip buying this one and apply the $20 to your cable or satellite bills in hopes of catching the SAME print on Fox Movie Channel.
Unfaithfully Yours is already taken out of print, probably due to the existing deal with The Criterion Collection. Just another proof that Fox Home Video have no clue on what they are doing with this line.
Probably the same reason that the initially announced The Sound And The Fury went MIA almost immediately. I guess Twilight Time and Criterion had to notify the Fox MOD department that they have an exclusive license on the items and until that license runs out ......
Ridiculous!! I wish someone from Fox would ATTEMPT to explain their ridiculous approach at an MOD program
Does Fox even KNOW what they are doing?
With the evidence provided above, it is quite clear that the FCA doesn't know its a** from its elbow. But if any legal action is threatened rights holders due to their ignorance, Fox will probably institute reforms to prevent further issues.
Well, here's one that the Fox MOD program got right! I got my DVD of the 1957 Oh Men, Oh Women (terrific cast Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Tony Randall, Dan Dailey, Barbara Rush) today and it's a sharp vivid transfer in anamorphic 2.35 CinemaScope.
I thought Diplomatic Courier and Slattery's Huricane were good transfers.
Does it have the original stereo audio with directional dialogue? And if so, is it in 2.0 or original 4.0?
Alas, it's a mono mix.
Have to disagree with you about "Ali Baba Goes To Town" - have watched it right through, and it has lots of chroma noise, and also a bad "hum" on a long section of the soundtrack. Not one of Fox's "good" transfers! Alistair
Has anyone seen HOLIDAY FOR LOVERS and/or LISA? HOLIDAY is reportedly in 16:9 CinemaScope, LISA is 2.35:1 Letterbox, however these reports may be inaccurate. (Amazon.com states 1.77:1 ratio for HOLIDAY but this is surely incorrect). Thanks for the news on OH MEN! OH WOMEN! (A shame regarding the mono soundtrack. Do we know for sure that it was originally in 4-track magnetic stereo?) Robert Harris also gave it the "thumbs up". He approved of WILSON, though he admits the source print is not all it could be (probably due to the junking of 3-strip Technicolor negatives at Fox in the early '70's and transferring everything to single-strip Eastman color)