Warner Bros.: 2-Disc SE Suggestions

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bill Burns, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    While we have a few threads here for classic title recommendations, I thought I'd offer three Warner Bros. film titles (and a bonus suggestion [​IMG]) already out on DVD that would most benefit, I feel, from a digital restoration and subsequent re-release to DVD in a 2-disc SE, in keeping with recent Warner Bros. efforts such as Singin' in the Rain and Casablanca. For the two Three-Strip titles in this list, Warner's "Ultra Resolution" process would be very suitable, and their long-standing partnership with LDI could offer great benefits to all of these titles (assuming info provided by members here is correct, and LDI is not already involved in/associated with the UR process itself):

    1. Stagecoach. This film is in grave need of restoration if the current DVD is representative of surviving elements. It's also one of the greatest of the John Ford westerns. Once restored, perhaps through the digital work of Lowry Digital Images, the film would lend itself beautifully to multiple commentaries, biographies/documentaries on John Ford, John Wayne, and perhaps the magnificent Claire Trevor, and various other supplements.

    2. Show Boat (1951). This grand George Sidney picture looks simply awful on DVD, with often terrible registration and color timing/reproduction. UR registration and further digital restoration by LDI might do wonders for these elements, and the film itself is a terrific candidate for the 2-disc treatment, with bios/docs on Howard Keel, George Sidney, and others. If it would be possible to include one of the earlier Show Boat films in its entirety on a second (or perhaps third) disc, the release would be one to truly cherish (the '29 and '36 were both Universal, I believe, but MGM is listed on the IMDB as holding home video rights to the latter; if securing rights for either of these is possible -- did TCM restore the first to some extent, as suggested by posts on the IMDB? -- one or both would make priceless additions to the '51; a set of all three, restored and with supplements, could stand as a new benchmark for classics on disc).

    3. On the Town. While this looks all right (passable) in its current form, it's one of the most enjoyable musicals ever made, and a newly restored edition would be very welcome.

    Bonus:

    4. Brigadoon; while not a 3-Strip film, this lovely musical is one of the best out there, and would make for a fine 2-disc SE. The current disc is widescreen but 4x3 formatted, the framing may be a bit off according to a few reports (the CinemaScope version of the film should be transferred at its full 2.55:1), and the alternate flat 35mm version mentioned on the IMDB is not included. Both versions should be offered in the same release, but not on the same disc, with the widescreen edition of course properly framed and 16x9 formatted, documentaries on the stars and filmmakers could be included, discussion of the adaptation from stage to screen (something that would be welcome for all of the musicals thusfar mentioned), scholar commentaries, etc. (Rudy Behlmer's commentaries are excellent and always appreciated).

    Those are my top four. I might chime in with others later, but these are at the top of my list. A strong, multiple-version edition of #4 might also send a great signal to a competing studio who has yet to do proper justice to their R&H musicals [​IMG]. But the focus here is WB, and the above titles (including Stagecoach, of course, not just musicals -- there's a reason that's #1!) would enrich the format immeasurably if re-issued as SEs. WB, whatever quantity of their digital work is in-house and whatever quantity farmed out to LDI, has lead the way in offering beautifully, digitally restored motion pictures on DVD (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca: SE, Singin' in the Rain: SE, and one disc wonders such as Them! ... just a few examples of many), and I hope to see them continue that into 2004 and beyond (when rumors persist we may see elaborate SEs of Gone With the Wind, King Kong, and other favorites). In the glow of well-earned praise new offerings will continue to bring, I hope the above four, already out on disc but in much need of remastering, will not be forgotten.

    If anyone would like to offer further recommendations, by all means chime in. [​IMG]
     
  2. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
    AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
    THE WILD BUNCH
    KING KONG
    CAT PEOPLE (1942) W/ CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE
     
  3. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    The Searchers
     
  4. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    All of the above and add these:
    SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
    THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN
     
  5. Chuck Wood

    Chuck Wood Extra

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    All of the above suggestions are valid and I agree they would all benefit from the Lowry Ultra Resolution process. Let me add one more film to the list that is a truly great film with almost NO reputation: IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER. One of the best musicals ever made and at least a decade ahead of it's time. The last collaboration between Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, it deserves to be "saved" and presented to a new generation of movie lovers.
     
  6. Bruce Morrison

    Bruce Morrison Supporting Actor

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    I'll add my vote for 'The Wild Bunch', especially as the current DVD version is a flipper.

    Other movies in need of de-flippering are:

    'The Man Who Would Be King'
    'GoodFellas' (hopefully to be included in the promised Scorsese box when it finally sees the light of day)

    'All The President's Men' would be another good candidate for a SE reissue.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Great suggestions so far... (a laserdisc set actually had all 3 Show Boat films)

    Here's a few others worth considering:

    The Maltese Falcon (with the 1931 version and Satan Met a Lady, plus supplements such as commentaries, a new making-of documentary, and radio shows. This would be a good chance to include some cartoons such as The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, and perhaps some good 1941 cartoons such as Hollywood Steps Out)

    Around the World in Eighty Days (This would be a good 4-disc edition. Split the 2 versions onto 2 discs each and fill out the rest of the disc space on each of the 4 discs with supplements. The Library of Congress has outtakes, deleted scenes, camera tests, behind-the-scenes footage, premeire footage, trailers, and even foreign language clips. Other extras could be a reproduction of the roadshow program/book. Perhaps as a DVD-ROM extra, have a re-creation of the board game. Also, perhaps a subtitle track could be added to point out all the cameos and also point out facts about the film. Perhaps even the inclusion of the uncut Trip to the Moon and the "Miracle of Todd-AO" short can be included. A music-only track would be great, too.)

    Erich Von Stroheim's GREED (Have both the 250 min. and 140 min. versions on separate discs. Include the "Hollywood" segments on Stroheim and Greed.)

    More 2-disc collections of Lon Chaney silents are welcomed, too. It would also be neat to have collections of other silents such as a Greta Garbo-John Gilbert collection (The Flesh and the Devil, Love, etc) and other silents through TCM Archives.
     
  8. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Bringing Up Baby - heck I would even take this as a one disc non-SE.
     
  9. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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  10. Victoria K.

    Victoria K. Extra

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    The Devils fully restored & uncut

    Cruising fully restored & uncut
     
  11. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    "RAINTREE COUNTY"-ELIZABETH TAYLOR, MONTGOMERY CLIFT
    "HOW THE WEST WAS WON"-GREGORY PECK,JAMES STEWART,CARROLL
    BAKER, and DEBBIE REYNOLDS
     
  12. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    "MY FAIR LADY" One of their most honored films and one with many supplements (From the VHS and Laserdisc) not on the DVD. Plus an alternate track with more of Audrey Hepburn's vocals. Paramount has the VHS rights Warner the DVD rights.
     
  13. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    I'd love to see My Fair Lady revisited as well, Greg, not only with new supplements but also, at long last, from original (or restoration) 65mm materials. I made a few exceptions early in the format, but at this point I just won't buy anything taken from reduction when large format survives in or has been restored to useable condition -- I can always see a definite impact on the film's overall visual character imparted by the reduction step, which is, of course, in addition to being of lower resolution, one generation further removed from the original. [​IMG] But an emphatic [​IMG] to the film itself, particularly if sourced from large format.

    When WB brings us a 2 (or more)-disc edition of Branagh's Hamlet, I trust they will source it from large format, rectifying the reduction-sourced mistakes of Columbia/TriStar's laserdisc set and offering the film the definitive treatment that will make it a must-buy.

    These are two of my favorite pictures, and deserve only the best.
     
  14. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Also add my vote for all UP (Ultra Panavision) films, such as Raintree County, mentioned earlier by Alan, and films such as Mutiny on the Bounty (Brando version). Ben-Hur should be revisited as well, and all of these (see my earlier post) from original large format sources, properly framed at uncropped 2.76:1 (while the ratio is apparently correct, on-line sources have suggested Ben-Hur was taken from reduction and overmatted to create the full UP spec; it doesn't look terribly good to my eye, so whatever the cause, revisiting it is something I'd encourage). [​IMG]
     
  15. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  16. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Eh ... what? [​IMG] I haven't heard that before, Patrick. While I firmly (passionately) disagree with the assertion of the curator that reductions are a-okay, this visual examination of Ben-Hur at The Widescreen Museum is telling:

    http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/special/carmera65.htm

    The image at the very bottom of the page offers two windows, one over the other; the page claims the top window is the DVD transfer, the bottom an original 70mm frame. While this in no way illustrates the optical quality alterations imparted by reduction and reduction-sourced masters, it offers an indication of the actual frame area lost to reduction horizontally, and lost to this particular home video master vertically.

    I hope the title is soon revisited from 65mm (picture), and at its full native 2.76:1 spec. [​IMG] Any UP title so treated would warrant a priority purchase from me, but I expect I'll continue to skip anything from reduction (when I can discover it's from reduction prior to purchase).
     
  17. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    The Wizard of Oz-with restored Technicolor registration, original mono soundtrack, better framing.

    Meet Me in St. Louis
    Easter Parade
    Gone With the Wind
    The Exorcist
    Batman
    Ben-Hur
     
  18. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Brigadoon - in spite of all of its problems, I love it. I have the alternate flat version from TCM and it aint all that different.
    The laser set had over THREE HOURS of raw recording sessions.
    It also had three numbers cut from the film as extras - Come to Me, Bend to me, From this Day In (indcorrectly edited together), and the Sword Dance. ON number that was shot, There but For you Go I was missing. Maybe they found it since then. the film needs some restoration. The current DVD is taken froma low contrast print - not a good idea.
    Another good broadway musical for DVD is Kismet. the laser looked and sounded good, except for an annoying reverb on most of the musical numbers that came from a misallignment of the surround track. There is also two missing scenes I would love to see.
    1 - a Long intro from the song Rahadlakum. turner has this.
    2. The song Rhymes Have I. I heard they found this a few years ago.
     
  19. Benjamin.D

    Benjamin.D Stunt Coordinator

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    Gone With The Wind: 2 (or 3) disc set with newly restored version of the movie, isolated music track and 50th Anniversary Laserdisc extras. Didn't Olivia DeHaviland record a commentary?

    Don't forget Blazing Saddles and Cool Hand Luke.

    Ben
     
  20. Barrie Maxwell

    Barrie Maxwell Stunt Coordinator

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    While I have sympathy for all the titles mentioned, I would most support those that have received no DVD release to date at all. To that end I nominate the 1942 WB gem:

    King's Row -

    Ronald Reagan's best film, with the often-overlooked Ann Sheridan, and great supporting performances from Claude Rains and Charles Coburn

    plus the wonderful music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold - once seen and heard, who can forget the swell of music as the screen transitions from Parris Mitchell the boy to Parris the adult. (It's almost enough to forgive the casting of Robert Cummings in the role.)

    Barrie
     

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