1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

A Few Words About A few words about...™ Fort Apache -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,621
    Likes Received:
    4,022
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Truly.

    I do not understand, in this era of digital monitors, flat panels and Blu-ray players, why some folks still insist on running main title sequences window-boxed. It makes no sense.

    That is unless the transfer on WB's new Blu-ray of John Ford's Fort Apache, is about to reach the end of it's sale date.

    While the main body of the film looks nice, with a pleasant gray scale, good blacks and nice resolution, the main title sequence looks like something that might have fallen out of the back half of the cow.

    Really.

    No resolution. Soft titles. I can't believe that this is all that's left of the sequence in the RKO inventory.

    A few scratches are seen on occasion, but nothing untoward.

    But that aside, let's get to the main event. Fort Apache was the first of a cavalry trilogy that began in 1948 with this film. It continued a year later, in Technicolor, with She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and ended a year later with Rio Grande.

    John Wayne was in all three films. The veritable linchpin. As was Victor McLaglen -- when are we going to get one of the greatest films of the 1930s -- The Informer?

    Three wonderful films. Now if we could get the other two on Blu-ray.

    An important John Ford film. There are few that aren't.

    Stars?

    Image 3 1/2
    Audio 3 1/2

    A nice, but certainly not great Blu-ray of a wonderful John Ford film.

    For those who need to hone up on their John Ford skills, I suggest two biographies.

    Joseph McBrides Searching for John Ford: A Life, and Scott Eyman's Print the Legend, the Life and Times of John Ford.

    Keep in mind that these are big books. Mr. Ford worked in film from 1914 until 1966. And turned out some of the best films that you'll ever see.

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    28,150
    Likes Received:
    3,859
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Why would they window-box the title sequence? I can't imagine any reason for doing so. This is one of my favorite westerns and I know this film intimately and can't figure out why the sequence of the bugler and scenes from the rest of the movie in the title sequence would be window box. This BRD title comes out next week so I have to see for myself in the coming days. This is the film in which Monument Valley really stands out for me even moreso than Stagecoach and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.






    Crawdaddy
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,520
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    Real Name:
    John
    The main title sequence on Paramount's astonishing BD transfer of Wings is also window boxed; and that is work that is certainly not at the end of it's sell buy date. I agree; it's an annoyance.
    Crawdaddy, Monument Valley stands out (I'm sure you know this) because of Ford's stunning use of infrared film. There's one shot in particular - of the command about to ride out from the fort - that makes me draw breath every single time I see it.
    Whilst we're recommending books on John Ford, those who's interest has been piqued might like to download Tag Gallagher's book on 'Pappy', available in PDF format and free to download here on this page, in addition to those mentioned above, an excellent read - there's plenty more out there (I also have a penchant for Lindsay Anderson's About John Ford)
     
  4. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    101
    Thank you for the little preview of what we'll be seeing Robert, in regards to the blu's image and opening credits. I actually never had a problem with window boxing. The over scan used on some older films would cause part of the outside frame's image to be missed. I can understand not window boxing the entire film, but doing it during the credits allows you to read all titles in their entirety.
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,520
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    Real Name:
    John
    Overscan isn't something used on older films per se; overscan was something built into cathode ray tube technology and which we accepted as a matter of course - it gave broadcast TV some margin for error. Today's LCD/Plasma screens usually allow the whole of the image - every single pixel - as fed through your DVD/BD player to be seen thus rendering any allowance for overscan redundant.
     
  6. David Weicker

    David Weicker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,173
    Likes Received:
    530
    Real Name:
    David
    As for overscan, I had a 2004 rear-projection widescreen 55in HDTV that would came out of the box chopping off 8% of the picture. I was able to go into the settings and drop that down to 4-6%. This was as good as I could get (I never paid the hundreds of dollars to have it professionally calibrated). This had a DVI input, so I was able to attach a Blu-Ray player to it without problem (I sent my sound optically to my receiver).
    I was happy when titles were window-boxed.
    David
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,985
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Nor'east
    Real Name:
    Charles Smith
    The thing that bugs and perplexes me about the window-boxing on DVD and BLU is that I seem to only find it being done on catalog titles. Maybe I only think that because of how few contemporary films I buy.
     
  8. Guest

    It might because it's felt films didn't adhere to the TV safe title area in the "olden" days.
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    28,150
    Likes Received:
    3,859
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    I viewed the disc today in its entirety. Again, I wish they didn't windowbox the title sequences, but other than that, the film looks very good. While viewing this great western in 1080p today, I suddenly had recollections of viewing this same film many years ago on the Million Dollar Movie on Channel 9 back in the 1960s. My love for classic films began with those type of television showings and now I can have a Million Dollar Movie showing anytime I want it.






    Crawdaddy
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    35,858
    Likes Received:
    4,565
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Thanks, Robert.

    Getting your seal of approval (outside of the titles) on a release like this whets my appetite for when I get a chance to spin-up this disc.

    Looking forward to it.
     
  11. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2000
    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    42
    I viewed Fort Apache tonight and also think it looks very good (minus the weirdness of the windowboxed credits. How charmingly....antique of them). :)
    Hopefully Blu-rays of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Wagon Master will follow. Who knows about Rio Grande, which is owned now by Lionsgate, I believe. I do have an HD broadcast of Rio Grande stashed on my DVR, though. :)
    I guess there's no news on a restoration of The Quiet Man (speaking of John Ford films).
     
  12. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,347
    Likes Received:
    542
    Real Name:
    Ray
    Tag Gallagher's book on John Ford's films is terrific. I became really interested in Ford's westerns in the late 1980s when I was in college. I bought the book, read what it said about those, and then went on a search to find other Ford films and read what he said. He really captures the essence of Ford's films.
    The Quiet Man is on UCLA's list of restored films. We just need someone to release it on BR and use UCLA's print. Maybe after Criterion releases Red River, they will try to obtain the rights to it from Lionsgate/Paramount.
     
  13. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,520
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Bolton, Lancashire
    Real Name:
    John
    I know it means very little, but there *is* a placeholder on Amazon.com for a BD of The Quiet Man, coming from Republic (and therefore Lionsgate). A Criterion release would be a dream come true (Tag Gallagher's video essay on their release of Stagecoach is a masterclass in economical, incisive analysis)
     
  14. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    101
    Had a chance to finally watch this yesterday, and thought Warner did a nice job on the image/audio transfer to blu. After seeing the opening windowbox, I can understand the disappoint of many here. There really is no need for that on HD sets now. But besides that, it is certainly a nice presentation, and I'm happy to have added it to my ever increasing number of John Wayne films on blu.
     
  15. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    7,960
    Likes Received:
    841
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    Brandon Conway
    Because modern films have their titles ready for the title-safe areas of televisions, while older films never considered that they would be shown on TV.

    And as I've said in other threads before, the windowboxing has everything to do with legal binding agreements with the various unions/guilds that require names to be within the title-safe area.
     
  16. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,985
    Likes Received:
    1,013
    Location:
    Nor'east
    Real Name:
    Charles Smith
    Then why have we seen this done on so few films? In my experience, it's only been done on a handful of films...ever.
     
  17. Worth

    Worth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    506
    Real Name:
    Nick Dobbs
    What doesn't make sense, though, is that a number of films that have windowboxed titles on blu-ray didn't have windowboxing on previous DVD editons - some of the Bond pictures and Star Trek III, for example.
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,621
    Likes Received:
    4,022
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    I cannot believe that this has anything to do with the age of the transfer, and whether prepared for non-digital monitor reproduction.

    There is no long any "safe area" problem.

    RAH
     
  19. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    7,960
    Likes Received:
    841
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    Brandon Conway
    But there are still "title safe" guidelines that all the studios use. Trust me, if the text before windowboxing does not appear entirely within the title safe area - even with modern televisions with little overscan - they are legally obligated to do so.
     
  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    7,960
    Likes Received:
    841
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    Brandon Conway
    It's quite prominent, actually, especially for films made in the pre-50s Academy ratio.


    Look, I'm not saying I personally like it. I think it's a seriously outdated standard, too.
     

Share This Page