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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Hit the Deck -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 9, 2014.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    With Hit the Deck, the latest Warner Archive title to arrive on Blu-ray, there's quite a bit more going on than meets the eye.

    It's a quality production, with great talent, both in behind and in front of the camera.

    Technologically, it's one of the earlier M-G-M CinemaScope productions, photographed on the relatively early Eastman Color 5248 stock.

    What's important to know, is that a great deal of effort and expense has gone into the release.  There's nothing "off the shelf" about it.

    Warner Bros. has gone back to the original camera negative, and created a new wet-gate interpositive for scanning.  Color is superb, and resolution and detail are so good that one can easily see that the separation masters used to create the main title background, were re-composited (in 1954), out of sync.  Watch the sailers as they march across the screen.

    Audio has been harvested from the original stems, and remixed in 5.1.

    The cast includes many of the big names from the studio "stable."  Jane Powell, in one of her final roles, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Vic Damone, Gene Raymond, Ann Miller, and a young Russ Tamblyn.

    While not up to the greatness of a Singin' in the Rain, Anchors Aweigh, or Gigi, (I'd consider Hit the Deck an A- production), it remains sixty years after it's release, an entertaining musical, with great talent, and one of those technological marvels that make up the early days of CinemaScope.

    A beautiful Blu-ray from the Warner Archive.  With a history of past theatrical (1927) and film productions, based upon the original work, produced throughout several decades, it serves as an interesting comparison to Follow the Fleet.

    The new Blu-ray is a gorgeous representation of Eastman and the Cinemascope / Stereo process in it's early years.

    Image - 4.5

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    Great news about this release. Now if WHV or WA could do something about the much better known titles they control that are aol on blu-ray (Yankee Doodle Dandy, Top Hat, Wuthering Heights, etc.), I'd feel much better about their efforts.
     
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  3. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, ordered on the strength of this review.

    Do you know when we may expect more of the great MGM musicals of the 50's? The Band Wagon, Bridadoon, et al. The ones we have seen on Blu-ray are really nice.
     
  4. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Yes, bring us Wuthering Heights the Musical. Haven't seen that for years.

    But Joe Doakes is totally right .. where are the Fred and Ginger classics, The Band Wagon, Yankee Doodle Dandy, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, On Moonlight Bay, Two Weeks with Love, The Pajama Game, SHOW BOAT and so many more.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Three strip is expensive. Yankee would be first on my listRAH
     
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  6. bigshot

    bigshot Screenwriter

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    Show Boat is being worked on right now I hear.
     
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  7. JoelA

    JoelA Screenwriter

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    Agreed. Hit the Deck is drop dead gorgeous in its presentation. Too bad the same can't be said for much of the R & H Collection released by Fox.
     
  8. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Premium
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    Just adding my voice to the chorus here. Beautiful presentation of early 2.55:1 'Scope.

    And that sound! Nothing like working from 4-track stereo stems, especially for a musical. Wowzer!
     
  9. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I watched the blu-ray today and it was the first time I had seen the film. I agree with all the positive comments about the excellent quality of the bly-ray and it is to be hoped that there are many other films of this quality ready to be released. The film itself was very derivative of earlier and better efforts and for me it only sparkled when Ann Miller appeared. I would be satisfied if Warner Archive handled all of Warners classic output from now on.
     
  10. Edward Weinman

    Edward Weinman Stunt Coordinator

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    ...from a totally objective view point of course, anything with Jane Powell sparked...
     
  11. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    Jane had a lovely singing voice and was never better than in Seven Brides - long overdue for a blu-ray release.
     
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  12. Robin9

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    I watched this disc last night and, like everyone else, was delighted with the high quality. I was particularly impressed with the sound: quite a bit better than the CD.

    By coincidence, not by design, I had a Gene Raymond double-bill yesterday. I also watched Plunder Road.
     

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