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...™ Hondo -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 21, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    4,034
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
  2. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
    Insider

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    4,477
    Likes Received:
    4,155
    The late Daniel Symmes did a complete 35mm restoration of the 3-D version in the early 1990's.
    Why this was not presented on Blu-ray in 3-D is a mystery.
    Is it widescreen? Farrow, Burks and Stout composed for 1.85:1.
    Bob
     
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,988
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    Location:
    Nor'east
    Real Name:
    Charles Smith
    Good morning, kids. Can "we" spell "M-I-S-S-E-D O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y" ?
     
  4. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
    Insider

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    4,477
    Likes Received:
    4,155
    In Dan's own words:
    THE ORIGINAL RESTORATION OF HONDO
    Daniel L. Symmes
    DIMENSION 3
    I was operating a company called 3D VIDEO in the early 1980’s. We had developed the first successful anaglyph method for broadcast television (later patented).
    In August of 1980 I received a call from Ron Kowall, assistant to Michael Wayne, owner of the John Wayne company BATJAC. They owned HONDO, John Wayne’s one and only 3D film, and wanted to know about our process.
    Over the months I got to know Ron very well, and before long, I was a bit of a fixture at the BATJAC office in Beverly Hills.
    Michael Wayne was as passionate about film and film history as I so we had many wonderful conversations, and had common friends in the business.
    Michael’s way of doing business was a bit “out of sight, out of mind” so while I was around, the idea of broadcasting HONDO in 3D was hot. When I was off on other projects, it was not.
    Ron kept the flame going, though.
    In 1983 Michael wanted to screen his one and only 3D print of HONDO and I arranged it with Tom Cooper, then owner of the Tiffany Theater on Sunset Blvd. The Tiffany was the 3D revival house in LA. About 40 people attended and it looked great.
    Michael had the hope of releasing HONDO theatrically, since there was a mini-wave of 3D at that time, though of the single projector variety, which I warned him wasn’t good enough technically.
    He had the hope of finding a theater on Hollywood Blvd. to have a grand 3D “re-premiere.” He imagined Klieg lights and all. Classic Hollywood.
    And in the meantime, TV.
    But he had some tests printed form the negative and found considerable deterioration, so the only existing print might have to do for TV use.
    Another interesting idea Michael would discuss was shooting a new beginning to the film. He didn’t like the film’s beginning, and had in mind a scene of his father being chased by Indians (shot from a hill so as not to see the stand-in), and see his horse being shot out from under him, which would then connect to his walking at the beginning of the film.
    I was hoping to be able to shoot film with Michael, but I was very concerned about rewriting film history. While this idea stayed in his mind for a while, he eventually agreed to preserve and restore was WAS.
    Some months later, he screened the film at a small screen room on Sunset Blvd., and the print was damaged. This stopped progress for literally years.
    I stayed in touch with Ron mostly as time dragged on.
    In 1987 I put on a major 3D TV broadcast in LA, and Michael was awaked to 3D again. We started discussing the steps to assure the best possible tape transfer technologies, and eventually he chose Image Transform (North Hollywood) as the best lab of the time.
    We did the transfer at Image in August of ‘88, using camera negative, and recording onto 1”, NTSC which was the best at the time.
    A considerable portion of HONDO is internegative, because most scenes were fade in, fade out or dissolves. Intermediate film didn’t age well, so the colorist at Image Transform had a very difficult job timing the left and right views.
    Complicating things was that the Warner Bros. emblem was missing from the head and tail of the right eye negative. It was replaced by a TV distributor’s emblem, Medallion Enterprises, which had the TV rights in the late 1950’s into the 60’s. Shocking that they would cut the original negative!
    I contacted someone I knew at Warner’s as I observed the Warner emblem was the same as used for DIAL ‘M’ FOR MURDER. Warner sent over a then new print of the first reel and we “restored” the Warner start of the film, but had to do some clever video magic to cover the cut to the main title.
    The tail couldn’t be restored, as it featured a scene of the wagons driving off into the sunset, cutting to the Medallion emblem. So Michael just did a freeze frame for the remainder of the sound track. Not ideal, but all we could do at the time.
    We did the anaglyph “encoding” in the middle of September ’88, and eventually broadcast HONDO on an “ad hoc” network of 151 stations in June of ’91. It was rated no less than third, mostly second, and often first in all TV markets.
    Michael was pleased with the broadcast, but still hoped to see it again in theaters with polarized projection. Again, the big dream was the Klieg light premiere.
    Michael and I went to London to arrange a broadcast with a major charity being the beneficiary of proceeds from the sale of the 3D glasses (as the Leukemia Society did in the U.S.). We got close, but the charity could never get its act together. Subsequent conversations with Channel 4 also fell through.
    Finally Michael decided to bite the bullet and do a film restoration of HONDO.
    He did his research and chose to again work with Cinetech in Burbank, with Sean Coughlin in charge. Sean had recently restored MCLINTOCK.
    In November of ’93 Michael directed me to set up an editing bench in my dining room and he sent ALL the existing footage over for my examination and logging.
    I literally examined every foot of everything to determine what we had, what we needed, and determine the best course of action – mostly from the 3D point since Sean was otherwise highly experienced in restoration.
    I might note that there were outtakes in the footage which might not be known.
    I was quite surprised to find that 22 minutes, 26 seconds of HONDO was intermediate stock, and was very off color. That’s nearly 1/3 of the film.
    The intermediate stock was fair to poor, quality-wise.
    Actual restoration work commenced in April of ’94.
    Tests by Sean showed the left and right camera negatives were in “decent” shape, though with color matching issues.
    And then we had the extreme good fortune to find color separations for virtually all the intermediate footage.
    We were blown away when Sean projected a reel of restored (from the separations) footage. It was as if it was shot yesterday. The color was nearly Kodachrome.
    Sadly, this new footage had to be “dumbed down” a bit to intercut with the negative.
    Sean worked over perhaps a three month period (just my recollection) and we watched it coming together reel by reel.
    Again luck was with us, and separations of the head of the film (the Warner emblem) were found, so Sean could reconstruct the original head of the film.
    The tail wasn’t so lucky.
    I then went to Pacific Title and had them recreate the end titles (using the uncut left eye reference), coming up with the “candy cane” lettering of the original (which Michael disliked) and, using separations of the live action behind the titles, reconstructed the tail.
    Another problem area were 2-D shots. Apparently there was a camera malfunction, specifically to the left camera. Warner’s remedy was to duplicate the right eye and give it a very slight horizontal shift to the left. Another duplicate of the left was shifted slightly to the right. This shifting helped give a slight 3D impression. But, they were flat nonetheless and sometimes easily spotted, such as a very long (2+ minutes) scene with Wayne talking in a tent to actor Paul Fix).
    As all the flat shots were duplicates, the quality was very poor. But original elements were never found.
    Someone recently suggested “3 dimensionalizing” the 2-D shots, which other than being inferior to real 3D, would be changing the way the film WAS. Tough call with George Lucas on one side of such a proposition, and film historians on the other.
    Over the years, Michael wrestled with the sound track. All that exists is the optical negative made by Warner Bros. All mag material was dumped.
    Many visits to Chace helped improve things somewhat. But Michael directed Chace to create a stereo track, and even added sound effects (arrows, gun shots) to “help.” To these ears, the “improvements” weren’t acceptable, though this wasn’t my call.
    Thus HONDO was complete.
    We viewed a final print of the left and right from the new negative and it looked great.
    Next was to do a video version of this restoration, which was done over several weeks at Vidfim in Glendale, starting in the middle of July ’94.
    We mastered to D1, then the highest quality video.
    Michael had excellent eyes for color and spent way more time than usual making Sean’s film restoration even better.
    And before actually laying the footage down, we did a 3D alignment which improved that aspect of the film, for later exhibition.
    After doing the feature transfer, I got Michael interested in putting a 3D short on the HONDO disk. MOTOR RHYTHM was available, and Bob Furmanek provided prints which were mastered to D1 at Vidfilm.
    An anaglyph test was done (November ’94) which, while only a test (full feature), was judged to be very good. Michael was then focused on a laser disk release, and a deal was proposed with Image Entertainment. Ultimately time passed and nothing happened.
    There are many holes in the timeline since, like I said, for Michael, out of sight, out of mind. He got distracted by other business so MANY months would go by between progress spurts.
    At the end of 2002 I finally got Michael to say “go” to get the film ready for DVD release, and he said I should “soon” get with him to go through the vault to find the D1 tapes, including “my” tapes of MOTOR RHYTHM, since many were apparently mislabeled.
    In March of ’03 I was out of the country when I heard, to my utter shock, that Michael Anthony Wayne had died, 2 APRIL 2003.
    I sent condolences to Michael’s widow, Gretchen, who I knew in better times. For reasons known only to Gretchen, I became an outsider and she has never since talked to me nor acknowledged my attempts to help with HONDO these past years.
    Imagine my surprise and dismay hearing about all the fuss it has been getting lately, and with the waste to time and money to rediscover the wheel by people with no or little understanding of 3D and this film’s unique aspects.
    What a business.
     
    sonomatom1 likes this.
  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,550
    Likes Received:
    213
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    No 3D...no sale.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    4,034
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    1.78 it is.

    RAH
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,979
    Likes Received:
    1,969
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Bruce
    Wasn't there a huge brouhaha here about it being full-frame? I'll have to look it up :) Which is why it's best to wait and see what's actually what. Great to hear it's finally correct.
    EDIT: And I was part of it :) Shame on me! Best not to jump to erroneous conclusions, but obviously I was given some bum information.
     
  8. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    13,647
    Likes Received:
    2,386
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Real Name:
    Matt Hough
    A fascinating film history lesson, so thanks so much for sharing it.

    I'm just gritting my teeth over the loss of a potential classic Golden Age 3D title.
     
  9. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
    Insider

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    4,477
    Likes Received:
    4,155
    I'm glad to hear it's widescreen.
    Dan's restoration article was a 2007 response to the claims at that time that HONDO was just recently restored. They basically re-invented the wheel. It didn't help that the company doing the new restoration claimed it was filmed as a "color anaglyph" and papers like Variety repeated that myth.
    They also claimed the film had only two or three stereoscopic play-dates and that's why Jack Theakston and I wrote the article about it's wide 3-D release. That article has been updated and will be posted on our new website within the next week so.
    The frustrating part is that I know many people waiting for Golden Age 3-D product before they will buy a 3-D TV and Blu-ray system.
    We certainly have a classic chicken/egg situation here...
     
  10. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    584
    Real Name:
    Robin
    I certainly am! I have no interest in modern 3-D movies but I would love to see movies like Dial M For Murder, Kiss Me Kate and Hondo in 3-D.
     
  11. Craig_Ehr

    Craig_Ehr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    1
    "FOR HONDO!!!"

    I think Al is commenting on the lack of inclusion of the 3D version on the Blu-ray.
     
  12. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
    Insider

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    4,477
    Likes Received:
    4,155
    Ditto!
    At least one classic 3-D title may be swimming across our screens by the end of this year. Hopefully, more will follow for the 60th anniversary in 2013. We are doing our best to get DRAGONFLY SQUADRON out as soon as possible.
    For those that haven't seen it, here's the trailer:
    [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/8RIDvciB-GM[/VIDEO]
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    28,155
    Likes Received:
    3,867
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    I can't wait until my preorder shows up.








    Crawdaddy
     
  14. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,053
    Likes Received:
    540
    Location:
    Cromwell, CT
    Real Name:
    Roland Lataille
    Sorry. No 3-D, no sale.
     
  15. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,811
    Likes Received:
    313
    Real Name:
    David
    I will not go so far as to say "no sale", even though I am disappointed in the lack of a 3D release; but I will wait for the price to drop before ordering it.
     
  16. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    102
    This one is a must-buy for me (as you could probably guess).
     
  17. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,175
    Likes Received:
    483
    Real Name:
    Joe Hudak
    Well, considering I don't have a 3D-capatible TV, the lack of 3D won't affect my purchase.
    However, I do agree that it is a pretty bone-headed move not to make a 3D transfer. Perhaps Paramount has very low expectations for deep-catalog 3D home video sales?
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    4,034
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Or don't hold the license to do so.

    RAH
     
  19. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well, not to look a gift horse etc., I'm happy that Hondo has been released on Blu-ray with evidently great quality; interesting how so many DVDs were made of "classic" or not even classic films after VHS format, and Blu-rays appear concentrated on the current, meaning, recent market. But I guess that's where the big sales are, with the big box office hits.
    Does any reader know if there's an attempt to restore The Quiet Man? I think the current DVD, from a division Viacom, which owns Paramount, is not too great.
    I wonder if Walmart will continue to have Fox John Wayne exclusives?
    Has anyone here seen these? Mr. Harris thought Poseidon Adventure, not a Wayne picture obviously, was well done I recall:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Barbarian-And-The-Geisha-Blu-ray-DVD-Exclusive/20531023
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/20645845
     
  20. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,970
    Likes Received:
    527
    Location:
    London
    Real Name:
    Alan
    I hope The quiet Man is being given the A1 treatment by whoever owns it. The transfer that shows on UK TV is unwatchable.
     

Share This Page