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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    While Kismet has always been a part of the M-G-M pantheon of musicals, it was never high on my personal list.

    I've seen it on film several times, and on older home video releases, and it never really stood out as anything special.

    Until I popped the new WB Archive Blu-ray into a player, and was able to see the incredibly sumptuous colors and resolution via my LG 42" flat panel.  I was actually surprised by the quality and tones of the color, as early Eastman Color seldom looked this good on prints.  Someone dug deep into the film elements, and extracted everything that the emulsion contained.

    Possibly time to re-evaluate.

    Not a great deal of time, but here it is, in very few words.

    Warner's has performed yeoman-like work on Kismet.  It's from a new IP, derived from the camera original, and the color is astounding.

    Audio, which is DTS- HD MA, I presume to be proper.  I'm currently hearing it via high end audiophile speakers, implanted somewhere beneath the panel.  Love to hear it in 5.1, but cannot.

    Based upon the Broadway play, and filmed three times previous to this 1955 CinemaScope version (1920, 1930 and 1944), and once after, in 1967 as an MOW.

    Bottom line.  A magnificent disc from Warner Archive.

    Did I mention directed by Vincente Minnelli from the Freed unit?

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5 (presumed)

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
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    I'm looking forward to getting this one next week. What's an MOW?
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Movie of the week- a made for TV movie.
     
  4. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    Wonderful review, I have never seen Kismet but will order it in the next few weeks. RAH - I have to ask why only a 42" tv? I've noticed that in a few other reviews. Do u prefer the image tighter or just haven't found a larger set you are happy with?
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    Delighted to read this and am anxiously awaiting my pre-ordered copy.

    It's never been a favorite musical, but I've always found it well worth watching for the stupendous singing in all of the major roles.
     
  6. lionel59

    lionel59 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mr Harris. This sounds like the best presentation of this movie since its Radio City premiere.
    I have seen it in 35mm (a somewhat faded copy) a few times and was impressed with the color in all the Home Video incarnations. It sounds like these transfers are now well and truly in the shade due to this Blu Ray release.
    Fox could take some tips from Warners re the production of their classics on Blu Ray......
     
    ScottGros117 likes this.
  7. JoelA

    JoelA Well-Known Member

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    It's fascinating to see how films that had not been held in high regard or popularity over the years (Billy Rose's Jumbo, Hit the Deck and Kismet) are now being re-evaluated positively primarily due to the proper and painstaking remastering/restoring that has been done to them. Kudos to Ned Price and the team at WB Motion Picture Imaging if they're the ones responsible. Can't wait to receive my copy of Kismet now.
     
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  8. lionel59

    lionel59 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe somebody can help me out here.....I recall not too long ago that there was a film festival of some kind (maybe a TCM one?) in which a few major directors inc Martin Scorsese and - I think- Francis Ford Coppola, chose their favorite Minnelli film. One of them- Coppola I think- chose KISMET. I found that unexpected and interesting. I believe he was impressed with the visual style of the movie.
    Jay C Flippen had small roles in both OKLAHOMA! and KISMET in 1955. It's an odd coincidence that both have been released on Blu Ray so close together. (Howard Keel also played Curly on the West End- another (faint) connection between the two shows).
     
  9. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

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    I do like it when they use an interpose for the transfer, no grain problems & a nice film-like image.
     
  10. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like we're getting a whole new movie compared to its earlier home video efforts. I'm astonished. I always heard that movie was gonna be problematic from a restoration standpoint. Miracles do happen on bluray.
     
  11. SFMike

    SFMike Well-Known Member

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    Warners has done some great looking blu-rays of 50's -60's classics. To bad FOX can't send their work out to Warners.
     
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  12. FWAJMB

    FWAJMB Member

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    Shocked, stunned and a little disappointhed that RAH is using an LG television and only a 42" model at that.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Aside from Mr. Kane's 85" 4k Samsung, the 42" LG is my current go to. Can't wait to see the great things coming from Vizio in the future.RAH
     
  14. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a Howard Keel fan, but I have always appreciated his performance in KISMET and Jack Cole's staging and, Dolores Gray's vocals, especially, "Not Since Ninevah" (also superbly choreographed), are all highlights. I always thought it looked great on laser (never had a DVD), but it looks remarkable in high def!
     
  15. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I was lucky enough to come across a few odd 35mm Scope reels of "Kismet" back in the 60s.
    The color at that time was strong and absolutely georgeous.
    I no longer have those reels but I'm sure that by now they would, sadly, be very pink.

    The richness, spectacle and color of the "Night of my Nights" number was nothing short of amazing. (I used to run that sequence over and over)
    So yes the original prints of "Kismet" actually did look stunning, very stunning indeed.

    After reading Robert's review I will definitely be buying it, as it sounds as if it lives up to that original lavish appearance .

    Doug.
     
  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I got my pre-shipping notice that I should have it by next Thursday. With Hit the Deck, I got the exact same pre-shipping notice, but it arrived on Tuesday rather than Thursday. Here's hoping that happens again!
     
  17. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Well-Known Member

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    Is it only me, or is it a bit odd that Warner Archive seems stuck on issuing Blu-Rays of musical titles from the "Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol. 3" DVD box?
     
  18. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Well-Known Member

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    That being the most recent of the sets, perhaps those films have the best HD masters sitting on the shelf ready to go.
     
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  19. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. Should I be hoping for a new "Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol. 4" DVD box, featuring "The Band Wagon", both versions of "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", "It's Always Fair Weather", "Silk Stockings", "Brigadoon", and "The Pirate"?
     
  20. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Hopefully yes.
     

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