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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The incredible team of Rogers and Hammerstein were all about quality.

    And that constant search for best in all matters inclusive of technical, when it came to bringing their works to motion picture theaters, have returned again and again to create problems half a century later.

    Testing the limits of the motion picture via 55mm / 8 perf, as well as 65 / 5 perf at 30fps, has affected the ability to properly reproduce some of the best of their work.

    South Pacific was fortunately shot on 65/5 at 24fps, and derived from what appears to be a wet gate interpositive, this new Blu-ray has everything going for it and very, very little in the negative column.

    Digitally corrected for color and contrast, South Pacific looks as a 65/5 production should -- crisp, with high resolution; a minimum of grain; no noise, and generally superb visual as well as aural reproduction.

    The only negatives here -- as far as I know, the film has not been restored -- are occasional registration problems on opticals and dupes, which could have been corrected, but do little to damage an otherwise superb transition to Blu-ray.

    I've seen this mentioned on line as a potential "Best of the Year," (we're only in March) and while this is an interesting notion, what needs to be kept in mind, is that what we are seeing is the ability of the Blu-ray system to reproduce films as they are meant to be seen. When one goes to large format elements, the sky is the limit.

    This gorgeous Blu-ray should be considered the norm for large format.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Well-Known Member

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    The main feature IS great, but the superior ROADSHOW version is only in standard-def. Fox should have made this clear on their packaging, there's no mention of it at all other than a tiny "some special features may be in standard definition" claim.

    IMO that's misleading on Fox's part, not to mention a disappointment that the superior presentation of the film is only in MPEG2 SD.
     
  3. Claude S

    Claude S Well-Known Member

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    Fox did the same thing twice before with two of their other Road Show pictures. The special edition of THE SAND PEBBLES was released on DVD with both the short version as well as the original longer road show version. The shorter version was gorgeous with beautiful color but the 70mm version had very badly faded color. The other film was OKLAHOMA when the preferred 70mm road show version was not in par with the 35mm version on their two disc special edition DVD.

    -Claude
     
  4. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    Robert,

    thanks for your review that confirms that Fox did the right thing with this large format release - looking forward to many more releases that are handled like the theatrical cut of South Pacific.

    As it is the topic of lively discussions on several forums can you please find a few words with regard to the roadshow version not being given the same attention as the theatrical cut ?

    To my knowledge getting a picture quality that is as good as the one of the theatrical cut with only a pink print as a source would be very difficult if not impossible at the moment and certainly very costly. And I can imagine that even with the technology being available budgetary contstraints would also come into play here, maybe you can shed some light on this ?
     
  5. Jefferson

    Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    And now Blu-ray gets more interesting to me...this month has added THE ROBE, PINOCCHIO, and now SOUTH PACIFIC to my library.

    I have seen how good it can look with current films,

    but have been even more curious about what it will bring out in the classics genre.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Using the general release version as the base of a Roadshow HD version, the addition of the material in "Super Magenta Color!" would been neither a difficult reach nor terribly expensive.
     
  7. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    That is an unconventional approach and I can imagine the tagline for that: "The added scenes of the roadshow version have been color coded in Super Magenta Color for easier identification".
     
  8. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    My copy has shipped and I am certainly looking forward to it's arrival, especially after Mr. Harris' words. This has always been one of my favorite films and I find delight in showing it to people that never have seen it. Since I got the last DVD the only version I show or watch now is the Roadshow version. While the additional scenes are muted somewhat, the scenes that are in the general release version are as clear and colorful as they can be. I would assume that Fox used that print and just added the additional scenes.

    I understand that the Roadshow version is not HD on the Blu-Ray, which is of some disappointment, but I still can not wait to see the General Release version in HD. I guess I will have to change which version I show my friends.

    Thank you Mr. Harris for your thoughts on all the important Blu-Ray releases. I have never been disappointed in your recommendations.
     
  9. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Well-Known Member

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    I hope no one minds that I am posting in this older thread, but I watched this last night, and, as usual, I was deeply touched by the story and music. I was also impressed with the blu-ray quality, the picture and sound are both outstanding. On thing I noticed that I hadn't before is the Technicolor credit. On the technical side, what did that mean in 1958?
     
  10. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Well-Known Member

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    The blu-ray image is one of the best I've ever seen.
     
  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I think Mr. Harris (who'll correct me if I'm wrong) will confirm it means Eastmancolor processed by Technicolor.
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Precisely, as well as printed.
     
  13. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Well-Known Member

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    If Fox does an R&H boxed set at some point, It'd be nice to see them reissue South Pacific with the longer cut in Hi-Def with asset protection done on the roadshow scenes.
     
  14. Strohmaier

    Strohmaier Well-Known Member

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    A company in Austin Texas, Image Trends, is scanning from very pink prints (where we have missing 0-negs on the Cinerama travelogs) and is able to get very acceptable color out of them. It is not super expensive, and as we all know our budget is certainly not a studio budget. DS
     
  15. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Well-Known Member

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    I think they'd basically have to "colorize" the Roadshow footage. Some of it looked pretty shabby. I think it could be done, however, if they really wanted to--might be hard to match exactly with the rest of the footage.
     
  16. mark brown

    mark brown Well-Known Member

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    Really enjoyed This is Cinerama and Windjammer releases! What other Cinerama titles might we look forward to in the future and when? Thanks
     
  17. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Mark, check out this thread for more on Cinerama: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/324838/a-few-words-about-this-is-cinerama-in-blu-ray
     
  18. Strohmaier

    Strohmaier Well-Known Member

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    Here is the new trailer for South Seas Adventure: several shots in this (where we had negative missing) were scanned from LOC very magenta eastman color deposit prints. Image trends can recover quite a bit of color from the faded prints. Dave
     
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  19. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    SOUTH PACIFIC (which I saw on Broadway at the Shubert Theater, although not with the original cast) was turned into a mediocre movie. I do not know whose bright idea it was to use color filters to "augment the mood" of the musical numbers -- Josh Logan's or the studio's of the cinematographer's -- if that was even the reason for them, but they do the opposite for me -- they take me right out of the film. What should have been gorgeous, paradise-greens on Bali Hai become instead a horrible yellow-green that is painful to watch for seven or eight minutes, and this sort of travesty occurs for most of the songs. Plus, or course, Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor are not Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin. The Blu-ray is absolutely perfect -- I rented it -- but I have no interest now in ever seeing this film again.
     
  20. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I don't like the use of the filters either. That said, I think the Blu-ray edition of this movie was the first time in my home video viewing that I did not find them offensive and intrusive as before. I still would rather they not be there, but they don't bother me nearly as much now in high definition.
     

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