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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Let me be very honest about Paramount's new Blu-ray of Billy Wilder's brilliant Sunset Boulevard.

    I was extremely concerned about quality.

    The original negative, which, as I recall, was partially nitrate and partially safety, has gone missing -- or may have been junked along with the EMKA OCNs. Those productions now reside at Universal.

    The last restoration effort, which was a very noble attempt by the studio, as well as by Lowry, was a stopgap situation, performed at lower rez. It enabled revival houses to have 35mm prints, and for the release of a decent looking DVD.

    With very few elements to use as a base, I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing, as derived from a dupe negative.

    I've seen prints struck from these dupes, and they're not a pretty picture, so a great deal of work went into the preparation of this release.

    Blacks, shadow detail, grain structure, and overall resolution are all very pleasing.

    One of the greatest films ever made, and at the pinnacle of noir, Sunset Boulevard at a $19 street price is a no-brainer.

    For those who've never seen it, you're in for a huge treat.

    With a huge catalog of extras.

    Very Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
    Osato likes this.
  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    Woo, and may I add, Hoo! Can't wait to pick this up!
     
  3. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Day 1 purchase.
     
  4. Paul Thrussell

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    Wonderful news! Very excited for this!
    I was quite disturbed to read the above - am I correct in my understanding that the negs to all of the Paramount titles sold to MCA were tossed?
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Quote:
    This disc looks nothing like the Lowry restoration.

    An untrained eye could not mistake this disc for the Lowry.

    RAH
     
  7. Paul Thrussell

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    On a distantly related note, is the work on Roman Holiday, which I believe was in the same situation (missing camera negative, less than stellar elements available) and cleaned up by Lowry around the same time, also needing to be redone for BD and DCP release?
     
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Does anyone here have trouble with Paramount "catalog" Blu-rays on Panasonics? I have a Panny BD-60 player and it won't play this one.

    It wouldn't run "Airplane!" last week either, but I thought that was because it was a rental and scratched. My "Sunset" is as mint as mint can be but doesn't run on my Panny.

    My Sony plays it without a hitch, so it's not the disc. My firmware's up to date. Frustrating!
     
  9. ShellOilJunior

    ShellOilJunior Stunt Coordinator

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    Great news! Can't wait for this one!
     
  10. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Looking forward to this release. Thanks for your evaluation Robert!
     
  11. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Fantastic news! Thanks for letting us know. Can't wait to revisit it!
     
  12. JParker

    JParker Second Unit

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    That is great news. Kudos then to the team that did this work (the same folks who "polished" Raiders, mentioned here?)
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/323399/while-we-wait-for-a-few-words-about-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-in-blu-ray
    Technicolor's work too?
    In the event, well done. I hope this quality continues for future "classic" releases; this bodes well! :)
     
  13. Osato

    Osato Screenwriter

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    Thanks Robert!
    Another title that is on my buy list!
    Glad Paramount did a great job with the transfer!
     
  14. David Weicker

    David Weicker Screenwriter

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    I would double-check with Panasonic's website to make sure that your firmware is actually up to date. I have the DMP-BD65, and the player's firmware check kept telling me I was up to date, even though I wasn't (I was at 1.60, and the website had 1.62). I had to manually update the firmware (using a burnt CD). I don't know if it was because my player is a few years old, but the automatic check and update feature apparently was not working.
    David
     
  15. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    great to see paramount left the grain in
    After watching , the German BD of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance , which looked like Madame Tussauds, I was worried
     
  16. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Premium
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    I was dreading what I feared this release was going to look like.
    I am so grateful for the work that went into this and RAH's review means I can pre-order it without hesitation.
    I only hope enough people vote with their money to make studios want to go to the efforts that appear to have taken place with this film's presentation on Blu.
     
  17. JParker

    JParker Second Unit

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    Tom Burton of Technicolor was kind enough to write after I shared this review with him:
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    James,

    Why would you feel the need to send what I had written to Tom Burton?

    Do you work for Technicolor?

    RAH
     
  19. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Me too! Pre-ordered!
     
  20. Paul Thrussell

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    I must have had my head under a rock, the information wasn't very hard to find - in fact, quite close to home! :D If anyone's interested, there's a bit of info in another thread: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/293488/paramount-pre-1950-films-owned-by-universal
    Please excuse me while I now belatedly mourn these nitrate treasures :(
     

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