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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Best Years of Our Lives -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. JSLasher

    JSLasher Member

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    An excellent review. Best Years is one of my all-time favourite films. It never fails to elicit various emotions on my part. I should note, furthermore, that I produced the only modern recording to date of Hugo Friedhofer's Oscar-winning original score. That was in in 1978. Friedhofer's score presently ranks sixth in the 100 Greatest Film Scores of All Time poll conducted by the American Film Institute a few years ago.

    Incidentally, in 1978, when I visited Goldwyn Pictures to organise the production of the recording, the late Tom Bodley informed me that a Perspecta-encoded soundtrack had been prepared by the Goldwyn sound department for reels 1 and 2. The soundtrack which included 3-channels was recorded on a separate 35mm optical film, which was interlocked with the film. I included this material on the Entr'acte LP release.

    The laserdisc features the Perspecta re-mix (if I might call it such), but all of the other releases do not feature Friedhofer's music-and-effects track.
     
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  2. Mark VH

    Mark VH Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm glad to have this on Blu as well, but let's face it: it got shafted on extras. When Warner got the rights to the Goldwyn catalogue, they went and issued beautiful packages for Guys & Dolls and Hans Christian Anderson (both of which got the Blu-ray book treatment). This is literally just a repackaging of older DVDs (and the DVD Warner issued last year) with a slightly improved transfer. Just doesn't make sense that a prestige title like this would warrant so little attention from a studio like Warners, which has done so right by so many of its classic properties. I'm baffled that so many are praising them to the heavens for what ended up being a pretty minimal effort.
     
  3. battlebeast

    battlebeast Well-Known Member

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    AMEN!!!!

    grrr...

    i had to order it through Walmart (Booooo...)
     
  4. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I forgot about those. I was referring to some of their more recent releases like Shane, Stalag 17, Best Years, and The Bishop's Wife. I don't like that they aren't pursuing the original audio on their musicals like the ones you just mentioned as well as the reissue of The Wizard of Oz.
    I'm a purist who goes nuts when the original audio is not presented in lossless without any alterations beyond the standard digital cleanup. That's part of the reason why I've chosen not to indulge in their musical releases.
    That really does stink, especially considering that Friedhofer won the Oscar for Best Years.
     
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  5. moovtune

    moovtune Well-Known Member

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    I watched this last night and thought it looked very good for such an old film but was disappointed that both the Main Title music and End Title music had bumps. Couldn't they have found another source to fix that? Especially for a film that had an Oscar winning score.
     
  6. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Well-Known Member

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    'Bumps'? Sorry; I'm not familiar w/ that term. Thanks.
     
  7. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Well-Known Member

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    Audio 'bumps'?, may also be known as thumps. Or are we talking image jumps from warped film or bad splices? I haven't seen the disc yet so I can't comment really on what exactly it is you're referring to.
     
  8. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Well-Known Member

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    I just put in the new Blu-ray and listened to the opening credits. There was no "bump" that I could hear. It all played smoothly from start to finish.
     
  9. Carabimero

    Carabimero Well-Known Member

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    I just today bought a copy of it from Amazon. Looks like it will take its sweet time getting to me from overseas, but very much looking forward to it.
     
  10. CineCraft

    CineCraft Active Member

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    Tsk, tsk, Warner's should've sprung for the delivery confirmation option :P
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I feel as if I spent a better year of my life watching this film for the past 2 1/2 hours plus...

    ...but now having seen it for the very first time ever...

    I thought it was an EXCEPTIONAL film. Really exceptional.

    I find it amazing some of the controversial issues in a 1940s film. Wonder how groundbreaking
    this was for its time.

    In any event, I am really happy I had the chance to watch this. Great blind purchase!
     
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  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Awesome, Ron! I have the same treat lined up for myself (sometime very soon).

    This is one of those films of which I had the DVD on my shelf for many, many years and never watched it (the subject matter never really appealed to the family). But I went ahead and purchased the Blu anyway because I have heard so many good things about it.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Mike,

    Think you will really enjoy this film. It hasn't seem to have lost its impact.
     
  14. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    The film will never lose its impact because its themes are universal and timeless. It is one of the greatest movies ever made - from direction to script to acting to photography to music. It is perfection. Like It's a Wonderful Life, this movie has me from minute one in terms of lump in the throat and it never abates for one minute. The scenes with Homer and his girlfriend are so wrenching, so beautiful, so hopeful, and have such understanding - that is what the movies have the power to do and these days so seldom achieve.
     
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  15. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Well-Known Member

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    Perfectly stated.
     
  16. benbess

    benbess Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for this film. Strong blu-ray of a powerful film.
     
  17. RMajidi

    RMajidi Well-Known Member

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    No doubt most here will already know this, but as it hasn't been expressed by anyone yet, I'll mention it for completeness.


    Billy Wilder named The Best Years of Our Lives as one of his most favourite films. Praise doesn't come any higher than that!


    While he is best renowned for the epic Ben Hur, I prefer many of William Wyler's smaller-scaled films, such as The Best Years of Our Lives and The Big Country, which incisively depict and explore human nobility.


    More than merely entertain or provoke thought, I find Wyler's films genuinely move and uplift (many Fred Zinnemann films fit this description too).
     
  18. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    Most people regard The Big Country as large scale film-making. They think The Letter and The Little Foxes, for example, are William Wyler's smaller scaled films.
     
  19. RMajidi

    RMajidi Well-Known Member

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    Clearly, in comparative terms, any other of Wyler's films pale next to the size, scope and budget of Ben Hur - hence the phrase "Bigger than Ben Hur" . That's why I referred to "smaller scaled" rather than "small scaled" films to make that differentiation clear.

    Wyler had multiple blockbusters, though none was in the league of Ben Hur scale-wise, yet for me far more appealing and accessible is the humanity portrayed in the likes of Best Years, Big Country, Carrie and Roman Holiday etc.

    Wyler seemed to somehow bring out career-best performances from many of his actors/actresses.
     
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