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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Pink Panther -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    A fact that many people may not realize, is that Black Edwards' The Pink Panther, a 1963 production which did not premiere domestically until early 1964, is a large format film.

    The Pink Panther used the Technirama process, basically VistaVision 35mm 8-perf with a 50% anamorphosis, a process generally reserved for large scale "epic" productions or very high end musicals. Examples are El Cid, Spartacus, Sleeping Beauty, The Music Man and The Leopard.

    Because the film moves sideways, any moving wear or damage will also be seen as horizontal marks.

    The Pink Panther, a film which holds up nicely for content, with large format origins that are quite obvious, along with a rich, film look. Something else along for the ride are occasional horizontal scratches, that could have been dealt with via a few quick waves of the magic digital wand.

    If one is lucky enough to ever get to see an old dye transfer print of The Pink Panther, The Music Man or others, there is a true visceral affect that makes its way to the screen because of the process and overall quality.

    That quality has made it to the Blu-ray of The Pink Panther, which aside from a few niggling complaints, looks absolutely gorgeous on Blu-ray.

    It's nice to finally see The Pink Panther, a member of the pantheon of quality United Artists titles, come to Blu-ray via M-G-M and Fox.

    If you want to see what an early '60s film can look like when the quality begins with the taking stock and process and ends with a properly handled video master, The Pink Panther is a great example, and one more answer to those who ask the question "What does Blu-ray do for old movies?"

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Bob_L

    Bob_L Well-Known Member

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    Any chance to see Claudia Cardinale at age 25 is worthwhile. In large format-sourced high-def? Priceless.

    Plus, one of Mancini's most urbane scores and an elegant, typically effortless performance from David Niven.

    The refreshing of older catalog titles (after years of seeing worn, neglected prints) is the real gift of HD disc, IMO.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    This will be joining the collection in short order. Any word about A Shot in the Dark?
     
  4. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    In more than one way, in my opinion.

    I remember the belly-aching laughs when first I saw it in the cinema. Then, years later, when it was announced for a TV broadcast, I was happy to sit and watch it again - but it disappointed terribly.

    This one needs to be seen on a large format screen.


    I'm glad it's available on BD soon - in my home as well.


    Cees
     
  5. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    I picked this up yesterday on Mr. Harris' recommendation. I must say I'm not a bit disappointed.

    This is what classic large format cinematography is all about. There is an elegance to Mr. Blake and Mr. Lathrop's camera work that you just don't see in modern movies. These men understood how to compose for the wide screen format and it shows.

    Doug
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    The 16x9 enhanced remaster in the PP DVD box set looks fantastic, so I'm eager to check this out. I love how Blake Edwards almost always shot in scope for films that would otherwise not have that sort of consideration into visuals. While it's not quite as funny as A Shot in the Dark, it's still a fun movie.

    "Shot" doesn't look quite as good on DVD, but I'd hope a Universal BluRay of "Return" would get a release. Their DVD is fantastic.
     
  7. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right about Panther not being quiet as funny as Shot in the Dark. But its interesting to watch the development of the Clouseau character.

    Also Panther is really more of an elegant romp than an out and out slapstick comedy, although that is there too. It almost puts the Bond films to shame with its use of beautiful European locations.

    Doug
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    TPP is not a 'Clouseau film' like the other ones. It's quite a different type of humour and a different type of film.

    That said, I love many of the series.


    Cees
     
  9. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    I see an occasional oval artifact, a kind of semi-transparent dimple. Any ideas to the cause?
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Time code, please.
     
  12. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    Mr. Harris, I just read the DVDBeaver review of the BD, where Gary Tooze observed that the beginning of the film "took a while to kick in - initially appearing dirty, excessively grainy with abundant speckles. But as it gained momentum it began to show its true 1080 colors (literally.)"

    I really want to upgrade, but I love the opening sequences of this film. Is it really that problematic? Does it look much worse than the dvd?
     
  13. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    There's an occurrence from 1:08:28 to 1:08:33. It's located in the upper left quadrant of the picture, in the window behind Wagner. It stays until he and Capucine move to the door.
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    I noticed it too. I was wondering if it was the anamorphic lens flairing slightly.

    Doug
     
  15. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    He may be referring to the fact that some of the opening may be dupe which ties in with the main title sequence, such as the opening with hicon overlay.

    I saw no problem.

    RAH
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My guess would be a wet-gate artifact.
     
  17. John H Ross

    John H Ross Well-Known Member

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    I would loooooooooove to get this, but I'm tempted to wait for a more comprehensive boxed set of at least the Sellers films (i.e. the ones that matter!)

    It can't be too far off, surely?
     
  18. JohnMor

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  19. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    Robert,

    I have now watched my Blu-Ray of The Pink Panther and was surprised about the amount of grain present in the image which does not bother me at all but it raises a few questions for me:

    For a large format film from that year the grain structure looked kind of coarse and the detail was a bit less than what I would have expected from a film shot in Technirama, was that the look the film had from the beginning ?

    Would you have any info if this was done with a 2 or 4k scan and if the OCN was scanned or if other, possibly smaller and/or duplicate, elements were used ?
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Oliver,

    You're getting into interesting territory here, as the correct answer should be "no."

    Any film going through the Technicolor dye transfer process appeared to have less grain as the final image, as printed, was slightly softer. This softness would normally go unnoticed, as the image, heightened by contrast, yielded an image of higher perceived, but not actual, sharpness.

    The scanning of an original negative on modern equipment will provide a sharper image, with a bit more of the actual film grain showing through.

    By answering this question I'm not certain whether I'm helping or adding to t he confusion.

    RAH
     

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