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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 9, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Sidney Lumet's The Verdict, pitting two screen greats, Paul Newman and James Mason against one another as opposing attorneys, is one of the great legal dramas on film.  

    Nominated for five Academy Awards, inclusive of Best Picture and Best Actor (both Mr. Newman and Mr. Mason), Best Director and Best Screenplay (David Mamet), The Verdict is a piece of stellar entertainment.

    I only wish that Fox agreed.  Apparently they don't feel the film is worth a decent Blu-ray release.

    What I'm seeing on screen appears to be from an older master.  Lacking in resolution, shadow detail, and with a fully electronic look, it isn't a release for which anyone could take pride.

    Audio is fine as DTS-HD MA 5.1, as well as original monaural.

    Great film.  I was looking forward to an equally great presentation on Blu-ray.

    Image - 2

    Audio - 5

    No recommendation from these quarters.

    RAH

     
    ArnoldLayne likes this.
  2. benbess

    benbess Well-Known Member

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    What a shame. Thanks for telling it like it is.
     
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    This doesn't happen very often -- but on those words, I shan't invest any $ in "upgrading". Sorry to hear it.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, I already bought this title from Foxconnect so I'll see for myself this coming weekend.
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Thanks Robert.

    I have enjoyed my SD version of this fine film for awile now. No need to update if the studios don't feel
    the need to update themselves.
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    Are there any exclusive extras on the BD? If not, I see no reason to "upgrade". Very disappointing as this was a title I was looking forward to see in the best possible presentation. This is the role for which Newman should have gotten his Oscar.
     
  7. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Good thing I can borrow this from someone to hear the commentary...
     
  8. Cinescott

    Cinescott Well-Known Member

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    This is disappointing. One of the great Newman roles and Mason's last, IIRC.
     
  9. willyTass

    willyTass Well-Known Member

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    watched the first 20 minutes and turned it off. Ill watch the re-issue
     
  10. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Very disappointing. I was hoping to do my usual The Verdict/To Kill a Mockingbird double feature in the near future. I guess it'll have to wait.
     
  11. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    Nope, and it loses the photo gallery, the trailers for other Newman films and the booklet...
     
  12. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    The Verdict was a knockout in theaters and a knockout on DVD. I had high hopes for the blu-ray.

    RAH, didn't Gordon Willis drain the color blue out of the mix? Did he ever discuss his approach to this film with you when you were restoring The Godfather? I remember Willis and Sidney Lumet talking about it in interviews. It looks like no other film.
     
  13. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Well-Known Member

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    No, Mason's last would be the excellent 1985 picture, THE SHOOTING PARTY :)
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I can't imagine why Mr. Willis would take an interest.

    RAH
     
  15. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I think what he meant to ask you was did you talk to Andrzej Bartkowiak about the Verdict while you two worked on The Godfather restoration.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ah. Now I understand. I didn't recall seeing Andrzej there.

    RAH
     
  17. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    My mistake. This is what happens when too much movie trivia crams the brain. I confused Gordon Willis with Andrzej Bartkowiak.

    The statement about blue is correct, however. The director and dp bled blue out of the mix because they were after a certain color pallet that would realize a certain aesthetic. This was widely discussed by them at the time of the film's release. It's one of the things I find most interesting about The Verdict, aside from the fact that it's a remarkable film on every level, and written by my favorite contemporary playwright.
     
  18. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    With some uncredited work by the great Jay Presson Allen as well.Lumet was always good about using color to tell a story, I love how he made an LA neon noir with the underrated "The Morning After".
     
  19. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Well-Known Member

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    What a shame. Saw this a few times in the theater when it came out and it has long been one of my favorite Newman films.
     
  20. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Guess I'll to be content with the DVD.

    I like you description of THE MORNING AFTER as an "L.A. neon noir." I agree it's underrated. The buildings he finds tells the story achitecturally, too, a kind of visual comment on L.A. culture. CHILD'S PLAY (1972), THE OFFENCE (1973) and LOVIN' MOLLY (1974) are underrated Sidney Lumet films as well.
     

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