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Meet John Doe: 70th Anniversary Edition by VCI in November

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Marcel H., Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Marcel H.

    Marcel H. Well-Known Member

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    According to Classicflix.com VCI will be releasing a Remastered 70th Anniversary Edition of this Frank Capra movie in November:

     

    Being billed as "a keeper" and an edition that will "retire all previous DVD versions in your collection," VCI has announced a November 30th release date for Meet John Doe (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition).

    This Ultimate Collector's Edition has undergone extensive restoration and if it is anything like VCI's restoration of A Christmas Carol, the results should be spectacular.

    Bonus features include an audio commentary plus loads of other great stuff (below).

    In addition, and rare for VCI titles, it is subtitled. Not just in English, but also in French, German and Spanish.

    Retail will be $14.99, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $12.99. However, for 3 days only (until September 19th), we'll have it for the SPECIAL LOW PRE-ORDER PRICE of $9.98. ORDER TODAY!

    SYNOPSIS:
    The unique Frank Capra touch is evident all through this fascinating social commentary. The naive Cooper is hired to spearhead a national goodwill drive benefiting the corrupt politician Arnold. Barbara Stanwyck plays the cynical promoter who first dupes Cooper, but later falls in love with him. Capra says several different endings were filmed...and he wasn’t fully satisfied with any of them. Of them all the current conclusion best states Capra’s idealism.

    For more than 50 years, Meet John Doe has been dogged by a lack of proper attention to its original film elements. In December of 1945 the film’s original producers – Frank Capra and Robert Riskin – sold all rights in the film to New York distributor, Sherman Krellberg’s Goodwill Pictures.

    While in Goodwill’s possession the camera negative eventually deteriorated due to poor storage conditions and was junked. In the years that followed most existing prints fell into generally poor condition. But in the mid-1970s, the American Film Institute launched a partial restoration of this important film combining Krellberg’s surviving 35 mm nitrate prints with the Warner Brothers’ studio print. It was these elements that formed the basis for a duplicate negative, which is now held in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

    This DVD is derived from one of the surviving European prints. The general image was only fair; it was faded, scratched and carried various forms of age-related damage. But after transfer to Digi-Beta , the picture underwent substantial digital restoration, image processing and noise reduction eventually yielding a fully watchable picture.

    BONUS FEATURES:

    • Audio Commentary (with optional English subtitles) by Laureate’s Ken Barnes with “archival contributions” from Frank Capra
    • Three Featurettes:
      • “Meet Mr. Cooper”
      • “Meet Miss Stanwyck”
      • “Meet Mr. Capra”
    • Extensive Cast and Crew Profiles
    • Production Background
    • A before and after comparision of the digital restoration of “Meet John Doe”
    • Vintage “Lux Theater” radio productions
      • "Sorry Wrong Number “ starring Barbara Stanwyck & Burt Lancaster
      • “For Whom The Bell Tolls” starring Gary Cooper & Ingrid Bergman
     

    http://classicflix.blogspot.com/2010/09/meet-john-doe-70th-anniv-in-november-3.html

     

    I'm really looking forward to this edition because I haven't found a decent copy of the movie.
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    I'd be surprised if it was any better than the current Laureate Collection edition in R2 (which is NTSC); certainly it replicates the extras even down to the restoration comparison. Aside from the less than sparkling transfer on that edition (yes, it's 'fully watchable' but average at best), my big gripe was replacing the Warner logo with Laureate's own.
     
  3. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    I thought of that too, and I was actually waiting to buy those when this announcement came up. The VCI edition definitely seems the better bargain, with the other two out of print.
     
  4. smithb

    smithb Well-Known Member

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    I know my release is not part of the Laureate Collection so It has to be better then what I have currently, I'm in for a double dip.
     
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Promising news. I've never purchase this title with the hope that somebody would eventually put out a sufferable version. Hopefully this edition will serve that purpose.
     
  6. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Well-Known Member

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    kewl news
     
  7. John Morgan

    John Morgan Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I am misreading the press release, but it seems to say that a restoration was done by the AFI with the surviving material from the Warner studio print and the various Goodwill materials. But they aren't using that restoration, but instead found a scratchy, faded print in Europe and are restoring it digitally. I am sure this is the case, and I bet the expense of accessing the AFI restoration precluded them using it, but thought it was odd they went into that much detail on an element they aren't using. I had a laser of this film long ago, and didn't they claim it came from Capra's personal print?
     
  8. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    I noticed that too, and I hope that it's not purely intended to mislead people. I really want to add this movie to my collection, but I might have to wait for a review.
     

     
  9. Marcel H.

    Marcel H. Well-Known Member

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    I guess John was right. The cover, which can be seen here states VCI Entertainment & Laureate Productions Present.
     
  10. Trevor824

    Trevor824 Member

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    I also am a bit confused by the press release, especially this line:

     

    But after transfer to Digi-Beta , the picture underwent substantial digital restoration, image processing and noise reduction eventually yielding a fully watchable picture.

     

    I don't know. I am sort of hoping for more than just a "fully watchable picture".
     

    Having seen various public domain versions over the years, that weren't "fully watchable", I am hoping for the best.
     
  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    As curmudgeonly as it might sound, I wouldn't advise any holding of breath.
     
  12. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Well-Known Member

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    Heck, my Hal Roach Image disc is fully watchable. Not to say that there isn't substantial room for improvement, but "fully watchable" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Guess I'll have to wait and see on this one.
     
  13. revgen

    revgen Well-Known Member

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    Here is the a comparison of the Laureate DVD and the Image Entertainment version. Both are OOP. Laureate beats the Image Entertainment version in terms of video quality. Bitrate is higher and image is sharper.

     

    http://www.celtoslavica.de/chiaroscuro/vergleiche/meet.html

     

     

    If VCI is using the same restored print, then you won't be too disappointed. I probably won't be buying it since I already have the Laureate DVD.
     
  14. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Over at the Bits, Barry Maxwell says:

     

    "...The release is based on a previous Region 2 DVD release derived from one of the surviving European prints subjected to substantial digital restoration. VCI will be doing some further restorative work on Laureate's source material for this release..."
     
  15. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Well-Known Member

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    That gives me a little hope. One of my concerns was that this was going to turn into one of those PAL to NTSC conversions which tend to have problems. Considering the price and the extras, this is becoming a likely upgrade.
     
  16. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Quote:


    It was never likely; as said earlier, Laureate's R2 was NTSC.
     
  17. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Well-Known Member

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  18. MadMikeyD

    MadMikeyD Member

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    I'm looking forward to this. I love Capra movies and "Meet John Doe" is one of my top favorites. I've been holding out for a decent DVD release that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg.
     
  19. MadMikeyD

    MadMikeyD Member

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    The ClassicFlix blog just announced the release of the Meet John Doe 70th Anniversary DVD has been pushed back to mid-December due to "problems in the manufacturing process."
     
  20. smithb

    smithb Well-Known Member

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    Good news for those interested in purchasing VCI products directly from their site. They are having a 60% off sale for the holidays that ends on Nov 29 @ 12.59 pm (HOLIDAY2010). The bad news for "Meet John Doe" fans, you can't order it from their site until Nov 30 (would have been down to $6 plus shipping if we could). The alternative news is that you can preorder it from DD for around $10.
     

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