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My Fair Lady (SE)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ScottR, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. ScottR

    ScottR Screenwriter

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    Is the SE of MFL a new transfer? The older one looked great, but was plagued with DVNR. I loved the restoration that RAH did on this film, and would love to upgrade.
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I could be mistaken, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember that at the time of the release of the SE, it was reported that it WAS a new transfer. I had the old transfer and upgraded, but I never did a comparison to be sure, and I gave the old version to a friend.
     
  3. GlennH

    GlennH Screenwriter

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  4. ScottR

    ScottR Screenwriter

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    Is it for sure edge enhancement? That's a shame. Guess I will keep my one disc and hold out for the HD release, as funds are tight. Perhaps RAH, when he isn't busy, can chime in with his thoughts on the edge enhancement.
     
  5. ScottJH

    ScottJH Supporting Actor

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    IIRC from posts back when the SE came out it's the same transfer, just has better compression.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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  7. ScottR

    ScottR Screenwriter

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    Thanks Mike
     
  8. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    Has nobody ever noticed that the old and current dvds of My Fair Lady (which are really the same master) have the picture horizontally stretched to ~2.40:1 ? I've discovered this some years ago in this comparison between a 70mm Frame which was shown in the documentary and the actual transfer. There's nothing missing from the picture, but I've always wondered why the faces looked so "fat" on the dvd. The actual aspect ratio of the dvd transfers should be around 2.25:1, which would be correct for a 65/70mm-production.
     
  9. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I don't think they were stretched. When Robert Harris did the restoration they opened the image up from the 70mm frame - so you are getting more picture information, which is why the aspect ratio is different, if you compare the restored version to the original 70mm frame (on the 1st laserdisc which was terrible) you can see this.
     
  10. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    I don't know......the comparison clearly shows the image was altered horizontally.
     
  11. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I have watched My Fair Lady on HD-Net, and I think it needs a new transfer, from high-def elements. No complaints about the restoration, but that was 13 years ago. Time for some more work.

    And Gigi, too.
     
  12. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    What I did was trying to match the DVD transfer with the 70mm image from the documentary - it didn't fit without horizontally squeezing the image from the DVD transfer a little bit. The 70mm frame screenshot has an aspect ratio of 2.17:1 which suggests that the screenshot from the documentary has the correct proportions. The 2.38:1 image from the DVD transfer is visibly horizontally stretched in comparison to the original 70mm frame.

    Either the screenshot from the 70mm frame has the wrong shape or the DVD transfer. Since the DVD transfer is unusally wide for a 70mm movie and the 70mm frame shown in the documentary has the correct aspect ratio, there must be something wrong with the DVD transfer.

    I know that the DVD transfer was made from a 35mm print of the restoration. I can't remember where I've read it, but somebody (maybe Robert Harris himself) said that the 35mm prints were made with black bars on the sides of the picture to retain the 2.2:1 aspect ratio of the 70mm presentation.

    I think what happened on the DVD is that Warner transfered the whole frame including the black bars and stretched the image horizontally to get rid of them, producing a 2.38:1 aspect ratio - instead of zooming the whole image a bit, which would have resulted in a 2.20 or 2.25:1 ratio.

    Either way, the transfer is still gorgeous - but it might need an update soon, because it won't hold up on larger displays today.

    @DeeF: There is a HD version of My Fair Lady? The original transfer was from 1998, I didn't think Warner did HD transfers back then...
     
  13. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Well, there was a 1994 transfer and a 1999 transfer - the DVD's are derived from the 1999 transfer as well as the hi-def broadcast, I believe, NOT the 1994 transfer.

    I wish we could get back the original sound mix. :-( Were any of the Laserdiscs encoded with a good version of the original mix? I had the horrible widescreen Laserdisc release from '90 or '91 and the sound was quite shrill. Maybe the P/S set from the 80's was better. Joe Caps would know. :)

    Chuck
     
  14. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Mr. Harris said, in one of the other threads, that the current DVD used the same transfer as the 1999 DVD -- not a high-def transfer. The current one redid the digital filters, so there's slightly less ringing, and a better bitrate, but that's all.

    And I agree -- the sound needs to be fixed. Too much reverb on the songs, for instance.
     
  15. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    The 1994 transfer was not hi-def - I believe the 1999 transfer was, and that is the one shown on HDNET in high def. How else could it be broadcast in hi-def? Studios have been making hi-def transfers since the mid 90's, which accounts for the plethora of hi-def content available on hi-def channels - but I would wager that all pre-2003 titles need to be remastered in hi-def due to upgrades in transfer technology. A lot of the transfers shown on hi-def channels are old masters. :-(
     
  16. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Screenwriter

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    Just for the record, the My Fair Lady SE DVD does look better on my equipment (Infocus SP-4805 projector) than the original DVD. In particular, the wide shots seem to have more apparent detail (the opening ball scene now looks spectacular; on the original DVD it was a blurry mess); and the "ringing", while still there, is not as distracting as it was originally.

    I would call the transfer "serviceable".

    It would definitely be nice to see a new digital restoration for its inevitable optical disc HD debut, though!
     
  17. ScottR

    ScottR Screenwriter

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    I went ahead and purchased this today because it was on sale for $9.99 at Circuit City. I did notice (mostly in the second half) that the frame seemed a little stretched and fat. Other than that, I am happy. The film looks loverly.
     
  18. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    i have complained about the my Fair lady sound so much on these transfers. The film used to sound great.
    True, this is from a printing master so the high end is iffy, but then the restoratonists took out more of the high end to get rid of the brittleness of the dialogue. It sounds like the bottom is artificially pumped up, which makes it sound worse, and then all the musical numbers have reverb added like a bad sicties soundtrack album, except Lady was one of the albums that did NOT add reverb back then.
    None of the lasediscs had good sound. However, fai Lady was remastered (pan/scan) for Cinemaz in the late eighties and that transfer used a master four track mag.
    the originals on this film are four track and the six track is a blow up from the four. It sounds wonderful !!! Gorgeous surrounds encoded too.
     
  19. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Hmmm... Was this remastered version from 4-track ever released on VHS or Laserdisc? If so, it might be worth tracking down to make a hybrid.
     
  20. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    No it was not.
    Somehwere I have a beta hifi vid that has this glorious soundtrack on it.
     

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