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The Black Shield of Falworth comes to UK BD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by John Hodson, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Looks like UK label Eureka! are set to make up for their awful cropped SD release of The Black Shield of Falworth by re-releasing the film on BD, this time in the correct Cinemascope AR. From this page:

    For the very forst time anywhere in the world in glorious1080p High definition and in its original aspect ratio The Black Shield of Falworth, starring TONY CURTIS & JANET LEIGH was Universal-International’s first feature in CinemaScope.In one of his earliest and most dashing performances, a young Tony Curtis pursues his real-life bride Janet Leigh, while defending the British throne in this swashbuckling saga filled with jousts, jests and medieval super heroics. The setting is England in the reign of King Henry IV, Miles (Curtis) is a headstrong, handsome peasant determined to learn the name of his slain father and discover his true heritage. His fiery ambition and swift sword lead him to the majestic MacWorth castle. There he must compete for both knighthood as well as the hand of the fair Lady Anne (Leigh), but her love is claimed by the evil, conniving Sir Walter Blount. All the while the English throne is being challenged to the death – from sinister forces within. Soon the fate of the realm, and his beloved Lady Anne, will depend upon his martial skill, but not before Miles must unlock the secret of his own shocking, mysterious identity. With its outstanding supporting cast and dazzling set design this is truly an epic tale of which legends are made! Starring the ever charismatic, multi-award winning Tony Curtis (Some like It Hot, Smell of Sweet Success, The Defiant Ones), the OSCAR® nominated Janet Leigh (Psycho, The Manchurian Candidate) and directed by the OSCAR® nominated cinematographer Rudolph Maté.

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  2. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    I doubt they will include the entire film, but I wonder if they'll include scenes from the alternate flat version as well.
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    No flat version, in fact no extras at all, but it's in OAR and a pretty good transfer at that, not spotless and there's little noise in evidence on occasion, but very clean and good colour - certainly, the cropping of the SD version notwidthstanding, it's definitely a step up from the previous Eureka offering.
     
  4. john a hunter

    john a hunter Well-Known Member

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    And the sound, John?
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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  6. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    Thanks John, those caps look extremely nice - looking forward to get this !
     
  7. john a hunter

    john a hunter Well-Known Member

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    My copy arrived today and while the transfer is fine given the source, I have two caveats: mono sound and not a 2.55:1 AR. And of course no extras about which others have commented.
     
  8. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Well-Known Member

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    I've seen people on this forum rave about mediocre transfers, especially when they get the seal of approval from various folks here. And yet, something like Falworth comes out in an exemplary and I do mean exemplary transfer and there are complaints about it not being spotless (sorry, it is spotless), and that it's mono. The color is great, it's sharp as can be, and just goes to show you that it sometimes is utter nonsense when you hear about how faded negatives are from the year 1954 or how problematic they are - if they can produce a wonderful blu-ray for this film, the first Universal film in Cinemascope, shot on the same stock as many of the "problematic" films from its year, then I just am not comprehending. Anyway, I recommend this blu-ray - the film itself is really fun, and it looks and sounds terrific.
     
  9. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Apologies; I was sure I could hear a stereo spread, but it's plainly a mono spread across the front speakers. Sorry for the confusion. And sorry Billy, it is very good as I said, but it isn't spotless; not complaining just stating a fact.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    How unseemly. But people must do the things they do.

    I'm looking forward to viewing this as soon as my friend Adriana Hofstetter lends me her copy.
     
  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    I thought I recognised that, ah, rather unique posting style. Oh, goody...
     
  12. Guest

    I'm not sure about this one; I'm convinced that the film will be brightly coloured, but of the quality of the cinematography and the actual fictional content of the film, I'm not sure. I've watched about half of it on a DVD source, and it seems really half-hearted. And I'm a fan of 50's melodramas (my fave is Written on the Wind), of silly adventure entertainment like those of Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Cutthroat Island etc, but I'm just not sold on whether I'd regret importing this one once I got half-way through it. I mean, is it good enough fun to justify the trouble caused by putting it on BD, or was it chosen purely for the historical importance of being the first british scope film, the novelty of husband/wife stars Curtis and Leigh, and perhaps to make amends for the horrid pan/scan DVD presentation?
     
  13. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Jack; can you clear up the OAR? IMDB says 2.55:1, but also says optical prints were produced using Perspecta mono - wouldn't these have been 2.35:1 (hence what we have here)? Would the 4-track mag prints have been in the slightly larger ratio?

    And Ben, the fact that it's Universal's first ever Cinemascope production (not the first British 'scope film) makes it a landmark. But it's a fun film, very nicely presented; I'm sure you will enjoy it.
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Well-Known Member

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    Never seen this, but it sounds like a hoot. I'll need to pick up a copy when I'm in England. We're POSITIVE it's region-free, right?
     
  15. john a hunter

    john a hunter Well-Known Member

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    yes It is region free as It plays in my unmodified Oppo from U.S.

    Watched it all the way thru last night and found very enjoyable in a "Saturday Matinee" type of way.For the first Scope from Universal, it was surprising that most of it was filmed indoors. Good compostitions though and great to see a film of this vintage with rich strong colour instead of the usual washed out versions we normally get.
    I think there was some slightcropping at the sides as it would have been shot for 2.55:1but my main complaint was the lack of a stereo directional track. The film certainly needed it and the score wanted all the help it good get. Certainly it was no "Prince Valiant" in that regard.
     
  16. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    250 prints were struck on its initial run. 50 were 4-track mag prints (2.55), 100 were optical 'scope with the image re-centered and cropped (2.35 w/ Perspecta), and 100 were the flat version (2-1, possibly also with Perspecta).
     
  17. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Jack.
     

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