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Warner Bros.: 2-Disc SE Suggestions


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#1 of 32 Bill Burns

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Posted October 12 2003 - 03:07 PM

While we have a few threads here for classic title recommendations, I thought I'd offer three Warner Bros. film titles (and a bonus suggestion Posted Image) already out on DVD that would most benefit, I feel, from a digital restoration and subsequent re-release to DVD in a 2-disc SE, in keeping with recent Warner Bros. efforts such as Singin' in the Rain and Casablanca. For the two Three-Strip titles in this list, Warner's "Ultra Resolution" process would be very suitable, and their long-standing partnership with LDI could offer great benefits to all of these titles (assuming info provided by members here is correct, and LDI is not already involved in/associated with the UR process itself):

1. Stagecoach. This film is in grave need of restoration if the current DVD is representative of surviving elements. It's also one of the greatest of the John Ford westerns. Once restored, perhaps through the digital work of Lowry Digital Images, the film would lend itself beautifully to multiple commentaries, biographies/documentaries on John Ford, John Wayne, and perhaps the magnificent Claire Trevor, and various other supplements.

2. Show Boat (1951). This grand George Sidney picture looks simply awful on DVD, with often terrible registration and color timing/reproduction. UR registration and further digital restoration by LDI might do wonders for these elements, and the film itself is a terrific candidate for the 2-disc treatment, with bios/docs on Howard Keel, George Sidney, and others. If it would be possible to include one of the earlier Show Boat films in its entirety on a second (or perhaps third) disc, the release would be one to truly cherish (the '29 and '36 were both Universal, I believe, but MGM is listed on the IMDB as holding home video rights to the latter; if securing rights for either of these is possible -- did TCM restore the first to some extent, as suggested by posts on the IMDB? -- one or both would make priceless additions to the '51; a set of all three, restored and with supplements, could stand as a new benchmark for classics on disc).

3. On the Town. While this looks all right (passable) in its current form, it's one of the most enjoyable musicals ever made, and a newly restored edition would be very welcome.

Bonus:

4. Brigadoon; while not a 3-Strip film, this lovely musical is one of the best out there, and would make for a fine 2-disc SE. The current disc is widescreen but 4x3 formatted, the framing may be a bit off according to a few reports (the CinemaScope version of the film should be transferred at its full 2.55:1), and the alternate flat 35mm version mentioned on the IMDB is not included. Both versions should be offered in the same release, but not on the same disc, with the widescreen edition of course properly framed and 16x9 formatted, documentaries on the stars and filmmakers could be included, discussion of the adaptation from stage to screen (something that would be welcome for all of the musicals thusfar mentioned), scholar commentaries, etc. (Rudy Behlmer's commentaries are excellent and always appreciated).

Those are my top four. I might chime in with others later, but these are at the top of my list. A strong, multiple-version edition of #4 might also send a great signal to a competing studio who has yet to do proper justice to their R&H musicals Posted Image. But the focus here is WB, and the above titles (including Stagecoach, of course, not just musicals -- there's a reason that's #1!) would enrich the format immeasurably if re-issued as SEs. WB, whatever quantity of their digital work is in-house and whatever quantity farmed out to LDI, has lead the way in offering beautifully, digitally restored motion pictures on DVD (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca: SE, Singin' in the Rain: SE, and one disc wonders such as Them! ... just a few examples of many), and I hope to see them continue that into 2004 and beyond (when rumors persist we may see elaborate SEs of Gone With the Wind, King Kong, and other favorites). In the glow of well-earned praise new offerings will continue to bring, I hope the above four, already out on disc but in much need of remastering, will not be forgotten.

If anyone would like to offer further recommendations, by all means chime in. Posted Image

“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#2 of 32 Dick

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Posted October 13 2003 - 01:31 AM

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
THE WILD BUNCH
KING KONG
CAT PEOPLE (1942) W/ CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE

#3 of 32 Bill J

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Posted October 13 2003 - 10:17 AM

The Searchers

#4 of 32 Derek M Germano

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Posted October 13 2003 - 10:48 AM

All of the above and add these:
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN

Derek M. Germano
THE CINEMA LASER
2,000-plus Blu-ray & DVD reviews now playing...
http://www.thecinemalaser.com

#5 of 32 Chuck Wood

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Posted October 13 2003 - 02:07 PM

All of the above suggestions are valid and I agree they would all benefit from the Lowry Ultra Resolution process. Let me add one more film to the list that is a truly great film with almost NO reputation: IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER. One of the best musicals ever made and at least a decade ahead of it's time. The last collaboration between Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, it deserves to be "saved" and presented to a new generation of movie lovers.

#6 of 32 Bruce Morrison

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Posted October 14 2003 - 11:00 AM

I'll add my vote for 'The Wild Bunch', especially as the current DVD version is a flipper.

Other movies in need of de-flippering are:

'The Man Who Would Be King'
'GoodFellas' (hopefully to be included in the promised Scorsese box when it finally sees the light of day)

'All The President's Men' would be another good candidate for a SE reissue.
Bruce Morrison

#7 of 32 Patrick McCart

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Posted October 14 2003 - 01:23 PM

Great suggestions so far... (a laserdisc set actually had all 3 Show Boat films)

Here's a few others worth considering:

The Maltese Falcon (with the 1931 version and Satan Met a Lady, plus supplements such as commentaries, a new making-of documentary, and radio shows. This would be a good chance to include some cartoons such as The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, and perhaps some good 1941 cartoons such as Hollywood Steps Out)

Around the World in Eighty Days (This would be a good 4-disc edition. Split the 2 versions onto 2 discs each and fill out the rest of the disc space on each of the 4 discs with supplements. The Library of Congress has outtakes, deleted scenes, camera tests, behind-the-scenes footage, premeire footage, trailers, and even foreign language clips. Other extras could be a reproduction of the roadshow program/book. Perhaps as a DVD-ROM extra, have a re-creation of the board game. Also, perhaps a subtitle track could be added to point out all the cameos and also point out facts about the film. Perhaps even the inclusion of the uncut Trip to the Moon and the "Miracle of Todd-AO" short can be included. A music-only track would be great, too.)

Erich Von Stroheim's GREED (Have both the 250 min. and 140 min. versions on separate discs. Include the "Hollywood" segments on Stroheim and Greed.)

More 2-disc collections of Lon Chaney silents are welcomed, too. It would also be neat to have collections of other silents such as a Greta Garbo-John Gilbert collection (The Flesh and the Devil, Love, etc) and other silents through TCM Archives.

#8 of 32 Tommy G

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Posted October 14 2003 - 01:44 PM

Bringing Up Baby - heck I would even take this as a one disc non-SE.
Please release The Goodies on Region 1 DVD
My DVDs

#9 of 32 Bill Burns

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Posted October 14 2003 - 03:25 PM

Quote:
Great suggestions so far... (a laserdisc set actually had all 3 Show Boat films)

Ah! I thought the notion was familiar -- I believe it was around these parts that I read of that set, a few months ago now, but I'd forgotten in the interim. I never ran across it on laser, unfortunately (or fortunately, if the '51 appeared there as it does now on DVD). This suggests WB may very well have access to the necessary material, in which case restorations, and perhaps additional content (I don't know what was in the laser set, but I'd hope for outtakes, commentaries ... the "usual suspects"), would be the delay in bringing it to disc. Such a set could really stand as a crown jewel of the format if prepared with sufficient care.

The other suggestions you mention are terrific, and I concur fully. The Maltese Falcon triple, in particular, would be another candidate for "crown jewel" status. Multiple-movie sets centering around stars and/or directors were fairly common from major studios on laser (particularly MGM), and they are always very welcome on DVD. Fox's Marilyn Monroe boxes are a terrific example of this philosophy of release done right at 5", and I'd love to see WB revisit MGM's laser The Joan Crawford Collection, The Judy Garland Collection, The Gene Kelly Collection, and others in that fashion (and in keeping with the extensive audio and other supplementation often found on the laser sets).

Speaking of that last, I'll also throw my weight behind Chuck's suggestion, It's Always Fair Weather. I've really enjoyed this film since discovering it in the mid-90's in the Gene Kelly set (its two companions were on my first list: On the Town and Brigadoon), but as with all widescreen analogue laser, it just doesn't seem to cut it anymore, viewing-wise, despite its grand value, entertainment-wise. Posted Image A new 16x9 edition, properly framed and with reasonable supplementation, would be welcomed with open wallet, and if they could involve Michael Kidd in supplements (perhaps a commentary), that would make the disc a gem among gems. All of the Gene Kelly Collection supplements for each of the three films (deleted scenes, alternate audio tracks) should accompany new DVDs of these titles as a bare minimum.

Another disc that has just come to mind is the '47 Good News, a disc I've yet to find at any B&M. I understand the current DVD offers clips of the '30 version; reissuing the DVD with the complete '30 (or the nearly complete '30 -- see below) would be a great treat and a fine reason to return, in such a new incarnation, the '47 to store shelves. I understand from the IMDB that some two-strip Technicolor material is missing from the end of the '30 version, and TCM aired it with stills to suggest what is now lost. If anything of this has since been found, or if any further restoration of the picture as a whole were possible, well then -- all the more reason to celebrate with a new DVD containing both. June Allyson is still with us (she just turned 86 years young), and if she were able/willing to provide new interview segments, or perhaps a running interview/commentary over the '47, that would be a priceless addition. Posted Image

By sheer coincidence, I'm sure, the '30 and the '47 star two of the women I'd place in the top of my list of the most charming, winsome, joyful actresses Hollywood has yet offered the viewing public: Bessie Love and June Allyson (other top names include Clara Bow, Esther Williams, Shirley Jones, and so forth -- the best of the charming best). Having both together in a single release (two DVD-9s to allow the proper space for supplements and to maximize compression on these relatively short films; no double-sided discs, please*) -- well, that would be magic indeed.

Tommy -- there was mention a year or more ago of Bringing Up Baby in one of the studio chats, I believe it was, and the title was indicated as on the way. Nothing further has been mentioned, so far as I've found, so there have clearly been delays; I hope we see it soon. It'd make a nice companion piece to Monkey Business, which Fox is re-releasing in the coming months (it's already out there, at a higher price, as part of either the first or second Marilyn Monroe box, I've forgotten now which one, and individually as well).

* On a technical aside, such are far too easily cursed with dust and damage; DVD-10s and 14s -- I don't think any DVD-18s have been used for this purpose -- are fine when one side is devoted to a P&S or MAR version of a film; viewers pick their pleasure and ignore the other side, so minor damage to that side is relatively unimportant. But when a DVD-10, DVD-14, or DVD-18 contains a unique film and/or supplements on both sides of the disc, and both sides are therefore of potential interest to every buyer, the side that is left facing upward is always more prone to dust, fingerprints, and scratches -- two DVD-9s are always preferable to a DVD-18 (they can also be loaded into a carousel player for continuous playback this way, whereas the DVD-18 must be flipped), and ditto two DVD-5s and a DVD-9 and DVD-5 versus a DVD-10 and DVD-14, respectively.

“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#10 of 32 Victoria K.

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Posted October 16 2003 - 07:52 PM

The Devils fully restored & uncut

Cruising fully restored & uncut


#11 of 32 AlanP

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Posted October 17 2003 - 10:25 AM

"RAINTREE COUNTY"-ELIZABETH TAYLOR, MONTGOMERY CLIFT
"HOW THE WEST WAS WON"-GREGORY PECK,JAMES STEWART,CARROLL
BAKER, and DEBBIE REYNOLDS


#12 of 32 Greg_M

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Posted October 17 2003 - 01:55 PM

"MY FAIR LADY" One of their most honored films and one with many supplements (From the VHS and Laserdisc) not on the DVD. Plus an alternate track with more of Audrey Hepburn's vocals. Paramount has the VHS rights Warner the DVD rights.

#13 of 32 Bill Burns

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Posted October 17 2003 - 02:00 PM

I'd love to see My Fair Lady revisited as well, Greg, not only with new supplements but also, at long last, from original (or restoration) 65mm materials. I made a few exceptions early in the format, but at this point I just won't buy anything taken from reduction when large format survives in or has been restored to useable condition -- I can always see a definite impact on the film's overall visual character imparted by the reduction step, which is, of course, in addition to being of lower resolution, one generation further removed from the original. Posted Image But an emphatic Posted Image to the film itself, particularly if sourced from large format.

When WB brings us a 2 (or more)-disc edition of Branagh's Hamlet, I trust they will source it from large format, rectifying the reduction-sourced mistakes of Columbia/TriStar's laserdisc set and offering the film the definitive treatment that will make it a must-buy.

These are two of my favorite pictures, and deserve only the best.

“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#14 of 32 Bill Burns

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Posted October 17 2003 - 02:09 PM

Also add my vote for all UP (Ultra Panavision) films, such as Raintree County, mentioned earlier by Alan, and films such as Mutiny on the Bounty (Brando version). Ben-Hur should be revisited as well, and all of these (see my earlier post) from original large format sources, properly framed at uncropped 2.76:1 (while the ratio is apparently correct, on-line sources have suggested Ben-Hur was taken from reduction and overmatted to create the full UP spec; it doesn't look terribly good to my eye, so whatever the cause, revisiting it is something I'd encourage). Posted Image
“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#15 of 32 Patrick McCart

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Posted October 17 2003 - 02:25 PM

Quote:
Also add my vote for all UP (Ultra Panavision) films, such as Raintree County, mentioned earlier by Alan, and films such as Mutiny on the Bounty (Brando version). Ben-Hur should be revisited as well, and all of these (see my earlier post) from original large format sources, properly framed at uncropped 2.76:1 (while the ratio is apparently correct, on-line sources have suggested Ben-Hur was taken from reduction and overmatted to create the full UP spec; it doesn't look terribly good to my eye, so whatever the cause, revisiting it is something I'd encourage).

Well, someone mentioned that the 35mm interpositive used for Ben-Hur's DVD transfer was made incorrectly, thus the vertical cropping. Oddly enough, it has MORE horizontal information than the original 35mm scope prints.

#16 of 32 Bill Burns

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Posted October 18 2003 - 03:20 PM

Eh ... what? Posted Image I haven't heard that before, Patrick. While I firmly (passionately) disagree with the assertion of the curator that reductions are a-okay, this visual examination of Ben-Hur at The Widescreen Museum is telling:

http://www.widescree...l/carmera65.htm

The image at the very bottom of the page offers two windows, one over the other; the page claims the top window is the DVD transfer, the bottom an original 70mm frame. While this in no way illustrates the optical quality alterations imparted by reduction and reduction-sourced masters, it offers an indication of the actual frame area lost to reduction horizontally, and lost to this particular home video master vertically.

I hope the title is soon revisited from 65mm (picture), and at its full native 2.76:1 spec. Posted Image Any UP title so treated would warrant a priority purchase from me, but I expect I'll continue to skip anything from reduction (when I can discover it's from reduction prior to purchase).

“That line was screwy.”

- Outtake
Warner Bros.' Breakdowns of 1938

#17 of 32 ScottR

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Posted October 19 2003 - 12:12 PM

The Wizard of Oz-with restored Technicolor registration, original mono soundtrack, better framing.

Meet Me in St. Louis
Easter Parade
Gone With the Wind
The Exorcist
Batman
Ben-Hur

#18 of 32 Joe Caps

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Posted October 20 2003 - 06:25 AM

Brigadoon - in spite of all of its problems, I love it. I have the alternate flat version from TCM and it aint all that different.
The laser set had over THREE HOURS of raw recording sessions.
It also had three numbers cut from the film as extras - Come to Me, Bend to me, From this Day In (indcorrectly edited together), and the Sword Dance. ON number that was shot, There but For you Go I was missing. Maybe they found it since then. the film needs some restoration. The current DVD is taken froma low contrast print - not a good idea.
Another good broadway musical for DVD is Kismet. the laser looked and sounded good, except for an annoying reverb on most of the musical numbers that came from a misallignment of the surround track. There is also two missing scenes I would love to see.
1 - a Long intro from the song Rahadlakum. turner has this.
2. The song Rhymes Have I. I heard they found this a few years ago.

#19 of 32 Benjamin.D

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Posted October 20 2003 - 09:49 AM

Gone With The Wind: 2 (or 3) disc set with newly restored version of the movie, isolated music track and 50th Anniversary Laserdisc extras. Didn't Olivia DeHaviland record a commentary?

Don't forget Blazing Saddles and Cool Hand Luke.

Ben

#20 of 32 Barrie Maxwell

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Posted October 21 2003 - 12:59 AM

While I have sympathy for all the titles mentioned, I would most support those that have received no DVD release to date at all. To that end I nominate the 1942 WB gem:

King's Row -

Ronald Reagan's best film, with the often-overlooked Ann Sheridan, and great supporting performances from Claude Rains and Charles Coburn

plus the wonderful music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold - once seen and heard, who can forget the swell of music as the screen transitions from Parris Mitchell the boy to Parris the adult. (It's almost enough to forgive the casting of Robert Cummings in the role.)

Barrie





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