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Hitchcock's Notorious from Criterion


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#1 of 89 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted October 16 2001 - 12:53 PM

More positive news re: classic cinema.

Criterion's new release of Notorious is brilliant.
It perfectly represents the film with a full rich gray
scale and deep blacks.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 89 OFFLINE   Ugo Scarlata

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Posted October 16 2001 - 01:33 PM

Excellent! I was just looking for comments on this disc... Now I can shop with confidence! Posted Image

I have high hopes for Criterion's Rebecca as well, which should be out in less than a month...

Cheers,

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#3 of 89 OFFLINE   Dave Barth

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Posted October 16 2001 - 02:17 PM

Thanks for the excellent news Mr. Harris.

#4 of 89 OFFLINE   Randy_M

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Posted October 16 2001 - 03:07 PM

I've been waiting a long time for this one, and am real happy with the quality...too bad Hitch had to use a couple of grainy stock shots (plane coming in to Rio)...

I'd also really like to see Criterion put their magic touch to the rest of the sound British titles, at least starting with The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Have Rebecca on order and will also be looking for Spellbound.

Anyone know if Criterion is going to do The Paradine Case? Although it's rather a maligned film, I kind of liked it. Can't go wrong with Charles Laughton....

Cheers
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#5 of 89 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted October 16 2001 - 03:52 PM

Thanks Mr. Harris. Amazon shipped my copy today so I should have it in my eager little hands in a couple of days. I've already got Rebecca pre-ordered and can't wait for it to arrive. Now, when does Spellbound street? Posted Image


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#6 of 89 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted October 16 2001 - 05:03 PM

Great to hear, I have it on order but it won't arrive until next week when some other titles on the same order are released. I'll be getting Rebecca too.

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#7 of 89 OFFLINE   PatrickM

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Posted October 16 2001 - 06:03 PM

Excellent news Mr. Harris. I'm really looking forward to this one and even more for Rebecca. Gotta love the old black and white's.

Patrick

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#8 of 89 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted October 17 2001 - 01:27 AM

Just got mine yesterday and plugged it in for a quick peek - WOW!

I also can't wait for REBECCA (which will be a 2-discer). And SPELLBOUND will follow shortly (no streetdate yet).
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#9 of 89 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted October 17 2001 - 01:31 AM

Just in case anyone's not familiar with these loaded special editions, here's the scoop (details on SPELLBOUND not yet available):

NOTORIOUS
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About the Transfer

The picture for Notorious was restored and preserved from the original 35mm nitrate camera negative, a 35mm nitrate fine-grain master, and a 35mm nitrate copyright print. A newly printed 35mm fine-grain master, and the 35mm nitrate fine-grain master for Reels 4A and 5B, were used for the digital film-to-tape transfer. Inherent film artifacts were corrected in video with the MTI Digital Restoration System.

The soundtrack for Notorious was restored and preserved from a 1954 35mm acetate release print, a 35mm nitrate fine-grain master, and a 35mm nitrate optical music & effects track positive. New 35mm magnetic analog masters and DA-88 digital masters were created utilizing Sonic Solutions noise reduction software.

Special Features
  • Commentaries by Hitchcock film scholar Marian Keane and film historian Rudy Behlmer, editor of Memo from David O. Selznick
  • Complete broadcast of the 1948 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation, starring Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten
  • Rare production, publicity, and rear projection photos, as well as promotional posters and lobby cards
  • Production correspondence
  • Collection of trailers and teasers
  • Script excerpts of deleted scenes and alternate endings
  • Excerpts from the short story “The Song of the Dragon,” source material for Notorious
  • Rare newsreel footage of Bergman and Hitchcock
  • Subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired



REBECCA
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About the Transfer

Rebecca is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The picture was restored and preserved from the original 35mm nitrate camera negative, a 35mm nitrate fine-grain master, and a 35mm original nitrate print. A newly printed 35mm fine-grain master was used for the digital film-to-tape transfer. Inherent film artifacts were corrected in video with the MTI Digital Restoration System.

The soundtrack for Rebecca was restored and preserved from the original 35mm nitrate optical soundtrack negative, a 35mm acetate dupe negative, and a 35mm magnetic music and effects master. New 35mm magnetic analog masters and DA-88 digital masters were created utilizing Sonic Solutions noise reduction software.

Special Features

DOUBLE DISC SET
  • Commentary by film scholar Leonard J. Leff, author of Hitchcock and Selznick: The Rich and Strange Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick in Hollywood
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • Rare screen, hair, makeup and costume tests including Vivien Leigh, Anne Baxter, Loretta Young, Margaret Sullavan, and Joan Fontaine
  • Hitchcock on Rebecca, excerpts from his conversations with François Truffaut
  • Phone interviews with stars Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson from 1986
  • Hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos chronicling the film’s production from location scouting, set photos, and wardrobe continuity to ads, posters, and promotional memorabilia
  • Production correspondence and casting notes
  • Deleted scene script excerpts
  • 1939 test screening questionnaire
  • Essay on Rebecca author Daphne du Maurier
  • Footage from the 1940 13th Annual Academy Awards™ ceremony
  • Re-issue trailer
  • Three hours of complete radio show adaptations:
    -1938 Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre broadcast, including an interview with Daphne du Maurier
    -1941 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast starring Ronald Colman and Ida Lupino, including an interview with David O. Selznick
    -1950 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast starring Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh
  • 22-page booklet, including liner notes by Robin Wood, author of Hitchcock’s Films and Hitchcock’s Films Revisited, and George Turner’s essay “Du Maurier + Selznick + Hitchcock = Rebecca”
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired


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#10 of 89 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 17 2001 - 02:00 AM

If you guys don't stop posting these positive reviews, I am liable to replace my CAV Criterion laserdisc of Notorious, which I decided I would not do for economic reasons. Are you trying to drive me to financial ruin! I think I can still resist as long as I pick up "The Lady Eve" and "The Ruling Class" to feed my habit over the next few weeks.

Regards,

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#11 of 89 OFFLINE   William DAnnucci

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:04 AM

Just got this one last night. Gorgeous picture. Ingrid Bergman looks like she was filmed last week. I love how the credits are window boxed and then the image gently changes to full-screen as the movie begins.

What I have seen of the extras are fantastic. I am a long-time fan of old radio shows, so the Lux Radio Theater adaption is a real treat. I like the fact that there are two seperate commentary tracks, as I prefer Belmer to Keane.

I also have been hesitant to replace some of my Criterion laserdisc sets, particulaly Brazil. I never owned the Criterion laser Notorious, but I think this is one of the best Criterion DVDs I have ever seen.

And what a great movie! Who cares about Phantom Menace? This is the release of the week!

#12 of 89 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted October 17 2001 - 04:08 AM

Can somebody compare this transfer to the previous DVD from Anchor Bay (which I thought was very watchable)?? I was really trying to avoid upgrading these, but...

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#13 of 89 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:31 AM

Craig, I would think that Mr. Harris's initial post should be answer enough. In matters such as these, his opinion is as good as fact. Ergo, get the Criterion disc.

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#14 of 89 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

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Posted October 17 2001 - 08:49 AM

More Criterion titles to add to my collection. Thanks for all the reviews. Posted Image

~Edwin

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#15 of 89 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 17 2001 - 09:27 AM

Quote:
In matters such as these, his opinion is as good as fact. Ergo, get the Criterion disc.
Unfortunately, this does not address Craig's question since Mr. Harris did not weigh in one way or the other on the Anchor Bay release.

Regards,

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#16 of 89 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted October 17 2001 - 09:31 AM

Glad to hear the good news, not that I'm terribly surprised by it. I think it is probably safe to wager that the Criterion discs will be better than the Anchor Bay discs, though from what I've heard those are not bad.

I guess it's a matter of weighing how important the film is to you vs. the prices. It's Hitchcock, so to me that's a no-brainer. I almost bought the Anchor Bay discs a while back, but fortunately heard about the Criterion releases in the nick of time. Having recently replaced an as yet unwatched copy of the Universal Spartacus DVD, I'm glad I didn't have to do that again!

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#17 of 89 OFFLINE   Jason Hughes

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Posted October 17 2001 - 09:39 AM

Isnt Spellbound supposed to be on the way from Criterion?

I can't imagine they will do the Paradine Case, but I would like to know as I intend to otherwise pick up the AB version.
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#18 of 89 OFFLINE   Wes Ray

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Posted October 17 2001 - 11:56 AM

*in a Homer Simpson-esque voice*

Mmmmmmmm...Criterion Hitchcock...

Can't wait to pick up Notorious and Rebecca. I too would like to know when they'll announce Spellbound. Hopefully next year. Posted Image

#19 of 89 ONLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted October 17 2001 - 12:05 PM

This is great news. However, I am in fear of the "Criterion is too expensive" posts that I'm sure we're going to get in a few days.

Oh well, I'll vote with my dollars, and here they are going to Criterion...again! Posted Image Posted Image

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#20 of 89 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted October 17 2001 - 03:34 PM

Anchor Bay's release of Notorious was derived from an older
transfer which was perfectly serviceable.

Criterion's transfer is derived from a total restoration which the film needed. Disney's Scott MacQueen brought together all of the extant original elements and mixed and matched between them, coming up with something that is very special.

Comparing the two transfers one will immediately be aware of the increased resolution, gray scale, depth of shadows and true blacks.

One of the things that becomes more obvious in the new release is the optical in the opening scene of the film in which "doors" are placed on either side of the frame to block photographed action, which gave away information too early.
For the first time, it looks like an optical.

If one is looking at the two releases simply for story content, either will do nicely. As art and as a proper representation of the film, I personally would wish to have Mr. MacQueen's work in my library.

Whether one replaces the Anchor Bay release with the Criterion would be a matter of personal import. Since the AB release would have residual value on Ebay or other resale sites, and since there are people who simply wish to own the film without the extras, It becomes a worthy trade-in, giving someone else to own Notorious at a reduced price.

For those who do not own the AB, it would seemingly be a no brainer, as this betters the Criterion laserdisc at a portion of the price.

RAH

[Edited last by Robert Harris on October 17, 2001 at 10:38 PM]

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence