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On the Waterfront - My 2 cents

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   DevinM



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Posted October 23 2001 - 05:09 PM

I just finished watching Columbia/Tristar's above average dvd and seeing as I haven't seen one review appear on the web yet, I figure I'll toss out my views. It goes without saying that the film is a classic, featuring excellent performances by all the principle cast, notably a young Marlon Brando. More classic lines and scenes than I can count. A definite must-see, regardless of the format. Now as for the DVD... The video quality was average at best. While a number of scenes were perfectly crisp and clear, an even greater number exhibited specks, lines, bright spots, grain, you name it. The grain caused what I believe is called a "shimmering effect", where portions of the screen would "dance" and vary in brightness. Many other scenes exhibited poor detail and greyscale definition. Edge enhancement was prevalent. By far not the worst transfer I've ever seen, but not the best either. The audio thankfully was miles ahead of the video. The dialogue came through clearly and at no point did I notice any excessive distortion or hiss. The Leonard Bernstein score came through perky and clean when it kicked in. I managed to take a quick glimpse at the extras...first is a commentary with a Kazan biographer. I haven't listened but at least a commentary is present. Next up is a short "exclusive featurette" with a number of people discussing the famous "contender" scene. Finally is an interview with Elia Kazan, the film's director. Overall a very decent dvd, and a phenominal film. If you find a good deal on this one I say go for it, but dont expect a Citizen Kane level presentation. Film - 10/10 Video - 7/10 Audio - 9/10

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Derek J

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Posted October 24 2001 - 09:28 AM

I'm a huge Brando fan and I am so happy that this DVD is finally out. You are right, this is an incredible film with so many memorable scenes and great lines. I think this film, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Godfather feature three of Brando's greatest performances. Does the DVD contain any extras that are worth mentioning? Also since the picture quality needs some work do you think they might release another version of this film? If so then I'm waiting. That really pisses me off. I wish the studios would release just one version of each film and do a good job the first time instead of re-releasing all these "special editions".

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 24 2001 - 09:37 AM

Hope it's not presumptuous of me to answer, but here goes:


If so then I'm waiting. That really pisses me off. I wish the studios would release just one version of each film and do a good job the first time instead of re-releasing all these "special editions".


The studios have to balance costs. They may have considered a full restoration of the film and decided it was too expensive for the returns they might get. Yes, Waterfront is a prestigious title, but money makes the world go round, and they won't drop millions to reinvigorate something that won't reclaim the money. For the record, Waterfront COULD use some work, but the result was still perfectly acceptable for its age...

Colin Jacobson
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#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 09 2001 - 12:35 PM

I thought the video presentation of "On the Waterfront" was pretty damn good especially if you compare it to the recent dvd release of "From Here to Eternity". Sure, there are a few grainy scenes and some specks but overall, I thought the dvd look very good. As far as the extras, the featurette which talked about the famous "contender" scene was excellent which gave me some insight into how that particular scene played out. I am still in the process of watching the dvd again with the audio commentary of film critic Richard Schickel and Elia Kazan biographer Jeff Young. Overall, I'm very satisfied with Columbia's dvd release of this great film. Crawdaddy ------------------ Peter Staddon: "I didn't say you can put 'Monkeybone' back!"



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#5 of 8 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti



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Posted January 14 2006 - 02:37 PM

I can't believe that it's 2006 and we still don't have proper Special Editions of any of the Sony Brando films.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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Posted January 14 2006 - 03:02 PM


I thought the video presentation of "On the Waterfront" was pretty damn good especially if you compare it to the recent dvd release of "From Here to Eternity".


i would agree. thought the disc looked and sounded more than acceptable.

the film itself was a disappointment for me.

Brando displayed a lot of magnetism but the film/story played as very stilted to me- especially with the priest always rushing up conviently just as the conflict had passed. almost as if he was waiting in the wings until it was safe to enter the scene- which i felt compromised his role as the films conscience or voice of reason.

or maybe i was misinterpreting it. maybe the priest was supposed to be interpreted as being full of air and ineffectual, with his values being worthless to this particular community. maybe the film was being subversive in a way i didn't realize.

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted January 14 2006 - 04:46 PM

Wrong thread. Sorry.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Ryan L. Bisasky

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Posted January 14 2006 - 09:33 PM

a restored widescreen version of the film airs on tcm often. i personally think the framing is better on the ws version, and the print is alot better as well.
Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of...

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