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The Graduate (40th anniv. edition) - any reviews ?


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46 replies to this topic

#1 of 47 Deepak Shenoy

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Posted August 29 2007 - 11:37 AM

I have the original Polygram release that is non-anamorphic and has a totally washed out transfer. I believe that MGM has repackaged this quite a few times without any improvement to the picture quality.

Now that they are releasing a 40th anniversary edition, I was wondering if anyone has managed to get their hands on an early copy. I would be curious to hear if the new edition does have an improved anamorphic transfer. This movie happens to be among my all-time favorites and not many here would dispute it's inclusion on any list of all-time great movies. And so there is simply no excuse for it to be available only in a sub-par transfer 10 years after the introduction of the DVD format.

-D

#2 of 47 Colin Jacobson

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Posted August 29 2007 - 02:06 PM

MGM titles like this seem to come to us reviewers pretty close to street - or even after, which is what happened with my Robocop. I'd love to see it soon, but I'm not counting on it until street...
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#3 of 47 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted August 30 2007 - 12:10 PM

I should have my copy on monday, possible even saturday, along with From Beyond, Tales from the Crypt / Vault of Horror, Witchfinder General, hopefully. I find The Graduate to be a fascinating and entertaining film; I love the style of it and am greatly looking forward to hearing the Nichols-Soderbergh commentary.

#4 of 47 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted September 01 2007 - 06:36 AM

For your reference: DVD Beaver comparison of old R1 vs. R2 UK

The new R1 2-disc has a transfer superior to the R2. The color timing on the new R1 is more in line with the R2, but the colors are more defined on the new R1 and it is now evident that the R2 has massive cropping to the right-side of the image. Detail is superior on the new R1. When Gary Tooze adds the new R1 to the comparison above, you'll see what I'm talking about.

The 5.1 mix is great, with the S&G tunes perfectly balanced in the mix.

I haven't looked at the extras yet.

#5 of 47 Deepak Shenoy

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Posted September 01 2007 - 09:43 AM

Thanks Gordon ! I am glad to hear that The Graduate has finally been treated right even if it took them over 10 years to put out a decent edition of this classic. I can't wait to see the Beaver comparison but based on your feedback alone I feel it's safe to pre-order this title (wasn't going to do it blindly because there have been multiple releases of this title before with the same crappy old transfer).

-D

#6 of 47 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted September 01 2007 - 10:25 AM

I was initially shocked by the packaging, as it merely states, "Widescreen 2.35:1" with no mention of anamorphic or 16:9, yet the transfer is, most assuredly, anamorphic. Fox often do this and I never get used to it, and seeing as the old MGM was non-anamorphic, I was doubly worried.

I get great pleasure out of The Graduate. I feel that it is a masterpiece of set design, cinematography (the great Robert Surtees), sound design/music-image marriage and editing (the brilliant Sam O'Steen). But all at the service of a wonderful and enligtening story with wonderful characters that are deftly presented by the actors. It has that feeling of being a "Total Film", as I signify certain films, in that everything works and it is interesting and entertaining. It must have had an incredible impact on many people back in 1967 and still feels fresh, to me, unlike most films of the 'set in the present day' films of the 1967-1970 period, where more films seem dated than some of those of the 1920s to me.

#7 of 47 ScottR

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Posted September 01 2007 - 02:27 PM

Does it have a logo for Embassy?

#8 of 47 CraigF

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Posted September 01 2007 - 03:20 PM

Great news!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
It must have had an incredible impact on many people back in 1967 and still feels fresh, to me, unlike most films of the 'set in the present day' films of the 1967-1970 period, where more films seem dated than some of those of the 1920s to me.

Totally agree, except I'd extend it to anything from the 60s just about. Sure I can think of lots of exceptions, but somehow the majority seem so quaint and self-indulgent, too much show and posturing and little substance (kinda like how special effects have become nowadays). Oh well, it's probably largely because that's how it really was, in retrospect. And of course because I lived through it, though young, but I can recognise it better than I can the older stuff.

#9 of 47 Garysb

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Posted September 01 2007 - 04:27 PM

Can you imagine this film if Doris Day had accepted the roll of Mrs. Robinson ?
I think she could have pulled it off. Robert Redford was correct in turning down the role of Ben as who would believe him as a 22 virgin in 1967? In later interviews that was his reason for rejecting the part.

#10 of 47 oscar_merkx

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Posted September 02 2007 - 09:59 PM

that would have been interesting casting indeed.

Dustin Hoffman really nailed the part imo
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#11 of 47 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted September 03 2007 - 10:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR
Does it have a logo for Embassy?

Yes. It's a beautiful logo, isn't it - austere and with no signature tune. Leo the lion precedes it, though. A shame that the blue (2001: ASO) Leo logo wasn't used. I don't like the roaring Leo and the Fox Fanfare can sometimes be crass.

#12 of 47 Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted September 03 2007 - 06:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon McMurphy
Yes. It's a beautiful logo, isn't it - austere and with no signature tune. Leo the lion precedes it, though. A shame that the blue (2001: ASO) Leo logo wasn't used. I don't like the roaring Leo and the Fox Fanfare can sometimes be crass.

Eh, it could be worse. Since Canal+ owns THE GRADUATE and licensed it out to MGM, it could have opened with one of the crazed StudioCanal logos ("night and jungle" or "blue sky and cuckoos"), which I happen to personally enjoy but would really blow the austere mood you're speaking of.
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#13 of 47 Marty M

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Posted September 05 2007 - 05:07 AM

I can't believe I missed the announcement of this. I have been waiting for a decent DVD of this movie ever since I got my first DVD player in 1998. This is my #1 favorite movie. I first saw The Graduate in 1968, and saw it 6 or 7 times within six months. This movie really "spoke" to me when I was a freshman in college.

I am happy to see that they are putting together a much deserved quality DVD for this movie. I hope that this will be an anamorphic version, as well.
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#14 of 47 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted September 05 2007 - 08:50 AM

DVD Beaver review comparison. See how the darker scenes are now timed accurately? And look at the cropping on the previous transfers! Ouch. Massive kudos to MGM.

#15 of 47 Deepak Shenoy

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Posted September 05 2007 - 02:26 PM

Definitely looks like it is worth a double-dip. With the re-release of Taxi Driver, this and Deliverance next week, Chinatown in November, Godfather I & II, Bonnie & Clyde and Cool Hand Luke in the pipeline, I can finally say that all the films I consider essential from the late 60s and 70s are available in decent presentations.

-D

#16 of 47 captainjoe

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Posted September 06 2007 - 09:55 AM

Anyone else click on the link provided and the link at DVDbeaver and get a review of the old R1 and R2???

#17 of 47 Mike Frezon

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Posted September 06 2007 - 03:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainjoe
Anyone else click on the link provided and the link at DVDbeaver and get a review of the old R1 and R2???

If you mean Gordon's link which he included in Post #14...nope. DVD Beaver had shots from the 40th Anniversary Edition compared with the old R1 and the R2 (PAL).

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#18 of 47 Marty M

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Posted September 07 2007 - 05:50 AM

The original link, as provided in Post #4, only showed a comparison of R1 and R2 images. The site has been updated in the last couple of days to also included the new 40th Anniversary edition
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#19 of 47 Johnny Jr.

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Posted September 07 2007 - 10:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garysb
Can you imagine this film if Doris Day had accepted the roll of Mrs. Robinson ?
I think she could have pulled it off. Robert Redford was correct in turning down the role of Ben as who would believe him as a 22 virgin in 1967? In later interviews that was his reason for rejecting the part.

I honestly can't imagine anyone other than Dustin Hoffman playing the roll. That is a credit to his performance and his skill as an actor.
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#20 of 47 CraigF

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Posted September 08 2007 - 12:48 PM

The new R1 looks way better than the previous, but just being anamorphic almost guaranteed that. I'm having a bit of trouble getting over how dark it is though. I have no idea if this is right, but agree it's better than what we had before. Anybody with an exceptional film memory remember how the projected image looked?


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