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Classics on HD and BD


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#1 of 83 Danny_N

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Posted November 20 2007 - 06:22 AM

I'm a big classic movies fan. 95% of my 900+ DVD collection consists of movies made before 1980 and my HD optical collection is almost exlusively made up of classics. Since I don't think I'm unique in this I thought it might be handy for my fellow classic movie lovers to compile a list of classics that are available and announced on both formats. Especially since both formats currently concentrate on releasing modern action oriented movies and classic movies tend to get snowed under, at least in my perception.

Btw, a lot of people entertain the perception that old movies do not really benefit from the HD treatment. I can reassure all people who think that; I've yet to see a HD or BD release that was not significantly better than its SD counterpart in picture and sound quality. Seeing these old movies in HD is like seeing them for the first time.

So here is what's available and announced as far as I know. If I missed something let me know and I'll add it. (The 1980 cut off date is disputable but you have to end somewhere).

HD=HD-DVD, BD=Blu-Ray

2001 A Space Odyssey (HD & BD)
3 Days Of The Condor (HD Europe, forced subs)
Les 400 Coups (HD & BD France, no English subs)
Abba The Movie (HD & BD UK)
The Adventures Of Robin Hood (HD)
Army In The Shadows (HD Europe)
Battle Of The Bulge (HD & BD)
Blazing Saddles (HD & BD)
Bullit (HD & BD)
Caddyshack (HD)
Casablanca (HD)
Capricorn One (BD Europe, region free)
A Clockwork Orange (HD & BD)
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (BD, region free)
The Cowboys (HD & BD)
Dawn Of The Dead (BD, region free)
The Deer Hunter (HD)
Deliverance (HD & BD)
The Dirty Dozen (HD & BD)
Dog Day Afternoon (HD & BD)
The Eagle Has Landed (BD Europe, region free)
Enter The Dragon (HD & BD)
The Fog (HD Europe)
Forbidden Planet (HD)
Les Gendarmes Boxset (HD France, no English subs)
The Getaway (HD & BD)
The Graduate (HD Europe)
Grand Prix (HD)
Halloween (BD, region free)
Jailhouse Rock (HD & BD)
King Kong (1976, HD Europe)
The Last Waltz (BD, region free)
Mutiny On The Bounty (HD)
National Lampoon's Animal House (HD)
The Omega Man (HD & BD)
Rio Bravo (HD & BD)
Rocky (BD)
The Searchers (HD & BD)
Serpico (HD Europe, forced subs)
The Shining (HD & BD)
Spartacus (HD)
Star Trek TOS Season 1 (HD)
The Sting (HD)
Superman: The Movie (HD & BD)
Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut (HD & BD)
Viva Las vegas (HD & BD)
The Warriors (HD & BD)
The Wild Bunch (HD & BD)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (HD)

Announced:

The Sevent Seal (Dec 3, BD apparently going to be region free)
Life Of Brian (Dec 3, BD Europe, US to follow in January)
20 Million Miles To Earth (Dec 4, BD region ???)
For A Few Dollars More (Dec 5, HD Italy, only Italian audio and subs)
My Name Is Nobody (Dec 5, HD Italy, only Italian audio and subs)
Jimi Hendrix Live At Monterrey (Dec 10, HD UK)
That's Entertainment (Dec 18, HD & BD)
Les Avonturiers 40th Anniversary Edition (Dec 21, HD Japan, no English subs?)
Sonny Chiba Double Feature incl The Killing Machine and Shogun's Ninja (Jan 8, BD region ???)
Sister Street Fighter Double Feature (Jan 8, BD region ???)
Road To Bali/Road To Rio (Jan 8, HD)
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (Jan 18, BD announced in Japan, from Fox so don't hold your breath)
Bonnie And Clyde (March 25, HD & BD)


Number of classic releases by Hollywood's majors:

Warner: 27 (+2 announced)
Universal: 4
MGM: 2
Paramount: 2 (1 tv series)
Sony/Columbia: 1 (+2 announced)
Fox: 0 (1 announced in Japan)
Disney: 0

#2 of 83 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 21 2007 - 04:45 AM

Saw a trailer/add for Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray Disc on my Ratatoulle disc the other day...
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#3 of 83 Ken Koc

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Posted November 21 2007 - 05:19 AM

I cant agree more....I'm sure there are many people (with discretionary income) that are waiting precisely for classic catalog films in HD. Apparently the studios think that HD is for the young who are CGI addicts and like to watch AEON FLUX over and over again!
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#4 of 83 OliverK

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Posted November 21 2007 - 06:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Koc
I cant agree more....I'm sure there are many people (with discretionary income) that are waiting precisely for classic catalog films in HD. Apparently the studios think that HD is for the young who are CGI addicts and like to watch AEON FLUX over and over again!

I am not so sure there is that much interest by the average HT enthusiast either.

I asked a question regarding lists of released and announced titles with info about the production year as I wanted to filter those for older movies and got no answer - on AVS that is. Not really encouraging that nobody seems to think it would be nice to keep track of older movies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet
Saw a trailer/add for Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray Disc on my Ratatoulle disc the other day...

Wow Dave, that would be something Posted Image
How did it look ?

Oliver

#5 of 83 Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 21 2007 - 06:51 AM

Sleeping Beauty looked great, but IIRC it had a Fall 2008 release date.
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#6 of 83 OliverK

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Posted November 21 2007 - 06:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Silverman
Sleeping Beauty looked great, but IIRC it had a Fall 2008 release date.

Damn - talk about a teaser !

#7 of 83 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 21 2007 - 06:56 AM

Actually, I wasn't all that impressed with the SB trailer. Lots of "strobbing" of hte image fading from light/dark. Also pretty soft compared to what I'd expect a large-format negative to have delivered.

I hope that the wizards as LDI (DTS digital images) haven't lost all the detail in their "restoration" process. And of course, the image of the trailer could be a far-cry from the final product that's optimally mastered (as all of Disney's BDs seem to be optimally mastered thus far).

dave Posted Image
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#8 of 83 Marc Colella

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Posted November 21 2007 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny_N
Btw, a lot of people entertain the perception that old movies do not really benefit from the HD treatment.

Many people I've talked to have that same idea. In fact, I've been told by numerous people that movies from the 90's wouldn't benefit from HD (one person even stated only movies made in the last couple years would benefit).

Sadly, I think classic film fans will get shortchanged when it comes to HD releases. It gets exponentially worse for fans of classic foreign films (where's my Bergman, Fellini, Fassbinder, Truffaut, Godard, Tarkovsky, etc?).

#9 of 83 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 21 2007 - 09:19 AM

I think that the Fox musicals will help change that impression. The restored prints of Sound of Music, Hello Dolly (70mm is fantastic, the DVD looks like shit next to the colors and clarity of this print), Fiddler (Ok, that's MGM), King and I, and even Singing in the Rain (Warner) look STUNNING in HD.
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#10 of 83 Dave Moritz

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Posted November 21 2007 - 12:02 PM

I would like to see the following classic movies in high definition.
  • Sound Of Music
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (OTR)
  • Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (OTR)
  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Godfather
  • Patton
  • My Fair Lady
  • Lawrence Of Arabia
  • Ben Hur
  • Hamlet
  • The French Connection
  • Jaws
  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark ( I know this movie came out in 1981) Posted Image
  • Grease
  • American Graffiti
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Kramer Vs Kramer
  • Mary Poppins
  • Airport
  • Lady And The Tramp
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Aliens
  • Mash
  • Fiddler On The Roof
  • Earthquake
  • Apocalypse Now
  • 10
  • Coal Miner's Daughter
  • Thunderball
  • Moonraker
  • For Your Eyes Only ( I know this movie came out in 1981) Posted Image
  • The Omen (1976)
  • King Kong (1976)
  • Goldfinger
  • Oh God
  • The Deep

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#11 of 83 Paul_Scott

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Posted November 21 2007 - 02:47 PM

Quote:
I think that the Fox musicals will help change that impression. The restored prints of Sound of Music, Hello Dolly (70mm is fantastic, the DVD looks like shit next to the colors and clarity of this print), Fiddler (Ok, that's MGM), King and I, and even Singing in the Rain (Warner) look STUNNING in HD.

I would love to get the R&H musicals on Bd. Given the priority that Fox places on catalog releases, I believe we will see these in Q2 and Q4 of 2018...but they'll get announced in the next two years of course Posted Image

It is sad because Fox has been pretty good in the last couple years about kicking out good editions of their classic Cinemascope product. A Lot of which I never expected to see.

I'm hoping that with more inexpensive HDDVD players out in peoples homes now, that Warner will put out more day and date catlog HD titles next year.
I'm hoping for How The West Was Won, Raintree County, Far From The Madding Crowd at the very least. Plus we know they have Wizard of Oz ready to go, and likely Singin' In The Rain too.

Rumour is that Godfather will make it out in the summer.

And Dave, King Kong ('76) looks sensational. It is still one of my favorite releases so far.

#12 of 83 MatthewA

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Posted November 21 2007 - 03:55 PM

I concur with the call for more classics. Even the HDNet Movies masters of many vintage titles look stunning, in spite of the digital cable compression.

Quote:
I would love to get the R&H musicals on Bd. Given the priority that Fox places on catalog releases, I believe we will see these in Q2 and Q4 of 2018...but they'll get announced in the next two years of course

I second the motion. Next year is the 65th anniversary of their first collaboration, and thus the timing would work. Although I don't mind waiting until they put a priority on better-quality telecine of 65mm films. A lot of large-format films seem to be soft in their film-to-video transfers, yet the opposite ought to be the case. Hopefully the upcoming Sleeping Beauty BD will not have that problem, or with the color-fiddling that Disney has, regrettably, grown fond of.

And I'd also like to see more 4k Ultra-Resolution scans of Technicolor films; hopefully Warner will license the process to other studios. Fringing artifacts are painful to look at in SD; they will be unbearable in HD.

Enough is enough, Disney. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray.

 

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#13 of 83 Jim_K

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Posted November 22 2007 - 02:23 AM

With the exception of Warner (who throws out a few classic "bones" here and there) most of these studio's are a greedy shortsighted bunch.

I'm afraid we're in a catch 22 with classic films:

We have studios reluctant to release classic films on these HDM formats until more of that demographic jumps on board and they can make more $$$ off of them, then you have that classic film demographic reluctant to jump on board until there's a better selection of classic titles.

I just don't see anything changing until more of these studio's think about long term growth vs. making a quick buck.
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#14 of 83 RolandL

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Posted November 23 2007 - 04:46 AM

I have the SD and Blu-ray versions of The Battle of The Bulge. It was filmed in 70mm Ultra Panavision. Very little difference between the two in PQ. The Blu-ray is a tiny bit sharper - but you really have to look for it to see the difference. I'm watching them on a 120 inch screen with my Sanyo Z4 720p projector. I hope other titles filmed in 70mm will look better in HD.

Roland Lataille
Cinerama web site

 


#15 of 83 Runar_R

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Posted November 23 2007 - 09:09 AM

The coolest thing in my HD DVD collection is "Adventures of Robin Hood". That disc just put a huge grin on my face

To add to your list; "400 blows" is released on HD DVD in France. Unfortunatly with no english subtitles
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#16 of 83 Danny_N

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Posted November 24 2007 - 02:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandL
I have the SD and Blu-ray versions of The Battle of The Bulge. It was filmed in 70mm Ultra Panavision. Very little difference between the two in PQ. The Blu-ray is a tiny bit sharper - but you really have to look for it to see the difference. I'm watching them on a 120 inch screen with my Sanyo Z4 720p projector. I hope other titles filmed in 70mm will look better in HD.

I have to disagree. The SD looks ok upscaled to 1080p, even on a big screen but compared to the BD, the difference is night and day, to my eyes at least. The BD has much more fine detail and much less distracting digital artifacts.

Added to the list:

King Kong (1976)
The Warriors
Les 400 Coups
Les Gendarmes
Les Avonturiers
Abba The Movie

#17 of 83 Paul_Scott

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Posted November 24 2007 - 03:21 AM

So has anyone seen a review for the Seventh Seal Bd?
I finally, after owning it for about 3 years and never feeling a desire to see it, pulled out my copy of the Criterion disc and watched it.
I've seen the film several times before, and even owned the Criterion LD (still do probably)- but this last time was the first time I remember completely enjoying the film as a movie watching experience- rather than enjoying the satisfaction of consuming it as part of some cinemaphile sense of duty.

Last week I was questioning why I felt I needed to still own it- and a week later I would love to upgrade it.

I'm also very curious to see how well this does on the format. Will this be a bell weather for more (or even less) classics on Blu-ray in the year ahead?

And has anyone heard anything more about Bridge On The River Kwai or Guns Of Navarone or The Professionals? Sony still has a few things besides Lawrence Of Arabia they can kick out to keep movie buffs happy in the meantime.

#18 of 83 RolandL

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Posted November 26 2007 - 12:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny_N
I have to disagree. The SD looks ok upscaled to 1080p, even on a big screen but compared to the BD, the difference is night and day, to my eyes at least. The BD has much more fine detail and much less distracting digital artifacts.

Maybe my projector does a great job of upscaling to 720p? I don't know what it is but, they look the same. The projector does show a 720p input on the BD and 480p on the SD.

Roland Lataille
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#19 of 83 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 26 2007 - 12:36 PM

And of course you're not seeing the full 1080p resolution of the Blu-ray Disc version.
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#20 of 83 Shane Martin

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Posted November 26 2007 - 01:22 PM

Quote:
Btw, a lot of people entertain the perception that old movies do not really benefit from the HD treatment.
A perception based on ignorance. The best looking films in my collection are the classics. I can fire up Grand Prix and get grins the size of the moon from people Posted Image
Quote:
We have studios reluctant to release classic films on these HDM formats until more of that demographic jumps on board and they can make more $$$ off of them, then you have that classic film demographic reluctant to jump on board until there's a better selection of classic titles.
This is why 1 format is important. 2 formats are what's keeping Criterion off the board. That's a bunch of classic titles like Armageddon that aren't getting put on HDM Posted Image

In all seriousness, they have a ton of films that would easily benefit from HD.


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