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Taras Bulba and Kings of the Sun


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#1 of 16 McHugh

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Posted March 26 2008 - 09:50 AM

I picked up Taras Bulba and Kings of the Sun yesterday. On the back of the cases, it says "Widescreen 2.35:1" but there is no mention of either being anamorphic widescreen so I have not yet opened them. I noticed that there are a couple of threads about these two movies but no one has indicated if they are indeed anamorphic widescreen. If anyone have viewed these two please let me know if they are anamorphic. Thanks.

#2 of 16 Ken Koc

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Posted March 26 2008 - 09:59 AM

They are both anamorphic as well as Solomon and Sheba.
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#3 of 16 Terry Hickey

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Posted March 27 2008 - 03:19 PM

I finally received both of them today and just finished watching "Kings of the Sun". It is anamorphic and lately Fox has dropped the ball on letting you know if it is and since they distribute MGM titles (which this is one of them), it's hard to tell if they are 16X9 enhanced. They used to tell if their releases were anamorphic or not, now they just state the aspect ratio only. I wish they would let you know if it is or isn't anamorphic enhanced. The movie was pretty good, a few print damages, but not distracting. Made me feel like I was back in the old cinema when it first came out. Will be watching "Taras Bulba" later on this week. Now if "Atlantis the Lost Continent" would show up on dvd,
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#4 of 16 R-T-C Tim

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Posted October 18 2008 - 07:22 AM

Just a note - these are coming out on Monday in the UK with seemingly identical prints. Both films are recommend to fans of the 1960s epics, or Yul Brynner but neither are the genre's best titles.

Taras Bulba (1962) and Kings of the Sun (1963) reviewed.
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#5 of 16 Robin9

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Posted October 18 2008 - 09:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by R-T-C Tim
Both films are recommend to fans of the 1960s epics, or Yul Brynner but neither are the genre's best titles.
That's putting it mildly!

#6 of 16 Richard--W

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Posted October 18 2008 - 11:26 AM

Solomon and Sheba, Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba may not be the best historical epics ever made but they are more than respectable and quite solid entertainment. I enjoyed the DVDs very much and recommend them to everyone. They remind me why Yul Brynner was once such a big star; he's an actor who is always interesting to watch. I wish more historical films about esoteric subjects were being made today. Epcs need some scale, but not too much, and the size of these three films is just about right.

#7 of 16 Robert Crawford

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Posted October 18 2008 - 11:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin9
That's putting it mildly!
To each his own. One of my favorite Byrnner films is "Taras Bulba".






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#8 of 16 Brian Sharp

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Posted October 18 2008 - 07:55 PM

Is the US version of Taras Bulba in mono or stereo? The link to the UK version gives mono only.

#9 of 16 R-T-C Tim

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Posted October 19 2008 - 04:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sharp
Is the US version of Taras Bulba in mono or stereo? The link to the UK version gives mono only.

Correction, both the UK discs are actually in stereo - I have updated the review.
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#10 of 16 Neal K

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Posted October 19 2008 - 03:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by R-T-C Tim
Just a note - these are coming out on Monday in the UK with seemingly identical prints. Both films are recommend to fans of the 1960s epics, or Yul Brynner but neither are the genre's best titles.

Taras Bulba (1962) and Kings of the Sun (1963) reviewed.

Ah, but Franz Waxman's score for "Taras Bulba" IS one of the best scores for the genre, Waxman and the movies in general! The stereo sound is quite good, and I think it would be a shame to miss out on it because of the film itself, which in any case is very much elevated by the score!

#11 of 16 Richard--W

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Posted October 19 2008 - 06:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by R-T-C Tim
Both films are recommend to fans of the 1960s epics, or Yul Brynner but neither are the genre's best titles.

Taras Bulba (1962) and Kings of the Sun (1963) reviewed.

I enjoy your reviews, but I don't understand the basis on which you judge Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba for not being the genre's best titles. Your criticism reminds of that leveled against Franklyn J. Schaeffner's The War Lord (1965). People criticize it for not being a bigger epic and not having more action. It's an historical drama with sufficient scale and sufficient action for an historical drama, but the point is, it's not an epic, and isn't intended to be an epic.

Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba are historical dramas per se, not epics, although a certain epic scale is part of what an historical drama offers. Perhaps we expect a much bigger scale, a faster pace and constant non-stop action today than we did in the early 1960s when these historical dramas were made. The operative word here is "drama" which I apply as a virtue. Frankly, I can't see how these historical dramas can be faulted. Although not documentaries, they make intelligent use of history with a line-item attention to period detail in costume, prop and make-up. The pictorial value is as good as more expensive epics, just on a smaller scale. The scale may not be as big as Ben Hur or Spartacus or Lawrence of Arabia, but it's plenty big enough for the purpose, and the writing of both films is more than fine.

Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba are excellent historical dramas because they offer layered characters, solid adventure plotting, good action when its called for, pictorial value, and affecting performances.

#12 of 16 Billy Batson

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Posted October 20 2008 - 01:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard--W
I enjoy your reviews, but I don't understand the basis on which you judge Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba for not being the genre's best titles. Your criticism reminds of that leveled against Franklyn J. Schaeffner's The War Lord (1965). People criticize it for not being a bigger epic and not having more action. It's an historical drama with sufficient scale and sufficient action for an historical drama, but the point is, it's not an epic, and isn't intended to be an epic.

Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba are historical dramas per se, not epics, although a certain epic scale is part of what an historical drama offers. Perhaps we expect a much bigger scale, a faster pace and constant non-stop action today than we did in the early 1960s when these historical dramas were made. The operative word here is "drama" which I apply as a virtue. Frankly, I can't see how these historical dramas can be faulted. Although not documentaries, they make intelligent use of history with a line-item attention to period detail in costume, prop and make-up. The pictorial value is as good as more expensive epics, just on a smaller scale. The scale may not be as big as Ben Hur or Spartacus or Lawrence of Arabia, but it's plenty big enough for the purpose, and the writing of both films is more than fine.

Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba are excellent historical dramas because they offer layered characters, solid adventure plotting, good action when its called for, pictorial value, and affecting performances.

There were a lot of epics released at this time, & a lot of historical dramas were sold as epics (just look at the great film posters). I saw these films at the time along with, The Long Ships, The War Lord ect. & loved them all. Any historical film with a battle scene was an epic to me. I'm going to buy these & be 12 years old again!

#13 of 16 Bob Cashill

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Posted October 20 2008 - 01:48 AM

"When I want to punish my kids, I make them watch THE LONG SHIPS."

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#14 of 16 Robert Crawford

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Posted October 20 2008 - 02:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cashill
"When I want to punish my kids, I make them watch THE LONG SHIPS."

Star Richard Widmark (not a fan Posted Image)
Don't forget Sidney Poitier.Posted Image I actually watched that film in a movie theater about 45 years ago. Liked it better then compared to how I feel about it today.

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#15 of 16 Billy Batson

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Posted October 20 2008 - 03:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cashill
"When I want to punish my kids, I make them watch THE LONG SHIPS."

Star Richard Widmark (not a fan Posted Image)

Richard Widmark had a wretched time on that film. Sidney Poitier sacked his agent after that film. As a 13 year old I loved it, I can still enjoy it now if I'm in the right mood, but it is a guilty pleasure!

#16 of 16 David_B_K

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Posted October 20 2008 - 06:25 AM

I only saw The Long Ships once, a long time ago, and did not care for it. But, I seem to remember it had a pretty nice music score.


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