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A few words about...™ Gone with the Wind -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#21 of 117 OFFLINE   mediagy

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Posted November 16 2009 - 04:49 AM

Paul....many thanks for your comments. Yes, I did do that. As I said, eventually it turned into an astonishing image.....BUT......it still has too much copper tone for my taste.

Interestingly, in the supplements they have a variety of trailers from 1939 onward. We see the same scenes over and over again through the years and they are ALL different. In some there IS that coppery "Technicolor Tan" look...but in others the skin tones are natural and the tonal range in scenes like the "hat scene" and the "morning after the funeral sequence" is wide and looks very beautiful. In this version they are VERY dark, no matter how you set it. The last release was all golden and we were told that this was the way Selznick wanted it. Allegedly, he hated the 1947 and 1954 releases which featured a brighter and more lush type of color. Through a friend of mine who is friendly with Danny Selznick...I've heard that Danny has been VERY unhappy with WB's releases. Don't know the full story or if it has anything to do with the color.

As others, including Mr. Harris, have pointed out....we all fight memory, faulty or not. I saw the original but don't remember it (was 6 at the time) but I DID see the 1947 and subsequent releases. When I look at the trailers I see the GWTW that I loved....bright and beautiful in even the scenes with chiarascuro lighting. In those releases through much of its history the skin tones have been much more natural. So I am fighting that fact......copper/ruddy skin tones are NOT natural to me and I never have liked the idea of the overuse of that look to convey that a film is set in the past. I'm not speaking against a pastel look, such as the British often used, but gosh, if a film is set in 1862, we KNOW it is in the past. We don't need an antiquated look. I know....I know.....I'm being picky.....and foolish.....BUT......I maintain that when we see a film for the first time....its look is embedded in our brains as the "correct" look so that any subsequent variance from that will look wrong. Perhaps....if they could drain out the comic book color from WEST SIDE STORY, Sondheim and Laurents (and me...hehe) would like it better....but the comic book look will remain the "correct" look for me because that was the way it WAS. For me, SOUND OF MUSIC has yet to be done completely right. At the Rivoli in NYC it was much brighter and glowing than the most recent release which seemed to have too much of a black and white underlying image.

All of this being said.....I DO recognize that when you set the controls to your INDIVIDUAL satisfaction.....this is an ASTONISHINGLY beautiful representation. Is it MY GWTW? No! And I absolutely GUARANTEE you that the NEXT release will be DIFFERENT from this one. Every single release/restoration is different from the one before. Instead of 19 hours of extras....why not a box set with all the differing prints? Or...why not get the Chinese (who have our Technicolor equipment, from what I've read in years past) to do a print? They have a sense of color that is usually quite lovely....let's see what THEY can do with it.

But, thank you, Paul, for your kind comment. I deeply appreciate it.


#22 of 117 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 16 2009 - 05:13 AM

We did testing at the Chinese lab, which I'm told is now a strip mall. It's been shut down for years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediagy View Post

Or...why not get the Chinese (who have our Technicolor equipment, from what I've read in years past) to do a print? They have a sense of color that is usually quite lovely....let's see what THEY can do with it.


"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


#23 of 117 OFFLINE   burntbyfire

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Posted November 16 2009 - 05:48 AM

I would definitely recommend getting an ISF calibration done. I tried using calibration discs and getting accurate settings on my 50" plasma, but I was never satisfied from title to title. I was always changing the settings. Frustrated, I saved up for an ISF calibration. It may seem expensive, but it really isn't if you use your display quite often. I use mine everyday. I didn't think that I'd get much out of a calibration and thought it'd be a rip-off, until I took the leap and had one performed. Why I lived without it for so long, I don't know. Chalk it up to skepticism! But you really don't know what you are missing until it's done. Now, I rarely ever have to make adjustments and when I do they are minute adjustments. I am always satisfied with the accuracy of the color, contrast, and black level, knowing full well that whatever anomalies I see are due to the material on the blu-ray or dvd.


#24 of 117 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted November 16 2009 - 06:53 AM

Erik:

That's a very helpful post on a subject about which I've always wondered. 

Thanks!

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#25 of 117 OFFLINE   mediagy

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Posted November 16 2009 - 07:41 AM

Thanks Erik....I think I will try that.....last resort :-). I've had the set for four years and it has always been VERY lovely. Never had a problem until this release....and the Oz release. I DO think that SOME (not all) of it has to do with inherent differences between Bluray and SD. They will likely NEVER match totally correctly and I will need a set one day (Next spring? 3-D????) that allows you to store personal preferences for various settings.Thanks for the suggestion.


#26 of 117 OFFLINE   Claude S

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Posted November 16 2009 - 11:15 AM

 I am now really confused about the Target exclusive of GWTW. I belong to the Film Tech Forum and there is a discussion about the Target BD being a two disc set  instead of the a single disc  everyone is reporting here. One of the members even posted a Target ad advertising it as a two disc. To see the ad and read the discussions on "The Afterlife" forum,   go here---

    http://www.film-tech.com

-Claude

#27 of 117 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted November 16 2009 - 01:59 PM

I haven''t seen anything to indicate the Target GWTW is a 1-disc release.

Isn't the film spread out over 2-discs?  Seems like it's got to be a two-disc bare bones release.

But understand...this is pure conjecture on my part. 


Info corrected below.


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#28 of 117 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 16 2009 - 02:52 PM

The film (and commentary) are on Disc 1. All other bonus are on Disc 2.

"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


#29 of 117 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted November 16 2009 - 03:02 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Frezon 

Isn't the film spread out over 2-discs?  Seems like it's got to be a two-disc bare bones release.

 
No.  The entire film is on one disc.


#30 of 117 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted November 16 2009 - 03:18 PM

Thanks, guys.  I'll strike-out that info above. 

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


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Posted November 17 2009 - 09:42 AM

Whoa!!! I just spot checked the UCE and I can't get the smile to disappear from my face. I have never cried tears of joy over a video transfer, but I came very close...okay, I cried, when I saw this! Everything I didn't like from the last release has been corrected. One question though. The 1989 version had a couple of lines that aren't in this version. Namely, in the opening scene when Scarlett says to herself "It isn't true! It can't be true. Ashley loves me!" The first line has never been present on any home video release. The weird thing is that you can hear Vivien Leigh say it on the soundtrack but it sounds muffled out, buried way in the mix. Odd......anyway, I am over the moon!

#32 of 117 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 17 2009 - 11:29 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Scott Richard View Post

The 1989 version had a couple of lines that aren't in this version. Namely, in the opening scene when Scarlett says to herself "It isn't true! It can't be true. Ashley loves me!" The first line has never been present on any home video release. The weird thing is that you can hear Vivien Leigh say it on the soundtrack but it sounds muffled out, buried way in the mix. Odd......anyway, I am over the moon!
The 1989 sound mix had several alterations, one of which clearly indicates that the 1989 mix was wrong:  In the scene where Scarlett and Rhett are strolling with Baby Bonnie on a windy day, Mrs. Meade's off-camera line of "Good morning, Captain Butler! ... Good morning, Scarlett." went missing in the '89 mix, thus killing the humor of having a repetitive line coming in threes.  (Mrs. Merriwether and Mrs. Whiting had already uttered the same line.)

In addition, when Scarlett watches Ashley and Melanie embrace before he leaves to enlist, in 1989 she loudly said "Oh Ashley!" rather than quietly whispering it as she does in all the other mixes.  It's more effective and touching as a whisper which is probably what Selznick thought when finalizing the tracks.

And as you say, in the first scene, she says something like "It isn't true!  It can't be true!" in the '89 mix rather than simply the latter.  One can argue that saying it twice is redundant.

As you can tell from this film and several others like "Rebecca", Selznick loved to reloop dialogue, so I'm figuring that the '89 mix may have been a preliminary one pulled in error.  The mix in the current BD is the same that I heard in '67 and all subsequent re-releases as well as on all "pre-restoration" video and laserdisc releases, except that theatrical print from 1989 which never made it to home video but did run on TNT.  Thus I'm confident that the current mix is the correct one. 

And, by the way, the transfer is glorious.  I've never seen the film look as good as it does in this release.

But Eric -- you notice these things -- don't you think the overture seems ever-so-slightly clipped at the very beginning in both this transfer and the earlier one from a few years ago?  As Rhett would say, "A minor point at such a moment!" for it's altogether a feast for the eye and ear.  But I was hoping this transfer would correct that.


#33 of 117 OFFLINE   PatH

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Posted November 17 2009 - 02:27 PM

I know I'm in the wrong thread here, not having Blu-Ray (yes, I know, I'm backward, but there I am), but how does the SD version stack up against the 2004 box?  And feel free to move this if necessary, as long as someone answers.  Thanks!

PatH


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Posted November 17 2009 - 02:38 PM

Rob, good catch. RAH is probably a better person to ask about this. I do notice a slight change in the very first note of the Overture. It doesn't sound like anything is missing. The old (1998) dvd has the first note slowly fading in. It sounds as if the newer versions start it at full volume, but the newer one sounds as if there is some sort of hiccup from the "start" of the music. I'm at a loss....Ringing RAH...can you explain the sound?? Anyway, I'm still not believing this release...perfect.

#35 of 117 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted November 17 2009 - 03:05 PM

I don't want to bother Mr. Harris with anything like this since it's so minor as to be silly.  But I noticed it four years ago, I noticed it today and I thought you would too!

Enough carping.  It's perfect -- the framing, the color, the sound.  Everything is at it should be.

I remember the first time I saw the film, in its 1967 70mm roadshow run.  Everyone in that print had yellowish jaundiced skin tones.  At the time, I just figured that's what early Technicolor must have looked like.  The best-looking theatrical print I ever saw was that 1989 print with the strange soundtrack alterations.  The worst-looking prints were the 1998 dye-transfer travesties.  I saw it three times trying to find a good print.  Most prints were blurry and out of registration and all three were framed incorrectly so that one saw ugly stains at the top of any shot containing matte work and one print even revealed positively that the wobbly post on the Wilkes' front porch actually wasn't attched to the roof!  To this day, I go to that shot to make sure it's framed properly.

But back to this Blu-Ray:  I'm delighted.  It's as close to perfection as one could hope for.  I never dreamed I'd own something that looked better than any theatrical print I've seen in my own home.

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Posted November 17 2009 - 03:25 PM

I'm telling you Rob, I was in tears when I popped this in. And that's no lie. I felt I was in Atlanta on December 15th, 1939 except for the fact that shadow detail and saturation are probably better than they were in '39. Flipping through the scenes I still saw the amber/yellow tint to some scenes that must be faithful to the original look, but flesh tones were spot on. I can't say enough about this. It's WB finest hour.

#37 of 117 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted November 18 2009 - 06:14 AM

Another (new) confirmation that this was color timed to a 1939 answer print:

www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-wind17-2009nov17,0,2157080.story

Quote:
"It is in beautiful condition," says George Feltenstein, senior vice president of theatrical catalog marketing for Warners, of the negative. "They also had a 1939 print to use for color references. I think we have the most absolute effective color rendering yet."


#38 of 117 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted November 18 2009 - 06:36 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Scott Richard 

The 1989 version had a couple of lines that aren't in this version.
I LOVED the 1989 theatrical sound mix, if that's what you're referring to.  Mainly because there were some live dialogue stems in there that are dubbed over in the "proper" version.  For example, "India Wilkes, what a lovely dress.  Just can't take my eyes off it."  It's obviously overdubbed in the original soundtrack, but the 1989 mix had the live dialogue.  Scarlett didn't say it all seductive and sugary like she does in the overdub -- it was very matter-of-fact, and she practically shouted it.  I seem to remember the line, "Pa, how proud of yourself you are" used the live dialogue as well.


#39 of 117 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted November 18 2009 - 06:49 AM




#40 of 117 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted November 18 2009 - 07:00 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Zimmer 




Mmmm....Feltenstein just says it's a 1939 print, not the answer print.  It could be they borrowed the GEH print that Mr. Harris referenced above.
True... but it does seem to fit in with the other Internet info that an answer print was used for the 2004 restoration.