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VistaVision--film by film chat and vote


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#41 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 26 2011 - 04:17 AM



Originally Posted by Hoppy 

I watched Hell's Island recently on Netflix Instant Watch, it may not be Kansas City Confidential (also directed by Phil Karlson), but I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the color photography and would love to see it on blu!



Yeah, and Lady Gallant is also there, but in a low rez pan and scan transfer. Given I'll probably never get the chance to see them in any thing but low rez pan and scan, I guess I'll think about watching them that way. But I wish I could see them as they were meant to be seen...



#42 of 428 OFFLINE   MLamarre

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Posted April 26 2011 - 11:59 AM

I haven't seen RUN FOR COVER but I'd very much like to. Big fan of Cagney but I first became interested in the film when I began exploring the work of Nicholas Ray. He made 4 westerns and only 1 was released on DVD and it wasn't this film.



#43 of 428 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted April 26 2011 - 02:01 PM

I did watch The Desperate Hours on DVD tonight. What a terrific film! I would certainly be quick to snap up a Blu-ray release.



#44 of 428 OFFLINE   ShowsOn

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Posted April 26 2011 - 02:33 PM



Originally Posted by MattH. 

I did watch The Desperate Hours on DVD tonight. What a terrific film! I would certainly be quick to snap up a Blu-ray release.


I doubt Paramount will release a black and white VistaVision film as a priority.




#45 of 428 OFFLINE   ShowsOn

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Posted April 26 2011 - 02:34 PM



Originally Posted by MLamarre 

I haven't seen RUN FOR COVER but I'd very much like to. Big fan of Cagney but I first became interested in the film when I began exploring the work of Nicholas Ray. He made 4 westerns and only 1 was released on DVD and it wasn't this film.

I have two of them - Johnny Guitar and The True Story of Jesse James.




#46 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 26 2011 - 02:34 PM



Originally Posted by MattH. 

I did watch The Desperate Hours on DVD tonight. What a terrific film! I would certainly be quick to snap up a Blu-ray release.


How was the pq? What do you think it would look like on blu?




#47 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 26 2011 - 02:41 PM



Originally Posted by ShowsOn 




I doubt Paramount will release a black and white VistaVision film as a priority.




You may well be right, but.... Paramount wants to celebrate its 100th (!!) anniversary in a big way, and Bogart is one of the biggest stars ever to work in film. Most of his classics are with Warner, but this is one gem of a title that they've got. More than that, I think a black and white film would be less expensive to restore than a color film of this era. Skip the extras, and this could be a pretty low cost release with a built in audience. I think there's a chance this one will make it to blu at some point...After all we already have Casablanca and Treasure of the Sierra Madre...




#48 of 428 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted April 26 2011 - 03:34 PM

I'm watching "Hell's Island". Interesting film. I realize its in VistaVision, but the way its photographed, it looks for all the world like it was intended to be in 3D! The first thing off the bat, a guy shoots a gun right into the lens. Later on the camera QUICKLY dollies into the upside down face of a dead man. There seems to be lots of "poke you in the eye" kinds of shots. They wouldn't have been making a 3D VistaVision film would they?


Doug


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#49 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 26 2011 - 10:54 PM



Originally Posted by Douglas Monce 

I'm watching "Hell's Island". Interesting film. I realize its in VistaVision, but the way its photographed, it looks for all the world like it was intended to be in 3D! The first thing off the bat, a guy shoots a gun right into the lens. Later on the camera QUICKLY dollies into the upside down face of a dead man. There seems to be lots of "poke you in the eye" kinds of shots. They wouldn't have been making a 3D VistaVision film would they?


Doug



I don't think so. But wouldn't that be a hoot! You've got me curious. I think now I'm going to have to check this one out on netflix.



#50 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 26 2011 - 11:01 PM

I may have more of a taste for uneven movies that most of the rest of you here, but in any case a few of things drew me into watching the 1955 VistaVision
production from Paramount Lady Gallant. For one, I was up in the middle of the night because
of a thunder storm, and I needed something to lull me back to sleep on the
couch--and it did do that for about half an hour in the middle of the picture.
Second, the film has in it Jane Wyman, Charlton Heston, Thelma Ritter, and, get
this, a special appearance by the great Miss Edith Head. Head not only designed all of the
outfits for this movie (for the whole movie Wyman is running an ever larger high
end fashion store in Texas called Gallant's), but at the end Head appears and
narrates the fashion show for the grand finale. Let me see if I can transcribe a
few of her pithy comments as the models display the wares:

Jane Wyman: "And now I'd like to introduce to you our guest commentator for
today, the world-famous designer, Miss Edith Head."

applause

Edith Head (looking sharp, and a bit like a taller Edna Mode): "Thank you Miss
Gallant. As all of you know, there is no permanent fashion center of the world.
It could be in Paris, it could be Rome, New York or London, but after seeing
this collection, I'm sure you'll agree with me that today the real fashion
center of the world is right here in Texas."

Applause. And then as music plays she describes what the models are wearing.
I'll just do a few of them.

Head: "The fabrics used for this collection come from all over the world. For
example, these oil skins were originally used by Gloucester fisherman, and come
from our New England Coast. From another part of the world, from Chile, comes
the fabric for this poncho and sarape bathing costume. Suede from England and
Tweed from Scotland are combined in this three piece travel costume with its own
reversible cape and lap (?) robe. Wool from Canada and Frederica Alaska seal
skin. The coat is sleeveless, and reversible. The wool for this slim hooded coat
comes to us from France, and the natural royal blue fox from Norway..."

Anyway, it goes on, with quite a spectacular display, until this joke of a show
capper:

Head: "And now, Miss Gallant dramatizes Texas. Here in this magnificent gown
are all the iridescent colors of your own Texas oil!"

And the model parades around in an actually quite nice black gown as described
with matching fan.


The movie as a whole was just ok, although it had several good
moments for me at least. I like Wyman and Heston, although I didn't detect much chemistry, and

Ritter still steals the show in the scenes she's in. And
it's an unusual depiction of a very successful business woman in this era.
Although in the end she seemingly gives it all up to marry Chuck.

But that's literally in the last few seconds of the film. For
99% of the move (which takes place over 15 years) you see her as an ambitious
and driven woman, who is also nice, but who refuses Heston's repeated offers to
her.

My guess is this was an "A-" production for Paramount for that year of 1955. Hitchcock did

two films for P that year, The Trouble with Harry and To Catch a Thief (both VistaVision productions that belong on blu).

Harry was budgeted at about 1.2 million according to wikipedia (that seems low, but
perhaps right) and the same shaky source says 2.5 million for Thief--a large
part of which was probably the salary for Grant.

Anyway, my guess is that this was about a $2 million or so picture too. Maybe
more. Fairly good production values. I like how the store changed and grew
through 4 distinct and ever larger incarnations over the years, and they
invested a fair amount in doing that. The music for this film was pretty weak, I
thought, esp. where it featured incessant reprises of the theme from "I've been
working on the railroad." The composer was Van Cleave. The director was Robert
Parrish, who I assume was a competent enough studio director.

Sorry to spill so much electronic ink on a movie like this. But I am fairly
easily amused, and tend to like old movies even of this type.


But my bottom line vote is that even though the fashion of Edith Head as well as some of the scenery from Texas would look great in blu, this one probably doesn't have commercial viability. It's an OK film (and a lot better than Ernest Goes to Camp--I'm giving that to the used bookstore at any price!), but just not enough of a near classic.


The pan and scan on netflix looks pretty good. The colors are decent, and there's not much in the way of dirt and scratches. I hope at least someday this film can get a widescreen streaming version.



#51 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 26 2011 - 11:17 PM

Now that I think about it, the appearance by Edna Mode, uh Edith Head, would be probably the main reason to at least give this movie a widescreen HD master with a little clean up for showing on TCM, Netflix, etc., etc.. I think Head almost never appeared in films--but as we know she had a huge role behind the cameras. Does anyone else know of an appearance to compare to this one? And she was clearly the model for Edna Mode. Plus Head was just such a giant in her field....I think she won eight Academy Awards.


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



#52 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 27 2011 - 12:08 AM

As you may know, Edna Mode helped give an academy award once:






#53 of 428 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted April 27 2011 - 12:27 AM

What's funny is that Edith Head is describing in all of that flattering, flowery language HER OWN CREATIONS.


She's in The Oscar, too.



#54 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 27 2011 - 12:38 AM

Yes, that is funny! She seemed maybe a little shy about taking credit for the iridescent oil gown though!


If you get a chance, please tell me a little about her appearance in The Oscar. I've never heard of it.


OK. Here's a silly and unrealistic brainwave. You create a small boxed set The Edith Head Collection, and you hire Pixar's Edna Mode to do c. 1 minute intros for each movie, including films like Lucy Gallant, Artists and Models, and maybe a few others (including St. Louis Blues?). Almost certainly Disney/Pixar would say no, or the price would be prohibitive, but given that Disney/Pixar essentially "stole" the character of Edith Head lock, stock and barrel from Head and Paramount (even though it's a great homage that I love), I think some help here would be generous and fair to help introduce a new generation to Edith Head's amazing fashion sense and designs....And if Edna Mode can go to the Academy Awards, maybe she could lend a hand to the real deal who made her possible...but as I said, I know it's silly and unrealistic...



#55 of 428 OFFLINE   Phoebus

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Posted April 27 2011 - 12:53 AM

There were a few VistaVision productions in the UK, including a couple of Powell and Pressburgers.


The Battle of the River Plate(1956) aka Pursuit of the Graf Spee has turned up on blu-ray in Germany, so that's another VistaVision blu for your lists.  Looks better than the dvd but the soundtrack somestimes sounds a bit like a warped vinyl lp..


[I'm more interested in anamorphic VistaVision - Technirama - which also seems to yield beautiful bluray restorations]



#56 of 428 OFFLINE   John Skoda

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Posted April 27 2011 - 05:46 AM

I've only seen lousy TV prints of THE GIRL RUSH.  Would love to see one that lives up to the VistaVision pedigree.  The movie has some compensations, namely


1. Marion Lorne ("Aunt Clara" from TV's "Bewitched") and


2. A great song by Martin/Blane called "An Occasional Man" sung by Gloria de Haven as she gyrates on a tropical stage set. The lyrics start (from memory, so I hope this is close):


I've got an island
in the Pacific
and every thing about it
is terrific.
I've got papayas, peaches,
sandy beaches,
and
an occasional man....



#57 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 27 2011 - 01:00 PM

John Skoda:


That's a fun song! Thanks for that.


I did watch Hell's Angels, and it certainly met the test of a film noir, even if it's in VistaVision and Technicolor. Mary Murphy is very pretty--although she's a blond, not the brunette you see in the poster!? It was entertaining enough, but probably not commercial enough for a blu-ray, unless it's done by another company and paired with another title as a $9.99 double feature or something.


OK. Here's our next list of titles. I assume we can agree that both Hitchcock titles deserve the blu treatment, but is there any gold in any of the others. What about We're No Angels? Maybe that makes a double feature with The Desperate Hours?? I've never seen it, but it sounds like it might be fun...




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#58 of 428 OFFLINE   MLamarre

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Posted April 27 2011 - 01:20 PM

Hope it becomes a reality - even if it's only on DVD.


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


It's also important to note that THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and VERTIGO are no longer owned by Paramount but instead handled by Universal.



#59 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 27 2011 - 01:30 PM

Yes, it's too bad that most of Hitchcock's titles are handled by Universal, since they don't seem to be doing much these days...


Run for Cover looks interesting. Can you tell us a little about it. I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of it. Is it a Western? I like Westerns....and I like Cagney....



#60 of 428 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 28 2011 - 07:40 AM

I like this poster...


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