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A few words about...™ West Side Story -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#41 of 849 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted October 26 2011 - 01:52 PM

I fear with the canceled orders and people waiting to buy for a "corrected" copy that MGM/Fox will use it as an excuse to say that vault musical titles don't sell and they're not going to do any more.



#42 of 849 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted October 26 2011 - 02:42 PM




Originally Posted by MattH. 

I fear with the canceled orders and people waiting to buy for a "corrected" copy that MGM/Fox will use it as an excuse to say that vault musical titles don't sell and they're not going to do any more.


You have legitimate thought here, but honestly I have replaced and received "corrected" discs on SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and PINOCCHIO among a few others and for the life of me, wonder why they cannot just get it right the first time.  I am torn, I ordered it and now canceled it and now on the fence again with placing an order.  I just don't know if I want to go through that trouble when it should be right the first time.  And I agree with the other posters above, how about "corrected" discs on IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, SCROOGE and THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD.  With those three and now WWS with problems there is no wonder people are tired of it and may be a reason they are not buying. So far the best musical done right on Blu-ray this year that has my vote is THE FIRST NUDIE MUSICA.  And yes I did like FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, they have my vote also.


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#43 of 849 OFFLINE   ijthompson

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Posted October 26 2011 - 02:45 PM

I fear with the canceled orders and people waiting to buy for a "corrected" copy that MGM/Fox will use it as an excuse to say that vault musical titles don't sell and they're not going to do any more.

Hopefully they have figures describing the number of preorders before/after this news broke. That would pretty clearly show them how the land lays! I didn't preorder, but I was gonna buy this on Day One, and now I'm on the fence...

#44 of 849 OFFLINE   marsnkc

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Posted October 26 2011 - 03:27 PM

Sticking with my pre-orders is the only logical thing for me to do - a bird in the hand etc (I'm a coward!). Fox promises a replacement 'down the road', but when that will be is the question. I'm taking them at their word, so hopefully they don't read my and others' willingness to forge ahead to be a sign that we're happy with things as they are. The exchange program implemented for Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator worked well, and the WSS BD, for all its flaws, sounds vastly superior to the DVD.

#45 of 849 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted October 26 2011 - 04:19 PM



Originally Posted by marsnkc 

The exchange program implemented for Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator worked well, and the WSS BD, for all its flaws, sounds vastly superior to the DVD.


The point for me is that it should be flawless.  Guys this is it, this is the last home format before all is streamed.  I do not expect another revisit to the title in five or ten years as we had with DVD.  I am not aware of an exchange program that Fox has gone through.  They corrected the problem with the CLEOPATRA DVD, but did not offer a replacement for it, just fixed the next pressings.  I could be wrong, so let me know.

I just choose to wait until I am sure if they fix the problem are not then decide to either purchase or not.  Already in the Blu-ray.com posting, Fox said, "Hey this is what MGM gave us," which is exactly what they said about THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD and there was no "fix."



"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#46 of 849 OFFLINE   ajabrams

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Posted October 26 2011 - 04:25 PM

Fox did indeed offer a replacement dvd for "Cleopatra" -- I know because I got one.

#47 of 849 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted October 26 2011 - 04:59 PM



Originally Posted by MattH. 

I fear with the canceled orders and people waiting to buy for a "corrected" copy that MGM/Fox will use it as an excuse to say that vault musical titles don't sell and they're not going to do any more.


They have sales figures of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, and New York, New York that may tell a different story.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#48 of 849 OFFLINE   marsnkc

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Posted October 26 2011 - 07:36 PM

The exchange program implemented for Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator worked well, and the WSS BD, for all its flaws, sounds vastly superior to the DVD.

The point for me is that it should be flawless.  Guys this is it, this is the last home format before all is streamed.  I do not expect another revisit to the title in five or ten years as we had with DVD.  I am not aware of an exchange program that Fox has gone through.  They corrected the problem with the CLEOPATRA DVD, but did not offer a replacement for it, just fixed the next pressings.  I could be wrong, so let me know.  I just choose to wait until I am sure if they fix the problem are not then decide to either purchase or not.  Already in the Blu-ray.com posting, Fox said, "Hey this is what MGM gave us," which is exactly what they said about THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD and there was no "fix."  

Allen - You won't get any argument from me that it should be flawless, and I wouldn't even give a thought to purchasing it if its current condition was on the order of a Spartacus, Out of Africa, Patton or other such plasticized monstrosity. Paradoxically, your argument for not getting it now - the last home format before all is streamed - is the principal reason why I want this thing in my grubby little hands, warts and all (though I hope these get cured). The decision whether to purchase it or not is not a factor for me. I want it for its apparent improvements over previous editions. It's not like I can choose between buying this or a perfect one from Columbia or Warner. If it turns out to be less than a significant improvement over my 2003 DVD set, I'll just mark it defective and return it to Amazon. If it's an obvious improvement, I'll keep it, hope for the promised fix and also hope that MGM has nothing more in its library that I'll ever want on blu.

#49 of 849 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted October 27 2011 - 12:15 AM



Originally Posted by MatthewA 


They have sales figures of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, and New York, New York that may tell a different story.



I didn't say the excuse would be a legitimate one, only that the studio(s) might use that as the reason they weren't making any more efforts with older musicals.




#50 of 849 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted October 27 2011 - 03:27 AM




Originally Posted by ajabrams 

Fox did indeed offer a replacement dvd for "Cleopatra" -- I know because I got one.


Thanks.  I stand corrected, I must have missed the announcement at the time.  Which goes to show that even that even a replacement program is not flawless.


"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#51 of 849 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted October 27 2011 - 03:40 AM



Originally Posted by marsnkc 


Allen -
You won't get any argument from me that it should be flawless, and I wouldn't even give a thought to purchasing it if its current condition was on the order of a Spartacus, Out of Africa, Patton or other such plasticized monstrosity.
Paradoxically, your argument for not getting it now - the last home format before all is streamed - is the principal reason why I want this thing in my grubby little hands, warts and all (though I hope these get cured). The decision whether to purchase it or not is not a factor for me. I want it for its apparent improvements over previous editions. It's not like I can choose between buying this or a perfect one from Columbia or Warner.
If it turns out to be less than a significant improvement over my 2003 DVD set, I'll just mark it defective and return it to Amazon. If it's an obvious improvement, I'll keep it, hope for the promised fix and also hope that MGM has nothing more in its library that I'll ever want on blu.



I certainly understand your thoughts.  If it does turn out to be more superior to the DVD, which early reviews have certainly indicated, I will wait a while to see about a fix, and then more than likely get it in my "grubby little hands" too.  MGM did such a great job on Fiddler and Chitty and we know what is possible, so for them to not take the care in this classic American film musical is very disappointing.  I have always thought the opening overture really puts the viewer in the mood for something special and the fade to black and back, is just disconcerting to me as I seems is to a lot of people. 



"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#52 of 849 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted October 27 2011 - 04:38 AM

An interesting piece...


http://www.audionami...MO_sept2011.pdf


"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


#53 of 849 OFFLINE   Catlady

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Posted October 27 2011 - 04:46 AM

Boy, I'm glad I found this discussion. I just preordered the collector's set yesterday and now I'm seriously rethinking. It's so disheartening to think they'd screw up like this.

#54 of 849 OFFLINE   JohnRa

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Posted October 27 2011 - 04:56 AM

I received an interesting message from someone asking a very good question. A dissolve that been inadvertently turned into a fade out / fade in... Some dupes that show the ravages of time... A bit of audio that might possibly be more accurate slightly further to the rear. What does it all mean in the scheme of things. Their final point was that we're not talking about the Mona Lisa. My answer is that we're very much discussing the Mona Lisa, albeit a more modern version.  West Side Story was the synthesis of an astoundingly good Broadway musical that was honed, by the best in the business into one of the greatest films ever created. West Side Story, especially when viewed in its native 70mm is a work of astounding quality. Even a cursory glance at the majority of the footage in this Blu-ray will prove that out, as this is a Blu-ray that aside from its problems, shines. Everyone in the production was pushed beyond their limits toward the creation of a piece of art that has stood the test of time. If viewers don't have a tear in their eye at the finale, they probably aren't human. Everything about the film was performed at the highest level, and the final prints, as struck from the rolls of original camera negative in September and October of 1961, were perfect in every regard.  They were checked after printing, and then again after striping and sounding.  Someone watched every reel of every print. Theatres were set up and checked to make certain that everything would play according to plan. There are certain films that are a part of our collective history.  Most people can probably rattle off the titles of a hundred or more, and some can repeat sections of dialogue. The truly great films are our Sistine Chapel. They were created by the giants of their era, and are the art of the 20th, and now the 21st centuries. Both the films and their creators deserve to treated with the respect they would have received on set and at premieres.  This includes, even more importantly, those who are no longer with us. Unless untoward things have happened to the original elements, and images and audio can no longer be brought up to perfect quality, these films should be released perfect in every regard. Bringing the Blu-ray of West Side Story up to perfection is not an unattainable act.  It would not take an obscene budget. There are so many people that will see West Side Story on Blu-ray for the first time, and others for which it will be the only way it will be seen, that one owes it to the filmmakers to see that their work is properly preserved, restored if necessary, and released in the absolute highest quality, transparent to the original. Anything less is unthinkable. RAH

Beautifully put, Mr. Harris. Thank you!

#55 of 849 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted October 27 2011 - 04:57 AM

They have sales figures of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, and New York, New York that may tell a different story.

New York, New York would not, I'm afraid, tell a different story. :)

#56 of 849 OFFLINE   24fpssean

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Posted October 27 2011 - 05:12 AM

And I was vilified for wanting the "Det" put back into [I]Det sjunde inseglet[/I]...
 “The cinema is an invention with no future…”     – Louis Lumière

#57 of 849 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted October 27 2011 - 05:38 AM


Originally Posted by Robert Harris 

An interesting piece...


http://www.audionami...MO_sept2011.pdf


I never grow accustomed to how STUNNED I am upon reading about entire musical scores being lost.  The individual parts, okay, I could understand studios at one time believing there could never be another use for them...but not to make it a rule to keep a copy of at least the conductor's full score?  (Doing so would also make it possible to recreate those individual parts if needed.)  Why not toss out all the various scripts, too?  Thank God they found the "short score" (second best thing) in the Robert Wise collection.  If only they'd make that available online for people passionate about the music to browse and study.  The Bernstein folks published the original stage full score, so what a joy it would be to see this orchestration as well.




#58 of 849 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted October 27 2011 - 07:55 AM

United Artists was notorious for not keeping materail around


Original negative of "Tom Jones"

All the "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" stuff



Amoung some of the musical stuff:


"How to Succed in Business" had a few other musical  moments deleted (Coffee Break, A Secretary Is Not a Toy section) so it could premiere at Radio City usic Hall at 2 hours.


"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" had a whole section where some children sneak into the Baron's kitchen to steal food (photos of the scene appear in the Random House Book) - another piece of film that's gone


Zero Motel filmed the song "Free" from  "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" it was never right , Mostel had a difficult time with the lip sync and it was cut - now gone





#59 of 849 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted October 27 2011 - 07:58 AM



Originally Posted by GMpasqua 

United Artists was notorious for not keeping materail around


Original negative of "Tom Jones"

All the "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" stuff



Amoung some of the musical stuff:


"How to Succed in Business" had a few other musical  moments deleted (Coffee Break, A Secretary Is Not a Toy section) so it could premiere at Radio City usic Hall at 2 hours.


"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" had a whole section where some children sneak into the Baron's kitchen to steal food (photos of the scene appear in the Random House Book) - another piece of film that's gone


Zero Motel filmed the song "Free" from  "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" it was never right , Mostel had a difficult time with the lip sync and it was cut - now gone




While several reels of Tom Jones original neg had gone missing, they have no rejoined their brethren.


RAH



"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


#60 of 849 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted October 27 2011 - 08:31 AM



Originally Posted by haineshisway 


New York, New York would not, I'm afraid, tell a different story. Posted Image


You may be correct about that!


Speaking of New York, have you seen the Harry Belafonte documentary currently airing on HBO? There is a segment about the furor which ensured when Petula Clark touched Harry's arm while they were singing a duet. I believe that you have worked with Pet Clark.



Rich Gallagher





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