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TCM Vault: Marlene Dietrich | Josef Von Sternberg Collection.


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 05 2012 - 08:59 AM

Posted Image http://shop.tcm.com/...il.php?p=364907 I don't see this news posted, so I mention it. Dishonored (1931) and Shanghai Express (1932)in a 2-disc set, newly remastered. Ships tomorrow, Monday, 6 February. Considering the magnitude of their artistry and their importance in the history of cinema, Universal has mishandled the Dietrich / Von Sternberg collaborations shamefully. The studio is clueless. But I'm glad these two titles are finally out. Posted Image

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   ReggieW

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Posted February 05 2012 - 10:33 AM

I was really HOPING that Criterion would've had a shot at a complete Dietrich/Von Sternberg boxset on blu-ray. As already mentioned, Universal doesn't have a very good track record with the Dietrich/Von Sternberg titles on home video. So much for that........
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#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 05 2012 - 01:42 PM

A shame Criterion could not work its magic on more than The Scarlet Empress. I'm a bit surprised, however, at the almost total lack of interest in, and appreciation for, these stunning films on Home Theater Forum. Dietrich's collaborations with Von Sternberg are not like her other films. Truth is, I don't have much interest in her other films. But the Von Sternberg films are state-of-the-art cinema. The Blue Angel (1930), Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), and The Devil Is A Woman (1935) are the most potent pre-codes and represent a unique and hitherto unseen personal vision. Bold, daring, pioneering works at least two generations ahead of their time. These seven films would achieve greatness even without Dietrich. With Dietrich, they are among the most important works of cinematic art in the 20th century. No hyperbole. Just fact. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#4 of 11 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 05 2012 - 02:37 PM

I've never seen Dishonored so I'm really looking forward to that one.



#5 of 11 OFFLINE   richbarrac

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Posted February 06 2012 - 04:58 AM

Agree Richard. They'vw been released in sort of a haphazard manner. I ordered them from Amazon UK a while back to have them all but ordered these once they became available. The visual beauty of these films is remarkable, I hope they get the treatment they deserve.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 10 2012 - 10:02 AM

Received the set today. Two discs in a double-sided keep-case. Very good transfers; perhaps not 2K or 4K, but very good. The transfers will stretch in the Blu-ray player, but they look fine coming out of the DVD player. I wish TCM and Universal had marketed these as Josef Von Sternbergs films.

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Paul Penna

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Posted February 10 2012 - 02:27 PM

The transfers will stretch in the Blu-ray player, but they look fine coming out of the DVD player.

Most players, both DVD and Blu-Ray, have selections in their setup menu that will result in 4x3 material getting stretched to fill a 16x9 screen. Often these settings are in the section that asks for your TV screen aspect ratio, and the one that stretches is sometimes called "16x9 full" or the like. Sounds to me like that's how your Blu-Ray player is set. A disc that forces a stretch, if that's even possible, would be a disc authoring screw-up of monumental proportions.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 10 2012 - 05:04 PM

Well ... the "full" mode on the Sony Bravia reads widescreen anamorphic Blu-rays and DVDs in the correct aspect ratios, as well as Academy standard films in 1-37 ratio providing that the Blu-ray / DVD is authored for it, such as Black Narcissusand The African Queen. Evidently the TCM / Universal DVDs of Dishonored and Shanghai Express are not authored for widescreen. They are stretched and everybody looks fat. So I switch to the component input and it comes through fine in 1-37. Or have I overlooked something?

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Paul Penna

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Posted February 11 2012 - 04:43 PM

Well ... the "full" mode on the Sony Bravia reads widescreen anamorphic Blu-rays and DVDs in the correct aspect ratios, as well as Academy standard films in 1-37 ratio providing that the Blu-ray / DVD is authored for it, such as Black Narcissusand The African Queen. Evidently the TCM / Universal DVDs of Dishonored and Shanghai Express are not authored for widescreen. They are stretched and everybody looks fat. So I switch to the component input and it comes through fine in 1-37. Or have I overlooked something?

The "full" mode takes an image that is less that the full 16x9 width (i.e. 1920 pixels) and stretches it to fill the width of the screen. Since anamorphic widescreen images already fill that width, it has no effect on them. The intention of the "full" setting is to satisfy those owners who want their screen width filled regardless of the the way it distorts the image. Therefore, if you want your image to be displayed with the correct aspect ratio, you should not use the "full" setting. This has been my experience with those settings on my old OPPO DVD player, my old Panasonic Blu-Ray and my new OPPO BDP-93 Blu-Ray, all of them hooked up via HDMI. (n.b.: on the OPPO, the "full" setting is called "16x9 wide" and the non-full "16x9 wide/auto.") Also: yes, the "full" setting or its equivalent name, does not stretch 4x3 Blu-Ray films, such as my copy of Black Narcissus, or The Adventures of Robin Hood. It does stretch 4x3 standard-def DVD, though, which is why your Dietrich set is stretched but Black Narcissus isn't when your player is set to "full." Apparently the stretch is not applied when your player is connected via component, but switching off "full" should also give you the correct aspect ratio via HDMI.

#10 of 11 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 24 2012 - 08:48 AM

I finally had the time to watch both of these films. I was right that I had never seen all of Dishonored (just the execution scene). Shanghai Express was a very fine copy of the film with sharp imagery that upconverted nicely (sound was kind of hissy but expected for a film of this age and nothing much put into its improvement). The only problem with it was a shifting tone of the grayscale (sometimes taking on a slight green tint), but it still allows me to finally retire the laserdisc of it that I had been keeping around.



#11 of 11 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted March 04 2012 - 03:31 PM

New York Times Reviewer Dave Kehr has a bit on the missing dialog in Shanghai Express and does include the dialog.  From the write-up, the missing dialog has not been seen starting with the laserdisc release.

http://www.davekehr.com/


When I saw the scene, I was disappointed that it had not been restored, but then again you can get the jest of what is happening.

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