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The Man Who Knew Too Much (Paramount, 1956)


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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 18 2012 - 07:52 AM

Posted Image I saw the 1983 re-release many times, and it looked raggedy then. Each time Universal remasters this film for DVD -- in 2001, 2005, and 2006 -- there seems to be additional quality loss. It appears to be in the worst shape of all Hitchcock films of the 1950s. Can someone speak knowledgeably about the elements for this film? and the prospects of restoring it or properly remastering it for Blu-ray? Evidently Universal has plans to issue some Hitchcock titles in the fall of 2012.

#2 of 25 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 18 2012 - 08:26 AM

I too would like to see this one. Doesn't seem that we have a man here who knows too much about it though...:)

#3 of 25 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 18 2012 - 09:05 AM

I really love it, too. Frankly, I'd rather have it than The Birds if I was choosing what to release.



#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted February 18 2012 - 09:25 AM

I can't speak for the elements, but I ran Universal's prime 35mm print of this a couple of years ago and it was gorgeous. No Universal logo at the front, either. It was on 2006 or 2007 film stock, so it was newly struck. Definitely had the clarity of a large format source as well.
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#5 of 25 ONLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted February 18 2012 - 09:26 AM

Damn, I'm sorry I missed that!

#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Brianruns10

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Posted February 18 2012 - 11:09 AM

Hopefully he'll chime in for an authoritiative answer, but I seem to recall reading Robert Harris stating that the elements exist (OCN, separation masters) to do bring this film back to life, but it needs a full restoration do it.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted February 18 2012 - 11:25 AM

Acronyms are only useful after the title has been established. Starting a thread with an obscure acronym leaves everybody wondering what you are talking about.

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted February 18 2012 - 11:26 AM

I have no idea what your abbreviation means.

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   nealg

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Posted February 18 2012 - 11:33 AM

The Man Who Knew Too Much. He is referring, of course, to the Jimmy Stewart VistaVision version. Another thread on this was started earlier today.

#10 of 25 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 18 2012 - 11:59 AM

Hopefully he'll chime in for an authoritiative answer, but I seem to recall reading Robert Harris stating that the elements exist (OCN, separation masters) to do bring this film back to life, but it needs a full restoration do it.

If that's true I hope they put RAH on it asap....There's probably still time to get it out for the 100th anniversary!

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted February 18 2012 - 12:30 PM

I think I saw that print under excellent conditions and, frankly, it did not compare to the original Vista Vision/Technicolor prints. I remember running an original print in the 1964 release (on a double bill with Vertigo), and had already seen it during original release.

#12 of 25 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted February 18 2012 - 01:16 PM

The VistaVision negative should be fine, just as The Ten Commandments was fine and To Catch a Thief was fine. They just have to go back to it and do it. The 80s prints of all these films were a joke, none of them taken from the camera negatives.

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted February 18 2012 - 01:18 PM

I simply do not understand this need in the Internet age to initials like this, especially when the title hasn't been established. Honestly, it would take me longer to type out the initials than The Man Who Knew Too Much.

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted February 18 2012 - 01:23 PM

There is no need for two threads especially with a thread title with nothing, but acronyms.

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#15 of 25 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 18 2012 - 01:44 PM

The VistaVision negative should be fine, just as The Ten Commandments was fine and To Catch a Thief was fine. They just have to go back to it and do it. The 80s prints of all these films were a joke, none of them taken from the camera negatives.

Yeah, but going back and doing it does cost money. Doesn't it typically cost a few hundred thousand dollars to scan these and digitally clean then up? And I think that's if they are in good shape....I sure hope they do just do it...

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted February 18 2012 - 02:08 PM

All 5248 OCNs beginning around 1955 through 1960 are faded to different degrees.  All totally fixable, however. RAH

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#17 of 25 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 18 2012 - 02:22 PM

Thanks for your responses. I guess I have my answer. It's just that the print I saw run in 1983 was raggedy, and the DVDs are less than stellar, which suggested that something might be wrong with the elements. I have no way of knowing what the 1983 prints and the DVDs were taken from, do I.

I think I saw that print under excellent conditions and, frankly, it did not compare to the original Vista Vision/Technicolor prints. I remember running an original print in the 1964 release (on a double bill with Vertigo), and had already seen it during original release.

Recognize these? Double-feature re-releases from 1963, following a hit re-release of Rear Window in 1962. Posted Image Posted Image I would not be surprised if the print I saw of The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1983 derived from the 1963 prints. Poor quality though it was, it was not so poor that audiences could not enjoy it. In fact it held audiences enthralled, as did all the 1983 re-releases. Each of the five films filled auditoriums as long as 2 or 3 months in some venues. Most new movies don't even run that long today. Let's hope a proper transfer of The Man Who Knew Too Much is on Universal's slate for this fall.

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted February 18 2012 - 02:46 PM

I believe (Mr. Harris can correct me if I'm wrong) that the 1983 Universal/Hitchcock prints were all derived from fading internegatives - I don't believe any of them were taken from camera negatives or anything close to a camera negative. Having owned Tech prints of all those color films, seeing those 1983 prints made me want to vomit on the ground :)

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted February 19 2012 - 01:52 AM



Originally Posted by haineshisway [url=/t/318635/the-man-who-knew-too-much-paramount-1956#post_3898823]


In general, the 1983 prints were horrendous.  Vertigo possibly the worst, with the other VVLA shows not far behind.  I don't recall whether they were made from new dupes derived from older IPs, or simply used whatever dupes were available at the time.  Jim Katz was behind the release via Universal Classics, and he did a test from the Vertigo neg, striking a dual system reel one, which was unfortunately too faded for commercial use.  Even then, and this was13 years before our restoration, he was desirous of doing something special with the film.


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


#20 of 25 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 19 2012 - 01:57 AM

I went to see those 1983 rereleases, and I also remember clearly going to see Verttigo after its restoration, and the theater I went to was also packed.






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