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FALL ROMAN EMPIRE / EL CID BLU-RAY


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#21 of 45 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted May 31 2012 - 09:15 AM

Originally Posted by Billy Batson 


Oh I think they would, it's a system for an exact line up of three elements (which may have shrunk & warped over the years), 3 strip Technicolor & I'd think it would work just as well with b/w seperation masters. I understand that the original negs of The Searchers were too faded to use, I'm wondering if they used the b/w seps for that.


It would be good if they could, but i don't think these particular classic films are getting the love and attention they deserve.


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#22 of 45 ONLINE   rsmithjr

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Posted May 31 2012 - 01:32 PM

Where did you hear that 70mm negatives were found at Rank? The UK and the other European Blu-rays of EL CID and FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE obviously derive from the Miriam Collection mastering and I'm sure those were not from 70mm negatives.

I am sorry I am not able to lay my hands on the source. As I recall the story, they were having a difficult time finding an acceptable version of El Cid, but then found either prints or negatives at Rank Labs in a treasure trove. The whole story went on about how the "fall of the Bronston empire" had left the assets in disarray, but now they had the complete roadshow versions. I also recall that the credits on the DVD's and LD's credits Rank; in the original US prints, that credit went to Allied Artists. I will try some more to find out more details to back up what I said.

#23 of 45 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted May 31 2012 - 05:22 PM

I believe it was MGM HD channel on Direct TV. Don't remember for sure, I remember it was the "roadshow" version with opening, entre act, and closings intact. Perhaps it was TCM, and I am mistaken about the HD transfer, but it looked spectacular compared to the heavily edited, washed out prints I have seen in the past.

Thanks, I will have a look at MGM HD for that one.

#24 of 45 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted May 31 2012 - 05:35 PM

I spoke to a gentleman at Pinewood and he had looked at the negatives of both Circus World and 55 Days at Peking and they were in really good shape. The Blu-Ray of Circus World is derived from files that were arrived at via a negative scan and it shows - it looks so much better than what he have of El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is truly ironic that of these 4 Bronstons the weakest one that does not have that much appeal to either enthusiasts or mainstream customers has the best looking Blu-Ray release of them all! Getting back to Fall of the Roman Empire I think that its negative should be in really good shape, too and only for El Cid I fear that it might be in a bit worse shape as it was shot on film stock more prone to fading iirc and possibly it has been reused at a later time.

#25 of 45 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted May 31 2012 - 08:12 PM

I am sorry I am not able to lay my hands on the source. As I recall the story, they were having a difficult time finding an acceptable version of El Cid, but then found either prints or negatives at Rank Labs in a treasure trove. The whole story went on about how the "fall of the Bronston empire" had left the assets in disarray, but now they had the complete roadshow versions. I also recall that the credits on the DVD's and LD's credits Rank; in the original US prints, that credit went to Allied Artists. I will try some more to find out more details to back up what I said.

I recall reading about 3 years ago that the remaining lost footage from FALL which had been cut from the roadshow version had at long last been found in London but it had been found too late to be included on the Miriam DVD. The footage was on 35mm elements though.

#26 of 45 OFFLINE   philip*eric

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Posted December 30 2012 - 06:11 PM

Am I the only one still hoping for BRs released in region 1 of any of these four Samuel Bronston epics? I would most like to see a restoration of FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE -- it is sad to read that there is such a very small market for these older films - this one was basically remade as GLADIATOR with a lot of embellishments and won the Best picture Oscar ! , but FOTRE is really the better movie - And what great stars - Sophia Loren, Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Alec Guiness,etc. - a little more charisama than Russell Crowe + Joaquin Phoenix. And what about the missing footage that was discovered ? And where are the Charlton Heston completists demanding a BR /dvd release of two his better films 55 DAYS AT PEKING & EL CID ?? Both have so many great elements - photography , art / set direction, music by Tiomkin + Rozsa.... I wonder why Criterion has never tried to release EL CID on dvd or BR as they released the best version on laserdisc . I guess that the rights probably reverted to a different owner but still it is as or more worthy of a Sp Ed for contemporary viewers than some of the other films Criterion releases.

#27 of 45 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted December 30 2012 - 09:17 PM

Am I the only one still hoping for BRs released in region 1 of any of these four Samuel Bronston epics?

No, of course you're not!

I would most like to see a restoration of FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE -- it is sad to read that there is such a very small market for these older films - this one was basically remade as GLADIATOR with a lot of embellishments and won the Best picture Oscar ! , but FOTRE is really the better movie - And what great stars - Sophia Loren, Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Alec Guiness,etc. - a little more charisama then Russell Crowe + Joaquin Phoenix.

"A little more charisma" . . . and a lot more talent!

#28 of 45 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted December 31 2012 - 04:16 AM

The sad part for me is that the most popular of these titles, EL CID, is the worst looking BD in the group. The FOTRE released in Germany was a bit better looking, but not by much. The SoulMedia ALEXANDER THE GREAT is not too bad at all, and is probably as good looking as we're apt to get. Is it that Miriam no longer hold the rights to the Bronson films? Those standard DVD deluxe boxes, which I did rush to buy, were interesting but had disappointing sales so I've heard. Did they sell the rights or could they still release BDs here in the States? I would think that EL CID is certainly famous and beloved enough to warrant a BD revisit. I'd love 55 DAYS and CIRCUS WORLD, as well. Funny thing is that SoulMedia has listed a DVD only release of CIRCUS WORLD on their site. Not as big a shock as Paramount spending a fortune on a 4K scan and reconstruction costs of a DVD only release of SAMSON AND DELILAH, however.

#29 of 45 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted December 31 2012 - 04:30 AM

I wonder who owns the Bronston films now? Following Bronston's bankruptcy they were owned for many years by P. C. Films Corp. which was a company set up by his creditors; Pierre Du Pont, Paramount Pictures, Sun Oil and various banks but someone reported that ownership was passed on to a French finance company. If only a major studio like Warner Bros could get hold of them.... When the EL CID DVD was released by Miriam, Bronston's son William said that they were unable to make use of an available 70mm print because the cost would have been too great.

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Posted December 31 2012 - 05:15 AM

The sad part for me is that the most popular of these titles, EL CID, is the worst looking BD in the group. The FOTRE released in Germany was a bit better looking, but not by much. The SoulMedia ALEXANDER THE GREAT is not too bad at all, and is probably as good looking as we're apt to get. Is it that Miriam no longer hold the rights to the Bronson films? Those standard DVD deluxe boxes, which I did rush to buy, were interesting but had disappointing sales so I've heard. Did they sell the rights or could they still release BDs here in the States? I would think that EL CID is certainly famous and beloved enough to warrant a BD revisit. I'd love 55 DAYS and CIRCUS WORLD, as well. Funny thing is that SoulMedia has listed a DVD only release of CIRCUS WORLD on their site. Not as big a shock as Paramount spending a fortune on a 4K scan and reconstruction costs of a DVD only release of SAMSON AND DELILAH, however.

The French release of CIRCUS WORLD really looks nice, with a new scan of the 8-perf negative according to a title card at the end of the credits. Most of it has a striking clarity. It does have forced French subtitles when choosing the English track.

#31 of 45 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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Posted December 31 2012 - 08:02 AM

The French release of CIRCUS WORLD really looks nice, with a new scan of the 8-perf negative according to a title card at the end of the credits. Most of it has a striking clarity. It does have forced French subtitles when choosing the English track.

Think I'll rub my rabbit foot on this one and hope that the Germans will get to a CIRCUS WORLD BD release in the near future. I'm just still stinging from my EXODUS experience, getting the forced-sub French one and, then, the sub-free German one coming so close on its heels. Still, that they can do this for CIRCUS WORLD gives me hope that we may yet see the others in vastly improved versions.

#32 of 45 OFFLINE   philip*eric

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Posted December 31 2012 - 07:05 PM

I would certainly welcome a region 1 BR release of CIRCUS WORLD --- with John Wayne in the lead, I'm sure that it would sell well in the US .... And I cannot believe that Paramount has no plans for a BR release of SAMSON AND DELILAH -- they just released its faux companion, SUNSET BLVD. on BR and that is in B+W. S+D would look outstanding on a BR in Technicolor!.

#33 of 45 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted December 31 2012 - 10:26 PM

Think I'll rub my rabbit foot on this one and hope that the Germans will get to a CIRCUS WORLD BD release in the near future. I'm just still stinging from my EXODUS experience, getting the forced-sub French one and, then, the sub-free German one coming so close on its heels. Still, that they can do this for CIRCUS WORLD gives me hope that we may yet see the others in vastly improved versions.

Thanks for reminding me that BRDs sometimes come out in other European countries in short succession. I'll delay buying the BRD of Circus World for the same reason. How good is the German BRD of Exodus? (I wasn't aware there was a German BRD)

#34 of 45 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted December 31 2012 - 11:22 PM

The French release of CIRCUS WORLD really looks nice, with a new scan of the 8-perf negative according to a title card at the end of the credits. Most of it has a striking clarity. It does have forced French subtitles when choosing the English track.

It should be pointed out that this is the only one of the four Bronston titles discussed here that is available in a good looking release. It is a sad irony that the movie itself is considered by most the weakest effort of the four and certainly the one with the least production values.

#35 of 45 OFFLINE   RolandL

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Posted January 01 2013 - 03:40 AM

Circus World was promoted as being "In CINERAMA" (although it was just a 70mm print projected on to a deeply curved screen) for its roadshow release. More info on Circus World - http://cineramahisto...circusworld.htm

Roland Lataille
Cinerama web site

 


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Posted January 01 2013 - 04:21 AM

It should be pointed out that this is the only one of the four Bronston titles discussed here that is available in a good looking release. It is a sad irony that the movie itself is considered by most the weakest effort of the four and certainly the one with the least production values.

I don't think it is fair to compare the "production values" of CIRCUS WORLD to the other three films. It is a different type of film from historical epics. For what it is, I think the production values are excellent, professional down the line. I agree it certainly would be nice for the other three films to have transfers like the French BD of CIRCUS WORLD.

#37 of 45 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted January 01 2013 - 10:35 AM

I did not want to downplay the merits of CIRCUS WORLD. It is good or very good at what it set out to do when it comes to the production itself, the movie not so much though... It is just that the other three movies operated on a much larger scale and they were truly lavish productions while CIRCUS WORLD was scaled down compared to that.

#38 of 45 OFFLINE   john a hunter

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Posted January 01 2013 - 11:45 AM

Thanks for reminding me that BRDs sometimes come out in other European countries in short succession. I'll delay buying the BRD of Circus World for the same reason. How good is the German BRD of Exodus? (I wasn't aware there was a German BRD)

A good transfer of Exodus would be a must have for me. The French transfer was verygood picture wise but only in stereo apparently. Is the German one multi channel?

#39 of 45 OFFLINE   philip*eric

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Posted January 02 2013 - 09:04 AM

If only the actual film matched the excitement and grandeur of these posters, it would have been a knockout. Still we should remember that we will never see this type of genre film again - like THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (which Id love on BR) this film can also be appreciated for its historic value now.

#40 of 45 OFFLINE   Stefan Andersson

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Posted January 27 2013 - 10:03 PM

I spoke to a gentleman at Pinewood and he had looked at the negatives of both Circus World and 55 Days at Peking and they were in really good shape. The Blu-Ray of Circus World is derived from files that were arrived at via a negative scan and it shows - it looks so much better than what he have of El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is truly ironic that of these 4 Bronstons the weakest one that does not have that much appeal to either enthusiasts or mainstream customers has the best looking Blu-Ray release of them all! Getting back to Fall of the Roman Empire I think that its negative should be in really good shape, too and only for El Cid I fear that it might be in a bit worse shape as it was shot on film stock more prone to fading iirc and possibly it has been reused at a later time.

OliverK -- the existing FALL discs are missing a few minutes. The dialogue on the wooden stairs between Boyd and Plummer should be a couple of minutes longer. Near the end of the film, there is a brief reaction shot featuring Plummer missing from the burning at the stake scene (watch for a tell-tale jump cut). Would be nice to see that stuff back in. Perhaps it could be found at Rank. More info here: http://www.imdb.com/...ternateversions




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