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A few words about...™ Sunset Boulevard -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 44 Robert Harris

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Posted October 22 2012 - 09:25 AM

Let me be very honest about Paramount's new Blu-ray of Billy Wilder's brilliant Sunset Boulevard.


I was extremely concerned about quality.


The original negative, which, as I recall, was partially nitrate and partially safety, has gone missing -- or may have been junked along with the EMKA OCNs.  Those productions now reside at Universal.


The last restoration effort, which was a very noble attempt by the studio, as well as by Lowry, was a stopgap situation, performed at lower rez.  It enabled revival houses to have 35mm prints, and for the release of a decent looking DVD.


With very few elements to use as a base, I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing, as derived from a dupe negative.


I've seen prints struck from these dupes, and they're not a pretty picture, so a great deal of work went into the preparation of this release.


Blacks, shadow detail, grain structure, and overall resolution are all very pleasing.


One of the greatest films ever made, and at the pinnacle of noir, Sunset Boulevard at a $19 street price is a no-brainer.


For those who've never seen it, you're in for a huge treat.


With a huge catalog of extras.


Very Highly Recommended.


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


#2 of 44 JohnMor

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Posted October 22 2012 - 09:55 AM

Woo, and may I add, Hoo!  Can't wait to pick this up!



#3 of 44 JoHud

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Posted October 22 2012 - 10:05 AM

Day 1 purchase.

#4 of 44 Paul Thrussell

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Posted October 22 2012 - 10:20 AM

Wonderful news! Very excited for this!

The original negative, which, as I recall, was partially nitrate and partially safety, has gone missing -- or may have been junked along with the EMKA OCNs. Those productions now reside at Universal.

I was quite disturbed to read the above - am I correct in my understanding that the negs to all of the Paramount titles sold to MCA were tossed?

#5 of 44 MatthewA

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Posted October 22 2012 - 10:48 AM

I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.


Enough is enough, Disney. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray.

 

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#6 of 44 Robert Harris

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Posted October 22 2012 - 11:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA 

I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.

This disc looks nothing like the Lowry restoration.


An untrained eye could not mistake this disc for the Lowry.


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


#7 of 44 Paul Thrussell

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Posted October 22 2012 - 12:05 PM

On a distantly related note, is the work on Roman Holiday, which I believe was in the same situation (missing camera negative, less than stellar elements available) and cleaned up by Lowry around the same time, also needing to be redone for BD and DCP release?

#8 of 44 Colin Jacobson

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Posted October 22 2012 - 12:12 PM

Does anyone here have trouble with Paramount "catalog" Blu-rays on Panasonics?  I have a Panny BD-60 player and it won't play this one.


It wouldn't run "Airplane!" last week either, but I thought that was because it was a rental and scratched.  My "Sunset" is as mint as mint can be but doesn't run on my Panny.


My Sony plays it without a hitch, so it's not the disc.  My firmware's up to date.  Frustrating!


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#9 of 44 ShellOilJunior

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Posted October 22 2012 - 01:21 PM

Great news! Can't wait for this one!

#10 of 44 dpippel

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Posted October 22 2012 - 01:58 PM

Looking forward to this release. Thanks for your evaluation Robert!


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#11 of 44 Russell G

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Posted October 23 2012 - 09:09 AM

Fantastic news! Thanks for letting us know. Can't wait to revisit it!


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#12 of 44 JParker

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Posted October 23 2012 - 12:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA 

I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.

This disc looks nothing like the Lowry restoration.


An untrained eye could not mistake this disc for the Lowry.


RAH

That is great news. Kudos then to the team that did this work (the same folks who "polished" Raiders, mentioned here?)

Andrea Kalas, VP of Archives, Laura Thornburg, Exec. Dir, Restoration and Preservation, Archives, and Jeff Cava, Supervising Librarian, Restoration and Preservation, Archives.

http://www.hometheat...-ark-in-blu-ray Technicolor's work too? In the event, well done. I hope this quality continues for future "classic" releases; this bodes well! :)

#13 of 44 Osato

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Posted October 24 2012 - 02:30 PM

Thanks Robert! Another title that is on my buy list! Glad Paramount did a great job with the transfer!

#14 of 44 David Weicker

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Posted October 24 2012 - 03:00 PM

Does anyone here have trouble with Paramount "catalog" Blu-rays on Panasonics?  I have a Panny BD-60 player and it won't play this one. It wouldn't run "Airplane!" last week either, but I thought that was because it was a rental and scratched.  My "Sunset" is as mint as mint can be but doesn't run on my Panny. My Sony plays it without a hitch, so it's not the disc.  My firmware's up to date.  Frustrating!

I would double-check with Panasonic's website to make sure that your firmware is actually up to date. I have the DMP-BD65, and the player's firmware check kept telling me I was up to date, even though I wasn't (I was at 1.60, and the website had 1.62). I had to manually update the firmware (using a burnt CD). I don't know if it was because my player is a few years old, but the automatic check and update feature apparently was not working. David

#15 of 44 willyTass

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Posted October 24 2012 - 06:28 PM

great to see paramount left the grain in After watching , the German BD of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance , which looked like Madame Tussauds, I was worried

#16 of 44 Mark Walker

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Posted October 25 2012 - 03:37 AM

I was dreading what I feared this release was going to look like. I am so grateful for the work that went into this and RAH's review means I can pre-order it without hesitation. I only hope enough people vote with their money to make studios want to go to the efforts that appear to have taken place with this film's presentation on Blu.

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

Dragonslayer_1981HTF_zps4e370848.jpg

 

 

Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#17 of 44 JParker

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Posted October 26 2012 - 08:41 AM

Tom Burton of Technicolor was kind enough to write after I shared this review with him:

Yes, it was our team that restored Sunset Boulevard for Paramount. I’m glad Bob appreciated the effort.



#18 of 44 Robert Harris

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Posted October 26 2012 - 10:22 AM

Originally Posted by JParker 

Tom Burton of Technicolor was kind enough to write after I shared this review with him:

James,


Why would you feel the need to send what I had written to Tom Burton?


Do you work for Technicolor?


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


#19 of 44 Ethan Riley

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Posted October 27 2012 - 02:38 AM

I was dreading what I feared this release was going to look like. I am so grateful for the work that went into this and RAH's review means I can pre-order it without hesitation. I only hope enough people vote with their money to make studios want to go to the efforts that appear to have taken place with this film's presentation on Blu.

Me too! Pre-ordered!
 

 


#20 of 44 Paul Thrussell

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Posted October 27 2012 - 02:53 PM

I was quite disturbed to read the above - am I correct in my understanding that the negs to all of the Paramount titles sold to MCA were tossed?

I must have had my head under a rock, the information wasn't very hard to find - in fact, quite close to home! :D If anyone's interested, there's a bit of info in another thread: http://www.hometheat...ed-by-universal Please excuse me while I now belatedly mourn these nitrate treasures :(





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