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Waterloo on Blu-Ray
6 replies to this topic
Posted February 28 2013 - 12:45 AM
Sergei Bondarchuk's Waterloo is a film that I would love to see on blu-ray and I wondered if there were any rumors of this actually happening and if anybody knew who might handle bringing this to blu-ray at this point. I think the film is perfect for Criterion but I'm sure there are other avenues for it to come out.
Posted February 28 2013 - 04:04 AM
As a Napoleonic history buff, this film is a favorite of mine. However, I'd be shocked to see it on Blu-ray unless some niche-type company puts it out. Waterloo hasn't even been released on DVD in the USA; and the region 2 release is on a single layer DVD that exhibits artifacts. It is amazingly spectacular and pretty accurate; and the leads are great. Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace could use some help, too. RUSCICO did a pretty good 4-disc release of the widescreen version. But the elements they used were in pretty poor shape. There is much color and light pulsation throughout, and the color is rather faded. Apparently, it was considered a lost film until elements were found in various countries that used to constitute the USSR. We're lucky to have the version we have.
Posted February 28 2013 - 05:08 AM
There was a rumor circulating around the time of the Ruscico WAR AND PEACE release that certain original elements were actually deposited in Ukraine and, for some reason, unavailable for the Ruscico DVD set. It was something to do with the Bondarchuk family and the Ukrainian archives. Now that relations have thawed to a great extent, perhaps those elements could be used for a blu-ray version. Of course, Russian BDs are few and far between these days. Ruscico has certainly been dragging their feet with their promised hi def releases. Both WAR AND PEACE and WATERLOO are favorites of mine, so to be able to purchase either would be truly exciting.
Posted February 28 2013 - 06:57 AM
Love to see this on blu. I wonder if Paramount has elements for it. A number of people have suggested it as a good release for Olive in that thread, I don't ever recall hearing whether it was being considered.
Posted February 28 2013 - 10:09 AM
I think the way the film is structured is fantastic. There is the build up to the battle of Waterloo as the audience is introduced to Napoleon as he is forced to step down...a low moment in his life...and of course his return...and we meet Wellington at a ball, in totally different circumstances and then at least the entire second half (or more) of the film is a spectacular action packed reenactment of one of the most famous battles in military history. It will never be staged that way again because only Bondarchuk and Kubrick would have done it in the way we see it in this film. Now of course if it is ever done again it will be CGI and will feel like Waterloo done for Playstation. Plus we get Orson Welles as Louis XVIII in what manages to be a hilarious bit of acting...only Orson could make being fairly low key seem over the top. His delivery of "In a cage? Nobody asked for that." is subtle but at the same time Pythonesque. Basically if you gave the guy some make-up and a costume he would provide something you would not forget...be that his Louis here or General Dreedle in Catch-22...and I bet Orson wanted to keep his Louis XVIII costume as well.
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