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Waterloo on Blu-Ray


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#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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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.

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted February 28 2013 - 12:49 AM



#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted February 28 2013 - 12:51 AM



#4 of 24 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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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.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Ed Lachmann

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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.

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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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.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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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.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted October 27 2014 - 07:07 AM

Still hoping for a blu-ray of this...Criterion...Arrow...Twilight Time...Kino...anybody...


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#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted October 27 2014 - 07:22 AM

Oops...double post...



#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted October 27 2014 - 07:24 AM

This is showing on BBC 2 in HD this Sunday afternoon. I'll record it, but I remember being very disappointed when I saw it at the cinema.



#11 of 24 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted October 27 2014 - 07:32 AM

This is showing on BBC 2 in HD this Sunday afternoon. I'll record it, but I remember being very disappointed when I saw it at the cinema.

I think it's really very good and I would love to have it on BR.  I think anyone interested in the history will think it's awesome, unless they know so much about the history that they get bothered by minor historical inaccuracies. 



#12 of 24 OFFLINE   AdrianTurner

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Posted October 27 2014 - 07:45 AM

The BBC ran Vidor's lumpen War and Peace yesterday in a terrible washed-out print.  Hoping for better with Waterloo - have to say I prefer Abba's version to this one. 



#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted October 27 2014 - 07:49 AM

The BBC ran Vidor's lumpen War and Peace yesterday in a terrible washed-out print.  Hoping for better with Waterloo - have to say I prefer Abba's version to this one. 

 

Yeah, I recorded it, I saw a bit of it & it did look a bit rough. The thing is I've never seen it. I'll look at just the first 40 minutes, & if I like it I'll buy the Blu-ray.



#14 of 24 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted October 27 2014 - 08:27 AM

Yeah, I recorded it, I saw a bit of it & it did look a bit rough. The thing is I've never seen it. I'll look at just the first 40 minutes, & if I like it I'll buy the Blu-ray.

Well, if a blu-ray is released that will be great!



#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted October 27 2014 - 08:37 AM

Well, if a blu-ray is released that will be great!

 

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was talking about War & Peace that was on TV (UK) yesterday, which is being released in America & has been out for a year in Europe.

 

Thinking about the Napoleonic Wars, I just happened to watch my Blu of Master & Commander last night. Great movie.



#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Paul_Warren

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Posted October 27 2014 - 11:02 AM

This is an excellent film. So good Stanley Kubrick (an expert on Napoleon) cancelled his own plans for a Napoleon film :(  as he could not get studio funding (Spielberg bought the material from the Kubrick family & is now developing it into a TV mini series).

 

Some of the battle scenes to this day look realistic one in particular has the camera slowly hovering over an immense battlefield with smoke & debris flying everywhere & 18,000 Soviet extras making it look very authentic its still one of the greatest shots in the history of cinema ;) all practical FX as well!

 

Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Wells, Jack Hawkins, Ian Ogilvy, Virginia McKenna & many other fine actors all give decent performances. 

 

If someone could do a decent HD transfer this would still look amazing on modern displays its a largely forgotten (by the mainstream audience) epic classic. I rate it right up there with the other epics from the 1950-70s so hopefully someday they can get access to the film & give it a decent BD it will find its audience again if given the chance :)



#17 of 24 ONLINE   Douglas R

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Posted October 27 2014 - 12:00 PM

This is showing on BBC 2 in HD this Sunday afternoon. I'll record it, but I remember being very disappointed when I saw it at the cinema.


Thanks for the tip. I've already set it to record (unlike last time!!). I didn't think much of the film when it was first released either but seeing it on DVD a few years ago, it seemed better than I remembered. It should look spectacular in HD.

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted October 27 2014 - 12:51 PM

Some of the battle scenes to this day look realistic one in particular has the camera slowly hovering over an immense battlefield with smoke & debris flying everywhere & 18,000 Soviet extras making it look very authentic its still one of the greatest shots in the history of cinema ;) all practical FX as well!

 

 

 

You mean this scene?

 

 

French cavalry attack 1.jpeg

 

French cavalry attack 2.jpeg

 

French cavalry attack 3.jpeg


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#19 of 24 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted October 27 2014 - 12:58 PM

I saw it on release and absolutely loved it (I was a Napoleonic Wars nut...); I still love it, it's gloriously atmospheric and it is truly spectacular on a grand scale - in particular, the helicopter shots of the charge by the French cavalry on the British squares is mind-blowing in a way that any modern CGI recreation could never emulate. The charge of the Scots Greys still brings a tear.

 

A fully restored BD would be fantastic.


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#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Paul_Warren

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Posted October 27 2014 - 02:42 PM

You mean this scene?

 

 

 

It starts @ 1:43.54 & only runs about 26 secs. It looks like a combination of helicopter & train (they built a railway track in the air to film certain scenes :thumbs-up-smiley:) shots hovering above the battle. Such a visually dense & epic tracking shot selection. If they tried to recreate those 26 secs today it would cost a titanic amount of money it looks so real as well because it was real on set :thumbs-up-smiley:

 

I looked the budget up as £12m in 1970. That was a gigantic amount of money for any film back then even after the Russian government had supplied the extras & some equipment as well as create the battlefield hill set. So without all of that assistance this film would have cost a lot more to make. Its all on the screen as well I doubt the actors got massive salaries in those days. Truly an epic movie with some strong acting as well from the leads especially.

 

Someday I hope we get a decent Bluray this film really deserves to showcase the amazing international talent that created it :)






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