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Universal prepping Touch of Evil, High Plains Drifter and Double Indemnity


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted March 08 2013 - 06:10 AM

Relevant excerpt from this Q&A regarding the Schindler's List release:


Any upcoming projects you want to talk about?


We have a commitment to restore 3 to 5 new prints a year. Right now, we’re working on A Touch of Evil, High Plains Drifter, Double Indemnity — and we’ll probably add another title or two at the end of the year.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted March 08 2013 - 06:32 AM

As both Touch Of Evil and Double Indemnity have been released on BRD in the U. K. by Eureka - both discs are excellent by the way - I assume Universal already have the HD masters fully prepared.

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted March 08 2013 - 06:43 AM

How can they have the HD Master prepared if they are doing new restorations?


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Peter Neski

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Posted March 08 2013 - 06:45 AM

Hope they include all versions of Touch of Evil,and no dvd

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Randal Gist

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Posted March 08 2013 - 07:01 AM

This is most welcome news.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted March 08 2013 - 07:06 AM

Got to see "Touch Of Evil" theatrically in the '90s in the restored version culled together from Orson Welles' directorial notes...it was a revelation...I hope that the new BD coming from this will do justice to what I thought was a wonderful realization of his actual artistic vision for this movie...also stoked about "High Plains Drifter" and "Double Indemnity" being restored by Universal and would love to add all 3 titles to my video library of HD titles!!!Posted Image



#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted March 08 2013 - 07:28 AM

I'm interested in all of these, but will wait for reviews. It's Universal, I can't get excited yet.



#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Doctorossi

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Posted March 08 2013 - 07:50 AM

Thanks for the news!

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted March 08 2013 - 08:03 AM

I have the MoC Touch of Evil, but not their Double Indemnity. I'll wait and see if we'll be getting the same transfer for the latter or if Universal will offer a new alternative transfer (for better or worse). Will also be interested in High Plains Drifter.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   mikeyhitchfan

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Posted March 08 2013 - 10:19 AM

Universal has a Digibook of Touch of Evil in France already. Only the one 'final' restored cut is on there.



#11 of 16 OFFLINE   jsteed

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Posted March 08 2013 - 03:15 PM

Universal has a Digibook of Touch of Evil in France already. Only the one 'final' restored cut is on there.

I own the France Digibook version of Touch of Evil and it actually has all three cuts spread over two discs. The first disc has the restored cut, and the second disc seamlessly branches the other two cuts. Has the exact same special features as the 50th anniversary Edition DVD set that came out in the US. It's region free as well.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted March 08 2013 - 03:15 PM

I have the Eureka!/Masters of Cinema releases of Touch of Evil and Double Indemnity, and they're both awesome. I can't imagine Universal topping them.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted March 08 2013 - 03:33 PM

After MoC did Touch in the UK, I'd hoped we might get a Criterion here, but it seems like they are only giving CC the smaller titles unlike Sony who is licensing most everything to everyone
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Powell&Pressburger

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Posted March 08 2013 - 06:04 PM

I own the Eureka Masters of Cinema Universal releases, and if Universal happens to be working on a new either restoration or remaster of Double Indemnity I would be interested. This is no offense to the Eureka D.I. release since Universal supplied the transfer used, I just felt like yes it was good but I couldn't help but wonder could it be better? I love my Eureka BLUs, but if Universal does it correctly and with good intentions than I would like to see what their US releases will be.

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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   mikeyhitchfan

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Posted March 09 2013 - 01:22 AM

Originally Posted by jsteed 


I own the France Digibook version of Touch of Evil and it actually has all three cuts spread over two discs. The first disc has the restored cut, and the second disc seamlessly branches the other two cuts. Has the exact same special features as the 50th anniversary Edition DVD set that came out in the US. It's region free as well.

Wow, I didn't know that. Amazon's description is wrong then. I have the Eureka version and it's likely the same transfers with the exceptions of the 2 full screen 1.33 versions. Thanks for the update.



#16 of 16 OFFLINE   kingofthejungle

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Posted March 09 2013 - 01:35 AM

I don't think you can beat the MOC release of Touch of Evil. It's what inspired me to go region free. As far as the film itself, I think the original theatrical cut is the ONLY way to see it. The 'restoration' is undone by the inclusion of that super phony rear-projection car ride with Heston and Leigh - it is the antithesis of Welles' brilliance. Not to mention that the ordering of the scenes (with two visually flat, chatty car rides back to back) kills what the film had established in terms of mood and pacing. I understand that the theatrical cut leaves out a few informational tidbits that make the final scene a bit puzzling, but a work of art isn't lesser when it merely suggests rather than fully explains. The puzzle of Quinlan's character is one of the things that makes the original cut so beguiling, and in this way the restoration loses much of the film's mystery. That said- I do think the non-Mancini opening shot, and the confrontation between where Quinlan openly insinuates to Vargas that his wife is a tramp would be worthy extras.




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