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A few words about...™ Ship of Fools & Lilith -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 22 2013 - 05:45 AM

A great double bill from Mill Creek, a company releasing wonderful films at ridiculously low prices.   The quality of the titles is different, with Ship of Fools brilliantly coming to the fore.

 

I’m actually a bit confused, as viewing the Blu, I made a presumption - a dangerous thing - that I was viewing a BD-25.  I was wrong.

 

Both films have quality image harvests (they're from Columbia), gray scales are fine, as are shadow detail, overall resolution and grain structure.

 

Ship of Fools, a great film from Stanley Kramer, looks stunning on this disc, while Lilith less so.  While I’m seeing no problems on Ship, Lilith has what appear to be “floating, amorphous” backgrounds and areas of the frame.  Things simply seem to waver and lose stability.

 

My eyes were telling my brain that I was seeing problematic compression, and while that’s a possibility, it would make no sense on a BD-50, and this is a BD-50.

 

In the end, like many Mill Creek products, we end up with far more than our money’s worth.  Under $9 for two very high quality productions is too low.  Might they have been thinking of going to a BD-25, and then changed their minds?  Not a clue.

 

I should make clear that, while these odd problems are there on Lilith, I can almost overlook them for $5.  And to be clear, on a small screen, ie. not projection, it might not be noticed.

 

Two very fine films.  Take a look at the Ship of Fools cast, and you’ll be amazed.  The casting of Vivien Leigh with Lee Marvin alone, and seeing them go head to head, is worth the price of admission.  Sadly, this was Ms Leigh's final film.  She passed away in July of 1967, at only 53.

 

A side note:  I find it interesting how similar George Segal and Michael Dunn (who I got to know a bit back in 1966) look facially.

 

The film concerns the travelers on a German ocean liner going from Mexico to Europe in the early 1930s, as the Nazi regime was beginning to rise.  One of my favorite dialogue passages was between Jose Ferrer (Rieber) and Heinz Ruehmann (Lowenthal):

 

Reiber:  Lowenthal, you know it is a historical fact that the Jews are the basis of our misfortunes. 

 

Lowenthal:  Of course. 


Reiber:  You agree? 


Lowenthal:  Of course. The Jews and the bicycle riders. 


Reiber:  The bicycle riders? Why the bicycle riders? 


Lowenthal:  Why the Jews?

 

 

Ship of Fools

 

Image - 4.5

 

Audio - 5

 

Highly Recommended

 

 

Lilith

 

Image - 2.5

 

Audio -5

 

 

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 14 OFFLINE   Richard V

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Posted March 22 2013 - 07:27 AM

Thank you RAH, great to see that Ship of Fools was handled with care.  Excellent and often overlooked work of Mr. Kramer.


See you at the pah-ty, Richter.

#3 of 14 ONLINE   Powell&Pressburger

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Posted March 22 2013 - 07:27 AM

I was curious what you thought of some of the Sony Mill Creek releases. Hoping you also are able to review Happy Birthday to Me / When a Stranger Calls. I think both have strong HD transfers. I still need to watch Ship of Fools and I agree Lilith looked off to me when I first put the disc in.


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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   lark144

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Posted March 22 2013 - 05:22 PM

I've had this title on pre-order for quite some time. Lilith is a film I was dying to own on Blu Ray, and I'm sorry to hear that it has some problems. When I was at NYU, there was a seminar with cinematographer Eugen Schufftan, who screened two of his films, People On Sunday & Lillith. Mr. Schufftan mostly spoke about shooting People On Sunday on the run, so to speak, in Berlin, and told us many amusing stories which, unfortunately, I no longer remember, but the images from Lilith are ingrained in my memory.

 

As far as Ship of Fools is concerned, I've never managed to cath up with it, so I am looking forward to the experience.

 

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 22 2013 - 06:28 PM

I've had this title on pre-order for quite some time. Lilith is a film I was dying to own on Blu Ray, and I'm sorry to hear that it has some problems. When I was at NYU, there was a seminar with cinematographer Eugen Schufftan, who screened two of his films, People On Sunday & Lillith. Mr. Schufftan mostly spoke about shooting People On Sunday on the run, so to speak, in Berlin, and told us many amusing stories which, unfortunately, I no longer remember, but the images from Lilith are ingrained in my memory.
 
As far as Ship of Fools is concerned, I've never managed to cath up with it, so I am looking forward to the experience.

 


When were you at NYU?

"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


#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted March 22 2013 - 06:33 PM

I've always thought that it was the combination of his work in Ship of Fools and Cat Ballou that won Lee Marvin his 1965 Oscar (in much the same way that Diane Keaton won her 1977 one for Annie Hall and Looking for Mr. Goodbar).



#7 of 14 OFFLINE   John Hermes

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Posted March 22 2013 - 06:55 PM

I picked this up for $5 at Wal-Mart.



#8 of 14 ONLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted March 22 2013 - 07:07 PM

Yes, I think there were about a dozen of these at Walmart for $5 per double feature.  I was really sad not to find others that wanted to go home with me!  No, I take that back -- there was a spaghetti western pairing I grabbed as well, which I haven't watched yet.

 

Haven't yet watched Ship of Fools, but couldn't wait to pop the disc in right away and see Lilith for my first time.  Too bad that one isn't "perfect", but hey, what a sublime pleasure to finally have it.  On my plasma, it looked mostly fine.  Not perfect, but very very good.



#9 of 14 OFFLINE   dana martin

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Posted March 22 2013 - 08:48 PM

picked this up just before Christmas at Wal-Mart as well and i thought that Ship of Fools was really a great presentation for the price, have paid more for lesser presentations  that ended up being DNR messes


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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Jobla

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Posted March 23 2013 - 09:39 AM

I wish that LILITH had been released as a single item.



#11 of 14 OFFLINE   hypnohighball

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Posted March 23 2013 - 11:20 AM

I have the dvd of Lilith and think it's fine, is the BR worse, slightly better than that...?



#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Jobla

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Posted March 23 2013 - 11:29 AM

When I receive the Blu-ray of LILITH, I'm going to simultaneously play the older DVD along with it, and switch back and forth for comparison purposes.  I'll post about that here if I see anything of note.


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#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted March 23 2013 - 05:25 PM

I wish that LILITH had been released as a single item.

Why? The disc certainly wouldn't be any cheaper and I can't see why you would object to a superior movie (Ship of Fools) as a bonus.  :rolleyes:



#14 of 14 OFFLINE   lark144

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Posted March 24 2013 - 03:20 PM

When were you at NYU?

Off & On from 1971 thru 1983. I'm not sure when the seminar with Mr. Schufftan took place, either in 1973-4, or 1976, as I was not in New York  from the summer of 74 to the autumn of 76. I was on a leave of absence from NYU and then had difficulty getting back in, until I went to see Haig one day. He, of course, just said, "you're back!" and introduced me to George Stoney, who completely changed my life. So I have a lot to be grateful for. 







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