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Shane Blu-ray... in 1:66?

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#81 of 420 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 25 2013 - 08:25 PM

The three channel stereo track for SHANE was finished in May in time for the May 27 midwest premiere in Chicago at the State-Lake Theatre. From that point forward, most openings in major cities were in widescreen with stereophonic sound.

 

The full-coat three channel magnetic track was on a separate 35mm print that was interlocked with the picture. WAR OF THE WORLDS, SCARED STIFF, THE CADDY, THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE and CEASE FIRE were other stereophonic Paramount titles from that year.

 

Sadly, to the best of our knowledge, none survive. Paramount, like most other studios, did not see the value of preserving the stereophonic masters after the original theatrical play-dates.

 

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#82 of 420 Frank Bidart

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Posted March 25 2013 - 09:36 PM

The Paramount VHS pre-recorded tape of WAR OF THE WORLDS was in Stereo.  At the time I thought it was genuine Stereo; if it was fake, electronic Stereo, it was elegantly and discreetly done.  I was surprised when it was released.  At the time I didn't know what Mr. Furmanek is now telling us, that the film originally had authentic Stereo tracks.  My memory of the DVD is that the Stereo had less separation--but I don't know where my copy is, so I can't check.  Is it possible that the original, genuine Stereo tracks existed as late as the VHS tape?



#83 of 420 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 25 2013 - 09:46 PM

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No, those were created by Chace in the 1990's from existing stems. Sadly, the original stereophonic tracks from 1953 are long gone.

 

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#84 of 420 Matt Hough

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Posted March 26 2013 - 04:43 AM

Love that picture!



#85 of 420 Jeffrey Wells

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Posted March 26 2013 - 02:44 PM

George Stevens and dp Loyal Griggs shot "Shane" at 1.37 -- that is a STONE COLD FACT.  Between July and October of 1951. Before anyone had ever heard of or even conceptualized 1.66.  It was never intended to be seen at 1.66 by its makers, period.  

Has George Stevens, Jr, done an impeccable job of making the 1.66 Bluray version look as good as possible by balancing the visual elements and not chopping heads off and whatnot?  Almost certainly, I'm told.  But did his father and Loyal Griggs compose and shoot for 1.66?  No, they did NOT.

 

The 1.66 release of "Shane" was a studio mandate.  We've got to look bigger and broader than TV.  Get on board or else.  The industry was up in arms against TV.  It was a huge Battle Cry.  Starting in April 1953 is was "wider and bigger, wider and bigger," etc.

 

Do you suppose that the studio chiefs went to Stevens and said, "Whaddaya think, George?  Is it okay with you & your dp if we whack the tops and bottoms off the film that you guys shot?  We won't do it if you say no." 

 

Seriously -- what was Stevens going to say or do?  Be Patrick Henry and fall on his sword while insisting on 1.37 or death?  He was a political animal like all studio directors, trying to swim and stay afloat.

How in the world can anyone be against urging WHV to present the film as it was framed and shot to Bluray viewers?  How could it possibly be a problem to urge a concurrent release via Warner Archives of the real Shane (i.e., the 1.37 version)?  Stevens told me that he prepared a highdef/Bluray version of same.  It's there to be issued.  How could this possibly be a problem for anyone who cares about this film?

 

As the Bluray has no doubt been pressed and duplicated and locked down, I'm going to send a letter today to every person of any importance in the Bluray/home video/archive & restoration community, asking that they sign a letter urging Warner Home Video to issue a concurrent 1.37 Shane Bluray via Warner Archives.

Scorsese, Woody Allen, the heads of the American Cinematheque, AFI, BFI, Robert Harris, Bob Furmanek, Scott Foundas, Todd McCarthy, Robert Osborne and the people behind the TCM Classic Film Festival, Tom Luddy, Gary Meyer, all the restoration guys in the community, Home Theatre Forum, Digital Bits, Highdef Digest, the Film Foundation...everyone of note who could or would care about seeing a Bluray of George Stevens' film as it was actually framed and shot in 1951.

 

And not some bizarre studio-slice version that DID NOT and NEVER WILL represent what Stevens and Griggs framed and captured on the set.  You can cut the pie ten or fifty different ways and it still comes down to that ROCK-SOLID FACT.


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#86 of 420 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 26 2013 - 02:48 PM

I've been expecting you.  Good luck with your campaign.  The only thing Warner/Paramount needs to do is include the 1.37:1 version with that 1.66:1 version.


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#87 of 420 Peter Neski

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Posted March 26 2013 - 04:54 PM

“given the choice of having a 1:37 version placed in the center of a horizontal television screen with bars on each side, or a carefully configured 1:66 to 1 version that filled the screen, I am confident George Stevens would subscribe to the latter.”

 

 

 

This is the same type of thinking that Storaro made when he cropped Apocalypse ,wrong then wrong now



#88 of 420 Moe Dickstein

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Posted March 26 2013 - 05:00 PM

Although, what studio was asking for Univisum lol
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#89 of 420 GregK

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Posted March 26 2013 - 07:27 PM

The Paramount VHS pre-recorded tape of WAR OF THE WORLDS was in Stereo.  At the time I thought it was genuine Stereo; if it was fake, electronic Stereo, it was elegantly and discreetly done.  I was surprised when it was released.  At the time I didn't know what Mr. Furmanek is now telling us, that the film originally had authentic Stereo tracks.  My memory of the DVD is that the Stereo had less separation--but I don't know where my copy is, so I can't check.  Is it possible that the original, genuine Stereo tracks existed as late as the VHS tape?

 

As Bob noted, the original 3 track mix is believed to be lost. But yes- on home video there have been two different stereo re-mixes of WOTW made from surviving M/D/E tracks.



#90 of 420 Frank Bidart

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Posted March 26 2013 - 10:10 PM

Bob Furmanek and GregK, thank you!  I'm glad to know that the separation I was hearing--separation that always seemed too good to come from fake electronic rechannelling, so common in the early days of Stereo--was from surviving stems, even if the original 3 track mix hadn't survived.  It's a great luxury to hear what happened from those who know the state of the surviving elements.  I hope when the Blu-ray is issued the stems are used again--they created a sense of space and grandeur that was very appropriate for the film.



#91 of 420 haineshisway

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Posted March 26 2013 - 10:21 PM

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Does anyone know for an absolute fact that both versions won't be on the Blu-ray.  I have seen no official details on this release.  And until there are official details all this breast-beating is kind of premature?


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#92 of 420 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 27 2013 - 03:41 AM

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Does anyone know for an absolute fact that both versions won't be on the Blu-ray.  I have seen no official details on this release.  And until there are official details all this breast-beating is kind of premature?

At the SRP of 19.98, I doubt two versions are on this June 4th BD release.


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#93 of 420 PaulaJ

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Posted March 27 2013 - 06:36 AM

Haines -- you are right, the disc details are not finalized.  But I think the breast-beating is good -- hopefully Paramount/WB is reading this thread and thinking seriously now of putting the 1:37 version on the disc. I imagine we all (or most of us) would be happy to pay a little more or wait a little longer if that's what it took to include both versions. I know I would.


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#94 of 420 HDvision

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Posted March 27 2013 - 09:47 AM

I'm all for 1.66, but I would love a double plated edition with the 1.37 as the bonus, agreed. Oh, and welcome to colorful blogger Jeffrey Wells ;)



#95 of 420 JSul

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Posted March 27 2013 - 10:36 AM

Thank you Mr. Wells, and I fully support your effort in this matter.....and to all of you that are part of this discussion.
I am passionate when it comes to film preservation, and presentation.

IMHO, the solution is to provide the Academy version, as close to 1.37:1 as possible, and if a 1:66:1 widescreen version is done, it be, without any doubts,
THE ORIGINAL WIDESCREEN version presented to theater audiences....not one altered, reframed, changed in any manner.

I simply want films to be shown as originally intended.
If that means "black bars" in any shape or form to preserve the integrity of the film, then so be it.

I am so concerned by those who desire to alter historical achievements, just so their 16x9 screens are filled. To those, I simply say, take full advantage of the 'zoom' options on your sets.

#96 of 420 Bob Furmanek

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Posted March 27 2013 - 11:08 AM

Perhaps, if he reads my posts, Mr. Wells will finally learn that I am not a "1.85:1 Fascist" as I have been called multiple times on his website.

 

I am always in favor of the original photographic intent of the filmmaker, whether it be 1.37, 1.65, 1.66, 1.75, 1.85, 2.1, 2.35, 2.55 or 2.66.


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#97 of 420 HDvision

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Posted March 27 2013 - 11:16 AM

Jsul, you can't do your own reframing on your TV set or your computer from a 1.33:1 or 1.37:1 file. It will not be accurate because you won't know if the full frame you think you have isn"t actually the full frame but zoomboxed (unless you have a piece of the oneg to compare).

 

As for the original 1.66 theater framing, I said it already and will say it again: if it will look bad on current screen to current tech savvy viewers, better to adjust to the best presentation, just like the framing of the academy transfer of many films is ALWAYS adjusted within the full frame to make it look best. 



#98 of 420 Robert Harris

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Posted March 27 2013 - 12:21 PM

Perhaps, if he reads my posts, Mr. Wells will finally learn that I am not a "1.85:1 Fascist" as I have been called multiple times on his website.

 

I am always in favor of the original photographic intent of the filmmaker, whether it be 1.37, 1.65, 1.66, 1.75, 1.85, 2.1, 2.35, 2.55 or 2.66.

 

 

Perhaps, if he reads my posts, Mr. Wells will finally learn that I am not a "1.85:1 Fascist" as I have been called multiple times on his website.

 

I am always in favor of the original photographic intent of the filmmaker, whether it be 1.37, 1.65, 1.66, 1.75, 1.85, 2.1, 2.35, 2.55 or 2.66.

 So you're a 2.21 hater!  We knew it!


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#99 of 420 Charles Smith

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Posted March 27 2013 - 12:30 PM

Oy!



#100 of 420 ScottHM

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Posted March 27 2013 - 12:35 PM

I've used the "zoom" feature of my television set, but try as I might I'm not able to reproduce the look of a 50' screen in my living room, so I guess I'm destined to "alter historical achievements" regardless of desire.

 

 

I am so concerned by those who desire to alter historical achievements, just so their 16x9 screens are filled. To those, I simply say, take full advantage of the 'zoom' options on your sets.







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