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The War of the Worlds (1953) possible Blu-ray release?

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#21 of 58 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted April 02 2013 - 09:26 AM

I think it's comparable to today's CGI (the poor examples anyway). Most everyone in the audience knows that it's CG but they just accept it as being part of how movies are made.

That's exactly right.  It was the same with all the use of rear-projection and all the outdoor sets built on sound stages.  It was just accepted as the way things were, which was why, in the 1950s, yet another way that movies tried to combat television was by going out on location more.  Outdoor sets on a soundstage was sooo television!


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#22 of 58 OFFLINE   dana martin

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Posted April 02 2013 - 12:28 PM

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60th Anniversary release would be most welcomed and if WB felt really generous they could also release another little George Pal film called The Time Machine as well . :D


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#23 of 58 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 02 2013 - 12:30 PM

WOTW was originally scheduled for a May 1953 release.

 

It premiered in London in mid-April in 1.37 and the U.S. premiere was on July 29 at the Warner Theatre in Atlantic City. However, the nationwide U.S. release was delayed until October so it could open in major theaters in 1.66 widescreen. It certainly was composed for 1.37 but it was shown in most cities in widescreen.

 

Interesting. Looks like Warner could have another "Shane situation" on its hands if they ever decide to release this one on Blu-ray from Paramount's library.


"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


#24 of 58 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted April 02 2013 - 12:35 PM

35mm Technicolor prints were not THAT soft.


Yes, the wires are visible.

 

And, yes, 1953 audiences could certainly see them and understood what they were. The notion that moviegoers were less sophisticated in 1953 is ridiculous.

 

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A response to all. I realize that my original post was innaccurate. If I could edit it, I would, but this forum is not allowing me to do so. So, my opinion on the wires is to make them as visible as they were upon original release. That is, not as visible as they currently are on the DVD. The DVDs and all home releases of this film are not accurate to the original theatrical appearance in terms of color, sharpness, or brightness. To those of you saying that they will be blatant and absolute eyesores in HD, correct color timing and image work would make them less visible. If digital artistry is used, it should only lessen the visibility wires to that of their original 1953 appearance. I do not consider total removal of the wires to be an acceptable option. Remember, this film won the Oscar for Best Special Effects (or whatever the 1953 equivalent was), so those Oscar-winning effects should be presented on BD as they were shown in theaters in 1953. I hope I have made my point clear.


Edited by Lromero1396, April 02 2013 - 12:40 PM.


#25 of 58 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted April 02 2013 - 01:32 PM

60th Anniversary release would be most welcomed and if WB felt really generous they could also release another little George Pal film called The Time Machine as well . :D

As far as I'm concerned, it's the very reason the double feature Blu-rays mixing Warner-controlled and Paramount titles should definitely consider this Pal duo.


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#26 of 58 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted April 02 2013 - 05:53 PM

As far as I'm concerned, it's the very reason the double feature Blu-rays mixing Warner-controlled and Paramount titles should definitely consider this Pal duo.

Don't forget about When Worlds Collide...



#27 of 58 OFFLINE   t1g3r5fan

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Posted April 02 2013 - 09:53 PM

Don't forget about When Worlds Collide...

 

There's also The Naked Jungle and Conquest of Space...could make a nice 4 Film Favorites set for those who don't have those Pal titles. However, I would like to see all of them get the Blu treatment



#28 of 58 OFFLINE   Persianimmortal

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Posted April 02 2013 - 10:28 PM

Since we're raising George Pal titles, I've always had a soft spot for Destination Moon. But basically the upshot of it is that there's a distinct lack of 50's sci-fi on Blu, given the wealth of titles to choose from.



#29 of 58 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted April 02 2013 - 10:35 PM

Sadly, Wade Williams owns Destination Moon.


Don't hold your breath...


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#30 of 58 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted April 03 2013 - 01:32 AM

35mm Technicolor prints were not THAT soft.


Yes, the wires are visible.

 

And, yes, 1953 audiences could certainly see them and understood what they were. The notion that moviegoers were less sophisticated in 1953 is ridiculous.

 

attachicon.gifwowPSpg1.jpg

attachicon.gifwowPSpg2.jpg

attachicon.gifwowPSpg3.jpg

Well lets put it this way, they were more willing to suspend their disbelief when watching something like minatures on wires, or a rear projection driving shot. Most audience members probably didn't give a whole lot of thought to it.

 

Doug


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#31 of 58 OFFLINE   Doug Otte

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Posted April 03 2013 - 08:09 AM

35mm Technicolor prints were not THAT soft.


Yes, the wires are visible.

 

And, yes, 1953 audiences could certainly see them and understood what they were. The notion that moviegoers were less sophisticated in 1953 is ridiculous.

 

attachicon.gifwowPSpg1.jpg

attachicon.gifwowPSpg2.jpg

attachicon.gifwowPSpg3.jpg

Bob, thanks for posting that fascinating historical article.



#32 of 58 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted April 03 2013 - 08:46 PM

Here is a scan from an original 35mm dye-transfer Technicolor trailer:

 

War-Worlds-web_zps2e57fab5.jpg

 

It's the only shot of a war machine in the trailer. I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but there is a wire visible above the ship. It's hard to miss on the big screen!


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#33 of 58 OFFLINE   Richard V

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Posted April 04 2013 - 06:26 AM

Bob, I think I see it, next to the "cobra" neck, I think.


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#34 of 58 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted April 04 2013 - 07:24 AM

When I saw WOTW at my local theater as a young lad (circa early 1960's), I can't honestly say whether or not I remember seeing the wires. But I DO remember the vivid COLORS!

 

Not to mention the fact that near the end of the film when the martians war machines were destroying the world with their heat, and disintegration rays, I was so scared that I accidentally swallowed a hard candy that I had in my mouth, and almost choked!



#35 of 58 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted April 04 2013 - 07:29 AM

Bob, I think I see it, next to the "cobra" neck, I think.

 

Yes, if you click on the image, it expands and you can see a visible wire to the right of the cobra neck.


That's a great memory, Reed. Wish I had seen it in a theater packed with kiddies. I bet that was fun!


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#36 of 58 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted April 04 2013 - 12:27 PM

I want the film with the wires removed, unless you can convince me that the film-makers wanted the seams in their special effects to show. Otherwise, take 'em out!


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#37 of 58 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted April 04 2013 - 02:32 PM

In 1998 I played one of the new technicolor dye transfer prints of The Wizard Of Oz. Warner offered one of these prints if you played in the OAR. That was the first time I saw the wires controlling the Cowardly Lion's tail. I was amazed and amused by this aspect and realized that the audiences in 1939 saw the wires also. I have been disappointed that the wires have been removed for Blu-ray versions.

To make a long story longer, I think I would be disapointed if they removed the wires in WOTW for it is likely that is what the audiences saw in 1953. My experience with this great fun title has been on late night TV showings and home video so the wires have never been very visible to me in the past.
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#38 of 58 OFFLINE   Jacksmyname

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Posted April 04 2013 - 08:28 PM

Another "I'm ok if they remove the wires" vote here.

I agree with the idea that if the technology was available back then, it would have been used to hide the wires.


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#39 of 58 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted April 04 2013 - 09:09 PM

In 1998 I played one of the new technicolor dye transfer prints of The Wizard Of Oz. Warner offered one of these prints if you played in the OAR. That was the first time I saw the wires controlling the Cowardly Lion's tail. I was amazed and amused by this aspect and realized that the audiences in 1939 saw the wires also. I have been disappointed that the wires have been removed for Blu-ray versions.

To make a long story longer, I think I would be disapointed if they removed the wires in WOTW for it is likely that is what the audiences saw in 1953. My experience with this great fun title has been on late night TV showings and home video so the wires have never been very visible to me in the past.

I agree with you, ahollis. I'm actually getting sick of all this digital manipulation for perceived filmmaker intent and I want the wires to stay. I think that removing them would be unacceptable at this point. Also, 1950's sci-fi has a fanbase in some ways similar to that of Star Wars and Star Trek. If the wires were removed, more people would be angered than those who would be pleased in general. The release I feel would sell more units with the wires still in. End of story.



#40 of 58 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted April 05 2013 - 12:59 AM

Also, 1950's sci-fi has a fanbase in some ways similar to that of Star Wars and Star Trek. If the wires were removed, more people would be angered than those who would be pleased in general. The release I feel would sell more units with the wires still in. End of story.

 

I agree with that.  It's not like Criterion removed the wires or updated the special effects in Godzilla, and I don't think any of the Toho monster movies on blu-ray bothered either.  And as you say, most fans from sci-fi movies of that era have long, long since accepted and even admired the challenges and limitations of pulling off convincing special effects in that era.  The more complicated and experimental techniques were never perfect and seams were bound to show every once in a while.  Imagination and sheer creativity always trumped technical perfection as long as the technical crew at least tried to make things convincing.  Sure, so one except kids believe the actors were actually being rendered to atomic dust, but the mere idea and decent enough depiction of it was simply too cool to pass up.

 

Let's face it, stuff like wire-removal is more of the exception that the rule when it comes to old classics on blu-ray.  Unless it's a major AAA mainstream title like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Wizard of Oz, they aren't going to go to that kind of trouble.  Universal didn't "update" the special effects in their recent Universal Horror film collection, and likewise Paramount/WB doing this for George Pal sci-fi is equally remote.







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