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A few words about...™ Love is a Many-Splendored Thing -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Twilight Time Fox

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#1 of 54 Robert Harris

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Posted July 12 2013 - 12:36 PM

Henry King's 1955 epic romance, set in late 1940s Hong Kong, is a perennial favorite of the genre.

 

Using Fox's earlier magnetic only prints for distribution, it has been prepared by Fox for Twilight Time, in its proper 2.55:1 aspect ratio.

 

Films shot on 5248 are the most notorious for dye fade, with the problem reaching its most problematic in 1960.  Generally, the earlier the better.

 

Produced beginning in late 1954 - early 1955, and released in mid-August of 1955, LiAM-ST seems to have received a bit of a reprieve from the emulsion gods, along I presume, with a large portion of help from the Fox asset protection staff.

 

What I'm seeing looks very original on Blu-ray, with accurate color, nicely rendered grain, black levels and shadow detail.  Just a beautiful digital version of the film.

 

Audio, heard on the Blu in DTS-HD MA is 5.1, presumably based upon an original 4.0.

 

As an aside, rumor has it, that Mr. Holden and Ms Jones got along so poorly on the shoot, that she would feast on raw galic cloves just before they were have a love scene.

 

Image - 5

 

Audio - 5

 

Highly Recommended

 

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 54 lukejosephchung

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Posted July 12 2013 - 01:45 PM

One of my favorite '50s vintage widescreen movies...just got my copy yesterday from TTE and will be checking it out over the weekend...glad that it has your full Seal Of Approval from a technical standpoint, Robert...thanks for the positive review!!!



#3 of 54 haineshisway

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Posted July 12 2013 - 05:06 PM

It also has my Porpoise of Approval - why should seals get all the glory?


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#4 of 54 JohnMor

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Posted July 12 2013 - 05:58 PM

Just received my copy today, along with Leave Her to Heaven and Song of Bernadette.  It's going to be a classics filled weekend!



#5 of 54 Robert Harris

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Posted July 12 2013 - 06:10 PM

It also has my Porpoise of Approval - why should seals get all the glory?


I vote for pugs.

RAH
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"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 54 Matt Hough

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Posted July 12 2013 - 06:11 PM

Julie Kirgo relates the same Holden-Jones feud story in her extensive essay on the production of the film in the enclosed booklet.


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#7 of 54 ROclockCK

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Posted July 12 2013 - 06:39 PM

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Kirgo writes such great liner notes - informed and insightful but not the least bit stuffy. I really look forward to these entertaining little film essays each month, and thought her recent Leave Her to Heaven piece was one of her best.

 

You know what they say about collectors and their interest in such details though...I just wish more reviewers would take a few minutes to 'stop and smell the roses'. You're one of the rare ones who've even noted this aspect of TT's releases Mr. Hough.


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#8 of 54 ahollis

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Posted July 12 2013 - 06:55 PM

This is just about, if not one of the most perfect transfers I have watched. Thanks Twilight Time.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#9 of 54 classicmovieguy

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Posted July 12 2013 - 07:27 PM

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You'd never have suspected the offscreen rapport of Jones and Holden to have been strained; they were such consummate professionals because it doesn't show at all on the screen.


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#10 of 54 lukejosephchung

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Posted July 12 2013 - 11:19 PM

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Wanted to add kudos to Fox's Shawn Belston as it was his responsibility to make this film presentable for blu-ray release...he obviously succeeded brilliantly in this case!!!


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#11 of 54 Robert Harris

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Posted July 13 2013 - 02:52 AM

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Wanted to add kudos to Fox's Shawn Belston as it was his responsibility to make this film presentable for blu-ray release...he obviously succeeded brilliantly in this case!!!


Much like the quality that is constantly seen from Columbia / Sony, Mr. Belston stands firmly at the helm at Fox, orchestrating one quality transfer after another.

RAH
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"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


#12 of 54 Robin9

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Posted July 15 2013 - 01:40 AM

I don't like being the killjoy but I have to say that the last few shots in this transfer are pretty bad, particularly the close-ups of Jennifer Jones as she looks up at the hill. If Olive Films released a BRD looking like that, well . . . . . . 
 
I was fascinated to learn from the commentary track that all the Hong Kong footage was filmed by Charles G. Clarke who doesn't get any screen credit at all. He surely deserved at the very least an Additional photography by Charles G. Clarke credit. He also did the shots of Kilimanjaro in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, another King/Shamroy collaboration. Charles G. Clarke photographed The Sound And The Fury, one of Twilight Time's best transfers.


#13 of 54 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 15 2013 - 02:16 AM

 

I don't like being the killjoy but I have to say that the last few shots in this transfer are pretty bad, particularly the close-ups of Jennifer Jones as she looks up at the hill. If Olive Films released a BRD looking like that, well . . . . . . 
 
I was fascinated to learn from the commentary track that all the Hong Kong footage was filmed by Charles G. Clarke who doesn't get any screen credit at all. He surely deserved at the very least an Additional photography by Charles G. Clarke credit. He also did the shots of Kilimanjaro in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, another King/Shamroy collaboration. Charles G. Clarke photographed The Sound And The Fury, one of Twilight Time's best transfers.

 

Is there an Olive versus TT slant among us?  I'm just wondering as it seems like comments similar to the one I bolded, do come up in certain Olive and TT threads.


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#14 of 54 Robert Harris

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Posted July 15 2013 - 05:11 AM

 

I don't like being the killjoy but I have to say that the last few shots in this transfer are pretty bad, particularly the close-ups of Jennifer Jones as she looks up at the hill. If Olive Films released a BRD looking like that, well . . . . . . 
 
I was fascinated to learn from the commentary track that all the Hong Kong footage was filmed by Charles G. Clarke who doesn't get any screen credit at all. He surely deserved at the very least an Additional photography by Charles G. Clarke credit. He also did the shots of Kilimanjaro in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, another King/Shamroy collaboration. Charles G. Clarke photographed The Sound And The Fury, one of Twilight Time's best transfers.

 

 

I'm at a loss to see what you're seeing.

 

The final shots are all fine.  A couple are original dupes.  The shot of Ms Jones in MS next to the tree, as the butterfly lands, is an optical / matte shot.  The shot of her walking down hill is also an optical dupe, which includes the end title.

 

And if one wishes to bring Olive into the equation, this looks nothing whatsoever like an Olive title.  A great deal of hard work from the archival team at Fox went into bringing this to Blu-ray perfection.

 

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


#15 of 54 nealg

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Posted July 15 2013 - 05:58 AM

I just watched this for the first time this weekend, on a dvd from the library. Are the dissolves (of which there are a LOT) any better on the blu-ray? I know this is the optical printer effect I'm seeing, where the image quality degrades immediately preceding and following the dissolve. I found it very distracting on the dvd (2003 release) and was just curious if it was less noticeable on the new blu.


Edited by nealg, July 15 2013 - 06:00 AM.


#16 of 54 Robert Harris

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Posted July 15 2013 - 06:07 AM

I just watched this for the first time this weekend, on a dvd from the library. Are the dissolves (of which there are a LOT) any better on the blu-ray? I know this is the optical printer effect I'm seeing, where the image quality degrades immediately preceding and following the dissolve. I found it very distracting on the dvd (2003 release) and was just curious if it was less noticeable on the new blu.

 

Far better.


"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


#17 of 54 Robin9

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Posted July 15 2013 - 01:15 PM

Is there an Olive versus TT slant among us?  I'm just wondering as it seems like comments similar to the one I bolded, do come up in certain Olive and TT threads.

 

I'm an enthusiastic supporter of both Olive and Twilight Time. I recognise they have quite different business models and I respect both because I believe both are valid. I am becoming a little impatient with those who refuse to acknowledge the difference and criticize Olive for not being the same as Twilight Time and for not having the same high standards as Twilight Time. Some of those who cut Olive no slack at all are strangely tolerant when Twilight Time release a BRD which is less than perfect.

 

To my eyes, this BRD of Love Is A Many Splendored Thing is quite good but not more. I watch via a projector and from this BRD I get images 10 feet wide. I understand and accept that the elements Fox had to work with were sub-optimal and I'm not suggesting this BRD could have been better. Nevertheless, the images from this BRD are not in the same class as those from other Fox transfers such as The Egyptian, Wild River, The Comancheros, The Sound And The Fury, The Rains Of Ranchipur and Violent Saturday.

 

My point was and still is that none of the three threads about this BRD suggest that the images are less than ideal, but if Olive release a less than ideal BRD, the gloves come off in record time!



#18 of 54 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 15 2013 - 01:20 PM

I'm an enthusiastic supporter of both Olive and Twilight Time. I recognise they have quite different business models and I respect both because I believe both are valid. I am becoming a little impatient with those who refuse to acknowledge the difference and criticize Olive for not being the same as Twilight Time and for not having the same high standards as Twilight Time. Some of those who cut Olive no slack at all are strangely tolerant when Twilight Time release a BRD which is less than perfect.

 

To my eyes, this BRD of Love Is A Many Splendored Thing is quite good but not more. I watch via a projector and from this BRD I get images 10 feet wide. I understand and accept that the elements Fox had to work with were sub-optimal and I'm not suggesting this BRD could have been better. Nevertheless, the images from this BRD are not in the same class as those from other Fox transfers such as The Egyptian, Wild River, The Comancheros, The Sound And The Fury, The Rains Of Ranchipur and Violent Saturday.

 

My point was and still is that none of the three threads about this BRD suggest that the images are less than ideal, but if Olive release a less than ideal BRD, the gloves come off in record time!

By whom?  Come on, let's get this out on the table.


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#19 of 54 Robert Harris

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Posted July 15 2013 - 01:30 PM

I'm an enthusiastic supporter of both Olive and Twilight Time. I recognise they have quite different business models and I respect both because I believe both are valid. I am becoming a little impatient with those who refuse to acknowledge the difference and criticize Olive for not being the same as Twilight Time and for not having the same high standards as Twilight Time. Some of those who cut Olive no slack at all are strangely tolerant when Twilight Time release a BRD which is less than perfect.

 

To my eyes, this BRD of Love Is A Many Splendored Thing is quite good but not more. I watch via a projector and from this BRD I get images 10 feet wide. I understand and accept that the elements Fox had to work with were sub-optimal and I'm not suggesting this BRD could have been better. Nevertheless, the images from this BRD are not in the same class as those from other Fox transfers such as The Egyptian, Wild River, The Comancheros, The Sound And The Fury, The Rains Of Ranchipur and Violent Saturday.

 

My point was and still is that none of the three threads about this BRD suggest that the images are less than ideal, but if Olive release a less than ideal BRD, the gloves come off in record time!

 

Serious question.

 

When was the last time you had your projector professionally calibrated?

 

I'm also confused by your comments comparing a ideal or close to ideal Twilight Time release vs. a non-ideal Olive.  What's the point?

 

I don't go out of my way to denigrate Olive's releases.

 

I'm not a fan of any releases, that with a minimum of extra effort, could be far superior.  As to Olive, I'm not impressed.  We can begin with their abortive restorative efforts on The Quiet Man, and work our way up from there.

 

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


#20 of 54 Robin9

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Posted July 15 2013 - 01:37 PM

I'm at a loss to see what you're seeing.

 

The final shots are all fine.  A couple are original dupes.  The shot of Ms Jones in MS next to the tree, as the butterfly lands, is an optical / matte shot.  The shot of her walking down hill is also an optical dupe, which includes the end title.

 

 

The first two occasions I saw Love Is a Many Splendored Thing were on the big screen in re-run theaters. Unfortunately that was so long ago that I really can't remember exactly how individual shots looked. I certainly don't recall being jolted by a sudden deterioration in picture quality at the end of the movie. Watching this BRD I was jolted by the sudden drop in quality.

 

I'm not qualified to argue about this technically and my memory is shaky . . . but it doesn't look right to me.







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