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A few words about...™ The Best Years of Our Lives -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Warner Blu-ray

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#41 of 56 JSLasher

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Posted November 06 2013 - 10:05 PM

An excellent review. Best Years is one of my all-time favourite films. It never fails to elicit various emotions on my part. I should note, furthermore, that I produced the only modern recording to date of Hugo Friedhofer's Oscar-winning original score. That was in in 1978. Friedhofer's score presently ranks sixth in the 100 Greatest Film Scores of All Time poll conducted by the American Film Institute a few years ago.

 

Incidentally, in 1978, when I visited Goldwyn Pictures to organise the production of the recording, the late Tom Bodley informed me that a Perspecta-encoded soundtrack had been prepared by the Goldwyn sound department for reels 1 and 2. The soundtrack which included 3-channels was recorded on a separate 35mm optical film, which was interlocked with the film. I included this material on the Entr'acte LP release. 

 

The laserdisc features the Perspecta re-mix (if I might call it such), but all of the other releases do not feature Friedhofer's music-and-effects track.


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#42 of 56 Mark VH

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Posted November 07 2013 - 08:52 AM

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Glad to have BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, my all-time favorite movie, in my hands today on Blu-Ray. It says how spoiled I am that I am slightly disappointed in the picture quality, but given that the film is nearly 70 years old and the negative was lost, I suppose I should be grateful to have what I have. Some older movies, when I see them on Blu-ray for the first time, it's almost like seeing the movie again for the first time. Not the case with BEST YEARS. Also disappointed there's not a commentary by a film historian. Many would have done if for free, I know for a fact. In any case, at least I don't have to complain about my favorite movie not being in HD anymore. This is as good as good as it will ever get for BEST YEARS. And that's pretty good, when I get a dose of perspective. Certainly better than audiences in 1946 had it..

 

Yeah, I'm glad to have this on Blu as well, but let's face it: it got shafted on extras. When Warner got the rights to the Goldwyn catalogue, they went and issued beautiful packages for Guys & Dolls and Hans Christian Anderson (both of which got the Blu-ray book treatment). This is literally just a repackaging of older DVDs (and the DVD Warner issued last year) with a slightly improved transfer. Just doesn't make sense that a prestige title like this would warrant so little attention from a studio like Warners, which has done so right by so many of its classic properties. I'm baffled that so many are praising them to the heavens for what ended up being a pretty minimal effort. 


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#43 of 56 battlebeast

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Posted November 07 2013 - 10:20 AM

One place only in Vancouver: Videomatica. HMV can order it, but that's not the same as walking into the store and taking it off the shelf, is it?

AMEN!!!!

 

grrr...

 

i had to order it through Walmart (Booooo...)


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#44 of 56 Lromero1396

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Posted November 07 2013 - 12:04 PM

Not really. I could give you a long list of Warner Blu-ray titles that do not include the original mono soundtrack.

Singin' in the Rain and Meet Me in St. Louis for starters. But you'll get no complaint from me, because I like stereo remixes if they are done tastefully.

 

Actually, I forgot about those. I was referring to some of their more recent releases like Shane, Stalag 17, Best Years, and The Bishop's Wife. I don't like that they aren't pursuing the original audio on their musicals like the ones you just mentioned as well as the reissue of The Wizard of Oz. 

I'm a purist who goes nuts when the original audio is not presented in lossless without any alterations beyond the standard digital cleanup. That's part of the reason why I've chosen not to indulge in their musical releases.

I lament the fact that the music only track was not included here.  It was included on the laserdisc as well as the first DVD.  My hope is that WUTHERING HEIGHTS will be released by Warner Bros. on bluray with the music only track that was included on the laserdisc. 

That really does stink, especially considering that Friedhofer won the Oscar for Best Years.


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#45 of 56 moovtune

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Posted November 08 2013 - 08:07 AM

I watched this last night and thought it looked very good for such an old film but was disappointed that both the Main Title music and End Title music had bumps. Couldn't they have found another source to fix that? Especially for a film that had an Oscar winning score.



#46 of 56 Doug Otte

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Posted November 08 2013 - 08:18 AM

I watched this last night and thought it looked very good for such an old film but was disappointed that both the Main Title music and End Title music had bumps. Couldn't they have found another source to fix that? Especially for a film that had an Oscar winning score.

'Bumps'?  Sorry; I'm not familiar w/ that term.  Thanks.



#47 of 56 Lromero1396

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Posted November 08 2013 - 10:27 AM

I watched this last night and thought it looked very good for such an old film but was disappointed that both the Main Title music and End Title music had bumps. Couldn't they have found another source to fix that? Especially for a film that had an Oscar winning score.

Audio 'bumps'?, may also be known as thumps. Or are we talking image jumps from warped film or bad splices? I haven't seen the disc yet so I can't comment really on what exactly it is you're referring to.



#48 of 56 moviebuff75

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Posted November 08 2013 - 12:03 PM

I just put in the new Blu-ray and listened to the opening credits. There was no "bump" that I could hear. It all played smoothly from start to finish.


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#49 of 56 Carabimero

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Posted November 08 2013 - 04:36 PM

An excellent review. Best Years is one of my all-time favourite films. It never fails to elicit various emotions on my part. I should note, furthermore, that I produced the only modern recording to date of Hugo Friedhofer's Oscar-winning original score. That was in in 1978. Friedhofer's score presently ranks sixth in the 100 Greatest Film Scores of All Time poll conducted by the American Film Institute a few years ago.

 

Incidentally, in 1978, when I visited Goldwyn Pictures to organise the production of the recording, the late Tom Bodley informed me that a Perspecta-encoded soundtrack had been prepared by the Goldwyn sound department for reels 1 and 2. The soundtrack which included 3-channels was recorded on a separate 35mm optical film, which was interlocked with the film. I included this material on the Entr'acte LP release. 

 

The laserdisc features the Perspecta re-mix (if I might call it such), but all of the other releases do not feature Friedhofer's music-and-effects track.

 

I just today bought a copy of it from Amazon. Looks like it will take its sweet time getting to me from overseas, but very much looking forward to it.



#50 of 56 CineCraft

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Posted November 09 2013 - 02:00 PM

Tsk, tsk, Warner's should've sprung for the delivery confirmation option :P

 

What WB has performed with the elements I find amazing.  A bit dupey in a handful of shots, as the image is derived from a least one fine grain master.  The original negative was, I believe, lost in shipment decades ago.

 

 



#51 of 56 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 28 2013 - 09:02 AM

I feel as if I spent a better year of my life watching this film for the past 2 1/2 hours plus...

 

...but now having seen it for the very first time ever...

 

I thought it was an EXCEPTIONAL film.  Really exceptional. 

 

I find it amazing some of the controversial issues in a 1940s film.  Wonder how groundbreaking

this was for its time.

 

In any event, I am really happy I had the chance to watch this.  Great blind purchase!


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#52 of 56 Mike Frezon

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Posted December 28 2013 - 10:04 AM

I feel as if I spent a better year of my life watching this film for the past 2 1/2 hours plus...

 

...but now having seen it for the very first time ever...

 

I thought it was an EXCEPTIONAL film.  Really exceptional. 

 

I find it amazing some of the controversial issues in a 1940s film.  Wonder how groundbreaking

this was for its time.

 

In any event, I am really happy I had the chance to watch this.  Great blind purchase!

 

Awesome, Ron!  I have the same treat lined up for myself (sometime very soon).

 

This is one of those films of which I had the DVD on my shelf for many, many years and never watched it (the subject matter never really appealed to the family).  But I went ahead and purchased the Blu anyway because  I have heard so many good things about it. 


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#53 of 56 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 28 2013 - 10:16 AM

Mike,

 

Think you will really enjoy this film.  It hasn't seem to have lost its impact.


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#54 of 56 haineshisway

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Posted December 28 2013 - 12:22 PM

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The film will never lose its impact because its themes are universal and timeless.  It is one of the greatest movies ever made - from direction to script to acting to photography to music.  It is perfection.  Like It's a Wonderful Life, this movie has me from minute one in terms of lump in the throat and it never abates for one minute.  The scenes with Homer and his girlfriend are so wrenching, so beautiful, so hopeful, and have such understanding - that is what the movies have the power to do and these days so seldom achieve.


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#55 of 56 Peter Apruzzese

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Posted December 28 2013 - 09:33 PM

The film will never lose its impact because its themes are universal and timeless.  It is one of the greatest movies ever made - from direction to script to acting to photography to music.  It is perfection.  Like It's a Wonderful Life, this movie has me from minute one in terms of lump in the throat and it never abates for one minute.  The scenes with Homer and his girlfriend are so wrenching, so beautiful, so hopeful, and have such understanding - that is what the movies have the power to do and these days so seldom achieve.


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#56 of 56 benbess

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Posted February 23 2014 - 05:14 AM

Another vote for this film. Strong blu-ray of a powerful film.







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