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A few words about...™ Kismet -- in Blu-ray

Blu-ray MGM Warner A Few Words About

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#1 of 166 Robert Harris

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Posted June 05 2014 - 02:40 PM

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While Kismet has always been a part of the M-G-M pantheon of musicals, it was never high on my personal list.

 

I've seen it on film several times, and on older home video releases, and it never really stood out as anything special.

 

Until I popped the new WB Archive Blu-ray into a player, and was able to see the incredibly sumptuous colors and resolution via my LG 42" flat panel.  I was actually surprised by the quality and tones of the color, as early Eastman Color seldom looked this good on prints.  Someone dug deep into the film elements, and extracted everything that the emulsion contained.

 

Possibly time to re-evaluate.

 

Not a great deal of time, but here it is, in very few words.

 

Warner's has performed yeoman-like work on Kismet.  It's from a new IP, derived from the camera original, and the color is astounding.

 

Audio, which is DTS- HD MA, I presume to be proper.  I'm currently hearing it via high end audiophile speakers, implanted somewhere beneath the panel.  Love to hear it in 5.1, but cannot.

 

Based upon the Broadway play, and filmed three times previous to this 1955 CinemaScope version (1920, 1930 and 1944), and once after, in 1967 as an MOW.

 

Bottom line.  A magnificent disc from Warner Archive.

 

Did I mention directed by Vincente Minnelli from the Freed unit?

 

Image - 5

 

Audio - 5 (presumed)

 

Recommended.

 

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


#2 of 166 Rob_Ray

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Posted June 05 2014 - 02:47 PM

I'm looking forward to getting this one next week.  What's an MOW?



#3 of 166 TravisR

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Posted June 05 2014 - 02:55 PM

What's an MOW?

Movie of the week- a made for TV movie.



#4 of 166 Powell&Pressburger

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Posted June 05 2014 - 05:19 PM

Wonderful review, I have never seen Kismet but will order it in the next few weeks.

RAH - I have to ask why only a 42" tv? I've noticed that in a few other reviews. Do u prefer the image tighter or just haven't found a larger set you are happy with?

Stop the Replacing of original Studio Opening / Closing logos! They are part of film history.

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#5 of 166 Matt Hough

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Posted June 05 2014 - 06:10 PM

Delighted to read this and am anxiously awaiting my pre-ordered copy.

 

It's never been a favorite musical, but I've always found it well worth watching for the stupendous singing in all of the major roles.



#6 of 166 lionel59

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Posted June 05 2014 - 06:16 PM

Thanks Mr Harris. This sounds like the best presentation of this movie since its Radio City premiere.

I have seen it in 35mm (a somewhat faded copy) a few times and was impressed with the color in all the Home Video incarnations. It sounds like these transfers are now well and truly in the shade due to this Blu Ray release.

Fox could take some tips from Warners re the production of their classics on Blu Ray......


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#7 of 166 JoelA

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Posted June 05 2014 - 06:33 PM

It's fascinating to see how films that had not been held in high regard or popularity over the years (Billy Rose's Jumbo, Hit the Deck and Kismet) are now being re-evaluated positively primarily due to the proper and painstaking remastering/restoring that has been done to them. Kudos to Ned Price and the team at WB Motion Picture Imaging if they're the ones responsible. Can't wait to receive my copy of Kismet now.


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#8 of 166 lionel59

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Posted June 06 2014 - 04:42 AM

Maybe somebody can help me out here.....I recall not too long ago that there was a film festival of some kind (maybe a TCM one?) in which a few major directors inc Martin Scorsese and - I think- Francis Ford Coppola, chose their favorite Minnelli film. One of them- Coppola I think- chose KISMET. I found that unexpected and interesting. I believe he was impressed with the visual style of the movie.

         Jay C Flippen had small roles in  both OKLAHOMA! and KISMET in 1955. It's an odd coincidence that both have been released on Blu Ray so close together. (Howard Keel also played Curly on the West End- another (faint) connection between the two shows).



#9 of 166 Billy Batson

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Posted June 06 2014 - 04:46 AM

I do like it when they use an interpose for the transfer, no grain problems & a nice film-like image.



#10 of 166 Ethan Riley

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Posted June 06 2014 - 05:19 AM

Sounds like we're getting a whole new movie compared to its earlier home video efforts. I'm astonished. I always heard that movie was gonna be problematic from a restoration standpoint. Miracles do happen on bluray.
 

 


#11 of 166 SFMike

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Posted June 06 2014 - 08:21 AM

Warners has done some great looking blu-rays of 50's -60's classics. To bad FOX can't send their work out to Warners.


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#12 of 166 FWAJMB

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Posted June 06 2014 - 08:54 AM

Shocked, stunned and a little disappointhed that RAH is using an LG television and only a 42" model at that.



#13 of 166 Robert Harris

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Posted June 06 2014 - 09:33 AM

Shocked, stunned and a little disappointhed that RAH is using an LG television and only a 42" model at that.


Aside from Mr. Kane's 85" 4k Samsung, the 42" LG is my current go to. Can't wait to see the great things coming from Vizio in the future.

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


#14 of 166 John Maher_289910

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Posted June 06 2014 - 09:48 AM

I'm not a Howard Keel fan, but I have always appreciated his performance in KISMET and Jack Cole's staging and, Dolores Gray's vocals, especially, "Not Since Ninevah" (also superbly choreographed), are all highlights.  I always thought it looked great on laser (never had a DVD), but it looks remarkable in high def!



#15 of 166 Doug Bull

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Posted June 06 2014 - 04:41 PM

I was lucky enough to come across a few odd 35mm Scope reels of "Kismet" back in the 60s.

The color at that time was strong and absolutely georgeous.

I no longer have those reels but I'm sure that by now they would, sadly, be very pink.

 

The richness, spectacle and color of the "Night of my Nights" number was nothing short of amazing. (I used to run that sequence over and over)

So yes the original prints of "Kismet"  actually did look stunning, very stunning indeed.

 

After reading Robert's review I will definitely be buying it, as it sounds as if it lives up to that original lavish appearance .

 

Doug.



#16 of 166 Matt Hough

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Posted June 06 2014 - 06:07 PM

I got my pre-shipping notice that I should have it by next Thursday. With Hit the Deck, I got the exact same pre-shipping notice, but it arrived on Tuesday rather than Thursday. Here's hoping that happens again!



#17 of 166 davidmatychuk

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Posted June 06 2014 - 06:22 PM

Is it only me, or is it a bit odd that Warner Archive seems stuck on issuing Blu-Rays of musical titles from the "Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol. 3" DVD box?



#18 of 166 Paul Penna

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Posted June 06 2014 - 06:27 PM

That being the most recent of the sets, perhaps those films have the best HD masters sitting on the shelf ready to go.
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#19 of 166 davidmatychuk

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Posted June 06 2014 - 08:22 PM

That makes sense. Should I be hoping for a new "Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol. 4" DVD box, featuring "The Band Wagon", both versions of "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", "It's Always Fair Weather", "Silk Stockings", "Brigadoon", and "The Pirate"?



#20 of 166 Doug Bull

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Posted June 06 2014 - 08:30 PM

That makes sense. Should I be hoping for a new "Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol. 4" DVD box, featuring "The Band Wagon", both versions of "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", "It's Always Fair Weather", "Silk Stockings", "Brigadoon", and "The Pirate"?

 

Hopefully yes.







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