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Does anyone know what classic films are currently being restored?


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#1 of 28 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted August 11 2002 - 07:25 AM

I've been reading reviews of MGM's DVD issue of Tony Richardson's Tom Jones, as I recently ordered the DVD. The initial HBO DVD sounds like a real hodge-podge. But MGM's edition is said to be markedly superior, although the day-for-night scenes are still pretty ropey. I'd love to see it given a genuine, loving restoration.

Which brings me to ask the question: What film are currently being properly restored? I heard that Bob was working on It's A Mad... World, and I wish him luck Posted Image. But what else is going on? Warner and Lowry Digital Entertainment are currently giving King Kong (1933) a vigourous digital restoration a la last year's Citizen Kane. Anyone got any info?

Cheers


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#2 of 28 Patrick McCart

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Posted August 11 2002 - 08:15 AM

King Kong needs digital restoration for video, but it actually looks fantastic already.

The only problem really is a little bit of dirt and specks on the film, but the movie still looks great. The digital restoration will be the icing on the cake.


WB has had Around the World in Eighty Days restored by Pacific Title, Andy Pratt's Negative Cutting, Kodak, and CFI. PacTitle did the restoration, Pratt and Kodak worked on the reel of the negative which had lacquer on it. This is only the 30fps negative, however. (The 24fps version is the one we know more of, but the 30fps negative won the 6 Oscars. Posted Image )

#3 of 28 Douglas R

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Posted August 11 2002 - 08:23 AM

Warner seem to be leading the way in restorations. Their recent release The Women, for example, is very well worth obtaining. In a HTF chat last year Warner said they are restoring, amongst others, Adventures of Robin Hood (for 2003), Mildred Pierce, House of Wax, Meet Me in St Louis and The Color Purple. Possibly Swing Time and Top Hat as well. Miramax are supposedly restoring (nothing official though) Samuel Bronston's epics, El Cid, Fall of the Roman Empire, Circus World and 55 Days in Peking. All these titles I am eagerly awaiting.

#4 of 28 James L White

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Posted August 11 2002 - 08:35 AM

speaking of Warner and restorations, I'd like to see them restore A Christmas Story perhaps they are after all It would make sense to re-release that movie on DVD next year for the 20th anniversary (the current DVD looks horrible and is P&S)
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#5 of 28 MatthewA

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Posted August 11 2002 - 09:20 AM

So they finally got the go-ahead to restore It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. Good for them. I can't wait to see the results (hopefully they can find enough of the deleted footage to reconstruct the roadshow version).

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#6 of 28 Patrick McCart

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Posted August 11 2002 - 09:48 AM

Quote:
I'd like to see them restore A Christmas Story perhaps they are after all It would make sense to re-release that movie on DVD next year for the 20th anniversary


A Christmas Story is probably in great condition. Just because the DVD looks poor, it just means that the transfer was poorly done.

Add to the fact that the film is purposely softened a little bit, it just needs remastering.

#7 of 28 george kaplan

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Posted August 11 2002 - 11:50 AM

I heard that Bob was working on It's A Mad... World
So they finally got the go-ahead to restore It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. Good for them.
Is this true, or are people jumping to conclusions? I've heard nothing indicating it was green-lighted, though I'd love for it to be so. I hope this is true, but I don't want to get my hopes up.
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#8 of 28 Robert Harris

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Posted August 11 2002 - 01:55 PM

Mad World is not a green lighted project.

Regarding the various other titles supposed in the works for "restoration," I'd be most interested in what the word "restoration" means for each of these projects.

Even within AMIA, we have not been able to agree on precisely what that word means.

Among the tiles mentioned, Tom Jones is probably the worst, which can be restored for the lowest budget.

If 80 Days has actually been restored, I'd be most interested in seeing some test footage.

RAH

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#9 of 28 MatthewA

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Posted August 11 2002 - 03:42 PM

Well I guess I stand corrected. :b

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#10 of 28 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted August 12 2002 - 12:03 AM

Sorry, folks, when I said that Mad World was being restored, I merely meant that Bob had started promotin the big fight! Posted Image Somebody ring the bell for round 1, huh!? Posted Image

So... what's the deal with Tom Jones? Why is it so messed up? MGM hold all the rights? It's been recut and messed about with - stereo remix, then an adequete mono track etc. What a drag.

I'm off to church now to pray for The High And The Mighty to be restored... Posted Image


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#11 of 28 Gordon McMurphy

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Posted August 12 2002 - 12:07 AM

Great news, Patrick, about 80 Days. Is it ready for duping and DVD transfering? Hope so. Has the 30fps 70mm version ever been available on video - and in 2.21:1 widescreen? Hmmm.

Great bit of news though. Posted Image


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#12 of 28 Mark Anthony

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Posted August 12 2002 - 03:11 AM

As far as Tom Jones goes, and feel free to correct me Mr Harris et al, I believe the film was "restored" back in the late 80's at which time the director in failing health recut the picture to a new improved directors cut - which actually was generally perceived as being inferior to the original cut, which is not suprising as Tony Richardson was dying from AIDS at this point in time :-(.

Not only this but the restoration was perceived as being of rather poor quality...the new mgm dvd restores the original cut to home video, including it's original mono audio track - but as for the state of the film materials - I am afraid I personally have no idea - but MGM are better than most at looking after their assetts, at least nowadays...

M

#13 of 28 Thomas T

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Posted August 12 2002 - 04:23 AM

Re: "..... which actually was generally perceived as being inferior to the original cut, which is not surprising as Tony Richardson was dying of AIDS at this point in time."

Pardon my density, Mark, but I don't get the connection between Richardson's director approved alterations and his having AIDS unless your point is that he was suffering from some form of dementia which is unlikely as he cut the film in 1989 and died in November 1991 (dementia if it comes at all would come at the very end). And what are we to blame Spielberg's and Lucas' alterations on?

Richardson stated that he simply felt the film played out too slowly for 1989 audiences and though you and I may prefer the original version, he was not inaccurate.

#14 of 28 Zen Butler

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Posted August 12 2002 - 07:42 AM

I am so excited about the 03 release of Aventures of Robin Hood. Even more excited about Treasure of Sierra Madre

Douglas said:
Quote:
Their recent release The Women

Douglas how does this one look? This is a very funny movie, probably just pick it up at the cheap price.

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#15 of 28 Patrick McCart

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Posted August 12 2002 - 10:01 AM

Quote:
Great news, Patrick, about 80 Days. Is it ready for duping and DVD transfering? Hope so. Has the 30fps 70mm version ever been available on video - and in 2.21:1 widescreen? Hmmm.


Pacific Title and Kodak did the main restoration work. CFI has the restored 30fps 65mm negative (yum!) and is preparing a wetgate transferred interpositive, also in 65mm.

When TCM accepted my challenge to show the widescreen version (although the 24fps 154 min. version on 35mm), they told me that WB was having the film restored and then re-released.

In fact, it looks like a short theatrical re-release will happen, but will most likely be a true roadshow kind. They only had the 30fps 65mm negative restored for right now (which is the superior version...in cinematography AND performance...and won those 6 Oscars, not the general release version.) The restored 65mm 30fps version should be making its debut at the Kodak Theater's Nov. 18th showing. They list the runtime as 175 minutes...which is 5 minutes longer than even the uncut version that has been on TV (and P&S). That 5 minutes should include the long-lost intermission (placed in the middle of the ship footage between Tokyo and San Francisco...an obvious jump cut can be seen in all video transfers) and perhaps other music. There shouldn't be any scenes added back in besides the music parts.

A DVD could very well be another A+ effort. The 6-track magnetic sound for the 30fps version could be made into an excellent 5.1 track. The transfer would mark the first 30fps 65mm 16x9 transfer ever made. Michael Anderson is still with us, so a commentary could be made. Perhaps Shirley MacLaine would like to offer some input as well since this was her first "hit" movie that jump-started her carrer. Perhaps Roger Ebert could do a commentary for this film. I dunno what regard he has for it, but he definately could make a good one. A music-only track of a well-deserving Oscar-winning score is possible. A "cameo finder" subtitle track would be nice, which could superimpose a bit-part's name on the screen when he/she is on screen.

The library of congress has a HUGE archive of film (over 42 hours of footage!!!) consisting of 65mm outtakes, 16mm/35mm behind-the-scenes footage, premire footage, an alternate prologue, 2 deleted Eddie Fisher musical numbers, and other promotional materials. There's a board game which could be turned into a DVD-ROM adaptation. Featurettes probably exist in the LoC archive. The complete and correct speed A Trip To The Moon could be included. There's plenty of posters and lobby cards, trailers, and TV commercials. There's some Todd-AO shorts in 65mm that could be on the DVD as well. An awards montage (pages would take enternity to look at) and perhaps a featurette on the cameos could educate us about the talent.

This kind of special edition would give Lord of the Rings: FOTR - Extended Edition a little bit of competition (although, Eighty Days isn't quite the narrative that LOTR is, but it's great for the kind of movie it is.)

#16 of 28 Douglas R

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Posted August 12 2002 - 10:03 AM

Quote:
Douglas how does this one look? This is a very funny movie, probably just pick it up at the cheap price.

The Women looks great; Warner have done a really good job on it. The color sequence looks fantastic. They have also included a good number of extras including the complete score which can be played as separate tracks just like a CD.

#17 of 28 Mark Anthony

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Posted August 12 2002 - 07:47 PM

Re Thomas T's comments

I merely meant to point out that the director was terminally ill at this point in time, thus giving a potential reason behind his decision - nothing more

M

#18 of 28 Jeff Joseph

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Posted November 01 2002 - 03:30 AM

Unfortunately, they will NOT be running a 70mm print of "Around the World in 80 Days" at the Academy next month. The "restoration" of the film is being done for video, not film release. The Academy screening will be a 35mm dye-transfer Technicolor 1968 optical mono print, synced up with a 4-track mag dubber for stereo. The Murrow opening has been printed separately and will be run first, then this Technicolor print will follow.

The Academy was offered a 30 fps 70mm print (very slightly faded) from private sources; this offer was declined.

The new DVD will be (at last report) mostly from the 30 fps negative, except for 2 reels that are from the 24 fps negative.


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#19 of 28 Patrick McCart

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Posted November 01 2002 - 08:50 AM

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The new DVD will be (at last report) mostly from the 30 fps negative, except for 2 reels that are from the 24 fps negative.

I assume the 2 reels are the prologue and the credits. Is this correct or are the 2 reels being substituted because of quality?

And I'm disappointed to finally know it's a video restoration. Posted Image

#20 of 28 Jeff Joseph

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Posted November 01 2002 - 09:28 AM

No, I think it's 2 reels of the film, not the prolog and credits.

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