A few words about…™ Fistful of Dollars — in Blu-ray

Upgrade from DVD - Doubtful, unless there is a need 4 Stars

Fistful of Dollars, was the earliest of the Clint Eastwood / Sergio Leone Italian western imports.

There were thousands that followed, mostly with unidentified talent, and sold packaged with the better films, if you wanted those for distribution.

It was photographed in Techniscope, 35/2.

For those unaware, the process, designed by Technicolor, specifically for dye transfer 35/4 anamorphic prints, allowed a production to shoot in scope format, using 50% of the raw footage, and end up with 35/4 anamorphic dye transfer prints for distribution. Generally, the process worked well, with the exception of a more grainy appearance.

The antithesis of Technicolor’s majestic Technirama process, it was used for low budget productions, first appearing in films such as Gladiators 7, an Italian production released in October of 1962, and arriving in the U.S. in May of 1964.

Also, in 1964 it was used (strangely) for Paramount’s Roustabout, as well as Fistful of Dollars, released in Italy in September of 1964, and in the U.S. in January of 1967.

It would become the standard of many beloved “spaghetti” westerns.

Fistful was produced on a tiny budget, which can be seen in obvious problems with Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray.

Constantly shifting colors, and lack of overall color continuity, may be processing problems – they tend toward yellow, mixed with cyan-blue – along with what appears to be light struck shots, possibly some sort of camera or later optical problem, as the bottom of certain shots flares to yellow-orange.

Those fans of the genre will want to add this film to their libraries, but be forewarned that quality is all over the map, presumably based upon MGM’s transfer, as delivered to Kino.

Image – 2

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Fail

Upgrade from DVD – Doubtful, unless there is a need

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

author,member

72 Comments

  1. atfree

    I have the MGM trilogy release on BD…looks like I'll be keeping it.

    While I have no info re: the collection, Kino's single disc does offer a large grouping of extras, which might make it worthwhile for the serious collector.

  2. Scott Merryfield

    Sigh. I don't think I will ever live long enough to see a proper release of The Man With No Name Trilogy films.

    All it takes is a small to moderate budget. Not a huge deal.

    “It’s only a matter of going”

  3. atcolomb

    Look how many disc versions of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly have been released.

    Indeed, and with each separate transfer being rated the same; as in Good, Bad or Ugly.:D

  4. Scott Merryfield

    Sigh. I don't think I will ever live long enough to see a proper release of The Man With No Name Trilogy films.

    If this will make your day, you're still further ahead of the game than Sergio.;)

  5. CobraVerde

    The region-free German double feature blu of Fistful/Few Dollars More is still the best looking version out there. It looks quite nice.

    I agree as they are certainly my "goto" releases whenever I want to watch these classics (although I have quite a few releases on Dvd/Blu/Laserdisc)!

    Of course disappointed to learn about the image quality so I will not be going there (I probably wasn't going following Kino's attempt at "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" anyway). Hopefully, we will one day, see worthy release of the trilogy – maybe a 4K release will provide the opportunity/excuse 🙂 for these and other Leone masterpieces!

    Regards,

  6. haineshisway

    I will just say that an Italian Blu restoration came out a few years ago that I thought looked terrific, best I've seen the film look on home video. So, what is this thing?

    The one on the Kino is a newer restoration made a few years back and was presented at Cannes. The Italian Blu-ray is from a 2007 restoration by Ripley's Home Video where their goal was to accurately recreate the original look of the film. The restoration seen on the Kino was done by L'Imaggine Ritrovata/Cineteca di Bologna who also did the newest restorations of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Duck, You Sucker and Once Upon a Time in America which have all been met with similar criticisms.

  7. NegativeCreep

    The one on the Kino is a newer restoration made a few years back and was presented at Cannes. The Italian Blu-ray is from a 2007 restoration by Ripley's Home Video where their goal was to accurately recreate the original look of the film. The restoration seen on the Kino was done by L'Imaggine Ritrovata/Cineteca di Bologna who also did the newest restorations of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Duck, You Sucker and Once Upon a Time in America which have all been met with similar criticisms.

    Pity…

  8. CobraVerde

    The region-free German double feature blu of Fistful/Few Dollars More is still the best looking version out there. It looks quite nice.

    Is this the version you own? It states Region B, but I know that Amazon is not always accurate regarding that information.

  9. If you can find the Ripley you should get it – not sure if that was also used for the German, but it's really good. The "restoration" of Once Upon a Time in America is a joke and one of the worst things I've ever seen – it would have Mr. Leone and Mr. Dellli Colli turning in their graves – a complete travesty.

  10. Scott Merryfield

    Is this the version you own? It states Region B, but I know that Amazon is not always accurate regarding that information.

    I don't have this double bill – I have the individual releases and yes they are Region Free specifically both A and B. I have 3 modified Oppos but Blu Ray media only for Regions A and B (currently 🙂 )

    In terms of Special Edition release, my favorite is from Italy with neat packaging, booklet and picture cards!

    Regards,

  11. [​IMG]

    Scott Merryfield

    Is this the version you own? It states Region B, but I know that Amazon is not always accurate regarding that information.

    I like the German Amazon listings because they usually have shots of the back cover. This one states it's Regions A,B,C.

  12. Scott Merryfield

    I went ahead and ordered the German double feature version. It was a pretty good deal at under $20 including shipping.

    You definitely will not be disappointed with the transfers. Both films were -if I remember correctly- restored by Torsten Kaiser from TLEfilms in Berlin for the German market along with "My Name is Nobody" with Henry Fonda and the weaker sequel "A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe" (without Fonda).

    https://www.amazon.de/Mein-Name-ist-Nobody-Blu-ray/dp/B009X47QZ6

    They are older scans in HD 1080 24 psf, but done with perfection. I really do appreciate the work of Torsten Kaiser, who gave us the meticulous restoration of Fritz Lang's "M".

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co…itz-lang-80th-anniversary-restoration.300983/

    Torsten is a member of this forum. Maybe he can add "a few words" if he reads this thread.

  13. Why is everyone talking about the German Blu as if it's any different than the Ripley – it uses the Ripley restoration so why is Torsten Kaiser's name being used as if he restored it, or did I misread something. I just watched a bit of both the German Ripley and the Italian Ripley – they're pretty much the same although I think the Italian looks a bit better to my eye.

  14. haineshisway

    Why is everyone talking about the German Blu as if it's any different than the Ripley – it uses the Ripley restoration so why is Torsten Kaiser's name being used as if he restored it, or did I misread something. I just watched a bit of both the German Ripley and the Italian Ripley – they're pretty much the same although I think the Italian looks a bit better to my eye.

    Since you have both the Italian and German versions compare the Restoration Extras that are supposed to be on both the discs…..see how they differ. See if Mr. Kaiser is mentioned.

  15. haineshisway

    Why don't you just tell us what those restoration extras say? Since I neither understand German or Italian. I'm sure everyone here is interested.

    I don't have either disc. Certainly you could see if the Restoration extras are identical or not and if the participants are speaking German or Italian. I assume that if the head restorer were interviewed his name would be on screen while he was talking. The back covers of both discs also say that there are English subtitles so perhaps the extras are subtitled too.

  16. haineshisway

    Someone said Mr. Kaiser is mentioned in this very thread, unless I misread that.

    The Italian version says the restoration was done by Ripley's Film and CSC – Cineteca Nazionale….does Mr. Kaiser travel to Italy to restore films? Come on Bruce check out the restoration featurette – it's probably less than 5 minutes long!

  17. Robert Harris

    Fistful of Dollars, was the earliest of the Clint Eastwood / Sergio Leone Italian western imports.

    There were thousands that followed, mostly with unidentified talent, and sold packaged with the better films, if you wanted those for distribution.

    It was photographed in Techniscope, 35/2.

    For those unaware, the process, designed by Technicolor, specifically for dye transfer 35/4 anamorphic prints, allowed a production to shoot in scope format, using 50% of the raw footage, and end up with 35/4 anamorphic dye transfer prints for distribution. Generally, the process worked well, with the exception of a more grainy appearance.

    The antithesis of Technicolor's majestic Technirama process, it was used for low budget productions, first appearing in films such as Gladiators 7, an Italian production released in October of 1962, and arriving in the U.S. in May of 1964.

    Also, in 1964 it was used (strangely) for Paramount's Roustabout, as well as Fistful of Dollars, released in Italy in September of 1964, and in the U.S. in January of 1967.

    It would become the standard of many beloved "spaghetti" westerns.

    Fistful was produced on a tiny budget, which can be seen in obvious problems with Kino Lorber's new Blu-ray.

    Constantly shifting colors, and lack of overall color continuity, may be processing problems – they tend toward yellow, mixed with cyan-blue – along with what appears to be light struck shots, possibly some sort of camera or later optical problem, as the bottom of certain shots flares to yellow-orange.

    Those fans of the genre will want to add this film to their libraries, but be forewarned that quality is all over the map, presumably based upon MGM's transfer, as delivered to Kino.

    Image – 2

    Audio – 4

    Pass / Fail – Fail

    Upgrade from DVD – Doubtful, unless there is a need

    RAH
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    This Forum and hometheatforum.com are ace and thank goodness reviews are honest and reliable from all reviewers . I had no idea about the 2 film German BD release even existed and people stating it is a marked improvement over the MGM original releases in BD …….so I have cancelled the KL BD and ordered the German release with both movies . Hope I have done the right thing here.

  18. Here is the full featurette on the Ripley's restoration, it is in Italian and about 17min long.

    As you can see, they did extensive work on the film, removing flicker and damages throughout, a completely new color correction etc. Of course all this work was thrown out the window when they did the new 4k scan and it seems like they didn't bother to fix all the issues with the negative again, judging from the review here.

  19. Jordan Krug

    Here is the full featurette on the Ripley's restoration, it is in Italian and about 17min long.

    As you can see, they did extensive work on the film, removing flicker and damages throughout, a completely new color correction etc. Of course all this work was thrown out the window when they did the new 4k scan and it seems like they didn't bother to fix all the issues with the negative again, judging from the review here.

    Excellent sleuthing! I'll have to watch it …………. I wonder if the German Universum featurette is also on line ………
    I just went to Vimeo's site and saw that you posted it an hour ago. Very thoughtful!

  20. So the image was scanned (and restored?) at Digital Film Lab of Copenhagen under the supervision of Johan Alexander Prijs and Franca Farina. Sound was restored at L.E. Diapason and supervised by Fabio Venturi.

  21. Yes, it was common practice at the time for the Italians, they were trying to "disguise" these films as American by using fake American names. Once FOD became an international hit, Leone decided he didn't need to continue using a fake American name.

  22. Trancas

    So the film was scanned (and restored?) at Digital Film Lab of Copenhagen under the supervision of Johan Alexander Prijs and Franca Farina. Sound was restored at L.E. Diapason and supervised by Fabio Venturi.
    Interesting that "Bob Robertson" is listed as the film's director in the restored credits section of the featurette. I looked up "Fistful" on Wikipedia – Gian Maria Volonte is credited as Johnny Wels and Ennio Morricone is called Dan Savio. I don't think I've ever seen this movie.

    After all these posts to me, we find out you've never seen the movie? O-kay. 🙂

  23. Trancas

    So the film was scanned (and restored?) at Digital Film Lab of Copenhagen under the supervision of Johan Alexander Prijs and Franca Farina. Sound was restored at L.E. Diapason and supervised by Fabio Venturi.
    Interesting that "Bob Robertson" is listed as the film's director in the restored credits section of the featurette. I looked up "Fistful" on Wikipedia – Gian Maria Volonte is credited as Johnny Wels and Ennio Morricone is called Dan Savio. I don't think I've ever seen this movie.

    After all these posts to me, we find out you've never seen the movie? O-kay. 🙂

  24. My question is, is this review of the Kino about this new restoration? If so, I am so glad I have the Ripley Italian disc. And apparently the German Blu-ray is that same restoration albeit a bit darker than the Italian disc.

  25. My question is, is this review of the Kino about this new restoration? If so, I am so glad I have the Ripley Italian disc. And apparently the German Blu-ray is that same restoration albeit a bit darker than the Italian disc.

  26. haineshisway

    Why is everyone talking about the German Blu as if it's any different than the Ripley – it uses the Ripley restoration so why is Torsten Kaiser's name being used as if he restored it, or did I misread something. I just watched a bit of both the German Ripley and the Italian Ripley – they're pretty much the same although I think the Italian looks a bit better to my eye.

    You are right. The German Blu-rays indeed use the Ripley restoration, scanned in Italy and worked on in Scandinavia.

    Mr. Torsten Kaiser DID perform a restoration of "A Fistful of Dollars" and the sequel in 2005 for a DVD release.

    http://tlefilms.com/TLEFilms_Gallery_$1.htm

    Sorry about having things mixed up.

  27. CultFilms in the U.K. has been using TLE's involvement with restoring Sergio Leone's DOLLARS trilogy as one of the selling points for their release of SUSPIRIA (the exact wording on the back cover of their SUSPIRIA Blu-ray- "The unadulterated encode of this CultFilms release is from the ultra high definition 4K restoration painstakingly by TLE Films whose acclaimed works include the Clint Eastwood "Dollar" Leone Westerns"), so maybe this is why people are assuming the earlier true restoration was a result of TLE's work.

    Vincent

  28. atfree

    Trying to get definitive BDs of The Man with No Name Trilogy is frustrating….. you wouldn't think it would be so hard.

    It's sad but only Fistful of Dollars has received a commendable and accurate restoration (Ripley's). A lot of the home video releases never bothered to actually check their cuts against real vintage prints…for GBU Kino was offered the chance but decided to use a recut dvd created in 98 as their reference for their international cut, even though they were warned it was wrong (lol).

    You have three inherent problems with all the Leone releases –

    1. They were popular movies, and Italy went through a lot of censorship changes in the 70's. It was common practice (probably the cheapest option) to recut the negative to suit the current censor requirements! They also used cheap film stocks and cameras. So most of the negatives are cut/damaged and vintage Italian prints are hard to come by (again because the movies were so popular, the prints are usually heavily worn).

    2. There are usually two key versions of the films, an international, and an original Italian, and they always differ. Usually each version has it's own unique shots/scenes. (not to mention each territory would censor the films further). A lot of home video releases have tried to combine the two key versions which leads to problem #3.

    3. The mistakes perpetuate. Each successive home video release assumes the previous release got it right (i.e. Kino's error in referencing the 98 dvd, Kino using MGM's master of Duck You Sucker) and then makes their own changes. So you have mistakes carrying through and then further mistakes being made until the home video releases become a frankenstein mess. Even OATITW is not the original release edit, despite people like Scorsese being involved.

  29. I'm pretty sure Kodak didn't offer a discount "cheap filmstock" in the 1960s. These films would have been shot on the same 35mm negative stock as any other films of that era, albeit in the Techniscope format. I also don't think the cameras were "cheap", either.

    Vincent

  30. Vincent_P

    I'm pretty sure Kodak didn't offer a discount "cheap filmstock" in the 1960s. These films would have been shot on the same 35mm negative stock as any other films of that era, albeit in the Techniscope format. I also don't think the cameras were "cheap", either.

    Vincent

    Only two basic stocks. 5250 and 51.

  31. Hi Vincent, I may have not used the right wording, but yes, it was a cheaper way of filming on a smaller exposed part of the frame. I love the look of these films, but it was a specialized process which in the home video analog days made it harder to deal with the negative. You're right, I over-criticized the cameras. Hopefully I can edit my post.

    (pasted from panavision website):

    2 perf cinematography originated in 1966 when Technicolor introduced their Techniscope format, which gained notoriety for its use on the Italian “spaghetti westerns” such as Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Leone used the 2 perf format because it could save 50% off film raw stock & processing costs. The 2 perf 2.40:1 frame is significantly smaller than the 4 perf anamorphic 2.40:1 frame in terms surface area on the film negative, but benefits from the ability to use spherical lenses which tend to be faster, sharper, and offered in a wider selection of focal lengths.

    Specifically on FOD, there were numerous problems with the filming process, according to Leone scholar Prof Frayling: "Leone had a very clear idea of where he wanted to place the camera but he was forced to print lots of the same shot – they were always having problems; the lab scratches one, they lost three others."

    So that's where I got the "cheap" idea from, but it was more from the production side I guess, not the cameras.

    Great article on the 2 perf process and Leone:

    http://www.arri.com/news/news/once-upon-a-time-in-2-perforation/

  32. Jordan Krug

    Hi Vincent, I may have not used the right wording, but yes, it was a cheaper way of filming on a smaller exposed part of the frame. I love the look of these films, but it was a specialized process which in the home video analog days made it harder to deal with the negative. You're right, I over-criticized the cameras. Hopefully I can edit my post.

    (pasted from panavision website):

    2 perf cinematography originated in 1966 when Technicolor introduced their Techniscope format, which gained notoriety for its use on the Italian “spaghetti westerns” such as Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Leone used the 2 perf format because it could save 50% off film raw stock & processing costs. The 2 perf 2.40:1 frame is significantly smaller than the 4 perf anamorphic 2.40:1 frame in terms surface area on the film negative, but benefits from the ability to use spherical lenses which tend to be faster, sharper, and offered in a wider selection of focal lengths.

    Specifically on FOD, there were numerous problems with the filming process, according to Leone scholar Prof Frayling: "Leone had a very clear idea of where he wanted to place the camera but he was forced to print lots of the same shot – they were always having problems; the lab scratches one, they lost three others."

    So that's where I got the "cheap" idea from, but it was more from the production side I guess, not the cameras.

    Great article on the 2 perf process and Leone:

    http://www.arri.com/news/news/once-upon-a-time-in-2-perforation/

    I understand, I just think people get the wrong idea when things like "cheap film stock" and "cheap cameras" are thrown around. It leads to a lot of misinformation being repeated ad-infinitum on the internet and beyond. Somebody reads your post, then they post elsewhere that "cheap filmstock and cameras" were used, then "cheap filmstock and cameras" gets reposted again and again elsewhere and beyond over and over again and it ends up becoming the de-facto story regarding the history of these films on the internet (i.e., "1.66:1 was the European flat widescreen aspect ratio").

    This sort of thing just drives me a little crazy, didn't mean to call you out in particular and hope you understand.

    Vincent

  33. Vincent_P

    I understand, I just think people get the wrong idea when things like "cheap film stock" and "cheap cameras" are thrown around. It leads to a lot of misinformation being repeated ad-infinitum on the internet and beyond. Somebody reads your post, then they post elsewhere that "cheap filmstock and cameras" were used, then "cheap filmstock and cameras" gets reposted again and again elsewhere and beyond over and over again and it ends up becoming the de-facto story regarding the history of these films on the internet (i.e., "1.66:1 was the European flat widescreen aspect ratio").

    This sort of thing just drives me a little crazy, didn't mean to call you out in particular and hope you understand.

    Vincent

    Totally understand, as a guy who appreciates concrete facts I certainly don't want to spread any misinformation…as you say with Leone especially there's enough of that to go around 🙂 I fixed my earlier post (hopefully).

  34. Mr. Harris, wondering if you can tell us, does the new Kino disc feature the alternate opening seen here in clips below (Joe steals the poncho from a man by the river)? I know the Kino disc features outtakes/dailies but the ones in this video below were mostly not used on the previous Italian blu release. It appears that all the raw footage survives. I'm assuming the Kino disc is simply porting over the outtakes from the Italian release but I'm hoping that they have included more like the ones in this video below?

  35. Has anyone from L'Immagine Ritrovata ever gone on record as to why so many of the films they work on end up looking like this? They've been very consistent; films where they performed the grade end up with a sickly yellow-green cast, and films where they performed the scanning, but were graded elsewhere, look fine.

  36. Never thought I would say this, but I'm glad to have kept my original MGM/UA BD box set of THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY. The prints used are dirty, but at least the color is good (or at least the way I've been used to seeing them).

  37. J. Casey

    Never thought I would say this, but I'm glad to have kept my original MGM/UA BD box set of THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY. The prints used are dirty, but at least the color is good (or at least the way I've been used to seeing them).

    You could always go for the German double feature blu (FOD and FAFDM), FOD is the beautiful 2007 restoration from OCN, the disc is region free (the features, extras are not) both have english audio and it's the only way to to see FAFDM uncut. The MGM trilogy boxset is cut (FAFDM) and cropped (FOD).

  38. Joseph Goodman

    Has anyone from L'Immagine Ritrovata ever gone on record as to why so many of the films they work on end up looking like this? They've been very consistent; films where they performed the grade end up with a sickly yellow-green cast, and films where they performed the scanning, but were graded elsewhere, look fine.

    When the initial 4k remaster for Good Bad Ugly was released, I recall reading claims that the controversial yellow color grade was allegedly based on an answer print. This was met with a lot of skepticism.

  39. JoshZ

    When the initial 4k remaster for Good Bad Ugly was released, I recall reading claims that the controversial yellow color grade was allegedly based on an answer print. This was met with a lot of skepticism.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't an "answer print" a sort of test print to see if the lab got the colors right? Then after the "answer print" is approved, they then make the release prints? So in theory it could have been a rejected "answer print"?

  40. Jordan Krug

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't an "answer print" a sort of test print to see if the lab got the colors right? Then after the "answer print" is approved, they then make the release prints? So in theory it could have been a rejected "answer print"?

    In many cases, a conversion or test print is produced, based on stock updates, or lab changes.

    The first print always seems to come out yellow.

  41. Robert Harris

    In many cases, a conversion or test print is produced, based on stock updates, or lab changes.

    The first print always seems to come out yellow.

    Thank you for the info, much appreciated.

  42. I posted this originally in the Blu-ray.com thread but figured I would cross post here:

    Kino are simply licensing the films and taking the Italian new transfers which are horridly wrong and issuing them here in the States. They did an attempt to adjust GBU which was not successful alongside their presentation of a shorter edit. So you are seeing the L'Immagine Ritrovata version of Fistful and it is not Kino who has done the transfer.

    All in all this new release has a new commentary and the new interview. Otherwise it is absolutely a throwaway. The previous MGM release is decent and was sourced from their non-negative elements. The Italian 2007 restoration is perfectly fine in every way and is easily obtainable on the region free double feature German Blu-Ray. That set is a must for any Leone fan for having the current best versions of Fistful and FAFDM on any format. The MGM BD is essential for their extras (The German set has them in PAL) and the slightly different look and framing of the US version. I'm still more used to that look as I grew up with all the US editions from that source.
    I have also seen the 35mm version of the 2007 Ripley Italian restoration and it is stunning. That was the first time I really took notice of the snowing effect in Joe and Ramon's first meeting-the image was so sharp and vibrant.

    And the German FAFDM is not only the first fully uncut release but it removes the layers of DNR in the MGM master to provide a more pleasing level of detail in exchange for some specks and dirt every once in a while. It's still stuck with EE but that was baked in to this particular master. This disc is the best release so far and I'm terrified of what the new version will come out like. The Italian releases previously available on video have a slightly different look-warmer slightly and a tad softer. The print I saw was MGM's only surviving vault print element and had one shot entirely pink-but it did have some of the extended pieces and the 1967 UA trims done to it. I think it was also used for the Laserdisc transfer as that seems identical to the running order of the MGM print. Outside of the one pink shot the rest looked stunning and was perhaps mostly dye transfer. And wouldn't you know it-it looked NOTHING like these modern versions. MGM stated at the time they scanned the negative for the reissue DVD and Blu-ray.

    It has also been evidenced that the other films have had this coloring applied to them, as the Italian re-release disc of Giu La Testa has similar re-coloring applied. I don't understand why this is allowed to continue-especially since there was an outcry about the poorly done OUATIA Italian extended release that was later revised and redone by Warner for their USA release of the longer version.

  43. To clarify about the German double feature set:

    The Ripley version is available on both Italian and German BDs, but the the encoding is slightly better on the Italian in terms of tech specs. however the German has lossless English mono whereas the Italian does not. The German is Region free, the Italian is not and more expensive.

    The 35mm print of the Ripley restoration is so stunning that at times I felt I was watching a brand new film. After growing up with all the washed out TV airings, VHS tapes and then graduating to the DVDs all based on the US elements-seeing the negative sourced restoration was like having the veils lifted off.

  44. Dear Mr. @Robert Harris, why you and your colleagues don't say anything to Ritrovata/ Eclair before they "ruin" more movies with the teal-yellow cast?
    There are dozens blurays already with the exact same color palette (some of them my favourite films, that I haven't bought due to this).
    Maybe they'll listen to you, that their settings are wrong. (i don't know exactly what is the problem)

  45. Spencer Draper

    To clarify about the German double feature set:

    The Ripley version is available on both Italian and German BDs, but the the encoding is slightly better on the Italian in terms of tech specs. however the German has lossless English mono whereas the Italian does not. The German is Region free, the Italian is not and more expensive.

    According to the back cover of the Italian version it's region-free.

    View attachment 46403

  46. The Italian is absolutely region-free and for my money looks a bit better than the German. And I'm sorry – the English mono is fine on the Italian – no one is going to be able to hear a whit of difference on an old mono track whether it's lossless or not.

  47. haineshisway

    The Italian is absolutely region-free and for my money looks a bit better than the German. And I'm sorry – the English mono is fine on the Italian – no one is going to be able to hear a whit of difference on an old mono track whether it's lossless or not.

    Yes the German and Japan discs both are slightly darker and a shade more red than the Italian, the Italian looks more natural. The extras that are 23.98 on the Italian disc (like the original Italian trailer which is comprised entirely of alternate takes and angles) will play fine but I'm pretty sure it has a couple of SD extras in PAL.

  48. Konstantinos

    Dear Mr. @Robert Harris, why you and your colleagues don't say anything to Ritrovata/ Eclair before they "ruin" more movies with the teal-yellow cast?
    There are dozens blurays already with the exact same color palette (some of them my favourite films, that I haven't bought due to this).
    Maybe they'll listen to you, that their settings are wrong. (i don't know exactly what is the problem)

    Possibly because the licensee / licensor likes what they’re seeing, and one cannot always be the restoration police.

    Not my battle.

  49. Spencer Draper

    I don't understand why this is allowed to continue-especially since there was an outcry about the poorly done OUATIA Italian extended release that was later revised and redone by Warner for their USA release of the longer version.

    Are you sure Once Upon a Time in America was redone by Warner? That disc received a lot of complaints about weird colors when it was released in 2014.

  50. Warners did NOT revise anything – that "restoration" is perhaps the biggest debacle I've EVER seen anywhere. Completely drained of color so that the added sub-par bits wouldn't stick out so much. a) those bits should NEVER have been added – they do nothing for the film and Mr. Leone released his version of the long cut and didn't include them. Whatever problems the original Warners Blu of that Leone long cut were (and it's included with the "restoration" – the color is absolutely perfect. All one wants is a new transfer with that proper color timing of the original cut. The film deserves it and so do we. And frankly, I have never understood why Warners haven't included the crazy short version they released to theaters, which is the way many of us first saw the film. Just as a curio, and as a curio it really is fascinating and in a couple of instances it works better in terms of emotion. I love this film and I HATE that "restoration" beyond words. Anyone who thinks that's good or a proper representation of Tonino Delli Colli's brilliant photography needs to turn in their Leone card.

  51. haineshisway

    Warners did NOT revise anything – that "restoration" is perhaps the biggest debacle I've EVER seen anywhere. Completely drained of color so that the added sub-par bits wouldn't stick out so much. a) those bits should NEVER have been added – they do nothing for the film and Mr. Leone released his version of the long cut and didn't include them. Whatever problems the original Warners Blu of that Leone long cut were (and it's included with the "restoration" – the color is absolutely perfect. All one wants is a new transfer with that proper color timing of the original cut. The film deserves it and so do we. And frankly, I have never understood why Warners haven't included the crazy short version they released to theaters, which is the way many of us first saw the film. Just as a curio, and as a curio it really is fascinating and in a couple of instances it works better in terms of emotion. I love this film and I HATE that "restoration" beyond words. Anyone who thinks that's good or a proper representation of Tonino Delli Colli's brilliant photography needs to turn in their Leone card.

    I can actually agree with that 100% though I was under the impression WB did something to improve upon the original Italian release disc. The longer edit while filling in some narrative gaps really harms the film and its flow and additionally the new color throughout is off putting. The degraded bits are extremely distracting and doubly so since they appear like sore thumbs and interrupt the 229 minute version. Unfortunately this is now becoming the new standard version in theaters via DCP. I still think Leone removed those scenes with good reason.
    I quite agree the original transfer is fine and looks just like the previous editions. While the master may be old and could be better encoded-it is a fine one. The letterboxed Laserdisc is identical to the DVD and is such a good transfer it ranks among the best I've ever seen on that format-plus it has the original mono mix.

  52. And Warners don't control the title anymore; the latest Blu-ray release is from Fox, as the rights have reverted to New Regency [Arnon Milchan]. Not sure if their release of the "restored" edition includes the original Warner master as well.

  53. Re: OUATIA, Warners *did* revise their Blu-ray version, in that they cropped the image from 1.85:1 to 1.78:1. And no, they didn't open it up, they cropped the sides of the 1.85:1 hard-matted master. But colorwise, yeah they didn't touch it. Warners was doing this cropping a lot at the time and never got called out on it. They also cropped their Blu-ray of DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST from 2:1 to 1.78:1, EXORCIST II from 1.85:1 to 1.78, and I imagine there were other examples as well. Nobody seemed to care, though.

    I think Spencer might be referring to the Warners Blu-ray having better compression than the Italian release, which was swimming with digital artifacts.

    Vincent

  54. Jordan Krug

    Mr. Harris, wondering if you can tell us, does the new Kino disc feature the alternate opening seen here in clips below (Joe steals the poncho from a man by the river)? I know the Kino disc features outtakes/dailies but the ones in this video below were mostly not used on the previous Italian blu release. It appears that all the raw footage survives. I'm assuming the Kino disc is simply porting over the outtakes from the Italian release but I'm hoping that they have included more like the ones in this video below?

    Well, got the disc…some nice extras but the outtakes on the Kino are simply this same YouTube video (above) that's been around since 2014, (but in better quality and without titles) . A shame they didn't try to acquire the whole alternate opening only glimpsed in this video. Maybe the Italians will do their own 4K release and take advantage of this missed opportunity.

  55. Jordan Krug

    A comparison of the available discs:

    Wow that new Kino restoration looks peculiar…..like greenish outtakes from the underwater scenes in "The Shape of Water"! How could the multiple sets of eyes that were involved in the production of the latest restoration have thought this was correct and pleasing?

  56. Can't judge on the computer – not possible. BUT, if we must play the game, the Italian (Ripley) is best for color but on my computer does not quite resemble what the disc actually looks like on a calibrated screen. That said, the detail in the Kino is best, clearly, and I'd actually now be interested to see it on my screen, just for interest.

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