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

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Robert Harris

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SAhmed

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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,
 
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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.
 

Robert Harris

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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...
 

haineshisway

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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.
 

SAhmed

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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,
 

Trancas

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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.
 
M

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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.
 
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