A few words about…™ Hello, Frisco, Hello / Pin-Up Girl / Mother wore Tights – in Blu-ray

Twilight Time deserves the Mother Teresa Award for releasing these. 4 Stars

Beyond feature productions that had Technicolor sequences, in the nitrate era, Fox created over 90 films.

Over a third of them were musicals, and they took extraordinary advantage of the three-strip technology, creating a very specific Fox Technicolor appearance.

Afaik, with a single exception, none of the original elements survive, which means that we’re left with what was produced in the mid-1970s.

And those elements were produced in the most incorrect manner imaginable.

This horror story has been covered ad nauseam, so we won’t revisit. But for those who may not be aware, that is why Fox cannot reproduce their Technicolor productions to appear as Technicolor.

When the films arrive on home video, as have the most recent three, from Twilight Time, results are acceptable, at best.

All produced on the same film stocks, and with the same technology, their quality on Blu-ray comes down to a single major factor – how well the dupe materials were produced. And generally, they were garbage.

So how do the latest releases fare, and how do the films stand the test of time?

Mother Wore Tights (1947) and Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), fare better than Pin-up Girl (1944). Old-fashioned charming, assembly line Fox musicals. One of the main attributes of the films was Technicolor, and without that function blazing from the screen, they all fall a notch.

Pin-Up is also the least of the three in terms of tech quality, followed by Hello and Mother. Hello’s main title sequence is the most window-boxed that I recall seeing. It might have been projected on the moon, which gives us the concept that this is an older transfer.

Probably because Mother isn’t held back by dark sequences, it looks better overall, with a light, bright look, that still lacks the Technicolor pop.

Any dark sequences have virtually no shadow detail, but viewers should be used to this from other Fox releases.

If you’re a fan of the Fox musicals in general, or completists for Betty Grable, Alice Faye or Dan Dailey, best to grab these, as akin to most other Twilight Time releases, when they’re gone…

Twilight Time deserves the Mother Teresa Award for releasing these.

Image

Hello, Frisco, Hello – 3.25
Pin-Up Girl – 3
Mother Wore Tights – 3.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

66 Comments

  1. Thanks, Mr Harris! It's funny, I was just asking about these yesterday!

    By the way…

    Robert Harris

    Afaik, with a single exception, none of the original elements survive, which means that we're left with what was produced in the mid-1970s.

    You mention this quite often but I don't remember if you've ever said what that one title is? If you have, I apologize as I must have missed it.

  2. Will Krupp

    Thanks, Mr Harris! It's funny, I was just asking about these yesterday!

    By the way…

    You mention this quite often but I don't remember if you've ever said what that one title is? If you have, I apologize as I must have missed it.

    I believe it was Hollywood Cavalcade.

  3. Isn't true that we are talking only about the 3 strip technicolor produced on Nitrate film. The early 50s Technicolor films that were on Safety Film still survive with original materials? The ones that stick out for me as having the Fox technicolor look are films like STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, NIAGRA, etc.

  4. I've watched Hello, Frisco, Hello and Mother Wore Tights — haven't watched Pin-Up Girl yet.

    The quality is what I expect from these second-rate preservation elements. Skin tones have a weird, flat, brownish look and all the other colors look "off" or faded. Mother Wore Tights looks a bit better than Frisco.

    If you want to see what we're missing, look at the "Hello Again, The Re-Making of Alice Faye" mini-doc on Hello, Frisco, Hello. It has a lot of clips from Frisco that seem to be taken from a Technicolor print, with glowing, jewel-like colors and beautiful rosy skin tones on close-ups of Faye. Check out the dress that Faye wears in the "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" number. On the Blu-ray, it's a pale turquoise color. In a clip from "The Re-Making of Alice Faye" you can see that it's a gorgeous light blue. What a difference!

    I love these movies. Oh, to have seen them on the big screen back in the 1940s!

  5. I held off on posting about these titles – I saw them all over a week ago. I haven't been quite as critical of some of the past Technicolor stuff in the past batches, in fact, I thought they pulled off some miracles with a couple of them. That would not be the case here, unfortunately. No miracles. It's very sad.

  6. RAH

    Robert Harris

    Beyond feature productions that had Technicolor sequences, in the nitrate era, Fox created over 90 films.

    Over a third of them were musicals, and they took extraordinary advantage of the three-strip technology, creating a very specific Fox Technicolor appearance.

    Afaik, with a single exception, none of the original elements survive, which means that we're left with what was produced in the mid-1970s.

    And those elements were produced in the most incorrect manner imaginable.

    This horror story has been covered ad nauseam, so we won't revisit. But for those who may not be aware, that is why Fox cannot reproduce their Technicolor productions to appear as Technicolor.

    When the films arrive on home video, as have the most recent three, from Twilight Time, results are acceptable, at best.

    All produced on the same film stocks, and with the same technology, their quality on Blu-ray comes down to a single major factor – how well the dupe materials were produced. And generally, they were garbage.

    So how do the latest releases fare, and how do the films stand the test of time?

    Mother Wore Tights (1947) and Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), fare better than Pin-up Girl (1944). Old-fashioned charming, assembly line Fox musicals. One of the main attributes of the films was Technicolor, and without that function blazing from the screen, they all fall a notch.

    Pin-Up is also the least of the three in terms of tech quality, followed by Hello and Mother. Hello's main title sequence is the most window-boxed that I recall seeing. It might have been projected on the moon, which gives us the concept that this is an older transfer.

    Probably because Mother isn't held back by dark sequences, it looks better overall, with a light, bright look, that still lacks the Technicolor pop.

    Any dark sequences have virtually no shadow detail, but viewers should be used to this from other Fox releases.

    If you're a fan of the Fox musicals in general, or completists for Betty Grable, Alice Faye or Dan Dailey, best to grab these, as akin to most other Twilight Time releases, when they're gone…

    Twilight Time deserves the Mother Teresa Award for releasing these.

    Image

    Hello, Frisco, Hello – 3.25
    Pin-Up Girl – 3
    Mother Wore Tights – 3.5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Upgrade from DVD – Yes

    Recommended

    RAH

    Yes, but…do they look overly blue, as did the disastrous Blu-ray of WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?

  7. Dick

    RAH

    Yes, but…do they look overly blue, as did the disastrous Blu-ray of WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?

    I believe those were produced in Deluxe Color. An entirely different process.

  8. ahollis

    Yes, but…do they look overly blue, as did the disastrous Blu-ray of WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?

    I believe those were produced in Deluxe Color. An entirely different process.

    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. It's just that, whenever I see that a new Blu of a classic film is coming from Fox, I see red flags going up these days.

  9. Dick

    I believe those were produced in Deluxe Color. An entirely different process.

    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. It's just that, whenever I see that a new Blu of a classic film is coming from Fox, I see red flags going up these days.

    I think if you read my response that is what I said. The reply button did not indicate that it was Dick’s quote on post #11.

  10. ahollis

    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. It's just that, whenever I see that a new Blu of a classic film is coming from Fox, I see red flags going up these days.

    I think if you read my response that is what I said. The reply button did not indicate that it was Dick’s quote on post #11.

    Don't know what happened there, Allen. My apologies, as I thought I had correctly responded.

  11. Dick

    I think if you read my response that is what I said. The reply button did not indicate that it was Dick’s quote on post #11.

    Don't know what happened there, Allen. My apologies, as I thought I had correctly responded.

    I think the quote button was messing up on my post.

  12. Robert Harris

    Beyond feature productions that had Technicolor sequences, in the nitrate era, Fox created over 90 films.

    Over a third of them were musicals, and they took extraordinary advantage of the three-strip technology, creating a very specific Fox Technicolor appearance.

    Afaik, with a single exception, none of the original elements survive, which means that we're left with what was produced in the mid-1970s.

    And those elements were produced in the most incorrect manner imaginable.

    This horror story has been covered ad nauseam, so we won't revisit. But for those who may not be aware, that is why Fox cannot reproduce their Technicolor productions to appear as Technicolor.

    When the films arrive on home video, as have the most recent three, from Twilight Time, results are acceptable, at best.

    All produced on the same film stocks, and with the same technology, their quality on Blu-ray comes down to a single major factor – how well the dupe materials were produced. And generally, they were garbage.

    So how do the latest releases fare, and how do the films stand the test of time?

    Mother Wore Tights (1947) and Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), fare better than Pin-up Girl (1944). Old-fashioned charming, assembly line Fox musicals. One of the main attributes of the films was Technicolor, and without that function blazing from the screen, they all fall a notch.

    Pin-Up is also the least of the three in terms of tech quality, followed by Hello and Mother. Hello's main title sequence is the most window-boxed that I recall seeing. It might have been projected on the moon, which gives us the concept that this is an older transfer.

    Probably because Mother isn't held back by dark sequences, it looks better overall, with a light, bright look, that still lacks the Technicolor pop.

    Any dark sequences have virtually no shadow detail, but viewers should be used to this from other Fox releases.

    If you're a fan of the Fox musicals in general, or completists for Betty Grable, Alice Faye or Dan Dailey, best to grab these, as akin to most other Twilight Time releases, when they're gone…

    Twilight Time deserves the Mother Teresa Award for releasing these.

    Image

    Hello, Frisco, Hello – 3.25
    Pin-Up Girl – 3
    Mother Wore Tights – 3.5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Upgrade from DVD – Yes

    Recommended

    RAH

    I haven’t seen these new releases yet @Robert Harris but with your w
    Evans in mind, how do these compare to the current Blu-ray release of the Technicolor film
    Anchors Aweigh (1944) which I’m now watching for July 4th?

    I do notice that Technicolor “pop” in Anchors Aweigh.

  13. Dear Robert: I have now had the opportunity to compare this Blu-ray release of Hello, Frisco, Hello with Fox's now defunct DVD release from 2004. And while the DVD used a transfer for which the proper Fox logos had been incorrectly replaced, if anything the image that follows on the DVD is superior in virtually all regards to this Blu-ray reissue, sporting properly framed main titles, and color fidelity that offers better overall saturation and fine detail reproduction. The Blu-ray just looks faded by comparison and I sincerely regret dropping good money on it. Ditto for Pin Up Girl, although in comparing the old DVD to my new Blu, the differences were marginal at best.

    I have to say that while Mother Wore Tights bears no earthly resemblance to vintage Technicolor either, overall, the transfer is crisp and clean, with colors that are – if not true to their vintage – then, nevertheless, reasonably bold and sure to impress those who know not what real Technicolor looks like. Personally, I can live with that – since, regrettably, there is NO alternative for these beloved classics. But Hello, Frisco, Hello is a severely screwed up transfer. The heavily windowboxed credits aside, there is not breathing around the peripheries of the image on the DVD – the Blu-ray – it's everywhere. And the color is wan, dull and awful on the Blu. The color on the DVD is more fully saturated by far.

    Again, I know – it's not vintage Technicolor. But the DVD gives a 'better' impression of what vintage Technicolor was. The Blu-ray is an atrocity. I want to support the release of more classics to Blu but not if basic care is not even going to be applied. While I blame Fox completely for this absurd flub – I can't say I much support TT's acumen to release either Pin Up Girl or Hello Frisco Hello without expecting better elements to be made at their disposal.

  14. Nick*Z

    Dear Robert: I have now had the opportunity to compare this Blu-ray release of Hello, Frisco, Hello with Fox's now defunct DVD release from 2004. And while the DVD used a transfer for which the proper Fox logos had been incorrectly replaced, if anything the image that follows on the DVD is superior in virtually all regards to this Blu-ray reissue, sporting properly framed main titles, and color fidelity that offers better overall saturation and fine detail reproduction. The Blu-ray just looks faded by comparison and I sincerely regret dropping good money on it. Ditto for Pin Up Girl, although in comparing the old DVD to my new Blu, the differences were marginal at best.

    I have to say that while Mother Wore Tights bears no earthly resemblance to vintage Technicolor either, overall, the transfer is crisp and clean, with colors that are – if not true to their vintage – then, nevertheless, reasonably bold and sure to impress those who know not what real Technicolor looks like. Personally, I can live with that – since, regrettably, there is NO alternative for these beloved classics. But Hello, Frisco, Hello is a severely screwed up transfer. The heavily windowboxed credits aside, there is no breathing around the peripheries of the image on the DVD: the Blu-ray – it's everywhere. And the colors are wan, dull and awful on the Blu. The color on the DVD is more fully saturated by far.

    Again, I know – it's not vintage Technicolor. But the DVD gives a 'better' impression of what vintage Technicolor was. The Blu-ray is an atrocity. I want to support the release of more classics to Blu but not if basic care is not even going to be applied. While I blame Fox completely for this absurd flub – I can't say I much support TT's acumen to release either Pin Up Girl or Hello Frisco Hello without expecting better elements to be made at their disposal. Much the same way they claimed to have no interest in releasing Julie Andrews' Star! and Andy Tennant's Anna and the King until such time as improved elements were being offered by Fox.

    I shudder to think of what the future holds for these movies now that Disney Inc. is in the driver's seat – the hoarders of their own classic library, holding such goodies as The Happiest Millionaire, Song of the South, That Darn Cat, Summer Magic, etc. et al hostage. So, Fox catalog? Hmmm. Though perhaps now, we will see a remastered edition of the original Star Wars trilogy. Well…one can at least hope – even naively so!

    How many ways can one spell CRI?

  15. Nick*Z

    I have now had the opportunity to compare this Blu-ray release of Hello, Frisco, Hello with Fox's now defunct DVD release from 2004. And while the DVD used a transfer for which the proper Fox logos had been incorrectly replaced, if anything the image that follows on the DVD is superior in virtually all regards to this Blu-ray reissue, sporting properly framed main titles, and color fidelity that offers better overall saturation and fine detail reproduction. The Blu-ray just looks faded by comparison and I sincerely regret dropping good money on it. Ditto for Pin Up Girl, although in comparing the old DVD to my new Blu, the differences were marginal at best.

    But Hello, Frisco, Hello is a severely screwed up transfer. The heavily windowboxed credits aside, there is no breathing around the peripheries of the image on the DVD: the Blu-ray – it's everywhere. And the colors are wan, dull and awful on the Blu. The color on the DVD is more fully saturated by far.

    I have to agree with every word of this. What a complete and utter disappointment. Of the three, FRISCO was the one I was looking the most forward to. I have to admit I don't have MOTHER WORE TIGHTS on DVD so I have nothing to compare the blu-ray to and I have no intention of buying PIN-UP (which I always found hideous.)

    For the life of me, I can't understand why the DVD (taking into account the limitations of decreased resolution and the absence of original materials to work with) looks so much better in terms of color fidelity and overall "lushness." It's almost as if the blu-ray has a dark layer to it that pulls all of the colors down that isn't evident on the DVD. There are dazzling purples, reds, blues, and greens on the DVD that are (to borrow Nick's word) "wan" at best on the blu-ray. The blu-ray looks as though much of it is made from optical dupes even when it shouldn't and doesn't have the corresponding look to the same points on the DVD transfer. There's an obvious increase in resolution but I don't know that it's worth it. ultimately. So I have to ask the question that, if this all about the CRI. why shouldn't it look at least as good as it did 15 years ago?

    PaulaJ

    If you want to see what we're missing, look at the "Hello Again, The Re-Making of Alice Faye" mini-doc on Hello, Frisco, Hello. It has a lot of clips from Frisco that seem to be taken from a Technicolor print, with glowing, jewel-like colors and beautiful rosy skin tones on close-ups of Faye. Check out the dress that Faye wears in the "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" number. On the Blu-ray, it's a pale turquoise color. In a clip from "The Re-Making of Alice Faye" you can see that it's a gorgeous light blue. What a difference!

    While I agree with you in theory, I THINK (without definitive proof) that those clips may have been taken from a VHS or laser transfer because they look completely over saturated to me on the doc. The DVD has better, stronger colors than the blu-ray but they aren't quite to that level of bleed.

    Robert Harris

    How many ways can one spell CRI?

    With ALL due respect (and I DO mean that, sir) I just can't buy anymore that that's the only reason for what we're seeing. The (awful) domestic blu-ray release of THE GANG'S ALL HERE was supposed to be the best we could expect from the CRI elements yet lo and behold Masters of Cinema released a disc in the UK that, while not perfect, was miles better in almost every regard. Fifteen years ago, they were able to make a FRISCO transfer with beautiful, jewel like color from (one has to assume) the same extant CRI materials that were used for this, yet everything about the look of this (other than the resolution) is less than that one was. Something else has to be at play here.

  16. Will Krupp

    I have to agree with every word of this. What a complete and utter disappointment. Of the three, FRISCO was the one I was looking the most forward to. I have to admit I don't have MOTHER WORE TIGHTS on DVD so I have nothing to compare the blu-ray to and I have no intention of buying PIN-UP (which I always found hideous.)

    For the life of me, I can't understand why the DVD (taking into account the limitations of decreased resolution and the absence of original materials to work with) looks so much better in terms of color fidelity and overall "lushness." It's almost as if the blu-ray has a dark layer to it that pulls all of the colors down that isn't evident on the DVD. There are dazzling purples, reds, blues, and greens on the DVD that are (to borrow Nick's word) "wan" at best on the blu-ray. The blu-ray looks as though much of it is made from optical dupes even when it shouldn't and doesn't have the corresponding look to the same points on the DVD transfer. There's an obvious increase in resolution but I don't know that it's worth it. ultimately. So I have to ask the question that, if this all about the CRI. why shouldn't it look at least as good as it did 15 years ago?

    While I agree with you in theory, I THINK (without definitive proof) that those clips may have been taken from a VHS or laser transfer because they look completely over saturated to me on the doc. The DVD has better, stronger colors than the blu-ray but they aren't quite to that level of bleed.

    With ALL due respect (and I DO mean that, sir) I just can't buy anymore that that's the only reason for what we're seeing. The (awful) domestic blu-ray release of THE GANG'S ALL HERE was supposed to be the best we could expect from the CRI elements yet lo and behold Masters of Cinema released a disc in the UK that, while not perfect, was miles better in almost every regard. Fifteen years ago, they were able to make a FRISCO transfer with beautiful, jewel like color from (one has to assume) the same extant CRI materials that were used for this, yet everything about the look of this (other than the resolution) is less than that one was. Something else has to be at play here.

    I’ve not tracked the particular elements involved here, but in a general sense, a CRI produced in the mis-70s, should have held viable colors only, into the early 80s, ie into the standard definition – VHS – telecine era.

    Not beyond.

    The alternative is to access extant dye transfer prints, and try to massage a full-contrast element toward modern digital mastering. Not an impossibility.

    But this concept brings with it the overall look of those productions that were finalized for three-strip plus the additional b & w record. Something that can be extraordinarily beautiful, but possibly not what the IP holder, or audience desire today.

    I also have no idea how these tiles were handled for HD mastering. I’ve not been involved since Leave Her to Heaven, The Black Swan, and Drums Along the Mohawk, none of which were restored, per se, but were digitally massaged.

  17. Robert Harris

    I also have no idea how these tiles were handled for HD mastering. I’ve not been involved since Leave Her to Heaven, The Black Swan, and Drums Along the Mohawk, none of which were restored, per se, but were digitally massaged.

    I sure wish you or someone else had digitally 'massaged' Hello Frisco Hello. But I believe the element used for this Blu-ray was different from the one used for the DVD, if for no other reason, then the DVD had the wrong 2oth Century-Fox logo tacked to its main titles (although the main titles were properly framed) and the new Blu, while having the right Fox logos preceding the credits, now has the 'postage stamp' heavily window-boxed titles followed by an image that in no way even comes close to the one represented on the DVD in terms of color saturation and balance. So, I'll be keeping my DVD and junking my Blu. Sure wish I had known about this travesty before spending $29.99 U.S. plus shipping, and $30.00 in customs (for all three titles, mind you). What a waste of money!!!

  18. Robert Harris

    I also have no idea how these tiles were handled for HD mastering. I’ve not been involved since Leave Her to Heaven, The Black Swan, and Drums Along the Mohawk, none of which were restored, per se, but were digitally massaged.

    And all of which are among the best looking of the Fox Blu-ray releases from that era (along with The Gang's All Here.)

  19. Will Krupp

    oh, okay, thanks for the info.

    Oh, Will, did you have strong objections to the TT release and were enthusiastic about the European release? Where did you talk about this? My memory is really going in my old age.

  20. Matt Hough

    Oh, Will, did you have strong objections to the TT release and were enthusiastic about the European release? Where did you talk about this? My memory is really going in my old age.

    No! I'm sorry it's NOT your memory Matt! Yes, I really like the UK release and yes, I have huge objections to the TT release but (and here's the thing) I DIDN'T really talk about it anywhere until I mentioned it upthread yesterday. It didn't seem prudent to voice my objections to the TT at the time and didn't go region free until AFTER 2016 (I had the domestic release first) so, by the time I had the MOC in my hand, the moment had "passed," as they say.

  21. marcco00

    i love these Fox musicals too, especially the Grable films. not sure if i should upgrade tho

    I'm going to upgrade to Blu with Mother Wore Tights. Never released on a true DVD, it has been available only as a MOD from Fox Cinema Archives. I'm satisfied with my DVD of Pin Up Girl that originally came in a deluxe case. Personally, I've never cared much for Hello Frisco, Hello so will pass that one up. Cheers~~

  22. Do the people who do these transfers know what they are doing? Do they even look at the original DVD? I was warned off the bluray of Silk Stockings. But I thought how bad could it be? It was worse than I expected and I had to take it off. Thank goodness I kept the original disc. I really find it incomprehensible that a bluray would be far worse as if the people who were doing the transfer were blind. I understand the original elements have not held up but did anyone bother looking at the original release? I think somebody compared it to watching the film through a Sahara sand storm and were they right.

    This is so disappointing reading the original Technicolor Fox prints were lost. I was really looking forward to these color films. It kind of reminds me of the Technicolor anniversary festival held at the MOMA a few years ago. Honestly the worst collection of prints I’ve ever seen since I’ve been going to festivals since the 70s. Whoever curated it had no idea what Technicolor looked like and just showed a collection of old scratchy prints with faded bleeding colors. I went to about 3 and found the incompetency beyond belief. Maybe this is being done by young people who have no idea what they’re doing. In the late 80s the MOMA did a restoration festival and I have to say Selznick’s Tom Sawyer was one of the most beautiful color films I’ve ever seen. I’m keeping that memory and don’t plan on seeing it again. The review of the bluray was not great and it should have been. Even the MOMA has been known to treat the film estates they are given cavalierly. Another glorious print they showed back then was Becky Sharp with of course the unrestored final reel. I thought it was amazing so the recent review was a disappointment.

  23. roxy1927

    Do the people who do these transfers know what they are doing? Do they even look at the original DVD? I was warned off the bluray of Silk Stockings. But I thought how bad could it be? It was worse than I expected and I had to take it off. Thank goodness I kept the original disc. I really find it incomprehensible that a bluray would be far worse as if the people who were doing the transfer were blind. I understand the original elements have not held up but did anyone bother looking at the original release? I think somebody compared it to watching the film through a Sahara sand storm and were they right.

    This is so disappointing reading the original Technicolor Fox prints were lost. I was really looking forward to these color films. It kind of reminds me of the Technicolor anniversary festival held at the MOMA a few years ago. Honestly the worst collection of prints I've ever seen since I've been going to festivals since the 70s. Whoever curated it had no idea what Technicolor looked like and just showed a collection of old scratchy prints with faded bleeding colors. I went to about 3 and found the incompetency beyond belief. Maybe this is being done by young people who have no idea what they're doing. In the late 80s the MOMA did a restoration festival and I have to say Selznick's Tom Sawyer was one of the most beautiful color films I've ever seen. I'm keeping that memory and don't plan on seeing it again. The review of the bluray was not great and it should have been. Even the MOMA has been known to treat the film estates they are given cavalierly. Another glorious print they showed back then was Becky Sharp with of course the unrestored final reel. I thought it was amazing so the recent review was a disappointment.

    First of all I have no idea what you are talking about regarding Silk Stockings. That was a highly praised Warner Archive Blu-ray. Perhaps you are thinking of another title, maybe The Seven Year Itch? Secondly, the DVD release of a title should never be used as a reference. Previous home video and TV versions are rarely proper. When mastering a new Blu-ray, they should be referencing the original answer prints or whatever sources they can find that aren't faded.

  24. I , too, was looking forward to these musical Blu-rays, especially HELLO, FRISCO, HELLO .. I am not a fan of PIN UP GIRL but I do like MOTHER WORE TIGHTS .. I thought that the Blu-ray of MY GAL SAL was quite nice – how did that one survive in better condition? Just luck? I just imported the UK THE GANG'S ALL HERE because of recommendations here even though I have the TT ..

    Can anyone tell me about the current state of many Technicolor films made at Paramount during the late 30's and 40's? Films like EBB TIDE , BAHAMA PASSAGE, INCENDIARY BLONDE, TYPHOON, etc … What is the general condition of these ? Many from this era have never seen any type of release and are rarely screened.

  25. philip*eric

    I , too, was looking forward to these musical Blu-rays, especially HELLO, FRISCO, HELLO .. I am not a fan of PIN UP GIRL but I do like MOTHER WORE TIGHTS .. I thought that the Blu-ray of MY GAL SAL was quite nice – how did that one survive in better condition? Just luck? I just imported the UK THE GANG'S ALL HERE because of recommendations here even though I have the TT ..

    Can anyone tell me about the current state of many Technicolor films made at Paramount during the late 30's and 40's? Films like EBB TIDE , BAHAMA PASSAGE, INCENDIARY BLONDE, TYPHOON, etc … What is the general condition of these ? Many from this era have never seen any type of release and are rarely screened.

    Universal

  26. The cavalier custodianship of Pin-Up Girl and Hello Frisco Hello is really cause for alarm. Again, the DVD of 'Frisco' is superior in all regards to this Blu-ray, so DO NOT part with it. As for Silk Stockings – it had its issues, but overall was an infinitely pleasing transfer with Warner giving its back catalog the usual once over and due care to ensure what could be done digitally speaking to preserve and remaster, was done. You can only do so much with digital technology. That said, there was FAR more work that could and should have been done on these aforementioned Fox titles.

    And Fox has had a spotty record with their Cinemascope titles in DeLuxe too. It seems their color features are under siege from colorists who either do not or care not for the original integrity of these prints. How else do you explain River of No Return, Wild River, Desk Set, The King and I, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Blue Max, and so on, on 'blue' Blu-ray?

    Just wish every studio had a Robert Harris or a George Feltenstein overseeing the necessary work to be done to ensure these deep catalog titles for posterity in perpetuity. Preservation does not mean you just lock it in a vault and trundle it out in whatever current state of decomposition it exists to strike a new master from flawed elements on a future physical format. And it is high time the studio's en masse dumped the moniker 'asset management' to describe their responsibility, because it makes them sound like they are the custodians of old insurance claim forms and billing info.

    They're not! They are the true torch-bearers of classic cinema – curators, actually, whose works of art rank as highly as the master strokes of genius committed to canvas by Degas, DaVinci, and the like. Different medium – same concept. To the powers that be – please, understand that your job here is to ensure the past lives on for centuries yet to come and in a quality the original artists who created it would find just as appealing as the day they created it.

    If Fox's archivist program is going to endure after Disney then someone there needs to wake up and correct their past sins. And really, before it's too late. Can we please get an inspection program in place here, folks. And Star! and Can-Can on Blu soon?!? Not too much to ask – hopefully, and pretty please.

  27. Nick*Z

    The cavalier custodianship of Pin-Up Girl and Hello Frisco Hello is really cause for alarm. Again, the DVD of 'Frisco' is superior in all regards to this Blu-ray, so DO NOT part with it. As for Silk Stockings – it had its issues, but overall was an infinitely pleasing transfer with Warner giving its back catalog the usual once over and due care to ensure what could be done digitally speaking to preserve and remaster, was done. You can only do so much with digital technology. That said, there was FAR more work that could and should have been done on these aforementioned Fox titles.

    And Fox has had a spotty record with their Cinemascope titles in DeLuxe too. It seems their color features are under siege from colorists who either do not or care not for the original integrity of these prints. How else do you explain River of No Return, Wild River, Desk Set, The King and I, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Blue Max, and so on, on 'blue' Blu-ray?

    Just wish every studio had a Robert Harris or a George Feltenstein overseeing the necessary work to be done to ensure these deep catalog titles for posterity in perpetuity. Preservation does not mean you just lock it in a vault and trundle it out in whatever current state of decomposition it exists to strike a new master from flawed elements on a future physical format. And it is high time the studio's en masse dumped the moniker 'asset management' to describe their responsibility, because it makes them sound like they are the custodians of old insurance claim forms and billing info.

    They're not! They are the true torch-bearers of classic cinema – curators, actually, whose works of art rank as highly as the master strokes of genius committed to canvas by Degas, DaVinci, and the like. Different medium – same concept. To the powers that be – please, understand that your job here is to ensure the past lives on for centuries yet to come and in a quality the original artists who created it would find just as appealing as the day they created it.

    If Fox's archivist program is going to endure after Disney then someone there needs to wake up and correct their past sins. And really, before it's too late. Can we please get an inspection program in place here, folks. And Star! and Can-Can on Blu soon?!? Not too much to ask – hopefully, and pretty please.

    In deference to the team at Fox, I cannot agree with the concept of "cavalier custodianship."

    Their vaults are filled with poorly produced film elements, created by their predecessors over forty years ago, at which time the originals were junked.

    Film elements are organic, meaning they continue to change, which means that a telecine produced for TV, and probably used for home video, would have been done before the elements hit the condition that they're now in. That deals with color.

    There is no going back.

    For the team to take even the most basic attempt toward a complete digitization of the programming, ie CRI / 3-strip, would take an investment of around 12 million dollars, which wouldn't alleviate the base problem.

    Let's not malign the folks that are trying to help solve that problem.

    RAH

  28. Nick*Z

    The cavalier custodianship of Pin-Up Girl and Hello Frisco Hello is really cause for alarm. Again, the DVD of 'Frisco' is superior in all regards to this Blu-ray, so DO NOT part with it. As for Silk Stockings – it had its issues, but overall was an infinitely pleasing transfer with Warner giving its back catalog the usual once over and due care to ensure what could be done digitally speaking to preserve and remaster, was done. You can only do so much with digital technology. That said, there was FAR more work that could and should have been done on these aforementioned Fox titles.

    And Fox has had a spotty record with their Cinemascope titles in DeLuxe too. It seems their color features are under siege from colorists who either do not or care not for the original integrity of these prints. How else do you explain River of No Return, Wild River, Desk Set, The King and I, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Blue Max, and so on, on 'blue' Blu-ray?

    Just wish every studio had a Robert Harris or a George Feltenstein overseeing the necessary work to be done to ensure these deep catalog titles for posterity in perpetuity. Preservation does not mean you just lock it in a vault and trundle it out in whatever current state of decomposition it exists to strike a new master from flawed elements on a future physical format. And it is high time the studio's en masse dumped the moniker 'asset management' to describe their responsibility, because it makes them sound like they are the custodians of old insurance claim forms and billing info.

    They're not! They are the true torch-bearers of classic cinema – curators, actually, whose works of art rank as highly as the master strokes of genius committed to canvas by Degas, DaVinci, and the like. Different medium – same concept. To the powers that be – please, understand that your job here is to ensure the past lives on for centuries yet to come and in a quality the original artists who created it would find just as appealing as the day they created it.

    If Fox's archivist program is going to endure after Disney then someone there needs to wake up and correct their past sins. And really, before it's too late. Can we please get an inspection program in place here, folks. And Star! and Can-Can on Blu soon?!? Not too much to ask – hopefully, and pretty please.

    Whoa! I think you are way off base here and frankly don't have enough film element details of Fox films to make such a blanket accusation.

  29. Robert Harris

    In deference to the team at Fox, I cannot agree with the concept of "cavalier custodianship."

    Their vaults are filled with poorly produced film elements, created by their predecessors over forty years ago, at which time the originals were junked.

    Film elements are organic, meaning they continue to change, which means that a telecine produced for TV, and probably used for home video, would have been done before the elements hit the condition that they're now in. That deals with color.

    There is no going back.

    For the team to take even the most basic attempt toward a complete digitization of the programming, ie CRI / 3-strip, would take an investment of around 12 million dollars, which wouldn't alleviate the base problem.

    Let's not malign the folks that are trying to help solve that problem.

    RAH

    Thank you for such a response.

  30. Interesting about Silk Stockings. I fall in the bluray is unwatchable camp as I noted. Much grainier than the DVD. And there are those who like it. How different opinions are. I will say the titles are extremely richer in color and must have been beautiful unrolling on the Cinemascope screen of the Music Hall in the summer of ’57. That’s a regret I have being a child of the 70’s where most of the films that played there during that decade because a softer look was unfortunately preferred they often looked like blown up made for TV movies. There were exceptions of course including the only first run 70mm movie to play there Airport and At Long Last Love. No matter what you think of the film it looked wonderful on the large Music Hall screen.

  31. That is horrifying those films were junked. That means we are talking the late 70s when people were already aware of how important those original elements were. I was seeing beautiful prints in NY revival houses and the directors of those houses knew patrons wanted to see great prints. That’s why you went to a theater to see them. Otherwise you could just see them on TV. The print of SITR(it practically burned your eye the colors were so rich) at the ’75 revival in the Music Hall had Vincent Canby so thunderstruck he did a long NY Times Sunday piece on it that weekend.

    There was also a hit 70s extended run revival of The Gang’s All Here at I believe maybe the 57th Street Playhouse. Rex Reed said the colors were so amazing the print must have been kept all those years in Daryl Zanuck’s sock drawer. (Yes he meant it as a compliment.)

    The people who did this were really oblivious incompetents. I mean even Disney and MGM knew what they were doing.

  32. Was this process from forty years ago (that RAH mentioned) when they were copying their assets from the original combustible film stock to the newer less combustible film stock?

    Wasn’t it a safety concern that prompted this?

    Or am I confusing the two?

  33. You know folks, this is the first time that one of RAH's reviews has convinced me to delay or even consider cancelling any purchase plans of movies I was looking forward to buying. I had 3 of the June TT releases on my radar but I'll probably delay at least until near the end of the sale period. I did have interest in the following:

    Pin-Up Girl (1944)

    Mother Wore Tights (1947)

    Hussy (1980)

    I didn't have any interest in Hello Frisco, Hello (1943) and that might be just as well. I did have definite interest in Pin-Up Girl and Mother Wore Tights and I'll probably end up buying these two while the sale is still on.

    Hussy (1980) of course was not affected by the absence of decent Technicolor elements so Helen Mirren is still on my list.

    Again I was wondering how these Technicolor releases would compare with the Blu-ray release of the Technicolor film Anchors Aweigh (1944).. Any opinions welcome.

  34. Robert Harris

    […]Twilight Time deserves the Mother Teresa Award for releasing these.[…]

    After erasing a three paragraph draft and theory, I've decided to stay out of this one;
    except to say that I sense very valid reasons as to why Robert Harris may have made the above statement.

    Okay, maybe I'll go so far as to surmise that our having these 3 titles made available to us could fall within the very same lines of the Twilight Time rationale that was found with "Comes a Horseman". Indeed, "Comes a Horseman" was not up to Twilight Time's usual specs. And yes, after seeing this very fine film, I was left with a hunger to see a restoration of this Gordon Willis work. But in the end, I was more glad to have "Comes a Horseman" in my collection than not. Perhaps I'm being a bit romantic, but I sense that Nick Redman was behind these 20th Century-Fox selections and; being the film historian that he was – along with his knowledge of Disney's then future acquisition of Fox – there was a feeling that these 3 films needed to be captured for the Twilight Time viewership before all was too late. Just a sense, a theory, a hunch; and based on nothing more. Sometimes perfection can be found within the imperfections.

  35. Brad-wait for a sale down the road. These are great examples of the Fox 40’s musicals. I bought them and I have enjoyed them. You have a really good knowledge of different genres and I think you would enjoy this titles.

  36. Robert Harris

    In deference to the team at Fox, I cannot agree with the concept of "cavalier custodianship."

    Their vaults are filled with poorly produced film elements, created by their predecessors over forty years ago, at which time the originals were junked.

    Film elements are organic, meaning they continue to change, which means that a telecine produced for TV, and probably used for home video, would have been done before the elements hit the condition that they're now in. That deals with color.

    There is no going back.

    For the team to take even the most basic attempt toward a complete digitization of the programming, ie CRI / 3-strip, would take an investment of around 12 million dollars, which wouldn't alleviate the base problem.

    Let's not malign the folks that are trying to help solve that problem.

    RAH

    Dear Robert:

    Never said Fox had not done stellar work 'ever' on Blu-ray. I'm just not willing to concede that they've done their due diligence on these aforementioned titles. So, although I acknowledge, and further to appreciate fine efforts when they are exerted, I'm not willing to give our gold stars or even a pass when I believe even the basic work hasn't been done. And I don't feel my comments were anything except criticism out of frustration for these releases looking so awful – especially after we have all waited for them to surface in hi-def for so long. The proof herein is out there for all to see. No going back. How true. How about moving forward? Not maligning anyone currently working at the studio. Just not impressed by these efforts, that's all. I don't think most will be either.

  37. Will Krupp

    All I can say is this:

    When you have a blu-ray released in the UK in 2014 that looks like this:
    View attachment 60509

    and two years later you have a domestic release that looks like this:
    View attachment 60510

    It's not JUST about the best available elements. CHOICES are being made.

    Will, I re-watched the Eureka THE GANG'S ALL HERE the other night, and while in some sequences the color is bright (thought not in any way comparable to the way it looked in Technicolor, which I was fortunate enough to see a number of times at the Beekman in the early 70's & also in P-town in the 80's, where young men were literally rolling down the aisles during "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" number) in many scenes, for instance, the opening and closing numbers; the color is very badly faded in ways that CRIs have a tendency to do.

  38. lark144

    There's only so much one can do with fading elements. TT decided that going for a slightly darker look, which would be closer to the original Technicolor than the candy-colored brightness of the Eureka, would be preferable. I know there are many on this forum who agree with that look. But really both Blu-Rays are highly problematic. I'm happy to have a copy.

    It doesn't matter which one you prefer. It doesn't matter which one I prefer. It doesn't matter which look any of us on here "agree" with. It's never going to be accurate to the original Technicolor so why not watch whichever one you like. Nobody's wrong in choosing what appeals to them.

    My point is simply that choices are being made as to what "look" to go with. It's not just about the state of the elements, but the choices made when the transfers are produced. We have very few of these Fox titles to compare on blu-ray and this is a rare chance to contrast the differences between what is being done for the transfers given to TT and what is being done elsewhere.

  39. Will Krupp

    It doesn't matter which one you prefer. It doesn't matter which one I prefer. It doesn't matter which look any of us on here "agrees" with. It's never going to be accurate to the original Technicolor anyway, so why not watch whichever one you like? It's always going to be some sort of compromise and nobody's wrong in choosing which look appeals to them.

    My point is simply that choices are being made as to what "look" to go with. It's not just about the state of the elements, but the choices made when the transfers are produced. We have very few of these Fox titles to compare on blu-ray and this is a rare chance to contrast the differences between what is being done for the transfers given to TT and what is being done elsewhere.

    The only viable references for these films are original prints (mostly 4-strip survivors), along with some beautiful 3-strip re-prints from the late ‘60s – early ‘70s.

    Nothing else matters

  40. Agree with Will here. Preference is decidedly not the issue. And what, after all, was the point releasing these to hi-def when the distinctions noted have yielded far worse results in 1080p than 720p. Pin-Up Girl on Blu looks virtually identical to Pin-Up Girl on DVD. Hello, Frisco, Hello looks considerably worse on Blu-ray than DVD. So, the only point I was making is that there is no point to either hi-def release. Not at $29.99 plus shipping per title when the DVD's still retail on Amazon for between $4 and $11 dollars and, in 'Frisco's' case, look superior in all regards. We're talking about quality here, and improvements to be had. Not perfection. Forget about perfection. With Fox vintage catalog nothing close to perfection is possible any longer on a good many titles. And again, I could list the stellar work Fox has done on their vintage product, as many examples are readily available for perusal and enjoyment. But this discussion is not about praise-worthy catalog releases, but these three releases in particular – two of which are decided NOT up to snuff. That is my final word on the matter.

  41. Agree with Will here. Preference is decidedly not the issue. And what, after all, was the point releasing these to hi-def when the distinctions noted have yielded far worse results in 1080p than 720p. Pin-Up Girl on Blu looks virtually identical to Pin-Up Girl on DVD. Hello, Frisco, Hello looks considerably worse on Blu-ray than DVD. So, the only point I was making is that there is no point to either hi-def release. Not at $29.99 plus shipping per title when the DVD's still retail on Amazon for between $4 and $11 dollars and, in 'Frisco's' case, look superior in all regards. We're talking about quality here, and improvements to be had. Not perfection. Forget about perfection. With Fox vintage catalog nothing close to perfection is possible any longer on a good many titles. And again, I could list the stellar work Fox has done on their vintage product, as many examples are readily available for perusal and enjoyment. But this discussion is not about praise-worthy catalog releases, but these three releases in particular – two of which are decided NOT up to snuff. That is my final word on the matter.

  42. I got the TT 3 Coins in the Fountain because who doesn't want to see Rome in the 50s in Cinemascope? But having read no reviews and now reading what Fox did to its legacy did I throw my money away? Maybe I'll just keep it wrapped for the time being.

  43. roxy1927

    I got the TT 3 Coins in the Fountain because who doesn't want to see Rome in the 50s in Cinemascope? But having read no reviews and now reading what Fox did to its legacy did I throw my money away? Maybe I'll just keep it wrapped for the time being.

    I don't believe anything shot on safety stock was affected by the purge and THREE COINS got a very good review from our own Matt Hough. I wouldn't worry.
    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/three-coins-in-the-fountain-blu-ray-review/

  44. Will Krupp

    I don't believe anything shot on safety stock was affected by the purge and THREE COINS got a very good review from our own Matt Hough. I wouldn't worry.
    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/three-coins-in-the-fountain-blu-ray-review/

    Keep in mind you are giving assurances to the same guy who feels that the Blu-ray of Silk Stockings is unwatchable. I have a feeling he may not be a fan of the Twilight Time Fox CinemaScope look either.

  45. I know Silk Stockings extremely well. It is one of my favorite films. Now people are saying for these Fox musicals you might as well stick with the original DVDs. Same thing. I was really looking forward to all these Grable, Payne, Faye, Ameche, Miranda confections on bluray. Now I guess Natalie is spinning in her grave.

    Hough gave Pin Up Girl a 2.5. That’s dreadful.

    By the way Louis B said to Minelli and Kelly ‘Why can’t you make your movies look like a Fox musical?’ I guess we’ll never really know what a Fox musical looked like.

  46. roxy1927

    Now people are saying for these Fox musicals you might as well stick with the original DVDs. Same thing. I was really looking forward to all these Grable, Payne, Faye, Ameche, Miranda confections on bluray.

    We're not saying you should stick with DVDs on all Fox titles, not even close. There is an issue with FRISCO that might make some people prefer the look of the DVD but nothing about the condition of Fox musicals allows a blanket statement like that to be made about all of them. Some are just better than others and (at least I think) we are all in agreement about that. Just look at reviews before you purchase and then decide if you think it's worth it to upgrade.

  47. OLDTIMER

    I'm surprised that nobody's commented on "Down Argentine Way". It certainly looks like it came from an IB Technicolor print.

    I honestly mention that so much that I'm afraid people are sick of hearing me say it, lol. I've always thought it's the best looking Fox Technicolor transfer out there.

  48. Sorry, I was not aware of your previous praise of this movie – I'm a newcomer. The other Fox DVD that looks really good is "Moon Over Miami" . Regarding the crushed blacks in most of the 40s' Fox releases, I've recently bought a Panasonic OLED TV which has a Gamma control which is great for restoring (to some extent) those horrible blacks.

  49. I assume you're referring to the DVD of Down Argentine Way which is extremely solid. Greenwich Village was another handsome DVD back in the day when Fox was into doing box sets, as was Week-end in Havana. That Night in Rio was okay, but had inconsistent image quality. Fox Archive also did a rather splendid job of Springtime in the Rockies on MOD DVD. And no one is criticizing Fox movies on DVD or Blu-ray in totem. The Dolly Sisters DVD was pretty rich and solid, but I think here I slightly prefer the LaserDisc – I still have it. Call Me Madam was uneven on DVD, but certainly passable and great performances from Ethel Merman, George Sanders, Vera Ellen and Donald O'Connor. Sure wish we had this one in hi-def!

    Coney Island and I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now could really use some work – both appearing as part of the aforementioned and now seemingly defunct 'archive'. Ditto for Wilson – which currently is a travesty, matched only by the egregiously awful Forever Amber, another TT/Fox Blu-ray in sad need of some love. Will we ever get Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Centennial Summer, and, Star! on Blu? Boo-hoo. One can hope.

    PS – I'd also like to see more Fox B&W on Blu – The Rains Came, Alexander's Ragtime Band, In Old Chicago, Thin Ice, Sun Valley Serenade, Cafe Metropol, Heidi, the Charlie Chan's, Hudson's Bay, Son of Fury, Stowaway, Suez, The Littlest Rebel, Lillian Russell, Tin Pan Alley. Again…in a perfect world!

  50. We're probably getting off the subject of this discussion but I certainly have most of the movies you mention. Re Laser disc, I copied most of the respectable transfers to DVD before I sold my Laser Disc player. Blue Skies certainly looked better on LD than on the DVD. State Fair on DVD looks much better than the awful Blu-ray. I guess we could go on and on!

  51. And yes you are right clearly this needs to be taken on a case by case basis although I am still dismayed at hearing about what happened to the Fox catalogue thinking it had been preserved like much of the MGM and Warner color catalogue. Though I'd give anything to see a beautiful complete two color Golddiggers of Broadway and the two color Wedding of the Painted Doll.

    And now I see you are referring to the standard DVD release.

  52. Yes, the Down Argentine Way was the 2006 Fox DVD release. It's so good that a Blu-ray release probably wouldn't look much better. I say this because I saw a nitrate 35mm print projected several years ago and it looked exactly like the DVD – color and grey scale and resolution!

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