A few words about…™ Jezebel – in Blu-ray

What thrills me about Warner Archive’s new release, is that it looks far better than my 16mm print, which was beautiful. 4 Stars

I’ve always considered William Wyler’s 1938 Jezebel, one of those “miracle” films.

It just works.

Great cast. Superb direction. Wonderful score by Max Steiner (he also did the score for that other Old South production, the following year) Beautifully photographed, in black & white, by the great Ernest Haller.

It all works, and does it ever stand the test of time!

Five Academy Award nominations & WINS:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Fay Bainter
Best Picture
Best Cinematography – Ernest Haller
Best Music Scoring – Max Steiner
Best Actress – Bette Davis

Like all cinephiles, we have our favorite films for each and every director, and actor.

For Bette Davis, the two at the top are Jezebel and All About Eve. One can add to that, Dark Victory, The Letter, The Little Foxes, The Bride Came C.O.D., Now Voyager, and The Whales of August.

A nice list of great films, for an extraordinary talent.

But I’ve had my concerns about Jezebel, from a survival perspective. And while I used to have a gorgeous 16mm print, struck in the late ‘40s or early ‘50s, I’ve never seen it look better than acceptable in any home video format.

Did I just hear someone mutter the word, “Why?”

Where do I begin?

The film had an original running time of only 104 minutes, when it was originally released in March of 1938. I’ve always found this odd, as there seems to be three hours of content, which seem to fly by.

Certainly, a re-issue, such as the one in late 1947 wouldn’t necessitate a re-cut to a shorter version?

Well, why not?

And if one is cutting the film, certainly one can make a new fine grain, and cut a duplicate negative?

Well, why not?

And so it was, that some time in 1947, the studio re-cut Jezebel, removing 11 minutes, taking the running time down to 93 minutes.

And cut both the original camera negative, as well as the track.

But wait, it gets better.

At some point, what remained of the original negative deteriorated enough, so that today, it no longer exists.

Everything up until today, for the original cut of the film, has been derived from a “quick and dirty” dupe negative, derived from a nitrate dupe, produced after enough runs on the neg to make it show wear and tear.

What thrills me about Warner Archive’s new release, is that it looks far better than my 16mm print, which was beautiful.

So much better, that one can easily forget what has befallen this film.

Produced from a very early lavender, also with its share of problems, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Rich blacks, gorgeous grays, with proper shadow detail, luminous whites, and magnificent velvety grain.

And to go with the image is a track that allows me to hear Mr. Steiner’s score, as I’ve never heard it before.

As I recall, it may have been another Warner film that gave us the line, “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of…”

Well, this new incarnation of the restored Jezebel, fits that line perfectly.

The point also must be made that this is a true restoration. An expensive one. So for those who like to request classic films, and may not yet have purchased The Thin Man and Footlight Parade, be aware that your purchases speak volumes, and create the ability to restore more nitrate productions.

Jezebel is a film for the ages!

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Are you seriously asking?

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

89 Comments

  1. From the rousing score, the word "Jezebel" glowing on fire in the title credits, Davis in a
    prostitute's red dress at a high society function, to that final confrontation at the end…..this is just a really thrilling movie to watch and a good example of WHY i love classic Hollywood.

    Thank you Ms. Davis, for this and all of your work, you are my favorite!!!

  2. Last week, my best friend finally watched this great film on TCM. He called me up to say he didn't understand the praises this film received over the years as he tried to compare it to GWTW. After some discussion he finally conceded that he was too harsh on Jezebel and accepted the film for what it is and not some grand spectacle like GWTW. I'm looking forward to watching this on BD.

  3. Robert Crawford

    Last week, my best friend finally watched this great film on TCM. He called me up to say he didn't understand the praises this film received over the years as he tried to compare it to GWTW. After some discussion he finally conceded that he was too harsh on Jezebel and accepted the film for what it is and not some grand spectacle like GWTW. I'm looking forward to watching this on BD.

    You’ll not be disappointed.

  4. That gorgeous Max Steiner waltz used in the ball scene is one of the GREAT waltzes ever written. It just sweeps you up in its grandeur (and is all the more bittersweet because of the humiliation that Julie is suffering during this sequence). The Adventures of Robin Hood won Best Score that year, but that musical moment in Jezebel is without peer.

  5. Matt Hough

    That gorgeous Max Steiner waltz used in the ball scene is one of the GREAT waltzes ever written. It just sweeps you up in its grandeur (and is all the more bittersweet because of the humiliation that Julie is suffering during this sequence). The Adventures of Robin Hood won Best Score that year, but that musical moment in Jezebel is without peer.

    I may be wrong, but I think he used that waltz theme first in A Star Is Born.

  6. Robert Harris

    And cut both the original camera negative, as well as the track.

    But wait, it gets better.

    At some point, what remained of the original negative deteriorated enough, so that today, it no longer exists.

    Everything up until today, for the original cut of the film, has been derived from a “quick and dirty” dupe negative, derived from a nitrate dupe, produced after enough runs on the neg to make it show wear and tear.

    Produced from a very early lavender, also with its share of problems, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Rich blacks, gorgeous grays, with proper shadow detail, luminous whites, and magnificent velvety grain.

    So you are saying the blu-ray was produced from the very early lavender (with problems)?
    If the lavender was so superior why wasn't it used to make "Everything up until today, for the original cut of the film"?
    Why was a quick-n-dirty dupe negative from a dupe used prior to this?
    Had the lavender been misplaced? Was the lavender incomplete?

  7. Trancas

    So you are saying the blu-ray was produced from the very early lavender (with problems)?
    If the lavender was so superior why wasn't it used to make "Everything up until today, for the original cut of the film"?
    Why was a quick-n-dirty dupe negative from a dupe used prior to this?
    Had the lavender been misplaced? Was the lavender incomplete?

    Simple inventory control, and selection of elements, by someone who knows what they’re doing.

  8. bujaki

    I may be wrong, but I think he used that waltz theme first in A Star Is Born.

    I'll have to watch it again soon to see if that's true. If it's there, it hasn't stood out to me the way it does in Jezebel.

  9. To be clear, many things would come into the orders to produce printing elements. For example, if memory serves, many of the original WB nitrates were stored at the Vitaphone warehouse, which I believe was in Brooklyn.

    If the lab being used was in NY, simple answer would be to use whatever duplicating positive might have been handy.

    Negatives were hardly considered treasures. They were simply a means to an end, toward the creation of “commercially acceptable” prints.

    Nothing more. Especially in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

  10. Couple of add’l points of interest.

    Included as extras, a short promotional film with Bette Davis on the lot in 1938, and Daffy Duck in Hollywood, and early 3-strip animated mini-epic.

    And for those who take their cinema history seriously, a wonderful commentary with Jeanine Basinger, who knows her stuff.

  11. Now I wonder what was shown at MoMA during the 1973 WB retrospective. WB used to ship original 35mm nitrate prints from their vaults to the Museum, such as the complete Captain Blood (first time ever!); a sepia-toned Torrid Zone; the Technicolor Doctor X which fell off the truck on its way back to the warehouse, etc. We also got surprises such as the reissue print of The Life of Emile Zola, subtitled The Dreyfuss Affair. A beautiful print, but severely truncated.

  12. Robert Harris

    […]The point also must be made that this is a true restoration. An expensive one. So for those who like to request classic films, and may not yet have purchased The Thin Man and Footlight Parade, be aware that your purchases speak volumes, and create the ability to restore more nitrate productions.[…]

    It's nice to know that encouragements of future restorations can be heard and noted by WAC, merely by each and every one of us making a purchase.
    Footlight Parade
    The Thin Man
    Gaslight
    Jezebel
    Yes to all four, and a pleasure.
    Now, for clarification, are there any other titles from WAC that fall into this category of encouragements?
    If so, then such additions would be worth posting.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  13. PMF

    If there are any other recent WAC releases that fall into this category of encouragements

    It's nice to know that encouragements of future restorations can be heard and noted by WAC, merely by each and every one of us making a purchase.
    Footlight Parade
    The Thin Man
    Gaslight
    Jezebel
    Yes to all four, and a pleasure.
    Now, for clarification, are there any other titles from WAC that fall into this category of encouragements?
    If so, then such additions would be worth posting.:thumbs-up-smiley:

    The support is needed, Philip. There are more on the way, but akin to any business, budgets must be approved, based upon sales numbers.

    And these are not inexpensive endeavors. They’re full scale restorations.

  14. Robert Harris

    The support is needed, Philip. There are more on the way, but akin to any business, budgets must be approved, based upon sales numbers.

    And these are not inexpensive endeavors. They’re full scale restorations.

    Well, perhaps a moratorium is in order concerning my old rally for "Ryan's Daughter".
    Yes, perhaps, we at HTF who are already interested in these 4 titles should rally together and make a pledge.
    How about all who believe in this cause of true restorations; and all the benefits that go with it;
    pledge to purchase all 4 titles in a single order, between now and the end of September.
    WAC has thrilled us all in 2019, so wouldn't it be fun for us to thrill them in return?:)
    P.S. Having just begun a new job, I will pledge to do the same by late August.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  15. Robert Harris

    The support is needed, Philip. There are more on the way, but akin to any business, budgets must be approved, based upon sales numbers.

    And these are not inexpensive endeavors. They’re full scale restorations.

    Well, perhaps a moratorium is in order concerning my old rally for "Ryan's Daughter".
    Yes, perhaps, we at HTF who are already interested in these 4 titles should rally together and make a pledge.
    How about all who believe in this cause of true restorations; and all the benefits that go with it;
    pledge to purchase all 4 titles in a single order, between now and the end of September.
    WAC has thrilled us all in 2019, so wouldn't it be fun for us to thrill them in return?:)
    P.S. Having just begun a new job, I will pledge to do the same by late August.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  16. PMF

    Well, perhaps a moratorium is in order concerning my old rally for "Ryan's Daughter".
    Yes, perhaps, we at HTF who are already interested in these 4 titles should rally together and make a pledge.
    How about all who believe in this cause of true restorations; and all the BD benefits that go with it;
    make a unified pledge to purchase all 4 titles in a single order, between now and the end of September.
    WAC has thrilled us all in 2019, so wouldn't it be fun for us to thrill them in return?:)
    P.S. RAH, please add any other titles that may fall into this category of support.:thumbs-up-smiley:

    No need to go back further. As a fan of what Warner Archive is doing, I believe that even the product released over past few months speak for themselves.

    And those that I've only thus far heard rumored to be released shortly, will send the fan base over the top. They absolutely have my attention.

  17. What was that internet site which ceased some time back which had 'the rumor mill'?
    I must admit I loved the tantalising snippets of forthcoming items, even if I had to wait months for the actual 'official' announcement.
    Does anyone still issue such toothsome nuggets? Nice for Robert to let us know there are good days ahead, but would like a bit more info, even if highly hedged with 'it is believed' etc etc….

  18. PMF

    Well, perhaps a moratorium is in order concerning my old rally for "Ryan's Daughter".

    In case it hasn't been reported elsewhere, the Spanish Blu-ray of Ryan's Daughter looks beautiful. It has, of course, English dialogue, (with stereo surround sound) and the Spanish subtitles can be turned off.

  19. OLDTIMER

    In case it hasn't been reported elsewhere, the Spanish Blu-ray of Ryan's Daughter looks beautiful. It has, of course, English dialogue, (with stereo surround sound) and the Spanish subtitles can be turned off.

    It's also a bootleg.

  20. OLDTIMER

    All I know is that the packaging looks legit, and it's being sold by Amazon UK. (Incidentally, it's region free.)

    It's still a bootleg and HTF doesn't promote bootlegs even though Amazon has been known for selling such products.

  21. OLDTIMER

    All I know is that the packaging looks legit, and it's being sold by Amazon UK. (Incidentally, it's region free.)

    Yes, Amazon sells bootlegs, and seemingly has no desire to clean up their act. I’ve discussed this with their reps. Ditto Barnes et al.

  22. OLDTIMER

    In case it hasn't been reported elsewhere, the Spanish Blu-ray of Ryan's Daughter looks beautiful. It has, of course, English dialogue, (with stereo surround sound) and the Spanish subtitles can be turned off.

    Much as I'd love to have a blu of Ryan's Daughter, in all good conscience, I can't ethically support bootlegs. But enjoy yours. It's the equivalent of buying a knock off of a Hermes handbag. It looks legit … but it's not.

  23. AnthonyClarke

    What was that internet site which ceased some time back which had 'the rumor mill'?

    I must admit I loved the tantalising snippets of forthcoming items, even if I had to wait months for the actual 'official' announcement.

    Does anyone still issue such toothsome nuggets?

    You're thinking of The Digital Bits, which is still very much going!

  24. OLDTIMER

    In case it hasn't been reported elsewhere, the Spanish Blu-ray of Ryan's Daughter looks beautiful. It has, of course, English dialogue, (with stereo surround sound) and the Spanish subtitles can be turned off.

    If you go to the first page of my thread entitled as "Any 2015 news about Ryan's Daughter?", you shall read from the opening introduction and comments that the Spanish BD is a bootleg. Bootlegs; along with plagiarism; is a hands-down boycott issue of mine. Yes, in earlier days many may have made purchase of those Spanish BDs; be it inadvertently or innocently via Amazon 3rd party vendors; but once one becomes educated on the specifics of such said discs, one quickly learns that such seemingly benign purchases has tremendous ramifications that negatively impacts the lives of many. I appreciate your lead, but do check out either the discussions at the top of my thread or investigate further by going to this supplied link: http://www.iprcenter.gov

    Truly, we may have taken for granted the warning headers of our DVD and Blu Ray discs;
    but this headline quote from our discs of "Piracy is not a victimless crime" is not just a legalese phrase.

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled program of "Jezebel".:thumbs-up-smiley:

  25. AnthonyClarke

    What was that internet site which ceased some time back which had 'the rumor mill'?
    I must admit I loved the tantalising snippets of forthcoming items, even if I had to wait months for the actual 'official' announcement.
    Does anyone still issue such toothsome nuggets? Nice for Robert to let us know there are good days ahead, but would like a bit more info, even if highly hedged with 'it is believed' etc etc….

    THE DIGITAL BITS?

  26. I'm the guy who inadvertently gave unwanted publicity to the Spanish Ryan's Daughter. In order to atone I have posted the following message on the Amazon UK website under Ryan's Daughter:
    According to "Home Theater Forum" the Spanish Blu-ray is a bootleg copy. Buying this is akin to piracy! It affects future legitimate releases.

  27. AnthonyClarke

    Yes, I finally did remember it was The Digital Bits. The reason I stopped following that was because The Rumor Mill section seemed to die a death.

    Bill still posts the same info, I just think he doesn't separate the rumors into its own section anymore. He was the one who posted the rumor about the physical Wizard of Oz 4K release, for example.

  28. OLDTIMER

    I'm the guy who inadvertently gave unwanted publicity to the Spanish Ryan's Daughter. In order to atone I have posted the following message on the Amazon UK website under Ryan's Daughter:
    According to "Home Theater Forum" the Spanish Blu-ray is a bootleg copy. Buying this is akin to piracy! It affects future legitimate releases.

    Thank you!

  29. OLDTIMER

    I'm the guy who inadvertently gave unwanted publicity to the Spanish Ryan's Daughter. In order to atone I have posted the following message on the Amazon UK website under Ryan's Daughter:
    According to "Home Theater Forum" the Spanish Blu-ray is a bootleg copy. Buying this is akin to piracy! It affects future legitimate releases.

    And when it comes to Amazon not policing their 3rd party marketplaces, how would you or anyone else know differently?

    Bravo to you for being Pro-Active.:cheers:

  30. What with releases such as "Jezebel" and "The Letter", I greedily hope that WAC continues with more Bette Davis.
    In one thread, I've already suggested "The Little Foxes".
    But I would be remiss to not make mentions and requests towards WAC for a release of "Dangerous" (1935);
    then we'd have both of the Bette Davis Oscar wins for Best Actress.:)

  31. I hope that WB releases more William Wyler. With the recent announcement of the letter, it would seem that only The little foxes would complete the Wyler/Davis films. But what is the hold up to Friendly persuasion. It was released at the beginning of dvd in 1999 but still no restoration or blu-ray. Another Gary Cooper movie by Wyler I got several times on DVD The western looks like it was completely restored 100 percent on the last dvd I purchased. It looks like it could go straight to Blu ray as is as it was that good of a restoration.

  32. I am delighted that such care has been taken with JEZEBEL. When I purchased the Box Set "Bette Davis Vol 2" in 2006, I vaguely recall that Warners claimed that JEZEBEL was a new digital restoration from the original camera negative. From what you say, this cannot have been possible. In any case, it is encouraging that WB is now spending money on its most famous classic films and so I am hoping that they will turn their budget to another Bette Davis classic that is desperately in need of a proper release – THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELISABETH & ESSEX. The DVD issue of this (as part of the Errol Flynn Signature Collection in 2005) is horrible, with the colour registration misaligned in many places and with many blemishes of the image throughout. WB just did a beautiful job with SEA HAWK and has also produced a vastly superior disc of DODGE CITY. I know that several original nitrate Technicolor prints exist for ESSEX. So I am sure that with the right amount of $$$, a really fine disc could be made. What do you think of the chances?

  33. Dan Cooper

    I hope that WB releases more William Wyler. With the recent announcement of the letter, it would seem that only The little foxes would complete the Wyler/Davis films…..

    The Little Foxes is my favourite of the Wyler/Davis films, and I do hope it makes it to blu-ray soon. Problem with that film, every time I've seen it on TCM, is that there is a very noticeable high level of background hiss throughout the entire film. I don't know if that can be fixed, or at least minimized, or not….

  34. I've just received my copy of Jezebel. Whilst the picture quality is excellent, I'm very disappointed with the sound. We are offered DTS-HD 2 channel mono. (Plus a similar commentary track.) From my professional experience the audio suffers from 2nd and third harmonic distortion, probably in the order of around 8 percent. There has been an attempt to slightly spread the mono image which, while it benefits the orchestral score, reduces the pin-pointing of dialogue. I wouldn't call the result bad, just "not good"! What a shame to spoil an otherwise excellent restoration.

  35. That's a shame, Ken …. the audio is such a critical part of enjoyment of a dialogue-driven movie.
    Here in Woodend, just one hour from Melbourne, I spend a huge amount of time creating and listening to high-end audio discs of classical, jazz and popular music, using 24-96 files derived from LPs or SACDs. And quality really does count, whether for soundtracks or music.

  36. OLDTIMER

    I've just received my copy of Jezebel. Whilst the picture quality is excellent, I'm very disappointed with the sound. We are offered DTS-HD 2 channel mono. (Plus a similar commentary track.) From my professional experience the audio suffers from 2nd and third harmonic distortion, probably in the order of around 8 percent. There has been an attempt to slightly spread the mono image which, while it benefits the orchestral score, reduces the pin-pointing of dialogue. I wouldn't call the result bad, just "not good"! What a shame to spoil an otherwise excellent restoration.

    [Edit: I should have realised that the distortion figure I quoted above would be fairly meaningless to most people. What it means is that there is a certain harshness on amplitude peaks, especially noticeable on speech. For sound quality I would rate the audio as 3.5 out of 5.]

    I presume that you know that Jezebel was made in 1937, with optical tracks, mixed through generations.

  37. Robert Harris

    I presume that you know that Jezebel was made in 1937, with optical tracks, mixed through generations.

    Absolutely, Robert.
    I've just had a listen to the DVD. It has Dolby Digital 1 channel which allows the sound to be put into the centre speaker which certainly improves the dialogue clarity. Unfortunately the audio on the DVD has the same harshness as the Blu-ray release so it would appear that perhaps no early generation audio exists. Re 1930s' sound – I've heard some beautiful sound quality from this period, restricted perhaps only in frequency response.
    Nevertheless, I must confess to being extremely critical of audio hence my somewhat harsh criticism. Most people would probably be quite happy.

  38. OLDTIMER

    Absolutely, Robert.
    I've just had a listen to the DVD. It has Dolby Digital 1 channel which allows the sound to be put into the centre speaker which certainly improves the dialogue clarity.

    Properly decoded 2-channel mono also comes solely out of the center speaker. You just have to select the proper receiver setting.

  39. Mark-P

    Properly decoded 2-channel mono also comes solely out of the center speaker. You just have to select the proper receiver setting.

    I agree that this is usually so, however the encoding on the Blu-ray seems to inhibit this. Nevertheless I was able to get centre-channel sound by using the digital output of my TV receiver rather than HDMI.

  40. I watched Jezebel right through last night and wanted to add some further comments. What a delightful film, even though I've seen it several times before. I keep humming Max Steiner's beautiful ballroom waltz to myself. Hypothetical question: Has anyone ever conjectured what might have happened if the story-line had gone on after the final scene?

    I was pleased with the really nice grey scale and black levels which remained perfectly constant throughout the movie. Regarding the sound, I was able to listen through the centre channel rather than the "left plus right" default. I've thus reassessed the sound quality as 4 out of 5.

    If you want to hear just how good optical sound of the period can be just listen to the accompanying cartoon. It's high fidelity a la 1938. The cartoon appears to be a 2K or 4K scan as it's extremely sharp with rock solid saturated colours.

  41. The sound from that period can be very very good, even on 78s! I have some wind-up gramophones and, with a brand new needle for every record, the quality of sound from records such as my Beniamino Gigli recording of 'Nessun Dorma' is just astonishing.l

  42. Hi Anthony,
    I saw that article about you in a Sydney newspaper so I know you are into acoustic gramophones. I do sound restoration work myself, in fact in my "retired" life I am the Sound Engineer at the Australian Jazz Museum where we release our own commercial CDs of vintage jazz performances. (Look us up at AJM.org.au).

  43. OLDTIMER

    I watched Jezebel right through last night and wanted to add some further comments. What a delightful film, even though I've seen it several times before. I keep humming Max Steiner's beautiful ballroom waltz to myself. Hypothetical question: Has anyone ever conjectured what might have happened if the story-line had gone on after the final scene?

    I was pleased with the really nice grey scale and black levels which remained perfectly constant throughout the movie. Regarding the sound, I was able to listen through the centre channel rather than the "left plus right" default. I've thus reassessed the sound quality as 4 out of 5.

    If you want to hear just how good optical sound of the period can be just listen to the accompanying cartoon. It's high fidelity a la 1938. The cartoon appears to be a 2K or 4K scan as it's extremely sharp with rock solid saturated colours.

    I'm glad to hear that you have retracted your earlier assessment of the soundtrack. At the risk of taking this thread off-topic, have you not purchased very many mono Blu-ray discs? Because DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono is pretty much the norm. A few releases employ 1.0 but for the most part the industry has opted for 2.0 mono delivery. It's unfortunate that your equipment won't allow you to decode DTS-HD-MA with steering logic. If I bought a receiver that wouldn't let me use pro-logic on Lossless Audio tracks, it would go straight back to the store, because there are just too many movies in 2-channel (stereo or mono) that need that option! 🙂

  44. Mark-P

    DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono is pretty much the norm. A few releases employ 1.0 but for the most part the industry has opted for 2.0 mono delivery. 🙂

    Usually 2.0 mono sounds fine, but not so in this particular case.

  45. Robert Harris

    […]The point also must be made that this is a true restoration. An expensive one. So for those who like to request classic films, and may not yet have purchased The Thin Man and Footlight Parade, be aware that your purchases speak volumes, and create the ability to restore more nitrate productions.[…]

    In order for WAC to know of our support, is it better to order directly through the Warner Bros. Studio Store or will any supplier suffice?*

    *i.e. Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, et al.

  46. PMF

    In order for WAC to know of our support, is it better to order directly through the Warner Bros. Studio Store or will any supplier suffice?*

    *i.e. Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, et al.

    There is no studio store. Unless every report over the last 4 years is incorrect, WBShop is no more a part of Warner than Best Buy is. Warner was 2 or 3 owners of the name ago

    AnthonyClarke

    Australians aren't able to order through the Studio Store. Nor from anywhere in Australia!

    Maybe I'm missing the point. You can order from Deep Discount/WowHD or Moviezyng (Allied Vaughn storefront) and some AUS still seem to be able to order from Barnes & Noble. MovieZyng doesn't have the best general price, but they do have stupid cheap shipping

  47. AnthonyClarke

    Australians aren't able to order through the Studio Store. […]

    David Norman

    […]WBShop is no more a part of Warner than Best Buy is.[…]

    This is good to know. So, I am surmising that at long as any vendor's stock and inventory are showing the steady sales of "Gaslight", "The Thin Man", "The Letter" and "Footlight Parade" that WAC will see the support in all its forms. Well, if that's the case, it wouldn't hurt to throw in "Summer Stock", just for good measure. Ah, yes, my Best Buy card has been feeling the pain for over a year; but I've made a promise and a promise must be kept.
    So, here's to WAC and their restoration of Nitrate films.:cheers:

  48. PMF

    This is good to know. So, I am surmising that at long as any vendor's stock and inventory are showing the steady sales of "Jezebel", "The Letter", "Gaslight", "The Thin Man" and "Footlight Parade" that WAC will know of our collective support, no matter where the purchases have derived. Well, if that's the case, it wouldn't hurt for me to throw in "Summer Stock", just for good measure.
    So, here's to WAC and their restoration of Nitrate films.:cheers:

    I'm assuming a sale anywhere registers as support.

    Honestly Allied Vaughn handles all the production/distribution of WAC disc based on the encodes/files that Warner gives them.
    I would think if anything, MovieZyng is as close to a direct order from the factory as you can get, but I doubt a sale there is anymore important than one at BestBuy or DeepDiscount. 80+% of mine are purchased via BN sales though i will pay a little more if a 4/44 hits at the right time if they actually include any items I didn't buy at the last BN sale. I did just buy several at Target's B2G1 sale.

  49. Yeah, all the product for any sale anywhere is sourced from WB or their designated affiliate, so it shouldn't matter where you buy it. Sales numbers from all retailers should make their way back to WB.

  50. David Norman

    I'm assuming a sale anywhere registers as support.

    Honestly Allied Vaughn handles all the production/distribution of WAC disc based on the encodes/files that Warner gives them.
    I would think if anything, MovieZyng is as close to a direct order from the factory as you can get, but I doubt a sale there is anymore important than one at BestBuy or DeepDiscount. 80+% of mine are purchased via BN sales though i will pay a little more if a 4/44 hits at the right time if they actually include any items I didn't buy at the last BN sale. I did just buy several at Target's B2G1 sale.

    My topic is not about finding a bargain. There are times in which such projects; that being the full restoration of nitrate films; deserves to see our full dollar support. Even through the full Warner Store price of $21.99, "Jezebel", "The Letter", "The Thin Man", "Gaslight" and "Footlight Parade" this is an altogether steal. We pleaded for such deep catalogue titles; as well as having that full expectation of a 5/5 presentation within its end result; and now we got them. Once in a while, I feel its important to pony up; especially when we have full the hopes of seeing more in the future. Sometimes our individual budgets can not do this; but in those moments when we can…:thumbs-up-smiley:

  51. I CONTINUALLY show my support of Warner Archives. And yes, it is easy to get around the problem by going to other vendors. It's not as restrictive as Disney's refusing to put so many classic titles on sale anywhere outside of America !

  52. PMF

    My topic is not about finding a bargain. There are times in which such projects; that being the full restoration of nitrate films; deserves to see our full dollar support. Even through the full Warner Store price of $21.99, "Jezebel", "The Letter", "The Thin Man", "Gaslight" and "Footlight Parade" these are each a steal for the time and effort put forth. We pleaded for such deep catalog titles; as well as having that full expectation of a 5/5 presentation within its end result; and now we got them. Once in a while, I feel its important to pony up; especially when we have full the hopes of seeing more in the future. Sometimes our individual budgets can not do this; but in those moments where we can, I say absolutely.

    I don't really think it makes a difference to WAC, Philip. I'm pretty sure they sell their product to distributors at the same (or close to the same) discount, so any price point you pay between that wholesale price price and the "retail" price goes to that distributor. Back in the long ago days when I worked in a bookstore during college, our discount from the publisher was usually a standard 40% (I have no idea what blu-rays of today are but I can't imagine the PROCESS is any different) so any discounts we put on bestsellers, etc came out of our markup and not out of the money that we paid to the publisher.

  53. OLDTIMER

    The only problem I find with a lot of the WAC DVDs is the poor picture quality. Does anyone know the reason for this? I assume that first generation copies are not available.

    Did you say DVD's? Hopefully, by now, you've given a spin to any one of the Blu Rays from WAC, at this stage of the game. If not, you are in for a treat. You will absolutely discover a consistent quality across the boards and on all fronts; be it in picture quality or sound. The only reason for a WAC DVD is to see what remnants are left of non-BD titles such as "Mister Roberts", "The Nun's Story", "Around the World in 80 Days" and "Raintree Country", as these are the closest we'll ever get to having these films; due to the cost prohibitive funding that is needed for a full-out restoration. The race against the clock to save all films is a daunting one, to say the least. Make no mistakes, there will be some causalities of major titles along the way; especially if funding and contributions are not ever-flowing nor renewed.

    Again, OLDTIMER, if you have not yet experienced the Blu Rays of WAC, I recommend you revisit some of your favorite titles through their catalog. Their Black and Whites are crisp and revelatory; whilst their Color fares are rich and expansive. Truly, you'll be experiencing something that is at once familiar and, yet, altogether a whole new film.

    Bottom Line: If its a Blu Ray and its from WAC, you can't go wrong.

  54. PMF

    Again, OLDTIMER, if you have not yet experienced the Blu Rays of WAC, I recommend you revisit some of your favorite titles through their catalog.

    Yes, I did say DVDs. I'm very much aware of the excellent WAC blu-ray quality, having been buying them since they first came out. (In fact I did a mini review of the Blu-ray of Jezebel on this thread.) My question referred to the DVDs, especially those from the 1920s and early 30s which, as I said, are often quite poor quality. I would like to know what format these movies were stored in and how they were sourced. Presumably they are existing video recordings, but many are too poor to be even from reasonable 35mm prints.

  55. OLDTIMER

    Yes, I did say DVDs. I'm very much aware of the excellent WAC blu-ray quality, having been buying them since they first came out. (In fact I did a mini review of the Blu-ray of Jezebel on this thread.) My question referred to the DVDs, especially those from the 1920s and early 30s which, as I said, are often quite poor quality. I would like to know what format these movies were stored in and how they were sourced. Presumably they are existing video recordings, but many are too poor to be even from reasonable 35mm prints.

    One might surmise that many of the old DVDs were sourced from extant, archaic 20-25 year-old telecine masters, derived from well-used 35mm duplicate printing negatives. Built-in positive/negative dirt, damaged frames.

    worts and all releases.

  56. Robert Harris

    One might surmise that many of the old DVDs were sourced from extant, archaic 20-25 year-old telecine masters, derived from well-used 35mm duplicate printing negatives. Built-in positive/negative dirt, damaged frames.

    worts and all releases.

    Yep, I'm pretty sure George Feltenstein has clearly stated beforehand, when they first started the Warner Archive Collection that these DVD releases will not be pristine and will fall short quality-wise from their usual DVD releases. IMO, the early WAC releases circa 2009 were worse quality-wise than many of their current DVD releases as they have improved their processes over the years for getting these film titles ready for WAC release. There were even some film titles from 2009, that were released again on DVD in which you can see some distinguishable improvement from it's prior DVD release. One of those titles that comes to mind is "Four Daughters".

  57. There were many several Warner Archives DVD releases which were later upgraded with better quality. Robert is right about "Four Daughters", and "The Adventures of Mark Twain" is another example where there was a reissue. Same thing goes for "The BIg House", which they remastered very impressively, and their reissue included 2 foreign language versions. I think they upped their game in DVD quality about a year after they launched. Going back and listening to their older podcasts on iTunes, you can find interesting information. I can recall them talking about remastering the Forbidden Hollywood films, and things like "What Price Hollywood". I must have several hundred of their DVDs, and 9 times out of ten the picture and sound quality is remarkably good.

  58. Conrad_SSS

    There were many several Warner Archives DVD releases which were later upgraded with better quality. Robert is right about "Four Daughters", and "The Adventures of Mark Twain" is another example where there was a reissue. Same thing goes for "The BIg House", which they remastered very impressively, and their reissue included 2 foreign language versions. I think they upped their game in DVD quality about a year after they launched. Going back and listening to their older podcasts on iTunes, you can find interesting information. I can recall them talking about remastering the Forbidden Hollywood films, and things like "What Price Hollywood". I must have several hundred of their DVDs, and 9 times out of ten the picture and sound quality is remarkably good.

    Yep, the reissue for "Four Daughters" came out 05-17-11 while the first WAC release of it was 05-05-09. "The Big House" first edition was 03-23-09 and the remastered version came out on 03-11-14.

  59. By the way, my purchases of Warner Archive DVDs has slowed down over the last 2-3 years, but I still have over 500 titles in my disc library. Ever since Warner farmed out the distribution of their discs, I don't buy many of them directly from that site. Furthermore, the TCM app and being retired has allowed me to watch more of their films without buying their discs.

  60. Robert Crawford

    Yep, the reissue for "Four Daughters" came out 05-17-11 while the first WAC release of it was 05-05-09. "The Big House" first edition was 03-23-09 and the remastered version came out on 03-11-14.

    That was (is?) a nice thing about their MOD program. They were far more likely to be able to update the digital file to use toward new replications than if they had been regular releases. WHO'S KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? is another one that got a widescreen remaster at some point.

  61. What I am thankful for is that I can often watch clean, sharp prints that have been off the cinema circuit for 80 years. I was not grumbling about poor quality prints but merely wondering why some are very soft.

  62. Robert Crawford

    By the way, my purchases of Warner Archive DVDs has slowed down over the last 2-3 years, but I still have over 500 titles in my disc library. Ever since Warner farmed out the distribution of their discs, I don't buy many of them directly from that site. Furthermore, the Warner Archive app and being retired has allowed me to watch more of their films without buying their discs.

    What Warner Archive app are you talking about? Warner Archive Instant shut down a while back. Do you mean Filmstruck or the Watch TCM app?

  63. Mark-P

    What Warner Archive app are you talking about? Warner Archive Instant shut down a while back. Do you mean Filmstruck or the Watch TCM app?

    Yeah, I misspoke, I'm talking about the TCM app as it gives me more time to watch stuff.

  64. I review lots of WAC Blu-rays, but I can't recall the last time I reviewed one of their DVDs.

    I've been consistently impressed by the high quality of WAC BDs but the last few WAC DVDs I saw were meh at best.

    The 2016 "Doc Hollywood" finally got the movie a widescreen presentation, and it upgraded one of the worst DVDs I ever saw. I almost never give "F" grades for picture, but the original "DH" was awful enough to earn that.

    Though the 2016 DVD was an improvement, it still had plenty of issues and I gave it a "C".

    The 2017 BD became an obvious upgrade. Dunno why they didn't just go Blu a year earlier!

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