A few words about…™ – One from the Heart – Reprise — in 4k UHD

One From The Heart Reprise 4k Screenshot for Review
I’ve always held a very special spot for Francis Coppola’s One from the Heart, regardless of which version I’m viewing. I saw it for the first time in early 1982 at the premiere at Radio City Music Hall.

It was a special event.

Before the film began, a spotlight hit the main curtain, and as the curtain opened that light went out and was replaced by a version on screen, leading to the Main Title sequence.

For those unaware, the film is a musical love story, in many ways retuning to the M-G-M musicals of the 1940s and early ’50s, down the 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

The color design is very three-strip, as shot by Vittorio Storaro. On board to aid in concept were Gene Kelly and Michael Powell.

Lionsgate has issued the new 4k UHD with Dolby Vision, and that extra layer of color and density control has added a wonderful texture to an already gorgeous presentation.

I thought it might be fun to offer a quick discussion with James Mockoski, who serves as film Archivist & restoration supervisor at American Zoetrope.

Here’s a transcript that may answer some questions:

A discussion with James Mockoski, Film Archivist and Restoration Supervisor for American Zoetrope:

James, let me start this off by explaining that I’ve taken a position on Home Theater Forum and elsewhere that 95% of releases billed as “restored,” are normally basically re-masters, and sometimes, not even new ones.

So when something comes around like your work on One from the Heart, it’s worth discussing as it’s the real thing.

JM: It’s a similar story to Apocalypse Now, where the original negative was re-cut. In the situation of One from the Heart, it was re-cut around 2003-2004 toward the creation of what became called Reprise. This was a new version that Francis was tinkering with and did eventually end up making new prints in 2003.

That negative had been trimmed and re-cut originally in 1982. Now it’s interesting that in 1982,

I don’t think that One from the Heart was ever completed. It was constantly re-edited. The negative was sent

to Italy in 1981 to go to Vittorio’s lab, Technicolor Rome to be re-edited, and then struck what we called the “Foreign” IP.

From There, the negative would continue to make a journey of multiple versions. The next recutting would be for the premier print for Radio City Music Hall (Jan. 15th 1982), and then a month later, recut again, and released into theaters on Feb. 11th 1982.

ANNND, if that wasn’t enough, around September of 1982, the film was cut to create for the 70mm release, which is what ended up on home video.

RH: So there were 3 different versions of One from the Heart?

JM: So there were three different versions of One from the Heart.

RH: As I recall, and I could be mis-remembering, the Radio City print was run with dubbers – separate picture and track. So that was the 70mm mix?

JM: That would have been the 70mm mix. And the print had just come in from Italy, and if you look at the IP that had come in from Italy, it was different from what they showed at Radio City.

RH: Well that makes things really easy, doesn’t it?

JM: Yes… So what version is One from the Heart. It’s hard to say. Is it the Columbia version, is it Radio City, 70mm / home video release, which I think is what most people would recognize as that was VHS and laserdisc, and I think most people when they experience it would have experience that version.

RH: When did it go to Columbia?

JM: It went to Columbia very early. It went to Columbia in February, right after Radio City Music Hall.

RH: And that was a different cut from the Radio City cut?

JM: Correct.

RH: So you were basically picking up a project that had lots of other people’s fingerprints on it.

JM: Yes, and I think in 2003 Francis picked up the film where he last left off, and I don’t think there was ever a finality to it. I think Reprise gave him the ability to say “Okay. It’s done. It’s locked. And that’s where we are today on the 2023/24 version of One from the Heart. Reprise allowed him to put the nail in the coffin so to speak, and yet he was still enamored with the original version, and so I went back and restored the 1982 with focus on the 70mm version because that was what ended up that year, and was what most people saw, so I don’t think anyone with the last Blu-ray that was out – which was not very good – it had a lot of issues because that was an HDCam transfer. If you look at the comparison extra on the new 4k, you’ll see that there were a lot of issues with the old master, with DRS, and the tools back then worked for standard def and the DVD, but they were quite apparent in the HD version, and so all the more reason to go back and fix that in a proper restoration.

RH: So what were your basic marching orders, and what elements did you have to work with You didn’t have everything, did you?

JM: No. We obviously had the camera negative from the 2003 version, and we had the trims that came out, missing the heads and tails of those shots in frames, as we did in Apocalypse, so we needed to manage the missing frames that came out of that. But we also, which was an interesting aspect of this, there was a lot of negative used to make Reprise missing. That material was in the foreign IP, but the negative that was cut out of the later versions was missing, and had been left in Rome.

So all that negative that Francis was looking for in order to make his new versions, had gone missing. They were left in Rome back in ’81-82, and when he went back to do the 2023-24 restoration, we continued trying to search for them. But it was lost back in the mid-80s, and at some point at the Technicolor lab in Rome – it was on the base of the river there, and it flooded at some point and destroyed lots of negative. Not just One from the Heart. We surmised that what we lost was because of that flood.

And fortunately, the way that we were able to get to Francis’ final cut was protection masters that had been made in Los Angeles before it was sent to Rome.

RH: The protection masters would then be the 1981 cut of the film? Correct?

JM: Correct.

RH: Before anything had been done to it.

JM: Correct. So we had that to make his new cut. There’s also a little bit of inter-mix between the original negative and IP. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find much more original negative than we found the last time around, but did find, in particular the opening Main Title sequence background, which we were able to locate and scanned.

RH: Was this the original negative without effects over?

JM: Yes, and we were able to find those optical layers.

RH: I seem to remember that whole thing being laid out on a huge table at Zoetrope.

JM: Yes.

RH: It was unbelievable the way that sequence was shot.

JM: That’s all to the credit of Robert Swathe, the visual effects designer, who was on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He was with Francis from One from the Heart to The Outsiders, and did an incredible job on visual effects.

RH: I believe everyone will understand that this is a major restorative effort, and it became necessary because Francis wanted to do a new version.

JM: Yes, a “new version,” again in quotes, because there was never originally a final version, and Reprise is probably the closest to what we can ever consider a final locked version of that, but I think the previous versions have its (word unclear). The Reprise does really restructure the narrative quite differently than what he envisioned in the ‘80s. So it’s interesting to see where he started and where he wound up, and all the more reason to offer that on a new edition. And I think it’s important to recognize that Francis is always tinkering – always trying to figure out best to tell a story. Whether it takes thirty years of looking at the film, or seeing how an audience might react differently than they would have done in the ‘80s. He certainly did that with Apocalypse Now Redux, which in 1979 was far out for a lot of people to accept. But it was different 30 years later in 2010 and people had been with it, and were more comfortable with it, and try it in a different way that he couldn’t have gotten away with in 1979. So he’ll take an approach of seeing where audiences are today, and trying to push his films in a different way – and he might have been wanting to do that originally, but didn’t feel that it would have been acceptable or right then.

RH: What were the major problems for you dealing with One from the Heart, dealing with the various elements and trying to make them fit together with frames missing?

JM: Sometimes we would use entire section of IP to cover missing frames. In other situations we were able to use just a single IP frame in blending the original negative with the IP. And we didn’t feel that we were adding any artifacts or bumps in the image quality. It was able to be smoothed out and the color graded, and I don’t think that anyone will notice that there’s a difference.

RH: Did Greg Garvin do the color work on this.

JM: Yes, Greg does all our work at Roundabout.

RH: Did you do any sharpening of the IP or masters to have the footage match the camera negative better, or wasn’t it necessary?

JM: It wasn’t really necessary. We didn’t see any difference that took you out as coming from a different source.

RH: Moving on to the sound track, did you hit any problems?

JM: No. The sound track was easier. We had a great new mix back in 2003-4. That was the basis of it. So a lot of it was just deletions from the Reprise. Also, we took what Richard Beggs did in 2003, which was a great, awesome mix—

RH: Was that a six-track?

JM: Yes. And that was the basis of the new mix, so there was no real difference there.

RH: If people already have the old Blu-ray, what would they be gaining, aside from editiorial changes that should be a cause to add the new version to their library?

JM: Personally, I feel there are very few films that truly call out for HDR. I think that Apocalypse Now was one of them with the beautiful neon flares at the Dulong? sequence that pop on HDR and this film has the neon, which plays so well –

RH: I pulled up a screen that told me how many nits this was running, and I think this film just looks beautiful and quite extraordinary with the added layer of HDR. It’s great work.

JM: Well it was already beautiful, but that extra little push is great to see on video, but it’s an even better experience via Rialto when you see it via the new DCP. It still looks stunning. I think the presentation is very faithful but gives us a little bit of something here and there.

The love the whole opening sequence – the neon signs that were created by Robert Swarthe. It’s just such a sweet film –

RH: I’ve love it since the first time I saw it at Radio City. And at Radio City, they had a spot light up in the booth, and before the curtains went up, and before the Main Title came on, with the spot light that’s a part of the film – there was a spot light on the curtain, and then the curtain went up and there was another spot light – and the audience loved it.

JM: The opening, like Apocalypse, if you saw the 70mm – those helicopter blades swirled around the room to give you that effect of being surrounded by helicopters.

One from the Heart picks that up, and you are plopped in the center of a roulette wheel, and that wheel is spinning around you. Francis is a master of showmanship and getting you into an environment that hopefully allows you to engage differently with the film. He likes those little touches.

RH: Thank you, anything else that you’d like to add?

JM: No.


Image – Forensic – 10 (Dolby Vision)

NSD – 10 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 10 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors – Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k – 10

Worth your attention – 9

Slipcover rating – 7

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Robert has been known in the film industry for his unmatched skill and passion in film preservation. Growing up around photography, his first home theater experience began at age ten with 16mm. Years later he was running 35 and 70mm at home.

His restoration projects have breathed new life into classic films like Lawrence of Arabia, Vertigo, My Fair Lady, Spartacus, and The Godfather series. Beyond his restoration work, he has also shared his expertise through publications, contributing to the academic discourse on film restoration. The Academy Film Archive houses the Robert A. Harris Collection, a testament to his significant contributions to film preservation.

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Kyle_D

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Kyle Dickinson
This is a great interview. I also appreciate the new, separated forensic/NSD ratings. Thank you!

The film has a reputation as a folly, and I sympathize with many of the common criticisms, but it's a fascinating, gorgeous aesthetic experiment. I wouldn't discourage anyone from watching it.
 

Robert Harris

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This is a great interview. I also appreciate the new, separated forensic/NSD ratings. Thank you!

The film has a reputation as a folly, and I sympathize with many of the common criticisms, but it's a fascinating, gorgeous aesthetic experiment. I wouldn't discourage anyone from watching it.
I’ve always seen it as a musical tone poem. Quite personal, on many levels.

Reference quality.
 

Angelo Colombus

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I have the 4K disc and was very happy to retire my dvd. Good film and love the color design. The next time I watch it will listen to the commentary.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Thanks for that interview. It confirms something that my memory was convinced of: that the laserdisc/tape was not the same cut as what I saw opening day in 1982. Looking forward to the Reprise version.
 

Allansfirebird

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Sean
I got the UK version of the set last weekend on a blind buy. Loved it! In some ways, I thought One From the Heart succeeds at recreating that old 40's MGM musical feel in a way that Scorsese couldn't quite reach with New York, New York.
 
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steven alejandro
I first saw this on VHS sometime late 82 early 83 at 16 years of age and fell in love with it. So I have always been partial to that Home Video cut of it. I picked up the UK Edition to get the OG version on 4k disc. Francis Ford Coppola is a genius...but I gotta say I prefer the original VHS Laserdisc cut to the Reprise Cut
 

Paul Willson-Morris

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Paul Willson
Thanks for that interview. It confirms something that my memory was convinced of: that the laserdisc/tape was not the same cut as what I saw opening day in 1982. Looking forward to the Reprise version.
I was introduced to it in the 2003 version and I'm not hot on the reprise so maybe 1982 will be how I revisit it. Can you recall any specific differences from the print you saw to the laserdisc? I'm eternally fascinated by this film .
 

Noel Aguirre

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I too saw this at Radio City and loved it and this was after standing a loooong time in a line stretching down to Fifth Ave ona pretty cold Feb NYC night after having bought tickets in advance. I then took a friend to see it upon its release a few weeks later and immediately noticed a cut in the opening titles which are still so amazing to watch regardless. I think it was the sand formation of a naked women which is in Reprise. Can anyone verify or was it something else l? I know it was something. I’ll have to watch the 9/82 cut included to see if I’m correct.
On another note I was lucky to have seen 3 of the most notorious flops in entertainment history in their original public presentations in a span of less then a year and a half-
Heaven’s Gate , Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway, and One From the Heart.
And I loved all 3 then, flaws and all, and I still love them now. Even more so!
 
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