A few words about…™ The Bad and the Beautiful – in Blu-ray

What has apparently occurred is that WB has totally recreated this film, in full digital form, new sets, new actors, with nothing original left to be discerned. 4 Stars

Long ago, in Hollywoodland, a director named Vincente Minnelli, teamed up with Charles Schnee, producer John Houseman, composer David Raksin and cinematographer Robert Surtees, to do a little black and white film for M-G-M.

It was 1952, and the film that they created remains one of the greatest produced about Hollywood, and the business of film, ever made.

I was hopeful that Warner Archive’s new Blu-ray would live up to their record of quality, and give us something that looked wonderful for a 67 year-old film.

Unfortunately, they have not.

Something is rotten in Hollywood.

We know that there are certain sacred truths.

John Kennedy and Elvis are alive and well, in Vegas.

Man has Not walked on the moon, but Mr. Kubrick did create a wonderful video presentation making many believe that they did.

It is within those “knowns,” that looking and attempting to appreciate The Bad and the Beautiful, I come away seeing a failure.

As Inspector Clouseau might say, “A Rhuuse…”

What has apparently occurred is that WB has totally recreated this film, in full digital form, new sets, new actors, with nothing original left to be discerned.

A 67 year-old film can be identified by “age-related” artifacts, an occasionally shrill soundtrack, but certainly not a full gray scale from pure black to pure white, with everything in between, with exquisite detail, as it it had been filmed yesterday.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen is a fake.

Whatever became of the original film elements, they have been replaced, as if by strange pods, replicating the look of the film, when it premiered on Christmas of 1952.

For those who might appreciate seeing a film appear precisely as it did on it’s first day in theaters, via a print derived directly from the camera negative…

Well, this might may you happy.

But if what you desire is a Blu-ray that looks the age of the film, this isn’t it.

Way too perfect to in very way.

Buy a copy for yourself, and another for an unbelieving friend.

And wait to see their eyes pop.

Image – 5*

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Fail

Upgrade from DVD – Seriously?

Extremely Highly Recommended.

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

18 Comments

  1. Terrific news. Many of us can't wait to see it for ourselves. Still can't believe MGM chose to push Ivanhoe for Best Picture in 1952 instead of The Bad and the Beautiful or Singin' in the Rain. Bad won plenty of other Oscars anyway, but it certainly deserved a nomination in the top category.

  2. The Bad and the Beautiful received 6 Oscar nods, sadly none were for Best Pic or Director or for Scoring! It won 5 Oscars for Supporting Actress Gloria Grahame, Screenplay, B&W Cinematography, B&W Art-Set Decoration, B&W Costume Design. The only loser was nominee Kirk Douglas. Personally, it’s my 2nd favorite film about Hollywood. I think it’s Lana’s best performance and she deserved a nod. David Raksin’s score may be the best of the entire decade. And, of course, Minnelli and the Picture itself were robbed.

  3. jan goorsky

    Interesting aside, I was friends with Charles Schnee's daughter, Tina. His Oscar was lost and never found

    A great shame, but they are replaceable. I've forgotten what it costs to replace one ($100?), but the Academy will do it. Sadly, Hayley Mills had her miniature Oscar stolen while she was away from home in America touring in The King and I. She asked for a replacement only to be told that the mold for the miniature Oscars had been destroyed. She said that she would take a regulation sized one instead, and they refused!

  4. The Bad and the Beautiful is included in Target's buy 2 get 1 free promo. The Warner Archive titles I checked were all $17.99 each. That would make them $12 each plus tax and free 2 day shipping. Unfortunately several titles I checked are sold out and Target doesn't allow you to order them. Sold out titles included "The Thin Man" and "My Favorite Year." Archive titles available online only at target.com. Nice to know they are selling well enough to sell out.

  5. Picked up this title and happy with it.

    Still no Sergeant York. 11 nominations and 2 oscar wins. Highest grossing movie of 1941 and selected by the national film registry by the library of congress for preservation in 2008 for being culturally, historcally or aesthetically significant. Talked about by robert harris as going through a complete restoration up until 2017 and then sadly no more mention of it.

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