Like many of the most popular films of that era, original negatives no longer exist, as they were over-printed due to the lack of quality duplicating stock.
Fortunately, a very high quality lavender was struck early on, and that element serves as the basis of this restoration – and a true restoration it is.
If I’m recalling correctly, the studio tech wizards returned to the finest surviving picture elements of the 1931 film to access more original footage as used in Bride for flashbacks. They’ve taken this process extremely seriously.
The film was shot on the same negative stock that had been used since c. 1930. The granular characteristics don’t afford a great deal of information above 2k, but for those who love these films, and desire to see them down to the grain level (I’m in that group), the new 4k release allows that odd pleasure.
Like some other 4k black and white releases, this does not appear to have been sharpened, so the grain, while obvious, is never a problem, and readily disappears at a nominal seating distance.
Black levels are gorgeous, and while there may be a bit of diminished gray scale due to HDR, it isn’t bothersome. This may come down to a personal decision whether to view the Blu-ray set, or the 4k.
For lovers of the genre, these are being practically given away on Grub, Universal’s site. Pricing is $55 for the four films, or for those using the first order code for a 20% discount, $44 or $11 a film. I love deals like this.
As an aside, the aspect ratio of 1.37 is incorrectly stated on the packaging as 1.33.
Image – 4 (HDR10)
Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 2.0 Monuaral)
Pass / Fail – Pass
Plays nicely with projectors – Yes
Upgrade from Blu-ray – Yes
Makes use of and works well in 4k – 3.5
Very Highly Recommended
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