I came to the conclusion many moons ago, that when a new release is publicized as “New (x)k transfer/ master,” that it’s pretty much meaningless.
And so it is with the Gary Cooper, Paramount production from 1935, Henry Hathaway’s The Lives of a Bengal Lancer.
Other than what are probably loan-outs to other production entities, Mr. Cooper was a Paramount player from 1925, with a bit in Old Ironsides (available on Blu-ray from Kino), into 1939, with Beau Geste (also forthcoming from Kino).
Bengal Lancer is fine adventure film, very much in the mode of Kipling, but the new Blu-ray has me puzzled.
The entire film seems soft, ie. out of focus, yet decently clean, which would make one believe that it has a digital clean-up that may have gone awry, unless the extant film elements were produced improperly before the nitrates were destroyed – and that the focus is just gone.
A decent gray scale, and with virtually no grain structure.
But then there’s this.
Single strand negative, which means that printer function (dissolves, fades) are cut in.
But they all appear far superior to the production footage. Overall resolution, and grain pop when they hit the screen.
An important film. Shot by Charles Lang, and with multiple Academy Award nominations.
Opinions gladly accepted.
Image – 3.25
Audio – 4.5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Possibly
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