Upgrade from DVD - Yes 4 Stars

Dave Strohmaier and Randy Gitsch’s work on saving the original Cinerama projects, falls under the heading of Passion Projects.

Working under limited budgets, and with very problematic film elements times three, we’re finally treated to a far superior Blu-ray of the first film in the series, the original 1952, This is Cinerama.

I was too young to have seen this theatrically, but was aware (at least a decade thereafter) of the exciting roller coaster sequence which opened the film, followed by the requisite three panel Cinerama travelogues.

What these gentlemen have created (again, on a limited budget, so don’t hold out for absolute perfection) is an exciting revisit to one of the major events in motion picture history, finally available, via Smilebox, on your home theater screen.

To my mind, the release of this Blu-ray, replacing the earlier effort derived from a single 65mm panel, is an Event on its own.

Color and densities are as balanced as possible, and the original track soars.

Simply put, this is one that should be in every serious library. The disc has a myriad of extras, inclusive of a superb featurette on the restorative efforts.

This is Cinerama was the first of eleven releases, some of the latter using footage from earlier shows.

Windjammer (1958) which I did see on the big screen in NY, is being released concurrently, and I’ll follow up on that one is due course.

As is the norm with the Cinerama films, they’re released by Flicker Alley.

Image – 4

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

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Robert Harris

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atcolomb

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I have all of the blu-ray Cinerama travelogues and thought they were great including the extras so this will be a easy buy to get the new & improved releases.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I’m just going through my copy now and I concur - looks and sounds great! And a ton of bonus features too.
 
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DP 70

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This is from the 3 Panel, the first version was from the 65mm neg made for the 1971 release.
 

Paul Penna

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I have the original This is Cinerama blu ray. How is this better?
The improved resolution, color and lack of side cropping is manifestly evident at just a glance, and I suspect it would be so on any reasonable-sized display. I think it turns the original disc into a coaster.
 
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Mike Frezon

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To my mind, the release of this Blu-ray, replacing the earlier effort derived from a single 65mm panel, is an Event on its own.
For the uninformed, how would the two presentations differ on Blu?

EDIT: Never mind. I didn't see the subsequent discussion after RAH's OP. Got my answer.
 

SFMike

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Just watched it last night and was amazed at the quality difference form the first version made from the 70mm print. Well worth the upgrade to the new Blu-ray release if you are a Cinerama fan. Such a strange film/tech demo from the 50's. That goes for Windjammer too. I was disappointed by the earlier Blu-ray release but that disappointment is now erased by the excellent transfer from the old three panel originals. Great job from Dave Strohmaier !
 

Brian Kidd

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I have this waiting for me when I get home from work. My Dad used to go on and on about Cinerama and especially this film. I got to see both this and How the West Was Won at the New Neon in Dayton back in the late 90's and, faded and scratchy though the prints were, it was spectacular. I didn't get the first release, but have HtWWW and Best of Cinerama. I'm really looking forward to seeing the full This is Cinerama again this evening.

(Now, if only Brothers Grimm could be restored and re-released. Sigh.)
 

Mike Frezon

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(Now, if only Brothers Grimm could be restored and re-released. Sigh.)
I watched about five minutes of this on one of the movie channels last night (probably AMC). I might've seen it when I was a very young child but remember nothing of the experience. But based on the five minutes I saw, I'm not missing much. :D And not because of the poor condition of the print they had (which was bad). The section I saw involved Buddy Hackett and a dragon... :eek:
 
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Matt Hough

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Buddy Hackett was in the fairy tale section which has always been my least favorite "The Singing Bone" (though the Bob Merrill melody attached to that bone is quite haunting). The other two tale segments "The Dancing Princess" and "The Cobbler and the Elves" I especially love.
 
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lark144

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I watched about five minutes of this on one of the movie channels last night (probably AMC). I might've seen it when I was a very young child but remember nothing of the experience. But based on the five minutes I saw, I'm not missing much. :D And not because of the poor condition of the print they had (which was bad). The section I saw involved Buddy Hackett and a dragon... :eek:
Hey, I snuck out of synagogue on Yom Kippur when I was 11 years old just to see Buddy Hackett in Cinerama. At the time I loved that sequence, though in retrospect....I think Matt is correct & the other fairy tales sequences (especially THE SINGING BONE) are better. But at 11 I was a Buddy Hackett fan (don't ask) & I remember the dragon looked especially impressive on that curved Cinerama screen.
 

Brian Kidd

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I made it most of the way through the film last night before a thunderstorm hit and I had to turn off the TV. What I saw looked and sounded marvelous. A couple of times, my teenage stepsons came in the room wondering just what the heck I was watching. Alas, they almost immediately returned to their Fortnite games. (One did say he thought the technology of Cinerama was cool.)
 

notmicro

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Were the original release prints made by Technicolor?
 

pinknik

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Glad I got to see real Cinerama presentations of this and How the West Was Won at the Neon in Dayton, Ohio. Looking forward to checking out one of these discs some time.
 

DP 70

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I am sure that the prints were Tech IB prints.