20th Century Fox: Why the unwatchable Oklahoma Todd AO transfer?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by GerardoHP, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Real Name:
    Gerardo Paron
    I just looked at the new OKLAHOMA! DVD and I have to say that the recent reviews criticizing the Todd AO transfers have been nothing but kind to this release.

    While the CinemaScope version on Disc 1 does indeed look beautiful (as most reviewers have indicated) the Todd AO version is an abomination, one of the worst anamorphic transfers of a major movie I have ever seen. My old laserdisc looked better than this does.

    Now, I realize I cannot expect any video transfer to look like 70mm, but couldn't have Fox been a little kinder to this film? Why would they put together such a seemingly comprehensive package, include a whole documentary on the advantages of 70mm photography, as well as the rare Todd AO shorts, and then crap out of the transfers and treat the Todd AO version of the film like a footnote?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Porter Faulkner

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There should also be pressure put on Rodgers & Hammerstein. They must be made aware just how flawed this DVD is and how Fox have compromised the transfer.

    [email protected]

    The R&H site is presenting these new transfers as the greatest thing that's happened to these films in recent history. Perhaps they aren't aware just how disappointingly bad they really are.
     
  3. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    New York
    Real Name:
    Ken Koc
    Absolutely ...The worst transfer I've ever seen. I write both Fox and RH.
     
  4. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Real Name:
    Gerardo Paron
    I'm not, unfortunately, very technically minded, therefore it's difficult for me to do the kind of meticulous technical problem breakdown that many of our esteemed members and reviewers could do.

    However, I wanted to list the most obvious problems with the Todd AO Oklahoma! transfer to express why I think this is not just a matter of this transfer being the best we can do short of a restoration, but rather the result of one or more mistakes in the process of transferring the film to video:

    -- The picture is completely out of focus from beginning to end, beginning with the titles and all the way through. It seems to me this has to be a problem with the transfer, as no 70mm print of the film would be that soft.

    -- There's a constant flickering, most visible when the camera emerges from the corn fields in the first shot of the film, but present throughout in the lighter sections of the film. Given that this version of the film was shot at 30 fps precisely because that's the rate where flickering disappears, it's baffling to see the constant presence of flickering throughout this transfer.

    -- The picture seems too tight. On my 16X9 TV, some of the lateral action is cut off, for example in the train station sequence. Not by much, mind you, but certainly by comparison to the laserdisc from about 9 years ago and to the CinemaScope version on Disc 1. I'm not talking about the scope frame being wider, which of course it is, but the fact that some of the compositions in Todd AO are just too tight.

    -- There are color shifts from shot to shot, and while this is not an ideal situation, I understand that color correction in 1955 was not what it is today. Also, the color in the film is lacking in brightness, even though it does not appear greatly washed out. These are things that, as we have seen in the past, require but a minor adjustment or two during the transfer. This was obviously not the case here.

    Honestly, it feels as though somebody just flipped the wrong switch during the process of putting this movie on video. Either that or the quality control person was on an extended break.

    It's obvious to me that Fox owes its customers a replacement and I'd like to encourage everyone to call or write and complain about this product.
     
  5. Steve JD

    Steve JD Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Thank you for those addresses/e-mails.
    I am writting to both TCF and R&H. If nobody complains, nothing will get done...

    I am staying away from this release!

    Do the 2 Todd-AO shorts exhibit the same problems as the feature? How do they sound?
     
  6. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Saranac Lake, NY
    Real Name:
    Mark
    Some of the flickering and color inconsistencies were noted in 1955 reviews of the TODD-AO film, but the rest of the mess of a transfer is inexcusable.
     
  7. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Real Name:
    Gerardo Paron
    The color inconsistencies were present in the laserdisc release, the flickering to the extent that it's present on the DVD was not.
     
  8. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Saranac Lake, NY
    Real Name:
    Mark
    The FOX email address is bouncing. Does anyone have another we can use? I've searched their site, but there doesn't seem to be one.
     
  9. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    692
    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    610


    The two Todd-AO shorts are L/R Stereo only, which is disappointing, I thought "Miracle of Todd-AO" was a six-track short and that it would be used here. It ruins the experience. I'm quite disgusted about this disc overall.
     
  10. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The two Todd-AO shorts were definitely 6 track stereo on original release.

    The transfer on "Miracle of Todd-AO" is almost as bad as "Oklahoma!", soft and lacking in any fine detail. "March Of Todd-AO" has a servicable, but still somewhat lackluster transfer, considering the source was 70mm and the transfer should have been a 4K transfer.

    Ted
     
  11. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2000
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    The Todd AO Oklahoma has always had built in problems.
    For the last transfer (done for laserdisc and used for the first DVD) Fox got in the THX people to work on it. It cost a LOT of time and money to get out color flickering and to work to get oout the built in flickering in a lot of the film.
    Most of the flickering is in part one. This is almost all location shooting. They only had two Todd aO cameras on the location. Sadly, one of the cameras had a bad shutter which is why you see flickering.
    The new transfer looks like a quickie transfer with almost no color correction and no video correction as was done on the old transfer. The embarrasing mess was covered with tons of softening to cover this sad mess. Fox should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
     

Share This Page