Robert Harris

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I was working on a screenplay that involved an emergency move in an old western town to a more storm worthy building next door, which happened, decades before to be a "bawdy house."

The gent who knew the town, and suggesting the move has the following dialogue:

"Lady, don't get your bustle in an uproar. Ain't been a loose woman on the premises since 1900. (misty eyed) Elsie, her name was. No teeth to speak of and a face like a washboard, but brother, could she—"

That's the new Blu-ray of Henry Hathaway's 1965 western from Paramount, The Sons of Katie Elder. Mr. Hathaway, one of the greats, began in cinema in 1917.

Special guest star is Mr. Wayne wearing that beautiful, historic Red River belt buckle. One of two (or three) that have “gone missing” over the years.

Always wanted one, but high quality reproductions are hard to find. That, and what was a belt buckle on Mr. Wayne, would appear on me, to be more of a piece of armor.

It's a wonderful western, starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, and from a moderate seating distance, it's just fine.

But get closer, and you realize that there's no true resolution. It's a wonderfully soft image, that probably hides a multitude of sins. I couldn't be certain whether it was derived from seps (doubtful), or an IP.

Overall, a decent image. Nice color, which goes warmer for a reel or so. Nothing really wrong.

Just nothing really right either.

Wonderful score by Elmer Bernstein.

So speaking in western terms. Want a woman? Cheap?

Teeth become secondary.

Big difference however, from the DVD.

And at $9.99 delivered?

Image – 3.50

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Yes

Recommended

RAH
 
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Ronald Epstein

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I watched this yesterday and thought the best image in the entire film was the opening credits. The colors were very robust.

After that, I felt the transfer looked okay, but nothing stellar. I saw the same softness you did. Some anomalies including occasional film speckles and at one point, a hair in the frame.
 
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haineshisway

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The minute someone here said it looked GREAT I knew we were in trouble :) This is exactly what I feared, trying to have an older scan be okay for Blu-ray. But I think this has been the case with every one of these kinds of inexpensive releases. Too bad. No dough from me.
 

Robert Crawford

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I was working on a screenplay that involved an emergency move in an old western town to a more storm worthy building next door, which happened, decades before to be a "bawdy house."

The gent who knew the town, and suggesting the move has the following dialogue:

"Lady, don't get your bustle in an uproar. Ain't been a loose woman on the premises since 1900. (misty eyed) Elsie, her name was. No teeth to speak of and a face like a washboard, but brother, could she—"

That's the new Blu-ray of Henry Hathaway's 1965 western from Paramount, The Sons of Katie Elder. Mr. Hathaway, one of the greats, began in cinema in 1917.

Special guest star is Mr. Wayne wearing that beautiful, historic Red River belt buckle. One of two (or three) that have “gone missing” over the years.

Always wanted one, but high quality reproductions are hard to find. That, and what was a belt buckle on Mr. Wayne, would appear on me, to be more of a piece of armor.

It's a wonderful western, starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, and from a moderate seating distance, it's just fine.

But get closer, and you realize that there's no true resolution. It's a wonderfully soft image, that probably hides a multitude of sins. I couldn't be certain whether it was derived from seps (doubtful), or an IP.

Overall, a decent image. Nice color, which goes warmer for a reel or so. Nothing really wrong.

Just nothing really right either.

Wonderful score by Elmer Bernstein.

So speaking in western terms. Want a woman? Cheap?

Teeth become secondary.

Big difference however, from the DVD.

And at $9.99 delivered?

Image – 3.50

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Yes

Recommended

RAH
As I expressed in the other thread about "The Sons of Katie Elder", I thought this was an alright video presentation so I agree with RAH's assessment of this BD release. If Criterion had release this same video presentation at their price point then I would not be happy about it. Since, this Paramount BD only cost me $9.99, I'm just satisfied to finally have this childhood favorite film of mine on BD that I actually watched in a movie theater during its theatrical run back in 1965.
 

denys t.

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OK for me, now I'm waiting (hoping) to an upgrade for LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL and THE TIN STAR, also even for the lesser Hathaway's NEVADA SMITH .
 
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StarDestroyer52

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For $9.97 I will be happy with this. If it were Criterion prices then yeah I be pretty angry. I mean do I hope if The Shootist gets released it looks better? Sure, but if its priced at $9.97 I would be less worked up. I saw people on other sites act like that people would pay 2-3x more than the MSRP for this release so they could get a better scan, my first thought was why they may which I think would be a tiny minority, I highly doubt you were going to get too many people play $20-30 for Sons of Katie Elder especially when home media is already is such a niche market where so many just prefer streaming.
 
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Dan Cooper

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I am i agreement that this title is more than aceptible for 9.99. Its not my favorite title of John Wayne in westerns but it is in my top 10 of his movies. I dont watch john wayne in any ww2 movies or anything else but he was one of the best in westerns. There were a few that were equal or slightly better in my view.
 

willyTass

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I wonder if one day it’ll get to the stage where someone has to start up a go fund me page to get a modern scan
 

Robert Harris

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I wonder if one day it’ll get to the stage where someone has to start up a go fund me page to get a modern scan
These are not titles that would sell tens of thousands. It’s akin to licensing an extant transfer to a sub. Paramount is doing continuous quality new work.

It simply isn’t being released.
 

OliverK

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[...]
But get closer, and you realize that there's no true resolution. It's a wonderfully soft image, that probably hides a multitude of sins. I couldn't be certain whether it was derived from seps (doubtful), or an IP.
[...]
I take it that film grain was hidden under that trademark Paramount softness together with most of the high frequency detail?
 
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Worth

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The major studios or even the major boutique labels(I think Kino Lorber has said they wouldn’t) are unlikely to go the GoFundMe route.
Nor should they. I don't think multinational corporations that make billions of dollars should be asking for or receiving handouts. They're perfectly capable of funding restorations - whether they choose to or not is up to them.
 

ScottHM

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Nor should they. I don't think multinational corporations that make billions of dollars should be asking for or receiving handouts. They're perfectly capable of funding restorations
I believe using public funds to subsidize film restorations on the proviso that the Library of Congress receives the resulting elements to hold in trust for when the film falls into the public domain is a good idea.
---------------
 

Billy Batson

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Disappointing. Hoping that In Harm's Way will be better, when (if) released.
A movie channel in the UK (Film Four) showed In Harm's Way in HD a few times last year, & I thought it looked great (I still have it on my planner), so if Paramount releases it, it's an instant purchase for me.

But I don't understand Paramount. I'd think that John Wayne films would sell very well to the generation that still buys physical media, so why not do new transfers of their Wayne movies & ask a bit more for the Blu-rays?
 

Josh Steinberg

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I don’t think it’s a matter of good idea or bad idea. I think it just comes down to economics and math. There are more films in existence than there is money to do full blown 4K digital restorations on them. The demand for the overwhelming majority of those films is far below what the restoration costs would be on most of them. Physical media is rapidly falling out of favor and losing power as a means of generating revenue, particularly for older films. Among people who do buy physical media, the sales numbers have long indicated that there is fatigue among buyers, particularly the average buyers that move the bulk of product, for buying the same title again and again. These days, the revenue comes from licensing titles to subscription streaming services, which are the 21st century equivalent of premium cable. Those deals are usually for packages of films for a set rate for the group. The problem then becomes, you can’t spend the revenue for a 100 film licensing deal on the full blown restoration of just one of those titles. And in many cases, it’s not that the digital masters that the studio holds are tragedies; they’re not current state of the art scans but they still represent the films better than any “modified to fit your screen” VHS copies would have. For many films relative to their demand, an HD or 2K master in the original aspect ratio sourced from an element in reasonably good shape with minor bits of digital cleaning is the appropriate avenue based on the demand for that product.

It’s very rare that any work of art or entertainment endures in the forefront of the culture beyond the period in which it was made. How many books have been written since authors first put pen to paper? How many of those are actually in print today? How many plays have been written in human history? What percentage of those are performed today? How many pieces of music has mankind written? How many are being actively performed or recorded now? It’s not reasonable to expect that film or television is somehow immune to those same forces.

Are there things that I wish were in greater demand that could be presented in better condition than what I’ve previously seen? Of course. But I also understand that it doesn’t help anyone for studios to go bankrupt making product for which there is no demand.
 

Robert Crawford

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But I don't understand Paramount. I'd think that John Wayne films would sell very well to the generation that still buys physical media, so why not do new transfers of their Wayne movies & ask a bit more for the Blu-rays?
They're going to sell a lot more units priced at this price point than if they invested some more money and charged twice as much. For most people, they'll be very happy with this BD release. This isn't a horrible looking Blu-ray, it's just average and should sell plenty of units with most people being very happy with it.
 

Malachi8

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I'm finding that the sound is out of synch for the first 15 minutes of the movie, at least. This is really noticeable in the beginning in the scenes at the train station.

It really ruins the experience. I'm very surprised, and dismayed, that this review didn't mention that.
 

John Hermes

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I'm finding that the sound is out of synch for the first 15 minutes of the movie, at least. This is really noticeable in the beginning in the scenes at the train station.

It really ruins the experience. I'm very surprised, and dismayed, that this review didn't mention that.
It's not out-of-sync on my two players, one an LG, the other a Panasonic.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I believe Crawdaddy mentioned he had issues with sync when he tried to fast forward to parts of the movie, but it played fine when he watched from the beginning. That suggests to me that the film is actually in sync but something in the disc authoring is confusing the disc player.
 
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