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A Few Words About A few words about...™ A Man for All Seasons -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 14, 2015.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For those who know, it is a known that any film restoration is only as good as the knowledge of those who oversee and approve as well as those who do the work in the trenches.


    I've been waiting impatiently for a quality Blu-ray on Fred Zinnemann's 1966 Academy Award winning Best Picture, and now that A Man for All Seasons has arrived, I'm thrilled, as every one of my expectations (and I have many) have been met.


    To be blunt, this release has Grover Crisp's fingerprints all over it.


    I first saw the film in Philadelphia during it original release, probably at a theater in Ardmore.


    I was astounded by the look, the overall textures of the print, but more than anything, the reds and purity of the golds in the dye transfer print.


    There is a certain density to this film. Some might call it "thick."


    Shadows have an immense depth. Once you receive a copy, you'll note the density of those shadows against the red of Orson Welles' robes.


    A sequence plays out at Thomas More's (Paul Scofield) home, as the King (Robert Shaw) visits him, as one simple friend to another.


    It's eight in the evening, and the sun is just setting. There is enough light, but also shadows everywhere.


    A lessor colorist might have tried to open those shadows -- you do need to see people's faces fully, do you not? -- and totally lost the proper mood of the film.


    But that depth of emulsion, that special thickness is retained on Blu-ray.


    Everything about this release is perfection. Color, densities, black level, grain structure, shadow detail.


    Based upon the play (and the screenplay) by Robert Bolt, who I presume you know worked on some other projects, A Man for All Seasons is one of the extraordinarily literate, entertaining and thought-provoking films that, if one if lucky, come along once a decade.


    I presume that that Twilight Time will permit me to share the opening graph of Julie Kirgo's monograph on the film.


    ​"Director Fred Zinnemann's movie version of Robert Bolt's adaptation of his own extraordinary 1960 play, A Man for all Seasons (1966), is so large that any attempt to write about it, however briefly (especially briefly, perhaps), is daunting. It's an Everest we've set ourselves to climb, and - figuratively shod only in sneakers - we approach it humbly. Because truly, has there ever been an epic so personal? A film about ideas so entertaining? Or a costume drama with such ongoing, not just contemporary but eternal relevance?"


    Twilight Time's new Blu-ray will be on most top ten lists for catalog titles released in 2015. I highly suggest that you not wait to grab a copy, as also in line, will be every high school and university library, and every other lover of the cinema.


    One of the greatest films of all time and an absolutely perfect Blu-ray. The film is properly released at 1.66:1.


    Image - 5*


    Audio - 5


    Pass / Fail - Pass


    Very Highly Recommended


    One of the supremely literate and engrossing entertainments in the history of cinema.


    RAH
     
    PMF, WadeM, benbess and 9 others like this.
  2. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Uh oh - deep, thick shadows - I shall await the cry of "crushed blacks" that is sure to follow.
     
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  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I had the extreme pleasure of running an original IB Technicolor 35mm print - in very good condition - a few years ago and it looked wonderful on the big silver screen we had. Looking forward to re-creating that showing as closely as possible at home with this disc.
     
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  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I CAN'T wait for my copy to ship!
     
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  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Not here. There's plenty of air in those deep shadows, and all the requisite detail that Ted Moore knew he desired when he exposed his film.


    Those who don't know the name Ted Moore, will know his work, among which: From Russia with Love, Goldfinger (there are those gorgeous golds again), Thunderball, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun. A gentleman who knew his way around a camera.


    RAH
     
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  6. RMajidi

    RMajidi Screenwriter

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    "One of the greatest films of all time and an absolutely perfect Blu-ray."

    Thank you RAH. Your review just made my day, and it's barely begun at 5:15am here in Oz.
     
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  7. Cine_Capsulas

    Cine_Capsulas Second Unit

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    I can release my breath and anticipate my copy even more eagerly now!
     
  8. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    :banana: Glad to hear that Sony has hit this one out of the park. I'll be glad when my disc arrives!
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If it's today here in the Colonies, is it yesterday or tomorrow in Oz? I'm on the east coast at the moment, so we're 12 hours out. But which way?
     
  10. RMajidi

    RMajidi Screenwriter

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    Friday 15th May at 5:35am here.

    Feels a lot more like 25th December right now though, and Santa hasn't disappointed.

    A very good evening to you Mr Harris.
     
  11. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Ordered. Hope third time is the charm (I've had this on VHS and DVD already, as I'm sure many others have). I can gift the DVD readily enough.
     
  12. macdaddy

    macdaddy Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to admit I've never seen this film. I have it on order along with Hombre. Looking forward to seeing them both.

    Thanks for the review Mr. Harris.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There will be no disappointment with Hombre. Nice to have another of Mr. Newman's films on Blu. More on that when I've a chance.
     
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  14. trajan

    trajan Screenwriter

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    NOBODYS FOOL needs a bluray release.
     
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  15. Dee Zee

    Dee Zee Second Unit

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    Just ordered this tonight along with Khartoum. Thank you Mr. Harris for your review.
     
  16. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I've never seen this film but am intrigued. Question for those familiar with it: does this film lend itself to multiple repeat viewings?
     
  17. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Given that all answers/opinions on that will be extremely subjective, to my mind, yes. Absolutely. I've seen this film many times and and I absolutely love it. But it won't be everyone's cup of tea... even once.
     
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  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Which?
     
  19. Mike Boone

    Mike Boone Supporting Actor

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    Thank you so much Mr Harris. As my friend Ramin in Australia indicated, you have helped to make Santa Claus a reality for adults. SAE notified me this morning that my Blu of AMFAS had shipped, along with a CD of music by the composer of the film's score, Georges Delerue. Can't wait for the early Christmas to arrive.


    And thank you sir for helping add so much to the enjoyment of films and home theater. You provide many of us with simply invaluable info and sometimes alert us to film treasures that we might not be aware of. And it is so great that A Man For All Seasons will finally be able to shine on Blu-ray.
     
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  20. MartEvans

    MartEvans Stunt Coordinator

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    Ordered. I'm going in blind on this one but I've read nothing but good things about it.
     
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