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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Bend of the River - in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I believe a major part of the problem, may a lack of communication / cooperation, between the archival group, home video, streaming, theatrical, et al.

    Masters that prepared for certain needs, being repurposed for others, without full consultation.

    I’m not referring here just to Uni.

    Some entities are run in very strange - to me, unbelievable - ways, which make little sense.
     
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  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This!
     
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  3. Message #83 of 105 Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Agreed, one good example are the very old masters of the 4 remaining large format movies from Sony that have all made it to very bad Blu-rays in Europe which each one being a big disappointment.

    Seeing how Lawrence of Arabia turned out and then what has been released of Barabbas, Lord Jim, The Long Ships and Mackenna's Gold one can only wonder how Sony allowed them to be released in a quality that I would consider at most on par with Bend of the River if not worse.

    Obviously these 4 titles are not all masterpieces but at least the first two are quite interesting in their own right and deserve much better and the other two should at least be good looking (and sounding) entertainment.

    What I believe usually happens in these cases is that licensees get a list with everything that is marked as HD master (or better) and nobody at the studio seems to find the time to check how good these masters actually look. Still one also has to look to the licensee as in the end it is their (bad) judgement to release these movies looking like they do.
     
  4. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    double post
     
  5. PatrickDA

    PatrickDA Second Unit

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    If you're on the fence about this, not only does it look horrible, but the commentary is awful!!! I mean awful!!! He just lists the credits of the actors in the film and even some of the crew members. That's something I can look up on my own!! I want MORE from a commentary. Was there really a gold rush in Portland? Were any of the characters based on real people? How did the film fit in with Mann's career and his eight films with Stewart? I mean there's several hours worth of chit-chat to be had and this guy said nothing..."Jimmy Stewart was born in...his 57th film was..." etc. Oh, great...I just reminded myself he's doing the commentary for "Thunder Bay," so I've got that to look forward to. "Jimmy Stewart was born in...."
     
  6. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    That's too bad, indeed I was hoping for commentary about Tony Mann and the Mann/Stewart collaboration and about Jimmy Stewart changing his image with the movies he made with Mann and Hitchcock later in his career.

    By the way: I looked up my recording of The Far Country and it looks better than Bend of the River. It is not fantastic but it does not have the registration issues that make Bend of the River so problematic, details and textures are similar. No idea why The Far Country wasn't released on Blu-ray instead of Bend of the River.
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Far Country was not Technicolor
     
  8. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Indeed, I should have mentioned that. Unless Universal is currently working on The Far Country it would have been the better choice for a Blu-ray release.

    I take it that Warner also did the math on The Naked Spur and this being another Technicolor production probably did not really help to bring it to the forefront of up and coming projects. Too bad as it is generally regarded as being one of the best Mann/Stewart collaborations.
     
  9. PatrickDA

    PatrickDA Second Unit

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    I'd rank "The Naked Spur" first, then "Winchester '73," next "The Man from Laramie," fourth "The Far Country," and fifth "Bend of the River."

    I love John McIntire as Mr. (Frank?) Gannon in "Far Country," one of my favorite western villains. "Now, get out of here, and take that with you!" - "I'm gonna like you, I'm gonna kill you, but I'm gonna like you."
     
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  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I like "The Naked Spur", but I don't love it. The lack of humor in that film hurts it for me. I do love "Winchester '73" followed by "The Man from Laramie", "The Far Country" and then "Bend of the River".
     
  11. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Well Warner certainly wouldn’t release Naked Spur on Blu-ray looking anything like Bend of the River. For their Technicolor productions (e.g Summer Stock) they are able to get perfect registration by using digital tools to clean up existing IPs rather than going back to Onegs. In a recent podcast they mentioned that the only reason they aren’t able to bring out The Pirate right now is because the lab did an atrocious job creating IPs back in the day, and the only way they will be able to release The Pirate on Blu is a new recombine from the camera negatives.
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    But wouldn't it look STUNNING if they would go to expense of doing that! It would be trauma-inducing Technicolor!
     
  13. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    No Warner would not release The Naked Spur in that shape instead they do not release it at all which results in it being available in a version that no doubt looks worse than the Blu-ray of Bend of the River.

    Going back to only the IP's is quite clever but obviously it has its limitations. Hopefully they will occasionally go all the way for selected titles.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What is the limitation of a high quality IP for a Blu-ray?
     
  15. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    [QUOTE="ultimately, Winchester '73 from Criterion, [/QUOTE]

    I saw the new restoration of Winchester '73 at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival a couple of weeks ago, and I can confirm it looks absolutely gorgeous. Sure hope we get a blu-ray soon.

    Thank you for the detailed description of James Stewart's courageous service in the Army Air Corps.
     
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  16. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Loss of resolution first and foremost. But an IP makes a lot of things easier so the benefits of a high quality IP are obvious.

    When I said I hope they will go all the way for selected titles I meant the titles where the quality of the IP is not considered to be good enough, like The Pirate, or titles where the added resolution will show.
     
  17. Message #97 of 105 Apr 30, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Resolution only comes into play at 4k levels. At 2k, an IP is a fine source.
     
  18. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    I do not think that it is as much of a point at 2k but I believe it would be possible to see the (small) differences on bigger screens and at closer viewing distances. Under normal conditions not so much.

    Which is why I hope that Warner has a lot more well done IP's that they can work with - it certainly increases the chances of a movie being released through the Archive collection and the lower costs will allow for a much bigger number of movies being relased with a given budget.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Amen! I watched my WA DVD today and this Anthony Mann western deserves a Blu-ray release.
     
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  20. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I saw Devil's Doorway at MoMA (35mm print) in 1974 and I just couldn't believe how great and courageous this film was. Even Robert Taylor surprised me! I haven't seen it since that screening, but I've always recommended the film to other people.
     

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