A Few Words About A few words about...™ Bye Bye Birdie -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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Every time I look at the title, Bye Bye Birdie, I always have a feeling that punctuation is missing. And it's not.

It was reported a while ago, when a DCP of BBB was screened, that it looked and sounded terrific.

And it does.

Color, density, grain structure, shadow detail (with the exception of opticals), black levels, are all exemplary. Audio in 5.1 DTS-MA, from the original 4-track is superb.

A fun film, and a decent representation of the play.

I'm one of those who prefer the play. I saw it a couple of times back in 1960. I found the Telephone Hour, played on a multi-level platform, to have an absolute dynamism to it, which does not translate to the film. A friend was in the original cast, and has told me that opening night, The Telephone Hour literally stopped the show, and that they had to do an immediate encore.

That said, BBB, is a good, fun film, presented here via Twilight Time on a beautifully rendered Blu-ray.

Image - 4.5

Audio - 4

Recommended.

RAH
 

JoshZ

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On the subject of replaced studio logos, one of my readers sent me the following question that I'm unable to answer:
Do you know if the original theatrical release verion of the Columbia logo for Bye Bye Birdie exists anywhere? Originally, Bye Bye Birdie opened with Columbia holding the torch but she morphed into Conrad Birdie during the music before Ann Margret appeared. i remember this from my very first time watching in the theatre. I thought it was hilarious and immediately established the satirical comic tone for the whole movie. It stayed this way for TV broadcasts for about 10 years or so. Someone at Columbia must have really found this insulting because all video releases now have the sappy animated hearts. Also the credits have been shown in various states -- often white instead of the original yellow.
Let me know if you have any knowledge of this and how it's presented in the Blu-ray.
Robert, any chance you plan to look at this disc? I'm not familiar enough with the history of the movie to know if what he describes is even accurate.
Moderator's Note: This post was moved from another thread due to it's subject matter. Interestingly, RAH posted the first post in this thread at the same exact minute this question was asked.
 

Richard Gallagher

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Originally Posted by JoshZ /t/322995/a-few-words-about-bye-bye-birdie-in-blu-ray#post_3962077
On the subject of replaced studio logos, one of my readers sent me the following question that I'm unable to answer:
Robert, any chance you plan to look at this disc? I'm not familiar enough with the history of the movie to know if what he describes is even accurate.
Moderator's Note: This post was moved from another thread due to it's subject matter. Interestingly, RAH posted the first post in this thread at the same exact minute this question was asked.
In the review thread, Bruce Kimmel says that the Columbia logo on the Blu-ray is as it was shown in theaters in 1963. Three red flames (not hearts) leap out of the torch and morph into the film's title. It also has been explained that pan & scan TV prints replaced the original yellow credits with white credit so they would not have to squeeze the image.
 

haineshisway

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Richard Gallagher said:
In the review thread, Bruce Kimmel says that the Columbia logo on the Blu-ray is as it was shown in theaters in 1963. Three red flames (not hearts) leap out of the torch and morph into the film's title. It also has been explained that pan & scan TV prints replaced the original yellow credits with white credit so they would not have to squeeze the image.
As I replied there, the beginning that fellow remembers exists only in his imaginigs - I saw this film endlessly when it was originally released, including three times on its opening day. It has ALWAYS had the same credits and they are what's on the Blu-ray. Apparently, as noted, they were replaced ONLY for pan-and-scan transfers so they wouldn't have to squeeze the image.
 

JohnMor

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Originally Posted by haineshisway /t/322995/a-few-words-about-bye-bye-birdie-in-blu-ray#post_3962385
As I replied there, the beginning that fellow remembers exists only in his imaginigs - I saw this film endlessly when it was originally released, including three times on its opening day. It has ALWAYS had the same credits and they are what's on the Blu-ray. Apparently, as noted, they were replaced ONLY for pan-and-scan transfers so they wouldn't have to squeeze the image.
Perhaps his memory is confusing the logo on BBB with the one on Cat Ballou, where the lady threw off her gown and became Cat, wearing jeans and firing pistols.
 

ahollis

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Originally Posted by JohnMor /t/322995/a-few-words-about-bye-bye-birdie-in-blu-ray#post_3962390

Perhaps his memory is confusing the logo on BBB with the one on Cat Ballou, where the lady threw off her gown and became Cat, wearing jeans and firing pistols.
Of all the film companies, Columbia really had a way to bring humor to the stately lady. They had her, as you said, trowing off the gown and shooting the place up in CAT BALLOU. In THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY, the lady did a disco dance. She was startled by a mouse in THE MOUSE THE ROARED. She had angels fly around her in THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS. She lost her head at the end of STRAIGHT-JACKET. And my favorite was her scene with William Castle at the beginning and ending of ZOTZ!.

I like the way BBB starts off and from the time the flames morphs into the title to Anne-Margret singing the closing number, it is just a fun film.

Universal played with their logo on THE BURBS and WATERWORLD, MGM with the Marx Brothers and Fox with Cannonball Run (the first one), Paramount had their logo make cameo appearances in the Hope and Crosby's The Road to Utopia and in Geisha Boy with Jerry Lewis. I know there are many, many more.
 

JoshZ

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ahollis said:
She had angles fly around her in THE TROUBLE WITH ANGLES. 
Never did too well in Geometry class, myself. :)
Universal played with their logo on THE BURBS and WATERWORLD, MGM with the Marx Brothers and Fox with Cannonball Run (the first one),  Paramount had their logo make cameo appearances in the Hope and Crosby's The Road to Utopia and in Geisha Boy with Jerry Lewis.  I know there are many, many more. 
The Paramount mountain at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark dissolves in onto a live action shot of a similar mountain. All of the company logos and trailers at the beginning of The Matrix are rednered in the movie's "code" style. That's all I've got off the top of my head.
 

rich_d

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John Skoda said:
Look at this publicity photo--it looks to me like the famous advertising art from this movie with Ann-Margret's legs up in the air were taken from this photo of Janet Leigh. They're Janet Leigh's legs!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1963-Press-Photo-Janet-Leigh-of-Bye-Bye-Birdie-/280904273025?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item4167330c81
Hopefully you're not really suggesting that the legs are the same as clearly the shots are different, most noticeable around the knees in position to the legs on the Ebay shot (linked above - not shown).
Is it possible that one shot was influenced by the other? Sure, but why not Leigh's 1963 publicity shot influenced by the famous poster? Just as the poster was just a spin on the coconut telephone scene in the film - one filmed the year before (1962) .
 

John Skoda

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Yes, actually, I do think that's what they did!
It looks like they took Ann-Margret's head from a shot similar to the shot you posted (not your exact shot but one from that same photo session) and Janet Leigh's legs from her shot, or a similar shot from that session, and stuck them together. After all, I don't think Ann-Margret shows this much of her legs in any costume from the movie, whereas they did have Leigh's legs to work with--she wears her short nightie from the film in this publicity shot.
They sure look like Leigh's legs to me!
 

AnthonyClarke

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These Twilight Time releases really illustrate the very worst aspect of the Blu ray regime.
Not only are these Region A releases limited in number and priced way too high, but these great movies in apparently wonderful transfers (Bell Book and Candle is another I'd grab), but apparently Region B buyers are being left out in the cold.
Here in Australia there appears little chance of these titles being given local release and they're equally denied to European buyers, except as very expensive imports.
In Australia we're denied the chance of buying these titles because of the so-called Free Trade Agreement our Government signed with the USA ... so much for free trade! Strangely enough, it is legal to import Region A discs, but against our local law for our retailers to openly sell Blu ray players which can play those discs!
Anthony in Woodend Victoria Australia
 

Peter Apruzzese

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I believe that Bye Bye Birdie is region-free:
http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/20584/BYE-BYE-BIRDIE-1963/
 

Robin9

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AnthonyClarke said:
These Twilight Time releases really illustrate the very worst aspect of the Blu ray regime.
Not only are these Region A releases limited in number and priced way too high, but these great movies in apparently wonderful transfers (Bell Book and Candle is another I'd grab), but apparently Region B buyers are being left out in the cold.
Here in Australia there appears little chance of these titles being given local release and they're equally denied to European buyers, except as very expensive imports.
In Australia we're denied the chance of buying these titles because of the so-called Free Trade Agreement our Government signed with the USA ... so much for free trade! Strangely enough, it is legal to import Region A discs, but against our local law for our retailers to openly sell Blu ray players which can play those discs!
Anthony in Woodend Victoria Australia
I don't see your problem. Twilight Time BRDs are Zone free and Screen Archives ship world-wide. Buy on-line from Screen Archives: problem solved.
 

Kyrsten Brad

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Brad here. Well folks, just finished watching my TT Blu of Bye Bye Birdie. Thoroughly enjoyed it, worth every penny I paid to SAE. My question though is centered on the town square scene for downtown Sweet Apple during the Conrad Birdie appearance with the mayor. I noted that the layout of the center of Sweet Apple was strikingly similar to the layout for Hill Valley in the Back To The Future franchise. Did both films use the same Universal backlot (albeit BTTF was 22 years after BBB)? And yes, the same one that was destroyed by fire a few years ago.

Oh and during my senior year in high school, we did BBB for our school play that year (1977). One of my friends ( a very lovely and still lovely lady named Melody) played Kim McAfee. She doesn't know it yet but I'm getting her a blu-ray copy of BBB in the coming month.
 
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Cineman

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Kyrsten Brad said:
Brad here. Well folks, just finished watching my TT Blu of Bye Bye Birdie. Thoroughly enjoyed it, worth every penny I paid to SAE. My question though is centered on the town square scene for downtown Sweet Apple during the Conrad Birdie appearance with the mayor. I noted that the layout of the center of Sweet Apple was strikingly similar to the layout for Hill Valley in the Back To The Future franchise. Did both films use the same Universal backlot (albeit BTTF was 22 years after BBB)? And yes, the same one that was destroyed by fire a few years ago.

Oh and during my senior year in high school, we did BBB for our school play that year (1977). One of my friends ( a very lovely and still lovely lady named Melody) played Kim McAfee. She doesn't know it yet but I'm getting her a blu-ray copy of BBB in the coming month.
The IMDb entry for Bye Bye Birdie lists Courthouse Square, Backlot, Universal Studios as one of the film locations. So that would be the same set as in Back To The Future.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056891/locations?ref_=tt_dt_dt
 

ahollis

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Kyrsten Brad said:
Brad here. Well folks, just finished watching my TT Blu of Bye Bye Birdie. Thoroughly enjoyed it, worth every penny I paid to SAE. My question though is centered on the town square scene for downtown Sweet Apple during the Conrad Birdie appearance with the mayor. I noted that the layout of the center of Sweet Apple was strikingly similar to the layout for Hill Valley in the Back To The Future franchise. Did both films use the same Universal backlot (albeit BTTF was 22 years after BBB)? And yes, the same one that was destroyed by fire a few years ago.

Oh and during my senior year in high school, we did BBB for our school play that year (1977). One of my friends ( a very lovely and still lovely lady named Melody) played Kim McAfee. She doesn't know it yet but I'm getting her a blu-ray copy of BBB in the coming month.
Same backlot set with some changes. The Courthouse Square set was used also in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, GREMLINS, and many other films AND TV shows. It was one of the most used backlot sets on the studio grounds.
 
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John Maher_289910

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John Skoda said:
Yes, actually, I do think that's what they did! It looks like they took Ann-Margret's head from a shot similar to the shot you posted (not your exact shot but one from that same photo session) and Janet Leigh's legs from her shot, or a similar shot from that session, and stuck them together. After all, I don't think Ann-Margret shows this much of her legs in any costume from the movie, whereas they did have Leigh's legs to work with--she wears her short nightie from the film in this publicity shot. They sure look like Leigh's legs to me!
Don't you think they might have had a photo shoot? I would think that a director, who had a film in the can, and went back to film an opening and closing sequence with his leading lady (adding a new song!), might have sprung for some photos. I have no clue whose legs they are, but I have no problem believing they're Ann-Margret's. Remember when they put Oprah Winphrey's head on Ann-Margret's body for the cover of TV Guide?!
 

Ethan Riley

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The Music Man was shot at Warners. The set is still there and is currently playing Rosewood on "Pretty Little Liars."
 

ahollis

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Ethan Riley said:
The Music Man was shot at Warners. The set is still there and is currently playing Rosewood on "Pretty Little Liars."
I understood a few shots were shot on the Courthouse set also but could be wrong.
 

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