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A Few Words About A few words about...™ For a Few Dollars More - in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I’m watching this now and MAN, does it look fantastic! If we could just get the other two released with this level of quality, I could die a happy man.
     
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  2. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I think this new transfer looks much better than the MGM release - I A/B'd them and it's not hard to see the difference. Also, just for a differing point of view about the missing seconds, here's Kino's Frank Tarzi's response: A 4K 16-bit scan of the "35mm Techniscope ORIGINAL negative" and full audio/film restoration were done in Italy by L’immagine Ritrovata in partnership with Kino Lorber and MGM. The deleted scene you're talking about has never been part of the final camera negative and it only appeared a few times on home video, the 1980s VHS and laserdisc releases and this shitty looking German Blu-ray, which were all most likely mastered from prints. The KL transfer looks amazing, the film has never looked better, there are more extras on this release than ever before, including 5 brand new ones. Could we have gone and looked for this additional scene? Yes, but it would've been included as a deleted scene extra and not reedited back into the restored transfer. This and other altered scenes are all mentioned on the Sir Christopher Frayling featurette.
     
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  3. Message #43 of 142 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I agree. The differences between the two transfers are readily apparent. The KL disc is far, far superior.
     
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  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Mr. Tarzi's comments make absolute sense. I had questioned whether the added footage might have been inserted. Apparently, it was. And was not a part of the general release.
     
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  5. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    OK, that was my question. Does this reflect, as closely as possible, the 1967 USA theatrical release? I've never had this on any video format, but have seen it a few times on 35mm and 16mm IB Tech prints which were, presumably the original USA version.
     
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  6. Message #46 of 142 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    This certainly helps, and I appreciate you weighing in.

    Of course, I would assume Mr. Tarzi is correct, having dealt with the elements.

    You'll have to understand where I'm coming from, in the past home video companies have been wrong about Leone's films. It was claimed by the Italians that the full Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo beating scene was never part of the release prints yet I have personally seen 2 different 1966 BBC original release prints and a 1970's print that included the full uncut scene. Those same 2 1966 prints still have footage unavailable on any home video release, including Kino's.

    Mr. Harris, going by your expertise, doesn't it seem odd that 2 years after FAFDM was completed, Leone would revisit his own film and add back a small inconsequential scene? You'd think it would have to be part of the master print sent to UA since they dubbed it into English, German, and Italian. (unlike GBU where the extra Italian scenes were never dubbed into English).

    There are some hints in the 1965 censorship documents concerning the german release that he MIGHT have tinkered with it, although the same document refutes that claim.

    1. Second document (Per qualche dollaro in più – Für ein paar Dollar mehr)

    This document dated November 18th 1966 concerns the german version of the movie, not only for Germany, but also for that small part of northern Italy called Süd Tirol where people speak german (that is the small region close to Austria).

    On page 3/7, there is a handwritten note dated April 4th 1967 saying that according to the sworn translator, the german edition of the movie contains “a few more lines and other slight differences compared to the italian edition” and should therefore be checked again by the censors.

    On page 4/7 the censorship board states that there is in their opinion no need to re-check the movie which had a green light already in the italian version and that only a sworn translator can judge whether there is a marked discrepancy between the two versions.

    On page 5/7, On November 18th 1966 PEA’s letter (signed by Alberto Grimaldi himself) states officially that the german edition of the movie is perfectly identical to the italian version which had already received the full approval by the censorhip board on december 17th 1965.

    On page 6/7 PEA on 22/12/1966 asks officially the censors to return to PEA the german version of the movie (which obviously has been given to the board for a check).

    Page 7/7 are a few german sentences which were used for the german trailer.

    Here are the specs from the 1965 Italian censorship documents which do seem to support Mr. Tarzi's assertion:

    • On page 1/10: total length of the movie according to the production Company PEA: 3.600 meters. Length actually measured by the board: 3613 meters.

    Using Kodak's calculator at 24fps = 131.42 Minutes. Convert to 23.976 to match the Kino disc (.1 percent slower) = 131.54 sec

    New master from Kino at 23.976 = 1:31:34

    German Blu ray at 23.976 = 1:32:21 (subtracting long Tobis logo at front but counting MGM logo).

    So give or take there is a 20 second discrepancy between the Italian document and Kino's disc, admittedly small potatoes and this does account for the extended beating scene not being a part of the Italian cut. However the German disc is still about 50 seconds longer.

    I stand corrected although I still believe that the scene was a part of the film releases at some point since they bothered to dub it.

    Unfortunately Kino cannot claim they have followed the Italian cut, since there are still moments missing from the new Blu that appear on all other Italian releases of the film (and the negative). It is my guess that these moments remained cut so that the soundtrack didn't have to be manipulated.

    For example, I'm 99% sure the 6 seconds trimmed just before Clint enters the saloon was a part of the negative and all subsequent prints until it was trimmed out in 1997. Unfortunately Kino chose to trim it based on the 1997 dvd reference.

    Thanks again, I wish the Kino disc was uncut but I accept Mr. Tarzi's explanation for the small dialog scene being missing. I would love it if he confirmed that the other trims were done to accommodate the existing soundtrack.
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    "You'll have to understand where I'm coming from, in the past home video companies have been wrong about Leone's films. MGM claimed the full GBU beating scene was never part of the release prints yet I have personally seen 2 different 1966 BBC original release prints and a 1970's print that included the full uncut scene."

    The Leone films are so convoluted that no one can be sure of anything. First off, MGM is very specifically in the case of Good, Bad, Ugly that the full beating scene was never part of the US release prints. So, it doesn't matter if you saw two 1966 BBC original release prints (if I'm understanding BBC to mean England - if it has another meaning, happy to hear it), and a 1970s print is not an original release print and what country was that print made in? There's a lot of conjecture about all this stuff and it's all because there have been so many releases from so many countries. I, too, take Mr. Tarzi at his word because I just don't believe he'd like to make a point -maybe that's me being naive, but I think we've all seen too much conjecture leading to the reveal that the conjecture was wrong, at which point most people just disappear. I appreciate that you do not.
     
  8. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Based on the finally accolades of this transfer;
    and the many controversies of missing trims, seconds and minutes of so many Leone films of lore;
    I, myself, have come to the realization that I would opt for a stunning transfer and/or restoration over the latter.
    After all, as haineshisway has said, "The Leone films are so convoluted that no one can be sure of anything."
     
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  9. Message #49 of 142 Mar 27, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, it's all extremely convoluted and I sometimes forget more than I remember! It was the Italian restoration team who claimed the beating scene was never put out in the uncut version because they were trying to account for why the Italian negative is trimmed but the Italian soundtrack master wasn't. MGM said they couldn't add it back to the film because they had only found the one worn release print which contained the scene. Now there are 4 known prints so hopefully in the future it can be added back to the Italian cut of BBC as intended by Leone. Thanks for helping me out with that, I apologize for the incorrect assertion. Sorry, BBC = Il buono Il Brutto, Il Cattivo.

    I DO believe you can be sure of things if you are able to track down old releases and in the best case scenario original release prints. For instance, every home video example of FAFDM (about 8 different releases that I have found and referenced) pre-1997 restoration has the 6 seconds included before Eastwood enters the saloon. Therefore I feel I can be sure that the 6 seconds were trimmed in 1997, when MGM attempted to blend the American and Italian versions. This is a mistake that persists on the Kino disc.

    It is not my mission to hurt Kino or tell people not to buy this disc. I just want Leone's films to be put out with edits he intended. The only way that will happen is if the proper research is done. Kino inherited a lot of mistakes on FAFDM and GBU.
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Do the original Technicolor Rome timing cards/sheets survive?

    Did MGM control the UA library in 1997?
     
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  11. Brian Husar

    Brian Husar Second Unit

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    This looks amazing. I know Fistfull is flawed, and still wondering why Kino released Duck You Sucker under the American title, Fistfull Of Dynamite. What I am most impressed with is including the origjnal UA logos. Can this be done with all UA films? How I would love Raging Bull reissued with the white Transamerica logo, or Fiddler On The Roof with the special music that was used during the Transamerica T blossoming. Getting back to this, my question is why does this look so good and Fistfull look subpar. Don’t want to say awful because Fistfull Of Dollars has always looked the worst out of all of them.
     
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  12. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I think the new transfer looks pretty solid and more natural than the old disc. The old MGM disc was certainly the best of the trilogy, but they cranked up the sharpening giving the grain and details a harsh video look to me.
     
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  13. Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the new transfer looks pretty solid and more natural than the old disc. The old MGM disc was certainly the best of the trilogy, but they cranked up the sharpening giving the grain and details a harsh video look to me.​


    Absolutely, they nailed the transfer. I'm thrilled the feedback from the fans about the other discs was taken to heart.
     
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  14. Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    Lots of good info/debate on the FOD transfer starting here:

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/a-few-words-about-™-fistful-of-dollars-in-blu-ray.357343/page-2
     
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  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I did some extensive A/Bing today, and the Kino disk is SO much better than the old MGM release. The later lacks fine detail, and the grain in most shots is nothing but mosquito noise. The new release looks like a 4K title in comparison on my setup.
     
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  16. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    Both titles are included on the KINO Blu-ray cover

    [​IMG]
    (As well as the FOX/MGM/UA) - now M-I-C...K-E-Y (because we like U) M-O-U-S-E
    upload_2019-3-27_19-34-24.
    I suspect KINO wanted to make sure people didn't think it was the prior MGM/UA disc(s)
     
  17. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I’ve decided to go ahead and order all of the new kino blu rays of the films.

    I’m also putting my previous mgm copies and the new kino versions on ebay when I receive them.

    That way I’m caught up and ready for the next release.
     
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  18. Christian D66

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    There are shots here that look modern day. Just gorgeous.
     
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  19. Message #59 of 142 Mar 28, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    1/ Probably not, but then what use would they be to anyone?

    2/Yes.

    3/Does Robert Harris have a VERY dry sense of humour? Yes.

    4/Will any Leone release ever please everyone? No.

    I hope a European company picks up the new Kino transfer.
     
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  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Footage and continuity
     
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