A Few Words About A few words about...™ Gone with the Wind -- in Blu-ray

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Jon, the framing was a source of concern for me for years. I remember the shot of the letter that Rhett sends to Melanie when he returns her wedding ring. When I first bought the vhs in early 1989, the letters were cropped off. I got to see the 50th Anniversary release later that year and was shocked when not only were all of the letters visible, but that the heading informed us that the letter was written from the Atlanta Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Only now can all of that info be seen! Another shot is when Ashley returns home for Christmas. You can now read all of the letters on the Atlanta depot.
 

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Apologies if this has been dealt with already, but has anyone else noticed that there seems to be frames missing or cut at around the 12:40 mark (the scene directly after Scarlett and her father gaze on Tara in almost-silhouette; a carriage is seen jumping a bit in the frame). I notice that it is in my SD version as well. In no way does it spoil my enjoyment - what a fantastic blu-ray! - but I just wondered if they was a story attached...
 

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I believe that the frame jumps were an issue with the original special effects. I have always seen that scene jump and I knew even before this was released that someone would notice it! Another one occurs during the paddock scene between Scarlett and Ashley.
 

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Thanks Eric. I have to say that for years I was a bit of a snob about GWTW; it was merely Hollywood being all shallow and entertaining ("and stuff"). Up until 5 years ago the only time I had seen it was on the big screen when I was 10 (sans parents, would you believe - I went with 3 friends). To this day, I still remember the elderly woman who turned around to us in the queue and told us we were in for a treat. She wasn't wrong - I loved it! Then I really started to get into cinema: the Kubricks, the Kurosawas, the - God help us! - Godards...I turned my back on Gone With the Wind. Snubbed Casablanca too. But I'm glad to say I'm one of the - all too rare - lucky ones; I came back to Hollywood's Golden Age and recognised its brilliance. Anyway, seeing Selznick's baby on a 46" screen - and on blu-ray - is the best 4 hours I've spent all year (I don't get out much...).
 

Robert Harris

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Ron Haver's collectable (and necessary) tome on Mr. Selznick, David O. Selznick's Hollywood (Knopf 1980) describes the technical problems of the effects thusly:

"One of the shots posed a completely baffling set of problems for [Jack] Cosgrove. It was the first large "pullback" in the picture, showing Scarlett and her father in silhouette under a tree looking out over Tara nestled in the rolling hills of Georgia, backdropped by a flaming sunset sky. The problem arose from trying to blend the four pieces of film, all of which had been photographed at separate times, combining the live action, two different paintings, and the sunset effect. Cosgrove was going crazy trying to compute the speed of the three separate camera moves necessary to keep the pullback effect in synchronization. Finally Ray Klune [production manager] called in the mathematics department at UCLA, and they figured it out using advance calculus."

Mr. Haver's book can usually be found via Abebooks.com. It's best to purchase in the original hardcover Knopf edition, and any time that it can be had in good condition for under $100 it should be added immediately to one's library. I'm seeing at least one copy on Abebooks currently for $20, which is a no brainer. If cinema history is of interest, this is one of the books to own, along with Kevin Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By (also Knopf, 1969)

RAH
 

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It's on my Santa list... I read Brownlow's book years ago (and then sold it - it was a bad time for me...).
 

ahollis

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Originally Posted by Robert Harris

Ron Haver's collectable (and necessary) tome on Mr. Selznick, David O. Selznick's Hollywood (Knopf 1980) describes the technical problems of the effects thusly: ...

RAH

I have owned the book since it was first published. It is indispensable concerning Selznick's contributions and the information on GWTW is the best. I can still read it and learn something new that I somehow passed over during other readings.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Finally saw that box set in person at J&R yesterday, and it does look impressive(!). I might've felt compelled to take the plunge right there if J&R didn't want to charge an arm and a leg for it (at >$60).

Under the circumstance, I just might see about making an exception, shop around for a solid deal, and not limit myself on the price as much as I normally do...

_Man_
 

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I went and snapped up a quartet of the Target copies last night while they were on sale for $13 (Christmas gifts, not ebay items :)). I couldn't believe how much Target's price was for the single-disc set: $40! Are they serious??
Does anyone know if a 2-disc might be released sometime down the road here in the States? I saw that the 3-disc Wizard of Oz was coming out this week, wondered if they plan on doing the same for this. Thanks!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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We ended up picking up the 1-disc version from Target as well. And what a treat it was to finally watch this film on this Blu-ray for my very first complete viewing of it (after only seeing bits and pieces of maybe an hour or two of it over the years) -- and my 10-yo son liked it enough to not take a break at intermission too even though I wanted a short break.

And kudos too for WoOz, which we also picked up from Target. BTW, the Target exclusive version was already 3-disc. No idea if the eventual wide release of non-boxed GwtW will be 1-disc or more. The boxset does look impressive though. If I were a big fan, I'd probably spring for that at ~$45. If a 3-disc version becomes widely available at a great price, I may doubledip and maybe pass our 1-disc along to my mother-in-law or something since she loves this film -- they don't have plans to get a BD player anytime soon, so we're only passing along our old DVD to them for now.

_Man_
 

Bleddyn Williams

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My wife picked this up the 1-disc blu for $12.99 on Black Friday. I was disappointed to see that unlike Target's Wizard of Oz set, it was only one disc.

I pondered returning it, and getting the two-disc UK version. Then I looked on my shelves and pulled down the 4-disc DVD. Most of the supplementals on the 2-disc blu-ray are already on that previous set, and they're all in SD anyway. And I don't think I'd watched any of them!

Sometimes you have to curb those collector's impulses. I think I'll just open the Target blu and keep the DVD for the supplements.
 

ReggieW

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Originally Posted by Shawn.F

I went and snapped up a quartet of the Target copies last night while they were on sale for $13 (Christmas gifts, not ebay items :)). I couldn't believe how much Target's price was for the single-disc set: $40! Are they serious??
Does anyone know if a 2-disc might be released sometime down the road here in the States? I saw that the 3-disc Wizard of Oz was coming out this week, wondered if they plan on doing the same for this. Thanks!

The two-disc edition is presently only available in the UK. I got mine for about $26 shipped from AmazonUK - which generally (at least for me) only takes an extra 3-4 days longer than AmazonUS to have items delivered stateside. I am fairly sure that a scaled down release will be forthcoming at some point, but there's really no reason to overlook the UK edition if you want the film now with all the supplements. It's region free and comes in a slipcase with nice cover art and all of the special feature are NTSC encoded. The only thing it doesn't contain (when compared to the swag edition offered stateside) is the "When the Lion Roared" doc - which many of us here already own in one form or another, and the CD sampler of the Steiner soundtrack.

The UK edition comes highly recommened.
 

Bleddyn Williams

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Originally Posted by ReggieW

The two-disc edition is presently only available in the UK... The only thing it doesn't contain (when compared to the swag edition offered stateside) is the "When the Lion Roared" doc - which many of us here already own in one form or another, and the CD sampler of the Steiner soundtrack.
Indeed - When the Lion Roars was available on Target's 3-disc blu-ray "Emerald Edition" of the Wizard of Oz, which many of us bought on Black Friday for $12.99.
 

Larry Sutliff

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I wonder if Mr. Harris would be able to answer a technical question for me. What is the correct color temperature to watch a 3-strip Technicolor film in, the standard 6500 K, or the 5500 K that some experts say is preferable for black and white films made during the Golden Age of Hollywood? Thank you. :)
 

Jack Theakston

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Depends on what the print is timed for. Original dye-transfer prints would have been timed for Carbon arc lamp houses (about 5500° Kelvin), a little more yellow. Newer prints would be timed significantly lower for Xenon arc lamp houses and would look colder if projected with Carbon arc.
 

Brian W.

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So what is the verdict about cropped shots being restored for this release?

Doing an A/B comparision, I see there is a significant amount of picture information on the left side of the screen in the train station shot, plus a bit on the right (at 1:16:55) that is not present in either of the previous DVD releases. On my 42-inch set, there are nearly two inches of extra picture on the left in the blu-ray version of that shot as compared to the 1998 DVD and about an inch on the right. There's an entire upper level to the building on the left in that shot that is not even visible in any previous DVD incarnation.

However, looking futher through the disc, I find this is true throughout the film -- quite a bit of additional information on the sides of the picture.

Surprisingly, the 2004 four-disc set was cropped quite a bit closer on the sides than the 1998 DVD was. For example, in the aforementioned train station shot, there are only three arches visible in the building on the left in the 2004 edition. The 1998 edition shows three, plus half of a fourth. The blu-ray, however, shows five arches, with the flag pole reaching all the way to the bottom of the screen, something it does not do in the DVD versions.

And, if nobody's noticed, for the first time on home video we can see the full word "Atlanta" at the train station when Ashley comes home on his leave.

I don't know if the previous problem shots are "fixed" or if we're just getting more info in all shots.
 

hotdvdmovie

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it is one of my favorite movies.It is really very wonderfull.
i also love tv shows in my spare time.
 

Mike Frezon

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Originally Posted by Brian W.

So what is the verdict about cropped shots being restored for this release?

...

I don't know if the previous problem shots are "fixed" or if we're just getting more info in all shots.
I haven't had a chance to spin up this disc yet, Brian. But based on what you describe, it sounds like a very good thing.
 

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