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

24fpssean

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You're right about that, Brian. Everytime I watch the film, especially now on BD, I know that there are some differences in dialogue. The Scarlett's second threat to Prissy, "I'll sell you south, I will!" is gone and so is Rhett's second "like me" to Mammy while saying, "You really don't like me. You really don't - " I certainly don't miss them, because they are redundant and lose their power being repeated one time too many, but it does violate the original integrity of the film, not having them. The endless explosions and music had at one point been removed from the shot of the collapsing (King Kong) wall of fire during the burning of Atlanta sequence, so that all you could hear was the roar of the collapse, but now that has been restored, with music and explosions over the roar.

And I am certain that the shot of Melanie stripping off her nightgown for Scarlett to use to wipe up the Yankee blood has been tampered with. In past releases, on all formats, one can clearly see the biege body suit Olivia de Havilland is wearing, but in the BD release the edge of the body suit looks like it's been softened to blend more with Melanie's skin. It can still be seen, but you would think that if it was really obvious in past releases, that it would be doubly so now with an 8k scan of all three negatives lined up more perfectly than the original Technicolor process could do. Just my opinion, I think; the shot does go by really quick and I haven't paused it to do a comparison, but to me it looks like it was manipulated.
 

Guest
Also manipulated are some of the flames in the burning of Atlanta. The glass plates they were painted on used to jump...now they are steady. I don't know how I feel about fixing things, especially since it isn't their work of art to fix.
 

24fpssean

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Hmmm. I thought I noticed that, too. Yeah, I'm not sure about fixing such things. Negative damage, yes. But this, I don't think so.
 

Brian W.

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Originally Posted by 24fpssean
The Scarlett's second threat to Prissy, "I'll sell you south, I will!" is gone... it does violate the original integrity of the film, not having them.
Well, as I mentioned, "I'll sell you south" is ONLY in the 1989 remaster -- it wasn't in the 1985 version I was referring to, either -- so I don't know that it was in the original version of the film.

However, the extra "like me" in "You don't, you really don't like me" IS in the original 1985 version. Interesting... but it isn't on the 1999 DVD, or the 2004 DVD, or the blu-ray. We don't know for sure if those extra lines were in the original release.
 

Brian W.

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Yes, Ned Price says that in the interview I linked to above -- that they "fixed" some of the matte work, not only the jumps, but adjusting the color/brighness to make them more seamless.
 

Brian W.

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That line I was referring to earlier that used the live dialogue in the 1989 theatrical sound mix, the "India Wilkes, what a lovely dress line," I just discovered is in the "Making of" documentary on the Blu-Ray (and previous DVD), at about the 1:31:17 mark. Very different reading from the overdubbed version in the final film, and obviously live dialogue. Sure wish they would have released the 1989 sound mix as an optional track.
 

24fpssean

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And I noticed this just last night (while viewing part of the BD again!), the Atlanta Ball sequence: the rear projection shot of Dr. Meade talking to the crowd, when he pushes the drummer away, Scarlett and Rhett (in black) can be seen in the rear projection (even though they haven't started dancing together yet!) and in past releases Vivien Leigh's face has been quite clear when she suddenly turns towards the camera. In the BD, her face is really fuzzy and indistinguishable. I'm not sure, but it looks like they did more manipulation. I hope I'm wrong.
 

24fpssean

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By the way, has anyone else noticed that the stereo channels are flopped? Sounds that should be on the left come through the right and vice versa. I've noticed this with GWTW since it's first release on DVD years ago and have never once seen a mention of it online. All other "stereoized" classics that I own, either on BD or DVD, have the sounds coming through the right channels except for this one. The first noticable flop is the "quittin' time" bell at the beginning of the film - it swings left, the clang comes from the right. It swings right, the clang come from the left. Perhaps it's just my set up; I should try it on our system at work and see what happens.
 

Richard--W

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Based on the previous edition of Gone With the Wind, on The Searchers, on Rio Bravo, and other WHV / MGM classic releases, I have no faith in Ned Price.
But, I'm a good consumer.
I'm going to buy this Blu-ray in the morning.
If I get another yellow-biased, orange-distorted mudpie like on the last DVD, Ned Price is going to hear from me.
His superiors are going to hear from me, too.
 

Guest
Richard, the yellow-orange look is gone. There are some scenes that are warm, but that was the intent. I agree with you on other points, and a title you didn't bring up, but I will stay mum for now.
 

Richard--W

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Thank you Eric Scott Richard, that's all I wanted to hear.
There can be no more conclusive evidence that the 2004 edition was arbitrarily and disengenuously color-timed than the fact that the new edition corrects the problems. I'm happy to buy the Blu-ray upgrade, but since the correction also appears on a 2-disc DVD, WHV should send out free replacement discs to everyone still stuck with the earlier offense.

They have yet to correct The Searchers, Rio Bravo, Ben-Hur, and a few other classic titles that were willfully mishandled.
 

Guest
Does anyone know what this is? During the lap dissolve shot from the cropped depot scene into the scene with Scarlett and Prissy and "birthin' babies," there is a weird blue/green vertical strip at the top of the frame. It isn't a scratch or anything but looks boxy. When the scene pans down (only in this new edition, because of the cropping) it disappears into the top of the frame. I don't ever recall seeing it before. This is very minor but it would be interesting to know what it might be.
 

Guest
It seems to me that we ALL are ultimately doing nothing other than arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It is what it is. PERIOD.!!! For me, the Bluray is NOT perfection. I'm in the minority...but there ARE others out there of my generation (70s) who feel the same way. There is what appears to be a too prominent black and white record underneath it all (similar to John Huston's experiment in MOBY DICK) and it occasionally muddies certain scenes and makes the blacks too impermeable (the hat scene, the proposal scene and it VERY definitely darkens CONSIDERABLY the N'awleen's scene which once was bright and glowed.) I can generally spot MY measure of a print of GWTW in the opening sequence of "...Cavaliers and cotton fields..." Originally the sky behind the workers was heavily blue with steaks of yellow. No more. And in the raddish scene on dollyback from Scarlett the sky was MOSTLY a very pale blue with the stronger yellow and orange tints at the horizon. This is NOT the GWTW of 1941, 1947 or 1954. But then NO 40's Technicolor prints of ANY film of that era have EVER again produced some of the luminous colors that once were in them. On the surviving prints of that era perhaps the color intensity in the bulbs used in projection is very different from the bulbs used in projection of higher quality theaters in the 40's. I do not know....but prints of Technicolor films of that era do NOT look as they originally did. Some come close....but the richness is missing and the gradations. The gradations in this release in the hat scene and the proposal scene especially are a disgrace. You cannot see the folds in the material no matter how much you fiddle with a superior set. Disney's films, in particular, in the 40's had a luminescent quality that has NEVER come through again, particularly in the blues. As for ALL of our mutual quibbling over these upgraded ("downgraded"???? Hehe) releases....I still maintain that everyone sees color differently. I do NOT believe that person A sees yellow or orange or blue the same as person B. In hearing we all DO hear different frequencies in different ways at different ages...why not color? Scientists now have found that dogs DO see in color, albeit a pastel color. So we wind up arguing over what is the CORRECT color and the truth is .....EVERYBODY is right. I have seen GWTW probably 150 times over the years....in endlessly differing prints. Natalie Kalmus had one idea of what the color should be...David O. another....and Louis B. Mayer at third. The fact that I do NOT like this release very much should have NO bearing or effect on someone else who may love it, or on Mr. Harris' own stamp of approval. We ALL see it differently. We always have. We always will. And there are 17 billion, four hundred and thirty-three million, 629 thousand, 892 angels on the head of a pin...unless they are carrying hymnals. Then there are fewer!!!!
 

Guest
I found something. I was watching the 2004 version on my pc and saw, during the famous last scene of Part One that the masking for the 1954 cropping actually starts fading in when Scarlett enters the garden! It slowly rises up the screen, then disappears for most of the scene, only to start creeping back up the frame for the final pullback! This is also interesting- The Intermission card also has the masking! Very interesting as I didn't know this shot was one of the infamous cropped scenes and that the video Intermission card would be presented with the masking! Also, you can see how much is cropped as the pullback of Scarlett and Gerald begins under the oak tree. Look at the clouds in the sky...as the pullback begins, the picture moves up and suddenly clouds disappear, and continue to disappear, and continue! What a shame...really, what they did to this in 1954.
 

Rob_Ray

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Originally Posted by Eric Scott Richard

Does anyone know what this is? During the lap dissolve shot from the cropped depot scene into the scene with Scarlett and Prissy and "birthin' babies," there is a weird blue/green vertical strip at the top of the frame. It isn't a scratch or anything but looks boxy. When the scene pans down (only in this new edition, because of the cropping) it disappears into the top of the frame. I don't ever recall seeing it before. This is very minor but it would be interesting to know what it might be.

I have seen what you describe before. I saw the 1998 re-release three times in a vain attempt to find a decent print playing somewhere. It was the worst presentation of the film I've ever seen since the terrible 1970s-era slidshod general release prints that were seriously out of registration and filled with heavy scratch lines.

The 1998 prints were a blurry mess and were postage-stamped in the middle of a standard anamorphic print in order to force theatres to project the entire frame. Trouble was, whoever made the prints was overzealous with projecting the *entire* frame to the point that the edges of the frame retained the curved edges from the source print and *everything* was exposed at the top. This revealed such things as the fact that the Wilkes' front porch railing did not attach to anything. In addition, almost every scene with a dissolve or that contained one of Jack Cosgrove's matte shots had blue-green splotches at the top of the frame, including the dissolve you mention. It clearly looked as if we were seeing things we weren't supposed to be seeing and things that should have been out of frame.

I think they've done such a fine job of properly framing the blu-ray for the bulk of the film that when they go to the problematic 1954 shots, you're briefly glimpsing that top part of the frame that should have been masked out. Don't worry about it and just know that this means that you're seeing the rest of the film framed as it should be for the first time ever on home video.
 

moviebuff75

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I'm confused. That Ned Price article says that sections with narrative texts were recomposited in 1954. Does that mean that the several scenes with onscreen titles were also changed, for example THE END, Siege!, etc.?
 

Nick*Z

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I only have two minor quibbling about the PQ on Warner's Blu-ray of Gone With The Wind: first, in the long shot of carriages arriving at Twelve Oaks the upper half of the matte painting is plagued by edge enhancement, and second, in the penultimate "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" sequence, Vivien Leigh's face is so dark you cannot make out her expressions. Indeed, you can barely see the spectral highlights in her eyes. If GWTW ever makes the leap to 4K I would sincerely hope both these anomalies would be corrected.

I also have one minor caveat about the stereo surround mix: during the main titles, when Jack Cosgrove's screen credit appears, there is a sudden tinny echo in the bass as Steiner's music reaches its crescendo. Go figure.

Like I said before: minor quibbles. I love the way GWTW looks on Blu-ray, apart from these niggling 'errors'. Would love to see a remaster of the more 'sepia-leaning' 'original' look released along with a newly remastered edition of the transfer as it currently appears with corrections as noted above made. But that's about it. GWTW is my favorite movie of all time and gets a lot of replay at our house.

At least twice a year, it's on our must see list and about a half dozen other times I find myself reaching for the disc to play 'favorite scenes' - only to let the 'damn thing' run in its entirety while I clean house, cook a meal, do the dishes, whatever - listening from the side and basking in the glories Mr. Selznick and his merry band of players had wrought. Frankly, my dear - we still give a damn for Rhett, Scarlett, Mammy, Melanie and the rest of the clan. A great movie never dies. It just improves like vintage wine with age. GWTW has aged exceptionally well with time! Who would have known in 1939. Fiddle-dee-dee!
 

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