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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Hello, Frisco, Hello / Pin-Up Girl / Mother wore Tights - in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Beyond feature productions that had Technicolor sequences, in the nitrate era, Fox created over 90 films.

    Over a third of them were musicals, and they took extraordinary advantage of the three-strip technology, creating a very specific Fox Technicolor appearance.

    Afaik, with a single exception, none of the original elements survive, which means that we're left with what was produced in the mid-1970s.

    And those elements were produced in the most incorrect manner imaginable.

    This horror story has been covered ad nauseam, so we won't revisit. But for those who may not be aware, that is why Fox cannot reproduce their Technicolor productions to appear as Technicolor.

    When the films arrive on home video, as have the most recent three, from Twilight Time, results are acceptable, at best.

    All produced on the same film stocks, and with the same technology, their quality on Blu-ray comes down to a single major factor - how well the dupe materials were produced. And generally, they were garbage.

    So how do the latest releases fare, and how do the films stand the test of time?

    Mother Wore Tights (1947) and Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), fare better than Pin-up Girl (1944). Old-fashioned charming, assembly line Fox musicals. One of the main attributes of the films was Technicolor, and without that function blazing from the screen, they all fall a notch.

    Pin-Up is also the least of the three in terms of tech quality, followed by Hello and Mother. Hello's main title sequence is the most window-boxed that I recall seeing. It might have been projected on the moon, which gives us the concept that this is an older transfer.

    Probably because Mother isn't held back by dark sequences, it looks better overall, with a light, bright look, that still lacks the Technicolor pop.

    Any dark sequences have virtually no shadow detail, but viewers should be used to this from other Fox releases.

    If you're a fan of the Fox musicals in general, or completists for Betty Grable, Alice Faye or Dan Dailey, best to grab these, as akin to most other Twilight Time releases, when they're gone...

    Twilight Time deserves the Mother Teresa Award for releasing these.

    Image

    Hello, Frisco, Hello – 3.25
    Pin-Up Girl - 3
    Mother Wore Tights - 3.5

    Audio – 5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Upgrade from DVD - Yes

    Recommended

    RAH
     
  2. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    Thanks, Mr Harris! It's funny, I was just asking about these yesterday!

    By the way...
    You mention this quite often but I don't remember if you've ever said what that one title is? If you have, I apologize as I must have missed it.
     
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  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I believe it was Hollywood Cavalcade.
     
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  4. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    Isn't true that we are talking only about the 3 strip technicolor produced on Nitrate film. The early 50s Technicolor films that were on Safety Film still survive with original materials? The ones that stick out for me as having the Fox technicolor look are films like STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER, NIAGRA, etc.
     
  5. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    I'm SO sorry, you DID mention that!! Whoops! (Sorry, I had forgotten)
     
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  6. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    I've watched Hello, Frisco, Hello and Mother Wore Tights -- haven't watched Pin-Up Girl yet.

    The quality is what I expect from these second-rate preservation elements. Skin tones have a weird, flat, brownish look and all the other colors look "off" or faded. Mother Wore Tights looks a bit better than Frisco.

    If you want to see what we're missing, look at the "Hello Again, The Re-Making of Alice Faye" mini-doc on Hello, Frisco, Hello. It has a lot of clips from Frisco that seem to be taken from a Technicolor print, with glowing, jewel-like colors and beautiful rosy skin tones on close-ups of Faye. Check out the dress that Faye wears in the "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" number. On the Blu-ray, it's a pale turquoise color. In a clip from "The Re-Making of Alice Faye" you can see that it's a gorgeous light blue. What a difference!

    I love these movies. Oh, to have seen them on the big screen back in the 1940s!
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    No harm
     
  8. marcco00

    marcco00 Second Unit

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    i love these Fox musicals too, especially the Grable films. not sure if i should upgrade tho
     
  9. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I held off on posting about these titles - I saw them all over a week ago. I haven't been quite as critical of some of the past Technicolor stuff in the past batches, in fact, I thought they pulled off some miracles with a couple of them. That would not be the case here, unfortunately. No miracles. It's very sad.
     
  10. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    My assessment of all 3 films in another thread reflected RAH's views exactly.
     
  11. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    RAH[/QUOTE]
    Yes, but...do they look overly blue, as did the disastrous Blu-ray of WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Yes, but...do they look overly blue, as did the disastrous Blu-ray of WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?[/QUOTE]

    I believe those were produced in Deluxe Color. An entirely different process.
     
  13. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    I believe those were produced in Deluxe Color. An entirely different process.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. It's just that, whenever I see that a new Blu of a classic film is coming from Fox, I see red flags going up these days.
     
  14. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. It's just that, whenever I see that a new Blu of a classic film is coming from Fox, I see red flags going up these days.[/QUOTE]

    I think if you read my response that is what I said. The reply button did not indicate that it was Dick’s quote on post #11.
     
  15. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    I think if you read my response that is what I said. The reply button did not indicate that it was Dick’s quote on post #11.[/QUOTE]

    Don't know what happened there, Allen. My apologies, as I thought I had correctly responded.
     
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  16. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Don't know what happened there, Allen. My apologies, as I thought I had correctly responded.[/QUOTE]


    I think the quote button was messing up on my post.
     
  17. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    I haven’t seen these new releases yet @Robert Harris but with your w
    Evans in mind, how do these compare to the current Blu-ray release of the Technicolor film
    Anchors Aweigh (1944) which I’m now watching for July 4th?

    I do notice that Technicolor “pop” in
    Anchors Aweigh.
     
  18. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    So my question for Fox is when we were will we get the bluray of the HOLLYWOOD CAVALCADE?!
     
  19. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    Dear Robert: I have now had the opportunity to compare this Blu-ray release of Hello, Frisco, Hello with Fox's now defunct DVD release from 2004. And while the DVD used a transfer for which the proper Fox logos had been incorrectly replaced, if anything the image that follows on the DVD is superior in virtually all regards to this Blu-ray reissue, sporting properly framed main titles, and color fidelity that offers better overall saturation and fine detail reproduction. The Blu-ray just looks faded by comparison and I sincerely regret dropping good money on it. Ditto for Pin Up Girl, although in comparing the old DVD to my new Blu, the differences were marginal at best.

    I have to say that while Mother Wore Tights bears no earthly resemblance to vintage Technicolor either, overall, the transfer is crisp and clean, with colors that are - if not true to their vintage - then, nevertheless, reasonably bold and sure to impress those who know not what real Technicolor looks like. Personally, I can live with that - since, regrettably, there is NO alternative for these beloved classics. But Hello, Frisco, Hello is a severely screwed up transfer. The heavily windowboxed credits aside, there is no breathing around the peripheries of the image on the DVD: the Blu-ray - it's everywhere. And the colors are wan, dull and awful on the Blu. The color on the DVD is more fully saturated by far.

    Again, I know - it's not vintage Technicolor. But the DVD gives a 'better' impression of what vintage Technicolor was. The Blu-ray is an atrocity. I want to support the release of more classics to Blu but not if basic care is not even going to be applied. While I blame Fox completely for this absurd flub - I can't say I much support TT's acumen to release either Pin Up Girl or Hello Frisco Hello without expecting better elements to be made at their disposal. Much the same way they claimed to have no interest in releasing Julie Andrews' Star! and Andy Tennant's Anna and the King until such time as improved elements were being offered by Fox.

    I shudder to think of what the future holds for these movies now that Disney Inc. is in the driver's seat - the hoarders of their own classic library, holding such goodies as The Happiest Millionaire, Song of the South, That Darn Cat, Summer Magic, etc. et al hostage. So, Fox catalog? Hmmm. Though perhaps now, we will see a remastered edition of the original Star Wars trilogy. Well...one can at least hope - even naively so!
     
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  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    How many ways can one spell CRI?
     
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