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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. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    I have to agree with every word of this. What a complete and utter disappointment. Of the three, FRISCO was the one I was looking the most forward to. I have to admit I don't have MOTHER WORE TIGHTS on DVD so I have nothing to compare the blu-ray to and I have no intention of buying PIN-UP (which I always found hideous.)

    For the life of me, I can't understand why the DVD (taking into account the limitations of decreased resolution and the absence of original materials to work with) looks so much better in terms of color fidelity and overall "lushness." It's almost as if the blu-ray has a dark layer to it that pulls all of the colors down that isn't evident on the DVD. There are dazzling purples, reds, blues, and greens on the DVD that are (to borrow Nick's word) "wan" at best on the blu-ray. The blu-ray looks as though much of it is made from optical dupes even when it shouldn't and doesn't have the corresponding look to the same points on the DVD transfer. There's an obvious increase in resolution but I don't know that it's worth it. ultimately. So I have to ask the question that, if this all about the CRI. why shouldn't it look at least as good as it did 15 years ago?

    While I agree with you in theory, I THINK (without definitive proof) that those clips may have been taken from a VHS or laser transfer because they look completely over saturated to me on the doc. The DVD has better, stronger colors than the blu-ray but they aren't quite to that level of bleed.

    With ALL due respect (and I DO mean that, sir) I just can't buy anymore that that's the only reason for what we're seeing. The (awful) domestic blu-ray release of THE GANG'S ALL HERE was supposed to be the best we could expect from the CRI elements yet lo and behold Masters of Cinema released a disc in the UK that, while not perfect, was miles better in almost every regard. Fifteen years ago, they were able to make a FRISCO transfer with beautiful, jewel like color from (one has to assume) the same extant CRI materials that were used for this, yet everything about the look of this (other than the resolution) is less than that one was. Something else has to be at play here.
     
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  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I’ve not tracked the particular elements involved here, but in a general sense, a CRI produced in the mis-70s, should have held viable colors only, into the early 80s, ie into the standard definition - VHS - telecine era.

    Not beyond.

    The alternative is to access extant dye transfer prints, and try to massage a full-contrast element toward modern digital mastering. Not an impossibility.

    But this concept brings with it the overall look of those productions that were finalized for three-strip plus the additional b & w record. Something that can be extraordinarily beautiful, but possibly not what the IP holder, or audience desire today.

    I also have no idea how these tiles were handled for HD mastering. I’ve not been involved since Leave Her to Heaven, The Black Swan, and Drums Along the Mohawk, none of which were restored, per se, but were digitally massaged.
     
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  3. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    I sure wish you or someone else had digitally 'massaged' Hello Frisco Hello. But I believe the element used for this Blu-ray was different from the one used for the DVD, if for no other reason, then the DVD had the wrong 2oth Century-Fox logo tacked to its main titles (although the main titles were properly framed) and the new Blu, while having the right Fox logos preceding the credits, now has the 'postage stamp' heavily window-boxed titles followed by an image that in no way even comes close to the one represented on the DVD in terms of color saturation and balance. So, I'll be keeping my DVD and junking my Blu. Sure wish I had known about this travesty before spending $29.99 U.S. plus shipping, and $30.00 in customs (for all three titles, mind you). What a waste of money!!!
     
  4. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    And all of which are among the best looking of the Fox Blu-ray releases from that era (along with The Gang's All Here.)
     
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  5. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    Just to clarify, you mean the UK MOC release rather than the domestic TT release, yes?
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Nope, he means the Twilight Time release. I guess you and Matt have a difference of opinion regarding the video presentation of that title.

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/gangs-blu-ray-review/
     
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  7. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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  8. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Oh, Will, did you have strong objections to the TT release and were enthusiastic about the European release? Where did you talk about this? My memory is really going in my old age.
     
  9. Message #29 of 67 Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    No! I'm sorry it's NOT your memory Matt! Yes, I really like the UK release and yes, I have huge objections to the TT release but (and here's the thing) I DIDN'T really talk about it anywhere until I mentioned it upthread yesterday. It didn't seem prudent to voice my objections to the TT at the time and didn't go region free until AFTER 2016 (I had the domestic release first) so, by the time I had the MOC in my hand, the moment had "passed," as they say.
     
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  10. filmnoirguy

    filmnoirguy Agent

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    I'm going to upgrade to Blu with Mother Wore Tights. Never released on a true DVD, it has been available only as a MOD from Fox Cinema Archives. I'm satisfied with my DVD of Pin Up Girl that originally came in a deluxe case. Personally, I've never cared much for Hello Frisco, Hello so will pass that one up. Cheers~~
     
  11. roxy1927

    roxy1927 Agent

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    Do the people who do these transfers know what they are doing? Do they even look at the original DVD? I was warned off the bluray of Silk Stockings. But I thought how bad could it be? It was worse than I expected and I had to take it off. Thank goodness I kept the original disc. I really find it incomprehensible that a bluray would be far worse as if the people who were doing the transfer were blind. I understand the original elements have not held up but did anyone bother looking at the original release? I think somebody compared it to watching the film through a Sahara sand storm and were they right.

    This is so disappointing reading the original Technicolor Fox prints were lost. I was really looking forward to these color films. It kind of reminds me of the Technicolor anniversary festival held at the MOMA a few years ago. Honestly the worst collection of prints I've ever seen since I've been going to festivals since the 70s. Whoever curated it had no idea what Technicolor looked like and just showed a collection of old scratchy prints with faded bleeding colors. I went to about 3 and found the incompetency beyond belief. Maybe this is being done by young people who have no idea what they're doing. In the late 80s the MOMA did a restoration festival and I have to say Selznick's Tom Sawyer was one of the most beautiful color films I've ever seen. I'm keeping that memory and don't plan on seeing it again. The review of the bluray was not great and it should have been. Even the MOMA has been known to treat the film estates they are given cavalierly. Another glorious print they showed back then was Becky Sharp with of course the unrestored final reel. I thought it was amazing so the recent review was a disappointment.
     
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  12. Message #32 of 67 Jul 11, 2019 at 5:56 PM
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019 at 6:03 PM
    Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    First of all I have no idea what you are talking about regarding Silk Stockings. That was a highly praised Warner Archive Blu-ray. Perhaps you are thinking of another title, maybe The Seven Year Itch? Secondly, the DVD release of a title should never be used as a reference. Previous home video and TV versions are rarely proper. When mastering a new Blu-ray, they should be referencing the original answer prints or whatever sources they can find that aren't faded.
     
  13. philip*eric

    philip*eric Stunt Coordinator

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    I , too, was looking forward to these musical Blu-rays, especially HELLO, FRISCO, HELLO .. I am not a fan of PIN UP GIRL but I do like MOTHER WORE TIGHTS .. I thought that the Blu-ray of MY GAL SAL was quite nice - how did that one survive in better condition? Just luck? I just imported the UK THE GANG'S ALL HERE because of recommendations here even though I have the TT ..

    Can anyone tell me about the current state of many Technicolor films made at Paramount during the late 30's and 40's? Films like EBB TIDE , BAHAMA PASSAGE, INCENDIARY BLONDE, TYPHOON, etc ... What is the general condition of these ? Many from this era have never seen any type of release and are rarely screened.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Universal
     
  15. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    The cavalier custodianship of Pin-Up Girl and Hello Frisco Hello is really cause for alarm. Again, the DVD of 'Frisco' is superior in all regards to this Blu-ray, so DO NOT part with it. As for Silk Stockings - it had its issues, but overall was an infinitely pleasing transfer with Warner giving its back catalog the usual once over and due care to ensure what could be done digitally speaking to preserve and remaster, was done. You can only do so much with digital technology. That said, there was FAR more work that could and should have been done on these aforementioned Fox titles.

    And Fox has had a spotty record with their Cinemascope titles in DeLuxe too. It seems their color features are under siege from colorists who either do not or care not for the original integrity of these prints. How else do you explain River of No Return, Wild River, Desk Set, The King and I, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Blue Max, and so on, on 'blue' Blu-ray?

    Just wish every studio had a Robert Harris or a George Feltenstein overseeing the necessary work to be done to ensure these deep catalog titles for posterity in perpetuity. Preservation does not mean you just lock it in a vault and trundle it out in whatever current state of decomposition it exists to strike a new master from flawed elements on a future physical format. And it is high time the studio's en masse dumped the moniker 'asset management' to describe their responsibility, because it makes them sound like they are the custodians of old insurance claim forms and billing info.

    They're not! They are the true torch-bearers of classic cinema - curators, actually, whose works of art rank as highly as the master strokes of genius committed to canvas by Degas, DaVinci, and the like. Different medium - same concept. To the powers that be - please, understand that your job here is to ensure the past lives on for centuries yet to come and in a quality the original artists who created it would find just as appealing as the day they created it.

    If Fox's archivist program is going to endure after Disney then someone there needs to wake up and correct their past sins. And really, before it's too late. Can we please get an inspection program in place here, folks. And Star! and Can-Can on Blu soon?!? Not too much to ask - hopefully, and pretty please.
     
  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I remember when Silk Stockings was released on Blu-ray that several members here had grave misgivings about it, but I found it quite nice and a properly effective step up from the DVD.
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    In deference to the team at Fox, I cannot agree with the concept of "cavalier custodianship."

    Their vaults are filled with poorly produced film elements, created by their predecessors over forty years ago, at which time the originals were junked.

    Film elements are organic, meaning they continue to change, which means that a telecine produced for TV, and probably used for home video, would have been done before the elements hit the condition that they're now in. That deals with color.

    There is no going back.

    For the team to take even the most basic attempt toward a complete digitization of the programming, ie CRI / 3-strip, would take an investment of around 12 million dollars, which wouldn't alleviate the base problem.

    Let's not malign the folks that are trying to help solve that problem.

    RAH
     
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  18. Message #38 of 67 Jul 12, 2019 at 8:57 AM
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019 at 9:04 AM
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Whoa! I think you are way off base here and frankly don't have enough film element details of Fox films to make such a blanket accusation.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Thank you for such a response.
     
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  20. roxy1927

    roxy1927 Agent

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    Interesting about Silk Stockings. I fall in the bluray is unwatchable camp as I noted. Much grainier than the DVD. And there are those who like it. How different opinions are. I will say the titles are extremely richer in color and must have been beautiful unrolling on the Cinemascope screen of the Music Hall in the summer of '57. That's a regret I have being a child of the 70's where most of the films that played there during that decade because a softer look was unfortunately preferred they often looked like blown up made for TV movies. There were exceptions of course including the only first run 70mm movie to play there Airport and At Long Last Love. No matter what you think of the film it looked wonderful on the large Music Hall screen.
     

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