A Few Words About A few words about...™ How to Steal a Million -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 17, 2017.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ever since I was cognizant of filmmakers, I was a William Wyler groupie.

    And while much of his output over the years tended to steer toward the more serious and dramatic, he went in another direction entirely, with How to Steal a Million in 1966.

    Mr. Wyler began his career in the 1920s, and was quite prolific, joining the Goldwyn Studios in the 1930s for a string of extremely high-end productions such as These Three, Dead End, Jezebel, Wuthering Heights, The Westerner, The Letter, The Little Foxes and The Best Years of Our Lives.

    His post-war productions were limited in number, but of continuing, extremely high quality. I can think of only two romantic comedies, Roman Holiday (1953), and How to Steal... with Audrey Hepburn (between My Fair Lady and Two for the Road) and Peter O'Toole.

    The film is a delicate little trifle, almost in Billy Wilder territory, which would go nicely with a well-chilled glass of champagne.

    Twilight Time has seen fit (thank you, very much) to bring it to Blu-ray, and the master supplied by Fox is perfect in every regard.

    Just go with this one, and enjoy!

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    4k Up-rez - 5

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Recommended

    RAH
     
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  2. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    A Willie Wyler groupie, eh? Sentiments wholeheartedly affirmed herein. Wyler, the man who could direct anything with panache and yes, that 'Wyler touch' for which he is justly renown and admired. What a superb storyteller on all accounts he was.

    One question: can you explain several curious jump cuts within this transfer. The first occurs during the scene where Audrey is bandaging O'Toole's flesh wound in the kitchen after having shot him accidentally. There's almost something like an 'optical zoom' occurring, without the 'zoom part'; the characters suddenly re-framed closer to the camera (I think the image is artificially blown up, but not sure here). We get the same oddity happening as O'Toole escorts Eli Wallach to the plane near the end with the Venus in tow; suddenly, a closer print or dupe of the same scene cut into the otherwise flawless image. I detected amplified grain during both these sequences for those brief inserts. Not sure what was going on there. Not that it made a difference to my viewing experience. This is one great and thoroughly dreamy rom/com. A lot of fun and yes, with near perfect image quality. I just would like to know what your thoughts are on this strange jump cutting. Lost original camera neg, or something else? Don't know.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I did note some field enlargements. As much as I'd like to do so, unless I'm unfamiliar with a film, I may sample.

    If you provide time code, I'll be happy to rake a look.
     
  4. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    Sure, just give me a couple of minutes to pop it into my player and get a reading for you.
    Best.
     
  5. 5 May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
    Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    Hey Robert:

    I have the time codes for you. First scene - in the kitchen. Start watching at 21:15. Grain exaggerated slightly. But at 21:24 the image appears to be a blow up of exactly the same scene only re-framed closer up. At 21:29 it returns to normal.

    The scene at the airport: start at 1:57.56. O'Toole and Wallach framed correctly. 1:57:59: blow up of the same shot for a single line of dialogue. Image returns to normal at 1:58:01, then gets blown up again at 1:58:10, and then returns to 'normal' again at 1:58:16. As I said before, these are not terrible anomalies but they are rather curious in and of themselves, the bouncing back and forth, not to punctuate bits of dialogue, but looking as though either these lines were omitted in editing and then later reinstated, but without the benefit of an OCN to crib from, or something to that effect. Don't know. Again, will wait for your reply.
     
  6. atcolomb

    atcolomb Supporting Actor

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    Fans of the great director should check out the American Masters tv documentary "Directed by William Wyler" (1986) which is shown on tv once in awhile and is a good overview of his film career. Also read the current book release "Five Came Back" which talks in detail Wyler's involvement during World War II.
     
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  7. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    While you're at it, why don't you pop MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR in your player and let us know which reel is "severely" out of focus. Thanks.
     
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  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I don't have to look.

    These were field enlargements, as no other closer shots were taken. Happened quite often. Normally aiding in cutting around a deletion, without a jump cut.
     

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