A Few Words About A few words about...™ "I Confess" -- in Blu-ray

Oblivion138

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James O'Blivion
I've just ordered I Confess and The Wrong Man, as well. There have been so many great releases recently, I've not been able to keep up! haha But I'll have these latest Hitchcock offerings in hand within a couple of days, and I can't wait. It's been a good while since I've watched either of these.

Enjoy The Kid, PMF...it's a gorgeous transfer (of probably my favorite Chaplin film). Honestly, if I didn't know better, I'd think they reshot the entire film with lookalikes circa 2015. The resolution and sharpness is that keen. I love all of the Criterion Chaplin releases, but The Kid is the most beautiful presentation yet.
 

PMF

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I have a Confession to make.
I have never seen this Hitchcock film before; that is, until last night.
Were it not for this RAH review...
Anyway, "I Confess" is a visual WOW.
I can't tell which was better; the work of Robert Burks or the work put into this transfer by WAC.
The way Mr. Burks lit the cobblestones, the interiors of the church and the brilliant decision to utilize a location shot of the statue of Christ bearing his own cross. Just that angle alone, along with their placement of Montgomery Clift, was "inspired".
Heck, I could even see the clarity of the white paint and its shadows as it oozed on down inside the walls of the can; after Clift had wiped his brush along its lip.
Experiencing a "first" doesn't come along as often these days; but last night it happened upon the moment the Warner Bros. shield appeared on the opening credits.
I was able to tell exactly what I was in for, in visual terms.
I straightened up in my chair and the visual clarity never let up.
So, what about this WB shield and the entire film that REALLY made it a "First"?
Because I had no prior references. I had never seen the film in any of its prior states or conditions.
Any prior restorations or digital clean-ups were always films that I had seen in the past; thus making the "before and after" improvements apparent to me.
But, last night, I realized, that I was able to "see" the work that WAC had done, without ever having seen the film before.
And that was thrilling.

FOOTNOTE:
If anyone hasn't been to "The Old City" of Quebec then I suggest they give it a go. But don't even bother unless you treat yourself to a weekends stay at the Chateau Frontenac. You won't be sorry.
 
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Oblivion138

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Having watched both this and The Wrong Man, I found it notable just how dark both of these films are. Not necessarily visually, but in tone. By Hitchcockian standards, there's very little humor on display in these pictures...they are, for the most part, very serious affairs. And certainly, with The Wrong Man, there was no other way to play it. And I suppose that the same can be said for I Confess, albeit for different reasons. As I mentioned, it had been a number of years since I'd revisited either of these entries in the Hitchcock catalog, so watching them in succession, it really stood out just how somber they are. An interesting choice by Warner to release them in tandem.

And likewise, both films feature leading men who were far from the Hitchcockian norm. I love James Stewart and Cary Grant, but they were "types," and Hitchcock utilized them accordingly. Fonda and Clift were an entirely different breed. Fonda never studied "The Method," but like the Method actors, he drew very much upon his own life experience and emotion. He internalized the role and made it personal. And Clift, of course, was a Method actor through and through. Hitchcock was not particularly fond of this approach, but I feel that Fonda and Clift each lent something to the proceedings that he never could have gotten from a Grant or a Stewart.

Overall, it was interesting to see how much these two films have in common. Having never watched them back-to-back, the similarities had never really struck me before. It also reminded me how much I enjoy both pictures. They may be "lesser" Hitchcock, but they're still very good films indeed.
 

Oblivion138

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haha Funny you mention that, because herringbone is something I always notice when present in good HD presentations. On DVD, of course, most herringbone patterns end up looking merely grey.
 
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atfree

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haha Funny you mention that, because herringbone is something I always notice when present in good HD presentations. On DVD, of course, most herringbone patterns end up looking merely grey.
It was funny, but I noticed immediately how detailed the pattern was! Just another example of how good WAC's transfers are.
 
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Oblivion138

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It's certainly been a wealth of riches from WAC lately...The Big Sleep, Key Largo, The Wrong Man, I Confess...all looking brilliant.
 
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benbess

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Got this at a recent Warner Archives sale. Haven't seen I Confess in many years, and I'm just now watching it. The picture is very good. Recommended.
 
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