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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Big Sleep (1946) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    It doesn't say anything about the resolution of the digital acquisition,workflow or output, just how good the discs look upconverted / scaled to 4k on a high quality UHD display or projection system. I would guess that most of the time these discs are watched on a 4k Sony SXRD, a very nice projector!
     
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  2. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    It's a brave man to make such a bald dismissal to this particular group of enthusiasts. ANyway you are simply wrong because the first cut print is of such great value for at least two reasons.,For one the extra footage of Bacall (with the veil) etc) is a guide to the extent to which she was feeling her way as an actor here and Hawks was still feeling his way in encouraging her as an actress to the point where he was able to get first class improv from her without the need for such props heavy nonsense as the veil and the maudlin dialogue in that shot as readily as he could with pros like Bogart and Malone. The rest is history as they say. The second is the insertion of the longer explanatory dialogue in the Police' chief's office which as they could only realize after watching the preview, does absolutely nothing to clarify a labyrinthine plot already confusing to its own writer. The preview cut gives all of us the privilege and joy of discovery of being film students at the primary level here. I am afraid I also disagree with Robert Harris about doing in in HD, it would not be the first time a less than ideal print source has been scanned and carried over in HD for the sake of completion, and I don't believe anyone except the most pea brained viewer could have objected to an HD scan with the print imperfections intact , certainly allowing for the usual disclaimers etc. Criterion, Kino, MoC and other major classic BD houses would have jumped at the chance to include the 45 print as a 1080p in whatever condition. Not doing it here is a major omission IMO.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    In fariness to RAH, is that what he actually stated or he just gave a reason why Warner wouldn't do so because of their in-house standards as to what gets a HD scan or not?
     
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  4. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    Robert my criticism is directed to WBHV for their unyielding attitude to classifying the 45 cut as "only an extra". Serious film historians and cinephiles would all consider it much more than that as I am sure would Mr Harris. But it seems to be too big a leap for WBHV to take the direction one would have rightly expected from dedicated labels like Criterion, MoC, Kino Arte, Koch Media and so on. It's cookie cutter production thinking.
     
  5. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    It will be interesting to see if the non-HD version of the earlier cut included on this disc will be of the same quality as the 'alternate' version we got on the original DVD.
    In another thread it is claimed that because of Blu-ray protocol, standard-def material included on a Blu ray disc has to be interleaved rather than given a progressive transfer, with a drop in quality.
     
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  6. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    It obviously won't be as good.You will have to rely on the upscaling qualities of your Oppo and/or projector. We should both keep the original flipper dvd. I also don't know if the BD includes the Bob Gitt 16 minute comparison short. Iv'e just been watching the new Kino The Southerner which includes realtively unrestored unrestored 35mm sources of the short films Salute to France, and Pare Lorenz' The River from 1937. 73 odd minutes on top of the feature.They both look terrific bearing in mind the provenance and I couldn't give a fig about nicks, tears, shrinkage scratches tramlines and other emulsion related biz. So you get Frank Tarzi at Kino really packing the stuff in at 1080p in best possible-considering-current-state-of- elements. But you get Warner relegating the extras and so on to the WAC sausage factory.
     
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  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The realty of releasing an HD version of a problematic element is very much a two-edged blade.

    While many of us might prefer a warts and all quickie HD transfer from an acetate dupe of the 1945 nitrate, just as many will complain that it isn't up to current Warner Archive standards, and will damn the release with confusing reviews on Amazon.

    There's no correct answer here, especially for a company trying to hit high standards.

    RAH
     
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  8. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    Warts and all quickie sounds like the story of my life. Anyway I would definitely have been happy with it and I think I aint alone. The 45 cut on the dvd clearly displays all the problems for all to see.
     
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  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    True, but unfortunately, we don't always get what we want in life. I'm not surprise by what RAH stated because in the past, I've heard the same comments from Warner about why other titles haven't been released on Blu-ray. I understand the disappointment in Warner's decision, but that's the way they operate their film library.
     
  10. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    The Archive blu-ray releases give us the best quality AV for the main feature and nothing spent on extras, and this is fine with me.
     
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  11. Hollywodland

    Hollywodland Agent

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    yeah...one of my favourite movies...the cover is EPIC-a cherry on a cake!!!
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Actually, the new Big Sleep brings us, for the first time, the entire Robert Gitt discussion regarding the two versions. It was abridged on the DVD.
     
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  13. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    This is really exciting news! I can't wait to see it! Loved the abbreviated version on the DVD (in fact, I rewatched it last night), so this is a step up!
     
  14. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    I never saw the other version. The German DVD was always released only with the theatrical version.
     
  15. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    I know all this is true and as market related correct but it's shoddy treatment of a valuable art.
    What is missing there Robert? he skips over chapter 9 but with a sentence to mention it. I certainly remember the theatrical release in Oz of the 45 cut which was accompanied by Bob Gitt's comparison doc, and the latter I recall ran about 30 minutes.
     
  16. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    From what I recall from the documentary when I first saw it 20 years ago now (WOW!) all of the footage is shown for each of the different scene versions in its entirety. I'm pretty sure the difference in that original unedited cut and the version on the DVD is simply that the footage from the film itself has been truncated to accommodate the DVD's shorter run time. I don't THINK any of Gitt's actual commentary is missing from the shorter cut but it HAS been twenty years or so so I may have that slightly wrong. I don't think I do but you never know.
     
  17. david hare

    david hare Second Unit

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    Yes it was at least 20 years ago. Terrifying. Digital for movies was barely a blip on the radar. It's incredible isn't it.
     
  18. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    It is a twisted corporate world in which a lesser SD version of the same source could actually be considered preferable to the HD version due to potentially negative reviews by some misguided Amazon reviewers. In any case I look forward to watching that version for the first time as I did not even know it existed until now.
     
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  19. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
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    RAH, your 'a few words about' have been costing me a lot of money lately! :)

    Mark
     
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  20. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    The other side lists German (and other European languages) for both, The Big Sleep as well as for Key Largo.
    Hard to believe, but if true it would be great for many fans over here.
     

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