A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Great Escape (Criterion) - in Blu-ray

trajan007

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That's how it looked in 1963!
I saw it in the theater in 63. Too far back for m
I wasn't aware of any increased grain, I just had another look & there is maybe a tiny bit, the picture is lighter, so you might notice it more, but that's a little bit of the picture blow up. I don't think that I'll notice any grain in normal viewing mode (unless I get up close to the screen & look for it). As I posted earlier on, the colour looks spot on to me. We've had a too cold Blu-ray & before that a too contrasty DVD & before that a flat non-anamorphic DVD. I just wish Criterion had released this in the UK, but I have a multi-region player now.
Look at the green landscape. The older bluray looks more defined to me.
 

trajan007

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If things can look better than when they first came out. Why not? Don't get me wrong I appreciate what Criterion is doing.
 

displacedneb

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Thanks for Criterion unearthing the 1991 commentary track. However, Criterion did not resurrect the Supplements from the 1991 Laser Disc and chose instead to import those from more recent MGM/UA BluRay release. Boo. The 1991 supplements had director Sturges talking about his approach to film making with many pictures on illustrate the actual shoot.
 

Robert Crawford

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I personally think it's a great looking disc/transfer. It's funny as most people (correctly) complain about discs/transfers with a lot of DNR and lack of grain, wanting a faithful representation, but then when they get a proper transfer, on some releases, such as this one, they don't like the grain.
Yup, I've been noticing that for a long time.
 

Mark Stenroos

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I watched the new Criterion version last night. I greatly prefer it to the 2013 BluRay. Yes, I like the grain. The whole picture is clear, clean and natural to my way of looking, and the mono ST is fine. Worth the $30.
 

titch

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However, Criterion did not resurrect the Supplements from the 1991 Laser Disc and chose instead to import those from more recent MGM/UA BluRay release. Boo. The 1991 supplements had director Sturges talking about his approach to film making with many pictures on illustrate the actual shoot.
Are you talking about the CAV supplementary section on side four of the laserdisc, with the audio introduction and still frame essay? I agree, this was a marvellous supplement. It was really detailed, explaining how Sturges planned the construction of both the camp and the film, photos of the real airman that were incarcerated there, and a complete list of the men who were executed after the escape. Also presented were publicity photos, continuity photos, and excerpts from the script of scenes that had to be deleted because of time constraints. I'm not aware of any CAV step-by-step supplements from any laserdiscs having been resurrected/reconstructed for high-definition. The technological limits notwithstanding, the visuals from a 1991 video master would look terrible on a blu-ray - so visual supplements from the laserdisc era generally have to be redone from scratch. Supplements from a DVD ported over to blu-ray often do not look good either, projected onto a 150 inch screen. Remember, you are paying under $30 for this today, after discounts. Back in the day, I had to fork out about $80 (about $150 today, after adjusting for inflation) + shipping for that lovely, gatefold issue. There just isn't the money flowing around anymore to produce extensive supplements. I'm just glad Criterion still are doing such fine work.
 

Keith Cobby

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I find the increased grain very distracting. Especially in outdoor scenes. Makes the image look unstable. Just my opinion.
Although i haven't bought this new release, i agree with your point about grain and how distracting it is. I think this may be due to more of us watching films on ever larger panels. I have a 65 OLED and have been rewatching favourites. The large format films look superb (eg Spartacus etc) but many others look like Brownian motion!
 
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Billy Batson

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You should just love the Disney Blu-ray of SWORD IN THE STONE, and THE LONGEST DAY, and …. ;)
Ha, I really mean that I don't expect to notice film grain unless I really look for it (I just can't remember seeing it in the cinema all those years ago). I can imagine the original film-makers looking at some Blu-rays & saying: Oo, it looks nice & sharp, but where's all that grain coming from? And yes, The Longest Day is a plastic mess (a shame, as apart from the big dollop of DNR, it's a great transfer, & a massive step up from the DVD)...all things in moderation.

The Blu-ray should arrive in Blighty any day now (all things considered).
 
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RICK BOND

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I got mine yesterday from Amazon. BIG difference over the old MGM disc. Very Happy :D with this New Criterion release. I will be doing a poster art cover for it. Criterion has terrible covers ! :(
 
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tenia

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Just a shame Pixelogic/Radius 60 still don't know how to properly handle a BD encode of 4K-sourced material. They gave a higher AVB to the movie than MGM, yet managed to yield a blockier result. Incredible. Hopefully, Criterion will REALLY take the matter seriously soon. They're aware of it, it's something they're paying for and settle for, not something out of their hands. I wonder what they've been waiting for all these years. It's really too bad to see them stumble at this last step while they could avoid it.
 
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Worth

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Although i haven't bought this new release, i agree with your point about grain and how distracting it is. I think this may be due to more of us watching films on ever larger panels. I have a 65 OLED and have been rewatching favourites. The large format films look superb (eg Spartacus etc) but many others look like Brownian motion!
35mm release prints tended to smooth over grain little. Digital's greater sharpness and stability can make grain appear more like noise.
 

cb1

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I give the video 2.5 out of 5.
some scenes are crisp and fantastic and others grainy and blurry. Reminds me of the Green Berets. clear and crisp - blurry - back to clear and crisp. Started getting annoying after a while.
movie - great
sound - great
extras - great
video - meh
this was the same deal with the 2013 version. we are all aware of the film - damage, dupes, fading, opticals, etc. and I'm not talking about the intentional softness of some of the scenes. Also, lots of the comments in the old thread were deleted for some reason.
 

Billy Batson

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Yes, but does it look as good as it could look? I didn't like the cold look of the MGM release (& just why did they do that?) & the film is full of dupes & is getting on for 60 years old, & it was a huge success, which is not good news for an old movie.
 
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lark144

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I think it looked fantastic, but, people are welcome to their opinion.
Me Too! Have no intention of aruging with anyone about this. They are certainly welcome to their opinion, as Robert states. I thought it was very filmic. None of the issues which stuck out on the MGM like a sore thumb from the getgo--milkiness, inconsistent light and color from shot to shot, flicker, haloing, weird grain that clumped into noise-like patterns due to extreme dupiness. Also dirt, specs and some raggedness; in a word, a typical MGM master.

I don't know what elements were used, but the Criterion looks wonderful to me. A beautiful presentaion. I saw it a lot when it first opened, and I would say this looks even better. The timing is especially distinctive. It's darker than the MGM, yet the colors are truer and more saturated; as they were in those DeLuxe United Artists prints of the early to mid 1960's, like THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. To sum up: Boffo, Bango, Hotsy Totsy. I can't wait to watch it again.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I think it looked fantastic, but, people are welcome to their opinion.
I agree that the Criterion looks great and it's a huge upgrade over the old BD.

People defended the MGM and claimed that was as good as it could look. They were wrong. The Criterion looks natural but also comes with much improved definition.

The MGM looked "processed" and noise reduced. It had dull colors.

Everything about the Criterion offers an upgrade...
 
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Jeffrey D

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Maybe someone here can enlighten me- the 4th of July celebration scene, when Tom is discovered- that scene looked noticeably darker and grainier than the rest of the film. Was that shot with a different film stock?
 

Billy Batson

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Maybe someone here can enlighten me- the 4th of July celebration scene, when Tom is discovered- that scene looked noticeably darker and grainier than the rest of the film. Was that shot with a different film stock?
Yeah, it's always looked like that. It's like it was shot using some sort of fog filter, well it is supposed to be very early in the morning, so maybe they wanted to get a misty look. Whatever, that's what we have.
 

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