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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Odessa File -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ronald Neame's 1974 The Odessa File, based upon the spy thriller by Frederick Forsyth, holds up nicely after almost forty years.

    While it has certain '70s attributes that may make it seem a bit old-fashioned at times, it's still a very good view.

    One of those '70s attributes, of which I was unaware, is the score by one 25 year-old Andrew Lloyd Webber, who had previously provided a piece for Gumshoe (1971) and orchestrations for Jesus Christ Superstar (1973).

    His work on Odessa File seems occasionally out of place, and just odd.  Short episodic interludes, which seem not quite to fit the action.

    I like "Scores," and by that I mean, Herrmann, Korngold, Newman, Waxman, Steiner, et al.

    As a Blu-ray, The Odessa File shines, with a very film-like appearance.

    Grain, both the amount and structure, seem totally correct.  Blacks work nicely, along with requisite shadow detail. The track is uncompressed PCM.

    While The Odessa File may not be one of the greatest films of the '70s that has "stood the test of time," it has held up nicely, and still entertains.

    The Odessa Files comes to us as part of Columbia's program with Image Entertainment.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    I'm pleasantly surprised to see this hit your radar, RAH. I'm a huge Frederick Forsyth fan, and as such am very interested in the film adaptations of his works. Glad to hear this one made it to Blu in good shape. Thanks for the review!

    Now, if only Uni would give us a nice Blu of Fred Zinnemann's superb adaptation of Forsyth's The Day Of The Jackal as part of their 100th Anniversary celebration. And while I'm dreaming, it would be nice to finally get a release of the also excellent The Fourth Protocol (1987) as well.
     
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  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Memory tells me I saw The Odessa File at least twice at the Pantages. Never saw it again till maybe a year ago when I caught it on cable. I was happy to see that it did indeed hold up decently, and there was much I could better appreciate now. Oddly, I always remembered that main titles song, but nothing else of the score. You might even have said there was no other music and I would have believed it. Still, one of a slew of pretty fine '70s thrillers.

    (Enjoyed the book, too, and am crazy about Jackal.)
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Perry Como.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Woops. OMG, yes!
     
  6. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    There's a good R2 special edition of THE FOURTH PROTOCOL available from Amazon UK while you wait. And it may be a wait; the title can be downloaded from the Warner Archive, which has yet to make it available as a MOD disc, let alone a Blu-ray.
     
  7. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Bob, thanks for the heads-up on TFP. I checked the download at the Warner store, and unfortunately it is Windows-only (I'm a Mac guy). On a whim, I also checked iTunes and it is available there both for rent and purchase, so I bought it. I believe you are correct; the chance of seeing this on Blu is slim-to-none. Of course, now that I bought the download it'll show up as a MOD in the next Warner Archives newsletter...
     
  8. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Actually, Warner Bros' rights to this film are suppose to expire soon. Posted on their Facebook page on March 14:
    That explains why they have done nothing with it recently, so the R2 disc is indeed the best alternative currently. I wonder where this will end up after the R1 rights expire. VCI?
     
  9. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    I am curious as to the licensing (or distribution ) agreements between the studios and say Image vs Twilight Time. If it is a desirable title I am quite willing to pay the going rate - but I have to admit if something such as The Odessa File can be had for half of what Twilight would have to charge if they had released it the savings are noticeable. And in this case the image quality is consistent with what we have been receiving from Sony.
     
  10. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Has there been a bad/disappointing Sony HD transfer yet? They seem to be pretty consistently good quality no matter what distributor gets them.
     
  11. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    They had a rocky start with bluray and several mediocre transfers and a few others along the way (some of which they probably weren't the responsible culprits) but yes, in general they are the best IMO.
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    The Fourth Protocol?
     
  13. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Supporting Actor

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    THE ODESSA FILE is my favorite film with a score I hate. I always wanted to be filthy rich, buy the film and have it re-scored. It's the worst film score ever written, imo; and, I'm including THE CREEPING TERROR, when I saw "ever". I do, however, like "Christmas Dream".
     
  14. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I feel the same way about the score for Family Business, i think music plays a vital part and if the score is wrong it can damage the film.
     
  15. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    Mr. Harris, I would love to know what you said about this release, but I'm not seeing much in your first post. I've noticed this same issue in other slightly older posts, where part or all is missing. Any ideas, anyone?
     
  16. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    The Fourth Protocol made it to Region 1 DVD on a release from Brazil, of all places, as O Quarto Protocolo. Unlike the VHS, it's widescreen, even anamorphic. And it's in English.
     
  17. Mike Frezon

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    We were able to fix things in the OP. It was related to a software conversion when we switched platforms a couple years ago. Thanks for pointing it out.
     
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  18. Virgoan

    Virgoan Second Unit

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    Andrew Lloyd Webber did more than just orchestrations for "Jesus Christ, Superstar" -- he was the score's composer. Tim Rice was his lyricist.
     

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