A Few Words About A few words about... Lifeboat

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What I'm about to discuss here, may seem like an oxymoron.

    I've just been sampling Fox's DVD release of Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, a release which has been a long time coming.

    What I've seen is a film which looks as good or better than it has in the past 25 years, and to my eye is a fine release.

    But this is not to say that there aren't problems.

    Before HTF'ers begin lighting torches and heading for Century City after viewing their copy, let me make a special note that the main title sequence has had problems for decades, due to what appears to be nitrate decomposition.

    This will appear on screen as white bubble-like artifacts during the entire main title sequence and leading up to the introduction of Ms. Bankhead in the lifeboat.

    Could this be corrected digitally?

    Probably. But not with any automation. By hand, laboriously cloning pixels through the entire sequence, and very much by trial and error. And the final result could easily look worse than the decomp.

    To me, the damage reinforces a message which needs constant repeating. That support is necessary to the archival institution of your choice to help save other films still in danger of extinction.

    If it can happen to Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat...

    So I suggest putting this bit of film damage aside, and enjoying one of the masterpieces of the war years, finally brought to DVD with a fine commentary by USC Hitchcock Chair Professor Drew Casper.

    Consider it a short college course, for the price of a quality DVD, which could not come with higher recommendations from these quarters.

    RAH
     
  2. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

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    Excellent. I've never seen Lifeboat so I'm REALLY looking forward to checking out this DVD.

    Thank-you, for pointing out the cause of the problems during the title sequence RAH.
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I haven't watched my laserdisc of this for about 5 years, so I don't recall how the titles looked, but as long as this looks better than the ld, which it almost certainly will, I'll be a happy camper.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Far superior to the laser.

    No complaints from this direction.
     
  5. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    ROTFLMAO!
     
  6. PatrickDA

    PatrickDA Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, Richard!!! Classic quote by Mr. Harris!!!! Had me
    laughing for several mins.

    I'm sure 'Lifeboat' looks just fine and I look forward to
    adding it to my collection!
     
  7. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Looking forward to it.

    Lifeboat is one Hitchcock I have never seen, and I'm quite intrigued by the concept of the film.
     
  8. HaigH

    HaigH Agent

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    Drew Casper holding the Alma and Alfred Hitchcock chair at USC, this appears to be his FIRST ever commentary on an actual Hitchcock film. I am looking forward to what he has to say, the man is quite the character indeed.
     
  9. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    And he is utterly on fire when he teaches Hitchcock, one of the two best classes I've taken at USC. We watched Lifeboat last year as a doublefeature with Notorious. Casper is a very vain and crazy old man and he is under the delusion that the class preferred lifeboat to Notorious. This is not true, but it's what he prefers to think for whatever reasons he wants to think it.
     
  10. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

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    Sounds like the kind of person that takes things a little too seriously. But I guess we all need a hobby. [​IMG]

    I'm glad I can finally mark this one off of the most wanted list. I've always found "Lifeboat" to be very hypnotic. I only wish they would have had better technology back in those days for shooting this kind of film. It distracts ever so slightly from the experience. But only slightly. This is Hitchcock at his best imo. Glad to hear it looks good.
     
  11. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    LOL, Adam...do you mention it because he says something like that on the commentary track?
     
  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    That's what he told us at least, the week after he recorded it last fall.
     
  13. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I wonder if he'll comment on Ms. Bankhead's (lack of) undergarments. [​IMG]
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One of the classic Hitchcock stories....

    RAH
     
  15. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    "I don't know if this is a matter for the costume department, makeup, or hairdressing."
     
  16. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

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    I bet that film crew was the happiest on the lot. [​IMG] Is there an unrated version of this DVD? [​IMG]

    Ha! Now that would be an easter egg.
    [​IMG]

    Sorry, I'll behave now [​IMG]
     
  17. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    never seen this one either

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Pete York

    Pete York Supporting Actor

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    Robert Harris wrote:


    I'm not sure I've ever thought too seriously about this until recently. Any advice on where to start?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For a good start:

    George Eastman House

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Film Archive

    The UCLA Film & Television Archive

    The Library of Congress
     
  20. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    Casper did tell us that story in class, he also passed on this jewel. Someone once asked Bankhead if Cary Grant were gay,
     

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