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Chuck_Kahn

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TGTBTU looks better than previous releases, but I cannot go so far as to call it "stunning." There's a fair amount of black crush in the forced grade. It's hard to work within the Rec 709 SDR space as the provided master is in.
Can anyone explain how the 4K Kinos of the first two Dollars films ended up looking stunning compared to the black crush of TGTBTU? Different transfer facility? Different source elements? Older transfer technology? Different DOP? I gots to know. (oops wrong franchise)
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Can anyone explain how the 4K Kinos of the first two Dollars films ended up looking stunning compared to the black crush of TGTBTU? Different transfer facility? Different source elements? Older transfer technology? Different DOP? I gots to know. (oops wrong franchise)

The "source" for the TGTBTU 4K remaster was simply far more problematic w/ all the various problems already baked in that Kino attempted to undo -- and there's really only so much anyone can undo of those various problems w/out yielding too many/much new/more problems (that might make the overall net results worse).

For this 4K remaster, AFAIK, they weren't given any new source elements, but basically just recycling the old, problematic transfer that they tried to fix. So yeah, TGTBTU remains the worst PQ-wise of the trilogy pretty much just as before, but Kino's (best attempts) at fixing it did seem to yield notably better results than before bringing it a fair bit closer to the other two despite the remaining issues...

_Man_
 

sultan of cinema

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I wouldn't call A Fistful Of Dollars stunning yet. For A Few Dollars More is. Take a look at the Italian Fistful Of Dollars (Region Free RHV) and you will see stunning. The Good The Bad And The Ugly still, I agree, is cold looking. I concur with ManW that Kino fixed something not from the original elements but from an already "diseased" source.
 

Chuck_Kahn

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I wouldn't call A Fistful Of Dollars stunning yet. For A Few Dollars More is. Take a look at the Italian Fistful Of Dollars (Region Free RHV) and you will see stunning. The Good The Bad And The Ugly still, I agree, is cold looking. I concur with ManW that Kino fixed something not from the original elements but from an already "diseased" source.
I'm looking at the screenshots at DVDBeaver comparing Kino 4K to RHV 1080p and Kino 4K still looks better. Also looks less cold. Also seems to be a greenish cast in the church bell shot compared to the Kino. http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film10/blu-ray_review_151/a_fistful_of_dollars_4K_UHD.htm
 

Chewbabka

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Spencer Draper

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Duck You Sucker it seems is cursed. Every version has problems and there's no easy fix aside from a completely new scan and work done by those who put in the time and research. Kino has already said they saw no value in doing so.
Unfortunately this means we're still stuck with two masters (MGM and Italian) with different issues and neither is what it should be. The Italian master then got the dreaded color timing applied so you have to track down the problematic original OOP import disc to have this screwy master without the bad color.
Then there's all the audio problems from censored dialogue to sync problems...and worst of all the incorrect music cues MGM placed in their track. The Italian BD has English mono but the quality isn't great and it goes offsync before switching to the Italian for the ending.

If someone was to finally do an archival minded release there would have to be something about the various release versions with not only different titles but different soundmixes. The censoring of the English mono originally happened when the film was cut down for a PG reissue when the original release failed at the box office.

As it stands:
MGM master-color favors browns and greens, is cropped from what is seen on the Italian release, the 5.1 remix uses the censored version as a base and places the new effects on top of the original effects-but worst of all it removes Morricone cues to replace them with incorrect ones. Most painful of all is that it does this in the final flashback and changes the meaning of the scene entirely!!! The "mono" on these releases is only a folddown of the 5.1 remix.
Italian master-the full framing is intact but many issues abound and the transfer is far too bright. It becomes a tradeoff whether you take this version with warts and all or the MGM master. The Italian audio is fine but the English mono while uncensored and complete doesn't sound vey good and has sync problems. As said above the ending cuts to the Italian mono. This master was then taken and given the terrible yellow color wash that complicates everything.

Kino just put out the MGM master in 1080p. The best release so far in terms of someone really trying with what is available is the Eureka UK release which presents the MGM master on one disc and the Italian on the other. Sadly they had to use what they had and the Italian is the second yellow-ized version. Both are trimmed slightly for horsefalls due to the BBFC.

Ironically the old 1996 MGM master on LD (and it's 2002 PAL DVD only port) is only missing the full final flashback and is otherwise perfect in its uncensored English mono-which is the best sounding release I'm aware of. The color looks excellent and has none of the issues on either HD master. The only other thing it doesn't have is the final
"what about me?"
line which weirdly is on the previous attempt at an extended video version the prior Image Laserdisc which is 139m and has the censored dialogue mono-and of course to further muddy the waters it carries the Duck You Sucker title.

It pains me to no end that one of the most powerful films I've ever seen and arguably Leone's most adult film continues to be treated this way.
 

Chuck_Kahn

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The commentary tracks from Tim Lucas and Christopher Frayling can't seem to agree on who's point of view the opening shot of For a Few Dollars More represents -- Tim thinks Van Cleef and Christopher thinks Eastwood. 🤔
 

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