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Robert Harris

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Paramount's post 1948 nitrate library, covering just a couple of years still owned by the studio - earlier titles are owned by Universal - have been problematic since the original elements were destroyed.

Unfortunately, this affects some extraordinary titles.

George Stevens' A Place in the Sun is one of them.

Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, in a production based upon Theodore Dreiser's novel "An American Tragedy."

Photographed by William C Mellor, who was also behind the camera on a number of Mr. Stevens' other films; edited by William Hornbeck (ditto), and with a score by Franz Waxman.

A Place in the Sun exudes quality from the first frame to the last.

The problems begin with almost four minutes of printer function dupes, which which there is no cure once one is down a few generations.

After that, once we're in what would have been production footage, things get a bit better, but the film element is still down enough to eat up virtually any shadow detail, while concurrently exacerbating grain structure, just a bit.

My take is that there's nothing that Paramount could have done to solve the problems. So, I'll accept this as the best that can be done, and be thrilled to have one of the finest films ever made on Blu-ray.

This isn't Mr. Dreiser's first film version of his novel. The initial was aptly entitled An American Tragedy, also from Paramount , with Josef von Sternberg at the helm. It's available as a DVD from Universal.

Absolutely worth adding to any serious cinema library.

Image – 3.25

Audio – 4.5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Yes

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Thanks. Didn't see this earlier. I've had the imprint which was pretty disappointing although not as weak as the washed-out DAY OF THE LOCUST... I hope this release is at least, marginally better. My expectations have been appropriately lowered...
 
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Andrew Budgell

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Thank you for your review, Mr. Harris. I've had the Imprint release for nearly a year, but I'm pleased A Place in the Sun has finally made its North American Blu-ray debut.
 

Angelo Colombus

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Thanks. Didn't see this earlier. I've had the imprint which was pretty disappointing although not as weak as the washed-out DAY OF THE LOCUST... I hope this release is at least, marginally better. My expectations have been appropriately lowered...
Was very disappointed about Imprint's Blu-ray release of Day of the Locust which looked horrible.
 

ghostwind

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Thanks. Didn't see this earlier. I've had the imprint which was pretty disappointing although not as weak as the washed-out DAY OF THE LOCUST... I hope this release is at least, marginally better. My expectations have been appropriately lowered...
I also have the Imprint and am not sure if I should get this, as they are most likely identical, being from the same master within 1 year. Has anyone reviewed both?
 

Robert Crawford

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I also have the Imprint and am not sure if I should get this, as they are most likely identical, being from the same master within 1 year. Has anyone reviewed both?
I'm not so sure they're from the same master as I have the Imprint Blu-ray and it looked like it was sourced from the same master used for the iTunes HD digital at that time. However, over the last couple of weeks, I sampled that iTunes HD digital again and it looks better than what I remembered from previous viewing of it.
 

cda1143

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…This isn't Mr. Dreiser's first film version of his novel. The initial was aptly entitled An American Tragedy, also from Paramount , with Josef von Sternberg at the helm. It's available as a DVD from Universal.

Absolutely worth adding to any serious cinema library….
Robert: Does this absolutely worth refer to An American Tragedy?

Thank you
 

ghostwind

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I'm not so sure they're from the same master as I have the Imprint Blu-ray and it looked like it was sourced from the same master used for the iTunes HD digital at that time. However, over the last couple of weeks, I sampled that iTunes HD digital again and it looks better than what I remembered from previous viewing of it.
It would be strange to have two masters done within a year, as it could be costly. I'm just not sure that this Paramount release warrants another buy, especially since the rating is not very good. I was just curious if anyone had both physical discs or if there's a comparison out there.
 

filmnoirguy

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I guess I'll just ride with my DVD of A Place in the Sun. Happy I didn't order the Blu-ray before reading your review.
 

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I've watched the first few chapters now, on my 65" LG OLED and I can say confidently that it feels MUCH BETTER than the imprint edition or the DVD. While it's not perfect, it was well worth the double-dip, especially considering the genius of the film itself and the extraordinary performances and direction. It's a kind of filmmaking I don't think we will ever see again. I'm very glad to own this Paramount blu ray edition
 

Robert Harris

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One point that I neglected to mention are the drop-shadows in the main titles.

Very interesting visually, as the shadow perspective is quite unusual. Just a tiny tech attribute in an extraordinary production.
 

PatrickDA

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One point that I neglected to mention are the drop-shadows in the main titles.

Very interesting visually, as the shadow perspective is quite unusual. Just a tiny tech attribute in an extraordinary production.

I had never noticed them before viewing this blu-ray. Very interesting.
 

Randy Korstick

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One of my favorite films and my favorite Clift performance. I watched the Laserdisc about 10 times from the late 80's throughout the 90's but haven't seen it since. I'm overdue for a revisit. I never picked up the DVD so I'm sure this will be a good upgrade.
 

filmnoirguy

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Robert: I own the Paramount Blu-ray of Sunset Blvd. (1950) and I'm very satisfied with the quality. How does the Paramount Blu-ray of A Place in the Sun (1951) compare?
 

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