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Robert Harris

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At least partially based (without credit) on George Cukor's 1932 What Price Hollywood, the 1937 A Star is Born, directed by William Wellman, is a film ripe for a re-make, and might even make an interesting vehicle for a musical, since they seem to be back in style.

Warner Archive's release of this 1937 Technicolor marvel offers a master's class into color design of early three-strip Technicolor.

Since I'd only encountered original dye transfer prints of this film, as well as Nothing Sacred in my travels, I had always presumed - incorrectly, and without evidence - that the overall look of the Selznick films from this era were based entirely upon post color timing, and that if the original negatives were run, the color would be that of the blazing Technicolor one generally thinks to be the norm.

But it isn't.

And this is just one element that makes this release a "must-own" for anyone interested in the technology.

First, and most important, the scanning and color of A Star is Born have been done to perfection, representing what is on the film, and not the look of the film that has survived as prints.

Take a serious look, especially at make-up (most interesting is Janet Gaynor), and you can see the beginnings of the overall desire toward a more subtle palette. Production design and costumes subtly follow suit.

And yet, other than these very tiny design anomalies, this is pure three-strip Technicolor, and one of the earliest we are apt to see from original elements. It should be noted that Scott MacQueen did an analogue recombine from original elements of The Garden of Allah (1936) during his tenure at Disney. Look at the credits of that film, and you'll see that Technicolor was taking an overriding credit, and allowing none for the men behind the camera.

The use of Technicolor grew exponentially from it's feature beginnings in 1935 into the 1940s, as prints could be produced more assuredly, and more cameras became available.

Feature films with the majority of footage in the process went from one in 1935, to five in 1936, six in 1937, thirteen in 1938, twelve in 1939, and sixteen in 1940. There probably would have been more in 1939, had one film not been using multiple cameras.

For those unacquainted with what some may fear to be an antique, A Star is Born is also an extraordinary film. Great screenplay, wonderful acting, some decent music by someone named Steiner, who would work for Selznick again, and magnificent (did I mention Technicolor) cinematography by W. Howard Green, who would do The Adventures of Robin Hood the following year, and was generally the cinematographic king of Technicolor in those early years.

To the basics, black levels are knock-out gorgeous, registration is beyond reproach, and the grain level has been set - yes, there has been grain manipulation, but it's a necessity, especially for early Technicolor - and it works perfectly, mimicking the appearance of a dye transfer print.

Do I love this release from Warner Archive? Let me count the ways.

The cast, led by Janet Gaynor - when she accepts her Academy Award, it actually her award from Seventh Heaven (1927) - Fredric March (you'll recall him from Jekyll and Hyde), Adolph Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine et al. The young woman in the casting office is Peggy Wood.

Presumably, while you'll want a copy, it's also a good idea to hand onto the previous Kino release, based upon an original dye transfer print, to see the two very different looks to this film.

One of the most important releases thus far for 2022.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from first Blu-ray – Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Beautifully

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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jayembee

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Feature films with the majority of footage in the process went from one in 1935, to five in 1936, six in 1937, thirteen in 1938, twelve in 1939, and sixteen in 1940. There probably would have been more in 1939, had one film not been using multiple cameras.

Gee...I wonder to what film you are referring...;)

Presumably, while you'll want a copy, it's also a good idea to hand onto the previous Kino release, based upon an original dye transfer print, to see the two very different looks to this film.

I have to keep my copy of the Kino...if I don't want to break up the Selznick Collection set...
 

Garysb

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Messages
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The color in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" have always appeared more saturated and more what I think of as 3 strip Technicolor, especially in the outdoor scenes, than any version of "A Star Is Born" (1937) that I have seen.

Was there a big jump in technology between 1937 and 1938? Does the Warner Archive version of "Star" better reflect what Technicolor looked like in 1937?
 

Robert Harris

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The color in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" have always appeared more saturated and more what I think of as 3 strip Technicolor, especially in the outdoor scenes, than any version of "A Star Is Born" (1937) that I have seen.

Was there a big jump in technology between 1937 and 1938? Does the Warner Archive version of "Star" better reflect what Technicolor looked like in 1937?
Slightly different intents. The '37 SiB shows what raw imagery looked like toward the final intended (very muted and sepia) result.

As to Robin Hood, the original prints were far more muted than what we see today:

1646415088490.png
 

RobertMG

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Robert M. Grippo
At least partially based (without credit) on George Cukor's 1932 What Price Hollywood, the 1937 A Star is Born, directed by William Wellman, is a film ripe for a re-make, and might even make an interesting vehicle for a musical, since they seem to be back in style.

Warner Archive's release of this 1937 Technicolor marvel offers a master's class into color design of early three-strip Technicolor.

Since I'd only encountered original dye transfer prints of this film, as well as Nothing Sacred in my travels, I had always presumed - incorrectly, and without evidence - that the overall look of the Selznick films from this era were based entirely upon post color timing, and that if the original negatives were run, the color would be that of the blazing Technicolor one generally thinks to be the norm.

But it isn't.

And this is just one element that makes this release a "must-own" for anyone interested in the technology.

First, and most important, the scanning and color of A Star is Born have been done to perfection, representing what is on the film, and not the look of the film that has survived as prints.

Take a serious look, especially at make-up (most interesting is Janet Gaynor), and you can see the beginnings of the overall desire toward a more subtle palette. Production design and costumes subtly follow suit.

And yet, other than these very tiny design anomalies, this is pure three-strip Technicolor, and one of the earliest we are apt to see from original elements. It should be noted that Scott MacQueen did an analogue recombine from original elements of The Garden of Allah (1936) during his tenure at Disney. Look at the credits of that film, and you'll see that Technicolor was taking an overriding credit, and allowing none for the men behind the camera.

The use of Technicolor grew exponentially from it's feature beginnings in 1935 into the 1940s, as prints could be produced more assuredly, and more cameras became available.

Feature films with the majority of footage in the process went from one in 1935, to five in 1936, six in 1937, thirteen in 1938, twelve in 1939, and sixteen in 1940. There probably would have been more in 1939, had one film not been using multiple cameras.

For those unacquainted with what some may fear to be an antique, A Star is Born is also an extraordinary film. Great screenplay, wonderful acting, some decent music by someone named Steiner, who would work for Selznick again, and magnificent (did I mention Technicolor) cinematography by W. Howard Green, who would do The Adventures of Robin Hood the following year, and was generally the cinematographic king of Technicolor in those early years.

To the basics, black levels are knock-out gorgeous, registration is beyond reproach, and the grain level has been set - yes, there has been grain manipulation, but it's a necessity, especially for early Technicolor - and it works perfectly, mimicking the appearance of a dye transfer print.

Do I love this release from Warner Archive? Let me count the ways.

The cast, led by Janet Gaynor - when she accepts her Academy Award, it actually her award from Seventh Heaven (1927) - Fredric March (you'll recall him from Jekyll and Hyde), Adolph Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine et al. The young woman in the casting office is Peggy Wood.

Presumably, while you'll want a copy, it's also a good idea to hand onto the previous Kino release, based upon an original dye transfer print, to see the two very different looks to this film.

One of the most important releases thus far for 2022.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Beautifully

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
THANK YOU BEEN - WAS WAITING ON YOUR TAKE OF THIS EAGERLY AWAITED RELEASE!
 

RobertMG

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Robert M. Grippo
As we have had discussions here before WISH Warners or Criterion would give us GWTW or heck even Adv of Robin Hood in a set that gives us a restortation and a original Technicolor print from the original release. That would be a real history lesson and thanks to KINO issuing their disc of Selznicks Print of ASIB and Warners new release we are getting such a chance.
 

Paul Dalton

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Dec 26, 2000
Messages
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At least partially based (without credit) on George Cukor's 1932 What Price Hollywood, the 1937 A Star is Born, directed by William Wellman, is a film ripe for a re-make, and might even make an interesting vehicle for a musical, since they seem to be back in style.

Warner Archive's release of this 1937 Technicolor marvel offers a master's class into color design of early three-strip Technicolor.

Since I'd only encountered original dye transfer prints of this film, as well as Nothing Sacred in my travels, I had always presumed - incorrectly, and without evidence - that the overall look of the Selznick films from this era were based entirely upon post color timing, and that if the original negatives were run, the color would be that of the blazing Technicolor one generally thinks to be the norm.

But it isn't.

And this is just one element that makes this release a "must-own" for anyone interested in the technology.

First, and most important, the scanning and color of A Star is Born have been done to perfection, representing what is on the film, and not the look of the film that has survived as prints.

Take a serious look, especially at make-up (most interesting is Janet Gaynor), and you can see the beginnings of the overall desire toward a more subtle palette. Production design and costumes subtly follow suit.

And yet, other than these very tiny design anomalies, this is pure three-strip Technicolor, and one of the earliest we are apt to see from original elements. It should be noted that Scott MacQueen did an analogue recombine from original elements of The Garden of Allah (1936) during his tenure at Disney. Look at the credits of that film, and you'll see that Technicolor was taking an overriding credit, and allowing none for the men behind the camera.

The use of Technicolor grew exponentially from it's feature beginnings in 1935 into the 1940s, as prints could be produced more assuredly, and more cameras became available.

Feature films with the majority of footage in the process went from one in 1935, to five in 1936, six in 1937, thirteen in 1938, twelve in 1939, and sixteen in 1940. There probably would have been more in 1939, had one film not been using multiple cameras.

For those unacquainted with what some may fear to be an antique, A Star is Born is also an extraordinary film. Great screenplay, wonderful acting, some decent music by someone named Steiner, who would work for Selznick again, and magnificent (did I mention Technicolor) cinematography by W. Howard Green, who would do The Adventures of Robin Hood the following year, and was generally the cinematographic king of Technicolor in those early years.

To the basics, black levels are knock-out gorgeous, registration is beyond reproach, and the grain level has been set - yes, there has been grain manipulation, but it's a necessity, especially for early Technicolor - and it works perfectly, mimicking the appearance of a dye transfer print.

Do I love this release from Warner Archive? Let me count the ways.

The cast, led by Janet Gaynor - when she accepts her Academy Award, it actually her award from Seventh Heaven (1927) - Fredric March (you'll recall him from Jekyll and Hyde), Adolph Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine et al. The young woman in the casting office is Peggy Wood.

Presumably, while you'll want a copy, it's also a good idea to hand onto the previous Kino release, based upon an original dye transfer print, to see the two very different looks to this film.

One of the most important releases thus far for 2022.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Beautifully

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
I loved this review in almost every regard and I certainly love this movie. However, I was surprised by the author's statement that this movie is "ripe for a re-make".

Goodness gracious, it's already BEEN "remade" 4 times, hasn't it? (None comes close to this original, of course.)

I'm sure the author knows this and is suggesting something more than just another "remake". Can we get some clarification please?
 

compson

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I loved this review in almost every regard and I certainly love this movie. However, I was surprised by the author's statement that this movie is "ripe for a re-make".

Goodness gracious, it's already BEEN "remade" 4 times, hasn't it? (None comes close to this original, of course.)

I'm sure the author knows this and is suggesting something more than just another "remake". Can we get some clarification please?
First time here?
 

ahollis

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I loved this review in almost every regard and I certainly love this movie. However, I was surprised by the author's statement that this movie is "ripe for a re-make".

Goodness gracious, it's already BEEN "remade" 4 times, hasn't it? (None comes close to this original, of course.)

I'm sure the author knows this and is suggesting something more than just another "remake". Can we get some clarification please?
Robert Harris has a very unique sense of dry humor, which is very entertaining. You have now been initiated to it. :banana:
 

Robin9

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I loved this review in almost every regard and I certainly love this movie. However, I was surprised by the author's statement that this movie is "ripe for a re-make".

Goodness gracious, it's already BEEN "remade" 4 times, hasn't it? (None comes close to this original, of course.)

I'm sure the author knows this and is suggesting something more than just another "remake". Can we get some clarification please?
Delete: duplicates other posts.
 

Joel Arndt

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I loved this review in almost every regard and I certainly love this movie. However, I was surprised by the author's statement that this movie is "ripe for a re-make".

Goodness gracious, it's already BEEN "remade" 4 times, hasn't it? (None comes close to this original, of course.)

I'm sure the author knows this and is suggesting something more than just another "remake". Can we get some clarification please?
Welcome back Paul! I see you've been "auditioning" at HTF for 20+ years. I hope you don't wait another 20+ years to see the replies to your post. Mr. Harris, as others have said, has a very dry sense of humor.

And as to ASIB, I pre-ordered it before this review and now eagerly await its arrival. It'll be interesting to compare it with the Kino Blu.
 

Mark B

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Ah-h-h, yes, but somehow something usually does. Which, in and of itself, is pretty amazing.

Until then, I'm buying the WAC and keeping the KL, too.:thumbs-up-smiley:
I know what you're saying, but this one has been a 40 year wait, and I can't think of anything else I have wanted more than a decent version. This is more than I had ever imagined was possible. I feel it is one of the most satisfying films produced in the golden age.
 

PMF

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I know what you're saying, but this one has been a 40 year wait, and I can't think of anything else I have wanted more than a decent version. This is more than I had ever imagined was possible. I feel it is one of the most satisfying films produced in the golden age.
It’s always inspiring when learning of a collector who finally sees one of their personal Holy Grail films come to light. 40 years is a patience well deserving of its rewards and, based on RAH’s review, WAC has clearly delivered and excelled. Meanwhile, if so compelled, please report back upon your initial viewing, as your perspectives will add much to the discussions of what we all shall soon be seeing.
 
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OLDTIMER

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This will be a must for me. I always thought that the original negs had been lost, Maybe the "lost" negs of "Nothing Sacred" will also turn up.
 
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PMF

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GI thought the “release of the year” per the other thread is supposed to be 1776?
Now I’m confused! :confused:
And the nominees (thus far) are:

1776
4K/UHD - A Grover Crisp Stand-Alone: How to Rival a Volumed Set
The Godfather
4K/UHD - A Robert A. Harris Master-Class in Restoration: Advancements, Articulations and Revision
The Little Rascals (Vol. 6)
BD Series - A David Kawas Quest: Fund-Raising and the Preservation of All Original Elements Fulfilled
A Star is Born
3-Strip/OCN - A George Fentelstein Homecoming: The Coup
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
Cinerama/Smilebox - A David Strohmaier Expedition: How Fairy-Tales and Wishes Get Turned into Realities
 
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