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Robert Harris

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As most are aware, very few two-color Technicolor films survive, and those that do are usually not based upon original elements.

"Doctor X," which has been restored from a unique studio nitrate print, is no exception. Preserved in the analogue world a number of years ago, it has now received a spectacular restoration, courtesy of The UCLA Film Archive, under the steady hand of Scott MacQueen.

And it looks magnificent. A worthy companion to Mystery of the Wax Museum.

Along for the ride, courtesy of Warner Archive, is the black & white version of the film, also directed by Michael Curtiz. And speaking of Mr. Curtiz, you'll find a terrific new documentary on his career in the horror genre as one of the bonus features.

This is one that's essential viewing.

You'll also get to see Fay Wray in color, a year before she hit the screen in that other film for RKO.

Image – 4.5

Audio – 4.5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely!

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Colin Jacobson

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I liked the look of the B&W version more. Call me names if you must, but I think 2-strip Technicolor is pretty ugly, so the B&W looks better to me.

I think it's an iffy movie, mainly because the "comedy" scenes the studio forced on Curtiz are lousy.

But the thriller aspects work.

Anyone else suspect John Carpenter "borrowed" the "experiment" scenes for the blood test sequence in "The Thing"?
 

Will Krupp

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If I may ask, is the black & white version, by chance, in HD as well? I know in some cases the "carry along" film is considered an extra and presented in SD. Is that the case here, as well? I'm getting it no matter what but I'd love it less if the B&W is interlaced.
 

JoeDoakes

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I liked the look of the B&W version more. Call me names if you must, but I think 2-strip Technicolor is pretty ugly, so the B&W looks better to me.

I think it's an iffy movie, mainly because the "comedy" scenes the studio forced on Curtiz are lousy.

But the thriller aspects work.

Anyone else suspect John Carpenter "borrowed" the "experiment" scenes for the blood test sequence in "The Thing"?
I haven’t seen the new blu, but there were some who said that the DVD version of this and MITWM did not accurately reflect the colors produced by the two strip process. If so, you might like this release better.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I haven’t seen the new blu, but there were some who said that the DVD version of this and MITWM did not accurately reflect the colors produced by the two strip process. If so, you might like this release better.

I've only ever seen "X" and "Mystery" on BD, so I have no point of comparison to the DVDs!
 

Will Krupp

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I haven’t seen the new blu, but there were some who said that the DVD version of this and MITWM did not accurately reflect the colors produced by the two strip process. If so, you might like this release better.

It was the DVD era transfer of WAX that manipulated the colors in an ill advised attempt (we have to assume) to "improve" the color of the old two color system (it didn't) but I think that DOCTOR X left them alone.
 

Robert Harris

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If I may ask, is the black & white version, by chance, in HD as well? I know in some cases the "carry along" film is considered an extra and presented in SD. Is that the case here, as well? I'm getting it no matter what but I'd love it less if the B&W is interlaced.
Both are new HD presentations. The b/w is taken from the camera negative.
 

Colin Jacobson

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How long is the mini-doc on Michael Curtiz that's included as an extra?

"Madness & Mystery runs 27 minutes, 39 seconds and brings notes from Rode and MacQueen. They discuss the status of Warner Bros. in the late 1920s/early 1930s as well as the involvement of Michael Curtiz as a horror director. Inevitably, some of this repeats from their commentaries, but “Madness” nonetheless delivers a nice overview. "
 

rdf8585

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"Madness & Mystery runs 27 minutes, 39 seconds and brings notes from Rode and MacQueen. They discuss the status of Warner Bros. in the late 1920s/early 1930s as well as the involvement of Michael Curtiz as a horror director. Inevitably, some of this repeats from their commentaries, but “Madness” nonetheless delivers a nice overview. "

Thanks - that sounds like a lot of fun, and it's about 10 minutes longer than the Fay Wray mini-doc that was with MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Mine is supposed to come today - fingers crossed! It’s been a while since I’ve had that little bit of excitement about getting a significant blind buy on street date :)
 

Reed Grele

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Amazon delivered today. Had to watch it right away. You'll not believe how incredibly gorgeous two strip Technicolor can look until you've watched this! As many times as I've watched Doctor X over the past 50 + years, I can honestly say that I've never seen it until today!
 

Josh Steinberg

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Sweet! Hoping to watch mine after the kids go to bed - the 75 minute running time makes that more feasible. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good long movie, but a well constructed short movie is almost more impressive.
 

Reed Grele

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For those who are interested, and don't have the time to sync up two discs, players and monitors, but want to know more about the differences between the Technicolor and B&W versions. Video Watchdog # 42 (1997) has a 10 page article with meticulous comparisons between the 2 versions (written by Richard Harland Smith). The back issue is sold out, but a digital copy is still available here: Video Watchdog # 42 "The Two Faces of Doctor X".

And for those who like a long read, there's also an ongoing and very interesting discussion (salted with various interesting images) that started in 2006 here: http://pre-code.com/doctor-x-1932-review-lee-tracy-fay-wray/
 

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