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Robert Harris

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At first glance, Escape from Fort Bravo, an early post three-strip film from M-G-M "excitingly photographed" in Ansco Color, may cause alarm when it first hits the screen for two reasons - one of which I'm certain will be corrected.

First, the opening, and all dupes, are exceedingly soft, but that what Ansco dupes looked like. Hit original production footage and everything clicks into place.

The other - don't attempt to adjust your TV - is that all M-G-M films of the era were 1.75, not 1.85 as is noted on the back cover. The black bars on the side of your image are as they should be.

Ansco arrived in 1951, and was used for a few films. In 1952 it was used for Bwana Devil and a few other forgotten epics, including The Wild North for M-G-M. 1953 saw eight films in the process including most notably M-G-M's The Knights of the Round Table. It was used into the mid-fifties, but records become a bit cloudy, as M-G-M changed the billing to MetroColor, which later also included Eastman stock. One of the acknowledged later films was Lust for Life, shot by Freddie Young, who averred it to be shot on leftover stock.

Other productions included Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Kiss Me, Kate.

As a film, Fort Bravo is best known for its final gunfight, something for which director Sturges became known. Think O.K Corral.

A good film, that looks gorgeous in all its Ansco glory on this new Blu-ray

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes!

Recommended

RAH
 
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Robert Crawford

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Thank you for letting us know that this Blu-ray looks fine despite the color processing used for the film. This is one of my favorite westerns so I can't wait until my preorder arrives for me to watch on one of my OLEDs.
 

Robin9

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"Image - 5". Many thanks. That was what I was hoping for but didn't expect. I'll now buy this disc.
 

jayembee

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The other - don't attempt to adjust your TV - is that all M-G-M films of the era were 1.75, not 1.85 as is noted on the back cover. The black bars on the side of your image are as they should be.

Interesting in that when WAC announced this, they also announced the 1954 MGM film Athena, which their announcement said was being presented in 1.75. That was the one I was questioning. Thanks (and to Bob Furmanek) for setting that record straight.
 

Les Mangram

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1.75, 1.85, for heavens sake, 16x9 TV is 1.78, so what's the difference? Presumably the film was shot open matte and was shown in cinemas at whatever ratio they were equipped to show, which may have been 1.66:1, 1.75:1, 1.85:1 or even, in some slow adopters, Academy.
 

Robert Harris

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The difference is the 1.75 / 1.85 anomaly.

When I review via projection, the image projects on to black by 1/4 “ on all sides to create a proper matted appearance.

Fort Bravo was noted to be 1.85 in the specs, but projected black edges on the sides, within projected image area, which was incorrect.

Re-checking projector setup against reference that was a known 1.85, projected properly.

Specs on Fort Bravo were incorrect, presumably a typo.

Aspect ratios in home theater environments are very different from theatrical projection, as in a home theater not only the proper aspect ratio as intended as correct by the studio, but also what imagery is within that box, is attainable, unlike theatrical projection.

While opening an image slightly from 1.85 to 1.78 is fine, presuming it physically works and is approved by the filmmaker, in certain instances it can’t be done without damage.

Should, or could a film shot open matte be projected at 1.66 vs 1.85. Possibly not. It all depends upon the individual film.
 

RolandL

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escape.jpg
 

jayembee

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1.75, 1.85, for heavens sake, 16x9 TV is 1.78, so what's the difference? Presumably the film was shot open matte and was shown in cinemas at whatever ratio they were equipped to show, which may have been 1.66:1, 1.75:1, 1.85:1 or even, in some slow adopters, Academy.

I don't worry about 1.85 films being displayed at 1.78. The difference is minimal, but at 1.78, you're getting a little extra image, but again, not enough extra to wreck havoc with what the filmmakers intended.

But a 1.75 film being projected at 1.78 would require trimming off part of the top and bottom of the image, or windowboxing the entire image. There's really no point to doing it that way.
 

M90GM

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At first glance, Escape from Fort Bravo, an early post three-strip film from M-G-M "excitingly photographed" in Ansco Color, may cause alarm when it first hits the screen for two reasons - one of which I'm certain will be corrected.

First, the opening, and all dupes, are exceedingly soft, but that what Ansco dupes looked like. Hit original production footage and everything clicks into place.

The other - don't attempt to adjust your TV - is that all M-G-M films of the era were 1.75, not 1.85 as is noted on the back cover. The black bars on the side of your image are as they should be.

Ansco arrived in 1951, and was used for a few films. In 1952 it was used for Bwana Devil and a few other forgotten epics, including The Wild North for M-G-M. 1953 saw eight films in the process including most notably M-G-M's The Knights of the Round Table. It was used into the mid-fifties, but records become a bit cloudy, as M-G-M changed the billing to MetroColor, which later also included Eastman stock. One of the acknowledged later films was Lust for Life, shot by Freddie Young, who averred it to be shot on leftover stock.

Other productions included Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Kiss Me, Kate.

As a film, Fort Bravo is best known for its final gunfight, something for which director Sturges became known. Think O.K Corral.

A good film, that looks gorgeous in all its Ansco glory on this new Blu-ray

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes!

Recommended

RAH
a "quality" star western - does the blu ray maintain the stereo soundtrack - one of the earliest stereo features.
 

M90GM

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At first glance, Escape from Fort Bravo, an early post three-strip film from M-G-M "excitingly photographed" in Ansco Color, may cause alarm when it first hits the screen for two reasons - one of which I'm certain will be corrected.

First, the opening, and all dupes, are exceedingly soft, but that what Ansco dupes looked like. Hit original production footage and everything clicks into place.

The other - don't attempt to adjust your TV - is that all M-G-M films of the era were 1.75, not 1.85 as is noted on the back cover. The black bars on the side of your image are as they should be.

Ansco arrived in 1951, and was used for a few films. In 1952 it was used for Bwana Devil and a few other forgotten epics, including The Wild North for M-G-M. 1953 saw eight films in the process including most notably M-G-M's The Knights of the Round Table. It was used into the mid-fifties, but records become a bit cloudy, as M-G-M changed the billing to MetroColor, which later also included Eastman stock. One of the acknowledged later films was Lust for Life, shot by Freddie Young, who averred it to be shot on leftover stock.

Other productions included Brigadoon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Kiss Me, Kate.

As a film, Fort Bravo is best known for its final gunfight, something for which director Sturges became known. Think O.K Corral.

A good film, that looks gorgeous in all its Ansco glory on this new Blu-ray

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes!

Recommended

RAH
Beaut transfer yes - and stereo sound. A keeper and worth the upgrade
 

RICK BOND

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Beaut transfer yes - and stereo sound. A keeper and worth the upgrade
Only problem I have with it is the Soft Spots in the movie, and at the End with the cast with their names on the screen. Not sharp at all. Very Soft. I Like the movie Very much. I guess this is the Best they could do with it.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Many on line "proper" review sites list sound wrongly as mono.

I think people just assume a lot of the time and don't pay attention to what's actually on the disc.

I mean, 99.9% of the time, a movie from 1953 will have a mono track.

But you'd think their ears would reveal the difference!
 

benbess

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Escape from Fort Bravo was a blind buy for me, and overall I really enjoyed the star power in this movie, including William Holden, Eleanor Parker (a dozen years before Sound of Music), John Forsythe, William Campbell (Tremaine and Koloth on the original Star Trek), Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man), William Demarest, etc.

The movie includes some striking location footage in Death Valley and other places, which is fairly well blended with the elaborate soundstage recreations of the outdoors that were so common in the 1940s, 1950s, and even 1960s.

Very nice cinematography by Oscar-winner Robert Surtees (The Bad and the Beautiful, Ben-Hur, etc.). Solid score by Jeff Alexander. Stereo sound was a plus.

I found the story compelling, some of which seemed like an homage to John Ford's Westerns. The portrayal of Native Americans is sometimes unfortunate. This is obviously fairly common for that era, but it didn't get to the point where it ruined the movie for me, which it sometimes does with some pre-1960 Westerns. The ending seemed a bit abrupt, but perhaps it's better for audiences to imagine what comes next. I feel like this movie does have rewatch value.

Picture quality was frustratingly inconsistent for me. Maybe somewhere around 90% of the movie looks great, but for me about 10% was just so-so. The image quality could vary from scene to scene from wonderful to mediocre. The good quality stuff was at an "A" level for me, but the weak stuff sprinkled throughout was more like a "B-". I guess my overall pq rating would be a B+. I'm sure Warner Archive, as always, did the best they could with what they had, but from my pov it looks like maybe some bits and pieces from the original negative were missing, and were perhaps replaced with scans from other sources?

I would like to see more movies starring Eleanor Parker, including her Oscar-nominated role in 1955's Interrupted Melody.

bravo.jpeg
interrupted.jpg
 
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RICK BOND

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Escape from Fort Bravo was a blind buy for me, and overall I really enjoyed the star power in this movie, including William Holden, Eleanor Parker (a dozen years before Sound of Music), John Forsythe, William Campbell (Tremaine and Koloth on the original Star Trek), Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man), William Demarest, etc.

The movie includes some striking location footage in Death Valley and other places, which is fairly well blended with the elaborate soundstage recreations of the outdoors that were so common in the 1940s, 1950s, and even 1960s.

Very nice cinematography by Oscar-winner Robert Surtees (The Bad and the Beautiful, Ben-Hur, etc.). Solid score by Jeff Alexander. Stereo sound was a plus.

I found the story compelling, some of which seemed like an homage to John Ford's Westerns. The portrayal of Native Americans is sometimes unfortunate. This is obviously fairly common for that era, but it didn't get to the point where it ruined the movie for me, which it sometimes does with some pre-1960 Westerns. The ending seemed a bit abrupt, but perhaps it's better for audiences to imagine what comes next. I feel like this movie does have rewatch value.

Picture quality was frustratingly inconsistent for me. Maybe somewhere around 80% of the movie looks great, but for me about 20% was just so-so. The image quality could vary from scene to scene from wonderful to mediocre. The good quality stuff was at an "A" level for me, but the weak stuff sprinkled throughout was more like a "B-". I guess my overall pq rating would be a B+. I'm sure Warner Archive, as always, did the best they could with what they had, but from my pov it looks like maybe some bits and pieces from the original negative were missing, and were perhaps replaced with scans from other sources?

I would like to see more movies starring Eleanor Parker, including her Oscar-nominated role in 1955's Interrupted Melody.

View attachment 123751 View attachment 123752
I Love Fort Bravo ! :D To bad the PQ goes from Sharp to Soft during the film. :confused: Love William Holden, and Eleanor is simply Gorgeous !!
aaaaa eleanor parker 10.jpg
 
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Robert Crawford

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I Love Fort Bravo ! :D To bad the PQ goes from Sharp to Soft during the film. :confused: Love William Holden, and Eleanor is simply Gorgeous !!
The PQ on this Blu-ray is by far the best it's ever looked on any home video format. As someone that has watched this fine western many times over the years, I think most of us would be please with this Blu-ray. Those of us that know the history of this film, knows it was filmed with that awful "Anscocolor" process instead of Technicolor.
 

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