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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ Phantom of the Opera (1943) - Universal Classic Monsters 2 -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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As I probably won't get through Universal's Classic Monsters 2 in 4k UHD on a timely basis, I thought it best to post thoughts as I'm able.

Sampling the new 4k of Phantom of the Opera, my mind immediately went to the 1935 Becky Sharp, as directed by Rouben Mamoulian, and photographed by Ray Rennahan in the then new three-strip Technicolor process.

Eight years later, W. Howard Greene and Hal Mohr took a similar stance to Mr. Rennahan's with their startlingly red costumes, which virtually burst off the screen in proper Technicolor fashion.

Very much akin to what Warner Archive has been doing recently with their three-strip restorations, Universal presents their big budget 1943 Tech production with full respect. It was one of only three by the studio that year - the other two being White Savage and Cobra Woman.

This new 4k restoration surpasses everything that has been seen on home video for the film, presenting it very much like it might have appeared in contemporary 35mm prints.

Colors are meticulously rendered, black levels and gray scale are beautiful, and the grain structure - properly detrained - appears akin to that of the way the original dyes might have been imbibed, thereby diminishing the exceedingly grainy textures of three-strip when improperly rendered to 4k UHD.

While it's a very good film, it's never a great one, and certainly not up to the frights offered by the 1925 original. One might consider it a combination of horror with more than a bit of musical.

For both the uninitiated as well as those steeped in the lore of three-strip, this release gets you very close to the original concept.

Image – 5 (HDR10)

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 2.0 Monuaral)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 4

Highly Recommended

RAH

 

BobO'Link

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I've always thought of this one as a musical with a hint of horror.

I've also never understood why Universal has never released this with the Lon Chaney silent in a "Legacy Collection" like was done with the other classic Universal Horror titles.
 

Robert Harris

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One more piece of information.

Universal created the new restoration via 4k scans of the three original nitrate Technicolor negatives.

For those who appreciate the quality of the Warner Archive restorations, that’s the quality you’re receiving.
 

Robert Crawford

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One more piece of information.

Universal created the new restoration via 4k scans of the three original nitrate Technicolor negatives.

For those who appreciate the quality of the Warner Archive restorations, that’s the quality you’re receiving.
I was going to say in that other thread that this 4K disc looked a lot better than that 2012 Blu-ray.
 

usrunnr

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JONATHAN, re your email about my issues: not being able to access HTF on AOL. I cannot even find your request. Clicking on your email only brings up HTF for one second before the screen goes blank. ONLY THIS SITE!

Whenever I try to open HTF from my Favorites list, or from a new search, the site pops in for one second and then disappears. I do not know where to post this, or where to find CONVERSATIONS.

I am on google chrome now to write this response.
 

aPhil

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I know that, but sometimes labels get rid of old stock by repackaging a Blu-ray with the 4K disc.
Unfortunately, with many films, this is the case. The only film (that I know of) in their Hitchcock series of UHD releases that also has the newer transfer on the included Blu-ray is "Psycho" — And that is the only one that I have purchased (and the Blu-ray looks fantastic).

I'm still assuming that the included 1080P Blu-ray in the UHD of 1943 Phantom of the Opera contains only the older Blu-ray.

Also, can anyone confirm what source/film element(s) was/were used for the older Blu-ray?
 

Gerani53

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As I understand it, the same three original Technicolor negative elements for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA '43 were used for the version we've been watching for decades, on VHS, laserdisc, DVD, and finally Blu-ray. An IP (inter-positive) was made from these negs, and a transfer of this IP was used for video. It's exactly the same material that has just been utilized for the 4K UHD, except they now have scanned those three T-negs, a process that makes the image that much stronger. But the Technicolor values "underneath" are essentially the same ones we've been enjoying for years (PHANTOM '43 always looked terrific), only now 4K upgraded, scanned, and fully corrected (minor registration issues).
 

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