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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)

Gerani53

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Properly-handled negative scans generally blow away IP transfers, no question. Add to that the 4K upgrade factor. But the actual Technicolor tonal values here are identical, because they come from exactly the same source. They've simply had, not one, but two substantial technical upgrades.
 

Robert Crawford

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Properly-handled negative scans generally blow away IP transfers, no question. Add to that the 4K upgrade factor. But the actual Technicolor tonal values here are identical, because they come from exactly the same source. They've simply had, not one, but two substantial technical upgrades.
The only thing I know is the 4K disc looks much better than the Blu-ray. To me, that's the important fact!
 

Gerani53

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Honestly, I was just answering aPhil's question from #14 -- "Can anyone confirm what source/film element(s) was/were used for the older Blu-ray?". Explaining that the same source material was used, but transferred differently (scans) and with a 4K upgrade, seemed like the best way to answer that question.
 

Robert Crawford

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Honestly, I was just answering aPhil's question from #14 -- "Can anyone confirm what source/film element(s) was/were used for the older Blu-ray?". Explaining that the same source material was used, but transferred differently (scans) and with a 4K upgrade, seemed like the best way to answer that question.
I don't know, but ten years is a long time ago when that Blu-ray came out.
 

aPhil

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Honestly, I was just answering aPhil's question from #14 -- "Can anyone confirm what source/film element(s) was/were used for the older Blu-ray?". Explaining that the same source material was used, but transferred differently (scans) and with a 4K upgrade, seemed like the best way to answer that question.

Thanks, Gerani53, but, no, a 3-negative recombine is not the same element (or source material) as an interpositive.

In the world of film elements, the original camera negative (that is, the negative that actually ran through the camera and recorded the original image) is the original source for everything that flows downhill, but everything used after or downhill from the original camera negative is not the same source.

My question still is not really answered. That question is this --
Does anyone with insider information know what source was used for the original Blu-ray of 1943 The Phantom of the Opera ?
My assumption is that it was not the original camera negatives.
 

Gerani53

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But I believe it's been the same source material all along, just transferred differently into different video formats over the decades. After all, you can't get any better than the three original negatives as a starting point. I remember how impressed we were when the laserdisc first came out in the 1980s, delighted that the IP (which is what everyone used for video transfers back then) was made from the recombined negs, rather than from a singular source. Although disliked by many die-hard horror fans, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA '43 was a massive success for Universal. Beyond being a box-office and critical hit, it earned five Academy Award nominations (!), and actually won three well-deserved Oscars: one for art direction, one for sets, and the other for Technicolor cinematography. As the film was among Universal's earliest Technicolor releases, the studio was rightfully proud of this significant industry acknowledgment, and most of us fans back in the '80s were impressed that U had enough respect for its own legacy that it treated PHANTOM '43 with unexpected care, at least in terms of its visual presentation. Now, in a new century with way-advanced technology, I'm pleased to see they're still giving this Technicolor visual fest its due... scanning the negatives, upgrading to 4K, even providing PHANTOM with a higher bit rate than the other horror films in this set. Whatever you may think of the movie itself, U has clearly done right by it.
 

RobertMG

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But I believe it's been the same source material all along, just transferred differently into different video formats over the decades. After all, you can't get any better than the three original negatives as a starting point. I remember how impressed we were when the laserdisc first came out in the 1980s, delighted that the IP (which is what everyone used for video transfers back then) was made from the recombined negs, rather than from a singular source. Although disliked by many die-hard horror fans, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA '43 was a massive success for Universal. Beyond being a box-office and critical hit, it earned five Academy Award nominations (!), and actually won three well-deserved Oscars: one for art direction, one for sets, and the other for Technicolor cinematography. As the film was among Universal's earliest Technicolor releases, the studio was rightfully proud of this significant industry acknowledgment, and most of us fans back in the '80s were impressed that U had enough respect for its own legacy that it treated PHANTOM '43 with unexpected care, at least in terms of its visual presentation. Now, in a new century with way-advanced technology, I'm pleased to see they're still giving this Technicolor visual fest its due... scanning the negatives, upgrading to 4K, even providing PHANTOM with a higher bit rate than the other horror films in this set. Whatever you may think of the movie itself, U has clearly done right by it.
This title always looked great on WOR TV NYC just like Crosbys CT Yankee that must have been done in the early 80's but this seems to be the first back to the negs -- look at KINO great release of Maria Montez too bad Paramount did not do the same but who knows if negs exist
 

Gerani53

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New York WOR Channel 9's print was a 16mm Eastman, during an age when all syndicated movies on TV were 16mm (9's mid-'70s telecast was, however, the very first time PHANTOM had been shown in color on NY TV, since previous local station owner WCBS Channel 2 had only run the movie in 16mm b/w).

Everything began to change in the late '70s/early '80s, when home video first came into existence and 35mm masters of old movies were being resurrected by the studios. Universal MCA's laserdisc/VHS/I'm assuming Beta release of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA '43 somewhere in the '80s was the very first time we saw a 35mm version of this movie on our home screens. Laserdisc reviewers of the period (Laser Island, as I recall), identified the source material as genuine Technicolor, and we were all pretty dazzled. Those early close-ups of main characters, and the reds of the costumes... wow.

For the record, I believe it was Robert Harris himself who recently commented that the '80s PHANTOM transfer was an interpositive (IP) made from the three existing Technicolor negatives, the same source material now scanned for the 4K. If that data is incorrect, perhaps Mr. Harris can jump in and offer more specifics.
 

Gerani53

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Thank you. This confirms exactly what I said several posts back. The Blu-ray and all previous incarnations of PHANTOM '43 were derived from an IP made from the original negs; the new version was scanned from those same negs directly. That's the difference between an IP and a direct negative scan. Hope it's all clear now...
 

Robert Crawford

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Thank you. This confirms exactly what I said several posts back. The Blu-ray and all previous incarnations of PHANTOM '43 were derived from an IP made from the original negs; the new version was scanned from those same negs directly. That's the difference between an IP and a direct negative scan. Hope it's all clear now...
I think some of us already concluded that this 4K disc was derived from a newer scan than those Blu-rays.
 

Gerani53

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...but a number of you had trouble accepting the fact that an IP derived from the same Technicolor source material was used for all previous videos releases of PHANTOM '43. Of course the new version was scanned... no one ever questioned that. But that same Technicolor source material was used FOR EVERY VIDEO RELEASE OF THIS MOVIE IN HUMAN HISTORY. It's just that the earlier incarnations had an IP made using this source material, and that's what those earlier transfers were made from, and now, the ability to scan directly from the three Technicolor elements was the route taken for the current transfer, and that always produces a stronger image. Don't mean to get testy here, but this is exactly what I've been saying all along, very clearly, and now Robert Harris has simply confirmed it. Let's move on.
 

RobertMG

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New York WOR Channel 9's print was a 16mm Eastman, during an age when all syndicated movies on TV were 16mm (9's mid-'70s telecast was, however, the very first time PHANTOM had been shown in color on NY TV, since previous local station owner WCBS Channel 2 had only run the movie in 16mm b/w).

Everything began to change in the late '70s/early '80s, when home video first came into existence and 35mm masters of old movies were being resurrected by the studios. Universal MCA's laserdisc/VHS/I'm assuming Beta release of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA '43 somewhere in the '80s was the very first time we saw a 35mm version of this movie on our home screens. Laserdisc reviewers of the period (Laser Island, as I recall), identified the source material as genuine Technicolor, and we were all pretty dazzled. Those early close-ups of main characters, and the reds of the costumes... wow.

For the record, I believe it was Robert Harris himself who recently commented that the '80s PHANTOM transfer was an interpositive (IP) made from the three existing Technicolor negatives, the same source material now scanned for the 4K. If that data is incorrect, perhaps Mr. Harris can jump in and offer more specifics.
WPIX ran 35mm sometimes did WOR too??? Wish thsi set sells GREAT and encourages Univesral to do more thre strip restorations!
 
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B-ROLL

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WPIX ran 35mm sometimes did WOR too???
Local independent channel in Phoenix (5 now CBS) ran 35mm prints for movies and 16mm for syndicated TV shows (not on tape), commercials/PSAs and locally shot (magnetic)sound-on-film items (new stories, documentaries, and commercials). TeleCine for them a cleaner separate room with two film chains on with two d 35mm film projectors with A barrel slide projector and a duplicate set-up for 16mm film and 35mm slide drums

Something similar to this ...
1667071734981.png


1667070740357.png

The 35mm went out in the 1980s when satellite/tape distribution made the process more efficient ... with the distributor putting in the station/commercial breaks and editing for content. Some stations still used 16mm prints as well.
 

Robert Crawford

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...but a number of you had trouble accepting the fact that an IP derived from the same Technicolor source material was used for all previous videos releases of PHANTOM '43. Of course the new version was scanned... no one ever questioned that. But that same Technicolor source material was used FOR EVERY VIDEO RELEASE OF THIS MOVIE IN HUMAN HISTORY. It's just that the earlier incarnations had an IP made using this source material, and that's what those earlier transfers were made from, and now, the ability to scan directly from the three Technicolor elements was the route taken for the current transfer, and that always produces a stronger image. Don't mean to get testy here, but this is exactly what I've been saying all along, very clearly, and now Robert Harris has simply confirmed it. Let's move on.
Interesting...
 

Gerani53

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WPIX ran 35mm sometimes did WOR too??? Wish thsi set sells GREAT and encourages Univesral to do more thre strip restorations!
It's true about WPIX-TV in NY. They ran 35mm prints of TV shows like THE HONEYMOONERS, STAR TREK, BATMAN, THE ODD COUPLE, even TWILIGHT ZONE, when most of the nation was watching 16mm versions of same. The majority of the movies they showed in the '70s and early '80s were 16mm, however, since that was the syndicated norm... but even that changed after a while. As for WOR-TV, they were pretty much exclusively 16mm during this period. I was friendly with Chris Steinbrunner, Ch. 9's movie programmer, and he would borrow their 16mm prints from the WOR library and run them for film fan gatherings, and occasional science fiction conventions. When Channel 9 got the rights to the MCA Universal classics in the early '70s, they were all 16mm prints, and that included the new CRI Eastman print of PHANTOM '43 (as mentioned, shown in color on NY TV for the first time on Ch. 9). Prior to Chris, however, in the early '60s, there seems to be some evidence that Channel 9 might have been broadcasting 35mm prints. A film can was found years later, labeled "GODZILLA. WOR-TV. 35mm." Fascinating! RODAN was WOR's first color telecast in 1960, on MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was a 35mm Technicolor IB print that was utilized. I can also remember that 9's early '60s showings of the sci-fi movie WORLD WITHOUT END gave viewers "CinemaScope without the lens" -- an ultra-thin squished image, which is what a 'Scope print looks like without the 'Scope lens to expand it, so everything looks normal (and horizontal). Was this simply a 35mm theatrical print they ran, figuring viewers would live with the distortion? We did, of course. When WWE turned up on Channel 2 circa 1970, it was a 16mm pan-and-scan; same deal with the film's showings on Channel 5 a short while later. So, yeah... a handful of TV stations could accommodate 35mm, but I'd guess that a solid 95% of them didn't... which is why movie syndication was essentially a 16mm experience during the '60s, '70s, and early '80s.
 

RobertMG

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It's true about WPIX-TV in NY. They ran 35mm prints of TV shows like THE HONEYMOONERS, STAR TREK, BATMAN, THE ODD COUPLE, even TWILIGHT ZONE, when most of the nation was watching 16mm versions of same. The majority of the movies they showed in the '70s and early '80s were 16mm, however, since that was the syndicated norm... but even that changed after a while. As for WOR-TV, they were pretty much exclusively 16mm during this period. I was friendly with Chris Steinbrunner, Ch. 9's movie programmer, and he would borrow their 16mm prints from the WOR library and run them for film fan gatherings, and occasional science fiction conventions. When Channel 9 got the rights to the MCA Universal classics in the early '70s, they were all 16mm prints, and that included the new CRI Eastman print of PHANTOM '43 (as mentioned, shown in color on NY TV for the first time on Ch. 9). Prior to Chris, however, in the early '60s, there seems to be some evidence that Channel 9 might have been broadcasting 35mm prints. A film can was found years later, labeled "GODZILLA. WOR-TV. 35mm." Fascinating! RODAN was WOR's first color telecast in 1960, on MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was a 35mm Technicolor IB print that was utilized. I can also remember that 9's early '60s showings of the sci-fi movie WORLD WITHOUT END gave viewers "CinemaScope without the lens" -- an ultra-thin squished image, which is what a 'Scope print looks like without the 'Scope lens to expand it, so everything looks normal (and horizontal). Was this simply a 35mm theatrical print they ran, figuring viewers would live with the distortion? We did, of course. When WWE turned up on Channel 2 circa 1970, it was a 16mm pan-and-scan; same deal with the film's showings on Channel 5 a short while later. So, yeah... a handful of TV stations could accommodate 35mm, but I'd guess that a solid 95% of them didn't... which is why movie syndication was essentially a 16mm experience during the '60s, '70s, and early '80s.
Great info my friend ---- see that he passed in 1993 very sad - to the MODS I will go back to the topic of the thread THANK YOU for your patience
 

Will Krupp

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...but a number of you had trouble accepting the fact that an IP derived from the same Technicolor source material was used for all previous videos releases of PHANTOM '43. Of course the new version was scanned... no one ever questioned that. But that same Technicolor source material was used FOR EVERY VIDEO RELEASE OF THIS MOVIE IN HUMAN HISTORY. It's just that the earlier incarnations had an IP made using this source material, and that's what those earlier transfers were made from, and now, the ability to scan directly from the three Technicolor elements was the route taken for the current transfer, and that always produces a stronger image. Don't mean to get testy here, but this is exactly what I've been saying all along, very clearly, and now Robert Harris has simply confirmed it. Let's move on.

I guess I'm having trouble seeing what the controversy is, though, or why we need to make special note of it. It can be said that every video release of ANY movie in human history is derived from the original camera negative, whether or not it currently exists. There's only one, of course it's the original source for every transfer somewhere down the chain. I think that may be the source of some of the gentle pushback you were getting because this is no different, in that respect, from any other movie.
 

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