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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Sunset Boulevard -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Let me be very honest about Paramount's new Blu-ray of Billy Wilder's brilliant Sunset Boulevard.

I was extremely concerned about quality.

The original negative, which, as I recall, was partially nitrate and partially safety, has gone missing -- or may have been junked along with the EMKA OCNs. Those productions now reside at Universal.

The last restoration effort, which was a very noble attempt by the studio, as well as by Lowry, was a stopgap situation, performed at lower rez. It enabled revival houses to have 35mm prints, and for the release of a decent looking DVD.

With very few elements to use as a base, I'm thrilled with what I'm seeing, as derived from a dupe negative.

I've seen prints struck from these dupes, and they're not a pretty picture, so a great deal of work went into the preparation of this release.

Blacks, shadow detail, grain structure, and overall resolution are all very pleasing.

One of the greatest films ever made, and at the pinnacle of noir, Sunset Boulevard at a $19 street price is a no-brainer.

For those who've never seen it, you're in for a huge treat.

With a huge catalog of extras.

Very Highly Recommended.

RAH
 
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Wonderful news! Very excited for this!
The original negative, which, as I recall, was partially nitrate and partially safety, has gone missing -- or may have been junked along with the EMKA OCNs. Those productions now reside at Universal.
I was quite disturbed to read the above - am I correct in my understanding that the negs to all of the Paramount titles sold to MCA were tossed?
 

MatthewA

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I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.
 

Robert Harris

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA /t/324654/a-few-words-about-sunset-boulevard-in-blu-ray#post_3992013
I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.
This disc looks nothing like the Lowry restoration.

An untrained eye could not mistake this disc for the Lowry.

RAH
 
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On a distantly related note, is the work on Roman Holiday, which I believe was in the same situation (missing camera negative, less than stellar elements available) and cleaned up by Lowry around the same time, also needing to be redone for BD and DCP release?
 

Colin Jacobson

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Does anyone here have trouble with Paramount "catalog" Blu-rays on Panasonics? I have a Panny BD-60 player and it won't play this one.

It wouldn't run "Airplane!" last week either, but I thought that was because it was a rental and scratched. My "Sunset" is as mint as mint can be but doesn't run on my Panny.

My Sony plays it without a hitch, so it's not the disc. My firmware's up to date. Frustrating!
 

JParker

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Robert Harris said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewA /t/324654/a-few-words-about-sunset-boulevard-in-blu-ray#post_3992013
I've seen this in one of the 35mm prints made from the Lowry restoration, and I thought they looked alright. It looks like this disc will be even better.
This disc looks nothing like the Lowry restoration.

An untrained eye could not mistake this disc for the Lowry.

RAH
That is great news. Kudos then to the team that did this work (the same folks who "polished" Raiders, mentioned here?)
Andrea Kalas, VP of Archives, Laura Thornburg, Exec. Dir, Restoration and Preservation, Archives, and Jeff Cava, Supervising Librarian, Restoration and Preservation, Archives.
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/323399/while-we-wait-for-a-few-words-about-raiders-of-the-lost-ark-in-blu-ray
Technicolor's work too?
In the event, well done. I hope this quality continues for future "classic" releases; this bodes well! :)
 

Osato

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Thanks Robert!
Another title that is on my buy list!
Glad Paramount did a great job with the transfer!
 

David Weicker

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Colin Jacobson said:
Does anyone here have trouble with Paramount "catalog" Blu-rays on Panasonics?  I have a Panny BD-60 player and it won't play this one.
It wouldn't run "Airplane!" last week either, but I thought that was because it was a rental and scratched.  My "Sunset" is as mint as mint can be but doesn't run on my Panny.
My Sony plays it without a hitch, so it's not the disc.  My firmware's up to date.  Frustrating!
I would double-check with Panasonic's website to make sure that your firmware is actually up to date. I have the DMP-BD65, and the player's firmware check kept telling me I was up to date, even though I wasn't (I was at 1.60, and the website had 1.62). I had to manually update the firmware (using a burnt CD). I don't know if it was because my player is a few years old, but the automatic check and update feature apparently was not working.
David
 

willyTass

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great to see paramount left the grain in
After watching , the German BD of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance , which looked like Madame Tussauds, I was worried
 

Mark-W

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I was dreading what I feared this release was going to look like.
I am so grateful for the work that went into this and RAH's review means I can pre-order it without hesitation.
I only hope enough people vote with their money to make studios want to go to the efforts that appear to have taken place with this film's presentation on Blu.
 

JParker

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Tom Burton of Technicolor was kind enough to write after I shared this review with him:
Yes, it was our team that restored Sunset Boulevard for Paramount. I’m glad Bob appreciated the effort.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by JParker /t/324654/a-few-words-about-sunset-boulevard-in-blu-ray#post_3993747
Tom Burton of Technicolor was kind enough to write after I shared this review with him:
James,

Why would you feel the need to send what I had written to Tom Burton?

Do you work for Technicolor?

RAH
 

Ethan Riley

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Mark Walker said:
I was dreading what I feared this release was going to look like.
I am so grateful for the work that went into this and RAH's review means I can pre-order it without hesitation.
I only hope enough people vote with their money to make studios want to go to the efforts that appear to have taken place with this film's presentation on Blu.
Me too! Pre-ordered!
 
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Paul Thrussell said:
I was quite disturbed to read the above - am I correct in my understanding that the negs to all of the Paramount titles sold to MCA were tossed?
I must have had my head under a rock, the information wasn't very hard to find - in fact, quite close to home! :D If anyone's interested, there's a bit of info in another thread: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/293488/paramount-pre-1950-films-owned-by-universal
Please excuse me while I now belatedly mourn these nitrate treasures :(
 

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