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Robert Harris

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The Court Jester has been my top Danny Kaye film since I was a kid, and that hasn’t changed. As wonderful as his Goldwyn Technicolor productions may be, I’ve always believed that this topped them.
At first glance, there’s a new addition to the way that Paramount is marketing their Presents line of Blu-rays.
This one is spine number 13, and has the year of release (1956) in the lower right hand corner. But new to the overall design is the VistaVision logo, now in the lower left. And it’s a nice touch.
What’s also nice, is that The Court Jester hasn’t been de-grained and softened akin to To Catch a Thief.
It has proper grain (almost – more on that in a bit), with lovely color, and a wonderful overall cinema appearance, especially (or even) in projection.
Everything works beautifully, and the work performed is lovely.
With a single exception.
The Main Title sequence.
And that has the rough hewn appearance combining the graphic information with the live action. It takes on the...

Continue reading...
 
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PMF

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Definite purchase.

I am guessing that the Paramount Presets line may just be hearing and heeding the on-line reviews, comments and critiques of their 12 prior releases in terms of the topic of grain.

Unlikely, but wouldn’t it be great if Paramount were to fix To Catch a Thief and distinguishe the two editions with the newly added “year” insignia on the bottom right hand corner; or simply rename the newer fix as To Catch a Grain.

Whether it was deliberate or just a bit of plain dumb luck, to our benefit, this Vista Vision news on The Court Jester and its transfer calls for a serious round of cheers towards Paramount.
 
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Robert Harris

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Has the main title sequence always looked like that, or is the anomaly unique to this transfer?

I never noticed anything unusual about the main titles on the version Amazon Prime is streaming.
One may not in compression. On Blu-ray, it’s right there in front of you.

Except for that, it’s a quality release.
 
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Reed Grele

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One may not in compression. On Blu-ray, it’s right there in front of you.

Accept for that and a bit heavy grain, it’s a quality release.

The Court Jester main titles, along with Danny Kaye's fantastic rendition of the title song, is worth the price of admission. I've always loved how the lyrics very cleverly match up with the credits.

Have had it on pre-order since it was announced. Looking forward to watching it soon.

"And life couldn't possibly better be!" :)
 

haineshisway

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One may not in compression. On Blu-ray, it’s right there in front of you.

Accept for that and a bit heavy grain, it’s a quality release.
It really shouldn't have heavy grain so I'm not quite "getting" that. I thought it looked pretty good on Amazon but I was watching not full screen and I know they compress everything.
 

Robert Harris

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It really shouldn't have heavy grain so I'm not quite "getting" that. I thought it looked pretty good on Amazon but I was watching not full screen and I know they compress everything.
I've spent a bit more time with CJ, and the grain seems better than I originally thought. Interestingly, compared to 10 C, it looks slightly heavier.
 
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Mark-P

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Not sure why you’d advise against a 4K release as this was a 6K scan of the original Vista negative, with an assist from separation masters for the color fading. In any case I expect the 4K version to be forthcoming on digital streaming platforms shortly.
 
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John Maher_289910

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I guess I don't understand why a VistaVision film, or any film, photographed by a reputable cinematographer, would have grain that is noticeable to the point of mentioning in a review? The goal would have been to present a finished product with as little grain as possible.
 

Robert Harris

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I guess I don't understand why a VistaVision film, or any film, photographed by a reputable cinematographer, would have grain that is noticeable to the point of mentioning in a review? The goal would have been to present a finished product with as little grain as possible.
Dependent upon one's position, the goal should be to either accurately reproduce the original, natural grain structure, which on VVLA should be velvety and lush...

Or that as seen on a contemporary print. Difficult with VV, as prints were via reduction matrices, and not large format per se.
 
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Trancas

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Dependent upon one's position, the goal should be to either accurately reproduce the original, natural grain structure, which on VVLA should be velvety and lush...

Or that as seen on a contemporary print. Difficult with VV, as prints were via reduction matrices, and not large format per se.

So you're thinking the graininess comes from using Technicolor's reduced-sized separation masters either fully or partially (combined with the faded VV camera negative)? Or were separation masters made from VV always full-sized and reduction printed to the matrices?
 
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Robert Harris

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So you're thinking the graininess comes from using Technicolor's reduced-sized separation masters either fully or partially (combined with the faded VV camera negative)? Or were separation masters made from VV always full-sized and reduction printed to the matrices?
no
 

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