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Robert Harris

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There have been numerous film restorations either completed or released on home video formats in 2022.

The most beautiful, interesting, difficult and expensive have been the likes of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), All that Money Can Buy (1941), The Adventures of Don Juan (1948), I, The Jury (1953), Invaders from Mars (1953), Casablanca (1942), The Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), The Wonderful World of the Brothers’ Grimm (1962), Paths of Glory (1957), A Star is Born (1937) and Captains of the Clouds (1942).

These titles are off the top of my head. There are others that I've not yet seen that might possibly also be on that list.

But one restoration rises above all of these in absolute terms of complexity, cost, final perfection, and man / woman hours.

I've heard several takes on what actually occurred, and while not certain of absolute veracity, it seems that the work began as a Kickstarter project, and over the requisite period of time brought in over $60,000.

Dennis Hopper's 1980 Out of the Blue began as a restoration passion project, with much of the work performed by Roundabout Entertainment in Burbank, one of the top post houses in the world. And I'm told that all was perceived to go well, until the cans were opened and inspected.

Original negatives were known to have survived, and in fact an interpositive had been struck from them some time ago along with a printing dupe.

But based upon the degree of perfection desired for the project expenses went further. There were unsubstantiated reports that someone had taken an axe or hatchet to the OCN several years ago, doing a huge amount of damage to the element.

One source, who requested not to be identified, made note of tens of thousands of cuts - some jagged, some going through the center of frames - had been made.

I'm told that heroes came forward. Along with the owner of the film, it was reported that two wonderful actors not only stepped forward as devotees of the film, but as patrons - and may have unselfishly manned the tape splicers along with a crews of dozens of archivists, to repair the film element to a point at which is could receive a 4k scan.

Rather than use standard width tape, I've heard that different widths were used for each and every cut, and that over a fourteen month period, tens of thousand of man and woman hours were expended to save the film.

In the end, the restoration of Out of the Blue turned out to be one of the most expensive (rumored to be into seven figures), technically difficult and beautifully rendered restorations seen in decades.

If one had no idea what the problems were going in, the average viewer might presume that it was a simple scan, but obviously that was not the case.

The film went on to screen around the world, and was eventually released in 4k and Blu-ray by Severin Films. I reviewed the miracle 4k disc several months ago, and gave it the highest ratings.

What's most interesting here is that much of the work has gone unheralded, and almost unpublicized.

For 2022, Out of the Blue stands as a remarkable achievement, proving that digital technology combined with post-production artistry and an indomitable human spirit can overcome virtually any technical problems.


I'm told that no project (studio or privately funded) has ever matched what has occurred in saving this extraordinary work of art.

Support Severin and film restoration by adding a copy to your library.

RAH

PS - There may be just a touch of humor or satirical intent in the above words, and is meant for entertainment value, if any. These words should not be taken seriously without a prescription, and are for external use only. Do not exceed prescribed dosage.

All of that fine print noted, the work involved and the final result as released on Blu-ray and 4k disc, are of the highest quality, and those behind that final product should be justifiably proud.



Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. As an Amazon Associate, HTF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.


 
Last edited:

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
There have been numerous film restorations either completed or released on home video formats in 2022.

The most beautiful, interesting, difficult and expensive have been the likes of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), All that Money Can Buy (1941), The Adventures of Don Juan (1948), I, The Jury (1953), Invaders from Mars (1953), Casablanca (1942), The Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Paths of Glory (1957), A Star is Born (1937) and Captains of the Clouds (1942).

These titles are off the top of my head. There are others that I've not yet seen that might possibly also be on that list.

But one restoration rises above all of these in absolute terms of complexity, cost, final perfection, and man / woman hours.

I've heard several takes on what actually occurred, and while not certain of absolute veracity, it seems that the work began as a Kickstarter project, and over the requisite period of time brought in over $60,000.

Dennis Hopper's 1980 Out of the Blue began as a restoration passion project, with much of the work performed by Roundabout Entertainment in Burbank, one of the top post houses in the world. And I'm told that all was perceived to go well, until the cans were opened and inspected.

Original negatives were known to have survived, and in fact an interpositive had been struck from them some time ago along with a printing dupe.

But based upon the degree of perfection desired for the project expenses went further. There were unsubstantiated reports that someone had taken an axe or hatchet to the OCN several years ago, doing a huge amount of damage to the element.

One source, who requested not to be identified, made note of tens of thousands of cuts - some jagged, some going through the center of frames - had been made.

I'm told that heroes came forward. Along with Discovery Productions, the owner of the film, it was reported that two wonderful actors not only stepped forward as devotees of the film, but as patrons - and may have unselfishly manned the tape splicers along with a crews of dozens of archivists, to repair the film element to a point at which is could receive a 4k scan.

Rather than use standard width tape, I've heard that different widths were used for each and every cut, and that over a fourteen month period, tens of thousand of man and woman hours were expended to save the film.

In the end, the restoration of Out of the Blue turned out to be one of the most expensive (rumored to be into seven figures), technically difficult and beautifully rendered restorations seen in decades.

If one had no idea what the problems were going in, the average viewer might presume that it was a simple scan, but obviously that was not the case.

The film went on to screen around the world, and was eventually released in 4k and Blu-ray by Severin Films. I reviewed the miracle 4k disc several months ago, and gave it the highest ratings.

What's most interesting here is that much of the work has gone unheralded, and almost unpublicized.

For 2022, Out of the Blue stands as a remarkable achievement, proving that digital technology combined with post-production artistry and an indomitable human spirit can overcome virtually any technical problems.


I'm told that no project (studio or privately funded) has ever matched what has occurred in saving this extraordinary work of art.

Support Severin and film restoration by adding a copy to your library.

RAH
It's in my film library, and I've watched it. Kudos!
 

Baenwort

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Cee
I've got a budget to buy either this or The Three Musketeers (1921) as my unseen film purchases this year.

Which would you recommend?
 

dana martin

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There have been numerous film restorations either completed or released on home video formats in 2022.

The most beautiful, interesting, difficult and expensive have been the likes of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), All that Money Can Buy (1941), The Adventures of Don Juan (1948), I, The Jury (1953), Invaders from Mars (1953), Casablanca (1942), The Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Paths of Glory (1957), A Star is Born (1937) and Captains of the Clouds (1942).

These titles are off the top of my head. There are others that I've not yet seen that might possibly also be on that list.

But one restoration rises above all of these in absolute terms of complexity, cost, final perfection, and man / woman hours.

I've heard several takes on what actually occurred, and while not certain of absolute veracity, it seems that the work began as a Kickstarter project, and over the requisite period of time brought in over $60,000.

Dennis Hopper's 1980 Out of the Blue began as a restoration passion project, with much of the work performed by Roundabout Entertainment in Burbank, one of the top post houses in the world. And I'm told that all was perceived to go well, until the cans were opened and inspected.

Original negatives were known to have survived, and in fact an interpositive had been struck from them some time ago along with a printing dupe.

But based upon the degree of perfection desired for the project expenses went further. There were unsubstantiated reports that someone had taken an axe or hatchet to the OCN several years ago, doing a huge amount of damage to the element.

One source, who requested not to be identified, made note of tens of thousands of cuts - some jagged, some going through the center of frames - had been made.

I'm told that heroes came forward. Along with Discovery Productions, the owner of the film, it was reported that two wonderful actors not only stepped forward as devotees of the film, but as patrons - and may have unselfishly manned the tape splicers along with a crews of dozens of archivists, to repair the film element to a point at which is could receive a 4k scan.

Rather than use standard width tape, I've heard that different widths were used for each and every cut, and that over a fourteen month period, tens of thousand of man and woman hours were expended to save the film.

In the end, the restoration of Out of the Blue turned out to be one of the most expensive (rumored to be into seven figures), technically difficult and beautifully rendered restorations seen in decades.

If one had no idea what the problems were going in, the average viewer might presume that it was a simple scan, but obviously that was not the case.

The film went on to screen around the world, and was eventually released in 4k and Blu-ray by Severin Films. I reviewed the miracle 4k disc several months ago, and gave it the highest ratings.

What's most interesting here is that much of the work has gone unheralded, and almost unpublicized.

For 2022, Out of the Blue stands as a remarkable achievement, proving that digital technology combined with post-production artistry and an indomitable human spirit can overcome virtually any technical problems.


I'm told that no project (studio or privately funded) has ever matched what has occurred in saving this extraordinary work of art.

Support Severin and film restoration by adding a copy to your library.

RAH
Duly noted,
 

Robert Crawford

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This is the first I heard that "All That Money Can Buy" has been restored. Will there be a new Criterion release?


That's what I've been waiting on. This is another Scott MacQueen restoration, completed before his retirement from UCLA Film and Television Archive.
 

Robert Harris

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I've got a budget to buy either this or The Three Musketeers (1921) as my unseen film purchases this year.

Which would you recommend?
Two very different films.

In Three Musketeers you get a major classic silent film, lovingly restored, down to the details of Mr. Fairbanks‘ buttercup-colored horse.

In Blue you get a very odd psychological drama that hinges on a young girl’s panties (in 4k) and the older man who loved them.

Personally, I’d go for Fairbanks.
 

Robert Harris

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Nothing can compare to the work and complexity of the restoration work on "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" undertaken by David Strohmaier.
It’s beautifully done. You can add that to the list of important works this year. But it was without the exhaustingly extreme complications and sturm und drang of Blue, which necessitated constant triage.

Rumor has it (another film that I admire) that several productions were affected during post, with extra teams being brought in, to get Blue to the finish line on a timely basis.

I’m told that things became so intense that power shortages were reported affecting the grid surrounding the post facility. During Blue’s restoration, lights were seen to being dimming all across that area of Burbank, and elective surgery was cancelled at a local hospital during one 72 hour period.

The overall affect on the environment was devastating due to power drain and usage, until the military stepped in.

Grimm, from what I understand, was very difficult, but calm, controlled and performed with a minimum of angst. Well-conceived, researched and performed from first moment to last.

With Blue, it seemed to be a new technical problem every time things began to run smoothly, as the elements were almost beyond use.
 
Last edited:

Trancas

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Eric
This is the first I heard that "All That Money Can Buy" has been restored. Will there be a new Criterion release?



Isn't the contrast in the restored scenes a little too harsh/heavy-handed?

Pouring.jpg

Screen Shot 2023-01-02 at 2.08.39 AM.png
Carriage.jpg
 

Alan Tully

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Threads like this one really warms the cockles of my heart (& the heart does have cockles, I looked it up), all that effort & expertise & money & love spent on restoring these films. And reading about All That Money Can Buy has made my day: a magical film. If I made a small list of the greatest scenes in movie history, the courtroom (stable) scene would be in it. I first saw it on TV in the late fifties (I was 8 or 9), & it made a huge impression on me. A genuine masterpiece.
 

Robert Harris

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Threads like this one really warms the cockles of my heart (& the heart does have cockles, I looked it up), all that effort & expertise & money & love spent on restoring these films. And reading about All That Money Can Buy has made my day: a magical film. If I made a small list of the greatest scenes in movie history, the courtroom (stable) scene would be in it. I first saw it on TV in the late fifties (I was 8 or 9), & it made a huge impression on me. A genuine masterpiece.
And a beautiful restoration - yes, I’ve seen it. One can hope that Criterion will release the two versions on Blu.
 

stevenHa

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Mr Harris, this thread makes me curious - certain films we are told have been restored as much as they can with what exists. My favorite movie, King Kong (1933) still looks somewhat overly grainy because no OCN exists anymore. Could more thoughtful work have been done on it to make it better but it was a money issue ? Are there any new digital software tools in development that you are aware of that could lead to new breakthroughs in film restoration ?
 

Robert Harris

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Mr Harris, this thread makes me curious - certain films we are told have been restored as much as they can with what exists. My favorite movie, King Kong (1933) still looks somewhat overly grainy because no OCN exists anymore. Could more thoughtful work have been done on it to make it better but it was a money issue ? Are there any new digital software tools in development that you are aware of that could lead to new breakthroughs in film restoration ?
Grain could have been lowered or removed. I prefer it as it is.
 

stevenHa

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Grain could have been lowered or removed. I prefer it as it is.
I meant to make it look as good as it would from that period without using DNR and possibly losing information (and in fact bringing out anything still lacking). Also, is there any realistic software you would find useful that you wish might be developed to aid in restoration ?
 

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