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ManW_TheUncool

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I agree entirely. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've projected many nitrate prints (IB and black and white) and they do look brighter (if that's the right word) than acetate or polyester bases.
You mention "something else". Could it be acclimatisation of the eye? Project a film onto a yellow wall, for instance. The eye acclimatises in the dark and the wall appears to be white in the picture.

Don't know to what exactly RAH is refering, but from what I understand, the color quality of light can't be fully, adequately described merely by color temp, which is very 1-dimensional... though it's the most common, simplest, maybe most basic/fundamental parameter that everyone learns about first...

Remember, not all light sources behave like a true black body.

For instance, flourescent light bulbs definitely do not fit neatly into that (part of the) spectrum as I've learned from my bits of amateur photography (in the digital world). Seems Nikon (at least in the more mainstream photographic world) may have been the first (mainstream, digital) camera maker to fully acknowledge that and started implemented that into their proprietary handling of image processing -- and there was some consternation about their early attempts to encrypt that part of the data in their RAW files (seemingly in likely misguided hopes to protect their IP) about a dozen years ago.

Color (at least in light) is (at least) 3D as far as I (minimally) understand it (and your light source might actually also vary slightly/somewhat over time or at some possibly regular frequency to add another D perhaps), so you can easily miss a lot just by going w/ color temp alone...

_Man_
 

Robert Harris

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I agree entirely. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I've projected many nitrate prints (IB and black and white) and they do look brighter (if that's the right word) than acetate or polyester bases.
You mention "something else". Could it be acclimatisation of the eye? Project a film onto a yellow wall, for instance. The eye acclimatises in the dark and the wall appears to be white in the picture.
Yellow screens were the norm.
 

Robert Harris

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Don't know to what exactly RAH is refering, but from what I understand, the color quality of light can't be fully, adequately described merely by color temp, which is very 1-dimensional... though it's the most common, simplest, maybe most basic/fundamental parameter that everyone learns about first...

Remember, not all light sources behave like a true black body.

For instance, flourescent light bulbs definitely do not fit neatly into that (part of the) spectrum as I've learned from my bits of amateur photography (in the digital world). Seems Nikon (at least in the more mainstream photographic world) may have been the first (mainstream, digital) camera maker to fully acknowledge that and started implemented that into their proprietary handling of image processing -- and there was some consternation about their early attempts to encrypt that part of the data in their RAW files (seemingly in likely misguided hopes to protect their IP) about a dozen years ago.

Color (at least in light) is (at least) 3D as far as I (minimally) understand it (and your light source might actually also vary slightly/somewhat over time or at some possibly regular frequency to add another D perhaps), so you can easily miss a lot just by going w/ color temp alone...

_Man_
There’s a long list of possible culprits.

Improper setup / spacing of the rods, problems / dirt with reflectors, old glass, screen color, improper light output…

and of course, projecting through smoke.

Menthol, anyone…

Lightboxes with a proper color array, are our friend.
 

Alan Tully

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Oh yes, all that smoking in cinemas, I don't miss that (I've never smoked). There always seemed to be someone sitting in front of me holding a cigarette & that little line of smoke would always make a beeline for me.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Oh yes, all that smoking in cinemas, I don't miss that (I've never smoked). There always seemed to be someone sitting in front of me holding a cigarette & that little line of smoke would always make a beeline for me.

I was born in 1967 and I don't recall smoking ever being allowed in theaters - at least not in my area.

It probably was allowed when I was really little but not by the time I turned 8 or 9.

Or maybe people smoked in theaters and I just don't remember.

I'm guessing UK theaters allowed smoking longer than those in most US locations...
 

Alan Tully

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I was born in 1967 and I don't recall smoking ever being allowed in theaters - at least not in my area.

It probably was allowed when I was really little but not by the time I turned 8 or 9.

Or maybe people smoked in theaters and I just don't remember.

I'm guessing UK theaters allowed smoking longer than those in most US locations...
I just looked it up for the UK, & it's 1987! I was born in 1950 & I can remember just about everyone in the cinema smoking, I saw all those films through a haze of smoke (just like at home, both my parents smoked). I'm just glad I never fancied it. I'm nearly 71 & did a 15 mile walk on Saturday, no problems.
 

RobertMG

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There’s something beyond the color temp of the lamp that comes into play here.

The nitrate base was crystal clear. Acetate was not.
Check out this great read on GWTW have u seen this RAH? Going back to Elizabeth and Essex remember when Derann put out shortened versions of it on Super 8 and they were nothing but raves on the quality!
 

Robert Harris

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Check out this great read on GWTW have u seen this RAH? Going back to Elizabeth and Essex remember when Derann put out shortened versions of it on Super 8 and they were nothing but raves on the quality!
Sorry. Yet more disinformation.

Only one person posting in that thread had proper knowledge.
 

RobertMG

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Sorry. Yet more disinformation.

Only one person posting in that thread had proper knowledge.
In your opinion are there any Technicolor features from the era on video that looks proper and we as film collectors should search out? Would love to here which ones are worth a look to see a proper release.
 

Robert Harris

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In your opinion are there any Technicolor features from the era on video that looks proper and we as film collectors should search out? Would love to here which ones are worth a look to see a proper release.
If you're seeking the original look, best to pick up A Star is Born or Nothing Sacred from Kino. They do not replicate, but will give you a decent concept of the overall appearance.
 

RobertMG

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If you're seeking the original look, best to pick up A Star is Born or Nothing Sacred from Kino. They do not replicate, but will give you a decent concept of the overall appearance.
I do have the Kino "Nothing Sacred" It is wonderful, you just sold one more copy of "A Star Is Born" thank you! Does the "Gardan Of Allah" I have the old MGM disc - interesting color indeed.
 

Will Krupp

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I do have the Kino "Nothing Sacred"

Just so you know, there are two versions of the KINO. The original release with a dark blue/black cover, the one to which Mr. Harris is referring, is transferred from Selznick's personal 35mm nitrate (I think?) and a remastered version (yellow cover) of the movie using the ABC/Disney restoration of the title from the (when available) original negatives.

Both versions have issues, but my personal dislike of the original transfer has been so well documented on the forum that I will (graciously, I might add) draw a veil. :D
 
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RobertMG

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If you're seeking the original look, best to pick up A Star is Born or Nothing Sacred from Kino. They do not replicate, but will give you a decent concept of the overall appearance.
I think Kino has announced "Trail Of The Lonesome Pine?" Check out the review by Frank Nugent from 2/20/1936 some great insights as to what the audience was seeing regarding three strip Technicolor.


"Color has traveled far since first it exploded on the screen last June in "Becky Sharp." Demonstrating increased mastery of the new element, Walter Wanger's producing unit proves in "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine," which opened yesterday at the Paramount, that Technicolor is not restricted to a studio's stages, but can record quite handsomely the rich, natural coloring of the outside world and whatever dramatic action may be encountered in it.The significance of this achievement is not to be minimized. It means that color need not shackle the cinema, but may give it fuller expression. It means that we can doubt no longer the inevitability of the color film or scoff at those who believe that black-and-white photography is tottering on the brink of that limbo of forgotten things which already has swallowed the silent picture. Chromatically, "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" is far less impressive than its pioneer in the field. "Becky Sharp" employed color as a stylistic accentuation of dramatic effect. It sought to imprison the rainbow in a series of carefully planned canvases that were radiantly startling, visually magnificent, attuned carefully to the mood of the picture and to the changing tempo of its action.The new picture attempts none of this. Paradoxically, it improves the case for color by lessening its importance. It accepts the spectrum as a complementary attribute of the picture, not its raison d'être. In place of the vivid reds and scarlets, the brilliant purples and dazzling greens and yellows of "Becky," it employs sober browns and blacks and deep greens. It may not be natural color, but, at least, it is used more naturally. The eye, accustomed to the shadings of black and white, has less difficulty meeting the demands of the new element; the color is not a distraction, but an attraction—as valuable and little more obtrusive than the musical score.Lest this be interpreted as a completely eulogistic bulletin, let it be known that the Paramount's new film is far from perfect, either as a photoplay or as an instrument for the use of the new three-component Technicolor process. Again speaking of the color, it would appear that blue still baffles the camera, that light browns have a tendency to run to green, that red is either extremely red or hopelessly orange. These are remediable defects, we feel, and ones that Hollywood's skill will overcome.Of the story, John Fox Jr.'s well-known novel speaks for itself. Published in 1908 and twice before used as a basis for a film — once with Charlotte Walker and once with Mary Miles Minter—it tells of the feud between the Tollivers and the Falins of Kentucky, of John Hale, the young "furriner" who comes into the mountains to build a railroad, and of June Tolliver, the untamed young savage who sheds her newly acquired coat of civilization when the Falins kill chubby little Buddy Tolliver during their guerrilla warfare against Hale and his railroad crew.Unlike "Becky," this is no turgid, drawing room drama with a superabundance of dialogue and a minimum of action. Like "Becky," it is none too generously endowed with story values. For all its gunplay and fist-swinging, its plot—considered alone — would be unimpressive and little more meaningful than the elemental fodder on which most Class B melodramas feed. But when, to that story, is added a cast of unusual merit and a richly beautiful color production, then it becomes a distinguished and worthwhile picture, commanding attention no less for its intrinsic entertainment value than as another significant milestone in the development of the cinema.Of the performances there should be special mention for Fred Stone's portrayal of the grizzled Judd Tolliver; for Henry Fonda's Dave Tolliver, the youth who accepts the "kill a Falin" dictum as one of the eternal verities; for Robert Barrat's Falin; for Fred MacMurray's personification of the "furriner"; for Beulah Bondi's Melissa, the mountain woman who lives under the terrorizing grip of feud; for Spanky McFarland, the pudgy-faced little Buddy, whose death is the tragedy of the film; for Sylvia Sidney, who is a lovely—if not completely authentic—hill billy, for Nigel Bruce as an engineer.But the real credit for "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" belongs not to John Fox Jr., nor to the cast, but to Natalie Kalmus, who supervised the color photography; to Alexander Toluboff, who was responsible for the art direction, and to Henry Hathaway, its director, who adhered steadfastly, in the face of what must have been great temptation, to his avowed intention of keeping color under control.

THE TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE, as adapted by Harvey Threw and Horace McCoy from the story by John Fox Jr.; screen play by Grover Jones; filmed in Technicolor under the direction of Natalie Kalmus; directed by Henry Hathaway; a Walter Wanger production; released by Paramount. At the Paramount.June Tolliver . . . . . Sylvia SidneyJack Hale . . . . . Fred MacMurrayDave Tolliver . . . . . Henry FondaJudd Tolliver . . . . . Fred StoneTater . . . . . Fuzzy KnightMelissa Tolliver . . . . . Beulah BondiFalin . . . . . Robert BarratBuddie . . . . . Spanky McFarlandMajor Thurber . . . . . Nigel BruceClayt'a Wife . . . . . Ricca AllenEzra's Wife . . . . . Margaret ArmstrongDave Tolliver at 5 . . . . . Powell ClaytonDave Tolliver at 10 . . . . . George ErnestOld Dave . . . . . Frank McGlynn Jr.The Tolliver Clan . . . . . Alan Baxter, Ed Le Saint, Hank Bell, Fred Burns, Richard Carle, Bud Geary, Jim Welch and John Beck.The Falin Clan . . . . . Bob Cortman, Jim Corey and William McCormi"
 

Will Krupp

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I think Kino has announced "Trail Of The Lonesome Pine?" Check out the review by Frank Nugent from 2/20/1936 some great insights as to what the audience was seeing regarding three strip Technicolor.

It's actually didn't come from KINO but from Universal's own MOD program. I like the look of it on blu-ray (I know some people had issues with the DVD but I liked the look of that, too) as it looks like an HD version of the transfer as it appeared on the DVD. The opening credits are severely misregistered but it clears up as soon as they're over. Technicolor wanted to show that it could also do "natural color" in addition to the artistic rainbows of BECKY SHARP and that's just what they give us. They were making the argument that color didn't necessarily need to call attention to itself to be effective. It's not a movie I would watch more than once had it been shot in black & white, but as an early Technicolor example I've seen it many many times.

And by the way, "bah humbug" to Frank Nugent for giving away an important plot point in his review!!!



(If you click the link, Amazon is actually selling it for $19.99 as of today. I don't know why it's printing as $21.98?)
 
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Robert Crawford

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I think Kino has announced "Trail Of The Lonesome Pine?" Check out the review by Frank Nugent from 2/20/1936 some great insights as to what the audience was seeing regarding three strip Technicolor.


"Color has traveled far since first it exploded on the screen last June in "Becky Sharp." Demonstrating increased mastery of the new element, Walter Wanger's producing unit proves in "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine," which opened yesterday at the Paramount, that Technicolor is not restricted to a studio's stages, but can record quite handsomely the rich, natural coloring of the outside world and whatever dramatic action may be encountered in it.The significance of this achievement is not to be minimized. It means that color need not shackle the cinema, but may give it fuller expression. It means that we can doubt no longer the inevitability of the color film or scoff at those who believe that black-and-white photography is tottering on the brink of that limbo of forgotten things which already has swallowed the silent picture. Chromatically, "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" is far less impressive than its pioneer in the field. "Becky Sharp" employed color as a stylistic accentuation of dramatic effect. It sought to imprison the rainbow in a series of carefully planned canvases that were radiantly startling, visually magnificent, attuned carefully to the mood of the picture and to the changing tempo of its action.The new picture attempts none of this. Paradoxically, it improves the case for color by lessening its importance. It accepts the spectrum as a complementary attribute of the picture, not its raison d'être. In place of the vivid reds and scarlets, the brilliant purples and dazzling greens and yellows of "Becky," it employs sober browns and blacks and deep greens. It may not be natural color, but, at least, it is used more naturally. The eye, accustomed to the shadings of black and white, has less difficulty meeting the demands of the new element; the color is not a distraction, but an attraction—as valuable and little more obtrusive than the musical score.Lest this be interpreted as a completely eulogistic bulletin, let it be known that the Paramount's new film is far from perfect, either as a photoplay or as an instrument for the use of the new three-component Technicolor process. Again speaking of the color, it would appear that blue still baffles the camera, that light browns have a tendency to run to green, that red is either extremely red or hopelessly orange. These are remediable defects, we feel, and ones that Hollywood's skill will overcome.Of the story, John Fox Jr.'s well-known novel speaks for itself. Published in 1908 and twice before used as a basis for a film — once with Charlotte Walker and once with Mary Miles Minter—it tells of the feud between the Tollivers and the Falins of Kentucky, of John Hale, the young "furriner" who comes into the mountains to build a railroad, and of June Tolliver, the untamed young savage who sheds her newly acquired coat of civilization when the Falins kill chubby little Buddy Tolliver during their guerrilla warfare against Hale and his railroad crew.Unlike "Becky," this is no turgid, drawing room drama with a superabundance of dialogue and a minimum of action. Like "Becky," it is none too generously endowed with story values. For all its gunplay and fist-swinging, its plot—considered alone — would be unimpressive and little more meaningful than the elemental fodder on which most Class B melodramas feed. But when, to that story, is added a cast of unusual merit and a richly beautiful color production, then it becomes a distinguished and worthwhile picture, commanding attention no less for its intrinsic entertainment value than as another significant milestone in the development of the cinema.Of the performances there should be special mention for Fred Stone's portrayal of the grizzled Judd Tolliver; for Henry Fonda's Dave Tolliver, the youth who accepts the "kill a Falin" dictum as one of the eternal verities; for Robert Barrat's Falin; for Fred MacMurray's personification of the "furriner"; for Beulah Bondi's Melissa, the mountain woman who lives under the terrorizing grip of feud; for Spanky McFarland, the pudgy-faced little Buddy, whose death is the tragedy of the film; for Sylvia Sidney, who is a lovely—if not completely authentic—hill billy, for Nigel Bruce as an engineer.But the real credit for "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" belongs not to John Fox Jr., nor to the cast, but to Natalie Kalmus, who supervised the color photography; to Alexander Toluboff, who was responsible for the art direction, and to Henry Hathaway, its director, who adhered steadfastly, in the face of what must have been great temptation, to his avowed intention of keeping color under control.

THE TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE, as adapted by Harvey Threw and Horace McCoy from the story by John Fox Jr.; screen play by Grover Jones; filmed in Technicolor under the direction of Natalie Kalmus; directed by Henry Hathaway; a Walter Wanger production; released by Paramount. At the Paramount.June Tolliver . . . . . Sylvia SidneyJack Hale . . . . . Fred MacMurrayDave Tolliver . . . . . Henry FondaJudd Tolliver . . . . . Fred StoneTater . . . . . Fuzzy KnightMelissa Tolliver . . . . . Beulah BondiFalin . . . . . Robert BarratBuddie . . . . . Spanky McFarlandMajor Thurber . . . . . Nigel BruceClayt'a Wife . . . . . Ricca AllenEzra's Wife . . . . . Margaret ArmstrongDave Tolliver at 5 . . . . . Powell ClaytonDave Tolliver at 10 . . . . . George ErnestOld Dave . . . . . Frank McGlynn Jr.The Tolliver Clan . . . . . Alan Baxter, Ed Le Saint, Hank Bell, Fred Burns, Richard Carle, Bud Geary, Jim Welch and John Beck.The Falin Clan . . . . . Bob Cortman, Jim Corey and William McCormi"
Some of us have been making personal comments about "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" Blu-ray for a couple of weeks now. I'm very happy with that Blu-ray's video presentation.
 

RobertMG

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Some of us have been making personal comments about "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" Blu-ray for a couple of weeks now. I'm very happy with that Blu-ray's video presentation.
Thanks Mr C and Will didn't know it was Universal that released it- gonna grab it!
 

Stephen_J_H

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Although I believe they were produced with the best of intentions, based upon current abilities of theaters to screen a 1.37 image, I work to continue to rid my memory of the screening that my assistant and I attended.

Best not to go there.
So what you're saying [reading between the lines] is that the 1998 prints were the bastardized 1.37:1 "postage stamp" [I'm being charitable here, given how little frame real estate it actually took up] format squarely in the centre of the frame, thus having significantly reduced resolution? I remember screening prints of Metallica: Some Kind of Monster in a similar format, though since that doc was DV-originated, loss of resolution was debatable.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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So what you're saying [reading between the lines] is that the 1998 prints were the bastardized 1.37:1 "postage stamp" [I'm being charitable here, given how little frame real estate it actually took up] format squarely in the centre of the frame, thus having significantly reduced resolution? I remember screening prints of Metallica: Some Kind of Monster in a similar format, though since that doc was DV-originated, loss of resolution was debatable.
Those 1998 prints actually used the full height of the scope frame. The picture was squeezed and when projected yielded a 1.37 image pillar boxed within a scope frame. Results weren’t good as the prints themselves were lousy.
 

lark144

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It's actually didn't come from KINO but from Universal's own MOD program. I like the look of it on blu-ray (I know some people had issues with the DVD but I liked the look of that, too) as it looks like an HD version of the transfer as it appeared on the DVD. The opening credits are severely misregistered but it clears up as soon as they're over. Technicolor wanted to show that it could also do "natural color" in addition to the artistic rainbows of BECKY SHARP and that's just what they give us. They were making the argument that color didn't necessarily need to call attention to itself to be effective. It's not a movie I would watch more than once had it been shot in black & white, but as an early Technicolor example I've seen it many many times.

And by the way, "bah humbug" to Frank Nugent for giving away an important plot point in his review!!!



(If you click the link, Amazon is actually selling it for $19.99 as of today. I don't know why it's printing as $21.98?)

RE: "Bah Humbug to Frank Nugent:

Will, In 1936, I think every American household owned a copy of "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" and everyone had read it. So that's not really a "spoiler" as every single person seeing the movie knew what was going to happen. I read it when I was a child, so I knew that plot point going in when I saw it at MOMA during the Paramount series (btw, which looked amazing--a thousand wows & by comparison, yes, the DVD is NOT three-strip Technicolor. I think it's an Eastman transfer. Not bad, but looks nothing like the nitrate print I saw. Boy, did it glow.) Anyway, Mr. Nugent's spoiler doesn't hold a candle to Bosley "the grouch" Crowther who loved to give away the surprise endings of thrillers in his reviews, for instance "Psycho" & "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane". In the case of "Suddenly Last Summer" it backfired, as he gave away the ending to prove how "horrible and immoral" the film was, and that review turned it into a box office smash. The Times reviewers still do heaps of spoilers in their reviews, Manola Dargis in particular. Bottom line, if you haven't seen the film, DON'T READ the Times review.
 

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