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

Robert Harris

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Orson Welles' The Stranger, is a 1946 independent production that has fallen into the public domain.

As such, we've seen numerous incarnations and permutations released on home video over the decades.

Blu-ray brings out the best, and the worst attributes of film elements, so a comparison of the Kino version, released not long ago, vs the new Olive is telling.

The Olive apparently comes from a licensed source, which also does not have access to prime elements. As far as I know, they may not survive.

As a film, The Stranger is middling Welles. Some beautiful photography, along with more than adequate acting, and a far less than stellar screenplay8.

Here's what you get from the new Olive release.

Overall, a far cleaner image, without scratches, occasional splices, or other damage. But it's also an image that's at least a generation further away from the Kino, which is more highly resolved, with better grain, but is also slightly out of focus on one side of the screen. This brings the lesser side of the imagery more into line with what you'll see on the Olive release.

Audio is superior on the Kino disc, which also has more shadow detail, but almost no real blacks.

A pity, as it's also a film produced by the great S.P. Eagle -- a master filmmaker.

Image - 3.25

Audio - 3

4k Up-rez - 3.5

Pass / Fail - Pass

RAH
 

Angelo Colombus

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I did read in one of the many books on Orson that he had a idea of having Agnes Morehead to play the lead part played by Edward G Robinson. Have seen it many times and it's a good thriller but with this being the third blu-ray release and no blu-ray of The Magnificent Ambersons is kinda frustrating.
 

Charles Smith

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I have a strong fondness for this one in spite of its flaws, in large part due to the setting and the cinematography.

It's frustrating that, so far, no single release has been able to really get it where it needs to be. I hadn't noticed the slightly-out-of-focus side on the Kino, so now I'll be obsessed with seeing it! I have wondered, though, why a few of their releases seem a little on the "hot" (as though overexposed) side. I still have the MGM DVD which, when I looked at it after having just seen a wonderful 35mm presentation by our own Peter Apruzzese, seemed a pleasing match for the general "look".
 

Robin9

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I'll have another look at the DVD which is fairly good, as I recall. Unless I find the DVD to be way less than acceptable, I'll hold off buying any of the various Blu-ray discs.
 

Robert Crawford

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I have this disc on its way to me. I have the Kino BD release as well as the MGM DVD disc. One day in the near future, I'll spend a day with all three discs for some deep comparison evaluations. I've always loved this film since first viewing it during my childhood.
 

Patrick McCart

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It might be Welles as director-for-hire, but it's still a terrific film. I find it a great companion film to Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt.

I own the MGM DVD, which is by far the best SD edition I've seen. I'll probably pick up the Olive edition since the Kino seems too bright and harsh.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I have this disc on its way to me. I have the Kino BD release as well as the MGM DVD disc. One day in the near future, I'll spend a day with all three discs for some deep comparison evaluations. I've always loved this film since first viewing it during my childhood.

I don't own it at all, and would be very interested in hearing the result of this comparison. I'd be inclined to buy whichever one was your favorite.
 

commander richardson

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I'll have another look at the DVD which is fairly good, as I recall. Unless I find the DVD to be way less than acceptable, I'll hold off buying any of the various Blu-ray discs.

I have seen all releases of this movie and the BEST by far in my opinion is the DVD MGM/FOX Film Noir series edition which is both picture and sound superior to any BD release............
 

Robin9

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I have seen all releases of this movie and the BEST by far in my opinion is the DVD MGM/FOX Film Noir series edition which is both picture and sound superior to any BD release............

That's the disc I have, and is the reason I'm in no rush to buy a less-than-superb Blu-ray disc.
 

Robert Crawford

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I have to disagree with RAH about the Olive and Kino Blu-rays. I think the Olive BD was superior both, audio and video-wise. The black level was better while the Kino looked too bright and over exposed with much more noticeable film damage. Also, audio-wise there was much more hiss on the Kino Blu-ray.
 

aPhil

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I have to disagree with RAH about the Olive and Kino Blu-rays. I think the Olive BD was superior both, audio and video-wise. The black level was better while the Kino looked too bright and over exposed with much more noticeable film damage. Also, audio-wise there was much more hiss on the Kino Blu-ray.

While the Olive leaves much to be desired, I agree with you -- The Olive is superior to the Kino (which, not mentioned here, seems to be artificially over-sharpened). The Kino does have the advantage of not cutting the final shot short.
For the casual fan, if you already own one of these then I would not recommend getting the other as well, but if you were buying for the first time then I would definitely recommend the Olive Blu-ray.

I certainly hope we can get a better source and more work on this film in the future.
 

Matt Hough

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I watched the TCM broadcast today, and while a description of the movie didn't ring any bells, once seeing it I realized I had watched it before. I don't think I've bought either version, but I must double check to make sure before I order.
 

Craig Beam

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I dunno... I kinda prefer the Kino to the Olive (at least as far as the DVD Beaver screencaps go). I thought the TCM airing looked decent.
 

aPhil

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I dunno... I kinda prefer the Kino to the Olive (at least as far as the DVD Beaver screencaps go). I thought the TCM airing looked decent.

I like dvdbeaver, but the screencaps do not tell the story in this case. The contrast is much better on the Olive disc and the image looks somewhat like a harsh over-sharpened photo on the Kino. Still, if you already own one of these, I would not recommend that anyone less than the fanatic buy the other -- Both are presentable but leave you wishing for better.

Both leave something to be desired, but the Olive makes for a better presentation (minus the abrupt end title at the close of the film).
 

aPhil

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I will say that I enjoyed the film on both the Kino and the Olive. I think it rather underrated -- Maybe everyone looks for more Citizen Kane shots.
 

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