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Robert Harris

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Over the past thirty years or so, on various threads here on HTF and elsewhere, there has been such a hue and cry for Brothers Grimm to be restored, them folks better ste up.

First and most important, this is not a restoration, and I'm fully aware what that word means.

David Strohmaier and Tom March have gone so far beyond that concept, creating a version of the film that looks far better than it did upon release, that restoration is the wrong word.

They've taken it upon themselves to correct a multitude of technical problems, mostly applied to the animation work, that viewing this new Blu-ray from Warner Archive is a surprising pleasant expectation, beyond what many people many have been perceiving going in.

The multiple 2k scans, going out to 6, have been downrezzed to 4k and then to Blu-ray resolution without a hiccup in sight.

Blend lines are virtually non-existent, color is crisp and clean, images are stable to one another, and all is well in Grimmland.

There's also a terrific documentary on the tech courtesy of Harrison Engle, that runs over 30 minutes and breaks down the multiple layers of work into simple terms. It's beautifully made.

Please purchase at least three copies each and gift them for the Holidays.


For those unaware, the film comes two ways - letteredboxed and smile-boxed. Ya pays yer money, ya takes yer choice.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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RobertMG

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They actually do that all the time. The problem is that the final result makes it look easy.
Thank you for this wonderful review, never saw the film so with your rave about the usual stunning work by Warner's and the NYT's review by 'The' Bosley Crowther from 08/08/1962 I am grabbing me a copy! Anything BC was none to thrilled with was almost always overruled by the masses! But read the review again and it seems like he was on the fence a bit.


The first all-out utilization of the Cinerama motion picture process to convey a complete dramatic story, not just string together a lot of photographic tricks and travel shots, is made in the king-sized production, "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm," It had its world première last evening at the old Capitol Theatre, now considerably refurbished inside and renamed Loew's Cinerama.As historic as the achievement and the occasion have been made to seem in the advance promotion, it appears, from the critical point of view, that nothing especially new or notable in the way of motion-picture entertainment—or even Cinerama entertainment—has been accomplished here.Although the familiar giant-screen process—the device by which an image composed of three separate but connected images is projected upon a huge arcing panel from three projection machines—has been dubbed Super-Cinerama, it is still the same process that has been used in several previous productions shown at the Warner Theatre here.The total image itself is stupendous, so that it fills and bewitches the eye with a sense of miraculous nearness or panoramic magnitude. But the several optical flaws that have been noticeable in the process in the past—the saucer or arch shape of the horizon, according to whether it is being viewed from an orchestra or a balcony seat; the inconsistency of the color quality in the different panels, and, especially, the marginal lines at which the separate images blend—are still often noticeable in this picture, so that the process cannot be said to be perfected yet.And the drama or story that is offered in "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" is certainly not of such a vast or special nature that it justifies or is even helped by the use of the giant screen. Indeed, it is of such a modest nature — so diminutive, in many ways, and fanciful—that the effort to make it fill the huge panel by the use of much obvious pictorial padding and photographic stunting is perceptibly strained.It is simply a bit of the story of the two brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, who lived in Germany in the late eighteenth century and wrote many familiar fairy tales, three of which (all among their less familiar) are interpolated in highly fanciful enactments in this film.These fairy-tale enactments are attractive and beguiling in a whimsical way, being wrought with much pictorial production and lively acting in bold, bravura style. Most amusing is the rendering of the story of "The Singing Bone," with Terry-Thomas and Buddy Hackett performing as the knight and his faithful servant who go to slay a dragon in a cave. This one has the advantage of its performers' elaborate comic skills and the spectacular quality of the jeweled dragon that does, at least, fill the huge screen.The enactment of the tale of "The Dancing Princess" is an uneven blend of fanciful and naturalistic styles, with Yvette Mimieux and Russ Tamblyn dancing and racing through a conglomeration of adventures in a sometime fairyland, sometime natural world. And the enactment of "The Cobbler and the Elves" is a combination of live-action and puppet performing in a story-book German-village set.But the surrounding story of the two brothers, one expansively played by a leaping and laughing Laurence Harvey and the other played flatly by Karl Boehm, is much too long and academic, with its emphasis upon their conflicts with a duke—a glowering fellow, played by Oscar Homolka — who'll have no truck with fairy tales.If anything, this story is inhibited and constrained by the evident photographic rather than cinematic emphasis that the process impels. As a consequence, a simple little drama, which might be compared in scope to the previous production of its producer, George Pal, "The Three Worlds of Gulliver," is rendered dramatically tedious, although it is pictorially rich, with a lot of eye-filling shots of country and ancient German castles and towns.It is, quite simply, a picture that children are more likely to enjoy than the average adult, who has seen a lot of this sort of thing.
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM, screen play by David Harmon, Charles Beaumont and William Roberts; directed by Henry Levin and George Pal; produced by George Pal for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. At Loew's Cinerama Theatre, Broadway and Fifty-first Street. Running time: 135 minutes. Wilhelm Grimm . . . . . Laurence Harvey Dorothea Grimm . . . . . Claire Bloom Jacob Grimm . . . . . Karl Boehm Greta Heinrich . . . . . Barbara Eden Stossel . . . . . Walter SlezakThe Duke . . . . . Oscar HomolkaGruber . . . . . Ian Wolfe Flower Woman . . . . . Elisabeth Neumann Anna Richter . . . . . Martita Hunt THE DANCING PRINCESS The Princess . . . . . Yvette Mimieux The Woodsman . . . . . Russ Tamblyn The King . . . . . Jim Backus THE COBBLER AND THE ELVESThe Cobbler . . . . . Laurence HarveyThe Elves . . . . . George Pal's PuppetoonsTHE SINGING BONELudwig . . . . . Terry-ThomasHans . . . . . Buddy Hackett
The Shepherd . . . . . Robert Crawford Jr. The King . . . . . Otto Kruger
 
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RichMurphy

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I like the concept of "recreation" rather than "restoration" in cases like this. I know it's subjective, but I tend to judge changes made from an original by whether they correct technical deficiencies (such as eliminating Cinerama join lines, color imbalance, and negative damage) which is fine with me, or alter the substance of a film (Han shot first) which isn't.

I can't wait until my pre-order of BROTHERS GRIMM arrives.

Oh, in reference to the post #6 above, I enjoy reading the "Articles" and "Notes" that usually accompany a film on TCM.com and the TCM app. When quoting critical reaction to films at the time, it's amazing how often Bosley Crowther seemed clueless.
 

RobertMG

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I like the concept of "recreation" rather than "restoration" in cases like this. I know it's subjective, but I tend to judge changes made from an original by whether they correct technical deficiencies (such as eliminating Cinerama join lines, color imbalance, and negative damage) which is fine with me, or alter the substance of a film (Han shot first) which isn't.

I can't wait until my pre-order of BROTHERS GRIMM arrives.

Oh, in reference to the post #6 above, I enjoy reading the "Articles" and "Notes" that usually accompany a film on TCM.com and the TCM app. When quoting critical reaction to films at the time, it's amazing how often Bosley Crowther seemed clueless.
Ordered my copy! If you want a really great resource go to AFI Catalog typer in the name of the film and the info is stunning. Yet for some reason very little on this film As an example check out the info on TSOM at the AFI -- https://catalog.afi.com/Film/22305-...4988-92df-3bcf9b2ee663&sr=68.46551&cp=1&pos=0

"Location scenes filmed in West Germany. Included in the cast of the book section are townspeople of Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl and residents of the Rhine River Valley. Copyright claimant: Gallen Films.
 
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RobertMG

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Robert M. Grippo
I like the concept of "recreation" rather than "restoration" in cases like this. I know it's subjective, but I tend to judge changes made from an original by whether they correct technical deficiencies (such as eliminating Cinerama join lines, color imbalance, and negative damage) which is fine with me, or alter the substance of a film (Han shot first) which isn't.

I can't wait until my pre-order of BROTHERS GRIMM arrives.

Oh, in reference to the post #6 above, I enjoy reading the "Articles" and "Notes" that usually accompany a film on TCM.com and the TCM app. When quoting critical reaction to films at the time, it's amazing how often Bosley Crowther seemed clueless.
Yes on Bosley Crowther thats why some of us here refer to him a "THE" Bosley Crowther. Just found out he wrote two books on MGM and L B Mayer got to track them down.
 
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Vern Dias

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Strong recommendation (either way) for letterbox or smilebox on this?
Depends on whether you have a CIH 2.40:1 or greater AR screen or a 16x9 screen:

Letterbox for CIH.

Smilebox (if you don't mind everything at the extreme sides of the image being tall and skinny) for a 16x9 screen.

That said, both formats are in the set, so you can try them both and make the most aesthetically pleasing choice for your tastes.

For me, with a 2.76:1 curved screen, the flat version delivers a far more encompassing visual experience.
 
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Vern Dias

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I presume with a screen like that, you have some of the smilebox Cinerama travelogues. How do they look projected on a curved screen?
Terrible, but It's not the curve, it's because you can only use part of the CIH screen, as the image has to be projected at 1.78:1.
 
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RichMurphy

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Ordered my copy! If you want a really great resource go to AFI Catalog typer in the name of the film and the info is stunning. Yet for some reason very little on this film
"Location scenes filmed in West Germany. Included in the cast of the book section are townspeople of Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl and residents of the Rhine River Valley. Copyright claimant: Gallen Films.
Actually, that is the exact wording in the "Notes" section on the TCM site, which gets much of its info from AFI. (The synopses match exactly as well.) The TCM info also includes an extensive "Article" with production and historical information on GRIMM.

https://www.tcm.com/watchtcm/titles/36446
 

RolandL

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New York Loew's Cinerama Theatre
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