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

Robert Harris

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I'm one of those lovers of everything Hitchcock, and to my mind, even his lessor work, brought enough of his unique talent to the screen to make it interesting.

This 1969 thriller, which takes us around the globe, isn't considered "prime" Hitchcock, but is still a terrific two hour journey with "The Master."

Dye transfer prints were beautifully rendered, and the Blu-ray, while not reaching those heights, is a more than acceptable approximation of the original.

Image - 4

Audio - 5

Recommended.

RAH
 

Reed Grele

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Re: The different endings. There were 3 I believe. Which one is included in the film proper, and are the other 2 still available as extras?
 

mikeyhitchfan

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Originally Posted by Reed Grele /t/324717/a-few-words-about-topaz-in-blu-ray#post_3993180
Re: The different endings. There were 3 I believe. Which one is included in the film proper, and are the other 2 still available as extras?
Yes, the extras are there. See my post above - it's Hitchcock's preferred ending even though it didn't preview well.
 

lark144

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When Topaz opened Christmas week of 1969 at the Cinerama Theatre in NYC, the film dissolved from Michel Piccoli being denied entry to the NATO meeting to a newspaper being thrown into a garbage can on the Champs Ellysee. A little anti-climatic, I thought at the time. In fact, this was the ending attached to the film for decades, at least whenever I saw the film. 15 years later, I finally saw both the airplane and duel endings. While the airplane ending does tie up loose ends, the duel is wonderfully cinematic and inventive, especially in the use of negative space, for instance, the shots where Piccoli & Fredrick Stafford are standing outside the frame, waiting for the command to fire. I personally think it's the perfect ending to the film, but now thanks to the magic of digital discs, we can all watch the ending we prefer.
 

mikeyhitchfan

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Originally Posted by lark144 /t/324717/a-few-words-about-topaz-in-blu-ray#post_3993270
When Topaz opened Christmas week of 1969 at the Cinerama Theatre in NYC, the film dissolved from Michel Piccoli being denied entry to the NATO meeting to a newspaper being thrown into a garbage can on the Champs Ellysee. A little anti-climatic, I thought at the time. In fact, this was the ending attached to the film for decades, at least whenever I saw the film. 15 years later, I finally saw both the airplane and duel endings. While the airplane ending does tie up loose ends, the duel is wonderfully cinematic and inventive, especially in the use of negative space, for instance, the shots where Piccoli & Fredrick Stafford are standing outside the frame, waiting for the command to fire. I personally think it's the perfect ending to the film, but now thanks to the magic of digital discs, we can all watch the ending we prefer.
Yes, but the duel ending got an even worse reaction from the preview audience. I'm glad they changed it (since the DVD masterpiece collection I think) from the crappy abrupt ending you mentioned to the airplane one as it at least seems like a real ending.
 

lark144

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I was there on opening night at The Cinerama to see Topaz. It was a sold out house. People applauded when Roscoe Lee Browne jumped onto the awning of the Thresea hotel, and also when Karin Dor was shot and her red dress swirled onto the floor like the petals of a rose. The audience was actively involved in the film. But at the end everybody booed, because the film didn't have an ending. Although the duel scene is a little strange, it is dramatic, visually dynamic and does tie up all the loose ends. I can't help but think it might have gone over better and helped word of mouth. Anyway, we now have all three endings on the disc, so one can watch the ending one prefers.
 

lark144

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Moe Dickstein said:
See I'm not the only one who remembered it as a red dress lol
I'm not going to check my DVD, but it's more like purple or rose, isn't it? Well, my unconscious insists on typing red, even though I don't SEE red in my memory! But the main reason I wrote that post was to document the fact that there was loud applause for specific scenes in Topaz on opening night, even though some people booed at the end.
REED: For the Topaz DVD you have to click on extras, then click on the specific ending you want. It doesn't take very long, but it's not instantaneous. I don't know what the story is in terms of the Blu Ray.
 

mikeyhitchfan

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Originally Posted by lark144 /t/324717/a-few-words-about-topaz-in-blu-ray#post_3993375
REED: For the Topaz DVD you have to click on extras, then click on the specific ending you want. It doesn't take very long, but it's not instantaneous. I don't know what the story is in terms of the Blu Ray.
I'm sure the alternate endings are in SD as extras only.
 

Moe Dickstein

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lark144 said:
I'm not going to check my DVD, but it's more like purple or rose, isn't it? Well, my unconscious insists on typing red, even though I don't SEE red in my memory! But the main reason I wrote that post was to document the fact that there was loud applause for specific scenes in Topaz on opening night, even though some people booed at the end.
REED: For the Topaz DVD you have to click on extras, then click on the specific ending you want. It doesn't take very long, but it's not instantaneous. I don't know what the story is in terms of the Blu Ray.
I only mention it because I made a big deal of her "red" dress in another thread when the first problems with the set came out. It's still the best shot in Topaz
 

mikeyhitchfan

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This is an impressive transfer. Very sharp and colorful with nice grain throughout. Only spot checked but I'm happy with the transfer here. And the dress is indeed purple.
 

haineshisway

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Not crazy about it, frankly. Color is slightly off from the dye transfer prints (and, I think, from the previous DVD - although I'm guessing it's the same transfer). I have always been a fan of the movie and more so this extended version, but I just wish it was better-looking
 

mikeyhitchfan

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You may be right ( I don't have the DVD anymore) and I haven't watched the whole film, but it was still quite surprising and pleasing to see how good it did look.
 

Scott Calvert

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This one is DNR'd and sharpened from the first 20 minutes or so I watched last night. Pretty much on par with Frenzy.
I can see people being upset The Man Who Knew Too Much due to the film element issues but at least it's a faithful transfer of a piece of film. The digital crazyness of the 60's and 70's pictures is driving me up the wall.
 

mikeyhitchfan

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Originally Posted by Scott Calvert /t/324717/a-few-words-about-topaz-in-blu-ray#post_3996223
This one is DNR'd and sharpened from the first 20 minutes or so I watched last night. Pretty much on par with Frenzy.
I can see people being upset The Man Who Knew Too Much due to the film element issues but at least it's a faithful transfer of a piece of film. The digital crazyness of the 60's and 70's pictures is driving me up the wall.
So what if it's DNR'd? As long as it's used correctly, I'm fine with it. Topaz and Frenzy both looked pretty damn good to me. Not waxy. I don't have a nine foot screen or anything.
 

haineshisway

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Scott Calvert said:
This one is DNR'd and sharpened from the first 20 minutes or so I watched last night. Pretty much on par with Frenzy.
I can see people being upset The Man Who Knew Too Much due to the film element issues but at least it's a faithful transfer of a piece of film. The digital crazyness of the 60's and 70's pictures is driving me up the wall.
If you think The Man Who Knew Too Much is a faithful transfer of the film The Man Who Knew Too Much you would be very incorrect. It looks nothing like The Man Who Knew Too Much and that is all that matters about that. It's far worse than either Topaz or Frenzy in this set. While neither of those is to my liking especially, they at least resemble even a little what they should look like.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by haineshisway /t/324717/a-few-words-about-topaz-in-blu-ray#post_3996287
If you think The Man Who Knew Too Much is a faithful transfer of the film The Man Who Knew Too Much you would be very incorrect. It looks nothing like The Man Who Knew Too Much and that is all that matters about that. It's far worse than either Topaz or Frenzy in this set. While neither of those is to my liking especially, they at least resemble even a little what they should look like.
I believe the response was more to the fact that the Blu-ray of MWKTM faithfully reproduced what was on the film. And with that, I agree. The fact that it looks nothing like what MWKTM is supposed to look like, is another matter, as this Blu-ray is horrid.

RAH
 

Scott Calvert

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Robert Harris said:
I believe the response was more to the fact that the Blu-ray of MWKTM faithfully reproduced what was on the film.
Yes, that's what I was getting at. Not that it's an ideal piece of film.
I know people think I'm crazy but I love film as a physical, organic thing with all of its imperfections (intended or unintended). It's unfortunate that the elements for TMWKTM aren't in better shape and I truly hope Universal rectifies that ASAP. But, crazy person that I am, I would rather have an untouched transfer of an element that is falling apart rather than something that looks more like electronic data.
 

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