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Blu-ray Review A Few Words About A few words about…™ Unconquered – in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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By 1947, three-strip Technicolor was in full fashion, with Paramount releasing three features in the format. For comparison Fox released 8.

Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered, starring Gary Cooper (his fourth Technicolor proaction and Paulette Goddard (her third, if one doesn't count the sequence in The Women).

Like many other DeMille sound films, it's an okay piece of entertainment, buoyed by the Technicolor camera of Ray Rennahan.

Lovely score by Victor Young.

And yet even that doesn't seem to be enough.

The screenplay must have read like something out of the 1920s, with dialogue and situations that are only moved forward by the astute showmanship of the filmmaker at the helm.

Kino's new Blu-ray via Universal of the Paramount release is okay. Nothing special. Nice colors, presumably derived from an Eastman re-comp, which would have been fine for TV broadcast. It just isn't in league with modern digital recombines of the technology.

Absolutely fine, as it gives a wonderful idea of what the film looked like in color - and the costumes and sets are brilliantly conceived - I can't help but wonder how good it might have looked, but that brings into play the cost of such a restoration, which would presumably not come near to recouping. So I get it.

As a fan of Mr. Cooper, this is a small treasure.

And, of course, there's Boris Karloff as Guyasuta, Chief of the Senecas.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended

RAH
 
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Gerani53

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Thank you, sir. I'm sure this release looks very nice; it just won't be up to "modern digital recombines" of the Technicolor negatives we've been seeing lately, as you've pointed out. Speaking of which, do we have confirmation that WAC's newly-announced TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME will be their latest three-strip restoration? Sadly, scaled-down WAC no longer provides this kind of invaluable data in their announcements -- hell, it would have been nice to know if OBJECTIVE: BURMA was scanned from the original neg, while we're at it. Anything less than a stellar neg-scan treatment for these titles means a "no sale" for me, as they are not super-favorites... and here's where state-of-the-art presentations make all the difference in the world. Again, thank you for whatever information you have, and I apologize for being a pest!
 

RobertMG

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So many Technicolor greats in MGM's library yet we keep getting the old standby's because they sell. Glad they did The Great Caruso though. But Showboat, Ziegfeld Follies, Take Me Out The Ballgame eh no interest. The one I would gladly grab if they redid is Easter Parade. That restored dvd and blu look worse than the old TECHNICOLOR RESTORATION laserdisc which looked like a genuine IB print thats how good it looked. Still have two copies of it! But I AM not trashing others likes and interests just saying think of the other films that could be restored like Mystery Of The Wax Museum and Dr X thankfully they were restored - BRAVO WB!!!!
 

Robert Crawford

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By 1947, three-strip Technicolor was in full fashion, with Paramount releasing three features in the format. For comparison Fox released 8.

Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered, starring Gary Cooper (his fourth Technicolor proaction and Paulette Goddard (her third, if one doesn't count the sequence in The Women).

Like many other DeMille sound films, it's an okay piece of entertainment, buoyed by the Technicolor camera of Ray Rennahan.

Lovely score by Victor Young.

And yet even that doesn't seem to be enough.

The screenplay must have read like something out of the 1920s, with dialogue and situations that are only moved forward by the astute showmanship of the filmmaker at the helm.

Kino's new Blu-ray via Universal of the Paramount release is okay. Nothing special. Nice colors, presumably derived from an Eastman re-comp, which would have been fine for TV broadcast. It just isn't in league with modern digital recombines of the technology.

Absolutely fine, as it gives a wonderful idea of what the film looked like in color - and the costumes and sets are brilliantly conceived - I can't help but wonder how good it might have looked, but that brings into play the cost of such a restoration, which would presumably not come near to recouping. So I get it.

As a fan of Mr. Cooper, this is a small treasure.

And, of course, there's Boris Karloff as Guyasuta, Chief of the Senecas.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Recommended

RAH
Thank you for your thoughts about this release. I anticipated this BD release wouldn’t be pristine as I’m just hoping it’s better looking than the German BD I previously purchased.
 

Robert Harris

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Thank you, sir. I'm sure this release looks very nice; it just won't be up to "modern digital recombines" of the Technicolor negatives we've been seeing lately, as you've pointed out. Speaking of which, do we have confirmation that WAC's newly-announced TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME will be their latest three-strip restoration? Sadly, scaled-down WAC no longer provides this kind of invaluable data in their announcements -- hell, it would have been nice to know if OBJECTIVE: BURMA was scanned from the original neg, while we're at it. Anything less than a stellar neg-scan treatment for these titles means a "no sale" for me, as they are not super-favorites... and here's where state-of-the-art presentations make all the difference in the world. Again, thank you for whatever information you have, and I apologize for being a pest!
All from OCN, with the exception of the <10 minutes from Burma, that's been replaced after the shorter re-issue, and that's from fine grain.

I expect them to be properly Warner Archive beautiful.
 

Billy Batson

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This is my favourite DeMille film, I probably saw it on TV (in b/w) at an impressionable age. It's such a fun film, Karloff is really good as the Indian chief, two great leads in Garry Cooper & Paulette Goddard & has there been a better, more delicious villain than Howard Da Silva. I've had the German Blu-ray for a couple of years & think it looks great (it would be one of my ten Desert Island Blu-ray Discs). I'd think the Kino is from the same master. I'd say buy with confidence.
 

lark144

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Thank you for your thoughts about this release. I anticipated this BD release wouldn’t be pristine as I’m just hoping it’s better looking than the German BD I previously purchased.
Robert, I also have the German Blu.

I'd give it the same rating that Mr. Harris gives, which leads me to believe that the KIno is from the same master.

If you do buy the Kino and feel it is superior, please let us know.
 

Robert Crawford

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Robert, I also have the German Blu.

I'd give it the same rating that Mr. Harris gives, which leads me to believe that the KIno is from the same master.

If you do buy the Kino and feel it is superior, please let us know.
I preordered it from Kino as I’m a sucker for audio commentaries.
 

Dan Cooper

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Thanks for your review on this. I dont have the german version and i have this the plainsman, she done him wrong and im no angel all on preorder directly with kino on the same order.

Im very much looking forward to your reviews Of peter ibbetson and desire in the coming weeks. I like the fact that ibbetson is only getting adjusted color levels by kino from the recent universal 4k scan as i have always been happy with the 2005 dvd except for the fact it is on a flipper disc. It will be interesting to see if kino does anything to the verticle lines in the night scene of desire at around the three quarter mark. They have always been there going back to the vhs days.
 

RobertMG

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I think Easter Parade looks great. It needs no redo to my eyes.
Wish someone could post screen shots from the laserdisc! And I am going to grab Unconquered! A fun DeMille film with a top tier cast!
 

Nick*Z

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So many Technicolor greats in MGM's library yet we keep getting the old standby's because they sell. Glad they did The Great Caruso though. But Showboat, Ziegfeld Follies, Take Me Out The Ballgame eh no interest. The one I would gladly grab if they redid is Easter Parade. That restored dvd and blu look worse than the old TECHNICOLOR RESTORATION laserdisc which looked like a genuine IB print thats how good it looked. Still have two copies of it! But I AM not trashing others likes and interests just saying think of the other films that could be restored like Mystery Of The Wax Museum and Dr X thankfully they were restored - BRAVO WB!!!!
The original final reels for Easter Parade were destroyed in the Eastman House fire of 78. So, no improvement possible there. Also, the rest is mostly made up of 2nd gen. dupes. The Blu-ray shortcomings - and they're not egregious by any means - add up to minor anomalies, like ringing and mis-registration issues - and a slight over-amplifying of the color spectrum. It's not awful and it is, very much, what it is, and can't be fixed.

Respectfully, I disagree with your assessment WAC is putting out the key titles at the expense of some lesser known catalog. After all, later this month we'll be getting Step By Step and I Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes - programmers from Monogram I suspect few have actually heard of, much less seen. But yes, there is still a ton of work to be done, especially in 3-strip Technicolor.

A handful of the most prominent MIA include National Velvet, Scaramouche, Ivanhoe, Small Town Girl, Bathing Beauty, Easy to Love, Lassie Come Home, Blossoms in the Dust, Words and Music, Till The Clouds Roll By, That Forsythe Woman, Little Women, Dangerous When Wet, A Date With Judy, Best Foot Forward, Nancy Goes to Rio, Holiday in Mexico, The Barkleys of Broadway, Plymouth Adventure, The Toast of New Orleans, The Merry Widow, That Midnight Kiss, Royal Wedding, Three Daring Daughters, The Belle of New York, Rich Young and Pretty, Lovely To Look At, Life With Father, The Lullaby of Broadway, Three Little Words, Thousands Cheer, I Love Melvin, and, Bittersweet.

We're also missing a ton of classics in B&W like The Great Ziegfeld, Ziegfeld Girl, Boy's Town, Rosalie, Fury, Marie Antoinette, Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, For Me and My Gal, Cabin in the Sky, The White Cliffs of Dover, Mrs. Parkington, Week-end at the Waldorf, Dinner at Eight, Red Dust, Idiot's Delight, Mystery Street, The Next Voice You Hear, Adam's Rib, Babes on Broadway, Babes in Arms, China Seas, Personal Property, Camille, Queen Christina, Humoresque, A Woman's Face, When Ladies Meet, The Damned' Don't Cry, Random Harvest, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Merry Widow, Journey for Margaret, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Maytime, Rose Marie, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Enchanted Cottage, Follow The Fleet, The Gay Divorcee, Murder She Said, The Red Badge of Courage, The Night of the Iguana, Blackboard Jungle, My Reputation, The Catered Affair, Julius Caesar, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and, Executive Suite. Again, just a handful.

And then, there are all those non-3-strip movies to consider: High Society, The Student Prince, The Swan, Raintree County, The V.I.P.'s, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, The Brothers Karamazov, Butterfield 8, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Knights of the Round Table, Rhapsody, A Light in the Piazza, Travels With My Aunt, The Wreck of the Mary Deare, Tea and Sympathy, The Cobweb, Green Mansions, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, The Shoes of the Fisherman.

While WAC has been very active, I think we can all agree, they're not even a the half-way mark of all the goodies yet to be mined on Blu-ray. I would argue, they haven't even covered a third.
 

Robert Harris

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The original final reels for Easter Parade were destroyed in the Eastman House fire of 78. So, no improvement possible there. Also, the rest is mostly made up of 2nd gen. dupes. The Blu-ray shortcomings - and they're not egregious by any means - add up to minor anomalies, like ringing and mis-registration issues - and a slight over-amplifying of the color spectrum. It's not awful and it is, very much, what it is, and can't be fixed.

Respectfully, I disagree with your assessment WAC is putting out the key titles at the expense of some lesser known catalog. After all, later this month we'll be getting Step By Step and I Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes - programmers from Monogram I suspect few have actually heard of, much less seen. But yes, there is still a ton of work to be done, especially in 3-strip Technicolor.

A handful of the most prominent MIA include National Velvet, Scaramouche, Ivanhoe, Small Town Girl, Bathing Beauty, Easy to Love, Lassie Come Home, Blossoms in the Dust, Words and Music, Till The Clouds Roll By, That Forsythe Woman, Little Women, Dangerous When Wet, A Date With Judy, Best Foot Forward, Nancy Goes to Rio, Holiday in Mexico, The Barkleys of Broadway, Plymouth Adventure, The Toast of New Orleans, The Merry Widow, That Midnight Kiss, Royal Wedding, Three Daring Daughters, The Belle of New York, Rich Young and Pretty, Lovely To Look At, Life With Father, The Lullaby of Broadway, Three Little Words, Thousands Cheer, I Love Melvin, and, Bittersweet.

We're also missing a ton of classics in B&W like The Great Ziegfeld, Ziegfeld Girl, Boy's Town, Rosalie, Fury, Marie Antoinette, Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, For Me and My Gal, Cabin in the Sky, The White Cliffs of Dover, Mrs. Parkington, Week-end at the Waldorf, Dinner at Eight, Red Dust, Idiot's Delight, Mystery Street, The Next Voice You Hear, Adam's Rib, Babes on Broadway, Babes in Arms, China Seas, Personal Property, Camille, Queen Christina, Humoresque, A Woman's Face, When Ladies Meet, The Damned' Don't Cry, Random Harvest, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Merry Widow, Journey for Margaret, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Maytime, Rose Marie, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Enchanted Cottage, Follow The Fleet, The Gay Divorcee, Murder She Said, The Red Badge of Courage, The Night of the Iguana, Blackboard Jungle, My Reputation, The Catered Affair, Julius Caesar, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and, Executive Suite. Again, just a handful.

And then, there are all those non-3-strip movies to consider: High Society, The Student Prince, The Swan, Raintree County, The V.I.P.'s, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, The Brothers Karamazov, Butterfield 8, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Knights of the Round Table, Rhapsody, A Light in the Piazza, Travels With My Aunt, The Wreck of the Mary Deare, Tea and Sympathy, The Cobweb, Green Mansions, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, The Shoes of the Fisherman.

While WAC has been very active, I think we can all agree, they're not even a the half-way mark of all the goodies yet to be mined on Blu-ray. I would argue, they haven't even covered a third.
Easter Parade should not be problematic in any way, once restored. I doubt that anyone will notice the difference between orig and master.

The old DVD was most likely derived from a CRI.
 

RobertMG

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Easter Parade should not be problematic in any way, once restored. I doubt that anyone will notice the difference between orig and master.

The old DVD was most likely derived from a CRI.
Sadly right now I cannot play my Laserdisc of Easter Parade the one that was billed as "Technicolor Restoration" very ill since last Nov when I had the 1st of now 6 facial surgeries. Yet I still feel that copy glowed like Technicolor should. Wish someone could post scans of it. When I got the 2005 I think restored dvd and had friends over to sample it many were shocked all feeling the Laser looked better. I have to grab the blu ray next Easter GOD willing. This is not mine but a pic to show u which one I reference
1626099217647.png
 
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RobertMG

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The original final reels for Easter Parade were destroyed in the Eastman House fire of 78. So, no improvement possible there. Also, the rest is mostly made up of 2nd gen. dupes. The Blu-ray shortcomings - and they're not egregious by any means - add up to minor anomalies, like ringing and mis-registration issues - and a slight over-amplifying of the color spectrum. It's not awful and it is, very much, what it is, and can't be fixed.

Respectfully, I disagree with your assessment WAC is putting out the key titles at the expense of some lesser known catalog. After all, later this month we'll be getting Step By Step and I Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes - programmers from Monogram I suspect few have actually heard of, much less seen. But yes, there is still a ton of work to be done, especially in 3-strip Technicolor.

A handful of the most prominent MIA include National Velvet, Scaramouche, Ivanhoe, Small Town Girl, Bathing Beauty, Easy to Love, Lassie Come Home, Blossoms in the Dust, Words and Music, Till The Clouds Roll By, That Forsythe Woman, Little Women, Dangerous When Wet, A Date With Judy, Best Foot Forward, Nancy Goes to Rio, Holiday in Mexico, The Barkleys of Broadway, Plymouth Adventure, The Toast of New Orleans, The Merry Widow, That Midnight Kiss, Royal Wedding, Three Daring Daughters, The Belle of New York, Rich Young and Pretty, Lovely To Look At, Life With Father, The Lullaby of Broadway, Three Little Words, Thousands Cheer, I Love Melvin, and, Bittersweet.

We're also missing a ton of classics in B&W like The Great Ziegfeld, Ziegfeld Girl, Boy's Town, Rosalie, Fury, Marie Antoinette, Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, For Me and My Gal, Cabin in the Sky, The White Cliffs of Dover, Mrs. Parkington, Week-end at the Waldorf, Dinner at Eight, Red Dust, Idiot's Delight, Mystery Street, The Next Voice You Hear, Adam's Rib, Babes on Broadway, Babes in Arms, China Seas, Personal Property, Camille, Queen Christina, Humoresque, A Woman's Face, When Ladies Meet, The Damned' Don't Cry, Random Harvest, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Merry Widow, Journey for Margaret, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Maytime, Rose Marie, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Enchanted Cottage, Follow The Fleet, The Gay Divorcee, Murder She Said, The Red Badge of Courage, The Night of the Iguana, Blackboard Jungle, My Reputation, The Catered Affair, Julius Caesar, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and, Executive Suite. Again, just a handful.

And then, there are all those non-3-strip movies to consider: High Society, The Student Prince, The Swan, Raintree County, The V.I.P.'s, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, The Brothers Karamazov, Butterfield 8, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Knights of the Round Table, Rhapsody, A Light in the Piazza, Travels With My Aunt, The Wreck of the Mary Deare, Tea and Sympathy, The Cobweb, Green Mansions, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, The Shoes of the Fisherman.

While WAC has been very active, I think we can all agree, they're not even a the half-way mark of all the goodies yet to be mined on Blu-ray. I would argue, they haven't even covered a third.
Royal Wedding looks great on the dvd teamed with The Belle of New York - I would love to see "King Solomon's Mines" and of course if you have seen my posts before "Northwest Passage" get the restored Blu treatment.
 

RobertMG

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Royal Wedding looks great on the dvd teamed with The Belle of New York - I would love to see "King Solomon's Mines" and of course if you have seen my posts before "Northwest Passage" get the restored Blu treatment.
Got Unconquered last week on blu have not opened it yet. Import - keeping it sealed if the Kino looks better I will grab it and return this one back to Amazon,
 
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