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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Viva Zapata & Wild River -- in Blu-Ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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The second volume of Elia Kazan productions from Fox Connect, has also now been released on Blu-ray. Four films -- Man on a Tightrope (1953), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), Viva Zapata (1952), and Wild River (1960), are included, and round out Mr. Kazan's work at Fox.

Wild River was Mr. Kazan's second film in color and CinemaScope. His first was East of Eden. I was concerned placing a 1960-based color production in my player, as almost all color films of that era are extremely problematic in one way or another.

I was extremely pleasantly surprised by this one, as the color appears beautiful. What the asset protection team at Fox had to work with, I'm not certain, but the final result is stunning. While I have direct information, part of this may go to the the need for a new 35mm print for the 2009 Kazan retrospective at the Film Forum in NYC.

This TVA centric film, about land to be flooded by dam construction in the 1930s is interesting on a number of levels. I mentioned that the majority of Mr. Kazan's productions were black & white. It appears that Wild River may be one of the earliest color productions set in 1930s rural America.

Wonderful, and generally unseen film. Great performances -- Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Jo Van Fleet (who he had earlier directed in East of Eden).

Viva Zapata gives us Marlon Brando as Emiliano Zapata. The time period is the 1910 Mexican revolution. I'm unaware whether this was shot on nitrate or safety, but like the earlier black & white productions, once we get past the dupes, this one shines, and shines at a far higher level than the earlier films.

Gorgeous black & white reproduction, with stunning gray levels.

Wild River

Image - 4.5

Audio - 5


Viva Zapata

Image - 4.5

Audio - 4

Once again, as with the other Kazan set, these fllms are...

Extremely Highly Recommended.

I can think of no better way to align oneself with the extraordinary works of Mr. Kazan.

RAH
 

Dick

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Is there a link to whoever is selling this set? Can't seem to locate it in Amazon U.S. or UK.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by Dick /t/325118/a-few-words-about-viva-zapata-wild-river-in-blu-ray#post_4000180
Is there a link to whoever is selling this set? Can't seem to locate it in Amazon U.S. or UK.
Only via Fox Connect on line.
 

compson

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Both Kazan sets are now 50% off on Fox Connect: $34.99. Wild River is a first-rate movie, with a nice post-accident performance by Montgomery Clift.
 

Robin9

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I've just watched Wild River which I hadn't seen for at least twenty years. In those long ago days I saw this film eight times in as many years as it was one of my absolute favorite movies. Seeing it again today, I think it may still be an all-time favorite: a really superb and multi-layered piece of work. The love relationship is a model for other screenwriters and directors to analyse and copy. The BRD is beyond serious criticism. I am delighted to have this in my collection. I doubt it'll be twenty weeks before I watch it again.
 

Vegas 1

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bujaki said:
Bought Wild River BD today at my local Sam's Club for $9.99.
Also picked this up at my local Sam's Club, watched last Sunday after all the football playoffs, what a good film had never seen this before.
 

Nick*Z

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Wild River is an underrated masterpiece. Kazan works his magic for taut raw human emotion into a frenzy and the friction between Remick, Van Fleet and Clift is mesmerizing. Powerful stuff and nice to have on Blu-ray. Would love to have Viva Zapata and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn too...oh, and Pinky.
 

Mark-P

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I picked up Wild River at Costco as well. I had never seen it, what a great movie! So I hope I haven't shot myself in the foot buying the single releases instead of the Elia Kazan box sets from Fox Connect. I'm counting on Fox to eventually release the other titles as singles as well.
 

Lromero1396

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Robert Harris said:
Wild River Image - 4.5 Audio - 5
Wasn't Wild River originally a 4-track stereo release? If so, have the elements been lost or just overlooked. JoeCapps could probably tell us. It'd also be nice to get some definitive info from the studio on what the source was for this transfer, like if it was from the OCN or an IP, and if the audio comes from a magnetic or optical source. In any case, I'm ecstatic to her that this release looks as wonderful as it does and sounds as good as it can, given what elements there are.
 

rsmithjr

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Lromero1396 said:
Wasn't Wild River originally a 4-track stereo release? If so, have the elements been lost or just overlooked. JoeCapps could probably tell us. It'd also be nice to get some definitive info from the studio on what the source was for this transfer, like if it was from the OCN or an IP, and if the audio comes from a magnetic or optical source. In any case, I'm ecstatic to her that this release looks as wonderful as it does and sounds as good as it can, given what elements there are.
This is about the time that Fox reduced their commitment to 4-track stereo on their CinemaScope films. Sometimes this meant fewer prints, often it appears a film was never mixed in stereo. I saw it in mono at the flagship stereo-equipped theatre that always ran the Fox films first run. Hayes and Carr (a source that is far more accurate that its reputation) says 4-track magnetic.
 

Lromero1396

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rsmithjr said:
This is about the time that Fox reduced their commitment to 4-track stereo on their CinemaScope films. Sometimes this meant fewer prints, often it appears a film was never mixed in stereo. I saw it in mono at the flagship stereo-equipped theatre that always ran the Fox films first run. Hayes and Carr (a source that is far more accurate that its reputation) says 4-track magnetic.
Thank you. I'd like to see Fox step up to the plate and do Criterion-style restoration featurettes on ALL of their classic releases. This would clear up a LOT of debate on the status of many stereo films which are presumed to only exist in mono or regarding lost original negatives.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by rsmithjr
This is about the time that Fox reduced their commitment to 4-track stereo on their CinemaScope films. Sometimes this meant fewer prints, often it appears a film was never mixed in stereo.
I saw it in mono at the flagship stereo-equipped theatre that always ran the Fox films first run.
Hayes and Carr (a source that is far more accurate that its reputation) says 4-track magnetic.
Several years ago, there was an errata project regarding the Hayes / Carr tome, that unfortunately, was almost the length of the book.
If one reads that book, and is told that Gone With the Wind was photographed on 35mm film, I'd suggest checking other sources before taking it as gospel.
RAH
 

rsmithjr

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Robert Harris said:
Several years ago, there was an errata project regarding the Hayes / Carr tome, that unfortunately, was almost the length of the book. If one reads that book, and is told that Gone With the Wind was photographed on 35mm film, I'd suggest checking other sources before taking it as gospel. RAH
Yes, it has its problems. Since it was the only source I had that mentioned this film and its soundtrack, I took the chance and quoted it. I think updating the book would be very useful. This is one of the few places that I know of that tries to list everything and indicate which process/processes were used. Do you have any information on Wild River's sound?
 

haineshisway

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One of the pleasures of occasionally missing a film on its original release and then just never seeing it over the years, which, in the case of Wild River, was easy since it was never talked about and rarely shown, is to discover a brilliant and beautiful film like Wild River. Paul Osborn, a very underrated screenwriter, has done a fantastic job - the dialogue is so natural yet poetic, funny, and dramatic as needed. Clift and Remick both deserved nominations for this film. I'd only intended to watch the first half tonight and was going to finish tomorrow but I couldn't stop watching. A constantly surprising and wonderful experience and a beautiful piece of cinema. And Jo Van Fleet playing an eighty-year-old woman perfectly with maybe the best old-age make-up ever done for the screen - how many of you knew that was make-up - be honest! :) Do you know how old Miss Van Fleet was when she made Wild River - all of forty-six.
 

Robin9

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haineshisway said:
One of the pleasures of occasionally missing a film on its original release and then just never seeing it over the years, which, in the case of Wild River, was easy since it was never talked about and rarely shown, is to discover a brilliant and beautiful film like Wild River. Paul Osborn, a very underrated screenwriter, has done a fantastic job - the dialogue is so natural yet poetic, funny, and dramatic as needed. Clift and Remick both deserved nominations for this film. I'd only intended to watch the first half tonight and was going to finish tomorrow but I couldn't stop watching. A constantly surprising and wonderful experience and a beautiful piece of cinema. And Jo Van Fleet playing an eighty-year-old woman perfectly with maybe the best old-age make-up ever done for the screen - how many of you knew that was make-up - be honest! :) Do you know how old Miss Van Fleet was when she made Wild River - all of forty-six.
I watched Wild River again last week with a friend who likes movies but is not a film buff. I asked her how old she thought the actress was playing Ella Garth. She said "about ninety" and when I told her Jo Van Fleet was in her forties, she said "she must have been wearing a lot of make-up".
 

Mark-P

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Robin9 said:
I watched Wild River again last week with a friend who likes movies but is not a film buff. I asked her how old she thought the actress was playing Ella Garth. She said "about ninety" and when I told her Jo Van Fleet was in her forties, she said "she must have been wearing a lot of make-up".
Ask people how old they think George C. Scott was in Patton. You'd be surprised to find out how young he actually was.
 

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