haineshisway

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So, Amazon, with no warning whatsoever, has put up on Prime (free for Prime members) a new 1080p transfer of The Court Jester, one of my all-time favorite movies. I wasn't so thrilled with the old DVD release, although the color was basically fine on that, but it was clearly not taken from the VistaVision negative. So, I watched this the other night and here are the caveats: Watching on my 27" iMac computer screen - so I am not as secure in commenting without seeing it on what I'm used to for color reference. I don't know how they compress films for streaming. Here are some thoughts.

It seemed pretty good to my eyeballs. Rock solid, colors seem accurate although not quite as saturated as my 16mm and 35mm IB prints, which were stunning. Those prints popped, baby. This seemed just a bit too bright to me, but again, I'm watching on the computer. Is there grain? Yes. It's all over the main titles, which has multiple opticals built in. Otherwise, from what I could tell, grain was very fine and present for the entire film. At times the detail is breathtaking and at times seems less so, again I'm not sure what compression does and what the monitor does. And the skin tones look just a tad pasty brown to me, but again, the monitor caveat. But I was pretty happy watching it and I think others will be, too. Interested to hear what other folks think.
 

OliverK

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It should potentially look very good, it is also available as a 4k DCP:

But then so is To Catch a Thief ;)
 
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Rob W

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This must be the same transfer that ran on the Criterion Channel a couple of months ago - it looked great, but nothing like seeing it in 4K in the Chinese Theatre at the TCM Festival a few years ago !
 
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Ethan Riley

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I took a look at the last 15 minutes or so. The PQ is pretty much what I would expect from a good transfer. Black levels looked fine to me as did colors--and this was possibly the most colorful musical ever, at least in terms of costuming. It doesn't have a crystal clear "looks like it was shot yesterday" type of feel, but I wouldn't want it to. It's certainly better than any home video print I've ever seen. I just wish there was something they could do about the sound, which has always been rather weak. Now if we could only get this and that other VistaVision, Panama/Frank musical (Li'l Abner) on blu...
 
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ABaglivi

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The Court Jester was released in VistaVision and Perspecta Sound. I saw it many times first run and owned an IB 16 print. The sound was always top drawer in my experience.
 
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Andrew Budgell

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Thanks for the heads up, Bruce!

Does anyone know whether this new master is the one used on iTunes? Despite being an Angela Lansbury fan, I've somehow never seen this film and would appreciate my inaugural viewing being the best looking master available.
 

JoeDoakes

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So, Amazon, with no warning whatsoever, has put up on Prime (free for Prime members) a new 1080p transfer of The Court Jester, one of my all-time favorite movies. I wasn't so thrilled with the old DVD release, although the color was basically fine on that, but it was clearly not taken from the VistaVision negative. So, I watched this the other night and here are the caveats: Watching on my 27" iMac computer screen - so I am not as secure in commenting without seeing it on what I'm used to for color reference. I don't know how they compress films for streaming. Here are some thoughts.

It seemed pretty good to my eyeballs. Rock solid, colors seem accurate although not quite as saturated as my 16mm and 35mm IB prints, which were stunning. Those prints popped, baby. This seemed just a bit too bright to me, but again, I'm watching on the computer. Is there grain? Yes. It's all over the main titles, which has multiple opticals built in. Otherwise, from what I could tell, grain was very fine and present for the entire film. At times the detail is breathtaking and at times seems less so, again I'm not sure what compression does and what the monitor does. And the skin tones look just a tad pasty brown to me, but again, the monitor caveat. But I was pretty happy watching it and I think others will be, too. Interested to hear what other folks think.
I watched it recently and enjoyed it. I didn't know how new it was. Good to know
 

Taylor * D

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Thanks for the heads up, Bruce!

Does anyone know whether this new master is the one used on iTunes? Despite being an Angela Lansbury fan, I've somehow never seen this film and would appreciate my inaugural viewing being the best looking master available.
I'm surprised you haven't seen it Andy! Angela is great in it, its a fun movie. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would when I watched it on the Criterion Channel. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon viewing.
 

Conrad_SSS

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I saw it on Amazon as well. Definitely a picture boost, although with the compression of streaming you're getting a tiny file vs. what it would be on BD. That said, the audio is still terribly disappointing, clearly coming from a optical mono source, with limited range. Such a great film, even with technical flaws in the presentation, it never ceases to entertain.
 
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Andrew Budgell

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I'm surprised you haven't seen it Andy! Angela is great in it, its a fun movie. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would when I watched it on the Criterion Channel. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon viewing.
I don't know how I've missed it all these years, but I'm looking forward to finally seeing it. :)
 

haineshisway

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The Court Jester was released in VistaVision and Perspecta Sound. I saw it many times first run and owned an IB 16 print. The sound was always top drawer in my experience.
This is not accurate. It was never shown in actual VistaVision that I know of - I believe only two films were shown that way - White Christmas and Strategic Air Command (Wikipedia says also To Catch a Thief, Battle of the River Plate, and Richard III, but I don't trust anything I read on Wikipedia). All others were printed down to 35mm but those prints were spectacular.
 

ABaglivi

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This is not accurate. It was never shown in actual VistaVision that I know of - I believe only two films were shown that way - White Christmas and Strategic Air Command (Wikipedia says also To Catch a Thief, Battle of the River Plate, and Richard III, but I don't trust anything I read on Wikipedia). All others were printed down to 35mm but those prints were spectacular.
Should not have used the word "released" in referring to The Court Jester in VistaVision.
 

Taylor * D

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Not only Angela - Glynis Johns is also wonderful and isn't it funny that both would end up playing in different productions of A Little Night Music.
And both were fantastic in their respective roles. I loath the movie version for many reasons, but I don't understand how they made a boring, tedious movie out of a musical that sparkles with wit and heart. Hugh Wheeler, who wrote the original book for the musical, also wrote the screenplay. An unfortunate misfire.
 
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john a hunter

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This is not accurate. It was never shown in actual VistaVision that I know of - I believe only two films were shown that way - White Christmas and Strategic Air Command (Wikipedia says also To Catch a Thief, Battle of the River Plate, and Richard III, but I don't trust anything I read on Wikipedia). All others were printed down to 35mm but those prints were spectacular.
There is plenty of evidence that in the UK Richard and Plate were both shown in horizontal V V
I also recall detailed research which confirmed about 5 similar V V showings of Thief in US.
But for Jester, as you say Bruce, nil.
 
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OliverK

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There is plenty of evidence that in the UK Richard and Plate were both shown in horizontal V V
I also recall detailed research which confirmed about 5 similar V V showings of Thief in US.
But for Jester, as you say Bruce, nil.
Yep, never heard of Jester being shown like that.

A fellow forum member that will probably prefer to remain anonymous showed me a frame of a horizontal print of Battle of the River Plate. It was printed on Eastman and already heavily faded when I saw it.

You got to wonder where all of the prints ended up and I never heard of anybody owning one of those horizontal prints even though I know somebody who at some point could have gotten one fo the projectors but he decided not to unless he could source at least one print - he didn't manage to get one.
 
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