A wider Miss Rutherford?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by HenryDuBrow, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. HenryDuBrow

    HenryDuBrow Screenwriter

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    Anyone know if Warner's upcoming Miss Marple collection (Rutherford), will be widescreen? I think MGM's old LaserDisc set was letterboxed, I see no excuse for Warner not to do the same.
     
  2. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    These would likely be only 1:66 to 1; I think that's how they are shown on TCM.
     
  3. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    After reading the press release, I'm positive these will be identical to the R2 edition, sold exclusively through HMV. The transfers are almost certainly the same ones as used on TCM - either 4:3 or 1.66:1 (Non-Anamorphic). The movies look great, and Margaret Rutherford's performances are entertaining as always. Great supporting casts including her husband Stringer Davis, James Robertson-Justice, Robert Morley, Flora Robson and Ron Moody. Watch out for an early appearance of that other Miss Marple Joan Hickson as the cook in Murder She Said.
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I dunno...Miss Rutherford always looked kinda wide to me. [​IMG]

    Seriously, a great set at a great price. Fans of series detectives have had it really good recently with the Thin Man, Rathbone Holmes, and MGM Chan series receiving the deluxe treatment and Fox coming through in '06 with their Chan series and the Motos.

    Warners still has some marketable series in their vaults. Hopefully those are on the radar.

    Steve
     
  5. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    I've been away for a few days... but in case it hasn't been posted here at the forum, here is the WB Press Release.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    PRESS RELEASE ATTACHED


    Danger! Suspense! Murder! Comedy!

    AGATHA CHRISTIE'S

    MISS MARPLE MOVIES COLLECTION DEBUTS ON DVD MARCH 14

    Murder She Said

    Murder at the Gallop
    Murder Ahoy

    Murder Most Foul

    Ten Little Indians Also Debuts

    Burbank, Calif. December 5, 2005 - On March 14, Warner Home Video (WHV) makes it a crime to miss the DVD debut of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Movies Collection, a four disc set based on the novels of the world's best-known mystery writer. Murder She Said, Murder at the Gallop, Murder Ahoy and Murder Most Foul -- all starring Academy Award® -winner Margaret Rutherford as the shrewd spinster sleuth -- will be available as a collection only, priced at $39.92 SRP. Ten Little Indians, a 1965 Warner Bros. production based on Christie's smash-hit novel "And Then There Were None," will also be available for the first time on DVD for $19.97 SRP.

    Known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie is also considered the all-time best selling author of any genre other than Shakespeare. During her astounding career, Christie published 80 novels and
    short story collections as well as more than a dozen plays. Her work has been translated into 45 different languages, selling more than 2 billion copies to date. In comparison, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold "only" around 270 million copies.

    Miss Marple, said to have been based on the author's own grandmother, appeared in twelve Agatha Christie mystery novels and 20 short stories. The innocuous looking British spinster, whose mild-manner often leads people to underestimate her intuitive detective skills, has honed her uncanny abilities by keenly observing human behavior in her small village of St. Mary Mead. She uses the same techniques in far away locales to solve cases of
    international importance. Although Miss Marple has been portrayed by dozens of actresses in various productions, the four mysteries starring Margaret Rutherford, produced by MGM at its British studio in the early 1960s, remain
    the definitive productions that fans have loved for decades.



    [more]

    Murder She Said (1961)

    Ms. Rutherford makes her first appearance as the famed detective in this sly, engaging mystery based on Agatha Christie's 4:50 from Paddington. Ensconced in her railway carriage, Miss Marple sees someone strangled aboard
    a passing train, then follows a trail of baffling clues to a manor house inhabited by a quarrelsome family. There she takes a job as a domestic, discovers the strangled body...and is on the spot when the culprit strikes again.

    Murder at the Gallop (1963)

    Margaret Rutherford returns as Miss Marple in this delightful whodunit based on Christie's After the Funeral. This time she's joined by a perfect partner: the droll Robert Morley. The old and wealthy Mr. Enderby dies of a
    heart attack but the ever suspicious Miss Marple has her doubts. His not-so-bereaved relatives gather for the reading of the will at the The Gallop, a combined boarding-house and riding school. Miss Marple also sets out to investigate if any of them had any particular reasons to see him dead.

    Murder Ahoy (1964)

    Margaret Rutherford steers her third course as spinster sleuth Miss Marple, sailing full speed into mystery and mayhem on the high seas. Miss Marple investigates the murder of one of her fellow trustees of a fund which
    rehabilitates young criminals. To investigate, she goes aboard the ship used to train the juveniles, much to the distress of the Captain. She soon discovers that someone is training the delinquents to be better thieves instead of good citizens.

    Murder Most Foul (1964)

    Margaret Rutherford takes her final bow as Miss Marple in Murder Most Foul, a mystery inspired by Agatha Christie's Mrs. McGinty's Dead. Miss Marple joins a theatrical troupe whose specialty is death scenes. Convinced that one of her fellow actors is playing the part of murderer for real, she sets out to pinpoint the killer and set her trap - all ending in the unmasking of the murderer during a performance. Ron Moody (Oliver!) costars.

    Ten Little Indians (1965)

    Based on Christie's novel And Then There Were None, Ten Little Indians is the tale of ten people invited to an isolated house high on a mountain for a weekend, only to find that an unseen person is killing them off one by one,
    much like the children's poem.

    Special features - All Titles
    [*] Agatha Christie Thrillers Trailer Gallery[*] Languages: English & Français [*]Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

    Additional bio notes of interest on Agatha Christie:

    Born in England in 1890, Christie's interests went well beyond her novels. She was a skilled pianist, worked in a Red Cross hospital in WWI and joined her second husband, one of the world's top archeologists, on many of his
    excavations. Many of her life experiences invariably found their way into her novels, adding to the richness of the stories she weaved so skillfully. Her stage play The Mousetrap is the longest running play ever in London,
    opening November 25, 1952 and still running after more than 20,000 performances.



    AGATHA CHRISTIE'S MISS MARPLE MOVIES COLLECTION
    $39.92 SRP
    Street Date: March 14, 2006


    Murder Most Foul
    Run Time: 91 minutes
    Black & White
    NR

    Murder at the Gallop
    Run Time: 81 minutes
    Black & White
    NR

    Murder Ahoy
    Run Time: 92 minutes
    Black & White
    NR

    Murder She Said
    Run Time: 86 minutes
    Black & White
    NR

    TEN LITTLE INDIANS
    $19.97 SRP
    Street Date: March 14, 2006
    Order Due Date: February 7, 2006
    Run Time: 90 minutes
    Black & White
     
  6. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    I mentioned this before, but it got lost when the new forum software collapsed...

    If the R1 set uses the same transfers as the current R2 discs, it would be a complete disaster. The used transfers on the R2 are ages-old turner video masters which not only look really bad, but the first three movies are also horizontally cropped from their original aspect ratios! They have been zoomed in because the movies are all hard-matted at about 1.5:1 and need to be in 1.66:1. The R2 discs of the second and third movies even have the beginnings in widescreen and zoom the picture after the credits.

    I can't imagine why Warner USA would drop the ball on these movies like Warner Europe did. Where's George Feltenstein when you need him? These movies need proper new transfers in their original ratios - or please at least dig out the letterboxed laserdisc masters, Warner!
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Given Warner's cheapass attitudes to British imports like the Chaplins, I'm not too sanguine about this set, especially since they're being very coy about any technical specs.[​IMG]
     
  8. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    But the Chaplin's were a whole different kettle of fish, weren't they?

    The Marple's were MGM-British productions so Warner now owns them in-house. Weren't the Chaplin's just licensed?

    I could be wrong (it wouldn't be the first time) but I wouldn't necessarily worry just yet.
     
  9. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    The Chaplins were licensed from MK2 france, and all Warner got were the PAL-masters, which they converted straight to NTSC. The Marple movies were MGM-UK productions so Warner really owns them completely, like many other pre-1980s MGM movies.

    I'm just worried because there's no mention of the aspect ratio in the announcements and Amazon lists them as 1.33:1. What took me as very strange that in the same announcement Warner talked about a new anamorphic transfer of "Ten Little Indians), but nothing was said about the four Marple movies.

    And what about "The ABC Murders"? Tony Randall as Poirot may be not everyone's favourite choice, but the film was produced at the same time as the Marple movies and even Rutherford and Stringer have a small cameo in it. That should be in the box as a bonus movie...
     
  10. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    I hate to answer my own posting, but as the release of the R1 Marple Box is near - are there any early reviews, or is there new information about the aspect ratios? I've looked at the R2 box again and the quality is really disappointing, I hope Warner does better with the new R1 versions!
     
  11. Vincent-P

    Vincent-P Second Unit

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    The DVDTalk review says the discs are anamorphic 1.78:1
     
  12. Opi

    Opi Stunt Coordinator

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    In opposition to Guido Bibra I dare say that the quality of the European/German releases stired up some controversy amongst the various forums. In my option they are acceptable and a fair deal ( considering the low MSRP). Good sharpness, clarity and contrast, the question if 4:3, 1,66:1 or whatever the real OAR is did not concern me because they showed what I'm used to know due to several TV showings.

    @Guido Bibra

    I always thought and felt this as some kind of stylistic device.

    Finally a US release similar to the German should please "most" of you guys imho. I only feel sad that they're going to release these gems as barbone editions. At least an interesting audio commentary should have been included [​IMG]
     
  13. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Watched Murder She Said last night and it's definitely anamorphic 16:9. [​IMG]
     
  14. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys, that's fantastic news! I'm going to order these right away, my faith in Warner has been restored. All hail to George Feltenstein (who must have had a hand in this)! :)

    @Obi - all four of the movies have been airing in 1.66:1 for the last years on german tv, that's the problem! The R2 discs are acceptable, but the cropped picture is just disappointing. When I get the R1 discs, I'm going to do some comparisons...
     
  15. Opi

    Opi Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not working at OBI, I'm old that's why I call myself Opi [​IMG] But you can say GRANNY to me if you want.

    Maybe we should import George Feltenstein to Germany so we could avoid disasters like the "Endlich auf DVD" series over here in the future.
     
  16. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    Opi, sorry, didn't read your name right there :).

    Yes, someone like George Feltenstein should take the lead at Warner Germany soon. The R2 Marple boxset is not bad compared to some of these "Finally on DVD" releases... I haven't bought any of these and I hope that they're going to vanish soon.

    With Warners behaviour in Germany there's no chance of Marple re-pressing. They'll first have to get rid of all the produced discs, and maybe then in a few years... . One good example why you need a region-free player and the ability to order from overseas in Germany if you like good movies.
     
  17. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    Finally the new US Miss Marple-Boxset arrived today, and I've had some free time to to the transfer comparisons:

    Murder She Said - Murder at the Gallop - Murder Most Foul - Murder Ahoy

    The new discs simply look stunning, and the picture mattes of very well at 1.78:1. In direct comparison the new transfers look a little tight, but I was watching the first movie tonight and the framing didn't look cramped at all. The sound is also much better than on the R2 releases. It's really the "best case scenario", I should never have doubted Warner :).
     
  18. Sergio A

    Sergio A Stunt Coordinator

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    Guido, thank you so much for poisting the comparisons - it really makes all the difference - I'll just have to get the US set know (darn it!).

    Thanks again, you're site is great (even with my parlous German).

    Sergio
     
  19. Guido Bibra

    Guido Bibra Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Sergio! The new discs are really, really worth a double dip if you still own the old PAL releases. I hope they're going to do rerelases in Region 2 with these transfers, especially because the german dub is considered a bit of a classic here.

    As for my website... I'd really like to do everything bilingual, but I simply don't have the time to write in both german and english.
     
  20. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I just finished my set tonight and agree: these films look terrific. I had not seen all of them before and found myself enjoying them immensely. They're products of the 60s but have all the charm of a 40s whodunit. If it wasn't for topical references (Jayne Mansfield) and the occasional bad word, you would think these were from the golden age.

    Any Christie fans know why only 4 of these got made? The real life husband/wife duo of Stringer Davis and Miss Rutherford had terrific chemistry on screen and the writing for these films was top notch.

    Steve
     

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