anchor bay - EL CID, FALL OF ROMAN EMPIRE

Joe Caps

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Anchor bay announced releases for Britain of special editions of el Cid and Fall of th eRoman Empire. How did they get the rights for these all of a sudden? If so, will they release them in USA also?
 

Ed St. Clair

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I thought Fall was BV?
And was going too be released R1...soon ;-).
 

Jeff Reis

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Maybe they arranged something with BV like they did for some of those live action Disney titles they released (which now, of course, have reverted back to Disney)?
 

Douglas R

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The rights to EL Cid, Fall of the Roman Empire, 55 Days in Peking and Circus World are controlled by P.C. Films Corp. This company was set up by Samuel Bronston's creditors following his bankruptcy in 1967. In the UK Polygram obtained the video rights and for many years issued crap quality versions of the films on VHS. Polygram was acquired by Universal Pictures UK, who issued El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire on crap DVD versions!

Anchor Bay UK recently announced that, following the purchase of Anchor Bay Entertainment by IDT Entertainment, they have significantly accelerated the acquisition of titles. So Anchor Bay UK have presumably obtained the video rights to El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire from P.C.Films (they don't say whether they also have 55 Days in Peking and Circus World).

Presumably the R1 rights are still held by Disney through Miramax Films (how and when Miramx acquired them I don't know, although it was probably at the time of the El Cid theatrical restoration when the film was released by Miramax).

P.C. Films took legal action to try and obtain the rights to King of Kings from Turner but fortunately were unsuccessful or we would probably have had a crap version of that film on DVD instead of the splendid version issued by Warner.

It's a pity that these films were not totally financed by one of the major studios because, if so, we would have had decent DVD versions of these films by now. Without the resources of a major studio, who knows where the original negatives and other elements of these films are now?
 
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I agree 100% with you Cees!

These titles (The Fall of the Roman Empire, El Cid, and 55 Days from Peking) need to be released in special editions for Region 1 (all regions if possible, because they are splendid films) especially El Cid which Heston said just missed being the greatest epic ever.
 

Ed St. Clair

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GREAT (& disappointing) insight, Douglas R.
We've been hearing of a R1 Fall release 'forever'.
Any hint as too the quality?
I enjoy this film MORE than Gladiator.
LOOKOUT!!!
 

AlanP

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I just bought these titles "ELCID, FALL, CIRCUS, and 55 )at HMV in HONG KONG. They were all region.
The transfer is decent, not bad at all.
I watched them on my laptop.
However, I am unsure how they will play on a plasma, lcd,
or flat screen. On my laptop they were decent.
THe only thing the subtitles were not able to be removed ?
I paid around $2.50 US, for each title.
Not a bad investment, if you want them bad enough.
They were all WIDESCREEN, as well.
 

Doug Bull

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I'm pretty sure that these semi pirated Hong Kong versions are sourced from Non Anamorphic Laserdiscs.
I have seen a range of ex laserdisc titles available on DVD from Hong Kong sources including a re-incarnation of the extended version of John Wayne's "The Alamo".

All of the Bronston Epics are available in region 4 ( Australia)but most are 4:3 pan and scan with the exception of Roman Empire which is 4:3 Letterbox with a barely acceptable 2 channel Stereo soundtrack.

Anchor Bay normally do a good job, so it will be interesting to see what source material they have on hand to play with.
 

Ken Koc

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My DVD copies of the Bronstein Epics are in a box set and are all widescreen /anamorphic and in dolby digital 5.1. The discs are from Korea. The only one that is bad is "55 Days at Peking" in which the sound is awfull.
 

RolandL

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I just received the Korean "Epic Trilogy" version of Fall of the Roman Empire in the mail from NicheFlix. It's 1.85:1 not 2.35:1. I have the laser disc and a lot of information is missing from the sides on the DVD.
 

Mark Anthony

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Has there been any update on these R1 or R2?, I tried asking AB UK and there was no reply

M
 

frank manrique

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quote:

just received the Korean "Epic Trilogy" version of Fall of the Roman Empire in the mail from NicheFlix. It's 1.85:1 not 2.35:1. I have the laser disc and a lot of information is missing from the sides on the DVD.
__________________________________________________ ________

The Fall of the Roman Empire was shot in Ultra-Panavision 70mm (65mm); it had an in camera aspect ratio of 2:76:1.
Most theatrical 70mm showings had an AR of 2:55:1.
Even at 2:35:1 image losses would be great...never mind at 1:85:1; image losses has to be quite grotesque!


The laserdisc's AR is not quite 2:76:1 but suffices as little, if at all, is missing at the sides.

As with Ben-Hur, I reckon that since NO restored 70mm elements would be available to produce truly superlative HD masters for DVD transferring, I would then propose to whoever now owns it for TFOTRE's HD master to be framed around 2:55:1 in order to gain badly needed VERTICAL resolution. Of course, the DVD transfer has to be anamorphically "enhanced" (to gain 33% more lines of vertical resolution)!
Anyway, horizontal or lateral image losses would be rather minimum in a worst case scenario, which is something am willing to tolerate instead of having vertical (height) cropping just like it happened with the Ben-Hur DVD video transfer due to that ridiculous, fake 2:76:1 aspect ratio framing given to the HD master from hence the DVD transfer was ultimately derived...

-THTS
 

RolandL

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The Korean DVD is 1:85:1, Japanese DVD is 2.35:1 at NicheFlix. At 2.35:1 you are only missing 15% of the 2.76:1 frame.
 

frank manrique

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quote:

The Korean DVD is 1:85:1, Japanese DVD is 2.35:1 at NicheFlix. At 2.35:1 you are only missing 15% of the 2.76:1 frame.
__________________________________________________ __

15% image loss is severe...not two ways about it!
And as I also said...at 1:85:1 AR image loss is simply grotesque.

At 2:55:1 the situation would change since it will avoid vertical cropping as it occurred with the Ben-Hur DVD transfer (and would have given higher vertical resolution, a most welcome factor), which was sourced from a 35mm IP print and not from 70mm (65mm) elements, which should have been the case all along (of course, a full restoration in 70mm would need to be done to properly frame the image from such an original wide aspect ratio, but that seems like is just not going to happen with either Ben-Hur or any other movie originally shot in 70mm...whether anamorphic or "flat" [spherical], unfortunately
)...

-THTS
 

Mark_Wilson

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For the record, the Korean DVD of El Cid is NOT 1.85:1. It's at least 2.35:1 but looks a little larger. I can post a screenshot if someone wants.
 

Patrick McCart

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Ben-Hur was not tampered in the video domain, but on the actual 35mm interpositive used for that transfer.

Whoever made the interpositive reduced the original 65mm image according to Super Panavision specifications. This involves cropping the top and bottom of the 65mm frame. Well, Ultra Panavision, which is the format Ben-Hur was shot in (as well as The Fall of the Roman Empire), requires the full height of the 65mm frame to be captured. The main problem has to do with UP being anamorphic.

Basically, if an Ultra Panavision film was captured to 35mm from 65mm using the full height, while using 2.55:1 width, you'd get excellent framing. The amount shaved off the sides to get 2.55:1 rather than 2.76:1 isn't a big deal.
 

frank manrique

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quote:

Basically, if an Ultra Panavision film was captured to 35mm from 65mm using the full height, while using 2.55:1 width, you'd get excellent framing.
__________________________________________________ ________

Thank you, thank you!...


-THTS
 

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