I own the Image disc of Rene` Clair’s splendid AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. I have not watched either the VCI or Madacy versions, but when I had written to Image regarding the lack of supplements on their DVD (this was before it had even been released), I was informed that “it is a much better presentation than the prior two public domain DVD versions. The audio is finally in sync, and the 35mm British fine grain master used looks much better.”
Actually, when I finally watched the disc, I found the print was still marred by excessive specks – it most probably hadn’t undergone any form of restoration – but if you love the film, this should not keep you from acquiring Image’s DVD.
Then I wrote again to Image bemoaning the less-than-perfect presentation of this classic film and their reply was: “We would like to revisit it as a special edition but have not secured all of the material yet - and if we do, it will take a very long time to do so. Plans were already underway to release the film on DVD, so we were contractually obligated to release it. If that deal doesn't work out, I'm sure you'd agree it's better to have one DVD of the best print available with the possibility of a second in the future instead of none at all.”
I guess the above needs no further elaboration on my part. I have only this to add: this film needs to be in everybody’s collection. By the way, I also heartily recommend The Criterion Collection's LE MILLION (1931), arguably Clair's masterpiece. And don't forget UNDER THE ROOFS OF PARIS (1930)/ PARIS QUI DORT (1923) and A` NOUS LA LIBERTE` (1931)/ENTR'ACTE (1924) are also coming out under the Criterion banner in July!
Thanks for the feedback, Roderick.
Apparently, the print used by Image is from a British archive, and is much improved over the awful VCI/Madacy transfers. I dug up this review at Digitally Obsessed after some searching: http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/sho...w.php3?ID=2749
I haven't seen the Image version but I can say that the VCI version is MUCH better than the Medacy version in terms of picture quality. I was sent the latter by mistake and I stopped watching it after 5 minutes because it was such a blurry mess. The VCI version, though not great, is perfectly watchable.