Billy Rose's Jumbo Dvd

Discussion in 'DVD' started by RobertSiegel, May 4, 2005.

  1. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I just got home with my new copy of JUMBO. My hats off to Warner Brothers classics. When I purchased the laserdisc years ago, I thought it was one of the best transfers of a classic musical, but now, after screening this DVD, it's simply a piece of junk. The picture is stunning, but what amazes me is the quality of the soundtrack. It's one of the best audio transfers of a classic movie I have in my collection. The clarity, the chorus, the orchestra, the separation is absolutely stunning. For anyone who appreciates a good classic and appreciates a wonderful transfer, check this out! Now I am anxious to see the other Doris Day movies. Jumbo is not the greatest movie, but for sheer musical entertainment, there are many production numbers including CIRCUS IS ON PARADE, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, and an 18 minute finale that blows your socks off both visually and especially the audio. Any other members as happy with it as I am?
     
  2. HaigH

    HaigH Agent

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    Yeah, I watched this the other night. I would have to agree with everything you said from the tecnical standpoint.
    But it's a subpar musical, yet one of the last remnants of the traditional MGM musical. For us film students, it's an interesting hybrid product of the Freed and Pasternak styles.
    I also watched Calamity Jane which I think is far superior to Jumbo.

    The only other film i've seen before is Love Me or Leave Me, which I think is the best film in the set. It essentially established the "de-mythologized" musical biography, the type almost all successive musical biographies have been.
    Looking forward to watching this on DVD soon!
     
  3. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    The DVD of JUMBO is nothing short of magnificent.

    It was the last gasp of the great MGM musicals, and it isn't without its flaws. Regardless of this, its bounties outweigh its errors, and WB's transfer is a revelation. The picture is sharp and spotless, and the track will blow you away. It's amazing to think what you're hearing is 43 years old! Damn, it sounds great!

    It is indeed a hybrid of Freed & Pasternak, with Freed's influences carried over by his longtime associate and all-time genius Roger Edens. Freed had JUMBO in development for many years, ultimately abandoning the project. The beauty of DVD is that if a viewer (such as I) finds circus footage a bit boring, you can just skip through it. [​IMG]

    Doris Day, Martha Raye, and Jimmy Durante are superb...and the great music of Rodgers and Hart couldn't be in better hands.

    Equally, LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME stands out for its amazing sound and picture quality, no less its amazing performances and Oscar-winning writing.

    I've stated it elsewhere here, but the Doris Day box that WB has assembled is truly to be treasured.
     
  4. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    It seems that some of these dvds are not using the original stereo track but true remixes using the raw audio session tapes. In some cases the balances are different and all these films now have orchestra on surrounds and originally they didn't.
    A clue is that the orchestra on surrounds are sTEREO and in the originals they would have been mono.
    we now have stereo orchestras on surrounds in Jumbo, Finians Rainbow, Bells are Ringing, seven Brides for seven Brothers and Brigadoon. It's good that Brigadoon especially uses raw session masters, because the original four track mag was becoming more and more worn with each remaster ( at least three pan and scan and two letterbox - all done for various lasers.
    Now if they would gie us a remixed Kismet which had a lot of strange echo on the laser version.
     
  5. Steve JD

    Steve JD Stunt Coordinator

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    It would be nice if they could also include the original 4-track mix on these DVDs in addition to the 5.1 remix.
    Some of the remixes (which do sound great) omit the directional dialogue, and place all of it firmly in the Centre channel.

    Has anyone noticed if the new releases of Seven Brides and Jumbo have directional dialogue?? I have yet to check them out.
    I remember the widescreen LaserDisc and the first DVD release of Seven Brides both had agressive directional dialogue.
     
  6. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    Everytime there is news of a remix,someone automatically claims the dialogue is now mono.
    Using the original tracks, that would be tough to do. Remember, the legt channels and right channel by itself carry noit only dialogue but sound effects and music. If that was all pulled to the center as some claim, the music and effects would go with it and all you would have is mono.
    Frankly, every time some one claims mono dialgue where there used to be steeo, I check it out and the stereo dialogue is still there.
    If any one has ONE example where there is mono dialog where there used to be stereo, I will go along with it.
     
  7. Drew Salzan

    Drew Salzan Second Unit

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    The extreme directional dialogue used in the 1950's and 1960's does not decode well in my system because my main speakers are too far apart. Left and right dialogue which should ideally seem to emanate from the corresponding parts of the screen (like it does in the theater since the speakers are behind the screen), go right off the map! Unfortunately, there is no way to reposition the main speakers. For this reason, I prefer mixes that don't have heavy directional dialogue.
     
  8. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone know who dubbed Stephen Boyd's singing voice?
     
  9. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Stephen Boyd's vocals were ultimately dubbed by Jimmy Joyce.

    Boyd did record at least one song for the film, but his track was ultimately deemed not usable, and Jimmy Joyce became his voice double.
     
  10. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    Jimmy Joyce is a good voice match for Boyd. Iwas surprised to learn years ago that Boyd was dubbed. Too bad we can't hear th Boyd track on one of those Rhino special musical CDS but Columbia/Sony owns the soundtrack rights because of Doris Day.
     
  11. Steve JD

    Steve JD Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,
    I did notice directional dialogue in Bells Are Ringing, but have not yet watched the other titles in the collection, so I was just wondering.

    I was blown away by how terrific the music sounded in Bells! After reading these comments about Jumbo, I can't wait to watch it and crank up the volume...

    As for directional dialogue in re-mixes, I though all the dialogue was now in the centre channel in Ben-Hur. Does anybody know if it's directional or not?
     
  12. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (directional on the laser disc)
    Ice Station Zebra

    There is a bunch of others. I will amend after re-listening.
     
  13. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    Ben Hur still has the directional dialogue.
     
  14. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    I have the Ice Station Zebra DVD and the dialogue is directional.
     
  15. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    One of my favorite moments in JUMBO is a quiet one...
    the duet "Why Can't I" between Doris and Martha on the back of the wagon, at night.
    It has such a nice feeling to it.
     
  16. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    That's spooky Jefferson, as only yesterday my Wife and I watched only one song from Jumbo and it was "Why Can't I"

    You are right, it is special.
     
  17. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    One of my favorite moments as well. Magical.
     

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