Bronston epics in HD DVD?

john a hunter

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It looks as though Weinstein have purchased the rights to the great Samuel Bronston epics of the 60's:EL CID, 55 DAYS AT PEKING. FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE and CIRCUS WORLD.As they are exclusive to HD DVD, we could see HD transfers. After seeing MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY in Hd DVD, I can't wait!!.

While I would like Casino Royale on HD DVD, this more than makes up for it -20 times over!

This is what HT is all about for me. Classic films in the best presentation possible.
 

Robin9

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Don't celebrate just yet. Wait until we know what state the various elements are in. There are nasty rumours floating about that the colours have faded badly in some of these Bronston movies.
 

ppltd

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Hopefully they will put the time and effort into resotring these classics. They could take some pointers from Warner. If so, I will be purchasing El Cid and Circus World.
 

Randy Korstick

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I don't think they are rumors. The colors were faded on the VHS and Laserdisc versions of 55 Days at Peking and Circus World as well as the versions shown on TV. El Cid was restored for a theatrical release in the early 90's and had an excellent Laserdisc release so that one should be in great shape still.
 

TedD

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There are only two ways that these releases will have decent color:

1. If separation masters exist and are in reasonable condition or
2. If they can find one or more IB Tech prints that are in reasonable condition

otherwise, I'm afraid we are out of luck.

Ted
 

john a hunter

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I am sure that when Weinstein purchased the rights they would have assessed the condition of the elements to see whether it was financially viable to release them. The good sign is that all these films were printed by Technicolor and the prints that have been around until recently always looked great.However, we will have to keep our fingers crossed.Sony's SD transfers from so called HD masters of LORD JIM and BARABBAS seem to bear no relationto the photographic excellence of the originals.
 

Jason Seaver

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Also, I don't know how much Weinstein is going to put stuff like this out on HD-DVD, even if they do DVD releases. I notice that there hasn't been any announcement on their Dragon Dynasty line, for instance (and, yes, I would have grabbed Sha Po Lang and Police Story very quickly).
 

OliverK

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Hello,

the original 70mm Ultra Panavision negative of Fall is apparently still existant and an 8k scan of the whole negative seems to be the way to go for this movie that contemporary viewers found to be exceptionally detailed even by 70mm movie standards.

The other movies were done in Super Technirama 70 and could be processed the same way as The Searchers which also looks very nice. I think the camera negatives of the other three are also still in storage somewhere so if done right these 4 movies could be a real treat


Oliver
 

ReggieW

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I certainly hope they do appear sooner rather than later. The Weinstein's don't really have much of a catalog as of yet, so these high profile releases could help boost their image quite a bit. It's just a pity that when they split with Disney/Miramax, they weren't able to take the catalog with them.
 

OliverK

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I wonder how the classics fare on HD-DVD/BluRay.
The Searchers is a rather big title for Warner and Mutiny might be about on par in popularity with the Bronston Epics - any numbers for these ?

Sometimes we enthusiasts overestimate the public appetite for classics, an example:

I had a talk with German cinema enthusiasts who told me there were two viewers only (the two guys I talked to) at a recent screening of Ben Hur in Berlin, Germany


Let's hope the numbers add up for the new formats as the sets and vistas of these movies beg to be shown in high definition if not in a 70mm re-release.
 

Cees Alons

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Of those four I want all four on HD DVD!
They're on my list for a very long time and a hi-res version would be an absolute gift!

I do hope they will be done, and be done well and that the price will be reasonable for these gems.


Cees
 

RolandL

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Someone posted in another thread that because of the poor sales of FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, there are no plans to release 55 DAYS AT PEKING or CIRCUS WORLD on DVD.
 

ahollis

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I had heard also that 55 Days and Circus World were cancelled. That is a shame. I enjoyed 55 Days much more than Fall of the Roman Empire and Circus World has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I hope they change their minds.
 

OliverK

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Can you please point me to that post ?

I wonder how many were sold, low sales figures for Fall despite being available in the US for the first time in decent quality is a big disappointment. I wonder how low these figures were ?

I am in no position to know but I wonder how much the budget for these releases could have been tightened with less extras and less extravagant packaging. lobby cards etc.

I any case, a Blu-Ray version of Fall seems to be very improbable now, and with El Cid it seems that there were certain issues with the HD master that would have to be used for a Blu-Ray release - too bad
 

Craig S

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I have to wonder how much of the low sales of these epics was due to the fact that by the time they finally got released, HD-DVD & Blu-Ray were already on the market. This type of film screams out for high definition, and I'll bet I'm not the only one who skipped the the SD releases of El Cid & Fall... in hopes of a future hi def release.

If these had been released in 2006 instead of 2008, I would have snapped them up immediately. Crappy timing on Miramax's part.
 

OliverK

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Might be that they suffer from the waiting for hidef syndrome more than other movies, they surely would shine with a proper Blu-Ray presentation.

As has been here and on other forums especially El Cid does not look like it is derived from a master that would look great on Blu-Ray so too much cost-cutting for the SD release now might also prevent Weinstein from doing a good effort on Blu-Ray. I have to say in all fairness that Fall of the Roman Empire certainly looks better but is still problematic especially with skin tones.
 

Jeff_HR

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Well I guess I'll have to keep my R2 Japanese version of "55 Days at Peking" forevermore since these Companies can't be convinced to release these excellent catalog titles. It kills me that SO MUCH $$$$$$$ is lavished on totally POS recent theatrical films in BD & a bit of money can't be spared for catalog titles.
 

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