Carousel...could this be a sign of a remaster?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Tannehill, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    The Motion Picture Academy just screened a newly restored print of Carousel from the 55mm negative... could a DVD be far behind?

    http://www.oscars.org/events/carousel/index.html

    More importantly, could work on The King and I and Oklahoma in ToddAO please, please, please be done?

    - Steve
     
  2. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

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    I wonder if they can/did output a new 55mm negative from this process, as well as the 4K digital file? Or even output a slightly blown-up 65mm negative, such as was done with the VistaVision to 65mm on Vertigo, although that obviously wasn't done digitally...

    I'm suprised that a 4K file is enough to hold all the resolution of a 55mm negative, (or enough to create a decent print) given that it's used for digital work on standard 35mm.

    M
     
  3. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    www.talkinbroadway.com has listed in their upcoming release section for later this year - remasters of Oklahoma and Sound of Music.
    However, I have also heard that Fox may well be doing remasters of all the R and H films for a super box set that will include the scope version of Oklahoma along with the Todd AO version. Still no sign of the 1962 State Fair.

    DEAR UNIVERSAL - WHERE THE F**K IS FLOWER DRUM SONG !!!!
     
  4. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    The print of "Carousel" at the Academy was indeed cinemascope 55. A member of the academy made a speech about this stating this was the first time the film was screened this way, and that the advertising for the film in 1956 was misleading. Apparently Fox felt the only people who would care about the new process were the exhibitors and that the public wouldn't know the difference. Judging from this print they were probably right.

    I was expecting a beautiful sharp and colorful image, but that was not to be.

    The print was clean but the colors were no better than the current DVD. The film looked to be slightly out of focus with nothing like the sharpness or detail of a 70MM or Todd-AO print. The picture was a mess, the cinematography was sloppy, with lighting problems throughout - even the day light shots looked bad. The current DVD is a good indication of how this film does look, and it is a pretty ugly looking film. I don't see any reason for FOX to remaster this title unless they do so for 16x9 presentation.

    The film didn't hold up very well with modern audiences either.
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The King & I has been restored and screened by the Academy.

    The 70mm print I saw of The Sound of Music in England was rather soft and had subdued colors, too.
     
  6. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    I'd be surprised if Fox didn't seize on the opportunity to glom off of SOUND OF MUSIC's 40th birthday and OKLAHOMA!'s 50th to do a big Rodgers & Hammerstein promo this fall.

    There have been many rumors to this effect.

    All the R&H films beg for proper HD anamorphic remasters.

    2 Packs of the current R&H DVDs are being blown out at ridiculously low prices at Costco, so obviously they want to get rid of their existing inventory to make way for something new...

    And I agree with those who beg Universal for FLOWER DRUM SONG. They kind of tie with Sony as the most clueless video label amongst the majors. They've screwed up so many releases and missed so many opportunities. They had to surrender most of their rights to the picture years ago, but kept home video.

    Why the (expletive deleted) they don't see the value in releasing a terrific 16x9 5.1 DVD of that fine R&H film is beyond me. A friend who works at the NYC R&H office says that Universal could care less....Big surprise?[​IMG]
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Bring 'em ALL on!

    Sound of Music has been begging for a new transfer since the film was launched into the home video market! Is one of the problems with SoM that it ran for sooooo long during its initial release in the theaters that the negatives got worn out? Do they have to work from prints?

    Bring 'em all on...especially my three other favorites: Oklahoma, King & I, and South Pacific.

    Bring on Carousel, too!

    Bring 'em all on...including Flower Drum Song and both State Fairs.
     
  8. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I would love Flower Drum Song - but with its original sound which is NOT 5.1 but is 3.0 (no surrounds).
     
  9. Erik_H

    Erik_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Another hint that a new edition of "The Sound of Music" is coming this year. From Army Archerd's column in today's Daily Variety:

    "Julie did an extra on-camera stint for Disney in the two-disc "Mary Poppins" DVD in which she filmed the P.L. Travers short, "The Cat That Looked at a King." The success of this DVD has resulted in Julie doing a ditto double DVD , this one for Fox on "Sound of Music's " 40th anni with a scene to be shot with Christopher Plummer and children ... "
     
  10. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    Indeed not. It was a 35mm Anamorphic print, with at least damagwed negative sections derived from a digital intermediate. There were a lot of damaged sections of this film, and the original 55mm negative was scanned at 4k resolution, and reduced to 35mm output at 4k(with the original 2.55 ratio intact, through a vey mild letterboxing).

    Interstingly, the Academy site references the original roadshow version. AFAIK, this film was released in standard engagements during it's first-runs.

    As a sidebar, the publicity used on this film really hyped the new process. I found in the local newspaper (Bakersfield Californian) a full article explaining the new Cinemascope 55 process, rfering to it as a new "projection" process. It actually showed the chief projectionist of the Fox Theatre with TWO lenses, a regular "CinemaScope" lens and the MUCH LARGER CinemaScope 55 lens used to project Carousel. The projectionist also went on to say that the magnetic soundtrack sounded much better than before because it was running at 18 inches per second! (wouldn't that be the standard speed of normal 35mm?)
    WAY down in the article was the quote from the head of the studio stating that CinemaScope 55 was printed in standard 35mm Scope because no theatres were equipped to show the larger size.
     
  11. John Whittle

    John Whittle Stunt Coordinator

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    That confirms what I thought. Cinemascope 55 was a very strange process indeed with a large format negative that was reduction printed to a large format print with different sprocket holes to be able to carry the mag sound track. There are some existant sample of trail prints but I don't think there were any distribution prints made of the feature in that format. Only two projectors were known to have been built. It's much scarcer than 8 perf VistaVision projection (which did exist in a few limited rums).

    In trying to make such a print today, it would entail building a printer, a processing amchine, ordering special stock from Eastman and either finding or building a new perforator and then making a new mag dispersion block for striping and then heads for a recording amchine PLUS projectors--a pretty tall order to show one print at the Academy.

    Cinemascope 55 was used for two productions (Carousel and The King & I) and neither was distributed in that format so it was a larger negative (like VistaVision) that was reduction printed for release.

    The trail film pieces that exist are unstriped and badly faded (at least the picture of the ones I saw were that way).

    John
     
  12. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Quote: Indeed not. It was a 35mm Anamorphic print, with at least damagwed negative sections derived from a digital intermediate. There were a lot of damaged sections of this film, and the original 55mm negative was scanned at 4k resolution, and reduced to 35mm output at 4k(with the original 2.55 ratio intact, through a vey mild letterboxing).

    Paul, are you sure the print at the Academy was 35mm? It looked like it to me, but then I have never seen cinemascope 55. The Academy did make a point of stating the print was cinemascope 55 before the film started. Why would they do this if it weren't (It was misleading) Also a FOX represntative was there talking about the restoration. The film didn't look restored to me. Were you there?

    I believe the FOX representative did say that 35mm reduction prints were made so the film could be screened all over the country. But I wasn't aware this was the case for the print we saw. Again it was a pretty ugly picture, so you may be right.
     
  13. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I'm glad the Academy said that CAROUSEL was never shown in CinemaScope 55 anywhere, because that's what I'd always heard.

    The only problem is that Bosley Crowther, the film critic for the New York Times, in his February 17, 1956, review of the movie the day after it opened at the Roxy Theater on Broadway, said the following:

    "20th Century-Fox -- not to be outdone by the producers of OKLAHOMA!, who made that one in the new large-screen Todd-AO -- have run out their latest large-screen process, CinemaScope 55, which gives more clarity, if not more size, to the image, for this production of CAROUSEL.

    " ... It endows the production with a sharpness of line and color that is well nigh superb. Seldom has a musical comedy been made to look more handsome on the screen."

    Now, it's very possible that Crowther knew as little about the new-fangled widescreen processes as the average person did, and he fell for the publicity and thought he was seeing a new process when it was just plain old CinemaScope.

    But his reference to "sharpness of line and color" is the exact opposite of what Greg M reported he saw at the Academy.

    It's also very possible that Crowther was just saying what he was asked (or paid) to say by 20th Century-Fox publicity people. This might sound cynical, but this isn't the first time I've read something in a review of his that doesn't match reality as well as it matches the studio publicity department. Right next to his review that day was a large ad for CAROUSEL, with "CinemaScope 55" in large letters, and the claim "More Than Your Eyes Have Ever Seen!" Fox paid big bucks for that ad, and they weren't about to have it contradicted by the critic on the very same page of the newspaper.

    Now, moving on to SOUTH PACIFIC --

    If they get around to truly restoring that one, I hope they put back in the 20 or so minutes that were removed from the roadshow version for the general release version. I can't believe they just threw the cut scenes away -- but maybe they did.....
     
  14. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    Keep in mind that one is seeing two different things. Film strocks in the mid 50's were nowhere near what they are today. So a large format negative may very well have made a much better looking 35mm print by 50's standards, when today it might not hold up. Also, this large negative was scanned at 4k resolution. This supposedly is what is required to get every bit of information out of a standard 35mm negative. Is this really enough to capture a frame four times as large?
     
  15. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    South Pacific was cut, but not by twenty minutes. It was cut more like 13 - 14 minutes. The cuts parts were indeed thrown away.
     
  16. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Could you explain what went into the "thinking" behind throwing them away? Did they think that never again, throughout all history, anyone anywhere might be interested in seeing the complete SOUTH PACIFIC?
     
  17. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    It's always hard to explain why a studio does or does not do something.
    Remember, fox was a Magna thater productin - not a fox movie. It was decided to cut and change Pacific a mere two weeks into it's roadshow run and the 70mm prints were cut and new footage (in two scens ) inserted. Who knows why.
    If they had decided to cut the film AFTER the 70mm roadshow run run, they would have mad new cut 35mm negatives. but I have held the 70mm negative in my hand and the negative is physically cut to conform to the short version.
    It often depends and where and how the film is cut.
    The long version of Doctor Dolittle only existed in 70mm but that negative was cut to make the short versions.
    With Star (Julie Andrews). only the 35mm negative was cut to make the shorter versions, leaving the 70mm untouched, making it easy to restore the full length version for video.
    Warners cut and tossed the long version of the Judy Garland Star is Born, but kept the costume tests - go figure.
    Fox cut the 35mm negative of Sand Pebbles, leaving only the short version.
     
  18. David Grove

    David Grove Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,

    Just to make sure I'm following you...

    The decision to cut was made during the roadshow period. All the roadshow prints were physically cut, and the cut portions discarded. Also, the original camera negative was similarly cut and discarded. Is this the sorry state of affairs?

    Thanks.


    DG
     
  19. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    That is correct.
     
  20. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Not only were the prints cut but alternate footage was put in.
    The reprise of Some Enchanted Evening (you know - the picture of this was used on all the soundtrack albums) was cut and only theintero was left in the film along with alternate camera shots and new scoring to cover the cut.

    Also changed was a reprise of Bali Hai sung by John Kerr in a boat on his way to the island for the first time. This was taken out and replaced by a repirse of the song sung soely by the chorus with alternate footage of John Kerr NOT singing at all. Even the reissue pressbooks still list this number as being in the film Bali Hai reprise sung by Joe Cable and chorus.
     

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