Colorized Films on DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Reed Grele, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Firstly, I don't want to start a debate about wether or not the colorization of black and white films is right or wrong. But since they do exist, due in part to Ted Turner's Superstation back in the mid 80's, and have been issued on VHS and laserdisc in the late 80's and early 90's, I find it strange that I have never noticed a DVD release of a colorized film.
    This might be a good gimick for the studios to use to release more of the classics. And DVD would be the perfect medium to do it. Imagine a dual layer DVD with a (hopefully) fully restored B&W film on one layer, and a colorized version on the other layer.
    I still have many colorized films on VHS, Beta, and LD. I hardly ever watch them, but some were not that badly done. Laurel and Hardy's "March of the Wooden Soldiers" has always been one of my favorites. I would love to see this on DVD with both versions included.
    Colorized films are just a curiosity now, but I'm just wondering if this might be one way to get the studios to start releasing the classics at a faster pace. 3-D has had it's revivals from time to time. Maybe colorization will make a comeback as well.
    As a somewhat related side note, did anyone ever see the LD produced by "Weird Al" Yankovic: "Babalu Music"? This was a wonderful attempt at mixing classic TV comedy with MTV style music video, and also included some really well done colorization as an added "enhancement". I still have the LD, and this is another title that I would love to see released on DVD someday.
    Reed Grele [​IMG]
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  3. Lafe F

    Lafe F Second Unit

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    I wish they'd release a colorized version of "Little Shop of Horrors"; the original B&W one "starring" Jack Nicholson".
     
  4. Lee Bombard

    Lee Bombard Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    The region 1 DVD of Laurel & Hardy's
    March of the wooden soldiers is only
    colorized.
    It's absolutely horrible. Not that the colors
    are bad, mind you, but the colorization brings
    out a constant annoying flash effect in the video.
    It is so bad that I just ordered the region 4
    UK release because it is presented in its original
    Black and White.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Keep colorizations on TV and the original black & white versions on DVD.
     
  7. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Not against having both versions. But if it's one, it has to be the original.

    Patrick, what are your five star mono DVD soundtracks?

    And is this rating of five stars against only other mono soundtracks?

    Or do you believe to have found mono soundtracks with the quality to match or better multi-channel soundtracks?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Universal have issued Region 2 versions of Laurel & Hardy's

    Music Box, Sons of the Desert and Way Out West with colorized and black & white versions on the same disc. I don't know if it's due to the color process but the colorized versions don't look as sharp as the black & white originals. One film which I think looks quite good colorized, when I've seen it on TV here, is The Longest Day (although I'll probably be shot down for saying that).
     
  9. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    The 1951 version of A Christmas Carol (A.K.A. Scrooge) is available with both B&W and colorized versions on one disc ($26.99 from Amazon). I saved some money by getting the B&W only version ($13.88).
     
  10. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    The now deleted HBO DVD of "Pride of the Yankees" was colorized.

    The B&W transfers on the new Shirley Temple movies are so horrible that the colorized versions look better. But they are still awful.

    Watching colorized movies makes me want to vomit. Of course, if you like to see people with orange skin, they might be right up your alley.

    Ted Turner was on Larry King several years ago and was asked about colorized movies. He said he stopped doing them because the people who started his Turner Classic Movies told him he shouldn't do it anymore.
     
  11. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    The only DVD release of Pride of the Yankees (1942), starring Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig, was the colorized version. It was from HBO, and I think it's now discontinued.
    I have B&W and colorized versions of Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon that I taped off of Cinemax several years ago when they were running a Bogart special month (and I had a free month of Cinemax). While I prefer the original B&W and think they should always be available I don't think it would be a bad thing to have these versions available as extras (curiosities).
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  13. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    This isn't about DVD (yet) but I noticed that the entire first season of " I Dream of Jeannie" (30 episodes) and the entire first and second season of "Bewitched" (74 episodes)have been colorized and have just finished running on the Hallmark Channel. For years, most stations have chosen not to run the black and white seasons of these shows (though TV Land did in the 90s) so I guess they did it to get some more $$$ out of syndication. It didn't look bad (though the first couple of Jeannie shows were worse than the ones that followed) and the color versions were just recently completed.
     
  14. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    I think colorized films should be left off DVD's!!
     
  15. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Colorized films are as bad as pan and scan, without a doubt.
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As usual, I find myself in agreement with my buddy Ike. This is like defacing the Mona Lisa by painting a mustache on the girl. I saw one colorized film with Frank Sinatra in it; ol' "blue eyes" had brown eyes. Nice.
     
  17. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    For the person who asked, yes, I got the Shirley Temple Heidi and the black and white transfor is AWFUL. I thought of posting a thread in the Studio Feedback thread. Think I will. Heard of Superbit? Try "SuperEdgeEnhanced" -- so bad, it literally looks like a slight double exposure. Truly, this is shockingly bad mastering from Fox. I know the movie is from 1936 or so, but I've seen older movies that look better than it does. A great disappointment.

    I think the only thing the colorizing does is obscure some of the defects in the black and white master.
     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Brian,

    if you start the thread I'll post to it too. I'm also thinking of starting a thread in this forum to let people know how bad it is. Heidi is a classic I grew up with but I can't imagine watching the DVD on anything bigger than a 20" TV...it's hideous.

    Like you say, the EE is so bad it *does* literally look like a double exposure! I could hardly belive it. Aliasing and ringing mar any detail that might have been visible. It looks like the worst master that could have been produced for some boot-leg VHS from China. Actually a VHS copy would look *better* because it would mask some of the ringing.

    Fox...what are you thinking?

    Wonder if Peter will comment on this. It's keeping me from buying any other Shirly Temple DVDs believe me!

    -dave
     

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