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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 16, 2013.
Has it screened at the dome recently?
Yes, last fall for its 50th anniversary.
Question about the General Release version.- Criterion is 163:27.- MGM is 159:29.What's the difference?
The Criterion general release includes the entr'acte.
Criterion Flash Sale was just announced for one day, all titles in stock for 50% off, if you want to get Mad World for $25.
That's a great sale for some great titles...but guess which one is out of stock...!
I finally got round to watching this. It’s fascinating to see what and where material was cut. In some cases, such as the second attempt of Phil Silvers to accelerate his vehicle out of the canyon and the additional hammer blows Sid Caesar makes to the hardware basement door, the cuts have improved the pacing but most of the cuts seem to have been made very arbitrarily. One gets the impression that the sole criteria was simply to reduce the running time instead of making any artistic improvements. The film wasn’t excessively long for a roadshow presentation so I think it was unnecessary.
The cuts also mainly occur during dialogue scenes, which is no coincidence because most of the dialogue scenes are without music so it was obviously much easier to cut those than have to start re-positioning/editing the music - a pity because in my opinion it’s the dialogue scenes which are best. Where a scene has been cut which does contain music then the scene has been cut in its entirety until the music cuts out as in the scene in the park with Sid Caesar and Edie Adams. Most of the action and slapstick scenes contain music and therefore less of those have been cut.
It’s been mentioned previously in this thread but I also found the restored scene during the final chase toward the building when Spencer Tracey is seen getting out of a cab confusing. The impression given (false I know) is that an addition scene is missing or of a continuity error. The cut version of the film flows much better without that scene.
One other thing, in the audio commentary it’s said that in the hardware basement, those electrical cables which Sid Caesar held together were live and that he wore rubber soles as protection. Really? Sorry but I don’t believe it!
I, too, have just caught up with this. First off thanks to RAH & Co for working so hard on it. The movie brought back all sorts of memories for me.
I agree with everything Douglas R says except that some scenes like Phil Silvers and the Crumps in the hardware store go on for far too long in my view. I think I might prefer the cut version. I, too, found the scene with Tracy near the end totally confusing.
And as for those archive extras - boring, boring, boring, boring!
Boring?????? Wow. I thought they were fascinating and among the best I have ever seen.
If I ever own a cave, I will have Jack Davis' comedians-bursting-out-of-the-globe artwork reproduced on its walls, for future generations.
Jack Davis, of course, got to spoof his most famous poster with the cover of this book from MAD Magazine.
I got my copy yesterday with some money I got for my birthday; seeing the reconstructed version does fill in some plot holes caused by the general release version. It felt like watching an entirely different version of the movie; I think it's safe to say that this version will now be my preferred choice of viewing. Kudos to RAH & Co. for a tremendous job resurrecting this one from the ashes!
This is baffling to me. Surely while in the midst of a restoration for the Laserdisc, there was an acute awareness about the loss of elements and what that might mean to future editions. I would have expected a deep preservationist or archival mentality during the entire process. Why the apparent lack of care to preserve all the elements they had? And further, has this new edition inspired such a preservation of what became available?
Most image materials used in the latest reconstruction will most likely be destroyed, if they have not been already.
They will exist only as a part of the Criterion Blu-ray.
Should I read that as materials that could be used by future generations are knowingly and intentionally destroyed for business or proprietary reasons? The very thing that, had it happened in the past, would have made such a restoration now impossible? Wow. I'm not a professional archivist, but I do work professionally with digital materials and systems, and the issue of how much more fragile long-term digital archival is than analog materials is always in my awareness. This makes me wince.
They are destroyed because they are industrial waste.
Whatever use they could have been, they have served that purpose and within a short time I imagine no image would remain on those prints if they were kept.
Relax folks, it is Robert's wicked sense of humour at work here.
He is one of the Film World's keenest preservationists.
Really? I didn't have my sarcasm filter on because I wouldn't have expected that from Mr. Harris. I don't know what to think if this isn't being taken seriously except to wonder whether he thinks my concerns are from an ignorant fool. I took the issue of the failure of the original preservation from the Laserdisc version and his answers seriously with great concern, but I'll take your word that I'm a fool. I feel foolish in any case. Where can I learn more about this to get straight answers and have a better understanding of what happened, what was learned, and what the industry is doing to prevent further loss?
Considering how much stuff actually did meet that fate, it's gallows humor.