Disappointed with MGM Wizard Of Oz quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David_Jr, Feb 2, 2003.

  1. David_Jr

    David_Jr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Hancock, MA - The Berkshires
    Real Name:
    Dave
    My boys wanted to watch the Wizard Of Oz the other night so I popped in the MGM dvd that I purchased when it came out. I also have the Ultimate Oz LD, which I have watched a few times in the past, but not recently. My recollection of the LD was that the color was absolutely magnificent and the print used in the transfer was pretty good. While watching the dvd the color seemed subdued and the print seemed to have a lot of blemishes on it. Another thing is that the dvd had only a theatrical trailer and the LD had quite a bit of supplemental material making it seem worth the at that time outrageously high price. Anyone else notice these differences or is it just that I am used to quality transfers of the new dvds?
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,563
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Buy the Warner Bros. SE.

    The only thing you lose is the mono track (the SE has 5.1), but the remix is well-done. The extras are VERY plentiful, too.
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    6,295
    Likes Received:
    2,321
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Maine
    Real Name:
    Rick
    Actually, another supplement that was lost in the transition to DVD was the audio commentary track. Otheriwse, the SE from Warner is superior to the 3-Disc laser set in terms of color fidelity and sharpness.
     
  4. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    You obviously have the inferior bare bones, first DVD of it.
    I think that particular version was released in the early days of DVD by MGM.

    The entirely re-mastered Warner's SE DVD is brilliant.
    Virtually all of the extras and then some, that were on the Ultimate OZ LD are there and looking and sounding better than ever.

    I have owned every video version including the (soft) Ultimate OZ edition and the Criterion LDs and believe me the Warner's SE is far superior than anything else before it.
     
  5. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree, the Warner dvd is great, but, i always liked the look
    of the print on the Ultimate Oz LD best.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    31,338
    Likes Received:
    6,594
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    As stated, the MGM dvd came out in the early days of the dvd format, the exact release date was 3/25/97. The Warner dvd which was released in 10/19/99 is much better.




    Crawdaddy
     
  7. David_Jr

    David_Jr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Hancock, MA - The Berkshires
    Real Name:
    Dave
    Very enlightening. I was not aware of two editions. I will look into the other.
     
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Livonia, MI USA
    Real Name:
    Kenneth McAlinden
    I Thought the MGM DVD looked more like the Ultimate Oz laserdisc than the Warner DVD, although both look very nice and have their strengths and weaknesses. In addition to the absence of the wonderful laserdisc commentary, I was disappointed that the WB DVD did not have the original mono track (especially since the packaging was mis-labeled to indicate that it did). That being said, the WB release has to be one of the most comprehensive single-disc special editions I have seen. I would not be surprised if WB re-visits it as a 2-disc SE some day, though, being the perennial money-maker that it is.

    Regards,
     
  9. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    2,646
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe WB could utilize the Ultra-Resolution to fix the color fringing and use the original mono mix, as well as frame the film more closely to the MGM version.
     
  10. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 31, 1999
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Castaic, CA
    Real Name:
    Jonathan Burk
    I was really blown away by the documentary on the Warners' disc. It really didn't pull any punches, and even went to lengths to correct a few "urban legends" started by Judy Garland on the talk show circuit.
     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,563
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Lowry Digital Images has expressed interest in doing The Wizard of Oz. They also expressed interest in Sunset Blvd, and you see what happened. [​IMG]

    A 2-disc edition would allow a very high-bitrate a/v quality, along with some new extras.


    A few supplements which could be added:


    Commentary from LD (already mentioned)
    music-only track
    original mono
    Full-length version of Wizard of Oz cartoon.
    Fact track
    Dark Side of the Moon/Animals 2.0 stereo track synched up for "Dark Side of Oz"
    Edited commentary from interviews and soundclips.
     
  12. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    THX botched up the first release of "The Ultimate OZ" Laserdisc.
    The whole sepia section before Dorothy opens the door and steps into Technicolor was horribly out of focus.

    I believe that it may have been corrected in a later release batch of the Box Set.
    But the mystery remains of how it ever got past the so called THX quality control in the first place.
    It was after this travesty that I began to take the THX logo with a grain of salt.

    The Criterion LD had a most unatural Blue Tinge to it, but did contain the wonderful commentary track.

    I most miss the very enjoyable Music-Only track which was on one of the later MGM Laserdiscs, but there are still portions of the music-only recordings among the Audio extras on the wonderful Warner SE DVD.

    For sharpness and glorious Technicolor reproduction, the Warner SE stands alone.
     
  13. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    250
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    As for the Dark Side of the Moon thing, have you tried it? It really doesn't work. Why would WB spend tons of money licensing music to put on an alternate track when in reality it was a rather ludicrous idea formed from some stoners' addled brains?

    Anyway, the current WB release is quite good. I believe that Robt. Harris mentioned that OZ needed a real restoration, but I'm a little hazy on that. There are moments of mis-registration in the transfer. I'm sure Lowry could make it look fabulous. We'll see. I'm sure somewhere down the road, it will come out again. I just doubt that it will be for some time.
     
  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Livonia, MI USA
    Real Name:
    Kenneth McAlinden
    Doug,
    Are you sure that the out of focus look of the "sepia-technicolor" scene just before Dorothy enters Oz wasn't just an artifact of the optical tricks they did to try and make it match with the sepia tinted black and white? Most of the sweat equity (and expensive digital dollars) in the 1998 restoration went into the sepia sequences for which there was no original negative. I believe part of this involved smoothing that transitional scene out. You may very well be right if there is a version of The Ultimate Oz that looks worse than mine. I just hadn't heard it before.

    Regards,
     
  15. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Aaron Reynolds
     
  16. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    4,300
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I should revisit my MGM disc; my recollection was that the color on that was almost overpowering--certainly far more brilliant than I'm used to from television, with a level of detail that plainly revealed the edges of Dorothy's makeup. But it's now been several years since I checked it out, so it might have just been the newness of the format dazzling me so. I have both it and the Warner one for the completist in me. [​IMG]
     
  17. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Presumably, all these early Technicolor movies with 3 separate b&w master safeties, could be mastered using the Ultraresolution technique used in "Singin' in the Rain." All of these movies would look better on DVD, if not in the theater.

    I believe Mr. Harris said that "Wizard" was in good shape, and didn't need major restoration. He stated that he could make "Gone with the Wind" perfect, using the current elements. These movies must be stored well.

    Speaking of "Robin Hood," I caught it on TCM this last Sunday, and the colors looked wrong, to me. Of course, there could be every possible explanation, but the green, in particular, looked chartreuse and limey to me -- not at all the rich, forest green I've seen every other time I've seen the movie (a lot of times, in theaters, often with new prints). I just wondered about the problem with this TV version, and I was hoping this isn't a new transfer that's going on a DVD.
     
  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,765
    Likes Received:
    196
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
     
  19. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2001
    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Strangely, I found the transfer on Warners to be inferior to the Ultimate Oz LD and the MGM DVD for that matter. To me, the image might have looked a bit more detailed but the color seemed washed out by comparison.

    Also, Warners goofed mightily on the "Jitterbug" supplement where instead of using the finished music track and vocals, they used the choreography rehearsal track with the flat monotone of Donna Massin standing in for Garland to piano accompaniment only. Only the Ultimate Oz set gets this right.
     
  20. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,563
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    The reason why the Kansas scenes look lesser in quality is because the negatives to those sequences did not survive. The highest generation materials are the dupe negs, which are 2 generations (O-neg -> Interpositive -> Internegative) away from the original negative.

    The Technicolor bulk of the film seems to be off the original negatives.

    While we're on the subject, the sepia tint has been done digitally for video. It would be nice if WB went through the trouble to make a genuine toned interpositive for the Kansas scenes to give a more realistic sepia color.
     

Share This Page