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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Warner or StudioCanal?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Hal Masonberg, Apr 6, 2017.

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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Warner Archive or StudioCanal Blu-ray?

  1. Warner Archive

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. StudioCanal

    6 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. Hal Masonberg

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    I've only been able to find one online comparison between these two very different releases (DVDBeaver). While the Warner sports a DD 5.1 mix and the StudioCanal 2.0 mono, the StudioCanal version was restored in 4K off the original camera negative and overseen by DP Nicolas Roeg. I know the StudioCanal version does not contain the 20 second cock fight sequence and the Warners does include it. Not a make-or-break deal for me either way. I'm interested in the absolute best image quality. And the most accurate.

    Is there anyone out there who actually knows this film well enough to make an informed comparison? In my research, I have found people praising both releases and also condemning both releases. This is a favorite film, but I'm really not interested in owning 2 different versions. I lean toward the StudioCanal because it's off the original negative, but I do like the idea of a 5.1 mix since it was in 6-track on all 70mm theatrical blowups.

    Can anyone shed some light on this?
     
  2. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is one of my favorite films as well. I saw the film opening day in NYC; I think it was at the Capitol. I own both Blu Rays. While visually the Warner Archive is a lot better & closer to the way it looked in a theater than many posters on the board here claim--still the Studio Canal gets my vote for the visuals. While the first reel or so of the Warner Archive Blu is a little washed out; it's quite good after that; almost on an equal footing with the Studio Canal. Yes, visually the Studio Canal is better, but, in my opinion, not so much better that it renders the Warner Archive unwatchable.

    I originally bought the Warner Archive version, then got the Studio Canal but kept the Warner Archive for the overture, which I love and which is not on the Studio Canal Blu-Ray, as well as for the 5.1 track. So for me, I need both discs. In terms of a recommendation, it depends what you're looking for. If it's the score, you should get the Warner Archive. If it's only the cinematography, get the Studio Canal. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Paul Rossen

    Paul Rossen Supporting Actor

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    I too saw the film at the Loew's Capitol(what a beautiful theater)in NYC. I own the WB version and based upon Dvdbeaver's comparison I'm confident to say that that is how I recall the visuals of the film. That said I find the score almost unlistenable on the WB disc. It sounds harsh and tinny to my ears. It also sounds mono
    as there doesn't seem to be any separation. Unfortunately, I do not have any recollections of the sound at the Capitol screening.
     
  4. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    The sound on the UK disc is much better.
     
  5. Noach Kowalski

    Noach Kowalski Second Unit

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    The UK release was sourced from a 4K scan.
     
  6. GlennF

    GlennF Second Unit
    Supporter

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    I agree with Paul, above. I have the WB blu and I find the music and sound kind of weak and hear little, if any, separation in the music. In the theatre, the storm sequence was incredibly dramatic - doesn't come across that way at all now.
    I also find the colour too vivid on the Warner Brothers blu. My memory of seeing it in the cinema is that there was a slightly more washed out/softer look to it - but then the memory can play tricks and of course the colour is much more vivid on a 40 inch plasma rather than on a large theatre screen. However, I have not seen the Studio Canal version - I am stuck in Region A world.
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    There's a thread about this - search function works very well here. Here's what I wrote about it in that thread:

    I, of course, got the US Blu-ray from Warners the day it came out. I saw the film five or six times in its 70mm blow up here in Los Angeles at the Wilshire Theater. I loved the movie, the score, the actors - everything, but especially Nicholas Roeg's amazing photography. No home video release has come within a country mile of even hinting at that amazing photography. The Warner Blu, while not exactly terrible, just wasn't very good - nothing was sharp enough, color was a little boosted and the contrast was a little harsh - and it was obvious it was not from any original element, but some kind of IP or whatever.


    So, I was looking forward to viewing the UK Blu-ray and it arrived today and I can safely say that it is an incredible transfer, one of the best I've ever seen. Everything looks as it should - detail is superb (lots of soft focus and diffusion on Ms. Christie), and the color is astoundingly perfect. And the sound, which is tinny and ugly on the Warners, is here full-bodied and stunning, making Richard Rodney Bennett's score really sound gorgeous - but the entire mix is much more present and wonderful. This is highly recommended by the likes of me. Finally this lovely film gets the treatment it so deserves - a 4K transfer off the original negative. Much love has gone into this. Yes, it's missing about a minute of violent cock-fighting footage, which is fine by me. Some guy on another forum refuses to purchase it because of those cuts as he doesn't care about the leap in quality only that minute of footage. No overture here either, and I'm fine with that, too, as I can't even listen to the overture on the Warners disc because the sound is so wretchedly awful.
     
    Douglas R and Jimbo64 like this.
  8. Tom St Jones

    Tom St Jones Supporting Actor

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    If one loves the film enough, but can't make up their mind between the StudioCanal for the 4k transfer and the Warner for overture and deleted scene, then why not (provided you have a multi-region player) just get both discs and be done with it? You can put 'em together in the same case/digipack to create a your own "ultimate edition".
     
  9. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I saw this thread a few weeks ago and learned of the existence of the UK release. I admit I'd never seen the film before, though I had long wanted to. I already owned the Warner Archive release but decided to order the the StudioCanal version from Amazon UK and it came in last week. I watched the SC release over the weekend and was pleased with it, though I admit it was somewhat underwhelming considering it's supposedly from a recent 4K scan. I popped in the US disc and it's far too bright and contrasty and looks like it received some light filtering. The UK release better preserves the film's grain structure and looks much more natural and film-like. Ultimately, I'd go with the UK StudioCanal release.

    Still, there are some differences that make the Warner release worth having for fans of the film. It has a wider aspect ratio and includes an Overture and the original MGM logo. And the cock fight is not cut here, which I admit was somewhat jarringly edited in the UK version. Still, I don't think a few seconds of cocks fighting is all that important to the film, though others have the right to disagree.

    As for the film, I thought it was quite good and holds up rather well. I'd also recommend the 2015 remake to anyone interested in this story.
     

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