Ray H

Senior HTF Member
Jun 13, 2002
Real Name
Basically Pathe did their own 4k scan in 2011. The restoration company did their own agressive grain management on the transfer. Pathe seems perfevtly fine with the subsequent bad restoration job and Criterion is contractually obligated to release what Pathe gave them. So to return to the original question, the answer is obviously
Last night I checked out the version streaming on the Criterion Channel...it is the same weird, detail-free, someone-smeared-Vaseline-on-my-TV-screen look as the blu ray.
Unfortunately Pathé who is the rightsholder ( Now attached to Gaumont) put all its Eggs in this atrocious FUBAR of a restoration back in 2011. They lobbied hard enough to get it a golden egg at Ritrovato Bologna the next year, which only goes to show that the judges on these “distinguished” panels never actually watch the discs. Sadly for them a few reviewers and others saw the thing and started correcting the record. I can add thst the 4kDCP is as horrible as the 1080p master for the BDs. Criterion knew They were buying a turkey but they were cntractually obliged to take it. Thing is there was nothing they could do in their own right to re- scan and regrade. It. Many years later when Criterion was offered a new 4K from Pathe via posthouse Eclair of Melville’s Le Samourai, they saw the same dead hand in the massive Over scrubbed DVNR. They wisely dodged a bullet, did not accept the new 4k and went back to an older (ca. 2004) 1080p master which had been done for the first DVD relesse in France on the Old Remy Chateau label. Having learnt from this lesson Criterion dodged yet another bullet a couple of years ago and turned down yet another FUBARed “new” 4k”from Studio Canal of Plein Soleil and reverted to the older Canal 1080p. There are many more stories like this but not the time to tell them here. The point is once an expensive 4K resto like Children of paradise is done and wrecked in the process, there’s not enough money to go back and do it again. Worse, professional reputations an d sheer egos come into play.
I'm not a fan of aggressive noise reduction/grain management, but have you guys seen the restoration demonstration on the Criterion disc? The before & after comparisons are fairly impressive. It looks like the original camera negative was in really rough shape with a lot of damage. While the resulting restoration may leave something to be desired to videophiles, it's pretty solid work given what they were starting with.

Marc Hampton

Feb 2, 2011
Real Name
I watched by Blu ray again yesterday, here in the lengthy, ongoing Quarantine Film Festival.

Yes...I saw the restoration comparison...I agree...the restored version is free from any scratches or dirt whatsoever...as a "clean up" it is extraordinary. No question.

But honestly the grain reduction is SO over the top. Interior scenes look smeary and flat. Dare I say even ugly at times. No depth. No detail. It almost looks like animation. (Certainly not like film.)

Lacenaire literally looks like he's made of wax. That's not the filmmakers intention. He doesn't look like that in previous releases.

Anyway...the movie is still so good...even the over-zealous guy madly turning the "kill all the grain" knob past 10 until the knob literally broke off in his hand...couldn't ruin it for me.
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