Hello, Fox!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Let's get the hardware out of the way first as a point of reference.

    A DVD played and decoded by a Pioneer Elite; audio fed through and decoded by a Lexicon; audio power from a Sunfire amp; and projected on to a 110" Stewart screen.

    Short and sweet:

    Fox's new DVD of Hello, Dolly! is the most perfectly produced DVD I've yet seen derived from a film (especially large format) produced over thirty years ago. Although not in need of restoration, the image and audio could easily have been corrupted somewhere along the production and replication line, and were not.

    Hello, Dolly! is a perfect DVD; a perfect representation of Mr. Kelly's work; a magnificent DVD of a large format film -- the last of the huge budget 70mm musicals.

    This DVD is the first of its type that I've seen that I can rate as at a full 100%.

    Absolutely glorious work from Fox!

    This DVD is not to be missed.

    More in a future column on The Bits.

    RAH
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Doesn't surprise me.

    Fox consistently puts 100% care and pride into
    their classic film releases.

    Any other studio (other than Warner) would probably
    not have put in nearly as much effort.

    Can't wait for this film!
     
  3. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Yippee! I'm so happy about this one.

    Now, if only we could get Fox to revisit some of their other musicals, like the Rodgers and Hammerstein group from the 50s, plus The Sound Of Music. These are important, historic films, because they were trendsetters in large format filmmaking.

    Of course, you did state that Hello, Dolly! didn't need restorative work, and The Sound of Music definitely would.

    Which brings up an interesting question:

    Hello, Dolly wasn't a huge success, as a movie, certainly not on the order of The Sound of Music. So, one wonders, if certain movies are less successful, perhaps their source materials are in better shape, i.e., negatives weren't used as often, etc. So, less successful movies from the past might make better DVDs today. Just a thought.

    Great news!
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It can be assumed that the more successful the film, the more wear and tear on the original elements.

    RAH
     
  5. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Good old Fox [​IMG]

    If I really enjoyed the movie I'd pick it up in a hearbeat. Unfortunately I saw Ms. Channing front row and center, and even at 70+ she moved like she was 30. So magical was her divine performance that I cannot watch anyone else doing it [​IMG]
     
  7. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Jeff. I hated the film. As a teen in 1964, I saw it on B'way with Carol Channing in her prime, and this is a boring, overblown abomination in comparison.

    So the question is, does a serious collector buy a title they hate, if only to support its technical excellence? I know I could rent, but I wonder if it's even worth the trip just to see a few minutes. Guess I'll just have to wait for the holy grail -- a perfect transfer of a perfect film.
     
  8. BBbrowd

    BBbrowd Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert, thanks so much for the info on the Dolly DVD. That sounds wonderful!! It's one of my all time favorite films, so this is so great to hear.

    I can understand those who don't like it, especially when comparing it with the stage version. It's a different ball of wax. I recently saw it live on stage and now I see the differences, especially in the portrayal of Dolly herself. But my love for the movie has only grown through the years. It's a beautiful film.
     
  9. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    It's going to be pretty cheap, Seymour, and the design elements alone make it worth buying. Plus, it'll be a great disk, a reference disk of 70mm Hollywood musicals, great color, great sound, and don't forget Walter Matthau, who can do no wrong in my book.
     
  10. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Dee, it's not so much a cost issue as a waste issue. It'll just sit on the rack after I open it just to look at the production design and transfer quality for a few minutes.

    I'm also a huge Walter Matthau fan. But I can't help thinking how much he hated working on this film, which makes it that much harder to watch. During production, he refused to have any contact with Barbra Streisand when they were not on camera.
     
  11. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    never seen this before, so just might get this

    [​IMG]
     
  12. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I didn't know that about Matthau and Streisand. Oooh! This makes me want to watch the movie even more! Backstage drama makes for good gossipy movie watching.

    I heard that Debra Winger couldn't stand to even speak to Richard Gere during the making of An Officer and A Gentleman. So, when they have sex in the movie, it's really rough! Which makes it kinda hot, actually.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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  14. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Here are a couple of juicy bits:

    From the IMDB:
     
  15. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The film is not my favorite musical. La Streisand is too young for the role and there were reports that she also gave Mr. Kelly a terrible time. Being one of the last Todd AO films it should look great as that process generally produced wonderful looking films. There's a nice guest appearance by Louis Armstrong, dueting with Streisand on the title song.
     
  16. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Excellent news! Time to finally retire my ld. [​IMG]
     
  17. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    I certainly hope the Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack retains the directional dialogue of the original mix, and that this DVD was mastered from 65MM elements, rather than 35MM printdown and carries the Todd-AO credit--which does NOT appear on the 35MM prints.

    I'm also looking forward to hearing the upcoming DVD of STAR! for the descrete Todd-AO sound mix as opposed to the matrixed surround that was on the 1995 laser disc.
     
  18. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Robert harris - how about the extras - there is supposed to be a new documentary about the film - how long is it. Are the screen tests included?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Sorry, but I didn't check out the extras. I was too impressed with the overall transfer and its integrity to the original.
     
  20. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Robert,

    Are the songs subtitled by any chance? [​IMG] I'm hoping to be able to figure out some lyrics that have always baffled me.
     

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