MGM's latest westerns, what's the verdict?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Ulmer, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    These seemed suspiciously missing from the review pool (like that abomination Hallelujah Trail), so I'm wondering if anyone took a chance on Return of a man called Horse, Comes a Horseman, Valdez is coming, Lawman, Along Cames Jones or Chato's Land?
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  2. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Jeff
    I ordered Valdez is Coming, Lawman & Return of a Man Called Horse from deepdiscount but I probably won't receive them until the middle of next week. I took a chance on the transfers of these films because even though I'm upset with some of MGM's transfers, at these low prices I'm willing to own a mediocre transfer along as it is the proper aspect ratio.
    I just watched Apache and even though the transfer wasn't the greatest, I quickly forgot about it and got sucked into the film. I'm hoping the same thing happens when I finally get around to watching The Hallelujah Trail.
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I've been pleasantly surprised with some of these "cheap" MGM DVDs.
    the Lion in Winter (katherine Hepburn) has an AMAZING transfer...a few blemishes from the print...but the anamorphic resolution is VERY VERY film-like with incredible detail. and NO edge enhancement.
    It's even 5.1 despite being listed as mono on the cover.
    I'd be willing to take a chance on any of these MGMs as long as they are 16x9.
    -dave
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I recommend NOT picking up The Big Country, especially if you have the LD, unless you just gotta have it. Although it is anamorphic, it is also severely cropped on the top and both sides and is also much too dark, compared to the LD. It's also missing the wonderful supplements from the LD. This is the only dvd for which I owned its LD counterpart that I ended up getting rid of because I deemed the dvd unwatchable.
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    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
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  5. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Anyone know how the DVD of "Hallelujah Trail" looks in comparison with the Laserdisc.
    Is it Anamorphic? Does it have the music interludes?
    I have the Laserdisc and am not at all happy with the picture quality.
    Any improvement would be a blessing.
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  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I thought Hallejah Trail looked god awful on DVD. Heavy aliasing, with lots of analog artifacts like a LD. Not anamorphic. It's probably the same transfer.
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  7. Orvisg

    Orvisg Stunt Coordinator

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    No Quigley Down Under fans? Picked it up today at Best Buy $10.00. Had to have it, 16.9 at 2.35.1, Stereo Surround. Just played around with it not too bad. Great music from Basil.Not a big supply of. It's from MGM also. [​IMG]
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    Geno
     
  8. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Geno - I posted my thoughts on the DVD release of Quigley Down Under in this thread.
    I viewed Comes A Horseman this evening. The first 4 or 5 minutes of the film look pretty bad with a lot of haze, dirt, and print damage over the credits ( mostly in the form of rampant speckling ). At around the 6 minute mark, the film cleans up quite a bit and is much more presentable throughout the feature.
    Thereafter bouts of random print flaws show up from time to time. Some scenes exhibit a haze ( the dirty sky syndrome ) that detracts somewhat from the presentation, but these are thankfully less prominent when compared to the opening minutes of the film.
    Haloing is fairly noticeable whenever vertical structures ( such as the doors and windows of the cabin ) are juxtaposed against the sky. Otherwise it didn't call attention to itself.
    On the plus side, the framing looks terrific with a number of great compositions by cinematographer Gordon Willis being showcased in this film. One of the high points of the presentation, for me.
    All in all the transfer is watchable, with the biggest impediment being the sheer amount of print damage present during the entire runtime of the film. I'd give the DVD a slightly better than marginal recommendation, keeping in mind that it is an older film. ( If the print had been clean I would have no problems recommending the DVD. )
    A couple of other notes.
    - The DVD does feature 16x9 enhancement.
    - And like Quigley Down Under this title was encoded by Laser Pacific.

    - Walter.
    [Edited last by Walter Kittel on September 05, 2001 at 02:09 AM]
     
  9. Orvisg

    Orvisg Stunt Coordinator

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    Walter I forgot about reading your review of Quigley. My mind set was MGM's Westerns sorry. By the way I played around with the disc about an houuur. It was your review that sent me out on this search mission for this DVD. I owe you one Thanks. [​IMG]
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    Geno
     
  10. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Thanks Jeff,
    Looks like I'll have to live with the Laserdisc.
    I hear Vera Cruz looks awful as well.
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  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    quote: It's even 5.1 despite being listed as mono on the cover.[/quote]I'm pretty sure this one (The Lion in Winter) is 2.0 mono. The only 5.1 content I remember on the disc is that incredibly loud lion roaring when you insert the disc. The mono sound is a significant improvement over the previous laserdisc release, though. They must have either performed significant restoration work, used better source material, or some combination of both.
    Regards,
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    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on September 05, 2001 at 08:41 AM]
     
  12. JamesHromadka

    JamesHromadka Stunt Coordinator

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    I wish more westerns from any distributor would be released. Any word on when we'll see more John Wayne movies, particularly "North to Alaska"?
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    "The Lion in Winter" is definitely in mono!
    Crawdaddy
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