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Billy Batson

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The first film where I remember noticing stereo was 2001 at the Casino Cinerama. I don't think any old my local cinemas were equipped to handle stereo. As I live alone in a small terraced cottage, with nice quiet neighbours, I tend to wear headphones when watching stereo films, that way I can have it nice & loud & punchy, & it's still a novelty hearing these films in stereo (& I'm a headphone user with music, so it seems natural).
 

Douglas R

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The first film where I remember noticing stereo was 2001 at the Casino Cinerama. I don't think any old my local cinemas were equipped to handle stereo. As I live alone in a small terraced cottage, with nice quiet neighbours, I tend to wear headphones when watching stereo films, that way I can have it nice & loud & punchy, & it's still a novelty hearing these films in stereo (& I'm a headphone user with music, so it seems natural).
Yes, unfortunately very few London suburban cinemas were equipped for stereo, with the exception of the Granada circuit where stereo sound was very noticeable for the Guns of Navarone in 1961 at the Granada, North Harrow. The following year I went to my very first central London 70mm presentation to see Barabbas which had highly directionalised stereo sound at the splendid Odeon Haymarket.
 
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THere are many musicals and films with very distinguished soundtracks/songtracks which have been released on disc but in mono audio only - not that there's anything wrong with that - either due to the stereo version or the multi-track masters being lost or too difficult to restore, or because little or no effort was made to locate them, or because it's simply the way the soundtrack was recorded & the studio decided to just leave it be (to the delight of purists, ofcourse).
Anyway, here are 10 films which I feel would greatly benefit - again, not that they aren't totally fine as they are - from a new stereo or surround mix (either from restored/remastered session materials or digitally-created):

CAT BALLOU (1965)

MAN WHO KnEW TOO MUCH, THE (1956) (For whatever reason, almost none of Doris Day's films on disc have stereo sndtrks, orig. or otherwise. I realize most came out well over 50 yrs ago)

MONSTER CLUB, THE (1980)

OCEAN's 11 (1960)

RADIO DAYS (1987)

ROBIN & THE 7 HOODS (1964)

THIRD MAN, THE (1949)

THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, THE (1968)

TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (1946)

WICKER MAN, THE (1973)


Is there a film or 2 you might add to the list?
robin and the 7 hoods - one of the best original scores, ever- I have the stereo soundtrack but the DVD really needs this upgrade
 

mark-edk

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Crossed Swords (Prince and the Pauper) was in stereo on VHS or laserdisc (don't remember which it was but I had a copy for years), reverted to mono on DVD. Always felt At Long Last Love should've been stereo; most of the songs appeared in stereo on an RCA 2-LP set - the voices were recorded on set, the orchestra backing added afterward, if I remember correctly. Also Godspell was released in stereo on LP, but I think the movie was always mono.
 

Bob Graham

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AFAIK, all of the releases of Scorsese's NEW YORK, NEW YORK are in mono, except the Laser Disc.

I have to admit, I have always had a problem with the score for THE WICKER MAN, as I find it unauthentic, particularly the re-imagining of Robert Burns' "Corn Rigs", a jaunty bothy song as a slow singer-songwriter-type ballad. There was a folk renaissance going on in the UK at the time, and there were so many groups that could have provided an interesting and authentic score: Pentangle, Fairport Convention, The MacCallmans, to name but a few.
 

Billy Batson

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robin and the 7 hoods - one of the best original scores, ever- I have the stereo soundtrack but the DVD really needs this upgrade
No, I don't think that can happen. They all got back together after the filming finished & recorded the stereo album, you'd have to cut in the rerecorded stereo songs whenever a song came up, & I don't think the sound would match & there would probably be lip-sync problems. I think we have what we have.
 

Mark-P

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AFAIK, all of the releases of Scorsese's NEW YORK, NEW YORK are in mono, except the Laser Disc.
Are you referring to the fact that many people have complained that the stereo mixes on video are so bad, that people think it might as well be mono? Because all the releases on video have been stereo including some of the VHS releases. The DVD and Blu-ray releases are 5.1
 
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DaViD Boulet

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Would love to have Cabaret released with a proper stereo/multi-channel soundtrack on blu-ray... the existing 5.1 just sounds like "spacialized" mono and the sound quality of the musical numbers are clearly sub-par in comparison to the LP/CD soundtrack and there is no high frequency extension like everything has been excessively "noise reduced". The LP and CD soundtrack sound quality is superb... so clearly at one time high quality discrete stereo music audio stems existed... and even if only the musical portions of the audio could be reconstructed in stereo with improved fidelity, that would be welcome (ala Rocky Horror).
 

roxy1927

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I bet Family Band was in stereo but after the disappointment of Happiest Millionaire it was released in mono and the film shortened. Both Mary Poppins and Happiest Millionaire were released first run in stereo. Millionaire was also shortened after its roadshow engagements were a disappointment.
 

Drew Salzan

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Well I think you could lose a couple off that list:

Radio Days - Knowing Woody Allen's dislike of stereo, I wouldn't think stereo had any part in that production.

Cat Ballou - I have the Twilight Time Blu-ray, & it's in 5:1 & 2:0 all stereo (I've just checked it using headphones) & the isolated score is also in stereo. Such a shame it's OOP & has yet to turn up on any other label, as it's a stonking Sony Transfer of a great sixties film.

It's a bit annoying when musicals are made in mono, I'm thinking of, Li'l Abner (1959) Paramount, & Robin & The 7 Hoods (1964) Warner. But for me, the age of DVD & Blu-ray, is the age of films in stereo, as I first saw so many films in mono (esp 50s films) that are now in great sounding stereo.
You are correct regarding Cat Ballou. The Twilight Time disc has a very nice stereo mix and isolated score.
 

roxy1927

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It is so strange that Cat Ballou and Bye Bye Birdie were given to a boutique label. These were very popular films and the reputation of Cat Ballou has only grown. Bye Bye Birdie would be a constantly sought out catalog title. A real head scratcher was Oliver. But at least finally they released it as it should be released.
 

Tom St Jones

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Meant to keep this thread going but got sidetracked by other business on the home front..

To the list of classics/older films of great & small stature that cry out to be heard in Stereo or surround, I will add the following titles (in no order):

CAR WASH
ALICE's RESTAURANT
RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER
WHAT's NEW PUSSYCAT?
CLAMBAKE (Elvis Presley)
FLIM--FLAM MAN, THE
MAN & A WOMAN, A (1966)
DR. WHO & THE DALEKS
DALEKS: INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D.
WAR LORD, THE
GETAWAY, THE (1972)
HAVING A WILD WEEKEND
DIAL M FOR MURDER
REAR WINDOW
THE BIRDS
JAWS 2
PUFNSTUF (1970)
INVADERS FROM MARS (1952)
STRAW DOGS (1971)
 
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SFMike

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I've always been disappointed by Funny Face not being recorded in stereo even though it was a VistaVision release. I would love to see a new 4K restoration of this classic with a new stereo mix done with all the computer magic now available.
 

roxy1927

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That's funny I was just thinking the exact same thing. I passed up the bluray because there were those complaining that on a large TV the images were less than what should have been expected from a Vistavision release and my 4k TV is on the large size. We shall see. A Funny Face 4k release I can't imagine is on the top of any executives list but hope springs eternal. Maybe the film was done in Perspecta?
 

Drew Salzan

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That's funny I was just thinking the exact same thing. I passed up the bluray because there were those complaining that on a large TV the images were less than what should have been expected from a Vistavision release and my 4k TV is on the large size. We shall see. A Funny Face 4k release I can't imagine is on the top of any executives list but hope springs eternal. Maybe the film was done in Perspecta?
Yes, Perspecta.
 

cinemel1

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I've always been disappointed by Funny Face not being recorded in stereo even though it was a VistaVision release. I would love to see a new 4K restoration of this classic with a new stereo mix done with all the computer magic now available.
High Society was a VistaVision release and would be lovely in blu-ray or, of course, 4K. I was watching the short documentary on the new Tender Trap WA blu-ray. The scenes from High Society looked quite good. The stereo recording of the songs on Sinatra’s Hollwood boxed CD set is excellent. Louis Armstrong’s selections from that film also sound great in stereo on one of his compilation CDs. Any word on High Society coming to us at some point?
 

roxy1927

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You would think High Society would be a top title but not a word. Maybe the original camera negative is in poor shape or destroyed?
 

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