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International Night has a Thousand Eyes (John Farrow 1948) (1 Viewer)

david hare

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A new Koch Media DVD of this from Germany comes recommended from me. The film itself is a personal favorite Noir and perhaps the most extreme expression of the Cornell Woolrich universe of doomed fatalism. Eddie G and the great Gail Russell give the movie a real feel for melancholy (the score helps too) which Farrow seems to respond to with beautifully expressive long takes from CUs of the principles to wide curves out to wide shots like brushstrokes to literally sketch the characters. (Farrow was also a master of the long take generally - His Kind of Woman is full of takes lasting four minutes plus.) Paramount house master DP John Seitz was lenser on this. For an 81 minute feature (78 minutes here in PAL speedup) it's "A" quality.


But you have to accept this has been up til now one of the hardest 40s Paramount(Universal owned) to see in anything remotely viewable since the sixties. There are at least two bootlegs around, one from TCM plus a barely watchable Spanish DVD (probably itself a boot of the TCM boot transferred to PAL.) They're both rubbish.


This is a legit licensed transfer and, allowing for some rough reel ends with substantial gate induced wear and tear, and a second last reel that suffers from bad audio hum for several minutes it survives what I call the projector test with flying colors. Image is clean, and the transfer preserves the quality of the print including its weaknesses, but also its grayscale and dynamic range with ease, and it looks like film. Nothing like the previous illegal boots.


One can complain it might have been cleaned up or remastered but there' s no money out there and Koch (and other German Universal license holders) are doing such terrific work getting things out now I am not one to quibble. If only someone could come up with a 35mm anywhere near as good as this for another apparently "lost" Paramount/Uni title, Leisen's Swing High Swing Low I would be in near paradise.
 

Ed Lachmann

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david hare said:
If only someone could come up with a 35mm anywhere near as good as this for another apparently "lost" Paramount/Uni title, Leisen's Swing High Swing Low I would be in near paradise.
Sign me up for that, too! Mitchell Leisen was my great-uncle and any of his unreleased films would be so welcome, as would any in blu-ray form.
 

Robin9

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Many thanks for the recommendation. I'll buy this disc in my next round of Amazon Germany purchases.


I saw Swing High, Swing Low about 40 years ago and have never seen it since. I didn't know it was regarded as lost. I'd love a good disc in either standard or high definition.
 

bujaki

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It's "lost" in limbo. It plays in a substandard copy on TCM. It looked much better 40 years ago, before it went to limbo (PD?) hell.
 

david hare

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Ed Lachmann said:
Sign me up for that, too! Mitchell Leisen was my great-uncle and any of his unreleased films would be so welcome, as would any in blu-ray form.

You may or may not know but the Cinematheque Francaise ran a complete Leisen Retrospective back in 2008 from late June through October curated by Bertrand Tavernier (and others) who is also a fan. Leisen seems more highly regarded in France than I think he has been in the USA. Anyway I was in Paris for the tail end of it and made it to their Swing High Swing Low screening on the Saturday night. You will be as pleased as I was to see the house was packed to the rafters. The screening proceeded and was, alas the same TCM based VHS boot source with all its deficiencies, which were really amplified on a very large screen. Just to compound the weirdness the Cinematheque. decided to project digital French subs on the run, live which of course went completely amok and were almost abandoned. I don't think the audience minded this too greatly as it got a huge round of applause at the end. After the screening I chatted on the way out with Tavernier (whose English is better than my French) who confirmed they could not access a better source, even 16mm.


God knows the reasons for the PD black hole status.. the Oscar Hammerstein II score not getting renewed?
 

bujaki

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I'm glad I saw it before the black hole sucked it in! I just can't remember (it was so long ago) whether it was a 35mm or a 16mm print. Regardless, it was not a bootleg and it looked fine.
 

Sadsack

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I thought this dvd looked fine with the only issue being PAL speedup, but what has happened to the KINO release for summer 2021? It was posted on bluray.com - NEW 2K MASTER FROM INTERPOSITIVE.
 

Robert Crawford

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I thought this dvd looked fine with the only issue being PAL speedup, but what has happened to the KINO release for summer 2021? It was posted on bluray.com - NEW 2K MASTER FROM INTERPOSITIVE.
It's still coming from Kino on Blu-ray so it might be this Fall or early next year.
 

Rodney

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It's still coming from Kino on Blu-ray so it might be this Fall or early next year.
Release date is November 16th, a little over a month away.
BTW - I found out about this on Crawdaddy's own Blu-ray/4K UHD Pre-Order Listing!

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