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Orson Welles' The Trial - which version to buy?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Rain, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I just noticed a new set of DVDs titled "Citizen Welles" which includes his film "The Trial."
    The packaging on the new release indicates a 1.85:1 AR for this film. According to www.imdb.com, it should be 1.66:1. It claims that the film is "fully restored" with a remixed 5.1 soundtrack.
    I notice also that Image released this film. I assume this version is probably discontinued now, but I know where to get one. According to the Image package, they present it in 1.66:1, but I couldn't find any reference to the sountrack (I'd rather have the original). Image claims that the film was transferred from "pristine" 35mm elements.
    Can anyone comment on the overall quality of these releases and which version they feel is superior? Right now, I'm probably leaning towards Image.
     
  2. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    I saw this set offered at Amazon, but I gotta say I was rather leary of the "fully restored" aspect of the package after buying the Laserlight "digitally restored" set. Of course I knew it wasn't digitally restored and I picked up the set at Costco for $12 just for kicks. I havent seen any of these films. Mr. Arkadin looked terrible. Probably the single worst looking movie I've ever seen on DVD. Havent managed to check The Trial and The Stranger yet in that set, but if they are anything like the previous . . .Sorry I cant offer much, but I can say stay away from Laserlight.
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The version distributed by Image is actually put out by Milestone Films. Although I've not watched the DVD, they tend to be pretty reliable for quality---certainly light years ahead of Laserlight and the like. I'd say that's probably the one to go for.
     
  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I rather suspected that consensus might be for Image.
    I checked and it does appear to be discontinued, resulting in me soon to be $50 poorer as a result of having to pick it up ASAP. [​IMG]
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I've got the Image disc, Rain, but have never seen the other one you mention. It is 1.66:1 with the original mono soundtrack. It looks quite good, though not anamorphically-enhanced. There are some specs and flecks that show up early on, but I'm sure you'll be pleased with the overall image. If you've only ever seen the old VHS version, then prepare to be astonished - the level of detail on this DVD is worlds better.

    But the soundtrack is another matter. I presume this is the original mono track (I doubt there were others). Even though it was largely post-synced, the dialog is barely audible at times, and generally rather thin even at its best. And I can only imagine what a mess it would be remixed into 5.1 (which strikes me as a very silly idea).

    Not knowing anything about this new release makes it impossible to compare. But my gut tells me it's likely to suck and that you're better off with the Image version. Wish I could be more help!
     
  6. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I remember seeing this on 16mm at one of the campus film societies, back in the day when there were such creatures, and the sound was terrible on that as well and I was constantly straining to figure out the dialogue. This may just be a problem with the movie itself.
     
  7. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    Mark Zimmer
    Madison, WI USA
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    I had *NO IDEA* the HTF has been around that long!!! [​IMG]
     
  8. Nathan_H

    Nathan_H Stunt Coordinator

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    The IMAGE DVD of The Trial is the one to get.

    Sad to say, the best Arkadin (Confidential Report) is the laserdisc from Criterion.
     
  9. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    That's right, I've been posting here since I was nine years old, 32 years ago. Hey sonny, don't step on the beard! [​IMG]
     
  10. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Thanks for your help, guys.
    Just picked up the Image disc.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    Look at the rainbow effect on the screenshots on compare.dvdbeaver.com. Does this mean both DVDs were made from composite masters?
     

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