Lord Dalek

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Also doesn't help that the 40s films don't have the visual information necessary to justify a 4k transfer.
 

david hare

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If you believe this why do you think so many rightsholders have gone to the trouble and expense of making 4K masters for DCP and preservation. I simply do not buy thenproposition that pre 1960s or 1950s B&W 35mm material us not better served by 4K than for instance 2K. The cost factor that used to be prohibitive is no longer so.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Like David (see earlier), I too saw the original version which screened in Australia. It sounds as if the new UHD will be close to that, so that will just tip the difference for me to justify going UHD for this title. When in doubt, go uncensored!
 

Rick Thompson

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Also doesn't help that the 40s films don't have the visual information necessary to justify a 4k transfer.
Pardon? They were all shot on film, which means (assuming the film has been stored properly) that the piture can always be rescanned at ever-higher resolutions because film is continuous tone. It is the recent films shot digitally that will never look any better than they do at the digital camera's resolution, be it 2K, 4K or 8K. Anything beyond that will be interpolated. Something shot on film would just be rescanned.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Pretty well any film material that has been preserved well .. or, at the hands of someone like Robert Harris, can undergo proper restoration, can benefit from higher-resolution scanning. How else would we have such great Blu rays of 1920s classics such as Metropolis, or 1930s works such as 'M', to cite just two Fritz Lang masterpieces. And that's why I long for similar treatment of Eisenstein's 'Ivan the Terrible' Parts One and Two, and his 'Alexander Nevsky', even if the soundtrack on that one can never attain such transfer heights as its image.
 

Worth

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Pardon? They were all shot on film, which means (assuming the film has been stored properly) that the piture can always be rescanned at ever-higher resolutions because film is continuous tone...
Film may not have a fixed resolution, but there's little point in scanning 35mm at anything beyond 4K, as it holds somewhere between 3-4K of real image detail.
 

Lord Dalek

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Film may not have a fixed resolution, but there's little point in scanning 35mm at anything beyond 4K, as it holds somewhere between 3-4K of real image detail.
Hitchcock's film have probably less than 2 on average under all the processes and dupes. Remember he pushed the technology of his day to the breaking point and 1940s technology by today's standards was never meant to go that far.
 

david hare

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If only for the single reason that 4K scanning and worklow of 35mm effectively removes the need for DVNR it’s best practise to use it. Anf then you have all that bitrate to record film grain. Grain is the oxygen and blood of film and without it film is mere plastic.
 

david hare

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Anthony Mosfilm did a restoration of Ivan both parts a few years ago, and it was screened at Berlinale early 2018 but in a live concert version with live orch. My most loathed form of cinema as circus. So far its only release on BD is on French Bach label. A pretty low rent outfit who have nastered the damn thing in 1080 interlaced for 50Herz/PAl TV. Despite this it looks pretty good. It addresses most of the issues with the Prokofiev score. But it really deserves a classier disc release than fucking Bach Media,
 
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Cineman

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While I understand what the legion of decency wanted, this movie was seared into my brain when I saw it (and others who saw it who say exactly what I'm about to say): I can't swear to the bra stuff or even the blood on the hands stuff, but the multiple stabs of Arbogast were there - I remember when I saw the reissue and it was one stab thinking to myself, that isn't the way it was.
And I can swear to the bra stuff. Not only was the last second cut away from Marion shrugging off her bra seared in my memory but even more seared in my memory was the round house gasp and chuckle by the entire audience at their own reaction to almost but not quite seeing Janet Leigh's bare breasts. It happened every time I saw the movie in the USA; Cincinnati, Ohio and Los Angeles, California area theaters from 1960 on its initial release and all through the early to mid-1960s when I saw it at least a half dozen times on re-releases and in revival theater presentations. I loved that big audience reaction, waited and looked forward to it in every screening. There is nothing about the edited scene as we have seen it in theaters since the early 1970s or on home video up until now that could possibly have caused that same 1960s audience reaction. No audience has been that innocent since the dawn of cinema.

The footage that caused that round house audience reaction went missing during revival theater screenings of it by the mid-1970s. Along with the earliest home video versions of it. That would be after it had been edited for television or for whatever reason, possibly by Hitchcock himself but very likely by someone else but with Hitchcock's approval, not knowing that would be the version to almost go down in history forever as the "Original Theatrical Release Version."

Can the legion of decency bit be a case of Hitchcock nodding and agreeing with the legion of decency in 1960, saying fine I'll do the cuts and then releasing the movie without the cuts but nobody following up to complain?

Unfortunately, the "Making of PSYCHO" documentary further confuses the issue by inserting a clip of Marion removing her bra in the peephole scene while Hitchcock's assistant at the time, Joan Harrison, makes an off-screen commentary reference to Hitchcock "tidying up" Janet Leigh's "slip" moment before its initial USA theatrical release. It is possible Joan Harrison had no idea which clip would be accompanying her pre-recorded comment or any clip at all. It is my judgement that the documentary filmmakers assumed she was referring to the bra/peephole scene but got it wrong.

Well, clearly, the bra removal scene is NOT the "slip" moment Joan Harrison was referring to. It is the bra moment. IMO, the "slip" moment Joan Harrison was referring to was clearly about the opening scene where we see Marion stretched out on the bed in her white slip and at some point will raise her legs to swing around to sit on the side of the bed to continue her conversation with Sam. I believe THAT is the section Hitchcock "tidied up" with an edit before its original USA theatrical release. In all probability, the audience would have gotten a split second "up shot" of her panties or no panties as she made that move to swing around and sit up.

To me it is obvious an unplanned edit was made at that instant and was smoothed over to account for time with an insert shot out of nowhere and for no logical reason of the half eaten sandwich and dixie cup drink on the side table or whatever. Yes, Sam says, "You didn't finish your lunch", but I really don't thing it was all that necessary to have a clumsy insert shot of an unfinished lunch to convince us Sam wasn't lying about that. Everything else in that opening scene up to and after that clumsy insert shot of the half eaten sandwich and dixie cup drink is shot and edited to flow as smooth as silk in true Hitchcock fashion and the clumsiness of that insert shot is jarring.

Unless and until that "Making of PSYCHO" documentary is re-edited to clear up this confusion, I suspect it will go down for all time that Hitchcock made that bra scene edit before the initial theatrical release. And if he did then every theater in Ohio and California, USA, that I saw PSYCHO in during the 1960s miraculously and inexplicably had the German print on hand instead.
 
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Peter,

That was fascinating to watch. Thank You.
I submit the edited version of those three scenes is not what Hitchcock would ever have wanted to hit the theaters in 1960 because they don't accomplish nearly as much in terms of audience manipulation, logic and practicality as the unedited version.

1. We must really be "teased" by Marion's strip right up to the very frame we think we'll see her bare breasts in the peephole scene. That ensures that we will not take our eyes off the screen for even so much as to blink a moment or two later when she drops her robe, steps into the shower and begins to wash. I believe Hitchcock gave us a bit more and more of Marion's flesh from the opening scene to the suitcase packing scene to the peephole scene in order to manipulate us into thinking the next opportunity, the shower scene, would really deliver the goods. He wanted us salivating in apprehension of getting more "sex" when he springs that infamous murder scene on us instead. Nothing could heighten the horror of that moment more than contrasting it with what we thought we might get a glimpse of instead. The edited version in no way manipulates us into that frame of mind. It is way too tame and, if anything, assures us we are not going to get more "sex" during the shower scene from this director. That is a major loss in terms of emotional impact of the shower scene.

2. In the edited version of the bathroom clean up scene we never see how Norman turns on the water faucet (with his forearm) and naturally assume he did so with his very bloody left hand. Which makes no logical sense in terms of his being very careful NOT to leave traces of blood anywhere and in how he puts his now rinsed-off hand right back on that faucet to turn it off where whatever blood was still on that faucet would go right back onto his hand. None of that is an issue when we know he turned on the faucet with his clothed forearm instead of his bloody hand, which we are only shown in the unedited version.

3. On our initial viewing assumption that this is a very old lady trotting down the steps and wielding a knife against a fairly sturdy looking man whose job it is to track down and find criminals anyway, I don't think one clean off-screen knife plunge at the bottom of the stairs is enough for us to conclude without doubt that Arbogast is well and truly murdered, dead as a door nail and no longer a factor in the plot, that we can really stop thinking about him now. Bare in mind, we Hitchcock fans had just seen two of his masterpieces in a row where we were made to believe a main character had been killed but was not. Therefore, in this case, I believe Hitchcock wasn't merely prolonging the violence or twisting the knife, so to speak, just for the thrill of grossing out the audience. I think it was largely a practical decision to show us three undefended plunges of that knife so we will not for one second consider the possibility that sometime during the second attempted plunge (not seen in the edited version. In fact, we don't see even the beginning of a second plunge in the edited version. Just the knife poised in mid-air above Arbogast as the screen fades) Arbogast summoned the strength to give poor old Mrs. Bates so much as a tell-tale fingernail scratch on her face or swollen lip in defense.
 
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Michel_Hafner

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If only for the single reason that 4K scanning and worklow of 35mm effectively removes the need for DVNR it’s best practise to use it. Anf then you have all that bitrate to record film grain. Grain is the oxygen and blood of film and without it film is mere plastic.
There is no connection of that kind between 4K scanning and "noise reduction". Noise reduction or any form of grain management is related to esthetic goals or technical goals independent of 2K versus 4K versus 6K or higher scanning.
 

Michel_Hafner

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Anthony Mosfilm did a restoration of Ivan both parts a few years ago, and it was screened at Berlinale early 2018 but in a live concert version with live orch. My most loathed form of cinema as circus.
I would have to strongly disagree that using live music performance in a film screening turns cinema automatically into a "circus". I don't see why that should be the case if the music performance is not overwhelming the image visually or aurally in a way that was never intended by the film makers. Having experienced several such screenings my impressions were never negative (live piano music with classic silents, "Koyaanisqatsi" with the Philip Glass orchestra playing live, "Das Parfüm" with live orchestra and choir...).
 

haineshisway

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"Can the legion of decency bit be a case of Hitchcock nodding and agreeing with the legion of decency in 1960, saying fine I'll do the cuts and then releasing the movie without the cuts but nobody following up to complain?" Of course. He was legendary for this kind of thing and they would have had no way of knowing if he did it or didn't do it - you know how that goes. Just because there's a piece of paper in an archive doesn't mean anything was done. I can only tell you, when I saw the German Blu-ray I said, "Ah, yes, now it's right." That's when I figured out that the thing everyone's been seeing since has to be something that was edited for the later 60s re-release or TV. As to Janet Leigh's "slip" - yes, confusing in many ways. While you may be right, the other interpretation is "slip" meaning she slipped up and blinked at the end of the famous eye pull back shot - according to all, Alma caught it (no one else had, apparently), and he went in and put a cutaway to cover it.
 
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david hare

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There is no connection of that kind between 4K scanning and "noise reduction". Noise reduction or any form of grain management is related to esthetic goals or technical goals independent of 2K versus 4K versus 6K or higher scanning.
I think the average lay person would understand what I am saying. You are miscontruingbfor the sake of trashing my argument about 4K as a platform.

As to the concert presentaion of Ivan I suggest you find and watch a copy of the Arte TV broadcast of that event. More of the TV cameras’ time was spent on cutting to Close ups of the conductor and wide panning shots of the orchestra to the audience with the movie screen taking very much third place in the trifecta. The whole experience, here “produced” for TV was the most destructive and probably the worst ever example of this sort of “event” cinema I’ve ever seen. The movie can never be the main event in these awful misguided broadcasts and they have nothing in common with the finely made and respectful live events at for instance Ritrovato Bologna in which Timothy Brock and others conducted their own scores for the new Cohen restorations of Keaton features and Gance’s La Roue for instance which are screened in the Piazza Maggiore, I hate to say this but I find your tone more than a little agresssive. I would prefer not to engage with you any further on this.
 

Cineman

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... As to Janet Leigh's "slip" - yes, confusing in many ways. While you may be right, the other interpretation is "slip" meaning she slipped up and blinked at the end of the famous eye pull back shot - according to all, Alma caught it (no one else had, apparently), and he went in and put a cutaway to cover it.
First of all, I must apologize for misstating who Hitchcock's personal assistant was during the filming of PSYCHO in my earlier post. She was Peggy Robertson, not Joan Harrison. Therefore, it is Peggy Robertson whose interview segments appear in the "Making of PSYCHO" documentary. She discusses the censorship issues in the movie at the 1:17 point in the documentary.

I do think with that "slip" reference Ms. Robertson was talking specifically about what Hitchcock did in response to legion of decency, the Hayes Office and/or in house studio censorship pressures. In which case, I don't think the eye blink blooper that Alma flagged and Hitchcock covered with an insert shot of the shower head was an issue they would have taken up.

One very important detail about Ms. Robertson's relating the pre-release screening of it with Luigi Luraschi, the intermediary between the studio and the Hayes Office censors, is when she says Luigi laughs at Hitchcock's cameo appearance and without a cut goes on to say..."and then we were watching everything. Then comes the shower sequence and we were all sort of looking on placidly...Luigi says "STOP, STOP! My god! I saw a breast!" A funny exchange follows that was mentioned in an earlier post. So they ran the shower sequence again to prove to him that he did not see a breast.

The fact that Ms. Robertson says nothing about Luigi's reaction to the peephole scene is, imo, evidence that was not what he felt would be objectionable to the censors and something Hitchcock ought to edit out or did edit out before its theatrical release.

Another important detail is when she does mention Hitchcock "tidying up" a few things, such as that they (the censors) "didn't like Janet in her slip at the beginning." That is when the doc filmmakers insert a shot of Janet Leigh during the peephole scene, mistakenly, imo. I would argue Ms. Robertson was talking about "Janet in her slip" in the opening scene at the beginning of the movie and not the one in the middle of the movie, the peephole scene, as the doc filmmakers assumed.

Then, of course, there is the smoking gun evidence in the Hitchcock/Truffaut book, officially authored by Hitchcock and Truffaut in 1966. There is in that book a photo of the very instant of Janet Leigh shrugging off her bra in the peephole scene because that was a shot that was indeed in the original theatrical release of the movie and, I would further argue, was an important enough image for the sake of emotional impact that it was included in his and Truffaut's discussion of the movie.

I also believe the photo capture of the upraised knife included in that book for the Arbogast scene is NOT the first raising of the knife, the only one we see in the edited version. The (better for a still photo capture) light reflection on the blade and angle of it appears much closer to the second or third upraising of the knife, the ones that I firmly believe were also in the original USA theatrical release and remained there through most if not all of the 1960s.
 
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haineshisway

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But these edits have nothing to do with the censors - they had to do with getting a pass from the Legion of Decency. That's the document that's being talked about in this thread, and which I was referencing. Bottom line is I believe every one of these short deletions were originally in the film.
 
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Michel_Hafner

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I think the average lay person would understand what I am saying. You are miscontruingbfor the sake of trashing my argument about 4K as a platform.
Actually I'm not understanding your argument and I think it's a bad one for promoting 4K as a platform. There is no direct connection here. Maybe you just figured that since the amount of DNR has gone down since the DVD and early BD days there is a connection between 4K scanning and this. I don't see it. The felt "need" for DNR is first coming from technical limitations of compression on DVD and BD (wthether from 1080p telecines, 2K scans or 4K and higher scans). When the compression can't handle the grain/noise (because the encoder is not good enough or not used properly or the expense for a higher bit rate is unwelcome) then DNR is used as way out. And second DNR is used to imitate the look of clean digitally shot material or very fine grain film material when the source is quite grainy and thought to be met with disapproval and criticism from the intended target audience of a home video release. There is a direct connection between DNR and awareness of the proper look and texture of film and the technical availability of a delivery system for home cinema to render it accurately which high end BD and now UHD BD provide. Maybe that was your argument (which does not depend on scanning resolution)?
Anyway I fully agree with you that 4K/UHD disc is very welcome for any kind of film source, old or new, since it gives the potential to very close to master quality rendition of a film on home cinema versions of films.
As to the concert presentaion of Ivan I suggest you find and watch a copy of the Arte TV broadcast of that event. More of the TV cameras’ time was spent on cutting to Close ups of the conductor and wide panning shots of the orchestra to the audience with the movie screen taking very much third place in the trifecta. The whole experience, here “produced” for TV was the most destructive and probably the worst ever example of this sort of “event” cinema I’ve ever seen.
Looks like a misunderstanding here. I was not talking about an edited TV presentation of a live music film screening but the screening itself as experienced by a member in the audience. Your text suggested the latter case, not the former. What you describe is indeed questionable and I would not be interested in watching this since it detracts from the enjoyment of the film and the added value of live music in a venue, providing a kind of Super Atmos system in real 3D, is negated by the retransmission over the TV channel and reproduction by TV hardware (which also goes for the image quality of the film itself).
 

Douglas R

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I saw PSYCHO twice in the U.K. when it opened. The bra scene was intact but the BBFC, who were always more concerned about violence, trimmed the shower scene. The Arbogast knifing may have been shortened as well. I didn’t know about the cuts to the violence until many years later.
 

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