RAINTREE COUNTY on Blu?

OliverK

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I've never had the opportunity to see Raintree County in 35mm. It was screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto back in 2011 as part of their Monty Clift retrospective, but sadly I missed it. (I did get to see A Place in the Sun, though.) When they did an Elizabeth Taylor season a few years back, Raintree wasn't included.
You may want to lobby for it at a reasonably close cinema that still has 35mm and specializes in repertory screenings, the tricky part may be to find a sutiable print. If you can get a few people to attend that may even lead to a little Liz Taylor retrospective :)
 
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Andrew Budgell

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You may want to lobby for it at a reasonably close cinema that still has 35mm and specializes in repertory screenings, the tricky part may be to find a sutiable print. If you can get a few people to attend that may even lead to a little Liz Taylor retrospective :)
Fantastic suggestion, Oliver! :)
 

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Fall was a secular epic with only one very oblique reference to Christianity.There was nothing to remove.
!
Er it must be some time since you saw it. James Mason becomes a Christian who is tortured by the barbarians who because of his courage convert to Christianity, the main reason they are later persecuted and burnt when Commodus tries to burn Sophia and Stephen Boyd. It is more than just an oblique reference. Far from it!
 

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Er it must be some time since you saw it. James Mason becomes a Christian who is tortured by the barbarians who because of his courage convert to Christianity, the main reason they are later persecuted and burnt when Commodus tries to burn Sophia and Stephen Boyd. It is more than just an oblique reference. Far from it!
That is not correct at all - there are no such references in the final movie nor the shooting script at all of Timonides converting to any religion. The former barbarians are slaughtered because they were friends of Livius, who represented a gigantic threat to Commodus. Indeed, when Timonides is being tortured by Ballomar, Ballomar tells him "touch Wotan and we will know your gods are weak." As I said upthread, the only concrete references to Christians were cut from the final cut, and the secret Christian characters were reduced to background actors.
 
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Isn’t this thread about Raintree County?
C'mon guys. Let's get this thread back on track. There ARE threads in which the discussions of the other films are appropriate.
 
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OliverK

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Jeff Joseph who is I believe quite well known among film aficionados confirmed to me that he got Warner a roadshow print of Raintree County a long time ago, it was an Eastman Color print with a 4 channel magnetic soundtrack.

That would have been the next best thing to 65mm elements with regard to it being multichannel and sharper than IB Tech prints. Of course it was heavily faded and only in the last years technology became available that can still do wonders with heavily faded film, but now the results are not perfect but surprisingly good.

With all the talk about Raintree County being so expensive to handle I would be happy with a Blu-ray version derived from this print as a relatively low cost stopgap solution. This should be doable for a relatively modest sum and I would not be surprised if Warner already scanned that print some time ago.
It makes sense to have a digital record in case the print turns vinegar and even less usable in the future and a 2k or 4k scan of regular 35mm elements will not really cost that much. The work that comes after the scanning is where things can get way more expensive.
 
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Andrew Budgell

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Thanks for this information, Oliver! How long ago would you say Jeff Joseph provided Warner with this roadshow print?

As you say, it's the work that comes after the scan that is perhaps prohibitive, but hopefully as costs come down we'll see a Blu-ray derived from this print. Maybe I'm just naive, but there must be a reason why the Warner Archive hasn't made the old HD master of the film available for sale as a Warner Archive DVD and across digital platforms. It looks much better than many other films I've bought from them on those mediums, so hopefully they're holding out for the solution you propose. In the meantime, I'm holding tight to my HD TCM recording for whenever I need a Raintree fix.
 

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Warner got that print a very long time ago, I would think it was probably at least 15 years.

Yes the work after the scan CAN be prohibitive but it doesn't have to be.
As the disc would be derived from a print it could not be perfect anyway so a bit of leeway would go a long way in making this more affordable.

And yes, I know that Warner would have to do this differently then how they usually do things.
 

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As you say, it's the work that comes after the scan that is perhaps prohibitive, but hopefully as costs come down we'll see a Blu-ray derived from this print. Maybe I'm just naive, but there must be a reason why the Warner Archive hasn't made the old HD master of the film available for sale as a Warner Archive DVD and across digital platforms. It looks much better than many other films I've bought from them on those mediums, so hopefully they're holding out for the solution you propose. In the meantime, I'm holding tight to my HD TCM recording for whenever I need a Raintree fix.
Again, it's most likely because it's 20 minutes shorter than the premiere version. I've been listening to the WAC podcast, and I've heard quite a few times about how they held back the DVD/Blu releases of catalog titles because they were missing several minutes. For many years, you could only find "The Sea Hawk" on VHS because the then-current prints were 14 minutes shorter (and for a time, WB contemplated inserting the footage from a 16mm print they uncovered before they learned of a pristine 35mm print of the longer version). And apparently there's an extended version of John Ford's last film, "Seven Women," which is also preventing the film from being released on DVD/Blu. A shame, really, because you can only buy it on laserdisc and I don't even know if there's an HD master of it, let alone a 4K master.

Again, I don't know all the details other than the restoration being expensive, but if MGM/UA spent the $50,000 to restore "Raintree County" in 1986 off the 70mm camera negative, we'd have a Blu-Ray by now. But honestly, I don't know why $50,000 was such an expense.
 

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Again, I don't know all the details other than the restoration being expensive, but if MGM/UA spent the $50,000 to restore "Raintree County" in 1986 off the 70mm camera negative, we'd have a Blu-Ray by now. But honestly, I don't know why $50,000 was such an expense.
1986 was not all that long after Heaven's Gate, as well as a long line of other poor decisions, ended UA's reign as a significant studio. It was also the year that Ted Turner ended up selling back his recent purchase of all of MGM except for the pre-1986 library because the studio was so heavily in debt. I guarantee you they weren't going to be giving the slightest bit of space in their bright red ledger to restore a 31-year-old movie that never did that well at the box office when originally released.
 
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OliverK

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Again, I don't know all the details other than the restoration being expensive, but if MGM/UA spent the $50,000 to restore "Raintree County" in 1986 off the 70mm camera negative, we'd have a Blu-Ray by now. But honestly, I don't know why $50,000 was such an expense.
50000$ seems unrealistic even back then, where did you get that number from?
 

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Is RAINTREE due for rebroadcast anytime soon? Gotta get the improved version on my Tivo to replace the older.
 

Andrew Budgell

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Is RAINTREE due for rebroadcast anytime soon? Gotta get the improved version on my Tivo to replace the older.
Hi Ron, it's not included as part of TCM's upcoming lineup, but I'll keep you posted! They tend to show it about two or three times a year. The most recent airing was last month.
 

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Hi Ron, it's not included as part of TCM's upcoming lineup, but I'll keep you posted! They tend to show it about two or three times a year. The most recent airing was last month.
Appreciate that, Andy.

You'll remember my stupidity last month thinking it was a PM showing instead of AM.
 
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OliverK

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That Washington Post article I linked a few weeks ago.
Thanks, so that was just the trims, in that case I would call that a reasonable sum. From what I have read over the years I had gotten the impression these trims were lost, does anybody know more about what happened to them after 1986?

I would feel better knowing that the trims still exist and that Warner just did not get around to them!
 

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Has nobody on this forum got a Blu Ray recorder they can record the next HD transmission on then put onto disc for us who desperately want a copy?
 

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Has nobody on this forum got a Blu Ray recorder they can record the next HD transmission on then put onto disc for us who desperately want a copy?
Not something we should be discussing here as that would violate copying and distributing laws.
 
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DVBRD

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Here's some info from a discussion on a thread for "The Alamo."

How comparable are the challenges of restoring The Alamo to that of Raintree County? I've never seen The Alamo, but I've followed this thread closely because it seems to me that the challenges are similar, although I'm sure there's plenty of nuance I'm not understanding.
Raintree is more extensions of scenes. Bit and pieces, shortening of shots. I've not seen anything substantive that was removed, harming the film.
RAINTREE COUNTY ROADSHOW CUTS: 14 minutes, 48 seconds

-Nell and Garwood after graduation - 40 seconds
-Swamp 58 seconds
-Professor and John in cornfield 71 seconds
-John and Father illegitimacy discussion 1 minute, 53 seconds
-John, Bobby Drake and slave 2 minutes, 16 seconds
-John , Niles unfulfilled ambition 1 minute, 46 seconds [key scene]
-John going to homestead and Susanna in labor 55 seconds [the lead in uses an alternate take as well]
-John's Search in Indianapolis, visit to Garwood, photographer and Decision to enlist 4 minutes, 34 seconds
-Susanna's Decision and Search for the doll 35 seconds
I'm seeing over 17 minutes of cut and trims, in 13 sections, the longest individual being 390 feet.
This is based on the roadshow showings of Raintree on TCM and released on VHS tape that were about 188 minutes. The shorter version shown previously on TCM and on VHS tape were 173 minutes. The current version that is shown on TCM is 166 minutes.
 
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