Region 2: The Great Escape

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulEB, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. PaulEB

    PaulEB Stunt Coordinator

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    I just saw the specs on the region 2 version of The Great Escape SE and I am wondering why we here in region 1 are getting short-changed? The R2 2-disc package appears to have better extras and an anamorphic transfer.

    Is there a new R1 release expected?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...897234-4191606
     
  2. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    The R2 2-disc set is wonderful and a hugely-urged import for anyone with a multi-region player.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    MGM has had this ready for quite some time, and for some reason is sitting on it
     
  4. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

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    Well I own the R2 and it's ok, but not great...

    The picture although at last in anamorphic oar (rather than the over-matted region 1), just doesnt look as good as many other panavision transfers of films from the same period - it just doesnt look as clear, sharp or colourfull - almost like a half-effort, with numerous blurry shots and print damage

    Secondly the "5.1" remix on the disc, carried out by chace, just sounds like mono spread to 5 channels - there is v little, if any, musical stereo seperation that I could detect and no obvious stereo sound effects.

    In case you feel my equipment is at fault, I have an ISF calibrated viewing device and some very expensive hi-fi audio and visual hardware to watch my discs on and so can safely say I hope the r1 gets a better treatment...

    M
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Mark, I too own the region 2 SE of said film and although I am pleased with the set overall, it could be better. The image is very tight vertically (has this always been the case?) and there are indeed some slightly blurry shots and the 5.1 is not that impressive. But it's a good set overall. For a few years now, I have wondered what the conditions of the film elements for the film are like. As we all know; the more popular the film, the worse the elements will be, and The Great Escape is a very, very popular film - it has been shown all over the world since the late Sixties - over thirty years. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the neg is in great shape and the 'defects' of the previous and current VHS, Laser and DVD versions are fully representative of the film.

    I'm a big fan of John Sturges. He's never been called an 'auteur', but to me, he had a great solid, no-nonsense style. Sam Fuller was called an auteur, and although Sturges never attempted films like The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor, he nevertheless made some very interesting - and exiting films in his lifetime. My favourite is Bad Day At Black Rock, a film which I have always admired greatly for it's electrifying tension and ultra-tight construction. A DVD edition would be most welcome - the Criterion Laser was excellent. I'm also looking forward to Paramount's Gunfight At The O.K. Corral.

    Sorry for getting slightly off-topic! [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  6. JulianK

    JulianK Supporting Actor

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    Dedicated fans of the film who are going to get the Region 2 version anyway might want to try and find the World Cup Collector's Edition, which came bundled with an England flag, but also had a couple of extra disc features (including a terrific Great Escape-themed TV advert).

    If you're puzzled as to how this movie came to become heavily linked to soccer here it's because a group of England fans travel to each game with trumpets and drums, and have adopted Elmer Bernstein's theme as an unofficial anthem!
     
  7. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    Who all can be heard on the R2 commentary?

    I wish MGM would release a new special edition with all the R2 special features AND the Criterion LD commentary with John Sturges.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Mark, you are correct, the 5.1 sound is most certainly MONO only. (faked stereo by Chace)
    It's very disappointing to those like myself who had hoped to hear the rousing Elmer Bernstein Score in Stereo for the first time.

    The picture quality, while certainly better than any of the previous releases on DVD and Laserdisc (mainly due to the Anamorphic Transfer and the added better PAL resolution) is very patchy, looking quite decent some of the time but pretty ordinary at other times.
    I think the better quality sequences outnumber the lesser quality ones.
    It most certainly is a uneven transfer and one feels that it could have been a lot better, but I think it's still a must have.

    The extensive extras are fabulous and are worth the price of the Disc alone.


    I have the region 4 edition, which is the same transfer/extras as region 2.
     
  9. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Are we talking about the R2 PAL (euro) version of R2 NTSC (japan) version? I've got the Japanese version but haven't had time to watch it yet.
     
  10. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    quote:
    ...MGM has had this ready for quite some time, and for some reason is sitting on it....
    ---------
    perhaps, hope against hope, they are improving the transfer...

    was reminded of this the other night watching FANTASTIC VOYAGE, where Pleasence nearly loses it in the confined setting of the sub, mentioning that '...during the war, I was trapped in wreckage during a bombing raid...' ...or did he say tunnel...


    !?
     
  11. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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