"Roadshow" films on DVD more to come?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Greg_M, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I recently watched “The Sand Pebbles” on DVD which I found to be an excellent film. On the commentary Robert Wise mentions this was a “Roadshow” presentation. He goes on to explain Roadshows were “event” films (mostly from the 1960’s) made to be 3 hours in length with an overture and intermission. These films played at one theater with advance sale tickets at higher prices than the average film. I’ve long been a fan of many of the Roadshow films as most seem to look incredible on DVD. Usually filmed in a 70MM or Todd-AO process, in widescreen and stereo sound, they offer better quality than other films of the period. According to widescreen Review many Roadshow films have been released on DVD but there are still a few which have not. Would love to pick up more of these if they're ever released.

    Available:
    Oklahoma!
    The Ten Commandments
    Bridge On The River Kwai
    South Pacific
    Ben Hur
    The Alamo
    Spartacus
    Exodus
    West Side Story
    King of Kings
    Lawrence of Arabia
    The Longest Day
    How the West Was Won
    Cleopatra
    55 Days At Peking
    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
    Circus World
    My Fair Lady
    The Sound of Music
    The Greatest Story Ever Told Those
    The Hallelujah Trail
    The Great Race
    Doctor Zhivago
    The Blue Max
    The Bible..in the Beginning
    Is Paris Burning
    The Sand Pebbles
    Thoroughly Modern Millie
    Gone With The Wind
    Camelot
    Doctor Dolittle
    The Charge Of The Light Brigade
    The Lion in Winter
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Funny Girl
    Oliver!
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    Sweet Charity
    Paint Your Wagon
    Hello, Dolly!
    Patton
    Woodstock
    Tora! Tora! Tora!
    Scrooge
    Fiddler On The Roof
    Nicholas And Alexandra
    Heaven’s Gate

    Filmed/planned as Roadshows
    Romeo & Juliet
    McKenna's Gold
    1776
    The Cowboys

    Unreleased:
    Around the World in 80 Days (coming)
    The Diary Of Anne Frank
    Porgy and Bess
    Can-Can
    El Cid
    Wonderful World of the Brothers Grim
    Mutiny on the Bounty
    Becket
    Cheyenne Autumn
    Lord Jim
    Battle of the Bulge
    Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines
    The Agony and the Ecstasy
    Hawaii
    Grand Prix
    Far From The Madding Crowd
    Half A Sixpence
    Ice Zebra Station
    Star! (coming)
    Finian's Rainbow
    The Shoes Of The Fisherman
    Goodbye, Mr. Chips
    Marooned
    Song of Norway
    Ryan's Daughter
    The Boy Friend
    The Great Waltz
    Man Of La Mancha
    Young Winston

    Planned as Roadshows released general
    Darling Lili
    On a Clear Day
    Lost Horizon
     
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    THE SAND PEBBLES opened at the Rivoli in Times Square in December, 1966 after the nearly two year roadshow run of Mr. Wise's THE SOUND OF MUSIC

    HELLO, DOLLY! is due to be released on August 19th in what is already said to be a marvelous transfer.

    THE BOY FRIEND was NOT distributed as a roadshow in the North American markets.

    SAND PEBBLES was a 35MM Panavision to 70MM blow-up.
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Becket should be out as a SE in the near-future, or so I've heard.

    It's common wisdom that a theatrical viewing on the biggest possible screen is the filmgoing ideal. But I guiltlessly prefer the restless, dynamic pan-and-scan TV print versions of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Spartacus (1960) to the widescreen restorations I saw in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Without the sometimes irrational reshaping and often epileptic cutting from one end of the super-image to the other, both films acquired tonnage, gracelessness, and torpor along with scale, like massively overweight hogs. Finally, I understood what the critics of the day meant in their kvetching about monolithic epics (writing in the Voice, Andrew Sarris dismissed Lawrence as "dull, overlong and coldly impersonal"). Sometimes, less movie is more movie.

    Heh heh heh! [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Gordon...

    You might wish to place quotes around your second graph lest it be
    mistaken for your own thoughts and the tar and feathers make an appearance.
     
  5. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    Duel in the Sun (King Vidor/1947/Anchor Bay) was available as a Roadshow Edition, which is unfortunately OOP (though it can often be found Used).
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Theatrical roadshow presentations have remained unequaled in my lifelong moviegoing experiences.

    The old Todd-AO six-track magnetic stereo sound format was always more dimensional than later Dolby Stereo and Digital Sound systems.

    I hope for its fortieth anniversary in '05, Fox will get it together to re-release Mr Wise's THE SOUND OF MUSIC in its original 70MM/ six-track magnetic sound format.
     
  7. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Another film that was planned and filmed for a Roadshow was Billy Wilder's "The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes". Unfortunately, the studios soured on Road Shows just as the film was being completed and they cut approximately 40 minutes from the movie. Most of this footage is lost and most likely never to be found.

    The DVD for this film was just released last week and there are 2 additionals scenes present (1 w/ picture only & Subtitles & another with audio only and stills used for picture.) This is a truly great movie with an excellent Miklos Rosza score.
     
  8. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Todd AO and 70mm are the same. There were many 70mm releases under different names.... Ultra Panavision, Super Panavision, MGM Camera 65, etc. It depended on the cameras and lenses being used. The film stock was generally the same for all. A good place to learn more about these films is to go to the American Wide Screen Museum . Roadshow productions began in 1952 with the film "This Is Cinerama".
     
  9. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    Usually not. The majority of titles listed were blow-ups, and a few may have been roadshowed in 35mm only (many titles were also considerably shorter than 3 hours).

    I saw many of these films in typical neighborhood first and second run theatres, and oftentimes the overtures and intermissions were still attached to the standard-run prints (also some films chose a "visual" overture instead of blank image).(There were also some non-roadshow films to have overtures).

    Some other roadshow films not on the list:
    Judgement at Nuremberg
    Pepe
    Julius Caesar (AIP release)
    Taming of the Shrew
    A Man for All Seasons
    Custer of the West
    (a reserved seat 70mm "Cinerama" presentation in only lower-tiered cities; i.e. - In California, only roadshowed in Sacramento; the L.A. and S.F. runs were in 35mm citywide engagements)
    Plus, all the Cinerama travelogues

    While the "modern" roadshow era began in 1952, there were numerous roadshows of movies in the thirties and fourties (especially in NYC). Many MGM "A" films, for example, ran two shows a day, with advanced reserved seats available.
     
  10. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Roadshows go back to the beginning of feature film production.

    THE BIRTH OF A NATION was roadshown in 1915.

    Off the top of my head, some roadshows prior to the widescreen era of the 1950's included:

    THE BIG PARADE

    THE GREAT ZIEGFELD

    A MIDSUMMERNIGHT'S DREAM

    GONE WITH THE WIND had a somewhat modified roadshow release pattern in 1939-1940, often playing major cities in two simultainious venues, one with a two show-a-day reserved seat schedule, and another with a continuous performance general seating booking. The 1967 70MM blow-up of GWTW was a full-scale roadshow that lasted about 1 year before a 35MM general release run.

    DARLING LILI had its most successful engagement at Radio City Music Hall with seats reserved only in the first mezzanine.
     
  11. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    SteveP:

    Indeed there were roadshow films prior to the 50s. You forgot "Fantasia". But the "modern" Roadshow as stated above did start with Cinerama. In addition to Overtures, Intermission and even "Get Out of the Theatre" Exit music, there were reserved seats and printed programs for sale and a general showmanship that is long gone in theatrical exhibition. Ushers were neatly dressed in uniforms and they wouldn''t seat a patron if he or she came late. (Well, sometimes). And patrons usually removed their hats and also kept quiet when the film was showing! (Is that possible?) I dare say, some HTFers do a better job of "an evening at the movies" in their own home theatres nowadays!

    Peter
     
  12. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Peter,

    AMEN to that!
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It looks like MGM may re-release Duel in the Sun thanks to Disney's farming out of ABC/unwanted Buena Vista films.

    Fantasia is on DVD in roadshow form - ALMOST. It has 30 seconds altered and also has Deems Taylor redubbed. Also, a programme with the credits is sorely missed...the current DVD lacks any kind of credits.

    Let us hope that Disney decides to give us the true roadshow edition including the uncut 30 seconds and a hybrid of Deems Taylor and his impersonator, Corey Burton. A booklet copy of the roadshow programme would be nice, too...so audiences can see who made the film.
     
  14. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    PLUS, a true 6-channel Fantasound re-creation (easy to do with either DTS-ES, Dolby EX, or true DTS 6.1 discrete).
     
  15. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A true Fantasound reproduction is impossible.

    The only surviving multi-track elements left of the Fantasound recordings are magnetic 4-track elements made for the SuperScope re-release. These elements were digitally restored later for the 1990 re-release.

    However, do check out the CD album. It has a stereo version of the soundtrack, which keep the panning effects.
     
  16. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    As to camera systems, it should also be noted that Todd-AO, in its original form, shot at 30 fps, unique among camera systems at the time. They later changed to 24 fps (I'm not sure if they did so before or after the change to 35mm, but I'm guessing the two coincided), but if you were to say 30 fps offers a silky sense of depth and movement not quite equaled by 24 fps, you'd find me sympathetic. [​IMG] Some 70mm systems were wider in projection than others, depending on the anamorphic squeeze applied. Super Panavision shoots flat, for instance, while Ultra Panavision shot at a 1.25x squeeze, if I recall correctly from data at The Widescreen Museum. Thus we jump between 2.2:1 and 2.76:1 with these otherwise very similar systems, approximately.

    This doesn't mean quite as much on home video, but in a large format theatre, watching flat Todd-AO at 30 fps, flat Super Panavision at 24 fps, and anamorphic Ultra Panavision (often cut by projectionists to 2.55:1 or thereabouts, I believe TWM indicates) would offer unique viewing experiences, to say the least! [​IMG] I've forgotten the name of the system, but Roger Ebert has hyped an upstart format, I believe in 35mm, that shoots at twice the normal frame rate, 48 fps. He says this is virtually a 3D experience (and, I'm sure respectfully, offers it as an alternative to James Cameron's reported hopes of shooting a full feature in 3D after his experiences with Ghosts of the Abyss -- reported by Roger, that is to say). I loved Ghosts and the 3D it incorporated, so I think such plans are fine (it takes a very confident critic to argue tech with James Cameron!), but I've never seen the 48 fps system.

    3D and large format filmmaking are both underrepresented, in correct transfers, on DVD, particularly the former. I trust this changes in the future (with field sequential transfers of 3D product, and a more consistent dedication to the use of large format elements in the transfer of films natively shot large format). The history of film is almost literally bursting with technical experimentation and grandiosity, and the better this is represented on DVD, the more valuable the format.

    P.S. Steve: an advance review of Hello, Dolly! is up and running at DVDFile: http://www.dvdfile.com/software/revi...ellodolly.html
     
  17. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Not yet mentioned:

    Krakatoa East Of Java (1969) which I saw at a roadshow engagement in San Francisco and still have the souvenir program. Anchor Bay released a now out of print (I believe) DVD but the disc eliminated the overture, intermission and entr'acte.

    I don't actually know if it was released as a roadshow but my laserdic of Since You Went Away (1944) includes an intermission and entr'acte.

    Three films not roadshown in the U.S.A. but apparently so in Europe as the laser disc releases include: Where Eagles Dare (1969) includes an intermission and entr'acte which hopefully will be duplicated in the upcoming Warners release, A Bridge Too Far (1977) has an intermission and entr'acte and The Wild Rovers (1972) has an overture, intermission and entr'acte.
     
  18. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Interesting list, Greg. But you can put "(coming)" next to "Mutiny on the Bounty" -- Warner mentioned they were working on restoring the stereo tracks during their HTF chat a few months ago. (And for anyone who cares, I happen to know they're also working on the Clark Gable version.)
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There were quite a number of films which were presented in roadshow formats in Europe and not in the U.S.

    And many more non-roadshow 70mm blowups.

    Kwai had a handful of 70mm prints for its reissue; Becket was released as a blowup (I believe this began with The Cardinal); Guns of Navarone was a British roadshow.

    A potential list of 70mm blowups is virtually limitless, as the studios would permit specific large screen venues to order a blow up print for their own purposes, to be recorded either mono or multi-track as available.

    Dependent upon how they were produced, 70 prints derived from 35 elements could range from quite ugly to quite extraordinary, especially when produced from the original 35mm negs, ie. Zhivago, Funny Girl, Sand Pebbles, Far from the Madding, etc.

    Later blowups which made use of interdupes also ranged in quality, generally dependent upon whether the 65mm printing dupe was produced from a 35 IP or a 65 IP. An example of the latter was Silverado from Columbia. Prints were beautiful.
     
  20. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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