Roman Holiday Special Edition - DVD Review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeeF, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I purchased and watched this last night. This Paramount disk is worth its weight in gold.

    The movie itself is fantastically well-done, a Cinderella story with high sophistication. The restored picture (by Lowry) moves to the head of the class of black and white features. And the disk features three classy documentaries, one about the film's production, one about the restoration (finally!), and one about Edith Head.

    I'm sure others will want to give more lengthy reviews, but my hat is off to Paramount for this one.

    Tomorrow: Sunset Boulevard
     
  2. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    One of my favorite all-time films. Thanks so much for sharing!!!
    dave [​IMG]
     
  3. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I felt kind of bad about what I said about To Catch A Thief, so I needed to atone, and this one (Roman Holiday) gave me a perfect token of repentance. It really is that good.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This dvd presentation is simply great and it really captured the beauty of both Audrey Hepburn and Rome. The 6-7 minute featurette on restoration was excellent and the details behind preservation and restoration needs to be provided on more dvds so that the public can understand and appreciate the process.

    Kudos to Paramount as well as to Phil Murphy, Barry Evans, Ron Smith, Steve Elkin, John Lowry and many others that were involved with this dvd release. Great job!




    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Jeffrey Bane

    Jeffrey Bane Agent

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    It doesn't show to be released until 11/26/02. What am I missing?
     
  6. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    This is my mother's favorite movie-- she'll flip when I get it for her for Christmas! Thanks for the heads-up (I thoght "To Catch A Thief" looked pretty good too!)
     
  7. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I feel that this disk will be overlooked because it arrives alongside Sunset Boulevard. Both movies were apparently close to death, and both were revived by Lowry (Paramount). Roman Holiday is a lighter piece, but still superbly written (story by Dalton Trumbo!) and directed by Wyler, and won the Academy Award for Audrey Hepburn. And Roman Holiday has a small documentary about the restoration process, including shots of Lowry himself. It's really one of our finest disks.
     
  8. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    Roman Holiday
    William Wyler, 1953
    [​IMG]

    Great Disc from Paramount!. The sound is a little weak, but nothing I can't easily live with.
    My Full review with screen captures is HERE
    Featurettes:
    • 'Remembering Roman Holiday' (25:29)
    • 'Restoring Roman Holiday' (6:53)
    • 'Edith Head, The Paramount Years' (13:43)
    • Photo Galleries
    • Unrestored Teaser Trailer (1:50)
    • Unrestored Theatrical Trailer (2:12)
    • Unrestored Re-release Trailer (2:20)
    DVD Release Date: November 26, 2002
    Transparent Keep Case
    Chapters: 18
    Cheers,
     
  9. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Even the menus exude class. This is a beautiful DVD.
    Thank you, Paramount!
    -Dave
     
  10. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    Boy we really need Robert Harris to chime in on this one!!!
     
  11. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Thanks for some wonderful comments. What a treasure of a movie. No one has been more adorable than Audrey Hepburn, with the exception of maybe another Audrey (Tautou).
    I'm so thrilled you are giving this positive reviews. This is my purchase for today.
     
  12. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    SUNSET and ROMAN on the same day! And talk about women on the extreme opposite edges: Audrey so beautiful it hurts and Gloria so creepy it's scary! I love both movies and am going out to buy them soon.
     
  13. Martin Blythe

    Martin Blythe Second Unit

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    With Sunset Boulevard and Roman Holiday, this is the first time (that I'm aware of anyway) that a studio has restored films via digital means at a sufficiently high resolution (2000 lines) that they could then be transferred back to 35mm film. We are unveiling the two brand new 35mm prints in New York this weekend at the Museum of Modern Art.

    And, of course, there are these DVD releases streeting today. I would be happy to answer any questions for those who are interested in this process.

    I would hope by now that everybody understands that for our DVD transfers we always go back to the original neg, strike a new interpositive and ensure that the director and/or cinematographer oversee the transfer to high def that way they want it.

    With Roman Holiday and Sunset Blvd there were no negs to go back to. The nitrate negs had self-destructed decades ago, so that made it that much harder to get these films looking so good. What we did have had tears, scratches, b/w color shifting from when they were originally developed (aka density shifting). Obviously we had no directors or cinematographers either so reference prints from the Library of Congress were used as guides.

    I could go on....
     
  14. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Are there plans to do this with any other films in the Paramount library?
    I read that Wings didn't have the best elements survive, so perhaps that would be a good candidate for an LDI restoration... especially since they haven't tackled orthochromatic film yet. [​IMG]
     
  15. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    Watched Roman Holiday last night - it gets better with every viewing...

    The image is totally SUPERB - one of the finest B&W transfers I've ever seen.

    Sunset is next for me...(gee, I've been buying a lot of Paramount lately, what with ST:TNG and these wonderful classics; keep up the good work)

    Cheers
     
  16. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Mr. Blythe,

    I am personally thrilled with Roman Holiday and Sunset Boulevard, and I would happily pay to see them projected in a theater. Presumably, in addition to new prints, you have struck new negatives and safeties, as well.

    P.S. I'm not certain of these things, but Singin' in the Rain is announced for Film Forum (in a new print) -- so wouldn't that be from the recent digital version, as well as yours from Paramount?
     
  17. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Mr. Blythe,

    I watched my copy of Sunset Boulevard last night and was extremely happy with the entire package, from the transfer to the extras and menus. The Edith Head and musical scoring featurettes really give an insight into how the studio system worked in it's heyday--very interesting stuff.

    I just wanted to add my thanks here. I suspect these classics are not likely to be high-volume sellers like more recent blockbusters, and to see the effort Paramount has made to produce such an excellent product for a niche market is truly gratifying. If Paramount doesn't derive a great financial reward from this, they at least deserve to know the niche really appreciates all the hard work and expense.
     
  18. Martin Blythe

    Martin Blythe Second Unit

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    DeeF, other restorations were derived from film materials; the Lowry Digital method totally digitizes the images before repairing them based on matches of one frame to another or even within each frame. So, in short, it leaves the film realm. That's an important distinction in the world of film restoration. I am sorry I am not technically up to going into a lot of detail here but I suppose I could work on Ron to get us a chat session one of these days with John Lowry and some of our guys.

    Patrick, we haven't decided. Obviously the LDI route is very expensive and time-consuming (a year) so we need to take stock a bit (no pun intended) and then draw up priority lists. There isn't much activity on Wings right now but it has its supporters here, believe me.
     
  19. Martin Blythe

    Martin Blythe Second Unit

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    Thank you Steve. You're right. I wish I could discuss the economics of it but I can't and that's a shame, because it might convince some of our more cynical brethren on the Web that selling catalog is always a challenge. Indeed DVD, like the movies, is a new release business. I always hear the argument, well, if you load the DVD with special features you will sell enough to make it worthwhile, but that isn't always true. Every case is different, every title has its particular audience - we try to do what's appropriate for each title at a particular time in its life cycle.
     
  20. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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    Mr. Blythe, are there any plans for the newly restored prints of Roman Holiday and Sunset Blvd. to make any rounds in some of the big American metropoli (L.A., Chi, S.F., Dallas, Atlanta, etc.)?
    Mr. Blythe, may I recommend to your colleagues at Paramount that a supreme future candidate for this superb restoration process is Billy Wilder's subsequent cynical masterpiece, The Big Carnival (a.k.a., Ace in the Hole); which has never been released on home video in any format. As with the current outstanding release of Sunset Blvd., I know I can speak for a great many here that it would be an instant buy. [​IMG]
     

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