International Sergio Leone Blu-ray thread

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by HDvision, Jul 14, 2013.

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  1. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    The PQ detail is astounding. However I hear the french 5.1 mix is still not in the right pitch (apparently they fixed the german pitch problem by going back to the original mono and ditching the 5.1), and I'm awaiting to get some feedback confirmation on the mono english mix being the right mix and not the fold down of the 5.1 as per the previous disc.
     
  2. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    addition: the mono track on the new GBU remaster is, er, NOT THE ORIGINAL, it's same old downmix from the 5.1 remix...
     
  3. Martin Zandstra

    Martin Zandstra Auditioning

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    Weird:

    I just checked my UK Blu-ray and the mono track is not a mixdown of the 5.1 and so does not have the new foley like in the beginning when van Cleef pulls the emergency stop.

    And the train stopping sounds are the old ones and not the new ones.

    It's the same as the mono track on the German Blu-ray.
     
  4. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    What movie ar you talking about? Not GBU, as
    is in FEW DOLLARS MORE. ;)
     
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  5. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    I just got back from Il Cinema Ritrovato 2014 in Bologna and saw the latest restoration of A Fistful of Dollars. Sir Christopher Frayling was there for a few days to give his usual excellent insights into Leone and spaghetti westerns in general and again I got to chat with him.


    A quick aside: although there are no definitive original language soundtracks for many spaghettis, personally I prefer to view them in the native language of the principal actors. Therefore English is my favoured choice for all the post-Colossus Leones.


    Fistful has now had its English soundtrack restored from a combination of several 35mm and 16mm prints and separate original music, dialogue and effects tracks. As it has had no new sounds added I consider it as authentic as any other in existence, although it is effectively a 'new' track. Naturally, given that the restorers had access to all this original material and could recreate the entire track from scratch it doesn't make sense that they would also create a new mono track just for the sake of it.


    I can finally see why they sometimes considerately include a folded-down-to-mono recompiled and restored ("remixed") audio track for those who prefer the mono experience.


    My point is that though previously frustrated at the lack of original mono tracks on BD for some of these films, the concept of such a thing becomes moot. The only way they could include a truly original (in this case, English) track is if they simply transferred an entire, worn and damaged in places, 35mm optical track to BD. Even then, it would likely be missing some audio due to the various different international film edits.


    We really do get the best of all worlds now and certainly far better than the original audiences had.
     
  6. Martin Zandstra

    Martin Zandstra Auditioning

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    Few dollars more, I forgot to add that!
     
  7. Martin Zandstra

    Martin Zandstra Auditioning

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    Just received the "old" DVD of The Good, the bad and the ugly.
    Bought it on eBay for about € 5,-

    Anamorphic 2.35:1, original english mono and (nearly complete) international cut, what's not to like!

    Yes the resolution is lower, yes there are imperfections like scratches and debris but I don't care
    it gives the film an authentic look.
    Sometimes companies make old movies look too good and clean in my opinion.

    Now I know which version of TGTBTU I'll be watching from now on.

    For the record, I also have the US 2-disc and the Dutch Blu-ray.
     
  8. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    That DVD is great. Warts and all. Shame this cut doesn't exist on Blu.
     
  9. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Good thread, David.

    What is missing from a few moments of the late 1990's DVD of TGTBTU? And why would they be missing.
     
  10. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Wow, long time since this thread was updated.


    I need to fix the first post. MGM silently reissued GBU with the correct mono track of the english mono instead of the fold down.


    A fan have bought online a 35mm italian print of GBU, where he found extra footage not to be found anywhere on any version + includes the complete Tuco torture scene, showing it was part of the italian version.


    Also I just was pointed out on FB about this exceptional document showing Sergio Leone directing the french dubbing of DYS.


    Sergio Leone speaks in french in it, there's a great part where he says that after OUATITW, then Once Upon a Time... The Revolution, he will complete the trilogy with Once Upon a Time in America. This is dated probably early 1972.


    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152288138803164&fref=nf


    It shows clearly what real title the master intended for this film. (Thought he does speaks about the italian title, and this part of the conversation comes out as underwhelming).
     
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  11. cinerama10

    cinerama10 Second Unit

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    I have never been a fan of westerns with the exception of films by Sergio Leone. A true master of the cinema. THE GOOD ,THE BAD AND THE UGLY is ,in my opinion one of the greatest films ever made.There is not dull moment in this 3 hour epic. I recently watched the newly remastered bluray of the film and I was mesmerised rom start to finish. That is a rarity in cinema. It is a pity that there are few film makers capable of attaining Leonie's qualities. A true master of the cinema. Now I know where Clint Eastwood got his talent from.
     
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  12. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    So as you know, Kino will soon be re-releasing all Three Original Dollars films remastered with the International cut of GBU included, including the skeleton scene as an extra, and more!

    I will be reviewing those of course in this thread as soon as they are released.
     
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  13. Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Agent

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    Here's a wealth of info on the issues with the 2009 mondo Italian blu ray release of BBC (GBU). There are quite a few differences between the version that premiered in Italy in 1966 and the BLU.

    http://theeditroomfloor.blogspot.ca/2017/04/current-issues-with-good-bad-and-ugly_15.html

    Kino has been made aware of the unique footage needed to reconstruct the original 1967 international theatrical version of GBU. (unfortunately the 1998 dvd is not accurate either). Hopefully they come through.

    As far as OATITW goes, unfortunately the paramount/Scorsese restoration is still not the version that was released internationally in 1968. I'm not referring to the extended Italian cut released in the 90's either. Although little is known about the original version released in Italy, the paramount is missing shots from the opening scene, and shouldn't include the short scene of Harmonica rising up off the platform.
    There is :56 seconds of footage missing in the opening scene (compared to the current Paramount BLU). This is the remaining footage Paramount deleted from all its individual prints (and its master negative) two weeks after the film premiered in the U.S.A. Paramount retained the scenes they trimmed but did not keep the individual shots they removed. The Scorsese restoration restored only two of these shots.

    The music during the end credits is also wrong/mistimed. This has been confirmed with vintage prints. Sigh. Poor Leone...why can't they just put out the films as he released them? The ONLY film that has been properly restored is FOD by ripleys home video.

    Here is a video comparison of the current Paramount cut and the cut that was released internationally in 1968. The comparison is from an unrestored 1968 German print (which was identical to the cut released first in the U.S.A.) on the top, and the paramount on the bottom. The white sections on the paramount are the shots that are missing. Colour on the print is only an approximation. You can see the gunfight with Harmonica was originally intended to cut to the shotgun during the quail hunt. A great cut now lost in time...



    Here is a capture of a 1987 Italian VHS, this is the identical cut of the opening (compared to the German 35mm example posted above), and doesn't contain the rising scene either. It has Italian titles and sound.



    In the 90's an extended version of the film was put out on dvd in Italy, however it was never claimed to be representative of the theatrical release. That extended version has now been replaced by the Scorsese restoration in Italy.

    Here is the original Video watchdog article which alerted me to the issues with the current release (specifically this article is referring to the paramount dvd, not the Scorsese restoration, but the Scorsese restoration only restored 2 1/2 shots back into the opening scene, and actually put in an even longer version of Harmonica rising.)

    https://imgur.com/a/2DqWW

    Here are the differences between the previous Paramount DVD and the Scorsese restoration BLU:

    The Scorsese adds just two shots to the opening (before rising) and extends a third. After the train has arrived and the train guy throws the parcel off, there are a few shots, then Woody Strode smiles over at Jack Elam.

    1. There is a NEW shot of Jack Elam smiling back
    2. then a NEW shot of him drumming on his gun. A FLY buzzes around his hand. In the italian version we HEAR a fly buzz on this shot, here it's not there (or not as prevalent).
    3. It then cuts back to the C.U. shot of Elam where he leaves frame although the beginning of that is EXTENDED and has him shaking his head before he motions to leave with a tilt of his head (and then leaves frame as in the Paramount DVD).

    This is similar to a sequence of shots in the extended Italian version except the long Italian version has an extra shot of the train, then an extra shot of Elam (before the holster tapping shot) in between those 3 shots.

    The RISING scene now has a couple extended shots.

    4. When Harmonica brings his arm over to sling it, the beginning of that shot is now extended to show him moving parts of his jacket around first.
    5. The last shot of the scene is also extended -he puts his gun in the bag and then the extended shot holds on his boots walking off frame (the U.S. cut ends with him picking up his bag)

    This is exactly how the rising scene plays out in the extended italian cut.

    6. Just before the the CU shot of the father at the well, the daughter turns to react to the cicadas going quiet - her reaction is a second longer in the Scorsese cut (this seems odd but I checked it multiple times) The Italian extended cut also has the extra second.
    7. Paramount logo comes up 2 or 3 seconds later at the end of the Scorsese cut

    So really we got :19 seconds of new footage, not :39 as claimed. Why that particular :19 seconds was chosen is a mystery to me.

    The Scorsese cut also fixes (removes) the title overlap of "a sergio leone film" onto the shot of woody strode in the existing paramount dvd version.

    Some good points about the rising scene made on the Sergio Leone web board, by a member who grew up watching versions of the film without it:

    Without the Rising scene you don't know what had exactly happened as it seems that all 4 which were introduced to us are dead or could be dead. And remember that at the end of the 2nd scene the whole McBain family, to which we were introduced for several minutes, got shot too. It is very daring and irritating that you don't know for over 20 min what had happened to Harmonica, and for even a much longer time what the film could be about.

    Without the Rising scene the moment of Harmonica's 2nd appearance in the film which reveals that he is still alive (remember Bronson wasn't a star back then) is much more fascinating. When you for so long don't know what happened in the first scene the eerie Harmonica sound out of the dark and the thrown lamp which brings his face into the light is much more effective.

    Believe me, if you have seen and enjoyed OUTW for 20 years without the Rising scene, it is very disappointing to see it now in. It destroys some of the greatness of the long and slow beginning. Somehow the including of this scene really bugs me.
    Especially that I'm meanwhile very sure that it was never part of the original theatrical versions, and it is only there because Paramount made some mistakes, and because if once a scene becomes part of a film, it seems impossible to get rid of it again.


    So why did Scorsese make this mistake and include the rising scene? First we look at some translations of Leone interviews:

    Leone interview in Diego Gabutti's "C'era una volta in America" (page 37) , when he talks about OUTITW: "People very often ask me whether my personal print of the movie contains scenes which had not been added in the final theatrical release" he said grinning "You see? It's like everybody wants me to add a little piece to it..!"
    But I think the definite answer about missing scenes in OUTITW is in Franco Ferrini's book "L'antiwestern e il caso Leone" published in 1971. There is a part of an interview with Leone dedicated to cuts and missing scenes of all his westerns, and concerning OUTITW Leone says (page 42): "The scene with the laundry owner's wife and the sheriff is missing, another one in the barbershop, which was particularly funny" The interviewer then asks about the massacre scene (Morton's train) and Leone says: "No, that one I left out on purpose, it was more important to show the result rather than how it happened".
    On page 43 Ferrini writes: "It should be kept in mind that Leone's personal print is slightly longer than the theatrical release. It has two scenes which were not added. The first one showing Harmonica rising after being wounded at the train station. This scene was not in the original script and we publish now the description based on Leone's personal print. The second one is about Brett McBains hunting scene with his son Timmy; it's much longer and detailed compaired to the commercial release.

    Now we look at an interview with Scorsese - where he says Leone gave him his personal print of the film:

    When did you meet Sergio Leone for the first time?

    It was at Cannes in 1976, during a dinner at the Oasis, the year when Taxi Driver was competing. There was Costa-Gavras, Sergio Leone, both members of the jury, I, Robert De Niro, Paul Schrader, the screenwriter of Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster, Michael and Julia Phillips, producers of the film. Paul Schrader had toasted Leone to thank him for having toured with Once Upon a Time in the West one of the greatest westerns in cinematic history. We had arrived two days earlier in Cannes and depression we had earned. Tennessee Williams, the jury foreman, told the press he did not like at all Taxi Driver, he was too violent. At dinner, Sergio Leone and Costa-Gavras told us they liked the film. We thought Taxi Driver could still win a prize, perhaps for his screenplay, or its actors. But it took the Palme d'Or! And that is thanks to Sergio Leone.

    How has your relationship with him?

    I lived partly in Rome between 1978 and 1981. I saw him regularly. Particularly at a luncheon at his home December 31, 1979. I met his wife, his family, met the set designer Dante Ferretti, with whom I will work later on The Age of Innocence, Casino, Kundun, Gangs of New York, Aviator and Hugo Cabret. He knew how much I loved Once Upon a Time in the West, he gave me his copy of the film. It is this copy that I projected in 1980 Film Festival in New York. It was the first time I spoke publicly about the crucial issue of the preservation of films, and more specifically the question of color, which happens if the coils are not kept properly. When Sergio Leone came to New York, I offered to come to dinner with my parents who still lived on the Lower East Side in a building without elevator. We went with Elio Petri (the director of The Working Class Goes to Heaven, Golden Palm at Cannes in 1972). He especially liked the Sicilian cooking from my mother, very different from Roman cuisine to which he was accustomed. And my mother was sensitive to his knife and fork!


    So it is fair to assume, Scorsese was working under the assumption that his print was the correct version since it was given to him by Leone, but as we can see it was not the theatrical release.
     
  14. 54 Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Yes the rising scene was in Leone's personal print but never included in any print in Europe nor in the original US release. It only appeared in the US botched cut (which incidentaly also does not exist on home media anymore even thought it's an actual released cut) because Leone thought it was needed due to deleted scenes (see post #1).
    Someone needs to speak to Scorsese and expose him the facts.
    A real special edition of the film would have the botched US theatrical cut (including thus the rising scene), and the real french or german cut plus a copy of the Leone's print as owned by Scorsese.
    Anything other is fan edits released under an official label. Unwatchable to me.
     
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  15. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Looking forward to your reviews.
    I have the last trilogy set from fox.
    It will take a lot for me to upgrade.
    A uhd release makes sense imo.
     
  16. Brent Reid

    Brent Reid Supporting Actor

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    I'm used to silent films that often have tons of lost footage or are missing altogether, so really don't find the missing snippets of OUaTitW that egregious. Having said that, it's definitely my fave western of all and I'd love a new, logically as-long-as-possible restoration.* Just a single cut would be fine, regardless of when, where or even if it was ever screened theatrically. Of course, any omitted footage, including the 'rising' scene, would be included as extras. As I posted a few years ago though, I have it from several horse's mouths that there's no prospect of it happening at present. It would require an international collaboration of archives that are each holding unique material and that's being blocked by internal politics and egos. I dearly hope the situation changes sooner rather than later.

    I've high hopes for Kino's upcoming Dollars Trilogy. I'm sure they'll do it right and allow me to finally offload about a dozen different US, UK, German and Italian BDs and DVDs!

    *As long as, if they're involved, the Cineteca di Bologna don't grade it so it looks as if it's been soaking for years in strong piss. ;)
     
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  17. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    From Kino Lorber Facebook:

    Quote:
    Besides the color correction (removing the yellowishness) we also made the following corrections and adjustments to create our 161 Minute cut of the Theatrical version:

    1. The “flip cut” transition/optical wipe from "Tuco talking to Blondie and taking a bite of his cigar to being hung" was restored to its original version

    2. The fadeout to black of the "gun shop owner with the sign in his mouth" scene is now a cut to exodus scene.

    3. The fadeout of the "Blondie passing out as Tuco is bringing him water" scene happens exactly 1 second later than how it was on old MGM DVD release of the Theatrical Cut.

    4. The dissolve from "night" scene to "coach arriving at the mission" scene now fades up from black

    5. The shot of the train leaving the station (with Tuco and Wallace on it) was supposedly longer in the US theatrical cut, before cutting directly to Tuco in the train and not dissolving out earlier to the early morning camp scene - Our 4K of the 161 minute cut matches the old MGM DVD of the theatrical cut exactly.
     
  18. Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Agent

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    Copied from my own response to Kino on the blu ray forum :

    I must point out one thing about #5. There is nothing supposed about it, the shot of the train IS longer in the original 1967 international cut. As I've stated before the 1998 DVD is WRONG. In numerous places including this one, it either includes shots it shouldn't, leaves shots out that should be there or trims shots to try to hide the fact they used an Italian print as their main source (which is why they cut out early on the 98 dvd, to hide the dissolve). It should not be used as reference. If your theatrical cut follows the 1998 MGM dvd it will be wrong in several spots.

    Here is a quick comparison between a scan of a 1967 international print and the 1998 dvd. The theatrical print holds on to the train shot for nearly 3 more seconds, long enough for the music to finish. The 1998 dvd cheats and finishes the music on Tuco, eliminating one of the train whistles. The cut to Tuco should have the sound effect of the train, not the finish of the music (as heard in this clip).



    Does this effect my purchase? No, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about it before finalizing the release in case there's still a chance to fix it.
     
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  19. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    It seems like there is 37+ versions of these movies. Maybe seemless branching would work for all the various cuts? The various cuts edition!!!
     
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  20. Jordan Krug

    Jordan Krug Agent

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    There's only 2 versions of GBU that Leone approved and put his name on and neither are available.....
     
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