Sink the Bismarck audio

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Stephen PI, May 23, 2003.

  1. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    I purchased this disc this week. The picture quality is excellent. The audio however is a problem. Mike Restaino in his review on digitalbits said that it was a new 2.0 stereo mix.(It is likely that this track was used for the laserdisc) Well, I don't want a 'new mix'. The original audio format on this title is 4.0, (mono optical for non stereo- equipped theaters)and this is what I want on the disc. While Fox remain silent on this issue, I can only assume ignorance on their part in that they don't know or don't care and don't want to make the effort to research the title and go the extra mile to ensure that the original magnetic 4-track master is properly transferred to the disc. I would understand if the master is in a state of deterioration, but why leave the members hanging on this forum who care about having the historically correct version in their possession. It is unprofessional and shows a total disregard for consumers.
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's possible that the 4.0 sound wasn't obtainable for the DVD.
     
  3. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    Patrick :
    It's possible that the 4.0 sound wasn't obtainable for the DVD.

    Sorry Patrick I find that hard to believe, the studio owns the material, unless you are implying the track is lost or unusable. Why should a 4.0 be on some discs and not others. The 'new' stereo track on the disc is a mixdown from the 4-channel master, so how can it be unobtainable?
    We need an explanation from Fox.
     
  4. Jeff Koch

    Jeff Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,

    Thanks for the heads up on Sink The Bismarck. I remember seeing this film in amazing four track magnetic stereo with incredible surround work. The main reason why I'd purchase this title is for the sound. Now that it's only 2.0 I'll pass on this title. DVD is the perfect format for four channel magnetic stereo films, especially Sink The Bismarck. Why should we settle for anything less.

    Jeff
     
  5. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Fox has done this mixdown for all of their other older films this month - Blue Max, From the Terrace, and the long Hot Summer are all 2.0 dolby surround. the bit rate is low on all of these soundtracks too. Why?
     
  6. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    I'm looking at a Motion Picture Herald Magazine from 1960 and it has an ad for Sink the Bismark! and it mentions Stereophonic Sound. In fact, almost all the films that 20th Century-Fox released in CinemaScope in the 1950s have Stereophonic Sound mentioned in the film ads.
     
  7. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Those ads only tell us the films are stereo and we already know that. Actually, by late 1954, Fox dropped the mention of stereo from their ads and by 56 had started releasing some scope mono films including Love Me Tender, Girl Can't Help it, Desk Set , etc.
    In 1958 they made a renewed commitment to steo and many films form 58 and 59 carry stereo in the ads.
     
  8. johnbr

    johnbr Stunt Coordinator

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    I remamber in the 70's warner destroyed over 800 stereo masters.The 6 channel masters for ten Commandments were lost forever.DeMille whated to make it in 65mm the studio said no to save the flim they let him make the sound in 6channel.
     
  9. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I can not imagine what 800 stereomasters warner destroyed.
    A - he didn't have 800 stereo films probably 30 topsincluding his late stereo outings of Music Man, Gypsy, Camelot.
    the stereo music masters were degaussed when the productions were finished and immediatley reused for other films.
     
  10. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    A lot of Warner's music and stereo masters were stolen by so-called "collectors" and used to make bootleg soundtrack CDs as well. Those involved should have been hung...
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Peter,
    Actually, shouldn't they be thanked? If the studio was just going to wipe them anyway, those swiped masters are today the only remaining relic of the original stereo tracks. Same thing for collectors of silent films--often they were retained prints that should have been sent back to the studios. But considering the studios took very poor care of these pictures for decades (Fox lost most everything in vault fires, MGM lost quite a lot that way, and Universal, Paramount, Columbia and Warner all just let things rot or intentionally burned them for the silver content), the only reason we have prints of many classics is the fact there were people actively stealing them and preserving them. It's a distasteful bit of American film history, but they nonetheless unintentionally performed a valuable service for us 80-100 years later.
     
  12. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    True, Mark. Except that now that the studios want to release a lot of this music on CD and the films in stereo, they don't have the materials. While I have no love for a studio wiping the material, I also don't like people profiting (my main gripe was the bootlegging aspect of the thievery) from other's work.
     
  13. johnbr

    johnbr Stunt Coordinator

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    At one time in the over sea's market if a film was wide it had to have a stereo track or they would send it back.,
     
  14. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Peters remarks are a bit odd - Nobody has stereo masters - collectors wouldn't want them because they do not have the equipment to play them. Film collectors have occasionally stereo prints and there are collectors who have NOT come forward who have stereo prints of Giant and Auntie Mame.
    Its also doubtful that collectors have the stereo music tracks as they were erased at the time of the film, once the final film was dubbed. Bootlegs I have heard of Warenr scores are all mono.
     
  15. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Joe,

    You should talk to somebody at Fox who - during the LaserDisc era - was attempting to release The Girl Can't Help It in stereo. They had the stereo mag masters of the recordings for the film - except for the rock & roll numbers which were physically spliced out of the reels by a Little Richard collector. Other musicals suffer the same fate and all they have are back-ups or used mag prints. Plenty of hard-core film & music collectors have the equipment to play & transfer this stuff.

    As for the Warner material, I'm simply repeating information I was told by several trustworthy people currently involved in the reconstruction and release of classic film scores on CD.
     
  16. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    I'll echo the distinct possibility mentioned by Patrick earlier in this thread. It is possible the four track masters for this given title are simply no longer available. To have a 40 year old four track mag track deteriorate beyond use is no stretch if the given studio print has seen a lot of use, had poor storage conditions .. or a number of other variables.

    "Home theater" has been around for relatively some time now, with the first home Dolby Surround decoders being sold in the early 1980's. It's quite possible Fox pulled the 4-track mag master (perhaps the sole master- given we're talking a 1959/1960 original release ..not exactly a high point in stereophonic distributions) and made a Dolby Surround encoded 2 channel mixdown and then packed the four channel mag back away. If this mixdown was made, say, 10 to 15 years ago, that's ample time to have a mag track possibly turn sour.

    In the end it's possibility #101. Only Fox knows for sure.
     
  17. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    It seems we are seeing more and more titles that were four track released in two channel mixdowns. Warners has coming up in May two Cinemascoe films that I already have on Laserdisc -- Blood Alley and the Sea Chase in 2.0 mixdowns. I would replace my lasers if these titles were in the original 4.0.
    It's too bad not to presere this part of film history. I am a big fan of 50s scope stereo films and collect them.
    Warners did far less scope movies than other studios. By me count they did 24 scope stereo films and a few scope mono films until 1857 when they went to technirama for Sayonara and Autnit Mame the following year. Both those were stereo but Auntie Mame stereo has not been found.
     
  18. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Hello Joe,

    Maybe Fox did'nt promote stereo in their film ads as much from 55 to 57 but, they did in the some of the films. I'm going through some Motion Picture Herald magazines from 1957 that I will be putting up on EBAY and they have a number of ads for Fox films that mention stereo sound. Examples:

    From 1955
    Soldier of Fortune in CinemaScope and the Wonder of Stereophonic Sound

    From 1957
    The Sun Also Rises in CinemaScope "Available in Stereophonic Sound"

    Stopover: Tokyo in CinemaScope "In the Wonder of Stereophonic Sound"

    Forty Guns in CinemaScope "Prints available with MagOptical Sound The Best in Stereophonic Sound"

    Peyton Place in CinemaScope "Prints available with MagOptical Sound The Best in Stereophonic Sound"

    The Enemy Below in CinemaScope "Prints available with MagOptical Sound The Best in Stereophonic Sound"

    Kiss Them For Me in CinemaScope "Prints available with MagOptical Sound The Best in Stereophonic Sound"

    Not a film, but a full page ad from Fox - "Use Stereophonic Sound To Give Your Patrons The Best!" "...all release prints from 20th Century-Fox in CinemaScope are now made with MagOptical Sound"
     
  19. moggy

    moggy Auditioning

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    I saw this movie on a public domain site . anyone know if it is public domain ?
     

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