Senior HTF Member
- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- Ronald Epstein
Those Redheads From Seattle
Studio: Kino Lorber
Product Release: May 23, 2017
Audio: 3-channel stereo
Running Time: 90 minutes
On A Scale 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2
"You Can't Trust A Blonde."
In an era filled with top-rated and poorly produced 3D fare, Those Redheads From Seattle rises to the occasion of being more entertaining than most. This beautifully restored Blu-ray is certainly worth your purchase consideration.
During the early 50s television was having a huge impact upon American audiences who chose to stay at home for their entertainment rather than going out. Theaters had to find a new way of bringing people back into the theater. For the moment, 3D seemed to be the answer. Mostly between the years, 1952-55 studios put considerable effort into supporting the short-lived 3D boom.
Among the many titles being released during that period, Those Redheads From Seattle boasts the distinction of being the first 3D musical ever produced and the first widescreen production from Paramount Studios. If you would like to learn more interesting history about this release, I invite you to read this article from 3-D Film Archive.
A mother (Agnes Moorehead) and her four daughters travel from Cleveland to Alaska to meet their father in the Yukon. They arrive only to find that he has been killed. They soon get involved with a saloon owner named Johnny Kisco (Gene Barry) who may very well be the man responsible for the killing.
The film itself has a little of everything for everyone: murder, a western setting, a little romance, and many opportunities to present leg-kicking musical numbers. In all, it's mildly entertaining light-hearted fare accented with excellent 3D separation.
The transfer itself is a mixed bag with inconsistent levels of quality. I say that with a bit of hesitation because one really needs to understand the amount of work that went into restoring this film and how the transfer looked before Greg Kintz and his team were able to touch it. I'll talk more about all of that in a few moments.
To watch this presentation without knowing its background, one might be dumbfounded by the ever-changing condition of its presentation. Some scenes look severely faded. Others have that breathtaking quality you would expect from a Technicolor production. It isn't until you delve into the supplements that you realize how piss-poor Those Redheads From Seattle looked when the 3-D Film Archive got their hands on it. Only then can you really appreciate the level of restoration that has been done for this Blu-ray release.
Cinematographer Lionel Linden has done an excellent job staging his shots with proper prop placement. Nearly every scene provides a superior level of depth layered with objects that give proper foreground and background distinction. Some of the best scenes take place in the Klondike Club where even the smallest effects such as cigar smoke take on a character of their own when layered between the action on screen. This isn't a film for pop-out enthusiasts. Director Lewis R. Foster doesn't rely on much gimmickry to tell his story. There are a few moments where objects protrude slightly forward. These include: Teresa Brewer popping her head out from a curtain, a dancing line of kicking legs, and a leaky barrel spouting streams of beer. The title credits perhaps have the best use of pop-out, extending the furthest outwards towards the viewer.
More pronounced than the 3D presentation itself is the film's soundtrack. 3-D Film Archive restorationist Bob Furmanek searched globally for film's original 3-channel magnetic soundtrack. Alas, it was never found. However, sound specialist Eckhard Büttner performed a spectral extraction to restore the original sound elements, the result of which provides for an amazing auditory experience. The left, right, and main channels do an amazing job of creating specific sonic placement. As actors move across the viewing area, the sound moves with them. As someone sitting dead center in the listening area, it's an astonishing experience -- certainly a cut above standard stereo separation. For those that prefer, the original mono soundtrack is included in lossless audio.
Normally I don't have the time to spend with supplemental material or to cover it in my reviews. In this case, however, I highly recommend you take a moment to look at two specific additions to this Blu-ray disc....
A Restoration Demo by Greg Kintz is an absolute must watch to really appreciate the transfer of Those Redheads From Seattle. It's only a few short minutes in length, but Greg shows us how bad the print looked when they took ownership of it. Dust, dirt and built-in grime had to be painstakingly removed. Shakes, frame jumps, and vertical alignment issues had to be corrected. With side-by-side examples of "before" and "after," one gets a very clear impression of the massive work that needed to be done. Of course, with a limited budget and time frame that was allotted, one must consider that this was the absolute best job that could have been done under those circumstances.
Audio/Video Demo of the 3-channel sound reconstruction presents us with a scene from the film's most rousing musical number, "Chica-Boom." Overhead sound meters above the film's frame shows specific sound placement.
There is a 2006 interview with Rhonda Fleming. The film's original theatrical trailer is also included. Lastly, but not least, is a running audio commentary from Bob Furmanek, Greg Kintz, Jack Theaston and Hillary Hess. As I am always limited on time to get these reviews done as soon as possible, I only had the opportunity to listen to a few short minutes of the commentary. The discussion was quite lively and informative. You can be assured that with these renowned film historians at the helm, you are going get quite a bit of insight into the aspects of the 3D production including the various effect tricks that were used.
As with all Kino 3D releases, a 2D presentation is also included on the disc.
In an era filled with top-rated and poorly produced 3D fare, Those Redheads From Seattle rises the occasion of being more entertaining than most. This beautifully restored Blu-ray is certainly worth your purchase consideration.
The team from the 3-D Film Archive, with limited budget and time, have done a remarkable job with a print that was originally plagued with problems. I am really thankful that, through their efforts, there is a continued stream of these rarities being brought to Blu-ray.
Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.
Sony HW55ES Front Projector calibrated by Gregg Loewen, Lion AV
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon AVR-X7200WA Dolby Atmos Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear side and back speakers, AW-5 overheads (x4)
SV Sound Subwoofer