Spencer Draper

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Great thread idea and wonderful to see many of the big titles I've either long wished could be addressed or read into how they've not been represented too well. Sorry this might get a tad long. ;)

The trims were in Mr. Wilder’s office, destroyed in a fire
Oh no! If that's really true, what an absolute tragic moment. I read of that fire in Ed Sikov's biography of Wilder IIRC but had no idea it claimed something as precious as that. Long have I wished they could be found somewhere such as in a dusty old case with the Watson name stamped upon it in old UA archives.

Mystery of the Wax Museum really needs its color addressed. I've had the LD on my wishlist for some time as I can't stand the garish looking DVD version. I finally gave up and got The Hallelujah Trail on LD at the local shop for 99 cents just before the BD was announced-ditto for Greatest Story Ever Told which looks pretty darn bad on BD. Plus I'm a silly nut who always winds up going backward when everyone else goes forward.

My big one would be The Man Who Knew Too Much '56 for which I've held onto my old 2001 DVD because I really dislike the newer transfer and hope one day it and the other VV Hitchcock titles can be represented properly on disc. At least Vertigo and Rear Window were updated (by others sadly) for their Blu-ray debuts but really all the Hitchcock Universal titles could fare better. As good as Trouble With Harry looks it doesn't look as good as the print I saw in 2008 or so that made me fall madly in love with it even further.

Worst of all is the continued situation with Sergio Leone's work. It should be possible to have beautiful renditions of all six of his major films yet they continue to do restoration after "restoration" many times without proper research and this results in a myriad of incomplete, inconsistent and in some cases downright wrong versions. For example, after finally getting it put back in 2005, Duck, You Sucker has just been reverted to the UA Fistful of Dynamite title which was only used for the second issue super shortened version aimed at making quick money in the US. (And of course it still has the wrong music cues and censored soundtrack etc.)

I finally, finally, finally tracked down the long version of The Alamo on Laserdisc and the ac3 reissue to boot! Can't wait to see the long version finally. It really is incredible just how long they let this case go on for and considering now that the source has deteriorated... (I am correct in remembering that the lone 70mm print source found and used for the long Laserdisc has now gone bad beyond usage, aren't I?)

The Hammer titles are slowly but surely seeing fine transfers per film, but mostly overseas or only in barebones releases here. (That said a number have issues with improper ratios and the like, so you can't win as a Hammer fan.) WB have been supposed to do Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula, but those have had many reported issues over the years and hopefully they achieve some magic. The UK CoF Blu-ray many complained about was a scan of the best and only vaulted source WB had, and I abhor the awful blue tinted Dracula UK release.

As for Ambersons, I've read so many rumors and legends it's hard to keep straight. As far as I knew the South American/Brazil story was never quite officiated and the only definite confirmed location was the (Miami IIRC) Florida Fleischer studio where Robert Wise flew to meet Welles and go over the rough cut before any studio tampering. Warner have an HD version streaming that is slightly better than the DVD (same source) so hopefully WAC does a Blu-ray in the near future just to have a HD version of the butchered cut. I also have both Criterions but find it quite hard to watch the film as you can't quite get away from the pain of it being mutilated.

Lastly, the films no one ever discusses in this regard and ones in terrible need of not only proper documentation but also their first proper transfers in some cases ever are the Hong Kong classic action films, particularly the heroic bloodshed films of John Woo. Only A Better Tomorrow has been restored overseas but sadly it passed through the hands of that Italian firm which messes about with color and everything else. The Killer and Hard Boiled have long needed to return to the Criterion slate.
 
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Bob Graham

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Just wanted to cast another vote (pun intended) for THE BIG FISHERMAN, which I haven't seen since it's original theatrical release. It seems that Disney has quietly disowned the film (it was a pet project of Roy, Walt didn't want to do it.)

I have heard that there are rights issues on CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and HORROR OF DRACULA, i.e. that they were acquired by Studio Canal and US release rights would go to Lionsgate, not Warner, and this has been holding up the US Blu-Ray release. Can anybody shed more light on this?

And of course, THE ALAMO. BTW, I am looking forward to the upcoming release by Kino of my favorite Alamo film, THE LAST COMMAND.
 
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RolandL

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I finally gave up and got The Hallelujah Trail on LD at the local shop for 99 cents just before the BD was announced-ditto for Greatest Story Ever Told which looks pretty darn bad on BD. Plus I'm a silly nut who always winds up going backward when everyone else goes forward.
How does Greatest Story Ever Told look on laser disc compared to the Blu-ray? It has an AR of 2.2 for sides 1 to 3 and around 2.4 for side 4 so it is cropped compared to to Blu-ray which is 2.76.
 

PMF

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Are there any missing OCN's that are not officially ruled out as destroyed or forever gone?
I would imagine so, but wonder if RAH is in the position to name but a few.
 
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Stefan Andersson

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I agree with Spencer Draper.

A good-looking Ambersons on Blu, even if only the mutilated cut, would be a very important release.

The soundtrack issues on Duck You Sucker need to be resolved, and the John Woo films on Blu would also be very attractive.
 

Robert Harris

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Are there any missing OCN's that are not officially ruled out as destroyed or forever gone?
I would imagine so, but wonder if RAH is in the position to name but a few.
More (nitrate) elements, presumed lost, especially by fire, are occasionally found via new inventories.

In a general sense, Universal, WB, M-G-M, RKO and Columbia have many extant elements, along with Disney animated. Fox, Goldwyn (b/w) and Paramount, the least.
 
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filmnoirguy

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My favorite musical, MGM's Show Boat (1951). A Place in the Sun (1951). The Mating Season with the great Thelma Ritter (1951). A Hatful of Rain (1957). Hud (1963). All currently available on DVD and all desperately in need of restoration (and I do mean restoration!). Cheers~~
 

filmnoirguy

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Lon Cross
Let's add Picnic (1955) The latest DVD looks grand, but it's in pan & scan! How about a new widescreen Blu-ray?
 

PMF

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Let's add Picnic (1955) The latest DVD looks grand, but it's in pan & scan! How about a new widescreen Blu-ray?
Twilight Time had a very nice BD of "Picnic". Unfortunately, it's been Sold Out for quite some time.
 
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Worth

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You can still get copies of Picnic on Amazon, but they're not cheap.
 

CinemaCynic

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The trims were in Mr. Wilder’s office, destroyed in a fire
That's interesting, I've never heard that before. I obviously don't doubt your info in the least but when I was a part of an interview of Wilder in the mid 90's he was quite insistent that the Mirisch Bros still had the footage. Perhaps he was more 'hopeful' than 'certain,' but... what a shame!
 

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