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3D Top Ten Vintage 3-D on Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Bob Furmanek

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Here is my personal top ten list for vintage pre-1990 3-D on blu-ray. I've tried to balance the position based on​
the quality of principal photography; the digital restoration and overall content.​
I'm going to try very hard not to be biased in favoring our 3-D Film Archive restorations! :D


1. 3-D RARITIES - The incredible response (currently rated 8.9 on IMDB) and overwhelmingly positive reviews have put this historic collection in the top position. There is truly something for everybody in this release from Flicker Alley. Here's a handy link to professional reviews: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4561026/externalreviews?ref_=tt_ov_rt


2. HOUSE OF WAX - The first one out of the gate from a major studio in the short-lived fad of 1953/54. The WB restoration - off the original color separations - is superb with only a few imperfections. I’ve seen this film many times over the past thirty years in dual-35mm polarized 3-D and this is the best it has ever looked.


3. KISS ME KATE - A classic MGM musical and another outstanding restoration. George Sidney had a great understanding of stereoscopic composition and the excellent cinematography by Charles Rosher – properly matted for widescreen - has never looked better. My only quibble is that some of the medium shots are a wee bit tight and it would have benefited from mastering in MGM’s recommended AR of 1.75:1. This wonderful 3-D Blu-ray belongs in every collection!


4. INFERNO - Outstanding "desert noir" and beautifully photographed by Lucien Ballard. A prime example of the typically deep 1950's 3-D with a wide parallax budget. The HD master was prepared by the late Mr. 3-D, Dan Symmes. I restored an original 1953 Technicolor 3-D print in the 1990's and this is an extremely accurate digital representation.


5. DIAL M FOR MURDER - Masterful direction and 3-D cinematography. Some minor flaws in the restoration with a slightly dim image but still an excellent example of the general high quality of 1950's third-dimensional photography. Due to the high contrast and deep parallax budget, some displays may exhibit ghosting aka crosstalk. Rest assured, it's not the original photography or the restoration.


6. THE BUBBLE - The first over/under single-strip 3-D feature in Space-Vision. Contains some of the most effective off-screen “popout” in stereoscopic film history. An interesting story with excellent performances. So far as the restoration? Well, you can read what people are saying with the links on our homepage at http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home


7. DRAGONFLY SQUADRON - Never released in 3-D until our Blu-ray. Another prime example of the deep parallax budget found within Golden Age titles. Many issues were fixed for this HD restoration. Please see the article on our website and reviews on our homepage. http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/home/dragonfly-squadron


8. CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON - An iconic Universal Studios monster and outstanding underwater 3-D photography. Unfortunately, some baked-in vertical alignment issues were not fixed and the restoration took liberties with the original stereoscopic convergence to make it user friendly for displays with less-than-optimum cancellation properties. This loses points and should have been better.


9. MAN IN THE DARK - A 19-day quickie from Columbia but well-photographed and beautifully restored by Sony. The alignment fixes are spot-on with the only flaw being a brief flat shot that is truly stereoscopic in the original 1953 prints. The film was Sepia-toned in theaters and that should have been replicated.


10. AMITYVILLE 3-D - One of the better examples of 3-D cinematography and direction from the brief 1980's revival. This could have been better on Blu-ray but none of the alignment issues were corrected. A missed opportunity.
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Bob Furmanek

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Thanks, Todd.

The "restoration" on that footage was terrible. We could have done much better.
 

Bob Furmanek

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I agree Reed, we're trying our very best to make that happen.

It would have been nice to actually have ten titles to fill up a Top Ten list!

I'm thankful that we had some involvement and input on 6 of the 8 titles.
 

Tina_H_V

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Way to go on compiling this impressive list, Bob. Thank you for this. I had a blast watching House of Wax last New Year's Eve to begin my day of festivities leading up to midnight going into 2014!!!!! :3dglasses: And the New Year's Eve before that, I checked out Dial M For Murder at the end of 2012!!!! :3dglasses: And my midnight birthday movie this year!!!??? Man In The Dark!!!!! :3dglasses: And I picked up, for my birthday in 2013, the Universal Monsters box set on Blu-ray Disc. Included: Creature of The Black Lagoon!!!! :3dglasses: I checked it out at that time and loved what I saw very much!!!!

I am looking forward to getting the rest of these listed classic titles for my 3D collection in the coming time ahead!!!!! :3dglasses: :3dglasses: :3dglasses:
 

bgart13

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I'm really looking forward to THE MASK in 2015 or so. I hope THE MAD MAGICIAN and PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE are released in 3D sometime soon.
 

Reed Grele

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Bob Furmanek said:
THE MASK is next on the schedule just as soon as RARITIES is delivered.

Wait'll you see those segments restored. Wow!
The Mask was, I believe, the first 3D movie that I ever saw. I was born too late to see the early fifties gems.

I know that the version I saw in our local theater back in the sixties was presented in anaglyph (colored glasses). But it was still impressive, especially for a small child who had never seen a 3D movie before.

Was it ever released theatrically in polarized 3D? And how will it be presented on BD?
 

Stephen_J_H

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The Mask has me almost as excited as Kiss Me Kate. Any chance of recreating the original anaglyphic viewers? If not, we get it. Goodies like that can be expensive for a limited production run.
 

Todd J Moore

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Is your version of The Mask the full 95 minute version or is it the shorter 83 minute version 3D Video Corporation version that played on TV in the 1980s? The full version has, among other things, a slightly longer opening credits, two scenes in the police lab, and miscellaneous other slightly longer versions of scenes such as Paul Stevens breaking into the museum.
 

Jesse Skeen

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I have the TV version of "The Mask" with the Blackstone the Magician intro and outro, as well as the Elvira VHS from Rhino. 3D in that was pretty good despite being in black and white, of course just having a few segments in 3D and not the entire movie was a bit disappointing.

A "classic" 3D on Blu-Ray not yet mentioned here is Disney's Chip n Dale "Working For Peanuts" cartoon, which appeared on the Disney 3D demo disc back when they actually cared about 3D. It's hard to find, but worth it!
 

Steve Christou

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Good work Bob, I only own 3 of those films and I've seen um... 4 of them. My vintage 3D collection is on the puny side I'm afraid. The only other pre-1990 3D I own is The Wizard of Oz, does that count? ;)
 

Bob Furmanek

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Todd, we're looking into different edits as we speak. The U.S. theatrical release is 83 minutes. There are 12 additional minutes of the film? Have you actually seen this footage?

Steve, I didn't want to include post-conversions on the list but thanks for pointing that out.
 

StephenDH

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I've seen all of the above bar "Rarities" and most on the big screen. I was underwhelmed by "Amityville 3D" on its release apart from one effectively creepy scene. "Kiss Me Kate" didn't seem particularly inventive in its use of 3D but if it ever comes out on Blu-ray I might revise my opinion.
The magical combination of great movie + great 3D is as elusive today as it was in the 50s. Scorsese's "Hugo" is probably the best of the modern efforts.
 

Brandon Conway

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StephenDH said:
The magical combination of great movie + great 3D is as elusive today as it was in the 50s. Scorsese's "Hugo" is probably the best of the modern efforts.
Agreed with Hugo. Life of Pi is pretty great 3D photography as well.
 

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