Turning the Spotlight on....Cabaret (on Blu-ray)

Ronald Epstein

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Wilkommen!

I am sitting here at Warner Bros. just having come from their
Motion Picture Imaging Facility.

We had a real treat this afternoon --- the opportunity to see a
clip of the upcoming Blu-ray release of CABARET.

Now, from what I understand, there really wasn't a true DVD
release of this film. It had been essentially ported over from
a prior laserdisc release. There were also problems with the
film elements including a huge scratch down the side of reel
5 or 6.

MPI has been meticulously working on this film and their
labor of love shoes on the final release.

Watching a clip of "Farewell Mein Lieber Herr" proved to me
that this film is going to please fans of this film. It looks
rather tremendous, I promise.
 

Matt Hough

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Let me add my enthusiasm to the others who saw this today. CABARET has never looked good on home video. If what we saw today is any indication, we'll finally have a CABARET we can enjoy at home.
 

bgart13

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A really nice extra would've been a filmed performance of the revival with Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson.
 

classicmovieguy

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bgart13 said:
A really nice extra would've been a filmed performance of the revival with Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson.
I think it had been earlier filmed in London with Cumming and Jane Horrocks.
 

JohnS

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I also was in the room seeing footage from a musical number from Cabaret, along with East of Eden.
Having never seen Cabaret and seeing this footage really wants me to buy this film now.
It was a real treat seeing this restored footage.
The woman in charge of restoring this film knows what she's doing and loves film.
It's in very good hands.
She also did the work on Singing in the Rain.
 

Colin Dunn

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I just watched "Cabaret" for the first time over the weekend ... the recent Blu-ray release. I can't fault the Blu-ray mastering and restoration; there were no obvious flaws.

I was wondering about the quality of print that was available to restore. This film had lots of dark scenes - outdoors at night, interiors of nightclubs and houses, etc. Many scenes were very grainy; some scenes looked like they were shot on 16mm. Was this grainy look the director's intent, or a limitation in the source material?

The audio elements didn't seem state-of-the-art for 1972. Audio tracks from big '50s/'60s epics have fared better when making the jump to Blu-ray. The instrumentals sounded tinny; whereas I was expecting to hear a big and punchy jazz band sound. The vocals fared better.

Seeing the comments above, I suspect that the restoration done on "Cabaret" was the best possible, and that any limitations in picture/sound quality go all the way back to the source. This was definitely a new HD transfer, not a rehash of a past SD laserdisc transfer.
 

Colin Dunn

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Just read the "A Few Words About..." thread. That explains the weak sound. The only sound source available for the restoration was a mono optical soundtrack.

As for the grainy look, it seems intentional or may have been the result of having to source from the inter-positive rather than the original camera negative.
 

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