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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 20, 2012.
I'm still holding out hope of Fox doing a pressed Sonja Henie DVD collection...
Once you get it, can you please share with us whether or not it is region locked? Thanks.
Which press release was being referred to above? If it is Lou Lumenick's column, there was no definite mention of aspect ratios for any of the CinemaScope films.
The French dvd of THE REVOLT OF MAMIE STOVER is non-anamorphic (ie. letterboxed). It is nonetheless a great transfer with a very clear soundtrack which sounds stereophonic to my ears but may well be mono. Either way, the Friedhofer score sounds terrifically brassy over the main titles. If you can't find the 16:9 Spanish version, I recommend this one.
More titles but not much new info gleaned from PR sent this morning:
The Gambler from Natchez (1954), 88 min.
A prodigal son (Dale Robertson) returns home to take revenge on the men who murdered his father.
Tail Spin (1939), 84 min.
Alice Faye plays a determined female flyer who faces down her wealthy competitor in the skies and in matters of the heart.
The True Story of Jesse James (1957), 92 min.
An account of the last eighteen years in the life of the notorious bank and train robber, Jesse James (Robert Wagner), and his brother and partner-in-crime, Frank.
Powder River (1953), 77 min.
When Chino Bullock's partner is shot dead, the former U.S. Marshall turned gold-prospector returns to his trade, becoming the town sheriff to avenge his friend's death.
Princess of the Nile (1954), 71 min.
A thirteenth century, scimitar-wielding Egyptian princess (Debra Paget) leads her people against a powerful Bedouin to save Egypt.
Young Guns of Texas (1962), 78 min.
An outlaw who is brought up by the Comanche falls in love with the daughter of a cruel rancher, all while on a search for a missing man.
White Witch Doctor (1953), 95 min.
Professional game hunter Lonni Douglas (Robert Mitchum) is hired by a nurse, Ellen Burton (Susan Hayward), to take her into the heart of Africa to hopefully find a man that was her mentor.
The Road to Glory (1936), 101 min.
Directed by Howard Hanks and starring Fredric March, Warner Baxter and Lionel Barrymore, this film provides an intimate look at life in the trenches of World War I, pitting the horrors of war against the strength, fears and bravery of the soldiers that fight it.
The Siege at Red River (1954), 86 min.
A Confederate soldier (Van Johnson) enlists the North's help in order to retrieve a shipment of Gatling guns.
The Silver Whip (1953), 73 min.
A stage coach driver turned deputy (Robert Wagner) is forced to decide between either upholding the law or allowing his best friend to seek his vengeance on the man sitting in his jail.
Welcome Home Soldier Boys (1972), 91 min.
Four soldiers returning from Vietnam decide to move to California, but on the way they are mistaken for thieves – and take their revenge the only way they know.
Western Union (1941), 95 min.
Starring Robert Young and Randolph Scott, two outlaw brothers lock horns when one gives up his criminal ways and goes to work for Western Union, laying lines in Omaha and Salt Lake City.
King of the Khyber Rifles (1953), 100 min.
In this film, nominated for a Director’s Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Tyrone Power plays a half-Indian, half-British soldier who must prove his loyalty to Britain by quelling an uprising led by his boyhood Indian friend.
Bird of Paradise (1951), 100 min.
A French adventurer (Louis Jourdan) accompanies the son of an Island ruler back to the place of his birth, where he finds love with a native princess (Debra Paget).
Hard Contract (1969), 105 min.
A cold-hearted American hit man (James Coburn) goes to Europe for 'one last score' in this film nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture. His encounter with a beautiful young woman (Lee Remick) casts self-doubt on his livelihood, and influences him to resist carrying out the contract.
Lure of the Wilderness (1952), 90 min.
Jim Harper (on the run from the law for a murder he didn’t commit) and his young daughter Laurie hide out near a swamp, while trapper Ben Tyler tries to clear the old man’s name and the real culprits try finding him.
Red Skies of Montana (1952), 98 min.
A veteran firefighter (Richard Widmark) is accused of cowardice by a rookie when the young man loses his father in a fire fight campaign supervised by the veteran.
Untamed (1955), 111 min.
Among those leaving Ireland during the potato famine are Katie O'Neill (Susan Hayward) and her husband, who decide that the Promised Land is South Africa. Once there, they discover the hardships that are the reality of the homesteader experience.
The Fighting Lady (1944), 61 min.
Highlighted by actual aerial footage from World War II, this Oscar®-winning documentary follows the battles, and the men who fought them, while stationed on American aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean.
Paris After Dark (1943), 84 min.
A man released from a Nazi POW camp thinks his wife is having an affair with her rich employer (George Saunders), but they are actually working for the French resistance. He finds out the truth and sacrifices himself for the cause.
Marines, Let’s Go (1961), 103 min.
Tom Tryon and David Hedison star as four Marine buddies share comic misadventures before being redeployed.
Battle At Bloody Beach (1961), 79 min.
During World War II, a young American (Audie Murphy) finds his wife in the war-torn islands of the Pacific, where she has become a fierce partisan of the insurgent guerilla movement.
Confirm or Deny (1941), 73 min.
A war correspondent (Don Ameche) in London falls in love with the woman (Joan Bennett) sent to censor his stories.
Movies Unlimited has listed the next wave of Fox Archives releases up to and including the titles Lou Lumenick cites for release on May 21st. The only title described as being in widescreen is THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES. The other 'Scope title amongst this batch- YOUNG GUNS OF TEXAS- is listed as being in Full Screen (as was the Spanish release, ie. Panned-and-Scanned). Titles like PRINCESS OF THE NILE (shot to be projected at 1.66:1 according to the imdb) are also 'Full Screen', however it is possible that they may be 'Open Matte', ie. giving visual information on the top and bottom of the screen which was photographed but not intended to be seen (other perhaps than in cinemas not equipped to project an image of 1.66:1).
Some Paramount Full Frame releases on dvd from '54 (egs. THE NAKED JUNGLE, THE COUNTRY GIRL) are better viewed on Wide Screen monitors with the Aspect Ratio set to 'Zoom' as they were intended to be viewed in 1.75:1 (or somewhere near that ratio).The full 1.37:1 image which was shot has been printed and transferred to dvd. I have seen 35mm prints of PAL JOEY and THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER wrongly projected in 1.37:1, with lots of empty space above the actors' heads and-in the case of HUNTER- the top of the cyclorama which was the backdrop for the night sky! Time will tell if the Panoramic productions being released by the Fox Archives are 'Open Matte' versions or cropped on the sides.
Dave Kehr takes on Fox in his latest NY Times column: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/movies/homevideo/inconsistent-quality-from-fox-cinema-archives.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Thanks for the link. He's preaching to the choir around here, of course, but maybe if more high profile critics jumped on Fox for their lackadaisical approach to their Archives program, things might change.
Received SURF PARTY and THE YOUNG SWINGERS last week. They are open mat, so I zoomed the wide screen TV in and the composition looked great. All titles were in view and not one head cut off. It made viewing a pleasure. Too bad Fox didn't release them right.
So we have RAH, Dave Kehr and Lou Lumenick all taking Fox to task, along with most of us at HTF and still it can't get better. They just don't seem to care, do they?
Very shabby I agree. The Warner Archive improved by listening to feedback and making changes; Fox is paying no attention at all.
Vote with your wallet. Don't buy Fox's MOD product until Fox gets the message to improve it and take our concerns seriously.
There was a small passage at the bottom of his post stating the following:
(Update : Fox advises that "King of the Khyber Rifles,'' "Untamed,'' "The True Story of Jesse James'' and :Hard Contract'' are letterboxed. "Young Guns of Texas,'' "Battle of Bloody Beach'' and "Marines, Let's Go'' are pan-and-scan, and all of the other titles are being presented full frame)
My latest experiences with the Archive Discs are,
"Meet Me After The Show" = Not the worst Archive disc. Is watchable, but only just. Colors are generally off. Songs are really bad.
The only good thing is seeing Betty Grable and the wonderful Gwen Verdon perform together.
"Wake Up And Live" = Black & White, soft with washed-out contrast plus distorted sound. Nevertheless it's acceptable. No excuse whatever for having a damaged opening Fox Logo. Couldn't somebody at Fox find an undamaged logo? Catchy Songs and Alice Faye make it well worth while.
"The I Don't Care Girl" = Amongst the very worst of my Archive titles. Crushed Blacks dominate this ancient transfer. The Color is just plain ugly.
What did Mitzi Gaynor ever do to be stuck with two of the very worst Archive discs. ("Golden Girl" is the other disaster)
"Irish Eyes Are Smiling" = Another ancient transfer. This one isn't too bad, although it still has those Fox crushed blacks. Color is not right but is acceptable. Some nice tuneful 19th century songs. Dick Haymes sings well but is a wooden actor.
"Call Me Mister" = Surprise, Surprise an actual Archive title that looks good for most of the time. Technicolor is spot on for once.
Why can't they all look like this. Even the horrible crushed blacks are gone. The grey scale is quite good.
Grable and Dailey are always a pleasure to watch, but unfortunately Danny Thomas is not.
One good one out of five is better than average for Fox Archives.
I'll have a review up on Meet Me After the Show eventually. Next up for me will be Sons and Lovers.
Thanks for the information above re Lou's updated article, the image quality of the Archive titles and the manner in which the two '60's youth movies were transferred. I prefer Open Matte to 'cropped on the sides' by a Country Mile....
I received my copy of the WESTERN UNION Blu from Germany and am pleased to report it seems to be Region Free as it plays on my Region A machine - the Blu does have a "B" on the back, but it is not correct, at least as far as my machine is concerned.
It's just very frustrating because when Fox turned it's hand to releasing their classics on pressed DVD (the Studio Classics, Marquee Musicals etc), it was almost always a winner - wish they'd churn out a few "winners" in their MOD line.
Tell us about the picture quality.
I copied RED SKIES OF MONTANA from the Fox Movie Channel last week, but the color was horrendously washed out. I wonder if they will have a better print for their MOD, but I'm not holding my breath like the "smoke jumpers" in the movie do. By the way, I've never seen this picture. Is it any good?
Sorry, John, it looked fine to me when I checked it here and there yesterday (I would guess better than the coming MOD), but that is as far as I will go. Picture "quality" seems to be an "eye of the beholder" sort of thing and if there is anything I have learned from these (and other discussion) pages it is that many of us see different things; I don't want to be resonsible for somene spending money on something they will not think is up to snuff. Just keep in mind this will probably be the only Blu of this particular movie, unless there is a big change at Fox, be it the 20th or 21st Century version.