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Wanted Dead Or Alive: Season One Shows are Time Compressed! (1 Viewer)

Troy EB

Grip
Joined
Sep 11, 2004
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18
I just started watching my WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE: SEASON ONE DVD set starring Steve McQueen. This is one of my favorite series of all time. I was very angry when I started watching the first episode - the sound and action is FASTER than originally. These episodes are TIME-COMPRESSED! I matched an episode with the same one on a Columbia House collector's VHS tape, and the show on the DVD ran faster.

This is such a nicely packaged set. The bonus featurettes are really great. But I can't enjoy watching the shows if they are time compressed. Did New Line Home Entertainment use the wrong masters?

I would like to hear other people's comments about this.
Steve McQueen fans have to be upset.
 

Tom.W

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
254
I'm really sorry to hear this. I was on the fence about this series, and may have upgraded if it was not time sped. But I don't need another series that requires dvd rewind to catch missed snipets of dialogue and music that sounds likes it's on 2X speed. Unfortuneately, this is a trend we're seeing more and more on with the "smaller" companies, eg. Image's timesped Combat release.

I'll be interested to hear if other people are finding Wanted: D/A to be timesped.
 

JerryK

Agent
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
41
Good to know about the time compression...on a sidenote regarding the video quality of this set, I don't know if I'm being picky but at times the video of this set seems to be sligtly unfocused and a little jittery. I've only gotten through the first couple of episodes on Side A of Disc One. Maybe it's because I was pretty tired when I started watching them, I felt like the picture was hurting my eyes. I'll have to watch some more tomorrow and see if I notice it again. I'm just wondering if I should go back to BestBuy and exchange it for another copy, maybe the copy I got is defective. I'm thinking that's probably just how it is, being that the show is from 1958 and others have stated the transfer has some problems. Any feedback is appreciated, peace!!
 

Duane Alford

Second Unit
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
310
I'm watching the last few episodes now. I have no idea if anything was sped up but I noticed one of the episodes froze up on Disc 1. I'd take it back but this is the second time I've bought something from Best Buy and there's been problems with a disc. I'd hate to try to exchange it and get another set with the same problem.
 

JeffWld

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
232


This is a common result of certain types of time compression. This is a NO SALE for me.
 

JimKr

Stunt Coordinator
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Dec 7, 2003
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94
Dumb question... why would they time compress a dvd release? Makes sense for television for more commercial time but what is the motive for a dvd? More episodes on a disc?
 

Joe Lugoff

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There really wasn't a motive. If I may put it bluntly, it was due to plain old stupidity -- they didn't know it was time compressed.

What's aggravating about so many TV series getting screwed up on DVD -- besides time compression, there are many instances of cut (syndication) episodes, or just showing the opening credits once, instead of before each episode, or any number of other things -- is that such oversights can only send sales in one direction -- down! I can't imagine a scenario where it would ever increase sales. Is there anyone out there who thinks, "I won't buy this set unless it's time compressed!"? I don't think so.

Meanwhile, the most knowledgable fans -- in other words, the segment of potential sales that should have been an absolute guarantee for the DVD release -- is the segment that ends up NOT buying the set. Something's wrong here.
 

Steve...O

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An alternate scenario is that they knew of the time compression but simply didn't feel the sales potential was strong enough to warrant paying for new transfers.

Or they thought people wouldn't notice. Truth be told, outside of a few forums like this that have knowlegable consumers, most people probably wouldn't notice.

Steve
 

JeffWld

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
232


This is much more likely the case. The production slates on the tapes provided would indicate a time-compressed format.

Checking my copies of the remastered episodes that ran on Encore about 10 years ago, the running times average 25:30. As a sample, the episode "Rawhide Breed" runs 25:35. If anyone with the DVD set can verify their running time for this episode, we'll have a reasonable idea of the amount of time-compression that may be present on the DVD versions.
 

Richard Gallagher

Reviewer
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I haven't checked it by my watch yet, but my DVD player is saying 24:33 for "Rawhide Breed."

I'll play it tomorrow and see if my watch agrees with the DVD player.
 

JeffWld

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
232
It has been suggested that because of Studio Canal's involvement with this release, it is entirely possible that the episodes have been sourced from PAL masters. This would certainly explain the approx. 1 minute-per-episode shorter running time, as well as the artifacts.
 

Richard Gallagher

Reviewer
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I just completed a comparison of the Columbia House VHS tape of the pilot ("The Martin Poster")with the DVD. The Columbia House tape runs 25:36, the DVD is a minute faster.

The theory about this set being transferred from PAL masters may be correct.
 

Jerome

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
301
The New Line DVDs seem the exact replica of studio canal releases, a few months ago in France.
 

Michael Alden

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 5, 2005
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825
I believe these are not time compressed but rather European masters, explaining the shorter running times. Since they came from France, wouldn't they be SECAM rather than PAL? In any event, they look like they are not American master tapes with the shorter running times (but not short enough for an American time compression which is typically 3 to 3:30 shorter). The interesting thing for this set is that the 3 bonus colorized episodes all come in at the correct running time. The thing I can't understand is since the show was remastered and ran on Encore not that long ago, why couldn't they just easily source those tapes?
 

Jeff#

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
1,942
I finally got around to buying Wanted: Dead or Alive yesterday, and the show is as enjoyable as when the first (and previous) time I saw the series when USA Network aired reruns of it in the 1980s.

The only thing I don't like is the bland incidental music. Since this show was produced by Four-Star Productions in the late 1950s / early 1960s and not the network (CBS) that it aired on, they didn't have access to the more melodic stock music that was heard on Have Gun, Will Travel, GUNSMOKE, The Twilight Zone, and other CBS series from that era. I DO like the opening theme though, and the completely different (and bold) end theme is almost patriotic.

As you'll notice in the next set to be released, the modified 2nd season end theme music is a major improvement though, but familiar...because it's a longer version of the opening theme music heard throughout the entire series.

The audio volume isn't consistent between episodes (and even during the same episodes), but there are much newer series that have the same problem. It was just the way Wanted: Dead or Alive was duplicated.

Although you won't see any station IDs or the CBS "Eye" camera shutter logo at the end, these shows are complete as far as I'm concerned. If there were any abrupt edits, they would be noticeable.

The Studio Canal-produced documentary on the show on the second disc is wrong on one point. They said there were 117 episodes. They probably were going on the fact that 39 episodes a year was the norm back then, and applied that to this show. But there were exceptions to the rule even then. In fact, there are 36 episodes from the first season and only 94 for the entire series -- not 117.

Visually, the 3rd season opening of Steve McQueen walking down the street to take a wanted poster off the wall was re-filmed. That was also the year in which Wanted: Dead or Alive had its only comedy late in the season. An embarrased Josh Randall is hired by a sheep herder to find a missing lamb, and he is mocked by cattlemen in the process! :D
 

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