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Press Release Warner Archive Collection Announcement: Northwest Passage (1940) (Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

Paul Penna

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Not that I am aware. I vaguely recall when someone asked George Feltenstein if Ultra Resolution process was being used on a new blu ray and he responded no their current process of digitally recombining the 3 strips was superior to the Ultra Resolution process . Sorry I could not be more specific.
He said that the current system used many more points of reference in each frame, which enables them to get the three strips in more precise register.
 

Alan Tully

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Of course to have these old 3-strip Technicolor films looking great, they need to still have all the nitrate originals & that’s a lot of rolls of very old & volatile film stock. It’s great that so many have survived. Fox got rid of theirs & the Fox release of many of their old Technicolor films (from dupes) looked pretty bad to me.
 

lark144

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I don't think I've seen this film since the gorgeous nitrate 35mm print that MGM supplied MoMA in 1974. It's a spectacular adventure filmed by the great King Vidor.
Edit: at a distance of 50 years, I think that the print shown at MoMA was a safety IB Technicolor.
I was under the impression I saw it at the KIng Vidor retro, not MGM; the one where at the press conference, John Simon of New York Magazine, that critic who was always defending good taste in cinema, asked Mr. Vidor why he made such moronic films. I recall Mr. Vidor laughing uncontrollably in response.

In any case, NORTHWEST PASSAGE looked really spectacular, similar to a nitrate, rich hues and bold tones. The reds in particular were extraordinary, almost seeming to float on air, but I think you're correct, I remember it being a safety print. I haven't watched it since either. I almost bought the MOD a few weeks ago, as I had a hankering to see it again. Glad I waited.
 

bujaki

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I was under the impression I saw it at the KIng Vidor retro, not MGM; the one where at the press conference, John Simon of New York Magazine, that critic who was always defending good taste in cinema, asked Mr. Vidor why he made such moronic films. I recall Mr. Vidor laughing uncontrollably in response.

In any case, NORTHWEST PASSAGE looked really spectacular, similar to a nitrate, rich hues and bold tones. The reds in particular were extraordinary, almost seeming to float on air, but I think you're correct, I remember it being a safety print. I haven't watched it since either. I almost bought the MOD a few weeks ago, as I had a hankering to see it again. Glad I waited.
Yes, it could have been at either retrospective. I remembered that MGM had transferred almost all their films to safety stock. The nitrate prints we got were from other archives.
 

lark144

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Yes, it could have been at either retrospective. I remembered that MGM had transferred almost all their films to safety stock. The nitrate prints we got were from other archives.
The only 3-strip nitrate prints from US archives I remember being screened at MOMA were from Eastman House.
 

David_B_K

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Yet, it has the feel of an epic adventure, like STANLEY AND LIVINGSTON or KING SOLOMON'S MINES. I wish that MGM had continued on, not with the second half of the novel, which is slow and uneventful, but with adaptations of other Kenneth Roberts historical epics, such as Arundel and Rabble In Arms. Reading those books, I found them to be very cinematic. Both are rousing adventures, and I could see the movies that might be made from them clearly in my head.
I do not know anyone other than myself who reads old Kenneth Roberts books. Years ago my wife had an old paperback of Rabble in Arms that she thought I might like because I am a history buff. I was going to read it, but I stumbled across Arundel in a used book store and started with that and then read Rabble in Arms. That worked out well since the events in Arundel (Arnold's Quebec expedition) occur before those in Rabble in Arms (climaxing with the battle of Saratoga).

I followed those with Northwest Passage and Boon Island. I still have a few other Roberts books laying around that I have not gotten around to.
 

Alan Tully

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It was a very nice surprise seeing this announced, I thought the film elements were in a bad way. I've read info to that effect online over the years, but maybe that came from the same source that has everything not on Blu-ray with Criterion. Looking forward to some very rich colour.
 

Robert Crawford

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It was a very nice surprise seeing this announced, I thought the film elements were in a bad way. I've read info to that effect online over the years, but maybe that came from the same source that has everything not on Blu-ray with Criterion. Looking forward to some very rich colour.
The 4K digital process took about 2.5 years according to George Feltenstein.
 

Robert Harris

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Answering much earlier query re difficulty of 3-strip scans to 4k. Most problematic in past were later safety scans, because of shrinkage, but generally overcome today.
 

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