Waterhole #3

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brent Avery, May 13, 2005.

  1. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

    Feb 19, 2002
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    A Western (1967) by Blake Edwards - who would have thunk it. I had never even heard of this film until recently and hopefully it turns out to be a worthy addition. James Coburn heads a cast that includes Carroll O'Conner, Margaret Blye, Claude Akins, James Whitmore and Bruce Dern. It is showcased at the opening credits as a "Techniscope" production - another variation on the old Cinmascope etc. - or at least Paramount's version. If someone would like to comment on this I could always use more insight on the process. The OAR is 2:35, enhanced of course.

    The opening tune, set against some good photography is called " The Ballad Of Waterhole #3 ( Code Of The West ) sung by Roger Miller. I seem to remember his career was cut short by an untimely death. Sounded quite good, with that "studio" sound coming through nicely. Dialogue was also fine and the audio is listed as Mono but it was very clean with no distortion. As for the picture itself the transfer looks very solid with very good colors and I could not see any artifacting or damage - it looked great on my 27" tv just so those with a large display are not mislead - still I think it will hold up well. Interesting, offbeat Western comedy that I enjoyed watching. Looks like another solid effort from Paramount. Two other releases also debuting on May 17 are Blue and Johnny Reno.
  2. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Techniscope exposed frames 2, rather than 4, perforations high, using regular spherical, rather than anamorphic (Cinemascope, Panavision) lenses.

    Since the frame was half the height, a certain duration of footage could be acquired using 50% of the film, which saved on the cost of film stock. Generally it is used on low budget productions (e.g. Alfie, American Grafitti) that wanted widescreen without using expensive anamorphic lenses and more lights. For this reason some diretors like Sergio Leone opted for the format when basing their style around great depth of field.

    There is more info here:

    Technically speaking, along with SuperScope, the format is a precursor to modern Super 35. Because it is based on the same principle of acquiring widescreen footage with spherical lenses, yet using an anamorphic optical printing step to re-produce the widescreen 2.39:1 image on standard anamorphic prints.

    What I think is notable is that it was Robert Burkes last film as D.O.P. Sadly he died in a house fire, and remains quite an underated cinematographer. Of course he made a heap of academy ratio, and later VistaVision and standard 1.85:1 films for Hitchcock. But (sadly) Hitchcock never worked in a 'true' ('2.35:1') widescreen format.

    I'm interested to see the DVD to see what Burkes did working in a true widescreen format, albeit an unusual one.
  3. dave bula

    dave bula Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 7, 2004
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    I didn't look it up to make sure, but didn't Blake Edwards also direct another Western called Wild Rovers?

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