West Side Story 2-Disc SE Due April!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jake Lipson, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    Tonight, tonight, tonight I am one happy DVD fanatic.
    In the last few months, I've almost become sick of West Side Story from repeated viewings; I'd seen it in music class in sixth grade and a couple times via Blockbuster, and while no rentings were within a few months, I remembered it vividly enough to almost recite it at that point. Then a few months back I saw the high school do a theatrical performance, and we watched it in music (a different class than before) shortly afterword. And yet, becoming so sick of it made me love it all the more, and I despaired when I found out I couldn't own a copy because MGM had pulled it OOP. This prompted me to request it in Peter's 'MGM wants you' request thread at the DVDFile boards:
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Hmmmmmmmmm....I wonder if there is going to be a less expensive edition...without the scrapbook I mean.

    This seems rather pricey for an MGM 2-disc SE.
     
  3. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    If there is, I'd still get the one with the scrapbook.

    I figure that the scrapbook is the reason it's $40. A basic version would probably retail for $30ish.

    But then the non-anamorphic barebones disc that's now out-of-print is basic, too. If you want to save some cash and don't want the book, ebay it; I'm sure some Average Jane who loves the movie but hasn't upgraded to DVD will gladly take it off your hands. "Available From MGM Exclusively With the Two-Disc Special Edition DVD, A West Side Story Scrapbook Featuring the Original Working Script and More! Own It Today!" would probably sell to an Average Joe.

    Still, $40 is retail; Dave's Roundup can probably save us all some cash. I'd expect it to be knocked down to $24.99-$29.99 first week.

    I'll buy it anyway, though. It's about time it got this kind of treatment. I can't think of a more deserving movie in MGM's catalog.
     
  4. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    The current OOP disc is anamorphic. I'm ebaying that disc and I am going to upgrade to the SE.
     
  5. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    I'll just be happy if they'll correct the missing Jet whistle at the end of the Tonight Ensemble number. It was gone on the MGM disc, like the missing line from 2001.
     
  6. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hey Jake, I'm psyched too. Will DEFINITELY upgrade. But the old disc IS anamorphic.
    Looks pretty decent too...
    It's a shame people are gouging people for $50.00 on Ebay for this. Especially now that there is a new transfer which should look better.
    [​IMG] D
     
  7. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    I don't think people on ebay are gouging anyone. They put their stuff up for sale and others bid on them. If people gouge themselves what's wrong with that?
     
  8. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I really can't see anything to improve on the image of the original DVD which looked pretty damn good. I would guess MGM/UA will use the same transfer and just add the intermission etc.
     
  9. Paul-Gunther

    Paul-Gunther Stunt Coordinator

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    Cool. I literally just sold my old MGM version on ebay two weeks ago. Good timing!
     
  10. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    MGMs sayng they have original intermission and restored intermission music is odd in that the film did NOT have an intermission music. Director Robert Wise briefly mentions this in the original soundtrack LP.
     
  11. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Screenwriter

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    Ok, my mistake. So the oldie is anamorphic. But it's still pretty lame in extras. However, the SE will make up for it big time.

    I'm just suprised and annoyed at the absense of a Robert Wise audio commentary. His commentary on The Sound of Music is very insightful and I would have enjoyed hearing him discuss West Side Story. Ah well. It seems packed enough as it is.

    Bring on April!!
     
  12. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    I also believe that Robt. Harris mentioned some time ago that the film really needs a proper restoration, as one has never truly been done. I wonder if this is still the case? It would be a shame if MGM let this opportunity for just such a restoration go by. The thing was filmed in 70mm fer goodness sake! It has the potential to be absolutely stunning.
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Overall, the original release is pretty good in terms of picture and sound. Of course, my previous benchmark was the Criterion Laserdisc which was not exactly their finest hour. Having never seen it in a theater, I have no reference for how it should sound, but for a 384kbps DD track, it actually sounds less harsh and digital than a lot of recent releases. I chalk this up to two things. The first is that they seemed to have avoided using any kind of heavy digital noise reduction. The second is that the surrounds are used fairly sparingly, which makes DD encoding more efficient.

    Regards,
     
  14. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    i heard on the radio yesterday (before reading any news of a rerelease) that there'd be a new West Side Story DVD and that it'd feature Natalie Woods actual singing (as a supplement/alternative track of course). if this is true that's be interesting!
     
  15. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    I'm not entirely sure that they ever recorded Natalie Wood singing the songs. Wasn't the intention from the beginning to dub her vocals?
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    There have been a few media stories on it in places like USA Today, and I think Joe Caps covered it in a different thread. The gist of it is that Natalie Wood wanted to do her own singing and they may have at one point toyed with the idea of Marni Nixon "helping" on the especially difficult passages. They did record Natalie Wood singing a song or two, but in the end they decided to go with Marni Nixon throughout. It's hard to argue with the results when Nixon sings so well in character.

    Regards,
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Not only is the existing OOP version 16x9, but it sets a *reference* for picture quality. Truely stunning. And yes, the audio is excellent as well.

    Extras aside, I'm really interested to see if the new version can beat the old in terms of picture and sound. Naturally I hope it does...that will just make it even easier to upgrade to the SE.

    -dave
     
  18. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    I just saw this last night (with Robert Wise sitting about 10 feet away!), and you can read my impressions here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=116994
    In short, it was a 35mm Tech IB print from the 60's, and it looked incredible. Only problems was a few scratches. The sound 6-track mag provided especially for the screening, and it sounded better than just about anything I've ever heard in a theater. Just incredible, and I've never heard a DVD sound this good. Granted, much of it has to do with the original recording, and the theater it was shown in, but there is the potential for a future DVD to sound spectacular. I enjoyed the sound so much, I'm thinking of looking for the DTS LD.
    At the end of the screening, the Academy rep expressed the hope that they could partner on a 65mm restoration.
    And there was definitely no intermission!
     
  19. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    According to Marni Nixon, She was hired early on for the dubbing of Natalie Wood, but Natalie recorded all the songs herself. Nixon was to help on the high notes. I actually have some recordings of Natalie singing (She sounds a lot like Marni Nixon but quite shakey) Nixon did some of the higher notes.

    After the film was completed Natalie agreed to have Marni Nixon record all of the singing. Richard Beymer was dubbed by Jimmy Bryant long before Natalie and his voice is on the recordings I've heard with Natalie's voice.

    Nice to have theses cleaned up and included on the DVD, Any from MGM listening?

    Natalie sounds pretty good (Nothing like in "Gypsy" where she seems to be singing an octave lower)if the film was made today she may have gotten by with her own singing.

    Marni Nixon also sang the "Tonight" section for Rita Moreno in the "Quintet" Betty Wand voiced "A Boy Like That" while Moreno sang "Amercia" and the "We're gonna mix it tonight" section of the "Quintet" herself.

    On another note - Tucker Smith(Ice) dubbed "The Jet Song" for Russ Tamblim (who does sing "Officer Krupkee")

    George Charkis does his own singing.
     
  20. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Jonathan,

    Thanks for sharing the excitement. Wow...how cool! Seeing these films projected under such wonderful circumstances...not to mention the *audience* you got to share it with...really is a wonderful thing. Who was it who had a similar experience with Hello Dolly a few months back...was that you too?

    Clearly I'm living next to the wrong theater!!!

    dave
     

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