When will the 1960's films "Presented in CINERAMA" be released on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by RolandL, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    There are a number of films (see the list below), released in the 1960's that were promoted as being "In CINERAMA". When will they be released on DVD or re-released properly?

    The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm
    How The West was Won - Current DVD from a 35mm print.
    Holiday In Spain
    It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - not the complete version
    Circus World
    Mediterranean Holiday
    The Golden Head
    La Fayette
    The Story of the Flaming Years
    The Hallelujah Trail - Current DVD from a 35mm print
    Battle of The Bulge
    Cinerama’s Russian Adventure
    Khartoum - Current DVD from a 35mm print
    Grand Prix
    Custer of The West - Current DVD from a 35mm print with only mono sound
    Ice Station Zebra
    Krakatoa East of Java - Current DVD from a 35mm print with only mono sound
     
  2. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I have read discussion about this
    here in the past.
    Someone is bound to "put me right" about this,
    but i believe that the original Cinerama
    elements for many of those films are
    beyond repair....

    In addition, an argument was made (somewhere...i know
    i didnt dream it) that even on anamorphic 16 x 9,
    one still wouldnt be seeing the true cinerama
    proportions on the home screen.

    hmmm...anyone have any info on this?
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    WB shouldn't have much of a problem with How The West Was Won, but Grimm has no usable 3-panel negative.

    Oddly enough, it has been rumored that Warners will release a 2-disc DVD of the latter...
     
  4. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Cinerama was a triple 35mm (6-perforations high, instead of 5) interlocked camera system with an aspect ratio of 2.59:1 when all 35mm prints were combined. It is very, very expensive to create the prints. There are 50 reels of cut negative for How The West Was Won! The average modern film has about 13. But 35mm reduction transfers may come our way:

    The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm
    Next year from Warner. 35mm transfer.

    How The West Was Won
    I reckon that we'll se a SE of this one day, but I remain sceptical about each 6-perf 35mm print being transfered.

    Holiday In Spain
    I doubt we'll ever see this.

    It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
    Shot in 65mm Ultra Panavision at 2.75:1. Robert Harris is currently trying to restore it, but MGM seem uninterested.

    Circus World
    Shot in 35mm 8-perf Technirama. Apparently, Miramax owns the rights to all the large format Samuel Bronston films and are going to release them on DVD next year.

    Mediterranean Holiday
    Doubtful.

    The Golden Head
    Doubtful.

    La Fayette
    Doubtful.

    The Story of the Flaming Years
    Doubtful.

    The Hallelujah Trail
    I can't see this one being remastered.

    Battle of The Bulge
    Ultra Panavision. This should have been on DVD by now. Warner are sure to release it in the near future. Where Eagles Dare is selling well.

    Cinerama’s Russian Adventure
    Highly doubtful.

    Khartoum
    Super Panavsion. I can't this being remastered again from 35mm never mind 65mm.

    Grand Prix
    Super Panavision. Long overdue on DVD - we'll never get a Frankenheimer commentary now, which is a shame because he had some great production stories, ie. the exploding tea-trolley!

    Custer of The West
    Super Panavision. I can see this getting a remaster a some point, but not from 65mm.

    Ice Station Zebra
    Super Panavision. Again, I'm surprised this is not on DVD by now. Very often requested on websites.

    Krakatoa East of Java
    Doubtful we'll see a remaster.

    The Super Panavision and Technirama films were optical blow-ups from 2.21:1 65mm to 2.59:1 single-strip 70mm Super Cinerama. 2001: A Space Odyssey was also exibited in Super Panavsion.

    The bottom line is that transfering elements larger than 35mm is very expensive and the facilities for doing so are not as common as they are for 35mm transfering. Most customers don't know and don't care what a film was shot on. In an ideal world, all 65mm origination film and Cinerama films would be transfered in high-definition from interpositives made from properly restored camera negatives, but as always that takes LOT of Time and Money. High-quality 35mm reduction elements are perfectly fine for DVD transfers, as long as they are done right.


    Gordy
     
  5. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    As you've gleaned, only a handful of films on the original poster's list were actually real Cinerama (three projectors). The bulk of the films were simply large format and advertised as "Cinerama" even though they were not shot in or projected in the original process. Of course, no one posts about "Holiday in Spain" because few know what it is. What it is, in fact, is "Scent of Mystery" which was in Todd-AO and Smell-o-Vision. I really wish that would be put out on DVD but I don't even know if the elements for it exist (one can only hope). Fifteen years ago it was shown in a really cut-up version on TV in conjunction with 7-11 stores who gave customers a scratch and sniff card. However, what they showed looked like it was taped off a tv screen with a video camera - it was hideous, totally faded and a cruel joke. I saw the film first run at the old Ritz Theater here in LA and I adored it even though I'm sure it's terrible. Denholm Elliot, Diana Dors, Peter Lorre, what's not to love.
     
  6. johnbr

    johnbr Stunt Coordinator

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    And don't for get the 7 channel sound that it had.
     
  7. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Thank you for the information Gordy!

     
  8. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  9. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Holiday in Spain was purchased by Cinerama, Inc. and split into three negatives for projection in "Cinerama" in suitable theatres. It really was not filmed in the process. I saw the original Smell-O-Vision "Scent of Mystery" version. (It was filmed in Todd-70, not Todd AO.) Since the single lens Cinerama movies were not really in the process (as mentioned by Roland) and were just licensed by Cinerama, Inc. to use the logo for theatres that had the original curved Cinerama screens as "Presented In Cinerama", there are really no "Cinerama" films except for the original 5 travelogues, the 2 MGM films and the similar process "Windjammer" which Cinerama purchased. Most people saw the 70mm films in non-Cinerama theatres since there were only a handful of them. The Brothers Grimm 35mm version will have the same shortcomings as the HTWWW 35mm DVD. Fully a third each of the left and right panels will be missing. There will be times when individuals will be missing from the image on the sides. 3 panel Cinerama is not simply not suitable for flat screen home video. ALl the 70mm fake Cinerama films could be mastered to DVD from 35mm elements without any loss of the image on the sides.
     
  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    As much as I love the Cinerama process, I am SO glad that films such as Lawrence Of Arabia was not shot in the 3-strip process? Can you imagine that strife that would have caused?


    Gordy
     
  11. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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  12. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]

    Here's a glimpse of a 70mm (info corrected, see below) downconversion of a 3 panel "This Is Cinerama" scene. It is clear that approximately 20-25% of the left and right images are missing, not a 1/3rd as I previously stated but certainly more than 1/6th. No matter. 3 Panel films lose all their impact on flat television screens. The whole idea was to put the audience in the picture (which the process did most effectively). Watching on television you're just looking at a distored pretty post card.
     
  13. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    I agree that the 3-strip films should be seen at a CINERAMA theatre but, since this cannot be possible for TWWOTBG, it would be nice to at least see the movie with the best picture and sound possible on DVD. A lot of people went to see this film in 35mm after it played out at CINERAMA theatres and it's re-release in the 1970's.
     
  14. Pete SE

    Pete SE Agent

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    Roland,

    Did you ever try Brothers Grimm or HTWWW on a curved screen with your Piano FP? If you could keep it in focus on a 120 Degree curve you could almost replicate the Dome's presentation since they shaved off the 146 Degree image to 126 due to the cross reflections. That would get rid of the inherent distortion of flattening out the image. I bet the Mad World rectfied scenes on the DVD would get straightened out also.

    The AVS Forum has some instructions on building a permanent curved screen. I'm sure the curve is much less though.

    If I had a DLP or LCD FP I'd try it just for kicks.
    You could probably get a piece of luan from home depot and change the curve pretty easily and cheaply.

    Pete SE
     
  15. Pete SE

    Pete SE Agent

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    Roland,

    Since you listed the "Presented In Cinerama" films earlier.
    I always wondered why you didn't list "The Last Valley" as one of them.

    Michael Coate listed it as being "Presented In Cinerama" in his 70MM list in Wide Screen Review.

    Pete SE
     
  16. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    Some corrections:

    Khartoum
    Super Panavsion. (Actually, this was filmed in Ultra-Panavision)

    Custer of The West
    Super Panavision. (Actually filmed in Technirama)




    Michael Coate only mentions that this film was released BY Cinerama (not IN Cinerama). It was produced in Todd-AO (which Coate correctly notes on his list).
     
  17. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Although the Dome's curved screen is not up to specs, the whole Cinerama image of HTWWW was projected on to the screen according to John Sittig. It just isn't curved to 146 degrees. The DVD does not contain the complete image. You also need 3 projectors to get the extraordinary brightness of the true Cinerama images which includes more vertical information as well as horizontal. 70mm conversions are not as bright and are not as sharp and distort the overall image.
     
  18. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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  19. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Hello Pete,


     
  20. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The one thing that BG has over HTWWW is that it is 100% 3 camera Cinerama. There are no 70mm to 3 strip conversions as in the latter. Watching HTWWW at the Dome, those 70mm portions were markedly inferior in color, sharpness and brightness. And they were not wide angle shots as true Cinerama. The "smile box" process would make for an interesting release on DVD. I believe Greg Kimble developed this and probably has the rights to the process. Ah, if only the 146 degree single lens developed by Cinerama Inc could have been succesfully mated to a camera! (They couldn't get the film to go faster than 6 or 7 fps). Movie history may have been quite different in regards to wide screen projection.
     

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