Indicator’s FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG

3 Stars

Does anyone else have this? I’ve been very happy with their releases in general, but this one looks quite off to me. I know they can only use the transfers the licensors provide them with, but this looks little better than the DVD-R Columbia released a few years ago in terms of the color*. Was it filmed to look this way? The supplements are fantastic as usual, though. Overall glad to have it in HD.

*Although it carries the credit line “Color by Technicolor,” I know it wasn’t filmed in the “3-strip” process

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Kevin Collins

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34 Comments

  1. I have this. It looks pretty damn nice to my eyes. Ditto THE PUMPKIN EATER, THE BORDER and every film on the two Harryhausen box sets, all of which came in the mail two days ago. I think Indicator has taken the Criterion model and gone even further with it — the special features are bursting at the seams, and the booklets (between 25-40 pages long) are gorgeous.

  2. I didn’t have a problem with the color but the picture was rather soft at times. Excellent presentation by Indicator as always. Very entertaining film which for some reason seems to have been largely ignored over the years.

  3. J. Casey

    Ok, perhaps this is the film's intended look. I was expecting more vibrant color. Great film, anyway. Thanks for the input!

    You are correct, the others are wrong. Sony has not restored this – it's an old master from a fading internegative. Pretty simple.

  4. haineshisway

    You are correct, the others are wrong. Sony has not restored this – it's an old master from a fading internegative. Pretty simple.

    That's what I was afraid of…..skin tones look sick in interiors especially. Thanks for the input.

  5. haineshisway

    You are correct, the others are wrong.

    Dick

    I have this. It looks pretty damn nice to my eyes.

    You were wrong, Rick! This does NOT look pretty damn nice to your eyes.

    Douglas R

    I didn’t have a problem with the color but the picture was rather soft at times.

    Ditto you, Douglas: you DID have a problem with the colour, but just didn’t know it.

    My copy arrived on Thursday. I’ll be viewing it soon and then checking in with Bruce to see whether I was right or wrong in how my eyes responded to it. 🙂 (Do you have any idea how much it pained me to force myself to include an emoji for clarity’s sake?)

  6. With color there is only right or wrong. If people think wrong looks fine, I suppose that's peachy keen. But someone has to point out (and it ain't just me) that the color on this disc is anything but fine or correct. Beyond that I cannot control what people find acceptable or not acceptable. And I don't need an emoji – but here's one anyway, just to keep up with you. 🙂

  7. david hare

    THis was made several months after the last three strip feature in the UK, The Ladykillers. The new Indicator encode looks like it was was mastered from an Eastman recomb. It's very brown and gray.

    Exactly. That's three of us.

  8. J. Casey

    That's what I was afraid of…..skin tones look sick in interiors especially. Thanks for the input.

    Loved the film.

    Agree with Jason that the skin tones in interior shots especially looked ashen (“sick”) …and fluctuating. Then again, I was looking out for that after having read the comments here before watching.

    However, my better half didn’t know about any of this, and she spontaneously asked at one point whether the colours looked “a bit weird”.

    Glad to have bought this Blu, and if it gets a better master at some point, shall gladly upgrade, as I greatly enjoyed the movie.

  9. Actually, I was tickled that you would tell folk that they were “wrong” in expressing their purely subjective opinion. They hadn’t said “the colour is…” but rather “to my eyes” and …”I didn’t have a problem”.

    I also expressed my subjective opinion of the film after watching it, which as it happens agrees that the colour was lacking. Not saying I’m objectively right – simply that that’s how I saw it.

    Have you seen this Blu by the way? You didn’t say so, but I’m presuming that you must have done.

  10. Wow, there's an awful lot of sarcasm going on in this thread. This shouldn't be an us-versus-them discussion like our politics have become. In my post above I said it looked "pretty damned nice to my eyes," and it does. Not perfect, no. But opinions are personal and often even unique, and our eyes do not necessarily see the way those of others do for any number of reasons. I don't see any cause for people to be establishing a Hatfield v. McCoys-type of atmosphere in this or any other thread where so-and-so has this many proponents and the "others" have that many. I acknowledge without argument that there are more knowledgeable participants in this discussion than I when it comes to color stocks and prints and whatnot. I can only go by what I see myself, and what I perceive to be normal or natural to me. This also goes for the long-running teal vs. not teal disagreements in this forum. Frankly, I think there is no right or wrong here. I might be just slightly colorblind for one or more hues and don't even know it. Maybe we all are to varying degrees!

    FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK looks decent to me, and that is all that is important to me.

    Oh…:)

  11. RMajidi

    Actually, I was tickled that you would tell folk that they were “wrong” in expressing their purely subjective opinion. They hadn’t said “the colour is…” but rather “to my eyes” and …”I didn’t have a problem”.

    I also expressed my subjective opinion of the film after watching it, which as it happens agrees that the colour was lacking. Not saying I’m objectively right – simply that that’s how I saw it.

    Have you seen this Blu by the way? You didn’t say so, but I’m presuming that you must have done.

    Gee, I don't know, what do you think? Think I'd be commenting based on – what exactly? Screen caps? As you know, I don't comment on screen caps.

  12. Dick

    Wow, there's an awful lot of sarcasm going on in this thread. This shouldn't be an us-versus-them discussion like our politics have become. In my post above I said it looked "pretty damned nice to my eyes," and it does. Not perfect, no. But opinions are personal and often even unique, and our eyes do not necessarily see the way those of others do for any number of reasons. I don't see any cause for people to be establishing a Hatfield v. McCoys-type of atmosphere in this or any other thread where so-and-so has this many proponents and the "others" have that many. I acknowledge without argument that there are more knowledgeable participants in this discussion than I when it comes to color stocks and prints and whatnot. I can only go by what I see myself, and what I perceive to be normal or natural to me. This also goes for the long-running teal vs. not teal disagreements in this forum. Frankly, I think there is no right or wrong here. I might be just slightly colorblind for one or more hues and don't even know it. Maybe we all are to varying degrees!

    FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK looks decent to me, and that is all that is important to me.

    Oh…:)

    But here was my simple point, as posted above: But someone has to point out (and it ain't just me) that the color on this disc is anything but fine or correct. Beyond that I cannot control what people find acceptable or not acceptable.

  13. haineshisway

    Gee, I don't know, what do you think? Think I'd be commenting based on – what exactly? Screen caps? As you know, I don't comment on screen caps.

    What do I think?

    Well, since you ask, I thought it might have been another case of you warning members away from a competitor’s master because Twilight Time might have rejected it. But if you say you’ve actually seen it with your own eyes (and your statement above sarcastically implies this, although doesn’t categorically state it), then that’s fine.

    I value other folks’ opinions as well as yours on HTF, and would not wish for self-censorship to creep into the mix, with members holding back from expressing their subjective take lest their views be publicly slammed by haughty, self-appointed judgments such as ‘you’re right…they’re wrong…pretty simple’.

  14. You think it's haughty and that's fine for you to think that. I don't know what "self-appointed judgments" means – I clearly said the people who posted they thought the color was off were right and that those who said it wasn't were wrong. That, for me, is not subjective at all – it's the truth. I'm not guessing that the color's wrong, it IS wrong. From the get-go you have been taking this to rather silly extremes and creating drama where none was intended. I "slammed" no one here. I don't "warn" people away from anything, I speak the truth when companies release older masters – I would do that whether it was Twilight Time or anyone else. Twilight Time didn't reject Footsteps in the Fog – Sony will not license older masters to them. I've said it before, I'm saying it now – at some point you'll understand that, I'm hoping. You try to make this about everything other than what it's about. And the bottom line is, of course, that you, too, felt the color was off and so did your wife.

    I should think at this point everyone has had their say and should stop this silliness and post about the movie itself or whatever. But you should truly stop fanning the flames or, in fact, creating the flames.

  15. I hesitate to say more about this release, but…….

    I've looked back at my 2011 DVD-R from Columbia and done some comparisons with the new Indicator blu ray. I can only judge by my eyes, but the transfer is obviously from the same source (same dingy, muted color). Love the movie, but the presentation is a bit disappointing in that a new transfer wasn't done. Despite that, I heartily recommend it for the simple reason that I doubt we'll ever see a newer HD transfer of this title. Indicator's supplements are also wonderful to have and add quite a bit of value to the package. They just worked with what they were given by Sony.

    It's not awful, just disappointing and likely not the way it looked upon release in 1955.

  16. haineshisway

    You think it's haughty and that's fine for you to think that. I don't know what "self-appointed judgments" means – I clearly said the people who posted they thought the color was off were right and that those who said it wasn't were wrong. That, for me, is not subjective at all – it's the truth. I'm not guessing that the color's wrong, it IS wrong. From the get-go you have been taking this to rather silly extremes and creating drama where none was intended. I "slammed" no one here. I don't "warn" people away from anything, I speak the truth when companies release older masters – I would do that whether it was Twilight Time or anyone else. Twilight Time didn't reject Footsteps in the Fog – Sony will not license older masters to them. I've said it before, I'm saying it now – at some point you'll understand that, I'm hoping. You try to make this about everything other than what it's about. And the bottom line is, of course, that you, too, felt the color was off and so did your wife.

    I should think at this point everyone has had their say and should stop this silliness and post about the movie itself or whatever. But you should truly stop fanning the flames or, in fact, creating the flames.

    It’s just as well that this discussion has been about colour, as you’ve now turned black into white in attempting to mischaracterise what’s gone before and completely sidestepped the point I was making.

    In deference to Jason who’s been a forbearing host, I won’t take issue with your false assertions against me, but will state for the record that you did not actually ever answer the fair, relevant and totally appropriate question: have you seen this Blu-ray with your own eyes?

    As to the rest, the preceding posts remain, and speak for themselves.

  17. I can tell you for a fact that FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG was shot 3-strip Technicolor original negative.

    I don't know what the source for the new Indicator Blu-ray was and I haven't seen it yet. It's sitting on my desk at the moment and I hope to watch it this evening and will report back.

    But even HD masters that were made a decade ago would still have had to pass by Mr. Crisp's department, so Indicator's digital source should be good even if it wasn't made from a recent 4K scan.

  18. RMajidi

    It’s just as well that this discussion has been about colour, as you’ve now turned black into white in attempting to mischaracterise what’s gone before and completely sidestepped the point I was making.

    In deference to Jason who’s been a forbearing host, I won’t take issue with your false assertions against me, but will state for the record that you did not actually ever answer the fair, relevant and totally appropriate question: have you seen this Blu-ray with your own eyes?

    As to the rest, the preceding posts remain, and speak for themselves.

    Here was the final line of my previous post: "I should think at this point everyone has had their say and should stop this silliness and post about the movie itself or whatever. But you should truly stop fanning the flames or, in fact, creating the flames."

    And yet, on you go. I have asked you to stop, please do so. I think I have answered your rather silly question about whether I've seen the Blu-ray ("Gee, I don't know, what do you think? Think I'd be commenting based on – what exactly? Screen caps? As you know, I don't comment on screen caps") but since you need it spelled out in carefully worded English: Yes, I have seen this Blu-ray with my own eyes. If I can make that clearer for you do let me know. You have accused me of all manner of things here – and yes, it's all there for people to see. And I'm done responding to you in this thread. You can, as seems to be necessary for you, have the final word, whatever it may be. But since, as I said in my last post, we both have made the points we wish to make, you should, in fact, stop.

  19. Eastmancolor

    I can tell you for a fact that FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG was shot 3-strip Technicolor original negative.

    I don't know what the source for the new Indicator Blu-ray was and I haven't seen it yet. It's sitting on my desk at the moment and I hope to watch it this evening and will report back.

    But even HD masters that were made a decade ago would still have had to pass by Mr. Crisp's department, so Indicator's digital source should be good even if it wasn't made from a recent 4K scan.

    I thought the final three-strip film was prior to this film? At least from what I can tell the last American film shot in three-strip was in 1954 with Foxfire. Is that not correct or does Footsteps in the Fog count as a British film and were they still doing it in the UK? Confusing. HD masters made a decade ago would have had to pass Mr. Crisp's department THEN just as the previous restoration of A Matter of Life and Death's HD master passed his department THEN and we all know that story in terms of its quality as compared to the new transfer, right? We all know that. So, what Mr. Crisp did or did not do a decade ago is irrelevant as to what his standards are today in terms of what he will allow released to various companies. You are hearing clearly that this is the same source that was used for the 2011 DVD-R from Sony and that is very obvious from even the ill-taken caps at the Beaver. So be sure to let us know how this looks like a three-strip Technicolor film of that era or if it, in fact, looks nothing like it or even a proper Eastmancolor unfaded negative from that era.

  20. J. Casey

    I hesitate to say more about this release, but…….

    I've looked back at my 2011 DVD-R from Columbia and done some comparisons with the new Indicator blu ray. I can only judge by my eyes, but the transfer is obviously from the same source (same dingy, muted color). Love the movie, but the presentation is a bit disappointing in that a new transfer wasn't done. Despite that, I heartily recommend it for the simple reason that I doubt we'll ever see a newer HD transfer of this title. Indicator's supplements are also wonderful to have and add quite a bit of value to the package. They just worked with what they were given by Sony.

    It's not awful, just disappointing and likely not the way it looked upon release in 1955.

    Exactly and as I point out in Jim Harwood's post, it is obvious it's the same master by simply looking at the Beaver's caps – I hate his caps, but you can see that it's exactly the same save for the added resolution. The rest I agree with completely.

  21. haineshisway

    I thought the final three-strip film was prior to this film? At least from what I can tell the last American film shot in three-strip was in 1954 with Foxfire. Is that not correct or does Footsteps in the Fog count as a British film and were they still doing it in the UK?

    Have personally seen the cans. FOOTSTEPS was 3-strip photography originally.

  22. haineshisway

    Here was the final line of my previous post: "I should think at this point everyone has had their say and should stop this silliness and post about the movie itself or whatever. But you should truly stop fanning the flames or, in fact, creating the flames."

    And yet, on you go. I have asked you to stop, please do so. I think I have answered your rather silly question about whether I've seen the Blu-ray ("Gee, I don't know, what do you think? Think I'd be commenting based on – what exactly? Screen caps? As you know, I don't comment on screen caps") but since you need it spelled out in carefully worded English: Yes, I have seen this Blu-ray with my own eyes. If I can make that clearer for you do let me know. You have accused me of all manner of things here – and yes, it's all there for people to see. And I'm done responding to you in this thread. You can, as seems to be necessary for you, have the final word, whatever it may be. But since, as I said in my last post, we both have made the points we wish to make, you should, in fact, stop.

    Glad you cleared that up in plain English sans double-talk (and I do accept you at your word without reservation), because the notion had started to grow that it would be unlikely that you of all people would pay money into Indicator’s coffers for what you already knew to be an old master… A notion borne of seeing you repeatedly run interference against Indicator across multiple threads actively discouraging members from buying their offerings (and this is coming from a Twilight Time fan whose TT collection outpaces Indicator titles by a factor of approx 20 to 1).

    As to your “you should”… “you should” edicts, be very clear that I don’t take instruction from you. If you are sincere about letting the matter rest, then don’t follow it up with a few extra kicks on the way out, as you have done with your false assertions in two consecutive posts.

    To the mooted notion of colours being right or wrong in the absolute, that is a fallacy. There is no such thing as absolutes going from an analogue to digital representation – only varying degrees of approximation. This is what makes it even more fascinating for me to read a diverse range of responses and recollections to a new release, whether or not they coincide with my own view of same.

    You are clearly an intelligent man with a firm grasp of the English language. I, for one, find it hard to accept that you can’t tell the difference between a person saying: “to my eyes…” versus “this is…” The only way you can sit in judgment of a statement such as “to my eyes” and proclaim it right or wrong is if you can magically see through that person’s eyes.

    If members can’t even express that level of explicit subjectivity, then this stops becoming a discussion forum. We might as well forget about seeking each others’ views and opinions and ask for your proclamation on the matter instead.

    If you genuinely can’t see that that’s been my point here, then I’m surprised.

  23. Eastmancolor

    I can tell you for a fact that FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG was shot 3-strip Technicolor original negative.

    I don't know what the source for the new Indicator Blu-ray was and I haven't seen it yet. It's sitting on my desk at the moment and I hope to watch it this evening and will report back.

    But even HD masters that were made a decade ago would still have had to pass by Mr. Crisp's department, so Indicator's digital source should be good even if it wasn't made from a recent 4K scan.

    Can you quote your source for that? It was released in August 55, prior to Ladykillers in December 55 but Richard Haines book on Tehcnicolor does not list it as a three strip production for 1955..

    In any case Indicator's disc is extremely good on the PQ front in every respect except color – rez, grain management, sharpness, grading timing. But it looks nothing like mid fifties UK three strip, and never holds true for primaries or accents.

  24. david hare

    Can you quote your source for that? It was released in August 55, prior to Ladykillers in December 55 but Richard Haines book on Tehcnicolor does not list it as a three strip production for 1955..

    In any case Indicator's disc is extremely good on the PQ front in every respect except color – rez, grain management, sharpness, grading timing. But it looks nothing like mid fifties UK three strip, and never holds true for primaries or accents.

    My source for that is myself. I work in film preservation and I have personally seen the original 3-strip negative.

    I watched the new Blu-ray this evening and I agree it's not all that it could be, but it's still a very watchable transfer.

    Some scenes look very nice, others are weaker. The sequence where Bill Travers picks up Belinda Lee's character in his car has significant registration issues.

    A good film to be sure. Jean Simmons is wonderful in it. I'm glad to have the disc but here's hoping one day it gets an upgrade.

  25. I throw up my hands (no mean feat) 🙂 Let's see if we can put on our thinking caps and see why I might have made this purchase, shall we? I like the film? Could that be it? Perhaps the same reason I put money into Indicator's coffers when I purchased the older master for Mickey One – I like the film. As to the rest, not worth dignifying and I shan't.

    On to the non-inflammatory posts: I'm fascinated that this title is listed nowhere as a three-strip production a year after the last one in America and supposedly after the last one in England. Seems kind of a major faux pas to me. And yes, it's watchable even with the brown, pasty color. I think there are many here who know what this should really look like, especially David Hare.

  26. Bruce to be fair Indicator are doing a lot of relessing of first time titles to home vid. They do have a terrific team there including Dave Mackenzie who knows and loves what film grain and texture is all about. Sometimes the masters they get from Sony are good enough to yield excellent results. Antonioni’s the Passenger for instance for which they had the video master from ca. 2008. Short of a new 4k from O neg it’s the best it can currently look Between them and TT we’re getting a lot of quality. This is just one of those not quite there things.

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