This film is owned by MGM. As they are now licensing their titles out to various companies.

I put together a letter with the request to reproduce the audio in its original theatrical format.<br />
For those interested I have reproduced the letter below.

I don’t know who is eventually going to release this (eg. Kino Lorber, Fox, Shout Factory, Criterion), any support on this issue from interested members would be appreciated………..

“With the knowledge that MGM are now licensing their library to other companies such as Kino Lorber, Twilight Time and yourselves, I wanted to alert you to a title that might be coming up in the future to one of you.

It is Ken Russell’s film on Tchaikovsky, “THE MUSIC LOVERS” (1971). My main concern is with the audio. This film was released several years before the Dolby technology ‘DOLBY STEREO’ (Lt Rt) was introduced. Films with stereo mixes were recorded on magnetic stripes on the film. 35mm had four stripes, 70mm had six. “THE MUSIC LOVERS” was mixed and released as a four-track discrete track in theaters that were installed with magnetic playback facilities.

When “THE MUSIC LOVERS” was released on laserdisc, the technology was not then available to playback multi-channel audio. Of course, that is now in the past and multi-channel is the norm for all new releases today.

The two-track which is likely to be on the HD master provided to you is not the original intended format. You would likely have to specially request the LCRS (Left, Center, Right and Surround, if any) master to be accessed for transfer.

The two-track was made as a result of the limitations of the technology at the time and compromises the performance of the sound. Some people have or do not know the experience of the difference between a discrete LCR and a LR mixed-down track.

I would therefore plead with you to go the extra mile (and possible expense!) to see that this film receives the best treatment it deserves which is your aim, after all”.
Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Published by

S

Stephen PI

member

Paul Rossen

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
1,108
I saw The Music Lovers during its original Roadshow run in London and I'm pretty sure that I saw the film in 70mm. There was of course an Overture, Intermission and Entr'acte. To say that the sound was spectacular is an understatement. I only hope as you do that whoever releases The Music Lovers on BluRay does justice to its original sound design.

Ps. I believe that Criterion will be releasing this film though I wouldn't bet on it....
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Stephen_J_H

All Things Film Junkie
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Messages
6,528
Location
North of the 49th
Real Name
Stephen J. Hill
Russell was also one of the filmmakers utilising the Quintaphonic format in later years. Tommy was released in Quintaphonic, and while rumous persist that Lisztomania also used this format, it was actually one of the first films to have a Dolby Stereo track.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Angelo Colombus

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
2,525
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo Colombus
The MGM HD cable channel will show The Music Lovers early tomorrow morning. It is listed at 2 hours and 45 minutes and in HD but they will show commercials. Have never seen it but i am curious about it and it's director so will set my dvr to record it and will watch it tomorrow night.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,760
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
Yeah, I keep wondering what the holdup is with this film. After all this time, one of MGMs ropey old HD transfers just won't do. I wonder if any of the usual suspects have licensed it (Criterion, Arrow, Eureka ect.). A tasty new transfer on a great looking Blu-ray from someone this year would be very welcome :)
 

lark144

Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
1,334
Real Name
mark gross
If it is indeed Criterion, they have a tendency to sit on things for an inordinate length of time. It might also be the music, which came from a recording of Andre Previn with the LSO. It's possible the rights were owned by EMI, which I think is now controled by UMG, or maybe even Previn's estate has some say in it? Often these films don't see the light of day, or the darkness of one's home theater, because in the intervening decades, the music rights have suddenly become labyrinthine, not to mention pricey.
 

Ken Koc

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
2,227
Location
New York
Real Name
Ken Koc
The MGM HD cable channel will show The Music Lovers early tomorrow morning. It is listed at 2 hours and 45 minutes and in HD but they will show commercials. Have never seen it but i am curious about it and it's director so will set my dvr to record it and will watch it tomorrow night.
A few years ago I was able to buy an HD streaming version on Amazon
 

Angelo Colombus

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
2,525
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo Colombus
Viewed the first 10 minutes of it on the MGM HD channel and it looks good for a tv broadcast with bright colors but there is some film damage here and there. Audio sounds impressive so i will watch the rest of it tonight.
 

Angelo Colombus

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
2,525
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo Colombus
I just finished watching the movie and i had the same problem with his other film Valentino which is excessive, melodramatic and self-indulgent. There were many scenes where i was laughing at the screen and in my option Richard Chamberlain was wrong for the part. The crazy camerawork by the great Douglas Slocombe and the overloud music added to disappointment and on top of that the print used by MGM had alot of blurry scenes in the background. I wanted to like this film since i like the composer's music but at the end of the film i was shaking my head.
 

Angelo Colombus

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
2,525
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo Colombus
Until a few minutes ago, I thought the name Ken Russell was something Monty Python came up with.

It's funny Andrew that you bring up Monty Python because while i was watching the film i was thinking about them and that parts of the film could have been a Monty Python skit. It would have been a better film if Monty Python did it...and funnier.
 

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,760
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
I just finished watching the movie and i had the same problem with his other film Valentino which is excessive, melodramatic and self-indulgent. There were many scenes where i was laughing at the screen and in my option Richard Chamberlain was wrong for the part. The crazy camerawork by the great Douglas Slocombe and the overloud music added to disappointment and on top of that the print used by MGM had alot of blurry scenes in the background. I wanted to like this film since i like the composer's music but at the end of the film i was shaking my head.

Ha, we're talking Ken Russell here, so excessive, melodramatic and self-indulgent, seem about right. Ken does his own thing, & makes a Ken Russell film (that is, a film that no one else would ever make, very much like Quintin Tarantino does). I can't defend The Music Lovers, as it's been so long since I last saw it, but I'd buy the Blu-ray (& Listomania & Mahler).
 

RichMurphy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 15, 2005
Messages
592
Location
Alexandria, VA
Real Name
Rich
Ha, we're talking Ken Russell here, so excessive, melodramatic and self-indulgent, seem about right. Ken does his own thing, & makes a Ken Russell film (that is, a film that no one else would ever make, very much like Quintin Tarantino does). I can't defend The Music Lovers, as it's been so long since I last saw it, but I'd buy the Blu-ray (& Listomania & Mahler).

As a big Ken Russell fan since the early 1970s, I think your comparison to Quentin Tarantino is spot on. Both often opt for style over substance, yet on occasion can extract brilliant performances from actors if the actors are game enough.

When the BBC created a wonderful Blu-Ray of WOMEN IN LOVE, which eventually reached American shores thanks to Criterion, I had hoped that THE MUSIC LOVERS would be next. Alas, I am still waiting.
 

Angelo Colombus

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
2,525
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo Colombus
I did like Billion Dollar Brain, Tommy, and Altered States so let me say i did like the opportunity of seeing The Music Lovers for the first time and happy that other folks like it. If i have the opportunity to see The Devils for the first time i will watch it too.
 

David_B_K

Advanced Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
2,163
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
David
I just finished watching the movie and i had the same problem with his other film Valentino which is excessive, melodramatic and self-indulgent. There were many scenes where i was laughing at the screen and in my option Richard Chamberlain was wrong for the part. The crazy camerawork by the great Douglas Slocombe and the overloud music added to disappointment and on top of that the print used by MGM had alot of blurry scenes in the background. I wanted to like this film since i like the composer's music but at the end of the film i was shaking my head.
I have mixed feelings about Russell's composer biographies. To me they are largely failures, but there are a few great moments in them that make me re-watch them on occasion. I read once that Russell said he wanted to show us how the composer felt, rather than dwelling on the details of his life. I liked several scenes in The Music Lovers. The opening is very good with music from The Nutcracker during a winter festival in which we see all the main characters at some point. I also liked the scene of the Piano Concerto # 1 in which the characters all have a specific feeling/fantasy as they listen. The 1812 Overture scene is too ridiculous (too Russellian) for my taste. The movie is a mess, but there are flashes of brilliance. I only watched a few minutes of it on the MGM channel and it looked no better than the laserdisc, IMO.

I like much of the Mahler film as well. Robert Powell was well cast, but the Nazi stuff was ridiculous. I first saw the movie on a local PBS station and the Nazi fantasy sequence had been removed. I thought at the time that it seemed more "normal" than other Russell composer biographies. It was years later when I saw the film on video and found out about that sequence. I liked it better without it.

The Russell films I would really like to see are the two short television films he did on the Lake Poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge. I only saw them on the long defunct CBS Cable channel back in the early 80's. I liked the first one (William and Dorothy) better than the second (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). Most Russell fans prefer the second because there is a lot of Russellian fantasy images depicting Coleridge's (David Hemmings) drug hallucinations. I preferred the first one because of David Warner as Wordsworth reading some of the poet's beautiful lines.
 

Stephen_J_H

All Things Film Junkie
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Messages
6,528
Location
North of the 49th
Real Name
Stephen J. Hill
I did like Billion Dollar Brain, Tommy, and Altered States so let me say i did like the opportunity of seeing The Music Lovers for the first time and happy that other folks like it. If i have the opportunity to see The Devils for the first time i will watch it too.
The Devils was on Fandor a while back, so I finally caught it. The trick is getting to see an uncut version.