My 2 cents worth on “Brothers Grimm”

3 Stars

Hello all. I am a huge fan of this movie, first of all because I worked at a Cinerama theatre in Wichita, Kansas in 1962 and 1963 and was there for the premieres of both HTWWW and WWOTBG; and secondly, because this movie to me is highly entertaining, well-acted and directed and is, as they say, “one for the ages.” Anyway, does anyone know that there is a group of supporters of this movie called “Friends of the Brothers Grimm?” Some time back they got a petition together, which as far as I know is still on line, getting signatures so that eventually the petition can be submitted to Warner Bros., requesting that “Grimm” be restored (a la HTWWW) and released on BluRay. I am hoping that perhaps David Strohmaier, Cinerama restoration guru, may already be working on this project, since WWOTBG is the only remaining Cinerama film which has not yet been restored. Also, my limited research has revealed that supposedly the only remaining print of this film is owned by a man in Australia; and a 65mm interpositive exists which contains all 3 panels somewhere, plus the negatives, according to some sources, are available and useable! If you haven’t seen some of Mr. Strohmaier’s Cinerama restorations on BluRay, check them out. He has worked many miracles in restoring these great Cinerama productions. So let’s all keep talking about this and keep our fingers crossed that “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” will truly live again!

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Kevin Collins

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49 Comments

  1. The film certainly has its fans on this forum (including me despite some of its lapses). I signed that petition it seems ages ago. Since Warners controls this movie and it has been made clear to us on many occasions that preparing it for Blu-ray release would be a time consuming and ruinously expensive process, many of us have given up hope of actually seeing it come to BD. Warners never went any farther than laserdisc with it not even granting it a DVD signifying possibly that it was not a big seller for them. (Contrarily, How the West Was Won kept getting released repeatedly from tape to laserdisc to DVD and finally Blu-ray, every time with a transfer superior to what had gone before.)

    So, keeping my fingers crossed that it might one day come to us even if only in streaming form, but not really expecting anything other than what I've already got (the laserdisc).

  2. Count me in for this title. Saw it back in '63 as a kid and LOVED it. I still have the gorgeous yellow hardcover program from that screening. The gentle touch of George Pal is always enchanting and something we could use a lot more of in today's world. So hope we will see it in HD someday soon.

  3. Warners is not going to give this to Dave – why would anyone think such a thing? And yes, one panel (I forget which) is water damaged – who knows how severely, but if it's severe there's probably no way to save it. Then again, Warners has pulled rabbits out of hats before.

  4. haineshisway

    Warners is not going to give this to Dave – why would anyone think such a thing? And yes, one panel (I forget which) is water damaged – who knows how severely, but if it's severe there's probably no way to save it. Then again, Warners has pulled rabbits out of hats before.

    As you know most of us think that it might be better to have Grimm in decent HD quality so you would probably call it wishful thinking that Warner would let somebody else handle Grimm.

    If at some point they had even done a 2k scan of each panel they could give those files away and let somebody have a go with it – all assets would stay in house and people could finally see a version of the movie with decent resolution, even with the water damage.

    Or we can look at it positively and say that Warner is probably hoping for automated techniques to become available that will help with dealing with the panel with the water damage.

    With that being said I would love to finally be able to watch this one but I refuse to watch it in LD or DVD quality.

  5. Maybe if we create a go fund me page and each contribute $10,000 apiece towards that million plus Grimm restoration, it would help. After all, fans of Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm would put money where their mouth is, wouldn't we. 😉

  6. Thomas T

    Maybe if we create a go fund me page and each contribute $10,000 apiece towards that million plus Grimm restoration, it would help. After all, fans of Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm would put money where their mouth is, wouldn't we. 😉

    If that meant releasing Grimm in another way than the Warner way it might be possible. With the Warner price tag unfortunately not.

    But most of us know that already and then from time to time threads like this one pop up and we go over all of it again 🙂

  7. William Moore

    Hello all. I am a huge fan of this movie, first of all because I worked at a Cinerama theatre in Wichita, Kansas in 1962 and 1963 and was there for the premieres of both HTWWW and WWOTBG; and secondly, because this movie to me is highly entertaining, well-acted and directed and is, as they say, "one for the ages." Anyway, does anyone know that there is a group of supporters of this movie called "Friends of the Brothers Grimm?" Some time back they got a petition together, which as far as I know is still on line, getting signatures so that eventually the petition can be submitted to Warner Bros., requesting that "Grimm" be restored (a la HTWWW) and released on BluRay. I am hoping that perhaps David Strohmaier, Cinerama restoration guru, may already be working on this project, since WWOTBG is the only remaining Cinerama film which has not yet been restored. Also, my limited research has revealed that supposedly the only remaining print of this film is owned by a man in Australia; and a 65mm interpositive exists which contains all 3 panels somewhere, plus the negatives, according to some sources, are available and useable! If you haven't seen some of Mr. Strohmaier's Cinerama restorations on BluRay, check them out. He has worked many miracles in restoring these great Cinerama productions. So let's all keep talking about this and keep our fingers crossed that "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" will truly live again!

    Well acted? The two male leads were woeful.

  8. I have seen the only 3 panel print of this a few times at Bradford, and the Centre Panel has one of the best focus i have ever seen in a cinema.
    This would look fantastic on 4K UHD but shame about the state of the original neg.

  9. RolandL

    I think WB also has an Ultra Panavision print, but I don't know what the condition is.

    If the 70mm print that I saw of HTWWW is anything to go by it would not matter that much as it would be very soft and worse than a decent 35mm print. It seems that cinerama never really found a way to bring its process to a single film strip in a quality that would compare favorably to even standard 35mm which can also be seen when looking at the first This is Cinerama release on Blu-ray that looked very disappointing.

    That being said I might still be tempted to buy if a Blu-ray was created from that print as it should still look better than the laserdisc version. Or maybe I really need to go to Bradford once to see the real thing…

  10. Robert Harris

    Major physical differences between the two film.

    How is a basically unfaded set of negatives, while Grimm is incomplete and water damaged.

    I’ve not budgeted, but think 1.5 – 1.8 million.

    Mr Harris, do you know if the water damage assertion is definitive or is it just one of those things that's been banded about for years and no-one has properly examined it – was it stored independently or just unlucky?

  11. MarkantonyII

    Mr Harris, do you know if the water damage assertion is definitive or is it just one of those things that's been banded about for years and no-one has properly examined it – was it stored independently or just unlucky?

    I'm not Mr. Harris, but two people here have told you one of the panels is water damaged – we both know whereof we speak. We don't bandy about things 🙂

  12. haineshisway

    I'm not Mr. Harris, but two people here have told you one of the panels is water damaged – we both know whereof we speak. We don't bandy about things 🙂

    Very true, I wasn't casting aspersions, but you did say "…who knows how severely…" which implies if not states that very little examination has taken place, and / or the results of which are not widely known, which leaves the answer wide open to interpretation.

    M

  13. The Grim truth about “Brothers Grimm”

    The ownership and copyright of both dramatic Cinerama titles “HTWWW” and “Brothers Grimm” is shared 50-50 between (formally MGM) now Warner Bros. and Cinerama Inc. As part of the major Cinerama revival efforts done starting in 2000 I have had first hand knowledge of the condition of all the Cinerama elements which include “Brothers Grimm” even though it has been vaulted at Warners. At that time I represented the 50% owner of the title, Gunther Jung, also of Cinerama Inc. and John Sittig, Director of Cinerama Inc. and myself along with Warner’s Dick May, now retired, did several photo chemical tests at Crest labs in 2002 of the water damaged sections and the availability and condition of the o-neg elements. I had received a copy thru Dick of the 1995 o-negative inspection reports where multiple problems such as this damage was listed. A little less than half of the rolls had notations of moderate to severe water damage due to a flood in one of the vaults years earlier. We did print up one small 300 foot section of a water damaged panel and found that the damage was mostly on the left edge, but other rolls could be on different sides. We also found there were a few rolls of missing o-negatives, but we never got around to checking on the YCM separation masters to see if they were complete or not. We had found earlier that the Cinerama travelogues did not all have complete sep. masters so perhaps Grimm has them complete?

    Assuming the sep masters are complete then yes a restoration could be accomplished on “Grimm” however just imagine the expense of 9 B&W film frame elements (Y-C-M x3) to create 1 Cinerama 3-panel frame on the screen. Then if there is any shrinkage problems of the Y-C-M elements (as in misregistration) you would have one huge budget problem or the most expensive restoration/scanning job ever to end up with digital elements such as we have done with the travelogues.

    On our Cinerama travelogue restorations we were fortunate to have the Library of Congress 3-panel deposit Eastmancolor faded prints available to scan our missing sections and then rebuild back the color, however as I understand it from my pals at LOC there is no 3-panel 6-perf IB prints of “Grimm” on deposit which could possibly fill in any missing and damaged areas. They only have the 35mm scope general release version.

    Is “Brothers Grimm” digitally restorable? I would say the answer is possibly but a very hesitant yes. However it should be understood that it might not look as pristine as “HTWWW”. FYI -the o-negs on “HTWWW” were in excellent condition when we started printing up the answer print at Crest labs back in 2001. Warner Brother’s digital transfer work was started in 2006 from this same element for the blue ray release in the fall of 2008. This neg did not need very much clean up or digital restoration work. Blending the 3-panels back together again was a major part of that work.

    The reason I say possibly yes is that after our “Windjammer” Cinemiracle experience – dealing with such severe damage, shrinkage, fading, dirt, chemical blotches, warpage, missing panels vinegar syndrome and even entire rolls missing, nothing can ever scare me again. “Windjammer” turned out better than we could ever have imagined.

    In a nutshell -this is how I would approach “Grimm” without a 1.5+ mil budget: For starters carefully scan the Bradford UK IB tech 3-panel Cinerama 6 perf. print as well as some IB Tech 6 perf. elements we have recently located in Sweden. Then add in what is still usable of the o-negs favoring them where possible. In areas that simply cannot be saved then go from the YCM seps. Perhaps as a last resort, for troubled areas, use the 65mm IP, an optical created from the 3-panels at Metrocolor labs in the 1960s, this apparently has no cropping on the sides. If that element is used then attempt some better panel blending tricks on the optical printer join areas.

    Then a very slow and difficult 3-panel blending operation, clean up, dust busting and flicker removal. Finally the blending (color and density etc.) of the various composite 3-panel source materials to facilitate in minimizing the “checkerboard” look of these different elements. Thus make it as close as possible to appear like it’s all from one basic source. A challenge for sure!

  14. I was hoping friend Dave would finally chime in because he is where I got my information and I knew he had it right. I doubt Warners will give anything to him to do, which is a shame in a way, but the budget if he did would still be substantial. But I have learned with Warners that you can't second guess anything.

  15. Thank you so much, David, for that intricate and illuminating survey on the elements available and the difficulty in potentially dealing with them should the powers-that-be give it a go. Sounds daunting but not impossible and gives us fans of the film some small reason to hope something might be done with the film at some future date (though I might not be alive to see it happen).

  16. I remember seeing this in a theatre as a boy in the 70s. It was a reissue and I can remember it was badly faded then with a pinkish brownish look. Since the negatives are water-damaged, maybe they could find some kind of print still in existence and do their best on it — please just preserve it for future generations and let us have a decent HD version.

  17. Strohmaier

    The Grim truth about “Brothers Grimm”

    The ownership and copyright of both dramatic Cinerama titles “HTWWW” and “Brothers Grimm” is shared 50-50 between (formally MGM) now Warner Bros. and Cinerama Inc. As part of the major Cinerama revival efforts done starting in 2000 I have had first hand knowledge of the condition of all the Cinerama elements which include “Brothers Grimm” even though it has been vaulted at Warners. At that time I represented the 50% owner of the title, Gunther Jung, also of Cinerama Inc. and John Sittig, Director of Cinerama Inc. and myself along with Warner’s Dick May, now retired, did several photo chemical tests at Crest labs in 2002 of the water damaged sections and the availability and condition of the o-neg elements. I had received a copy thru Dick of the 1995 o-negative inspection reports where multiple problems such as this damage was listed. A little less than half of the rolls had notations of moderate to severe water damage due to a flood in one of the vaults years earlier. We did print up one small 300 foot section of a water damaged panel and found that the damage was mostly on the left edge, but other rolls could be on different sides. We also found there were a few rolls of missing o-negatives, but we never got around to checking on the YCM separation masters to see if they were complete or not. We had found earlier that the Cinerama travelogues did not all have complete sep. masters so perhaps Grimm has them complete?

    Assuming the sep masters are complete then yes a restoration could be accomplished on “Grimm” however just imagine the expense of 9 B&W film frame elements (Y-C-M x3) to create 1 Cinerama 3-panel frame on the screen. Then if there is any shrinkage problems of the Y-C-M elements (as in misregistration) you would have one huge budget problem or the most expensive restoration/scanning job ever to end up with digital elements such as we have done with the travelogues.

    On our Cinerama travelogue restorations we were fortunate to have the Library of Congress 3-panel deposit Eastmancolor faded prints available to scan our missing sections and then rebuild back the color, however as I understand it from my pals at LOC there is no 3-panel 6-perf IB prints of “Grimm” on deposit which could possibly fill in any missing and damaged areas. They only have the 35mm scope general release version.

    Is “Brothers Grimm” digitally restorable? I would say the answer is possibly but a very hesitant yes. However it should be understood that it might not look as pristine as “HTWWW”. FYI -the o-negs on “HTWWW” were in excellent condition when we started printing up the answer print at Crest labs back in 2001. Warner Brother’s digital transfer work was started in 2006 from this same element for the blue ray release in the fall of 2008. This neg did not need very much clean up or digital restoration work. Blending the 3-panels back together again was a major part of that work.

    The reason I say possibly yes is that after our “Windjammer” Cinemiracle experience – dealing with such severe damage, shrinkage, fading, dirt, chemical blotches, warpage, missing panels vinegar syndrome and even entire rolls missing, nothing can ever scare me again. “Windjammer” turned out better than we could ever have imagined.

    In a nutshell -this is how I would approach “Grimm” without a 1.5+ mil budget: For starters carefully scan the Bradford UK IB tech 3-panel Cinerama 6 perf. print as well as some IB Tech 6 perf. elements we have recently located in Sweden. Then add in what is still usable of the o-negs favoring them where possible. In areas that simply cannot be saved then go from the YCM seps. Perhaps as a last resort, for troubled areas, use the 65mm IP, an optical created from the 3-panels at Metrocolor labs in the 1960s, this apparently has no cropping on the sides. If that element is used then attempt some better panel blending tricks on the optical printer join areas.

    Then a very slow and difficult 3-panel blending operation, clean up, dust busting and flicker removal. Finally the blending (color and density etc.) of the various composite 3-panel source materials to facilitate in minimizing the “checkerboard” look of these different elements. Thus make it as close as possible to appear like it’s all from one basic source. A challenge for sure!

    A number of years ago, I came upon a number of dye transfer rolls in an LA vault, possibly sitting around to be used as fill.

  18. I've given up on ever seeing Grimm in anything higher quality than the laserdisc. TCM has aired a transfer that, from what I understand, is marginally better than the LD, but any captures I've seen of it were compressed so badly that it wasn't worth watching. I finally bought a copy of the LD last year so that I could finally see it. It's certainly not a great film. There are some really nice moments and I'll watch George Pal animation or Russ Tamblyn dance any day, but I can see why saving it isn't a high priority for WB. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't purchase a BD of it day one, should a miracle occur and a digital restoration take place. My kids roll their eyes at me when I watch the Cinerama docs or HTWWW, but I don't care. Seeing Cinerama for myself back in the 90's, even with scratchy, sometimes badly-faded prints, was a shock to the system and made me a fan for life. People who think that modern, faux-Imax is the height of cinematic experience have no idea how wrong they are.

  19. The Japanese laser disc is the same as the TCM broadcast. The other laser disc is missing the picture for the prologue, missing picture info on the sides, overture and intermission music.

  20. DP 70

    Sorry i got my Cinerama films mixed the above post is about How the West Was Won.

    it must be the heat:)

    I knew you must have because there was no DVD release for The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.

  21. As a kid WWOTBG and HTWWW were extremely dear to me and I relived them in the soundtrack LPs. I loved them both so much I would “marry” them. WWOTBG has such an international flavor with locations and an incredible cast of great character actors. I sure wanted a father like Laurence Harvey! I saw it a number of times when MGM ran the family classic movies in weekend theater matinee showings. I know the cost of restoring is considerable, but I think there is much worth while in bringing it back to more of what it was. The TCM print is at least the complete original road show version, as far as I can tell.

  22. Strohmaier

    The Grim truth about “Brothers Grimm”

    The ownership and copyright of both dramatic Cinerama titles “HTWWW” and “Brothers Grimm” is shared 50-50 between (formally MGM) now Warner Bros. and Cinerama Inc. As part of the major Cinerama revival efforts done starting in 2000 I have had first hand knowledge of the condition of all the Cinerama elements which include “Brothers Grimm” even though it has been vaulted at Warners. At that time I represented the 50% owner of the title, Gunther Jung, also of Cinerama Inc. and John Sittig, Director of Cinerama Inc. and myself along with Warner’s Dick May, now retired, did several photo chemical tests at Crest labs in 2002 of the water damaged sections and the availability and condition of the o-neg elements. I had received a copy thru Dick of the 1995 o-negative inspection reports where multiple problems such as this damage was listed. A little less than half of the rolls had notations of moderate to severe water damage due to a flood in one of the vaults years earlier. We did print up one small 300 foot section of a water damaged panel and found that the damage was mostly on the left edge, but other rolls could be on different sides. We also found there were a few rolls of missing o-negatives, but we never got around to checking on the YCM separation masters to see if they were complete or not. We had found earlier that the Cinerama travelogues did not all have complete sep. masters so perhaps Grimm has them complete?

    Assuming the sep masters are complete then yes a restoration could be accomplished on “Grimm” however just imagine the expense of 9 B&W film frame elements (Y-C-M x3) to create 1 Cinerama 3-panel frame on the screen. Then if there is any shrinkage problems of the Y-C-M elements (as in misregistration) you would have one huge budget problem or the most expensive restoration/scanning job ever to end up with digital elements such as we have done with the travelogues.

    On our Cinerama travelogue restorations we were fortunate to have the Library of Congress 3-panel deposit Eastmancolor faded prints available to scan our missing sections and then rebuild back the color, however as I understand it from my pals at LOC there is no 3-panel 6-perf IB prints of “Grimm” on deposit which could possibly fill in any missing and damaged areas. They only have the 35mm scope general release version.

    Is “Brothers Grimm” digitally restorable? I would say the answer is possibly but a very hesitant yes. However it should be understood that it might not look as pristine as “HTWWW”. FYI -the o-negs on “HTWWW” were in excellent condition when we started printing up the answer print at Crest labs back in 2001. Warner Brother’s digital transfer work was started in 2006 from this same element for the blue ray release in the fall of 2008. This neg did not need very much clean up or digital restoration work. Blending the 3-panels back together again was a major part of that work.

    The reason I say possibly yes is that after our “Windjammer” Cinemiracle experience – dealing with such severe damage, shrinkage, fading, dirt, chemical blotches, warpage, missing panels vinegar syndrome and even entire rolls missing, nothing can ever scare me again. “Windjammer” turned out better than we could ever have imagined.

    In a nutshell -this is how I would approach “Grimm” without a 1.5+ mil budget: For starters carefully scan the Bradford UK IB tech 3-panel Cinerama 6 perf. print as well as some IB Tech 6 perf. elements we have recently located in Sweden. Then add in what is still usable of the o-negs favoring them where possible. In areas that simply cannot be saved then go from the YCM seps. Perhaps as a last resort, for troubled areas, use the 65mm IP, an optical created from the 3-panels at Metrocolor labs in the 1960s, this apparently has no cropping on the sides. If that element is used then attempt some better panel blending tricks on the optical printer join areas.

    Then a very slow and difficult 3-panel blending operation, clean up, dust busting and flicker removal. Finally the blending (color and density etc.) of the various composite 3-panel source materials to facilitate in minimizing the “checkerboard” look of these different elements. Thus make it as close as possible to appear like it’s all from one basic source. A challenge for sure!

    David: If anyone can restore this film, you can! Your restorations of all the other Cinerama releases were, without question, absolutely astounding. Anything would be an improvement over the laserdisc release, which I have, sans the opening scenes with Oscar Homolka. So is a lack of funds the big issue here? What if we mounted a letter-writing campaign to WB. Just tell us what we can do! Thanks and good luck if you should decide to proceed with this project. We're ALL here for you!

  23. RolandL

    08/24/62
    [​IMG]

    08/24/62
    [​IMG]

    08/29/62
    [​IMG]

    10/01/62
    [​IMG]

    Boy, do these ads bring back memories! I was working for the Uptown at the time during my senior year in high school. Some of the best years of my life and I considered it a great privilege to have worked at the Uptown Cinerama!

  24. I saw this film as kid in 1962, probably twice. Cinerama was immersive. And I saw How the West as well. Loved them both back then. I most def would buy a restored Blu-ray. However I did buy the laserdisc back in the early 90s and the film did not play as well as I remembered. How the West on the other hand I still love despite its dated nature.

    But again I would shell out for a restored version.

  25. Matt Hough

    Not a separately filmed version, but a 35mm print from the large format elements for use in regular theaters after the roadshow Cinerama engagements ended.

    I saw the cinerama version several times and we also screened the 35mm version where I worked. Did't look good in cinemascope after seeing it in cinerama.

  26. cinemiracle

    Was released on video however.

    If you'll scroll back to post #3 in this thread, I acknowledged that it got up to laserdisc before Warners stopped issuing it. How the West Was Won got the VHS-laser-DVD-Blu-ray journey complete with improvements in each iteration.

  27. RolandL

    The Japanese laser disc is the same as the TCM broadcast. The other laser disc is missing the picture for the prologue, missing picture info on the sides, overture and intermission music.

    I wonder where one might obtain the Japanese LD version?

  28. Mark Tay

    I'm responsible for the smilebox trailer on youtube. I sourced it from the laserdisc, de-interlaced it, applied some color correction, and added the smilebox effect. I'm a fan of everything George Pal did and wanted to bring awareness to the lack of an HD release for this title.

    Keep up the good work, and let us know how we can help.

  29. Mark Tay

    I'm responsible for the smilebox trailer on youtube. I sourced it from the laserdisc, de-interlaced it, applied some color correction, and added the smilebox effect. I'm a fan of everything George Pal did and wanted to bring awareness to the lack of an HD release for this title.

    Well, it's a wonderful job and a noteworthy suggestion to the powers-that-be that they have something of value here.

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