Roman Holiday gets some TLC in preparation for a Blu-ray debut

Home Theater Forum recently had the opportunity to chat with Leonard Maltin and Andrea Kalas the SVP Asset Management at Paramount Pictures to discuss Roman Holiday and the restoration work done in preparation for the upcoming Paramount Presents: Blu-ray release on September 15th.

The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray Disc™ is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical re-release poster, and an interior spread with
key movie moments. Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer, the ROMAN HOLIDAY Blu-ray also includes a new Filmmaker Focus with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a Digital copy of the film, as well as previously released featurettes on Academy Award®-winner Audrey Hepburn, Edith Head’s Oscar®-winning* costumes, the blacklisting of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and much more.

Bonus Features:
– Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on Roman Holiday
– Behind the Gates: Costumes
– Rome with a Princess
– Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years
– Dalton Trumbo: From A-List to Blacklist
– Paramount in the ’50s: Remembering Audrey
– Theatrical Trailers
– Four Photo Galleries: Production, The Movie, Publicity, The Premiere
Paramount had to rely on a 35mm fine grain print as well as a dupe negative for their new 4K scan as the original negative was damaged by the original lab in Rome.  Here are some examples of the original restoration showing the condition of the original source material and the final result of the restoration (left to right on each clip).

      

Leonard Maltin talks about the history of the film and Andrea Kalas goes into more depth about the restoration in the video below:

 

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Adam Gregorich

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AlexNH

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This is a great piece. But this wasn't a chat with HTF. It was a press event a few weeks ago.
 

noel aguirre

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This is great news but I still can’t fathom why Paramount released On A Clear Day ..... looking so horrendous. I felt robbed on that one Paramount. I know it’s not Paramount “Presents” but still- show Vicent Minnelli and Cecil Beaton some respect with a better transfer than that or don’t release it as it’s basically the DVD slapped on a Blu-ray Disc. Anyway now that’s off my chest - I’m hoping the black/grey levels in this RH restoration are also better defined and purer than before in addition to what was mentioned in the short. Some B&W film I recently saw resorted was astonishing but I can t recall what it was! Maybe it was Dance Girl Dance or Showboat and I hope I get that kind of wow on this one too.
 
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Tino

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Is this the same transfer as the current iTunes stream? Or is this a second restoration?
 

Tino

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I hope it looks better than the disappointment that was It's a Wonderful Life recently.
I have the 4K stream on iTunes and think it looks terrific.

Also here’s a quote from RAH’s updated comments on the 4K disc:

“Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, has received a 4k make-over from the OCN, and with the help of Dolby Vision, it all seems to work for the best.

We gain a far more stable image, that's also more highly resolved, with gorgeous grain structure.”
 
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Robert Harris

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I have the 4K stream on iTunes and think it looks terrific.

Also here’s a quote from RAH’s updated comments on the 4K disc:

“Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, has received a 4k make-over from the OCN, and with the help of Dolby Vision, it all seems to work for the best.

We gain a far more stable image, that's also more highly resolved, with gorgeous grain structure.”
To be clear, there were inconsistencies on my OLED between HDR and DV, which after a less than wonderful image in projection, compounded the confusion on the OLED until I segregated the two HDR variants. Also Paramount was kind enough to screen a portion of their 4k master for me.

This led to my re-writing the review.

Bottom line is, that if one has DV formatted properly on a panel, all is well with Wonderful Life.

Is it a 4k necessity?

I don’t believe so.