The Big Country (redux) — in Blu-ray

A great release from Kino, that should be in every serious collection. 4 Stars

For me, any time we have the release of a new well-produced Blu-ray of a William Wyler film, it’s a time to pause and celebrate.

And his 1958, The Big Country, is one such cause for celebration.

But we’ll up the ante.

Gregory Peck

Jean Simmons

Carrol Baker

Charlton Heston

Burl Ives

Charles Bickford

A momentous score by Jerome Moross

Cinematography in Technirama by Franz Planer

No reason to go further.

The Big Country is one of the greatest westerns ever created.

One more important point.

The de-anamorphosis problem in the original Blu-ray has been fixed. Color and density ride a bit better.

Only negative are some dissolves that don’t work properly. But that’s a tiny negative, among a world of positives.

A great release from Kino, that should be in every serious collection.

Image – 4.6

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from previous Blu-ray – Absolutely!

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

126 Comments

  1. Robert Harris

    Jean Simmons

    I'm already on record that this is usually enough to push me towards ordering a disc. But I'll take the rest of Robert's positive remarks, too.

    It's already safely in my "to watch" pile (along with this week's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). I hope it's not sitting there too long.

  2. Jean Simmons is probably my all-time classic movie crush (edging out Teresa Wright).

    Also, FWIW, Jeff Wells has some interesting inside info from Kino as to exactly what transpired with the remaster. Turns out MGM were the ones who ultimately remastered the title at the request of Kino. Based on previous comments from Kino I was under the impression it was they who incurred the cost and did the grunt work in remastering it. Makes one wonder why MGM didn't recognize the issues with the original disc and remaster/re-issue it (given that many at the time complained about the stretching and flicker issues). Regardless, glad it's all been taken care of now and I'm excited to receive my copy.

    http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2018/06/big-country-bluray-update/#disqus_thread

  3. Mark VH

    Makes one wonder why MGM didn't recognize the issues with the original disc and remaster/re-issue it (given that many at the time complained about the stretching and flicker issues). Regardless, glad it's all been taken care of now and I'm excited to receive my copy.

    Not that I noticed that much at the time, but has it been confirmed the flicker issues are now corrected in this release?

  4. Great news that they got this one right. I'm annoyed though that almost every online retailer has this title out of stock. Clearly it's selling quicker than Kino anticipated. I'll wait till it comes back in stock. Hopefully it's soon.

  5. The Big Country is currently listed with Best Buy as "Sold Out".
    I hope that's true, rather than a reflection on none ever being in stock.
    Yes, "Sold Out" would be very encouraging new, indeed.

  6. GerardoHP

    Chuck Connors COULD act.

    If you ever have the chance to watch The Rifleman episode "Deadly Image", do so. Chuck plays both the mild-mannered Lucas McCain, and his evil lookalike, a character named Earl Bantry. Great range of acting by him in that show.

  7. JoeBond

    Great news that they got this one right. I'm annoyed though that almost every online retailer has this title out of stock. Clearly it's selling quicker than Kino anticipated. I'll wait till it comes back in stock. Hopefully it's soon.

    I'm also annoyed. I ordered from Amazon on release-day, 6/5.

    On 6/8, I received an automated message that started: We have good news! We now have delivery date(s) for your item(s) listed below.

    The quote-unquote good news was for a date-range from 6/20 through 6/27. I contacted Amazon (a random rep) to let them know that a +/- 3 week delay is most assuredly *not* "good news". I never swore, or cursed, but the rep knew I was angry. Just as the rep started to offer compensation, I hung up – because the presumably meager compensation she would have offered was never the point. The point was to get across the notion that a +/- 3 week delay from the biggest store on earth is *not* "good news".

    I think at least one rep now understands that point, but as for the rest of the company, meh.

  8. Mark VH

    Jean Simmons is probably my all-time classic movie crush (edging out Teresa Wright).

    Also, FWIW, Jeff Wells has some interesting inside info from Kino as to exactly what transpired with the remaster. Turns out MGM were the ones who ultimately remastered the title at the request of Kino. Based on previous comments from Kino I was under the impression it was they who incurred the cost and did the grunt work in remastering it. Makes one wonder why MGM didn't recognize the issues with the original disc and remaster/re-issue it (given that many at the time complained about the stretching and flicker issues). Regardless, glad it's all been taken care of now and I'm excited to receive my copy.

    http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2018/06/big-country-bluray-update/#disqus_thread

    Please excuse my ignorance up front, but curious what the cost difference is between a remaster, and a restoration (i.e. The Alamo). Again, I'm ignorant on the topic and wondering if the cost difference is that wide a gulf?

  9. Bob Cashill

    CineSavant says yes: https://trailersfromhell.com/the-big-country/

    Glad to hear that it looks like according to that review that the flicker issue was also fixed. I am slightly perturbed/questioning regarding the whole dissolve issue RAH mentions as I saw that mentioned on another forum also where someone said they noticed like 6 quick cuts or something that didn't seem right. But it sounds like even if that's the case that overall this is a big improvement from the previous blu, so I'm willing to bite.

  10. Even the VHS had those jump cuts. I noticed similar shots (or cuts) in Ben-Hur as well. Maybe it was a stylistic option at the time or just cutting between the real actors and stunt men within the same punch attempt.

  11. I can't wait to see my copy of "The Big Country". And, of these past few months, I've stepped away from splitting hairs over certain recently released BD's that may not be perfect, perfect, perfect. My sense is that such perfections are either cost prohibitive for every blessed title under the sun; or that every effort was made within the case by case scenarios of the elements or transfers provided. Sure, there's a couple titles that may have slipped through the cracks from all of the studios/distributors; but those that do most certainly get addressed by the insiders and the powers that be. "The Big Country" is clearly a success. The arch of all the reviews; be it critic or consumer; reports great improvements. And that's a very good thing.

    The more I learn about the entire process of restoration, transfers, needed funding, licensing agreements, races against the clock concerning vinegar syndrome, full-coats, no-coats, any coat…well…its just simply amazing that we have anything at all; let alone a multitude of newly announced offerings on each and every month. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that quality control can now take a holiday. It can not. But, at the same time, it's sure been nice just kicking back and enjoying any and all improvements as they come; even if they fall a hair or two away from gaining a perfect score of "5" or an "A+" or even a "Must Own". All improvements has its own perfections. And that is the direction that we should always applaud.

    In short, as those summer sales approach, I will not be lacking titles from which to select; therefore, the releases of Kino Lorber's "The Big Country" and Warner Archives "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" are efforts that together warranted my immediate purchase and support. And of those HTF posters who have already enjoyed either or both, I'm looking forward to catching up and contributing to their discussions.

  12. In the continuing saga of the mythical stereo mix of the film, I researched the liner notes of the LaserDisc via Google. It revealed the score (at least) was recorded in true stereo but there is no record of the film being issued in stereo. Joe Caps has so far proven us wrong.

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

  13. deepscan

    In the continuing saga of the mythical stereo mix of the film, I researched the liner notes of the LaserDisc via Google. It revealed the score (at least) was recorded in true stereo but there is no record of the film being issued in stereo. Joe Caps has so far proven us wrong.

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    If its mythical, then why create what was never there? Now, unless I've missed some posts along the way, I left off on the understanding that such searches have now been exhausted. Anyone, please correct or update me if I'm wrong.

  14. deepscan

    In the continuing saga of the mythical stereo mix of the film, I researched the liner notes of the LaserDisc via Google. It revealed the score (at least) was recorded in true stereo but there is no record of the film being issued in stereo. Joe Caps has so far proven us wrong.

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    If its mythical, then why create what was never there? Now, unless I've missed some posts along the way, I left off on the understanding that such searches have now been exhausted. Anyone, please correct or update me if I'm wrong.

  15. deepscan

    In the continuing saga of the mythical stereo mix of the film, I researched the liner notes of the LaserDisc via Google. It revealed the score (at least) was recorded in true stereo but there is no record of the film being issued in stereo. Joe Caps has so far proven us wrong.

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    So you researched the liner notes for the laser disc – who wrote them? Why do you assume they're accurate? I searched and other than the little blurb on the back of the special edition laserdisc from Image produced by my old pal Sergio Leeman, I see nothing about stereo music or anything else for that matter. Perhaps a link to the notes you speak of would be helpful.

  16. deepscan

    In the continuing saga of the mythical stereo mix of the film, I researched the liner notes of the LaserDisc via Google. It revealed the score (at least) was recorded in true stereo but there is no record of the film being issued in stereo. Joe Caps has so far proven us wrong.

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    So you researched the liner notes for the laser disc – who wrote them? Why do you assume they're accurate? I searched and other than the little blurb on the back of the special edition laserdisc from Image produced by my old pal Sergio Leeman, I see nothing about stereo music or anything else for that matter. Perhaps a link to the notes you speak of would be helpful.

  17. This is from Glenn Erickson's review (emphasis mine):

    "I could be wrong, but at MGM I was told that the sound mix on The Big Country was always monaural. Plans to release the original score in stereophonic sound were nixed for reasons unknown. Don't be deterred, as the movie's soundtrack as represented on this DTS-HD Master Audio track is really, really dynamic, clear and subtle. It's a terrific original mix."

  18. This is from Glenn Erickson's review (emphasis mine):

    "I could be wrong, but at MGM I was told that the sound mix on The Big Country was always monaural. Plans to release the original score in stereophonic sound were nixed for reasons unknown. Don't be deterred, as the movie's soundtrack as represented on this DTS-HD Master Audio track is really, really dynamic, clear and subtle. It's a terrific original mix."

  19. It never ceases to amaze me how we (the generic we) demand or wish certain titles over the years and when we finally get them in the best possible shape, the carping begins: it's taken from 35 mm elements rather than the 70mm negative (so what if the 35 mm yielded a better transfer than the 70mm), it's not in stereo (so what if it was never released in stereo), the dance steps are off (so what if you have to close your eyes to hear them), Marilyn Monroe's dress should be magenta rather than fuchsia (forget about the plot, it's her clothes that are important) etc.

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

  20. It never ceases to amaze me how we (the generic we) demand or wish certain titles over the years and when we finally get them in the best possible shape, the carping begins: it's taken from 35 mm elements rather than the 70mm negative (so what if the 35 mm yielded a better transfer than the 70mm), it's not in stereo (so what if it was never released in stereo), the dance steps are off (so what if you have to close your eyes to hear them), Marilyn Monroe's dress should be magenta rather than fuchsia (forget about the plot, it's her clothes that are important) etc.

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

  21. It never ceases to amaze me how we (the generic we) demand or wish certain titles over the years and when we finally get them in the best possible shape, the carping begins: it's taken from 35 mm elements rather than the 70mm negative (so what if the 35 mm yielded a better transfer than the 70mm), it's not in stereo (so what if it was never released in stereo), the dance steps are off (so what if you have to close your eyes to hear them), Marilyn Monroe's dress should be magenta rather than fuchsia (forget about the plot, it's her clothes that are important) etc.

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

  22. It never ceases to amaze me how we (the generic we) demand or wish certain titles over the years and when we finally get them in the best possible shape, the carping begins: it's taken from 35 mm elements rather than the 70mm negative (so what if the 35 mm yielded a better transfer than the 70mm), it's not in stereo (so what if it was never released in stereo), the dance steps are off (so what if you have to close your eyes to hear them), Marilyn Monroe's dress should be magenta rather than fuchsia (forget about the plot, it's her clothes that are important) etc.

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

  23. deepscan

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    Think about what studio you're speaking of for a second.

  24. deepscan

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    Think about what studio you're speaking of for a second.

  25. deepscan

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    Think about what studio you're speaking of for a second.

  26. deepscan

    I still have yet to see the new Kino blu ray, but I can tell you MGM could have used DES stereo technology to create (or recreate) that mythical stereo mix in 5.1.

    Think about what studio you're speaking of for a second.

  27. Thomas T

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

    I'm suddenly reminded of that one guy who claimed he saw the 1989 Batman in an Open Matte format originally and demanded Warner remaster it in 1.33.

    …which makes no sense since all the prints I've seen online are hard matted to 1.85.

  28. Finances being somewhat tight, I tend not to 'upgrade' existing blu-rays and I was pretty happy (despite the problems) with the original release; but these glowing recommendations are going to make me reconsider that proposition in this particular case.

    Being one of my favorite Westerns makes that decision easier as well.

    – Walter.

  29. United Artists issued a 'stereo' LP of the soundtrack, but it was phony stereo – mono rechanneled to simulate stereo (and sounded awful to boot). Doesn't seem likely they would've issued a mono LP if the score had been recorded in stereo, but don't see why they would.

  30. deepscan

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Big-Co…992786?hash=item41e3755912:g:GP4AAOSw9sZa6Ac6

    Click on the link above, then glance through the photos, and bring up full screen the liner notes that talk about the sound mix on the film. That’s where I researched it.

    How in the heck could you read that. That was the blurriest thing I have ever seen

    I’m not saying you are not thuthful in what you reported, but I couldn’t barely read a thing. I guess I’ll have to pull mu laser disc out this weekend and read it.

  31. Walter Kittel

    Finances being somewhat tight, I tend not to 'upgrade' existing blu-rays and I was pretty happy (despite the problems) with the original release; but these glowing recommendations are going to make me reconsider that proposition in this particular case.

    Being one of my favorite Westerns makes that decision easier as well.

    – Walter.

    Walter,

    I think Kino is going to have a sale very soon so you might be able to pick this up cheaply.

  32. mark-edk

    United Artists issued a 'stereo' LP of the soundtrack, but it was phony stereo – mono rechanneled to simulate stereo (and sounded awful to boot). Doesn't seem likely they would've issued a mono LP if the score had been recorded in stereo, but don't see why they would.

    The La La Land cd is also in mono as far as I can tell.

  33. Walter Kittel

    Finances being somewhat tight, I tend not to 'upgrade' existing blu-rays and I was pretty happy (despite the problems) with the original release; but these glowing recommendations are going to make me reconsider that proposition in this particular case.

    Being one of my favorite Westerns makes that decision easier as well.

    – Walter.

    Walter,

    This release is now $13.48 on Kino's site.

  34. Thomas T

    […]

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

    As the re-release poster of "The Sound of Music" had stated, "The wait is over". And yes, Thomas T, your wait is over, as well. I, PMF, at the age of 7 had attended that very "Gone With The Wind" you speak of. The poster boasted such wonders as 70mm and stereophonic sound; and it was shown in our local theater. A theater, mind you, that was never equipped to run either 70 or six track. But the poster said what it said; and I believed.

  35. Robert Harris

    I don’t know, but I got my info from one of the producers, who told me he recalled it being mono.

    But what does he know.

    I believe he also spent some time on set.

    Doing what, one can’t be certain.

    I will never forget those referencing tributes made to Gregory Peck in "Dog Day Afternoon", when Sonny stirred up the sidewalk crowds by shouting "Atticus, Atticus, Atticus !!!";)

  36. PMF

    at the age of 7 had attended that very "Gone With The Wind" you speak of. The poster boasted such wonders as 70mm and stereophonic sound; and it was shown in our local theater. A theater, mind you, that was never equipped to run either 70 or six track. But the poster said what it said; and I believed

    I'm reminded of a friend looking at a poster of Fox's Prince Valiant which declared "You see it without glasses in CinemaScope." He said it was false advertising as without his glasses he couldn't see it. I told him he could see it without his glasses, it would be blurry but he could see it. He said I should have been a lawyer! 🙂

  37. PMF

    As the re-release poster of "The Sound of Music" had stated, "The wait is over". And yes, Thomas T, your wait is over, as well. I, PMF, at the age of 7 had attended that very "Gone With The Wind" you speak of. The poster boasted such wonders as 70mm and stereophonic sound; and it was shown in our local theater. A theater, mind you, that was never equipped to run either 70 or six track. But the poster said what it said; and I believed.

    I saw GWTW in 70mm at Madison theater Detroit in 67

  38. These posts brought back memories. I saw the 70mm GONE WITH THE WIND at DC's Uptown on its curved Cinerama screen. At one reel change, the sound level dropped to almost unlistenable levels. The projectionist ramped up the sound level, which added an incredible amount of hiss. I thought the mag stripe had been degraded somehow until the shot with the sundial and its "do not squander time" engraving appeared. The lettering was backward! Before then, I never knew that a sound head could read a mag stripe (poorly) THROUGH the film. One of only two times in my decades of filmgoing at the Uptown when there was a projection goof.

    To get this thread back on track, I was waffling on getting THE BIG COUNTRY Blu-Ray, but the rave reviews and the Kino sale have convinced me.

  39. deepscan

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Big-Co…992786?hash=item41e3755912:g:GP4AAOSw9sZa6Ac6

    Click on the link above, then glance through the photos, and bring up full screen the liner notes that talk about the sound mix on the film. That’s where I researched it.

    As Mr. Hollis said, no one could possibly read what you sent, so how could you? I'm trying to read and see who wrote these notes – can't do either.

  40. PMF

    No flicker.
    No stretching.
    Better color.
    Better density.
    And Jean Simmons, too.

    What's not to love?

    $13.48 is a down-right steal.

    Don't forget to mention the $8 shipping charge, which brings the total cost to $21.48. Not exactly a steal IMO. Amazon has it for $19.97 shipped free if you're a Prime member, but since it's OOS it doesn't matter.

  41. Thomas T

    It never ceases to amaze me how we (the generic we) demand or wish certain titles over the years and when we finally get them in the best possible shape, the carping begins: it's taken from 35 mm elements rather than the 70mm negative (so what if the 35 mm yielded a better transfer than the 70mm), it's not in stereo (so what if it was never released in stereo), the dance steps are off (so what if you have to close your eyes to hear them), Marilyn Monroe's dress should be magenta rather than fuchsia (forget about the plot, it's her clothes that are important) etc.

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

    When IMDB still had their message board somebody sort of tried to make that argument about Gone With The Wind and complained when the Blu Ray came out in 2009 that after all this time it is still in full frame pan and scan mode. When will we get finally get a wide screen version of Gone With The Wind. A bunch of us had to give the poster a history of aspect ratios. No wonder the IMDB message board for shut down.

  42. Thomas T

    It never ceases to amaze me how we (the generic we) demand or wish certain titles over the years and when we finally get them in the best possible shape, the carping begins: it's taken from 35 mm elements rather than the 70mm negative (so what if the 35 mm yielded a better transfer than the 70mm), it's not in stereo (so what if it was never released in stereo), the dance steps are off (so what if you have to close your eyes to hear them), Marilyn Monroe's dress should be magenta rather than fuchsia (forget about the plot, it's her clothes that are important) etc.

    I'm still waiting for someone to swear that in 1967 he saw the roadshow Gone With The Wind in 70 millimeter and six track stereophonic sound so why are we getting a full frame and fake stereo blu ray? 🙂

    When IMDB still had their message board somebody sort of tried to make that argument about Gone With The Wind and complained when the Blu Ray came out in 2009 that after all this time it is still in full frame pan and scan mode. When will we get finally get a wide screen version of Gone With The Wind. A bunch of us had to give the poster a history of aspect ratios. No wonder the IMDB message board for shut down.

  43. dpippel

    Don't forget to mention the $8 shipping charge, which brings the total cost to $21.48. Not exactly a steal IMO. Amazon has it for $19.97 shipped free if you're a Prime member, but since it's OOS it doesn't matter.

    Agreed. I cancelled my Amazon order (1-2 months delivery) and bought it from Kino. I couldn't find enough stuff I wanted in their sale, so I just ordered it as a single item.

  44. dpippel

    Don't forget to mention the $8 shipping charge, which brings the total cost to $21.48. Not exactly a steal IMO. Amazon has it for $19.97 shipped free if you're a Prime member, but since it's OOS it doesn't matter.

    Agreed. I cancelled my Amazon order (1-2 months delivery) and bought it from Kino. I couldn't find enough stuff I wanted in their sale, so I just ordered it as a single item.

  45. dpippel

    Don't forget to mention the $8 shipping charge, which brings the total cost to $21.48. Not exactly a steal IMO. Amazon has it for $19.97 shipped free if you're a Prime member, but since it's OOS it doesn't matter.

    I am so glad I didn't pre order it from Amazon. They have burned me on new releases, especially ones that are released by Kino Lorber. Why do they have it up for pre order and day of release it's "Temporarily out of stock". Don't they order enough or do they order based on how many are preordered? Like if they only get 100 preorders they aren't going to stock it. As of right now, it says "ships in 1 to 2 months". I ordered mine from Zia's Record Exchange by me and should be here in a few days.

  46. dpippel

    Don't forget to mention the $8 shipping charge, which brings the total cost to $21.48. Not exactly a steal IMO. Amazon has it for $19.97 shipped free if you're a Prime member, but since it's OOS it doesn't matter.

    I am so glad I didn't pre order it from Amazon. They have burned me on new releases, especially ones that are released by Kino Lorber. Why do they have it up for pre order and day of release it's "Temporarily out of stock". Don't they order enough or do they order based on how many are preordered? Like if they only get 100 preorders they aren't going to stock it. As of right now, it says "ships in 1 to 2 months". I ordered mine from Zia's Record Exchange by me and should be here in a few days.

  47. Brian Husar

    I am so glad I didn't pre order it from Amazon. They have burned me on new releases, especially ones that are released by Kino Lorber. Why do they have it up for pre order and day of release it's "Temporarily out of stock". Don't they order enough or do they order based on how many are preordered? Like if they only get 100 preorders they aren't going to stock it. As of right now, it says "ships in 1 to 2 months". I ordered mine from Zia's Record Exchange by me and should be here in a few days.

    Amazon can't predict which titles HTF is going to create buzz over. It's HTFers who are buying them all up on release day! 😀

  48. dpippel

    Don't forget to mention the $8 shipping charge, which brings the total cost to $21.48. Not exactly a steal IMO. Amazon has it for $19.97 shipped free if you're a Prime member, but since it's OOS it doesn't matter.

    Kino is having a major sale until the 26th.
    I believe your shipping will be free, if you order comes to 50 bucks, or more.
    Now, that IS a steal…that is, if you want it to be.:cool:

  49. dpippel

    Very true, unless The Big Country is the only title you're interested in. 😉

    C'mon, man, you're a member of HTF. It's very doubtful that this would be the one and only title of interest; that is, unless, you own everything from Kino Lorber, already. It's a killer sale, Mr. dpippel.

  50. PMF

    C'mon, man, you're a member of HTF. It's very doubtful that this would be the one and only title of interest; that is, unless, you own everything from Kino Lorber, already. It's a killer sale, Mr. dpippel.

    Even so, some of us are on fixed incomes so we need to accommodate that extra $50 into their monthly budget.

  51. Robert Crawford

    Even so, some of us are on fixed incomes so we need to accommodate that extra $50 into their monthly budget.

    Wasn't Kino Lorber suppose to release Scorsese's Kundun this year? I remember Digital Bits listed it at the start of this year.

  52. PMF

    C'mon, man, you're a member of HTF. It's very doubtful that this would be the one and only title of interest; that is, unless, you own everything from Kino Lorber, already. It's a killer sale, Mr. dpippel.

    As Robert pointed out, some of us are on budgets.

  53. dpippel

    As Robert pointed out, some of us are on budgets.

    And some took part in the previous sale just a month or so ago. I managed to select enough to get the free shipping that time, but not this time. Now if "Woman in the Window" had been released and on sale, I might have just squeezed by.

  54. skylark68

    ….and one of their esteemed competitors has a sale going on at the same time…. 🙂

    Decisions, decisions…

    Nah, it's easy, just do what I did, and take advantage of both! 😉

    the Big Country is now mine.

    Definitely not easy on the pocketbook, but these bargains are too good to pass up, at least for me. The problem is I'm now hitting the money that I earmarked for the B&N Criterion sale.

  55. I just watched it again with the audio commentary. The commentary was good, but Christopher Frayling thought Chuck Connors was the only son of Burl Ives in the film or was confused about which characters were sons of Rufus Hannassey. Chuck Hayward and Jim Burk, who played in many John Wayne films also played sons of Rufus Hannassey/Burl Ives. All four of those characters that roughed up Gregory Peck in the film's beginning were brothers. Now, there might have been some confusion if old Rufus had any other sons, but those four were without a doubt.:) This film really had some of the best stuntmen in the business including Chuck Roberson and Bob Morgan along with Hayward and Burk.

    Anybody else confuse about Rufus Hannassey's sons?

  56. Robert Crawford

    Even so, some of us are on fixed incomes so we need to accommodate that extra $50 into their monthly budget.

    This appears to be selling for $20.00 on Amazon…the details list Kino, and the description includes all the features of the redux, plus it shows the Kino cover art. Error?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C5K53YD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    It does, however say that it's one disc. I don't see how all those special features could fit to a single disc. I have no idea of whom to inquire, as it is not a third party seller.

  57. Dick

    This appears to be selling for $20.00 on Amazon…the details list Kino, and the description includes all the features of the redux, plus it shows the Kino cover art. Error?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C5K53YD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    It does, however say that it's one disc. I don't see how all those special features could fit to a single disc. I have no idea of whom to inquire, as it is not a third party seller.

    It’s a single disc release

  58. Dick

    This appears to be selling for $20.00 on Amazon…the details list Kino, and the description includes all the features of the redux, plus it shows the Kino cover art. Error?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C5K53YD/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    It does, however say that it's one disc. I don't see how all those special features could fit to a single disc. I have no idea of whom to inquire, as it is not a third party seller.

    The bonus material adds up to about 136 minutes with a good portion of it being in 480. There is an audio commentary too, but even so with the movie being 167 minutes I see no issues being on one disc.

  59. Dick

    It does, however say that it's one disc. I don't see how all those special features could fit to a single disc. I have no idea of whom to inquire, as it is not a third party seller.

    As others said, it is a single disc. Originally the word seemed to be that it was going to be a 2-disc. As to how they can do it on single disc – the answer is simple: they lowered the bitrate of the main feature. The old MGM blu-ray used roughly 43GB for the film itself and had a respectable video bitrate of almost 32mbps. The Kino disc with the feature has 43GB of content but the film itself only takes up ~32GB while the bonus content is about ~11GB. The video bitrate of the film is about 24mbps. But just because the Kino has a lesser bitrate doesn't mean it doesn't look better overall due to the further remastering work. Personally with longer films like these tho, I'd rather see them as 2-discs where 1 disc has the bonus features and 1 is devoted to the film.

  60. PMF

    C'mon, man, you're a member of HTF. It's very doubtful that this would be the one and only title of interest; that is, unless, you own everything from Kino Lorber, already. It's a killer sale, Mr. dpippel.

    Robert Crawford

    Even so, some of us are on fixed incomes so we need to accommodate that extra $50 into their monthly budget.

    dpippel

    As Robert pointed out, some of us are on budgets.

    I'm in the very same boat. I was just pointing out the sale and the price point of where the free shipping comes into play, as another option. My post was written with self-deprecation and a hint of the ironic; for sadly, even I can't touch the sale. But, as sales go, it's a damned good one.

  61. skylark68

    ….and one of their esteemed competitors has a sale going on at the same time…. 🙂

    Decisions, decisions…

    My Wish-List has changed. No longer am I listing my hopeful titles. Instead, my Wish-List is simply a hope that each and every competitor would stagger their sales so we wouldn't have to make such choices. Criterion on one month; WAC at the next; TT thereafter and Kino before or after. Heck, even The Beatles and The Rolling Stones conferred with each other on their album release dates in order to not cancel or wipe each other out.

  62. PMF

    My Wish-List has changed. No longer am I listing my hopeful titles. Instead, my Wish-List is simply a hope that each and every competitor would stagger their sales so we wouldn't have to make such choices. Criterion on one month; WAC at the next; TT thereafter and Kino before or after. Heck, even The Beatles and The Rolling Stones conferred with each other on their album release dates in order to not cancel or wipe each other out.

    I'm not sure how that would help. If these companies continue to put out the same number of titles as they have been, but one a bi- or tri-monthly basis, you're going to have the same issue with making choices. It would simply mean each would give us 8-12 titles each announcement, and we would have to wait longer to get films from particular studios. Then, of course, there's Kino. Very few of us can keep up with their releases, as they have about as many new announcements on a weekly basis! (Not a criticism, as only about one or two out of ten appeal to me).

    Regards to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, they needn't have bothered — fans of either or both bands were going to grab every new album no matter what, even if a week or two later had they not been staggered.

  63. I may be too anal about this, but I divide new releases that attract my interest into three camps: 1) day one purchases, 2) purchase when the disc goes on sale, and 3) stream, rent, or somehow view the movie first before buying. TCM helps me with the latter, since they seem to feature films recently released by the Warner Archive.

  64. Great news to hear Mr. Harris confirm that The Big Country is now in a corrected edition. The earlier blu-ray was certainly watchable, but . . . I have always felt that the 1950's was the greatest decade for the Western – and this is one of the best. Plus, I have an eternal crush on Miss Jean Simmons.

  65. Brian Husar

    Finally received my copy. Beautiful. Glad this came out right. Now if we can get some more Wyler on blu, how about The Heiress? Long overdue.

    Full agreement on that. We want The Heiress!

  66. I was able to sit down and watch The Big Country yesterday morning. What a presentation! It looks simply marvelous. One of my favorite westerns for sure. I'd forgotten how much Burl Ives' performance pretty much dominates every scene he's in. And yes, then there's Jean Simmons… 🙂

  67. dpippel

    I was able to sit down and watch The Big Country yesterday morning. What a presentation! It looks simply marvelous. One of my favorite westerns for sure. I'd forgotten how much Burl Ives' performance pretty much dominates every scene he's in. And yes, then there's Jean Simmons… 🙂

    Ah ha, so you managed to get it. Congrats.

  68. If only Kino let overseas customers share in their sales!
    I know, I know … copyright issues … but how frustrating when the so-called foreign copyright holders show no interest at all in releasing on Blu ray! And now, to compound the issue, Amazon is about to ban Australian buyers from its site. Soon it will be impossible for us to order any Region 1 releases. And people wonder why there's so much illegal downloading . soon it will be the only option open! Very frustrating, since I want to purchase legal copies only, and not rely on dodgy downloads.

  69. AnthonyClarke

    If only Kino let overseas customers share in their sales!
    I know, I know … copyright issues … but how frustrating when the so-called foreign copyright holders show no interest at all in releasing on Blu ray! And now, to compound the issue, Amazon is about to ban Australian buyers from its site. Soon it will be impossible for us to order any Region 1 releases. And people wonder why there's so much illegal downloading . soon it will be the only option open! Very frustrating, since I want to purchase legal copies only, and not rely on dodgy downloads.

    https://www.deepdiscount.com/big-country-1958-the-big-country/738329214708

    "International delivery is not available for magazines, electronics, fragrances, cell phones, storage units, costumes or party supplies. Heavyweight items may have an additional surcharge added to the shipping cost of the order. A street address is required for all international shipments. Delivery to P.O. Boxes is not available.

    International orders are shipped via Expedited airmail in conjunction with DHL/Globalmail and your local postal service. Your package is delivered by your regular postal worker. DHL/Globalmail helps us expedite delivery by flying your package closer to your destination before injecting the mail into the postal stream. Delivery times vary based on the shipping destination.

    Some larger orders may be shipped via DHL at our discretion.

    Please be prepared to pay the Customs Duty your country charges. We are not and cannot be responsible for what your country charges. We do not declare packages at less than paid value, and we do not make special accommodations such as opening your package and only shipping discs.

    International Shipping Countries
    DeepDiscount.com reserves the right to refuse orders shipping to certain countries or regions worldwide.

    What Countries Do We Ship To?
    The following countries are currently available for shipment of goods: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States of America.


    International Shipping Rates
    Countries *International Shipping Rates
    Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom $3.99 per order + $1.99 per unit;
    8 to 15 Business Days
    Australia, Japan $4.99 per order + $1.99 per unit;
    8 to 15 Business Days
    All Other $5.99 per order + $1.99 per unit;
    8 to 15 Business Days"

  70. Watched KL's release of TBC yesterday. Had never seen the movie before and thought it was marvelous. The story kept me interested the whole running time, the cinematography was beautiful and loved the soundtrack/score. The acting was great allround, but Burl Ives brought something really special imo. KL's blu-ray looked breathtakingly beautiful (95% of the time) and sounded great, as has been mentioned. Extras were very interesting. Wonderful package from KL. Needs to be in every serious collection.

  71. AnthonyClarke

    If only Kino let overseas customers share in their sales!
    I know, I know … copyright issues … but how frustrating when the so-called foreign copyright holders show no interest at all in releasing on Blu ray! And now, to compound the issue, Amazon is about to ban Australian buyers from its site. Soon it will be impossible for us to order any Region 1 releases. And people wonder why there's so much illegal downloading . soon it will be the only option open! Very frustrating, since I want to purchase legal copies only, and not rely on dodgy downloads.

    Not even living in Australia, I can empathize. Is it known why Amazon is doing this?

  72. AnthonyClarke

    If only Kino let overseas customers share in their sales!
    I know, I know … copyright issues … but how frustrating when the so-called foreign copyright holders show no interest at all in releasing on Blu ray! And now, to compound the issue, Amazon is about to ban Australian buyers from its site. Soon it will be impossible for us to order any Region 1 releases. And people wonder why there's so much illegal downloading . soon it will be the only option open! Very frustrating, since I want to purchase legal copies only, and not rely on dodgy downloads.

    Try amazon.ca. It is, of course, more expensive, but most of the selection is the same.

  73. Matt Hough

    Full agreement on that. We want The Heiress!

    THE HEIRESS, a pre-1950 Paramount film, is owned by Universal Television, so Kino wouldn’t handle that one. Probably either in house or Criterion.

  74. deepscan

    THE HEIRESS, a pre-1950 Paramount film, is owned by Universal Television, so Kino wouldn’t handle that one. Probably either in house or Criterion.

    Yeah, I can't see Universal releasing it since its appeal is limited. Definitely a boutique label title. Too bad Shout Factory (which is releasing a lot of Universal titles) only releases genre (horror/sci-fi/action) type product or they might take a chance on it.

  75. Thomas T

    Yeah, I can't see Universal releasing it since its appeal is limited. Definitely a boutique label title. Too bad Shout Factory (which is releasing a lot of Universal titles) only releases genre (horror/sci-fi/action) type product or they might take a chance on it.

    I can't understand why a film of quality – such as "The Heiress" – would have limited appeal.
    But, then again, I can't understand why many would refuse to watch a black and white film.
    I scratch my head over stuff like this, because the general populace still listens to "The Oldies", watches re-runs of "I Love Lucy" and read the works of authors from earlier generations; while others will admire old antique cars and recipes that have been passed down.
    Any guesses as to why it all stops at the movies?

  76. PMF

    I can't understand why a film of quality would have limited appeal.
    But, then again, I can't understand why many refuse to watch a black and white film.
    I scratch my head over stuff like this, because the general populace still listens to "The Oldies", watches re-runs of "I Love Lucy" and read the works of authors from earlier generations; while others will admire old antique cars and recipes that have been passed down.
    Any guesses as to why it all stops at the movies?

    I wish I had insight into this. I once had a friend who not only refused to watch older movies, he'd even refuse to watch new movies set in a historical time period, which he defined as anything pre-1990 (his teenage years). His only explanation for this was that he didn't like "old-fashioned" things.

    Boggles the mind…

  77. PMF

    I can't understand why a film of quality – such as "The Heiress" – would have limited appeal…

    You have to be somewhat knowledgeable about film history to have even heard about a film like that, let alone seen it. And these days, there is far more filmed entertainment produced than at anytime in history, much more than any person could possibly watch even if that's all they did. And aside from TCM, there's not much of an outlet to expose people to older films.

  78. For those interested in "The Heiress", the 2007 DVD from Universal is still available at retailers like Amazon and Deep Discount for less than $10.00. Great film with excellent acting performances from Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift and Ralph Richardson. It's been about ten years since my last viewing so I'm going to cue this DVD up again. God, I've always loved the ending of this film.

  79. Robert Crawford

    For those interested in "The Heiress", the 2007 DVD from Universal is still available at retailers like Amazon and Deep Discount for less than $10.00. Great film with excellent acting performances from Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift and Ralph Richardson. It's been about ten years since my last viewing so I'm going to cue this DVD up again. God, I've always loved the ending of this film.

    I do have that one. Does the job until they decide on a Blu Ray

  80. PMF

    Not even living in Australia, I can empathize. Is it known why Amazon is doing this?

    It's because the Australian Government has chosen to impose it's 10% GST (like VAT) on any imported items coming into the country, starting this month. Amazon has ostensibly chosen to block Australian's from ordering from the US in protest – I think they've argued that the overheads for them are prohibitive. However, they probably find it a convenient time to direct buyers to Amazon.au (which has nothing like the range of products available from the bigger overseas Amazon stores).
    For us Australians, we can only hope that we are not locked out of other global online stores.

  81. At the time the laserdisc was produced, all that was available to me for transfer was a 35mm three-track mono master, from 1958, with the following configuration:
    Channel 1: mono composite
    Channel 2: blank
    Channel 3: mono music & effects
    At the time no stereo material was found in MGM's inventory.

    For the isolated score we used a mono source transferred from 1/4 masters. A copy of the back of the 1/4 reels was sent to me and a note written at the time when the transfer was done was 'stereo combine' referring to the original source which was provided for transfer:

    [​IMG]

    The laserdisc, produced by Image Entertainment, was a gate-fold and I provided some notes (It may or may not contain inaccuracies but I tried to make it a factual as possible at the time of writing).

    [​IMG]

  82. That's anyone's guess.
    Since Australia Post has said it's not their job to collect tax, I guess it will just arrive untaxed … but then we also have to consider the additional $5 charge per parcel the Government has said they will put on as an additional charge to keep local retailers (and donors to the Liberal Party) happy. They claim that's to cover customs processing cost!

  83. My copy finally came in and I compared to the original. The good news for those of us that couldn't stand the flicker problem on the old is that it is indeed fixed. As is the stretching issue. And I would say given the significance of both of those issues plus the bonus features that overall the new Kino release is better than the old. But the bad news is there are 2 problems on this new release that weren't on the old.

    1) First they mastered the audio different and it is now 16-bit instead of 24-bit. After doing back-to-back listening tests with my headphones between the old and new, here is what I can say: The old audio had a slightly less clear, but much more spacious sounding feel which fits the feel of the movie perfectly (since it is after all The *BIG* Country). The new audio is much more "in your face" and while perfectly fine, just isn't as enjoyable to me with this particular picture. For those that know audio, that is a big part of the benefit to 24-bit over 16-bit is that it gives you increased headroom to work with and makes things more spacious sounding as opposed to "more cramped". This would all be less noticeable to someone not listening with headphones as I was, but it's still noteworthy. I would have rather they just copied the audio track from the old release – it was perfectly fine – I don't know why they felt the need to make changes here.

    2) The second issue is that there are more noticeable compression artifact issues as compared to the old, which I am sure is a function of the decreased bitrate given to the feature on the new disc to make room for the bonus features. If they had just stuck to what the original announcement seemed to indicate and released as a 2-disc set instead of 1, this likely would have been avoided.

    It's kind of frustrating to me that Kino fixed some problems while introducing new ones. Overall, it's still the better option and a noticeable improvement as RAH mentions, but it still isn't as good as it SHOULD be.

  84. That's sad news. I will welcome the fix to the 'stretch' issue but audio is very important to me, which is why I've been assiduously replacing all my favourite CDs with their equivalent issues in 24-96 format. There is a huge difference in listening pleasure!

  85. chrislong2

    1) First they mastered the audio different and it is now 16-bit instead of 24-bit.
    2) The second issue is that there are more noticeable compression artifact issues as compared to the old

    I don't have any problem with 16-bit vs 24-bit audio when we're talking about a 60 year old analog recording, but adding obvious compression artifacts to make room for bonus material is not good. Throw the bonus stuff out as far as I'm concerned–I don't have time to watch it anyway.

    —————

  86. I thought it looked superb upscaled to 4K on my 65" LG OLED. Compression artifacts? If there were any they were fleeting and few, because I didn't notice them. There were a few soft shots here and there, but that's the source, not the authoring. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

  87. ScottHM

    I don't have any problem with 16-bit vs 24-bit audio when we're talking about a 60 year old analog recording

    I understand that logic, but it's a view that really doesn't understand audio. Analog recordings whether from yesterday or 60 years ago, stereo or mono, still will sound different at 16-bit versus 24-bit when brought into the digital domain, especially as effects and tools are used on the audio for cleanup purposes etc. 16-bit will sound more "compact" and "in your face" and 24-bit will have more breathing room and more spacious. With a BIG (pun intended) film like this that's meant to have a large feel, I do feel the 24-bit is a better fit with the visuals. I can tell you having personally listened to several scenes tonight including with mostly the score with the old at 24-bit and the new at 16-bit, this bit difference IS noticeable especially if one knows what they are listening for. But I also don't think that most people will care. The new is louder and clearer (the old was a little soft and slightly muddled) but also less spacious – it's more "upfront" and "direct". Since originally it was done by MGM as 24-bit, I'm not sure why it was then changed to 16-bit this time around – whether MGM provided the new remaster that way to Kino or Kino changed it to 16 figuring it didn't matter and it would give them another GB to use on the disc since they decided to squeeze the feature and special features together on the disc. My guess is the latter.

  88. dpippel

    I thought it looked superb upscaled to 4K on my 65" LG OLED. Compression artifacts? If there were any they were fleeting and few, because I didn't notice them. There were a few soft shots here and there, but that's the source, not the authoring. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

    In switching back and forth earlier, I could clearly see the difference between the old and new. Some people have said that the new is just showing more of the grain, but the difference I'm seeing anyway doesn't really look natural to me. If it's not all actual compression artifacts, it might be some sort of digitally applied grain filter of some sort – IDK. Realistically it's probably a mix of stuff – certainly at least some of it is attributable to the decrease in available bits and a tighter compression. Whatever it is tho, it's certainly different. Even the Fun in the Big Country special feature is much different on the new (I thought it looked better on the old when comparing). I still think all in all, the new remaster of the film looks better since it solves the other problems, but it's clear to me that it's not as good as it could be. That doesn't mean it doesn't still look great and breathtaking. But there were people saying that about the old blu too (even with its stretched image issue which not everyone even noticed).

  89. chrislong2

    I understand that logic, but it's a view that really doesn't understand audio. Analog recordings whether from yesterday or 60 years ago, stereo or mono, still will sound different at 16-bit versus 24-bit when brought into the digital domain

    That's just your opinion. They certainly can sound different, but they can sound the same. An analog recording with limited dynamics doesn't care about the extra headroom 24-bits provide.

    —————

  90. ScottHM

    That's just your opinion. They certainly can sound different, but they can sound the same. An analog recording with limited dynamics doesn't care about the extra headroom 24-bits provide.

    With all due respect to you, I work with audio, and I don't believe that's just opinion. Once an analog recording is transferred into the digital domain it is subject to the processing of the audio editing programs. That processing one way or another will effect a difference between 16 and 24-bit – they just do – the different plugins and so forth operating at 16 vs 24 etc. Now it could be quite mild difference or a bigger one, but they won't be the "same". Your statement regarding analog recordings with "limited dynamics" as you say not caring about the extra headroom is just not correct… My guess is the reason we ended up with a 16-bit track on this Kino blu instead of the 24 is precisely because someone at Kino held your type of thinking and didn't think a 60-year-old film could possibly benefit from having a 24-bit track. And since we are specifically talking about The Big Country here, I've listened to both the old 24-bit and new 16-bit track through my studio headphones, and there IS a noticeable difference where the 24-bit DOES take advantage of those extra 8 bits and provides a more expansive and less "in your face" sound. Now you can choose to not care about that and that's totally fine – I suspect many would agree with you. But that doesn't mean there ISN'T a difference because there certainly is. That's all I'm going to say on the matter. If you want to think there isn't one or that 60-year-old films can't benefit from having 24-bit audio or that it doesn't matter to you, that's totally fine – do what makes you happy. 🙂

  91. AnthonyClarke

    That's sad news. I will welcome the fix to the 'stretch' issue but audio is very important to me, which is why I've been assiduously replacing all my favourite CDs with their equivalent issues in 24-96 format. There is a huge difference in listening pleasure!

    Watched last night. Knocks the old BD for six both on PQ and SQ.
    Add a host of extras and you should be more than happy with its purchase.
    To nit pick over sound resolution on a 60 or so year old track which was originally compromised for optical replay way back when is rather silly in the extreme.

  92. chrislong2

    With all due respect to you, I work with audio, and I don't believe that's just opinion. Once an analog recording is transferred into the digital domain it is subject to the processing of the audio editing programs. That processing one way or another will effect a difference between 16 and 24-bit – they just do – the different plugins and so forth operating at 16 vs 24 etc. Now it could be quite mild difference or a bigger one, but they won't be the "same". Your statement regarding analog recordings with "limited dynamics" as you say not caring about the extra headroom is just not correct… My guess is the reason we ended up with a 16-bit track on this Kino blu instead of the 24 is precisely because someone at Kino held your type of thinking and didn't think a 60-year-old film could possibly benefit from having a 24-bit track. And since we are specifically talking about The Big Country here, I've listened to both the old 24-bit and new 16-bit track through my studio headphones, and there IS a noticeable difference where the 24-bit DOES take advantage of those extra 8 bits and provides a more expansive and less "in your face" sound. Now you can choose to not care about that and that's totally fine – I suspect many would agree with you. But that doesn't mean there ISN'T a difference because there certainly is. That's all I'm going to say on the matter. If you want to think there isn't one or that 60-year-old films can't benefit from having 24-bit audio or that it doesn't matter to you, that's totally fine – do what makes you happy. 🙂

    I think I'll just parrot my friend Robert A. Harris and say: Deleted. Other than to say, I'd like to understand how exactly you work with audio, because I'm here to tell you I have been working with audio for CD releases for thirty years now. And I know how "audiophiles" are, trust me. They hear stuff no one else hears, but I guarantee you if I put you in a room and you didn't know sources you would fail a blind test as much as you would pass a blind test.

  93. haineshisway

    I think I'll just parrot my friend Robert A. Harris and say: Deleted. Other than to say, I'd like to understand how exactly you work with audio, because I'm here to tell you I have been working with audio for CD releases for thirty years now. And I know how "audiophiles" are, trust me. They hear stuff no one else hears, but I guarantee you if I put you in a room and you didn't know sources you would fail a blind test as much as you would pass a blind test.

    Whatever. I don't really feel a need to tout credentials because the degree to which I do or do not work with audio has no bearing on the observable fact that the old track sounds different from the new track (whether one thinks it sounds better, worse, or just different is irrelevant to this point – only if one wanted to try and claim they are exactly the same would I say they are full of baloney). Unless you've listened to both back to back through your headphones as I did, it's really easy to just come along and throw out the "well anybody can hear anything they want" type card. Tho as a general rule, I do largely agree with you about audiophiles. Regarding this release, I specifically said I thought the new release was overall better and that the new audio is better in some respects (it's louder and clearer). I merely made an observation that the old disc had 24-bit audio, which sounds more spacious/has more room to breathe, and the new disc has 16-bit audio which is clearer and more "in your face" and stated that personally I preferred the 24-bit track for this movie because I felt it fit the expansiveness of the picture better. And I do. Anybody that records audio in 24-bit as I do and then downmixes to 16-bit for CD knows that when 24 goes to 16, the mix gets tighter and loses the more spacious sound that 24-bit provides. If you or anyone else don't think there's a difference between 24-bit and 16-bit or specifically don't think there's a difference between the old disc's 24-bit track and the new disc's 16-bit track, then you can have your opinion all day long and I'm certainly not going to change it. I already stated that I don't think most people watching that weren't using headphones would notice the difference or care. Indeed to most people it would probably sound like the new track was better. For me, I DO often watch movies with headphones and I DID notice the difference right away, but yes, it's fair to say I'm somewhat of an audiophile. Like I said to ScottHM above, if you or anyone else don't care about it or just think it's nitpicking to even bring this up for such an old movie or want to think I'm just hearing things or whatever, that's totally fine – whatever makes you happy. 🙂 Pardon me for dare mentioning that I actually prefer the audio track on the old disc.

  94. chrislong2

    Whatever. I don't really feel a need to explain or defend anything. I specifically said I thought the new release was overall better and that the new audio is better in some respects (it's louder and clearer). I merely made an observation that the old disc had 24-bit audio, which sounds more spacious/has more room to breathe, and the new disc has 16-bit audio which is clearer and more "in your face" and stated that personally I preferred the 24-bit track for this movie because I felt it fit the expansiveness of the picture better. Anybody that records audio in 24-bit as I do and then downmixes to 16-bit for CD knows that when 24 goes to 16, the mix gets tighter and loses the more spacious sound that 24-bit provides. If you or anyone else don't think there's a difference between 24-bit and 16-bit or specifically don't think there's a difference between the old disc's 24-bit track and the new disc's 16-bit track, then you can have your opinion all day long and I'm certainly not going to change it. I already stated that I don't think most people watching that weren't using headphones would notice the difference or care. Indeed to most people it would probably sound like the new track was better. For me, I DO often watch movies with headphones and I DID notice the difference right away. Like I said to ScottHM above, if you or anyone else don't care about it or just think it's nitpicking to even bring this up for such an old movie or want to think I'm just hearing things or whatever, that's totally fine – whatever makes you happy. 🙂 Pardon me for dare mentioning that I actually prefer the audio track on the old disc.

    I rarely dispute what another poster says he sees or hears when viewing any movie at home. If that's what you're hearing then so be it. As you stated, most other people are probably very happy with this release and I'm one of them. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this disc.

  95. Sorry Robert – I edited my post before I saw your reply. I realized I said I didn't feel a need to explain or defend, but then went on to explain and defend. 😉 lol So I fixed to make clearer what I was really trying to mean. Anyway, yes, in some respects all this stuff is subjective. The fact that the two tracks are different is not subjective – that can be proved very easily in an objective way. But whether one person thinks one track is BETTER than another or fits the mood of the picture better or whatever is by definition going to be subjective and can be affected by such things as listening environmen (quality speakers vs headphones vs cheapo speakers etc). So that part is definitely just my opinion and I'm totally cool with others having a different opinion. 🙂

  96. haineshisway

    My problem is I don't listen to movies via headphones so I'm probably not hearing what you're hearing. I do have both releases and perhaps I'll do a little A/B myself come Monday, just to see.

    Well if you do, a great part to check is from 20:30 to about 22:30 through the score and then some dialog with Ramon. Note that I never claimed the difference was HUGE or anything or that I hated the new track, but there is a difference and the old one is more expansive sounding (yes, even for a mono track). In my case, I can listen literally back to back without any delay but if you're loading the discs in between you might have to try going back and forth a few times to see what I mean.

  97. My copy of the Kino Big Country only arrived two days ago so I can't do a cross-check yet. But while I agree with you about the tangible diffference between 16 and 24 bit audio re the headspace and extra air around a performance versus the flattened two-dimensionality of the average CD (though there are brilliant sounding exceptions) I'm sure the improved picture quality will make up for any audio loss.
    Re the difference between 16 and 24 bit … my favourite performance of the Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Violin are by the David Oistrakh/Lev Oborin duo.
    On the only available CD transfer, the sound, compared to the original LPs, is flat. Dead. Almost unlisteneable. And that has been true while trying first to listen with a great set of B & W speakers, and then via a set of the acclaimed Neat British speakers, with an English Quad pre and power amplifier combo.
    I recently managed to gain a 24-96 set of the complete sonatas, derived from the original Philips LPs. Even though coming from the original vinyl and not master-tapes, this performance has space and depth and life. I can listen to them again. I know Bruce's long-held dictum, but I do trust my ears, and the experience gained as a professional classical music recordings reviewer for 40 years.
    But I trust Bruce in so many other areas of his considerable expertise, that I'm prepared to disagree very happily in this one.

  98. It's not really a question of disagreeing – I can hear the difference – but when a normal CD is properly mastered by people who understand what mastering is, the results can be extraordinary. Plus many CDs in the older days were taken from masters prepared specifically for LP and that's why those didn't sound good – nowadays they tend to use the original album masters, which are second generation or the original multi-tracks (in the case of the older stereo three-track recordings, where they're not really changing a mix). I love my SACD discs, some of which are absolutely breathtaking – Bill Evans Conversations with Myself, one of the greatest albums ever made, IMO, has never sounded good – not on LP, especially not on CD, but the SACD is like hearing an entirely different and brilliant recording. Believe me, I get it. But I did a release of Casino Royale using the damaged album master that Varese screwed up, but we worked on it for weeks, using as our guide the "audiophile" LP, which everyone LOVES. Ultimately, we got it to sound better than the LP and then for grins I included a flat transfer of a mint LP (I mean brand new), just so everyone could have that – well, our redo was considered better than the LP because we made sure the sound a) matched what everyone loved, but b) gave it all the air and oomph it needed. And that was a normal CD.

  99. haineshisway

    It's not really a question of disagreeing – I can hear the difference – but when a normal CD is properly mastered by people who understand what mastering is, the results can be extraordinary. Plus many CDs in the older days were taken from masters prepared specifically for LP and that's why those didn't sound good – nowadays they tend to use the original album masters, which are second generation or the original multi-tracks (in the case of the older stereo three-track recordings, where they're not really changing a mix). I love my SACD discs, some of which are absolutely breathtaking – Bill Evans Conversations with Myself, one of the greatest albums ever made, IMO, has never sounded good – not on LP, especially not on CD, but the SACD is like hearing an entirely different and brilliant recording. Believe me, I get it. But I did a release of Casino Royale using the damaged album master that Varese screwed up, but we worked on it for weeks, using as our guide the "audiophile" LP, which everyone LOVES. Ultimately, we got it to sound better than the LP and then for grins I included a flat transfer of a mint LP (I mean brand new), just so everyone could have that – well, our redo was considered better than the LP because we made sure the sound a) matched what everyone loved, but b) gave it all the air and oomph it needed. And that was a normal CD.

    The problem with “air” extends into composite film soundtracks, especially when a vendor feels the necessity to “clean” the analogue hiss, thereby removing the high end, and removing the life from a track.

    When it comes to image, a similar situation in the way that some people handle black, and the big of air just beneath.

  100. haineshisway

    It's not really a question of disagreeing – I can hear the difference – but when a normal CD is properly mastered by people who understand what mastering is, the results can be extraordinary. Plus many CDs in the older days were taken from masters prepared specifically for LP and that's why those didn't sound good – nowadays they tend to use the original album masters, which are second generation or the original multi-tracks (in the case of the older stereo three-track recordings, where they're not really changing a mix). I love my SACD discs, some of which are absolutely breathtaking – Bill Evans Conversations with Myself, one of the greatest albums ever made, IMO, has never sounded good – not on LP, especially not on CD, but the SACD is like hearing an entirely different and brilliant recording. Believe me, I get it. But I did a release of Casino Royale using the damaged album master that Varese screwed up, but we worked on it for weeks, using as our guide the "audiophile" LP, which everyone LOVES. Ultimately, we got it to sound better than the LP and then for grins I included a flat transfer of a mint LP (I mean brand new), just so everyone could have that – well, our redo was considered better than the LP because we made sure the sound a) matched what everyone loved, but b) gave it all the air and oomph it needed. And that was a normal CD.

    The problem with “air” extends into composite film soundtracks, especially when a vendor feels the necessity to “clean” the analogue hiss, thereby removing the high end, and removing the life from a track.

    When it comes to image, a similar situation in the way that some people handle black, and the big of air just beneath.

  101. haineshisway

    It's not really a question of disagreeing – I can hear the difference – but when a normal CD is properly mastered by people who understand what mastering is, the results can be extraordinary. Plus many CDs in the older days were taken from masters prepared specifically for LP and that's why those didn't sound good – nowadays they tend to use the original album masters, which are second generation or the original multi-tracks (in the case of the older stereo three-track recordings, where they're not really changing a mix). I love my SACD discs, some of which are absolutely breathtaking – Bill Evans Conversations with Myself, one of the greatest albums ever made, IMO, has never sounded good – not on LP, especially not on CD, but the SACD is like hearing an entirely different and brilliant recording. Believe me, I get it. But I did a release of Casino Royale using the damaged album master that Varese screwed up, but we worked on it for weeks, using as our guide the "audiophile" LP, which everyone LOVES. Ultimately, we got it to sound better than the LP and then for grins I included a flat transfer of a mint LP (I mean brand new), just so everyone could have that – well, our redo was considered better than the LP because we made sure the sound a) matched what everyone loved, but b) gave it all the air and oomph it needed. And that was a normal CD.

    And I agree .. when care is taken with mastering for CD, the result can be extraordinary. But the clear majority of my CDs are badly mastered! Look at the travesties of early CDs of The Stones and The Beatles .. although there were some great Stones CDs released by accident years ago in Germany using Mobile Fidelity transfers .. quickly taken off the market leaving only inferior Abko transfers in their place!
    So we're not in disagreement at all .. I will keep chasing my 24-96 sources because they are the easiest way to get a substantial sonic improvement in most cases. Qobuz in France is a good source for many of these transfers.

  102. haineshisway

    It's not really a question of disagreeing – I can hear the difference – but when a normal CD is properly mastered by people who understand what mastering is, the results can be extraordinary. Plus many CDs in the older days were taken from masters prepared specifically for LP and that's why those didn't sound good – nowadays they tend to use the original album masters, which are second generation or the original multi-tracks (in the case of the older stereo three-track recordings, where they're not really changing a mix). I love my SACD discs, some of which are absolutely breathtaking – Bill Evans Conversations with Myself, one of the greatest albums ever made, IMO, has never sounded good – not on LP, especially not on CD, but the SACD is like hearing an entirely different and brilliant recording. Believe me, I get it. But I did a release of Casino Royale using the damaged album master that Varese screwed up, but we worked on it for weeks, using as our guide the "audiophile" LP, which everyone LOVES. Ultimately, we got it to sound better than the LP and then for grins I included a flat transfer of a mint LP (I mean brand new), just so everyone could have that – well, our redo was considered better than the LP because we made sure the sound a) matched what everyone loved, but b) gave it all the air and oomph it needed. And that was a normal CD.

    And I agree .. when care is taken with mastering for CD, the result can be extraordinary. But the clear majority of my CDs are badly mastered! Look at the travesties of early CDs of The Stones and The Beatles .. although there were some great Stones CDs released by accident years ago in Germany using Mobile Fidelity transfers .. quickly taken off the market leaving only inferior Abko transfers in their place!
    So we're not in disagreement at all .. I will keep chasing my 24-96 sources because they are the easiest way to get a substantial sonic improvement in most cases. Qobuz in France is a good source for many of these transfers.

  103. A good 16-bit mix will always be better than a crappy 24-bit one. And sometimes the tighter feel of 16-bit is very advantageous, so I'm not in the 24-bit is always better camp. That's a general audio statement but regarding this specific movie, I just think given the incredible picture and big vista landscapes etc that having an audio track with a little more spaciousness to it as the 24-bit one on the old disc provided is my personal preference over the tighter feel of the new 16 one. But it's not a HUGE deal and certainly shouldn't be a reason for someone not to purchase the new disc. But I still echo my original comment on the matter which is that there was no pressing need for Kino to mess with the audio track and if they were going to, then at least they should have made sure they matched specs as good as the old disc. They didn't….And I don't think that's an invalid thing to point out.

  104. A good 16-bit mix will always be better than a crappy 24-bit one. And sometimes the tighter feel of 16-bit is very advantageous, so I'm not in the 24-bit is always better camp. That's a general audio statement but regarding this specific movie, I just think given the incredible picture and big vista landscapes etc that having an audio track with a little more spaciousness to it as the 24-bit one on the old disc provided is my personal preference over the tighter feel of the new 16 one. But it's not a HUGE deal and certainly shouldn't be a reason for someone not to purchase the new disc. But I still echo my original comment on the matter which is that there was no pressing need for Kino to mess with the audio track and if they were going to, then at least they should have made sure they matched specs as good as the old disc. They didn't….And I don't think that's an invalid thing to point out.

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