Look at the pictures! 4 Stars

Old Blu-ray:

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 17.47.28.png

New Arrow Blu-ray:

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 17.39.56.png

Old Blu-ray:

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 17.43.19.png

New Arrow Blu-ray

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 17.39.24.png

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Robert Harris

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Billy Batson

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Not so much brighter, the light areas don't look any lighter, there's a lot less contrast, you can see a lot more detail in the dark a areas, like the support for the clock, & a bit more picture top & bottom, those caps look really nice, &...I've never seen the film! It looks like the Arrow will be my first viewing of it.
 

seangood79

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Interestingly, the old Blu is also out of round, ie distorted.
I can see one of two things happening at MGM to explain the first Blu Ray:
1. They simply swapped the settings for The Big Country Blu Ray
2. MGM Exec: "I read on Wikipedia The Apartment won the Best Picture Oscar, so we can't screw this one up. I also read on Wikipedia this thing called Cinemascope Mumps, we can't have that on this release, so fix it"
Doesn't matter that it's Panavision.
 

Robert Harris

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I can see one of two things happening at MGM to explain the first Blu Ray:
1. They simply swapped the settings for The Big Country Blu Ray
2. MGM Exec: "I read on Wikipedia The Apartment won the Best Picture Oscar, so we can't screw this one up. I also read on Wikipedia this thing called Cinemascope Mumps, we can't have that on this release, so fix it"
Doesn't matter that it's Panavision.
Very doubtful. There are some talented people at MGM.
 
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lark144

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Not so much brighter, the light areas don't look any lighter, there's a lot less contrast, you can see a lot more detail in the dark a areas, like the support for the clock, & a bit more picture top & bottom, those caps look really nice, &...I've never seen the film! It looks like the Arrow will be my first viewing of it.
Wow, Alan; you seem so literate when it comes to film, I'm surprised you've never seen THE APARTMENT. I've always considered THE APARTMENT a kind of paragon, or if you will, a shining light as to what American filmmakers are capable of. But maybe that just comes from growing up in the New York area.

My father took me to see THE APARTMENT when I was ten. I think I was especially interested because of Fred MacMurray, though his persona was a stark contrast from the stuff he did for Walt Disney. Well, he was just as affable, but under the surface, a little different.

Now my dad had an interest in foreign films, so when my mom was out with her friends on a mahjong night, he would take me to see things like LA DOLCE VITA & BREATHLESS. So I had an understanding of the new realism that was being expressed in European films. I'm not sure if I understood everything that was going on in them on a narrative level, but visually and formally they excited me. And I saw the same thing happening in THE APARTMENT; not just a new-found sexual frankness, but a frankness about how people really lived and negotiated that chasm between expectations and that sinking feeling of the quotidian closing in. Also, that contradiction between what we let the world see and what we really are deep inside. And THE APARTMENT is all about illusion, not just in terms of the characters but in the way the film is composed and lit. Which is why I'm so pleased to see in these screen shots that Mr. Harris posted that finally you can notice the cracks in the wallpaper and the glow from the bathroom light in the unwashed glasses.

Now I lived in a Upper West Side rooming house very similar to the one Jack Lemmon lives in Billy Wilder's film, with the same kind of cracked wallpaper and creaking stairs. In fact, it was only a block away, on Columbus & 70th Street, whereas the brownstone in THE APARTMENT is on Columbus & 69th. And I used to go to the same bar that Jack Lemmon hangs out in on Christmas Eve in the film, the Emerald Inn, which was exactly equidistant between his building and mine.

(Of course, the Emerald Inn is no longer in the same spot. They were forced to move a few years ago to 72nd Street near West End, to a basement that used to be the All State bar, which, oddly enough, was allegedly where the original incident that inspired another famous New York movie, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, took place)

But what I think I like most about THE APARTMENT is when nothing really happens. For instance, when Jack Lemmon is channel surfing after his frozen turkey dinner, or
when Shirley MacLaine looks into an empty mirror when she senses that her boss is about to break-up with her again.
And for me, what makes those moments so important is Joseph LaShelle's way of lighting a set, so it is simultaneously prosaic and yet evocative of something from outside the realm of our recognition, which might just be the slightest stirring of our souls.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this!
 
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Robert Harris

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Not so much brighter, the light areas don't look any lighter, there's a lot less contrast, you can see a lot more detail in the dark a areas, like the support for the clock, & a bit more picture top & bottom, those caps look really nice, &...I've never seen the film! It looks like the Arrow will be my first viewing of it.
You’re seeing past the dupes, and growing contrast with each generation.
 

Billy Batson

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Wow, Alan; you seem so literate when it comes to film, I'm surprised you've never seen THE APARTMENT. I've always considered THE APARTMENT a kind of paragon, or if you will, a shining light as to what American filmmakers are capable of. But maybe that just comes from growing up in the New York area.
I was 9 or 10 when it was released, so too young (& it must have been an A certificate in England) & my parents were not big cinema goers, it's a wonder I never caught up with it on TV, but then I'm sure most of us have alarming gaps in our movie viewing history (maybe not Robert Harris).
 
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Jonathan Perregaux

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It's nice to see a classic movie like this getting the lush treatment it deserves.

By contrast, I hate seeing great films put out in plain packages with nary an insert, and with barely-serviceable transfers. It cheapens the movie in a tragically devastating manner.

I wholeheartedly support boutiques like Criterion, Shout, Arrow, and others because they make an effort. Sure, they cost a little more, and must often limit their runs, but the end result is worth it for the aficionado.
 
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Robert Harris

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I was 9 or 10 when it was released, so too young (& it must have been an A certificate in England) & my parents were not big cinema goers, it's a wonder I never caught up with it on TV, but then I'm sure most of us have alarming gaps in our movie viewing history (maybe not Robert Harris).
We all have gaps. Among others, my major gap is giallo.
 

Mark Booth

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I've never seen the film. I almost bought the 2012 Blu-ray when it was released but, for some reason, didn't pull the trigger. I am VERY pleased I got in on the $23.54 price for the Arrow release at Amazon. Those screenshots make me even happier! Thanks Robert!

Mark
 
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jauritt

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But what I think I like most about THE APARTMENT is when nothing really happens. For instance, when Jack Lemmon is channel surfing after his frozen turkey dinner, or
when Shirley MacLaine looks into an empty mirror when she senses that her boss is about to break-up with her again.
And for me, what makes those moments so important is Joseph LaShelle's way of lighting a set, so it is simultaneously prosaic and yet evocative of something from outside the realm of our recognition, which might just be the slightest stirring of our souls.
I really hate to nit-pick (well, that's probably not true...I kind of do like to nit-pick, obviously), but Jack Lemmon is channel surfing WHILE he eats his frozen dinner, not after,
and Shirley MacLaine is definitely upset about what she has recently learned about Mr. Sheldrake's (who is not, technically, her "boss") past philandering, but there is absolutely no indication that she senses he is about to break up with her.
 
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Cineman

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I was 9 or 10 when it was released, so too young (& it must have been an A certificate in England) & my parents were not big cinema goers, it's a wonder I never caught up with it on TV, but then I'm sure most of us have alarming gaps in our movie viewing history (maybe not Robert Harris).
I was 7 when it was released but didn't see it that year. Strange, since my family were big movie-goers and had no qualms about bringing me to see PSYCHO in a theater that same year. Did they think THE APARTMENT too adult for me? lol.

Anyway, I too missed it on tv in the years that followed. Good thing, probably, since what we would have seen on tv in those days would have been some horribly truncated, pan&scan or center framed desecration. But years later, I must have been in my mid-late 20s, I managed to see it on a double-bill in a local Los Angeles theater that specialized in reviving classic movies. I wasn't drawn to the double-bill for THE APARTMENT, didn't really know much about it, but for the other movie on the bill. Actually, even the theater somewhat downplayed THE APARTMENT, which seemed designated as the lesser of the two movies screening that night. Maybe that was only because it had already been shown so often on tv by then and the other movie hadn't. I don't recall.

Well, today I cannot even remember what that other movie was. I was just knocked out by THE APARTMENT, soaked up every minute of it, couldn't stop thinking about it for a very long time and talking about it with my friends over the next several days. I trot it out to watch every year on whatever latest media has it in original aspect ratio.

I envy you watching it for the first time on as fine a media presentation as we have today!
 
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Robin9

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I really hate to nit-pick (well, that's probably not true...I kind of do like to nit-pick, obviously), but Jack Lemmon is channel surfing WHILE he eats his frozen dinner, not after, and
Shirley MacLaine is definitely upset about what she has recently learned about Mr. Sheldrake's (who is not, technically, her "boss") past philandering, but there is absolutely no indication that she senses he is about to break up with her.
Sheldrake doesn't break up with her. He wants to keep the relationship as it is - with no commitment on his part - and when he leaves her, he assumes things will just carry on normally in the new year. At the end of the film, she breaks the relationship, leaving him alone in a crowded restaurant.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I've never seen the film. I almost bought the 2012 Blu-ray when it was released but, for some reason, didn't pull the trigger. I am VERY pleased I got in on the $23.54 price for the Arrow release at Amazon. Those screenshots make me even happier! Thanks Robert!

Mark
Then stop reading this thread as people are posting spoilers from the film.
 
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