Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Blu-ray Review (Twilight Time)

3 Stars

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Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Blu-ray Review (Twilight Time)
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  1. Nice review Josh.

    I'm glad you didn't pick it apart because of the color timing. I was shocked that I didn't find the picture unnatural looking as I am usually very sensitive to such a thing. Is it a little too blue in some places, sure. But I found the video quality to be very impressive throughout.

  2. It's actually not too blue. It's actually pretty terrific. The proof, as Josh rightly points out, is always in the other colors in any given sequence. Tashlin loved bold colors which is why the film is littered with them – and if the blue seems too much all one has to do is look at the reds, golds, greens, and browns, where you will see not a HINT of blue, just perfect colors. I have the UK Blu, which is brownish and has none of the pop of the TT. And the pop is pure Tashlin. There's a scene where all the shots of Mansfield are against a yellowish/gold wall – perfect color, not a trace of blue anywhere. The reverses on Tony Randall are against a bluish wall. Again, perfect color. It's very, very good, transfer-wise and the film is a joy from start to finish.

  3. Another great review, Josh! You really make me want to get this, sooner rather than later…even with loads of choice and highly desired films debuting on Blu in just the next few months, I might go broke getting them all. Your review has me reliving, in the pale gleams of my mind's eye, the many delights of 'Rock Hunter', and wanting to see them again in the splendor of this new TT release!

  4. Only the title and the character Jayne Mansfield played were carried over from the Broadway play . Rock Hunter did not appear in the play. The play's title was going to be "Will Success Spoil Rock Hudson" but his manager threatened to sue. The movie plot was completely new.

  5. Garysb

    Only the title and the character Jayne Mansfield played were carried over from the Broadway play . Rock Hunter did not appear in the play. The play's title was going to be "Will Success Spoil Rock Hudson" but his manager threatened to sue. The movie plot was completely new.

    Ah! I didn't know that. Thank you.

  6. haineshisway

    It's actually not too blue. It's actually pretty terrific. The proof, as Josh rightly points out, is always in the other colors in any given sequence. Tashlin loved bold colors which is why the film is littered with them – and if the blue seems too much all one has to do is look at the reds, golds, greens, and browns, where you will see not a HINT of blue, just perfect colors. I have the UK Blu, which is brownish and has none of the pop of the TT. And the pop is pure Tashlin. There's a scene where all the shots of Mansfield are against a yellowish/gold wall – perfect color, not a trace of blue anywhere. The reverses on Tony Randall are against a bluish wall. Again, perfect color. It's very, very good, transfer-wise and the film is a joy from start to finish.

    Hi, Bruce. (Friendly handshake here).

    I completely disagree with you regarding the color scheme of this release. It looks unlike any theatrical print I've ever seen of any movie, due to the blue lean that Fox Home Entertainment colorists are so damn in love with, which just makes the image look completely unnatural, causing flesh tones to look very brown and pasty and, to my eyes, very close to unwatchable. What should be white shirts are rendered bluish (1:17:15). Not acceptable.

    I can hear you chuckling and throwing your hands into the air…you are, aren't you? Already preparing a retort, right?

    But here's the thing, and why we're both off the hook here: We do not all share the same eyes. Some of us are somewhat colorblind, or at least have eyesight skewed toward particular color values. We may not even know it. What seems perfectly natural to us is deemed horribly distorted by others. Now, I can't say whether it's me or it's you who is incorrect when the matter of finding these Fox titles (also including THE KING AND I, CAROUSEL, DESK SET, etc.) inappropriately blue is in question, and maybe neither of us is because of our unique vision. But I have my display set at color and tint levels that work perfectly for 95% of the Blu-rays I watch, and most of the five remaining percent are Fox titles. Isn't that a pretty accurate guide? I am unable to adjust the color/tint on my display to make these Blu-rays look even close to reasonably accurate.

    Anyway, forums like this are designed for such such discussions/disagreements/friendly arguments, so I do not feel a need to extend any olive branches, but I do respect your POV…in this case, I happen to disagree with it entirely.

    😉

  7. Robert Crawford

    If Fox is so wrong with this color scheme then how come they haven't made any corrections to their most recent transfers that keep coming out consistent with what they have been releasing for several years now? Perhaps their film documentation on these film elements support what they're doing and not what we think the color should look like based on previous video releases or showings of prints that may have been inaccurate. I'm just saying.

    I appreciate that this is a divisive issue. It keeps coming up, and I keep adding my two cents. Frankly, I do not think Fox believes it are wrong about this blue lean. But if they had a different colorist, I suspect the results would be wildly different — maybe truer to the intended look, but also maybe improperly skewed in an entirely different direction. Makes me want to work for the company! Just saying back. 🙂

  8. Dick

    I appreciate that this is a divisive issue. It keeps coming up, and I keep adding my two cents. Frankly, I do not think Fox believes it are wrong about this blue lean. But if they had a different colorist, I suspect the results would be wildly different — maybe truer to the intended look, but also maybe improperly skewed in an entirely different direction. Makes me want to work for the company! Just saying back. 🙂

    It's not a divisive issue for me. How do you know different colorists aren't involved? We don't know what their film element documentation is noting regarding color scheme? We don't even know whether our previous viewings of these movies were accurate color-wise or not?

  9. Robert Crawford

    If Fox is so wrong with this color scheme then how come they haven't made any corrections to their most recent transfers that keep coming out consistent with what they have been releasing for several years now?

    Obviously the people in charge of this stuff at Fox thinks everything is okay with these transfers, & love the new Fox "look". All strength to the few brave people here who put their head above the parapet & risk ridicule in saying that the king is in fact, in the all together 🙂

  10. Just to be clear – only the BLUE shirts are blue. I keep saying the obvious, as Josh does in his review: Look at the other colors in any scene you think "leans blue" – they are perfect (as are the skin tones). Tony Randall's shirt is blue, not white – other shirts in the same scenes are WHITE. Do you think they colored in only Tony's shirt? And if you're seeing blue shirts on every person in a scene then yes something is either wrong with your eyes or your television. There are blue gels on lighting instruments – this is very clear because if you watch people's hair as they move about a scene, when they're standing under the gels their hair reflects that, and when they're not, it doesn't. Watch the scene I suggested, where Mansfield is agains an orange/yellow wall – no blue in her shots, not one IOTA of blue. In the reverses on Randall, there is blue, because that's the way that shot is lit. How do you account for zero blue in the Mansfield shots. How do you account for zero blue when Deborah Kerr first meets the King in his YELLOW chambers? You say it doesn't look like any theatrical print you've ever seen. How long have you been going to the movies? I've been going since around 1952 and I know what carbon arc projection looked and looks like, I know how prints were timed for that light source, I know what Technicolor prints looked like (I had one in 16mm for this film) and Eastman, too. And when you see a vintage color print that was timed for carbon arc but shown with today's light source (or any era post the change from carbon arc) of course it doesn't look right.

    I also know that no one is going to change anyone's opinion on this. I think Fox is doing an absolutely perfect job for the most part. And I'm sure they see the complainers' posts and I thank them for doing their job and not bowing to the handful of complaints, as Kino did with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with the result being they came out with The Ugly and all the complainers hated THAT, too. In other words, it's a no-win situation with certain films from certain studios and all they can do at Fox is use their notes and do their wonderful work and just know that the same twenty people are always going to trot out the "blue lean" or "TEAL" comments.

  11. Robert Crawford

    It's not a divisive issue for me. How do you know different colorists aren't involved? We don't know what their film element documentation is noting regarding color scheme? We don't even know whether our previous viewings of these movies were accurate color-wise or not?

    All true, Robert, all true. I am simply rather profoundly annoyed that a movie I have always really liked such as this one has been rendered in such a crap fashion. There have been many here who have groaned about the Blu lean in the British HORROR OF DRACULA release. But that is simply peanuts compared to the transgression Fox perpetrated on WSSRH and others of their Blu-rays. Again, though, it's all subjective.

  12. Billy Batson

    Obviously the people in charge of this stuff at Fox thinks everything is okay with these transfers, & love the new Fox "look". All strength to the few brave people here who put their head above the parapet & risk ridicule in saying that the king is in fact, in the all together 🙂

    I don't mind risking ridicule (Hell, I'm almost 70)…there have certainly been enough instances when I have deserved it due to my not researching properly or simply making unsupportable suppositions. But this blue thing I have with Fox is ongoing and I don't think I'm completely off base. I want so much to like their transfers, as they are releasing many of my favorite classics on Blu-ray, but it just seems weird to me that more people aren't finding these releases unpleasant to look at. Truly, it makes me question my own eyesight, but as I indicated above, nearly all the films I run on my display look fabulous without having to adjust anything. These specific (and not all) Fox titles simply look like shit to me.

  13. Bob Furmanek

    Original color timing notes?

    LOL

    These are being done in New York by a guy that is VERY fond of that teal look. A number of his timings have been rejected, but not all.

    Thanks.

  14. Bob Furmanek

    Original color timing notes?

    LOL

    These are being done in New York by a guy that is VERY fond of that teal look. A number of his timings have been rejected, but not all.

    Well, since there is no teal in this transfer, I'd need you to illuminate all of us a little more. LOL. Let's hear all about it, Bob. Let's hear the rejected titles (and rejected by whom) and why some aren't rejected. I'm sure everyone in this thread will look forward to hearing all about this major news.

    I want to be very clear here: You are saying Fox and Mr. Belston farm their transfers out to some guy in NY who likes "teal" and that Mr. Belston has nothing to do with these transfers at all, takes no responsibility for what they look like when they come back to him? Is that what you are saying? Because frankly I'd be happy to forward all of this to Mr. Belston and see what he has to say.

  15. Now, Bruce, you know better than that. I'm not publicly mentioning any titles.

    Several years ago, I did see a 35mm answer print of one major Fox title that was restored from the 35mm camera negative and it looked beautiful. Then I saw the digital master from that same 4K preservation scan and it was a teal disaster. YIKES!

  16. haineshisway

    Just to be clear – only the BLUE shirts are blue. I keep saying the obvious, as Josh does in his review: Look at the other colors in any scene you think "leans blue" – they are perfect (as are the skin tones). Tony Randall's shirt is blue, not white – other shirts in the same scenes are WHITE. Do you think they colored in only Tony's shirt? And if you're seeing blue shirts on every person in a scene then yes something is either wrong with your eyes or your television. There are blue gels on lighting instruments – this is very clear because if you watch people's hair as they move about a scene, when they're standing under the gels their hair reflects that, and when they're not, it doesn't. Watch the scene I suggested, where Mansfield is agains an orange/yellow wall – no blue in her shots, not one IOTA of blue. In the reverses on Randall, there is blue, because that's the way that shot is lit. How do you account for zero blue in the Mansfield shots. How do you account for zero blue when Deborah Kerr first meets the King in his YELLOW chambers? You say it doesn't look like any theatrical print you've ever seen. How long have you been going to the movies? I've been going since around 1952 and I know what carbon arc projection looked and looks like, I know how prints were timed for that light source, I know what Technicolor prints looked like (I had one in 16mm for this film) and Eastman, too. And when you see a vintage color print that was timed for carbon arc but shown with today's light source (or any era post the change from carbon arc) of course it doesn't look right.

    I also know that no one is going to change anyone's opinion on this. I think Fox is doing an absolutely perfect job for the most part. And I'm sure they see the complainers' posts and I thank them for doing their job and not bowing to the handful of complaints, as Kino did with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with the result being they came out with The Ugly and all the complainers hated THAT, too. In other words, it's a no-win situation with certain films from certain studios and all they can do at Fox is use their notes and do their wonderful work and just know that the same twenty people are always going to trot out the "blue lean" or "TEAL" comments.

    Oh come on now. I think this transfer is great, but even I noticed a blue tinge throughout the film, and yes I took into account the ambient light for some scenes.

  17. Oh come on now. If there was a blue "tinge" throughout why isn't that "tinge" reflected in the yellow and red of the cab on the street – those colors are perfect. No "tinge" in the skin tones, which are perfect. But I agree completely that the transfer looks great 🙂

  18. Without getting into the color timing—which is completely wrong when the whites of everyone’s eyes is blue; clearly a faded element poorly color corrected is the issue here—ROCK HUNTER also has heavy digital manipulation and the grain structure looks like a screen door was placed on top of the image. I made the mistake of buying LET’S MAKE LOVE, too, and it has the same issues so yeah, TT is getting stuck with bad masters from Fox. But ROCK HUNTER is one of my very favorite movies and this may be one of the worst presentations I’ve seen of any classic movie in years. Sorry not sorry. Dick, Bob, etc.: thanks for bearing the brunt of being the killjoys and pointing out the obvious on this p.o.s. release. Sometimes a spade is just a spade, but I sure wish I didn’t spend close to $40 to find out.

  19. There is a threshold that flesh-tones can survive an overall cyan push. Thats’s why in modern grading, it’s so popular.

    Cyan is a subtractive from red in grading, which is likely why most of the shadow details have been crushed here compared to previous transfers.

    Bob is quite correct that this is a grading error to the lab that Fox farmed this out to. Other studios also use this country and I’ve heard the fellow has had a few slaps on the wrists by QC for taking this approach.

  20. Well, half of the people on this thread are clearly insane and have no ability to judge color. And the other half do. But I still want to be clear here, Jack and Bob: You are saying Mr. Belston at Fox just accepts this work from whatever this purported lab they're farming to? Is that correct? Or do you think Mr. Belston doesn't care? Or that he's not in charge over there? (He may well not be anymore, after the recent events of Disney.) I'm just trying to comprehend why a well-respected film person would just accept work that was so blatantly wrong. Unless, of course, and I know this is radical – he thought they weren't wrong. Awaiting responses.

  21. ThadK

    Without getting into the color timing—which is completely wrong when the whites of everyone’s eyes is blue; clearly a faded element poorly color corrected is the issue here—ROCK HUNTER also has heavy digital manipulation and the grain structure looks like a screen door was placed on top of the image. I made the mistake of buying LET’S MAKE LOVE, too, and it has the same issues so yeah, TT is getting stuck with bad masters from Fox. But ROCK HUNTER is one of my very favorite movies and this may be one of the worst presentations I’ve seen of any classic movie in years. Sorry not sorry. Dick, Bob, etc.: thanks for bearing the brunt of being the killjoys and pointing out the obvious on this p.o.s. release. Sometimes a spade is just a spade, but I sure wish I didn’t spend close to $40 to find out.

    Okay, so I'd love to know your history with this film. It's one of my favorites, too. When did you see it for the first time? I saw it three days after it opened and several times thereafter. I'm just curious to know when you first saw it and under what circumstances. Thanks.

  22. haineshisway

    Well, half of the people on this thread are clearly insane and have no ability to judge color. And the other half do. But I still want to be clear here, Jack and Bob: You are saying Mr. Belston at Fox just accepts this work from whatever this purported lab they're farming to? Is that correct? Or do you think Mr. Belston doesn't care? Or that he's not in charge over there? (He may well not be anymore, after the recent events of Disney.) I'm just trying to comprehend why a well-respected film person would just accept work that was so blatantly wrong. Unless, of course, and I know this is radical – he thought they weren't wrong. Awaiting responses.

    Hey Bruce, if you want my reply (or Bob’s, for that matter), how about you dial the rhetoric back a few stops here? Neither of us like to be publicly called out as “clearly insane.”

  23. Oh, Jack, there's no rhetoric at all. I think the point of my sentence was clear – half find this a lovely transfer and half don't. Which half is right and which isn't? And to those who think they are right the other half clearly doesn't know what they're talking about. What else can that mean? BTW, have either of you seen this transfer? I honestly want to know more about who these are being farmed out to and if Mr. Belston is simply allowing this seemingly shoddy work to come into the marketplace. Because that is not my experience in what Mr. Belston is about.

    You both know that I have taken your side and supported you here and elsewhere repeatedly. I simply cannot take your side here without more information.

  24. Robert Crawford

    If Fox is so wrong with this color scheme then how come they haven't made any corrections to their most recent transfers that keep coming out consistent with what they have been releasing for several years now? Perhaps their film documentation on these film elements support what they're doing and not what we think the color should look like based on previous video releases or showings of prints that may have been inaccurate. I'm just saying.

    If you look carefully, most of these remasters were done between 2011 and 2016, as was Rock Hunter and the upcoming Three Coins in the Fountain. The fact that they are just coming to disc now is a moot point. The digital files were all prepped at the same time.

  25. haineshisway

    Oh, Jack, there's no rhetoric at all. I think the point of my sentence was clear – half find this a lovely transfer and half don't. Which half is right and which isn't? And to those who think they are right the other half clearly doesn't know what they're talking about. What else can that mean? BTW, have either of you seen this transfer? I honestly want to know more about who these are being farmed out to and if Mr. Belston is simply allowing this seemingly shoddy work to come into the marketplace. Because that is not my experience in what Mr. Belston is about.

    You both know that I have taken your side and supported you here and elsewhere repeatedly. I simply cannot take your side here without more information.

    The proof is in the audio commentaries that were oft recorded a decade earlier for the DVD releases of these movies. Listen to the commentary for Rock Hunter; Dan Polan, commenting on Tashlin's extraordinary use of the color gray to exaggerate the advertising offices, right down to the drab business suits worn by John Williams and his cronies. Problem: the colors in this transfer are a muddy deep teal – not gray! Similarly, when Rona Jaffe comments on Suzy Parker's stunning auburn tresses in TT's release of The Best of Everything, what we instead see are muddy brown strands of uninspiring hair with blue-leaning spectral highlights.

    And consider this too. Most of the Fox titles being discussed herein have an homogenized color palette from film to film, despite being directed by different directors and shot by different cinematographers; all of whom had disparate stylization techniques that set them apart from their competition. So, no – there should be no conformity with the way a lot of Fox's 'scope' movies look today.

    Not casting aspersions on Mr. Belston. He may not have been aware until the damage was already done and the discs were already out. Or he might not have even been consulted herein. Either way, the Fox 'scope' product – a lot of it – is sincerely flawed on Blu-ray at present: the list including 'Rock Hunter', The Best of Everything, The Blue Max, The King and I, River of No Return, Wild River, From the Terrace, Carousel, 23 Paces to Baker Street, Desk Set, and on and on.

  26. Not going to speak for Schawn (whose quality track record at Fox speaks for itself) or his workflow, but I'll speak from experience on Bob and my behalf that on some projects, there simply isn't enough time to go back and fix problems, and if your problem happens to be someone mistimed a whole feature, sometimes you just have to let it go.

    This happened on one of our early 3DFA projects at another lab where we just had to let it go, which is why after that one project, we decided to take all the color grading in-house (most recently, SANGAREE, which Greg did, and JIVARO, which Greg and I both worked on.) I've got to judge it based on what I see, and that's why, for the most part, we get good reviews in regards to color and levels.

    Bob and I also have the inside scoop on the lab that's been handing Fox's work, and without being professionally uncouth and naming them publicly here, there have been a number of QC complaints of the same symptoms there by other studios.

    Looking at SUCCESS with the same critical eye as any of our own projects, I would have rejected this timing immediately. I think TT should have done the same, or at least brought someone in to try to undo some of the messy choices this person made.

  27. This was an enormously difficult title to review as the high quality of the movie itself didn’t seem to be completely matched by the quality of the transfer.

    If I had to make an educated guess for what exactly went wrong, and this is purely conjecture, is that the film naturally has a lot of blue in it, due to things like costume design (Rock’s shifts) and blue gels being used for a lot of indoor and nighttime scenes. But it also seems that perhaps the colorist took this to mean that the entire film should be consistently blue, and it seems like parts of it might have been made to match that look when that wasn’t the intent for the entire picture.

    It’s tough when something sends off a little “this doesn’t seem entirely right” flare and when you don’t have access to original prints, and when previous home video releases can’t be used as evidence as anything other than that they looked different.

    I’ll say this about color comments on the commentary track – the commentary track was from the older disc, which used an older master from what appears to be a faded element, and the commentator was almost certainly basing his comments on that older transfer. It doesn’t mean he’s wrong, but it doesn’t automatically make him right. Film professors aren’t infalliable. I once had a professor show a film and then give a lecture on how the director’s choice to pan between two actors rather than using two shots and/or cuts was a stylistic choice that symbolized a certain theme and intent. The problem was, it was a pan and scan copy of a widescreen film, and in the original film, the scene was an unbroken two-shot! So my professor delivered an entire lecture on artistic intent, based on observations that had nothing to do with anything the original filmmakers actually did. I’m not saying that’s what happened on this commentary, but simply trying to make the point that reflections on an older video master may not be the end all, be all in the discussion.

    The trailer on the disc, at first glance, seems warmer, but upon closer inspection appears faded and whites have started to take on a yellowish-brown look.

    It’s a great movie. If you’ve never seen it before, you’ll probably be okay with the disc. If you have seen it and are intimately familiar with it, there might be some stuff that makes you scratch your head. As someone less familiar with the film, I’ve tried to do as much research as possible with the limited resources at my disposal and I hope I’ve been able to convey what I’ve been seeing on the disc without anyone feeling misled.

    But I can honestly say that this was the hardest review I’ve had to write.

  28. Jack Theakston

    Not going to speak for Schawn (whose quality track record at Fox speaks for itself) or his workflow, but I'll speak from experience on Bob and my behalf that on some projects, there simply isn't enough time to go back and fix problems, and if your problem happens to be someone mistimed a whole feature, sometimes you just have to let it go.

    This happened on one of our early 3DFA projects at another lab where we just had to let it go, which is why after that one project, we decided to take all the color grading in-house (most recently, SANGAREE, which Greg did, and JIVARO, which Greg and I both worked on.) I've got to judge it based on what I see, and that's why, for the most part, we get good reviews in regards to color and levels.

    Bob and I also have the inside scoop on the lab that's been handing Fox's work, and without being professionally uncouth and naming them publicly here, there have been a number of QC complaints of the same symptoms there by other studios.

    Looking at SUCCESS with the same critical eye as any of our own projects, I would have rejected this timing immediately. I think TT should have done the same, or at least brought someone in to try to undo some of the messy choices this person made.

    Just to play devil's advocate, and then I'm stepping away from this because each side thinks they're correct and as I've said before, no one will change anyone's mind: Perhaps TT and Mr. Belston didn't find the choices messy? Because had they, knowing both sets of people, I believe they would have indeed rejected it.

  29. Nick*Z

    The proof is in the audio commentaries that were oft recorded a decade earlier for the DVD releases of these movies. Listen to the commentary for Rock Hunter; Dan Polan, commenting on Tashlin's extraordinary use of the color gray to exaggerate the advertising offices, right down to the drab business suits worn by John Williams and his cronies. Problem: the colors in this transfer are a muddy deep teal – not gray! Similarly, when Rona Jaffe comments on Suzy Parker's stunning auburn tresses in TT's release of The Best of Everything, what we instead see are muddy brown strands of uninspiring hair with blue-leaning spectral highlights.

    And consider this too. Most of the Fox titles being discussed herein have an homogenized color palette from film to film, despite being directed by different directors and shot by different cinematographers; all of whom had disparate stylization techniques that set them apart from their competition. So, no – there should be no conformity with the way a lot of Fox's 'scope' movies look today.

    Not casting aspersions on Mr. Belston. He may not have been aware until the damage was already done and the discs were already out. Or he might not have even been consulted herein. Either way, the Fox 'scope' product – a lot of it – is sincerely flawed on Blu-ray at present: the list including 'Rock Hunter', The Best of Everything, The Blue Max, The King and I, River of No Return, Wild River, From the Terrace, Carousel, 23 Paces to Baker Street, Desk Set, and on and on.

    The older home video transfers of Rock Hunter are on the brown side – brown, not gray. Then I'm assuming you absolutely LOVE the Desk Set transfer, yes? Because let me tell you the grays are as GRAY as can be in that one, and people criticized it because the grays leaned brown in all the previous home video transfers. The office sets in Fox films were recycled constantly. And the walls were never gray in Rock Hunter. Filing cabinets and stuff like that, sure. And Tashlin loved BOLD colors and the reds, greens, and yellows on display in this transfer are perfect. How do you account for that? And again with the "muddy deep teal" – there is not an ounce of "teal" in this transfer anywhere. You can say there's too much blue – because there is a lot of blue – but there is no teal. If you are seeing teal then your machinery is off. I sometimes wonder if people think "teal" is blue. Blue is blue and teal is teal. They are very different animals.

    Over and out. 🙂

  30. Billy Batson

    Obviously the people in charge of this stuff at Fox thinks everything is okay with these transfers, & love the new Fox "look". All strength to the few brave people here who put their head above the parapet & risk ridicule in saying that the king is in fact, in the all together 🙂

    I'm not here to ridicule anybody as I don't have a clue whether these color schemes are correct or not. I'm just wondering if there is a major issue with the color timing then how come Fox hasn't fix it after all these years. I profess my ignorance, but I will tell you that these Fox discs look beautiful on my displays.

  31. Dick

    All true, Robert, all true. I am simply rather profoundly annoyed that a movie I have always really liked such as this one has been rendered in such a crap fashion. There have been many here who have groaned about the Blu lean in the British HORROR OF DRACULA release. But that is simply peanuts compared to the transgression Fox perpetrated on WSSRH and others of their Blu-rays. Again, though, it's all subjective.

    A matter of opinion so to each his own.

  32. Bob Furmanek

    Original color timing notes?

    LOL

    These are being done in New York by a guy that is VERY fond of that teal look. A number of his timings have been rejected, but not all.

    Bob,

    Even if I'm wrong about this issue was the LOL necessary?

  33. haineshisway

    Well, half of the people on this thread are clearly insane and have no ability to judge color. And the other half do. But I still want to be clear here, Jack and Bob: You are saying Mr. Belston at Fox just accepts this work from whatever this purported lab they're farming to? Is that correct? Or do you think Mr. Belston doesn't care? Or that he's not in charge over there? (He may well not be anymore, after the recent events of Disney.) I'm just trying to comprehend why a well-respected film person would just accept work that was so blatantly wrong. Unless, of course, and I know this is radical – he thought they weren't wrong. Awaiting responses.

    Let's stop such rhetoric as I think we can discuss this subject matter without such dialogue.

  34. Jack Theakston

    Hey Bruce, if you want my reply (or Bob’s, for that matter), how about you dial the rhetoric back a few stops here? Neither of us like to be publicly called out as “clearly insane.”

    Let's all of us dial back the personal rhetoric a little bit. There is absolutely no reason for anybody to be disrespectful towards other posters.

  35. Jack Theakston

    Not going to speak for Schawn (whose quality track record at Fox speaks for itself) or his workflow, but I'll speak from experience on Bob and my behalf that on some projects, there simply isn't enough time to go back and fix problems, and if your problem happens to be someone mistimed a whole feature, sometimes you just have to let it go.

    This happened on one of our early 3DFA projects at another lab where we just had to let it go, which is why after that one project, we decided to take all the color grading in-house (most recently, SANGAREE, which Greg did, and JIVARO, which Greg and I both worked on.) I've got to judge it based on what I see, and that's why, for the most part, we get good reviews in regards to color and levels.

    Bob and I also have the inside scoop on the lab that's been handing Fox's work, and without being professionally uncouth and naming them publicly here, there have been a number of QC complaints of the same symptoms there by other studios.

    Looking at SUCCESS with the same critical eye as any of our own projects, I would have rejected this timing immediately. I think TT should have done the same, or at least brought someone in to try to undo some of the messy choices this person made.

    So is Fox and those other studios still using that lab and the person responsible for messing up those titles?

  36. I just hope that someone in authority takes a second look and gives us a 'Carousel' without that awful blue bias. And I know lovers of 'The King and I' would enjoy an appropriate transfer of that too. Rodgers and Hammerstein deserved better.
    At least 'Oklahoma' and 'South Pacific' both stand as sterling examples of how these films should look. Although I'm still a youngster, I was fortunate enough to have seen all these movies on their first widescreen releases, including in Todd-AO for 'Oklahoma and 'South Pacific' and I'm grateful to all the people who made those two releases shine with such beauty on transfer to Blu ray.

  37. Josh Steinberg

    This was an enormously difficult title to review as the high quality of the movie itself didn’t seem to be completely matched by the quality of the transfer.

    If I had to make an educated guess for what exactly went wrong, and this is purely conjecture, is that the film naturally has a lot of blue in it, due to things like costume design (Rock’s shifts) and blue gels being used for a lot of indoor and nighttime scenes. But it also seems that perhaps the colorist took this to mean that the entire film should be consistently blue, and it seems like parts of it might have been made to match that look when that wasn’t the intent for the entire picture.

    It’s tough when something sends off a little “this doesn’t seem entirely right” flare and when you don’t have access to original prints, and when previous home video releases can’t be used as evidence as anything other than that they looked different.

    I’ll say this about color comments on the commentary track – the commentary track was from the older disc, which used an older master from what appears to be a faded element, and the commentator was almost certainly basing his comments on that older transfer. It doesn’t mean he’s wrong, but it doesn’t automatically make him right. Film professors aren’t infalliable. I once had a professor show a film and then give a lecture on how the director’s choice to pan between two actors rather than using two shots and/or cuts was a stylistic choice that symbolized a certain theme and intent. The problem was, it was a pan and scan copy of a widescreen film, and in the original film, the scene was an unbroken two-shot! So my professor delivered an entire lecture on artistic intent, based on observations that had nothing to do with anything the original filmmakers actually did. I’m not saying that’s what happened on this commentary, but simply trying to make the point that reflections on an older video master may not be the end all, be all in the discussion.

    The trailer on the disc, at first glance, seems warmer, but upon closer inspection appears faded and whites have started to take on a yellowish-brown look.

    It’s a great movie. If you’ve never seen it before, you’ll probably be okay with the disc. If you have seen it and are intimately familiar with it, there might be some stuff that makes you scratch your head. As someone less familiar with the film, I’ve tried to do as much research as possible with the limited resources at my disposal and I hope I’ve been able to convey what I’ve been seeing on the disc without anyone feeling misled.

    But I can honestly say that this was the hardest review I’ve had to write.

    Yeah, we have a firestorm here as has been the case with other Fox titles. Thank you for your review as I look forward to purchasing this disc and comparing it to my Region "B" Blu-ray.

  38. Robert Crawford

    So is Fox and those other studios still using that lab and the person responsible for messing up those titles?

    They’re not the only color timer there, but yes, the same lab is being used as far as I know.

  39. Bryan^H

    I thought a lot of "Bus Stop" watching WSSRH. I remember that having a blue tinge throughout also. But again the transfer was fantastic.

    [​IMG]

    I know one shouldn't rely on 40+ year old memories, but I went to see a new wet gate print of BUS STOP at MOMA sometime in the 70's that was being given to MOMA by the film's director, Josh Logan. Apparently he approved the color timing in the print, as he spoke before the film about the wretched pink and brown versions one saw on television. Anyway, I know this was a long time ago, but that "bluish tinge" that you're complaining about was not only in this print approved by the director, but that print appeared (as far as my memory will permit) exactly the same in terms of the color timing as the Blu-Ray. The reason I remember the color of this particular print so vividly is that I was used to seeing pink and yellowish color schemes in 16mm prints and on television, and from the first shot, was really taken aback a bit by the way everything seemed too blue, though of course the flesh tones were spot on."

  40. I can't speak for whether the color timing is correct in WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER, as I haven't seen the Blu; also all the prints I ever saw were 16mm & faded.

    However, I can say that two Fox Blus that have been criticized for being "too blue': BUS STOP and WILD RIVER, look exactly the same as newly struck prints from Deluxe in the 70's that were given to MOMA by the respective directors–Josh Logan and Elia Kazan–and both gentlemen stated that the color timing was correct before the films were screened, and from what I can recall, both prints were very blue and match the Blu-rays in their color timing.

  41. lark144

    However, I can say that two Fox Blus that have been criticized for being "too blue': BUS STOP and WILD RIVER, look exactly the same as newly struck prints from Deluxe in the 70's that were given to MOMA by the respective directors–Josh Logan and Elia Kazan–and both gentlemen stated that the color timing was correct before the films were screened, and from what I can recall, both prints were very blue and match the Blu-rays in their color timing.

    "How dare they presume to know what those films should like! Just because they directed them, it doesn't mean they have any inkling as to how those films should look! If we say they are too blue based on our previous experiences with these films, that should be the final word!" The Official HTF Fox Anti-Blues Brigade

  42. lark144

    I know one shouldn't rely on 40+ year old memories, but I went to see a new wet gate print of BUS STOP at MOMA sometime in the 70's that was being given to MOMA by the film's director, Josh Logan. Apparently he approved the color timing in the print, as he spoke before the film about the wretched pink and brown versions one saw on television. Anyway, I know this was a long time ago, but that "bluish tinge" that you're complaining about was not only in this print approved by the director, but that print appeared (as far as my memory will permit) exactly the same in terms of the color timing as the Blu-Ray. The reason I remember the color of this particular print so vividly is that I was used to seeing pink and yellowish color schemes in 16mm prints and on television, and from the first shot, was really taken aback a bit by the way everything seemed too blue, though of course the flesh tones were spot on."

    That is interesting. I said the transfer is fantastic, that isn't complaining. Just stating an observation about the look of the film.
    :unsure:

  43. [GALLERY=media, 5539]Large_will_sucess_spoil_rock_hunter_blu-ray_3x by Mark B posted Mar 29, 2019 at 11:43 PM[/GALLERY]
    [GALLERY=media, 5540]Large_06_will_success_spoil_rock_hunter_blu-ray by Mark B posted Mar 29, 2019 at 11:43 PM[/GALLERY]
    [GALLERY=media, 5537]Large_will_sucess_spoil_rock_hunter_blu-ray_3 by Mark B posted Mar 29, 2019 at 11:43 PM[/GALLERY]
    [GALLERY=media, 5538]Large_03_will_success_spoil_rock_hunter_blu-ray by Mark B posted Mar 29, 2019 at 11:43 PM[/GALLERY]
    [GALLERY=media, 5535]Large_will_sucess_spoil_rock_hunter_blu-ray_2 by Mark B posted Mar 29, 2019 at 11:43 PM[/GALLERY]
    [GALLERY=media, 5536]Large_02_will_success_spoil_rock_hunter_blu-ray by Mark B posted Mar 29, 2019 at 11:43 PM[/GALLERY]

  44. ThadK

    Why are all these white dress shirts blue now, too?

    And the red sweater with blue scarf is a burgundy sweater with turquoise scarf and a gray suit a blue suit and blonde hair white with a blue wash and red lips brown and……….

  45. Bryan^H

    That is interesting. I said the transfer is fantastic, that isn't complaining.
    Just stating an observation about the look of the film.
    :unsure:

    Please excuse me if I misunderstood your post. I simply wanted to share my experience, and my thoughts about the color timing of BUS STOP, and all those glorious blues.

    Yes, the Blu is fantastic. It reproduces the experience of watching BUS STOP at MOMA with Josh Logan present. And he talked about making the film afterwards. A great raconteur. He told some funny MM stories that unfortunately I no longer remember. But I do remember the look of that print.

    I never really liked BUS STOP until I saw it at MOMA. Then I fell in love with the film, as well as with Ms. Monroe's performance. And I can go back to that first experience of seeing the film simply by popping in a disc. Pretty incredible, when you think about it.

  46. Are we really posting caps now? I give up. And anyone who thinks that brown mess resembles what this film ever looked like, well, I don't know what to tell you. I really am bowing out now but really – caps? And Beaver caps at that? And BTW, Groucho's shirt isn't white in that cap you so love to think is right – it's pink. It's white on the Blu-ray, that is the actual Blu-ray. I have the UK Blu – it's brown and I encourage all those who think that's correct to purchase it immediately.

  47. lark144

    I know this was a long time ago, but that "bluish tinge" that you're complaining about [on BUS STOP] was…in this print approved by the director…

    But, directors are not DOP's or camera operators. How many people relied on Andre deToth for his opinion of the 3D on HOUSE OF WAX? Just sayin'.

  48. Thomas T

    "How dare they presume to know what those films should like! Just because they directed them, it doesn't mean they have any inkling as to how those films should look! If we say they are too blue based on our previous experiences with these films, that should be the final word!" The Official HTF Fox Anti-Blues Brigade

    Gonna have to have a Michigan rally soon to stir up the agitators! 🙂

  49. This might all be a moot point soon anyway, since Disney is decimating TCFHE. Instead of debating about the color timing of these newly restored old classics on Blu-Ray, we probably just won't get them on Blu-Ray at all.

  50. Dick

    But, directors are not DOP's or camera operators. How many people relied on Andre deToth for his opinion of the 3D on HOUSE OF WAX? Just sayin'.

    The directors were working with the color timers at Deluxe, the lab which originally printed those films in the 1950's, so they had the original timing information, and quite possibly he spoke to the same timers that had originally supervised the printing process. As I recall, Mr. Logan said that print was taken from the original negative, not an inter positive.

    btw, Andre deToth did supervise the 3D process on HOUSE OF WAX, even though he only had one eye. According to an interview he gave, he worked with a designer who put together storyboards with a great deal of depth for every set-up, so unlike most 3D films, HOUSE OF WAX looks 3D even in a flat Blu-ray, as both the depth of field and color contrast makes everything seem like it's popping out of the screen.

  51. haineshisway

    I really am bowing out now but really – caps? And Beaver caps at that?

    But why are the screen caps a bad thing? The Twilight Time caps are far superior to the other release, and the screen captures prove that.

  52. Bryan^H

    But why are the screen caps a bad thing? The Twilight Time caps are far superior to the other release, and the screen captures prove that.

    While you can kind of see from the caps comparison that the quality of the TT Blu is superior, that's about all they're good for, as the Beaver's caps, which I assume these are, are consistently and wildly inaccurate in terms of color–for instance, his caps on the Criterion Blus of MIDNIGHT COWBOY & A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH made the images seem as if they were swathed with an excess of yellow and purple respectively, and that is not even vaguely close to what the Blus look like. This matters, because certain posters use Beaver's caps to prove that the Blu has an excess of purple, when it's very possible that coloration comes from the way the caps are taken, not in the Blu-Ray itself. In any case, all this controversy makes me want to buy the darn thing and not wait for a sale down the road, just to see what it really looks like.

  53. Bryan^H

    I thought a lot of "Bus Stop" watching WSSRH. I remember that having a blue tinge throughout also. But again the transfer was fantastic.

    [​IMG]

    I'd rather turn the color down and watch this in black and white if the image looks anything like your cap above. Monroe looks like she should be a member of THE WALKING DEAD cast.

  54. Dick

    I'd rather turn the color down and watch this in black and white if the image looks anything like your cap above. Monroe looks like she should be a member of THE WALKING DEAD cast.

    To be fair, in Bus Stop, Monroe is very pale. I don't if it's her actual skin color or her make up but in some of the scenes, she almost looks like she's wearing Kabuki make up. It is not an inaccurate representation. She's always looked that way in the film from the very time I saw it in 1956. No flesh or pink tones, just pure white.

  55. Thomas T

    To be fair, in Bus Stop, Monroe is very pale. I don't if it's her actual skin color or her make up but in some of the scenes, she almost looks like she's wearing Kabuki make up. It is not an inaccurate representation. She's always looked that way in the film from the very time I saw it in 1956. No flesh or pink tones, just pure white.

    Eek!

  56. Just to be clear- are we talking blue or teal here? If this is like The King and I “teal” fiasco then I’m certainly not going to buy. I own this title on LD and the color/image looks fine in all its low def glory

  57. This feels like one of those classic Star Trek episode ending segments with Kirk, Spock and McCoy sitting around as Spock calls them illogical humans:

    “I’m not sure, but I think we’ve just been insulted.”

    “Oh, I’m sure.”

  58. Just received this from the Twilight Time sale. Yet another teal disaster – as bad if not WORSE then The King and I. Waiting for Hainsthisway to attack me over this and defend this travesty like he did TK&I.
    Great flick though! And glass I bought it regardless- but UGH

  59. noel aguirre

    Just received this from the Twilight Time sale. Yet another teal disaster – as bad if not WORSE then The King and I. Waiting for a certain member to attack me over this and defend this travesty like he did TK&I.
    Great flick though! And glad I bought it regardless, but UGH…..

    You'll get no attack from me, sir. The absence of true white where there should be white is bad enough, but to make it a light blue instead is unforgivable.

  60. ThadK

    Nor from me. This was the biggest waste of money I've spent this year, and the biggest disappointment in years, period. Everyone saying this looks right is wrong.

    Yeah, they probably feel the same way about your stated opinion.

  61. ThadK

    You're welcome to think they look fine. But you'd be wrong.

    Yeah, yeah, people are wrong about a lot of things, but that doesn't necessarily make you right. I'm just saying as I just got the TT disc recently and haven't had time to compare it to my MOC BD disc or the DVD that I still have of it.

  62. Robert Crawford

    Yeah, they probably feel the same way about your stated opinion.

    Ya think? 🙂 And to our color experts, there is not a SPECK of TEAL in this transfer. Say it's too BLUE if you like, but learn what color actually is. Blue is blue and teal is teal and a bore right about now.

  63. Dick

    You'll get no attack from me, sir. The absence of true white where there should be white is bad enough, but to make it a light blue instead is unforgivable.

    Okay, Dick, it's really time to end this silliness once and for all. So, put your handy-dandy Blu-ray of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter in your handy-dandy Blu-ray player. Begin watching the film. Excellent. See the man with the phony beard shaving. Please tell me what color his shirt is. If the answer isn't white, I recommend a trip to the optician or, more likely, fixing the color setting on your handy-dandy viewing device. Next, watch the first scene in the office. Tony Randall's shirt, you'll note, is bluish (not tealish, mind you). Then John Williams enters. Please tell me what color his shirt is. If the answer isn't white, something is amiss and it's not the transfer. Next, we'll forget the WHITE frames on pictures in the office and Henry Jones' white shirt and the white papers on the desk of the secretary, all scenes in which there is plenty of blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and brown. Finally, for your viewing pleasure please go to the scene where Rita Marlowe arrives in New York and exits the plane. Note the lovely BLUE sky above the plane. BLUE, just like skies are on clear days. Then immediately note the airplane itself and tell me what color it is. If the answer isn't white with red lettering, something is awry somewhere and it's not the transfer. Next, note the signs the fans are carrying. Note the various shades of white that they are. Then note Rita Marlowe's fur coat. That look blue to you? Teal? Looks perfectly white to me. Finally, if there is no white and way too much BLUE, how do you explain the perfectly rendered reds, yellows, greens, golds, browns? If there was so much pushed blue none of those colors would be accurate.

  64. haineshisway

    Okay, Dick, it's really time to end this silliness once and for all. So, put your handy-dandy Blu-ray of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter in your handy-dandy Blu-ray player. Begin watching the film. Excellent. See the man with the phony beard shaving. Please tell me what color his shirt is. If the answer isn't white, I recommend a trip to the optician or, more likely, fixing the color setting on your handy-dandy viewing device. Next, watch the first scene in the office. Tony Randall's shirt, you'll note, is bluish (not tealish, mind you). Then John Williams enters. Please tell me what color his shirt is. If the answer isn't white, something is amiss and it's not the transfer. Next, we'll forget the WHITE frames on pictures in the office and Henry Jones' white shirt and the white papers on the desk of the secretary, all scenes in which there is plenty of blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and brown. Finally, for your viewing pleasure please go to the scene where Rita Marlowe arrives in New York and exits the plane. Note the lovely BLUE sky above the plane. BLUE, just like skies are on clear days. Then immediately note the airplane itself and tell me what color it is. If the answer isn't white with red lettering, something is awry somewhere and it's not the transfer. Next, note the signs the fans are carrying. Note the various shades of white that they are. Then note Rita Marlowe's fur coat. That look blue to you? Teal? Looks perfectly white to me. Finally, if there is no white and way too much BLUE, how do you explain the perfectly rendered reds, yellows, greens, golds, browns? If there was so much pushed blue none of those colors would be accurate.

    No need to get sarcastic with me, young fella! 😉 But, as you apparently took the time to haul out your own handy-dandy Blu to check again, I will do the same and get back to you.

  65. Bryan^H

    -_-

    Yeah, I know. This argument over color grading is pretty boring if you haven't purchased a bunch of terrible-looking Blu-rays, most of them directly from Fox. Sorry. In fact, after I do a final check of WSSRH, I will cease and desist from any further bluing-related commentary unless the same problem recurs with a future release. I simply felt compelled to respond in this case, because to me (and a bunch of others here), the Blu-ray is appalling . I do not hold this against TT, but rather to Fox and their colorists. As for the contention from "the other side" that there is nothing wrong with the transfer, I cannot let that go unchallenged. But, all in good fun (I hope), among friends. 🙂

  66. haineshisway

    Well, then respond to my post and the examples I gave, which are very specific. It will be interesting.

    I put the disc on and watched from the beginning, specifically the scenes you point out. Truthfully, it looked pretty good. There were whites…real whites. The blue objects such as paintings on the wall were obviously supposed to be that color. I began thinking, Oh my God! Bruce is right. How will I ever save face? Then, I hit the sequence in Henry Jones' office at 6:16, and I began to see the blue. Look at the wall behind the reclining Jones. Toward the top, I can see it heading toward blue. I skipped over some chapters and it just seemed to get worse.

    Chapter 10, 34:00: The NBC insignia on the bus is clearly not the solid white it is meant to be to match the roof. I would direct your attention to the sequence with Henry Jones at 38:40. Is it likely that the paint trim on the bookshelves would be a light blue, or that the curtains behind the window outside that says "Cooper" would be light blue? Or that the paint job over the mantle would be bluish? Or that even the framed photo of Mansfield on the table would have a bluish cast? Or that, in the scene in the car with Jayne Mansfield at 41:12, virtually every car and building shown going by through the windows has a blue tint? Tinted windows, you say? Nay, I say. Or that Mansfield's poodle, which admittedly has blue (intentionally) on the top of its head and on the bottoms of its ears, has a blue tint even on the fur that in earlier scenes was white? Plus, the flesh tones are brownish and pasty probably from this bizarre color grading.

    The examples of this are rampant throughout the disc after that opening sequence you cite. There are still some solid whites, but an awful lot of what should be white just isn't. Sorry, man, it's not my eyes or my color calibration, since it, along with some other Fox titles already mentioned, are very much the exception in my embarrassingly large collection. Why would I choose to single out this or KING AND I or CAROUSEL and others, as I really like these movies and have absolutely no intrinsic reason to find fault with their transfers?

    Bruce, we must part company on this issue, which has dragged on for years on this forum and others (meaning, if I'm wrong, there are many people on Blu-ray.com and DVD Talk who are as color blind as I am). I totally consider you an authority on many, many things and hold you in high esteem, but on this business, we just aren't going to connect.

    As I mentioned a few posts back, I am done posting about this blue stuff and just have to end by saying I'm damned puzzled and pissed off that some person or people at Fox have so degraded these fine movies for reasons unknown.

  67. I can look at those scenes but suspect it's pointless and would only point out to you that there is a LOT of blue lighting in this film – it's Tashlin – it's what he LOVES – big, bold, cartoonish visuals. The lighting is very obvious, which is why some scenes that have white frames on paintings in the outer office and ones that have a bluish hue is because in those scenes there is blue lighting on the walls. Again, and I hope my point is a simple one – they do not go into a transfer and only pick certain portions of the frame to color correct – and if blue was being pushed it would effect every other color on the screen and to my eyes every other color on the screen is completely accurate. No one seems to understand gels on lights and what they do. A blue gel on a light aimed at a wall and what's on that wall will result in a bluish hue to the wall. Funnily, where it's easiest to tell this is when there are blue highlights in dark hair, and as that person moves about in the frame those highlights will go away as soon as they move out of that light.

  68. haineshisway

    I can look at those scenes but suspect it's pointless and would only point out to you that there is a LOT of blue lighting in this film – it's Tashlin – it's what he LOVES – big, bold, cartoonish visuals. The lighting is very obvious, which is why some scenes that have white frames on paintings in the outer office and ones that have a bluish hue is because in those scenes there is blue lighting on the walls. Again, and I hope my point is a simple one – they do not go into a transfer and only pick certain portions of the frame to color correct – and if blue was being pushed it would effect every other color on the screen and to my eyes every other color on the screen is completely accurate. No one seems to understand gels on lights and what they do. A blue gel on a light aimed at a wall and what's on that wall will result in a bluish hue to the wall. Funnily, where it's easiest to tell this is when there are blue highlights in dark hair, and as that person moves about in the frame those highlights will go away as soon as they move out of that light.

    Anyway, you have made your points, and I respect them. Have a safe and productive summer! :cheers:

  69. haineshisway

    I can look at those scenes but suspect it's pointless and would only point out to you that there is a LOT of blue lighting in this film – it's Tashlin – it's what he LOVES – big, bold, cartoonish visuals. The lighting is very obvious, which is why some scenes that have white frames on paintings in the outer office and ones that have a bluish hue is because in those scenes there is blue lighting on the walls. Again, and I hope my point is a simple one – they do not go into a transfer and only pick certain portions of the frame to color correct – and if blue was being pushed it would effect every other color on the screen and to my eyes every other color on the screen is completely accurate. No one seems to understand gels on lights and what they do. A blue gel on a light aimed at a wall and what's on that wall will result in a bluish hue to the wall. Funnily, where it's easiest to tell this is when there are blue highlights in dark hair, and as that person moves about in the frame those highlights will go away as soon as they move out of that light.

    It wasn't only Tashlin that liked blue gels. It was a house style at Fox that goes back to the 1940's. If one listens to the commentary for THE BLACK SWAN, Maureen O' Hara talks about how that was her first film in Technicolor, and she was very concerned, as she heard most cinematographers used lots of lights in order to obtain a well-balanced image when shooting in color, and as Ms. O 'Hara had very fair skin, she really didn't wish to be exposed to those bright lights all day, so she was very happy when she appeared on the set for the first day of shooting and Leon Shamroy instead of subjecting the set to an inordinate amount of overly bright lights, used colored gels, in particular blue gels, to achieve the same effect. And of course Mr. Shamroy won an Oscar for his cinematography in THE BLACK SWAN, and while it wasn't only the use of colored gels, that did have something to do with it, and that became part of Fox's house style which one can see in innumerable color films from the 1940's until the early 1960's.

    But yes, Bruce is correct in that Frank Tashlin did love to use colored gels to create pools of artificial color, since he came from cartoons. If one looks at the credit sequence in THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT, for instance, it's filled with weird colored highlights in the corners of the set and on the walls that often clash with the main color scheme. In fact, during the opening credits of ROCK-A-BYE BABY, a film Tashlin directed with Jerry Lewis, it takes place in a studio on the Paramount lot and one can see arc lights covered with blue, red and yellow gels. In other words, it's not some crazy digital effect the colorists at Fox are doing; but these overly blue highlights that pop up in strange places (like in the frame behind Henry Jones' head) are part of the original photography.

  70. Bryan^H

    So was Joshua Logan ripping off Tashlin's filming method when he made "Bus Stop"? I just find the whole thing odd.

    I don't know about BUS STOP, but I think maybe Josh Logan had seen too many of Frank Tashlin's cartoons, and those overripe colors kind of got stuck someplace in his cranium, so in SOUTH PACIFIC he figured suffusing the screen with purple and orange when Mitizi Gaynor sang about being lonely was normal..

  71. Bryan^H

    So was Joshua Logan ripping off Tashlin's filming method when he made "Bus Stop"?

    I just find the whole thing odd.

    No, Joshua Logan didn't photograph Bus Stop, he directed it. The cameraman was Milton Krasner, a house DP at Fox. Another Fox house DP, as Lark points out, was Leon Shamroy – he always used blue gels – it's very obvious. I think the problem, as has been stated so many times, is that so many people are used to older transfers that were off fading internegatives and too orange and brown and with the blue severely compromised, and that's what they think these films looked like – and they really didn't.

  72. AnthonyClarke

    And … a real digresson … when is The Girl Can't Help It being released on Blu?

    Hopefully never, if these conditions continue to prevail. I've seen it in Technicolor, and had a print for several years. There's no "blue gel" in it.

  73. ThadK

    Hopefully never, if these conditions continue to prevail. I've seen it in Technicolor, and had a print for several years. There's no "blue gel" in it.

    Well, I had an IB Tech print, too. Just a little question: What do you think is on the curtain and aimed at the floor. Think that's paint? That's blue gels.View attachment 61458

  74. OK, just to spell it out, I meant "blue gel" as a label for how ROCK HUNTER, THE KING AND I, etc. look on the TT releases. THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT doesn't look like that on Technicolor film – maybe for that one scene, and that frame does rather resemble how it looks in Tech, but not for the entire movie.

  75. ThadK

    OK, just to spell it out, I meant "blue gel" as a label for how ROCK HUNTER, THE KING AND I, etc. look on the TT releases. THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT doesn't look like that on Technicolor film – maybe for that one scene, and that frame does rather resemble how it looks in Tech, but not for the entire movie.

    And I spell it out to you again: It is not possible to have what I presume you mean as a blue tint to an entire transfer and have every other color on the screen rendered perfectly. Not possible. I know what The Girl Can't Help it looks like in dye transfer. It is filled with garish lighting in scenes that require it – just like every other Tashlin film of its ilk.

  76. There seems to be an understanding that colors that are moved towards another color by tinting a complete picture would disappear or look very strange, but a blue tint does not mean that yellow and red would suddenly look blue as an example even with considerable, it is tinting after all and not replacement of other colors.

    If you look at an RGB color triangle and move for example yellow and red towards blue they still look yellow and red, they just have a higher percentage of blue added but still look perfectly fine unless you knew that before they looked more red and yellow. Only for previously neutral white and grey parts of the picture will you easily see a shift towards whatever color you choose with a shift towards green being the most objectionable for most people.

    As for the gel filters that will make for some interesting reading, but a common denominator for movies that are considered to look more bluish or teal as some say seems to be that they are very often 50ies Fox movies shot on Eastman stock that is known for heavy fading.

    So is it the style from Fox from the 50ies that is responsible for what we see or is it the fading combined with what certain modern colorists at Fox seem to think is a good look for these movies? I would guess that it is not 100% of one or the other and that not every film would look the same anyway. And surely it makes for some spirited discussions 🙂

  77. I think it's the Fox "house look" now, & the word I'd use is cyan. Of course in the old film grading days, if a scene was too yellow you'd add blue, & too blue, you'd add yellow. You can see it on some desert scenes where they add a lot of yellow to make it look more golden & the blue sky suffers, with the blue looking very pale. These days with digital grading tools & choice of LUT, you can make a picture very cool & still have good flesh tones & yellows.

  78. Yes, that is the problem with today's tools – they are very powerful and in the wrong hands…

    I would strongly prefer if they avoided a look that could not have been achieved in the analog days.

  79. I was very fond of Fox CinemaScope and tried to see movies when they first opened in the best theatre I could get. Later I was a theatre projectionist through college.

    I have tried to collect many of these films. Unfortunately, many of the recent Blu-rays are just too blue! So, I made up a list of projector adjustments that try to fix the problem, in some cases successfully.

    Not all films have a problem. Peyton Place (on of my favorites) is fine, The Blue Max may be ok, but my only experience was watching it at a drive-in where I was the projectionist, so that is hard to use as a reference. But many others just don't work for me.

    My erudition is certainly not at the level of many people on this board who spent their lives in film, so I have to bow to them.

    The one film whose color balance I can never accept is The King and I on Blu-ray. Just too blue, and unfortunately beyond the adjustments on any of my displays. A lost film for me. (Except for the new-looking 35mm print that the Stanford Theatre plays periodically, which is on the money.)

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