Normally, I'd not recommend, but this one of those cases in which content must come out above technology. 4 Stars

“It’s the way I register despair…”

Tony Harvey’s quite extraordinary 1968 The Lion in Winter, is one of those films that I would take with me, if i knew I was to lost on a desert island.

Albeit with electricity and some playback gear.

I love the film, and Tony became a friend.

After owning a 16mm print, followed by a lovely 35, I was ready for the film to make its way to Blu-ray, and I was certain the it would arrive in style.

I was wrong.

Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray, with a master courtesy of MGM is one of those head-shakers.

All of the original elements survive, but what we’ve been allowed (via no fault of KL’s) is an (apparently) older transfer derived from either a poorly produced IP, or dupe neg — or both — that rather than being rock solid like any decent modern image harvest, continually worms its way around the screen.

And it’s enough to give one a headache.

Color is fine.

Grain is alright in some instances, and disappears in others, with an overall slightly soft image, probably courtesy of double dupes.

Audio if fine, but always just slightly enough out of sync to be annoying, if that sort of thing annoys you.

It’s distressing, as TLiW is a superb production, that deserves far better, and will probably not be re-visited.

Mr. Harvey, by way of trade, began in the industry as a child actor, then made the move, as an adult to editing —
I’m All Right Jack, The Angry Silence, Lolita, The L-Shaped Room, Dr. Strangelove, The Whisperers –before moving to directing.

And direct, he did, no more-so than in Lion, for which everything just seems to click, with performances that are unforgettable.

So what we have, is a new Blu-ray, that’s up to ancient standards, for an extraordinary film.

Normally, I’d not recommend, but this one of those cases in which content must come out above technology.

Studiocanal should be ashamed of themselves.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Very Highly Recommended (caveats noted)

RAH

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J. Casey

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I take it that this is a different transfer than the 2016 U.K. blu. Is that, then, the best version to get?
 

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pre order canceled.
 
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PMF

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[...]
It's distressing, as TLiW is a superb production, that deserves far better, and will probably not be re-visited.
[...]
I've often wondered why such failures of transfers and/or restorations do not get re-visited. "The Lion in Winter" is an important film that commands a great deal of reverence and respect on every front. Meanwhile, I'm glad to learn that Kino is not at fault; but, at the same time, I disappointingly can not justify the purchase.
 

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If Kino is not at fault who is? It's their name on the label. Supposedly this came from a Studio Canal restoration of a year or so ago. Assume that Kino paid good money to utilize this restored version. Shouldn't they have insisted on a better transfer? Don't they have standards?

To have anything resembling sync problems in this movie where speech is so important is a disaster.
 

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This is a crushing disappointment. It's one of my all-time favorite films. Back in the time of its theatrical release, there was no home video, of course, but I bought the screenplay in paperback book form and the soundtrack album and would relive the movie at home in my room by reading and playing the score.
 

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"It's the way I register despair..."

Tony Harvey's quite extraordinary 1968 The Lion in Winter, is one of those films that I would take with me, if i knew I was to lost on a desert island.

Albeit with electricity and some playback gear.

I love the film, and Tony became a friend.

After owning a 16mm print, followed by a lovely 35, I was ready for the film to make its way to Blu-ray, and I was certain the it would arrive in style.

I was wrong.

Kino Lorber's new Blu-ray, with a master courtesy of MGM is one of those head-shakers.

All of the original elements survive, but what we've been allowed (via no fault of KL's) is an (apparently) older transfer derived from either a poorly produced IP, or dupe neg -- or both -- that rather than being rock solid like any decent modern image harvest, continually worms its way around the screen.

And it's enough to give one a headache.

Color is fine.

Grain is alright in some instances, and disappears in others, with an overall slightly soft image, probably courtesy of double dupes.

Audio if fine, but always just slightly enough out of sync to be annoying, if that sort of thing annoys you.

It's distressing, as TLiW is a superb production, that deserves far better, and will probably not be re-visited.

Mr. Harvey, by way of trade, began in the industry as a child actor, then made the move, as an adult to editing --
I'm All Right Jack, The Angry Silence, Lolita, The L-Shaped Room, Dr. Strangelove, The Whisperers --before moving to directing.

And direct, he did, no more-so than in Lion, for which everything just seems to click, with performances that are unforgettable.

So what we have, is a new Blu-ray, that's up to ancient standards, for an extraordinary film.

Normally, I'd not recommend, but this one of those cases in which content must come out above technology.

Studiocanal should be ashamed of themselves.


Image - 3.5

Audio - 4

Pass / Fail - Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Yes

Very Highly Recommended (caveats noted)

RAH
 

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I am almost ready to cancel my order as I have the DVD, but you noted that it is an upgrade from the DVD. Just wanted to know, in what respects? Thanks so much Robert!
 

PMF

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This is a crushing disappointment. It's one of my all-time favorite films. Back in the time of its theatrical release, there was no home video, of course, but I bought the screenplay in paperback book form and the soundtrack album and would relive the movie at home in my room by reading and playing the score.
And, might I add, that we can all have a better shot at reliving the color and clarity through the miracles of memory and the mind's eye over that of what Studio Canal has put out. At least with the Amazon - Arrow debacles over the sales of "The Apartment", there was still an ultimately perfect transfer waiting for us all.
 
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I held off buying the UK disc waiting for this one and now I don't know which one to buy! I don't demand perfection, but which is the lesser of two bads?
 

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I held off buying the UK disc waiting for this one and now I don't know which one to buy! I don't demand perfection, but which is the lesser of two bads?
I bet they are exactly the same.
I've seen screenshots of the UK one and it doesn't look good either.
 

Mark-P

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I bet they are exactly the same.
I've seen screenshots of the UK one and it doesn't look good either.
But what about sound? The main complaint with the UK disc was that the sound was very thin with hardly any bass, and now RAH mentions sync issues with the Kino.
 

PMF

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So, why is Kino waving the "4K restoration" banner at us?
I was under the impression that the term of 4K was a lock-down on achieving the ultimate in picture and sound.
 

Robert Harris

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Please keep in mind. I'm very picky.

Also some minor white cut through scratches on occasion. Nothing terrible.

And as noted, sync is a minor issue, which may go unnoticed.

One would presume that this is the earlier transfer from UK.
 
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Robert Harris

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So, why is Kino waving the "4K restoration" banner at us?
I was under the impression that the term of 4K was a lock-down on achieving the ultimate in picture and sound.
I was unaware that this is purportedly a 4k rest.

Ummm, no.

Although anyone can scan anything in 4k, or above.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I held off buying the UK disc waiting for this one and now I don't know which one to buy! I don't demand perfection, but which is the lesser of two bads?
I'll buy this when Kino has one of their sales in which I can purchase it for $12 or less.