A few words about…™ Operation Petticoat — in Blu-ray

Not much of an upgrade 3.5 Stars

The other Olive release as licensed by Paramount, is another fun Cary Grant film. This one released in 1959, and directed by Blake Edwards, has Mr. Grant is teamed with Tony Curtis.

The film was shot by Russell Harlan, who had become an Edwards staple. Most will know his name from his work on Red River, Ruby Gentry and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Billed as a high-definition digital restoration, Operation Petticoat comes across as a half-baked project, with occasionally problematic color, and a bit too much detritus, wear and tear to be taken seriously.

As announced by Olive, their new Signature release will be locked at 3,500 copies. While you may purchase as many copies as you feel you need, presumably up to 3,500 (if you act quickly enough) Olive, in an attempt to combat scalping and hoarding, limits purchases through their own website at five copies per household.

Like it companion release, Father Goose, Operation Petticoat was previously released by Olive on Blu-ray several years ago.

While I’m a huge fan of Olive’s Blu-rays, their products, especially those emblazoned with the Signature moniker, need a bit more shepherding toward higher quality imagery, before that moniker is used, especially for something marketed as restored.

Image – 3.25

Audio – 5

4k Up-rez – 3

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade – No

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

author,member

38 Comments

  1. Robert Crawford

    I have a hard time believing this BD isn't an upgrade over the horrible DVD. Even the prior BD was an upgrade over the 2001 DVD.

    Robert,

    The term used should have been BD for upgrade. As with Father Goose, these seem to be the same transfers, but now, even with extras, have a higher data throughput, via BD-50s.

    Final result seems to be about the same.

  2. Rick Thompson

    Apparently the same botched job as the last, which to my eyes had more drop-outs and debris than the DVD. So much for anything Paramount.

    Placing things in perspective, I believe the general audience will love it.

  3. I won't love it and I won't be buying it – I figured this was going to be like this – they're obviously using the same master and giving it the bit rates (whatever those are) they should have in the first place. Sorry, this is shameful. And they will presumably be sitting on most of those 3500 copies for a very long time.

  4. Robert Harris

    While I'm a huge fan of Olive's Blu-rays, their products, especially those emblazoned with the Signature moniker, need a bit more shepherding toward higher quality imagery, before that moniker is used, especially for something marketed as restored.

    I would hate to see Olive slipping back to their days of when I purchased their first edition of "The Quiet Man". It was advertised as a restoration of the 4K kind; but to no avail, as little evidence of such appeared on my screen. Enter Olive's "Signature" series. Truly, that edition of "The Quiet Man" lived up to its word; but I had certain resentments about the whole double-purchase of it all. And no doubt, "High Noon" looked fantastic; but I was also lucky enough to not have purchased their earlier version, so there was no resentment there.
    But Olive does need to be on notice, as I have no intention of supporting their products that have misleading banners and/or claims attached to it. The Signature Series; meant to lift their stature and, perhaps, our loyalties have all but lost the majority of a once earned credibility. I am sorry to report that I will not be purchasing "The Miracle Worker", "Father Goose" or "Operation Petticoat" under their current conditions and claims. Both "Signature" editions of "The Quiet Man" and "High Noon" had proven Olive's newfound capabilities; thus making it much too late for them to turn back their own clocks.

  5. Robert Harris

    Robert,

    The term used should have been BD for upgrade. As with Father Goose, these seem to be the same transfers, but now, even with extras, have a higher data throughput, via BD-50s.

    Final result seems to be about the same.

    So Olive has basically lied about the following in bold:

    OLIVE SIGNATURE FEATURES

    • New High-Definition digital restoration
    • Audio commentary by critic Adrian Martin
    • “That’s What Everybody Says About Me” – with Jennifer Edwards and actress Lesley Ann Warren
    • “The Brave Crew of the Petticoat” – with actors Gavin MacLeod and Marion Ross
    • “The Captain and His Double: Cary Grant’s Struggle of the Self” – with Marc Eliot, author of Cary Grant: A Biography
    • Universal Newsreel footage of Cary Grant and the opening of Operation Petticoat at the Radio City Music Hall
    • Archival footage of the submarine USS Balao, which doubled as the USS Sea Tiger in Operation Petticoat
    • Essay by critic Chris Fujiwara
  6. Very difficult as a layman to understand what the various terms mean. For me, if it's a title I like, I will upgrade/buy the blu-ray. If it is a reissued blu-ray it has to be a reasonable uplift in quality for a repurchase (eg TT's Journey). If it is a favourite title I will repurchase even for a small uplift in quality. None of the Olive reissues appeal to me.

  7. Robert Harris

    Placing things in perspective, I believe the general audience will love it.

    If this new copy looks essentially the same as the prior Blu-ray, a score of 3.25 is extremely generous of you. I rated the other disc 2 and could have gone lower. The extensive dirt and damage were very distracting, and I don't think the "general audience" expecting crystal clarity on every Blu-ray will care for it at all.

  8. – Screener Encoding Errors –

    It has come to our attention that our Blu-ray editions of Olive Signature Operation Petticoat and Olive Signature Father Goose, originally scheduled for release on November 7, were affected by encoding errors during replication. These digital glitches are present in Blu-ray screeners that you may have received already or will receive in the next few days. Because the final quality control does not meet our standards, we will be correcting these glitches before commercial release and resubmitting new discs for review. As a consequence of these fixes, please be advised we will also be postponing the street date for both titles. Stay tuned, and we will update you when a new street date has been determined. We thank you for your patience as we work to resolve these issues.

    Thank you,
    Olive Films

  9. Robert Harris

    – Screener Encoding Errors –

    It has come to our attention that our Blu-ray editions of Olive Signature Operation Petticoat and Olive Signature Father Goose, originally scheduled for release on November 7, were affected by encoding errors during replication. These digital glitches are present in Blu-ray screeners that you may have received already or will receive in the next few days. Because the final quality control does not meet our standards, we will be correcting these glitches before commercial release and resubmitting new discs for review. As a consequence of these fixes, please be advised we will also be postponing the street date for both titles. Stay tuned, and we will update you when a new street date has been determined. We thank you for your patience as we work to resolve these issues.

    Thank you,
    Olive Films

    Could the "encoding errors" mean that they accidentally used entirely the wrong master? Probably a stretch. That'd be kind of a big whoopsie to slip through Quality Control.

  10. Robert Harris

    – Screener Encoding Errors –

    It has come to our attention that our Blu-ray editions of Olive Signature Operation Petticoat and Olive Signature Father Goose, originally scheduled for release on November 7, were affected by encoding errors during replication. These digital glitches are present in Blu-ray screeners that you may have received already or will receive in the next few days. Because the final quality control does not meet our standards, we will be correcting these glitches before commercial release and resubmitting new discs for review. As a consequence of these fixes, please be advised we will also be postponing the street date for both titles. Stay tuned, and we will update you when a new street date has been determined. We thank you for your patience as we work to resolve these issues.

    Thank you,
    Olive Films

    Thank you RAH! Your noted criticism of these upcoming releases just didn't match Olive's initial press release in which they promoted restoration efforts with these two titles. Very happy to see Olive addressing this issue.

  11. JoshZ

    Could the "encoding errors" mean that they accidentally used entirely the wrong master? Probably a stretch. That'd be kind of a big whoopsie to slip through Quality Control.

    Anything is possible. The message is interestingly vague.

  12. oh , if you could only get that same response from VCI about Topper, and know that a replacement was on the way, or a memo sent out about The Miracle Worker…… makes one wonder, if these really were ready for release, or rushed

  13. Robert Harris

    Anything is possible. The message is interestingly vague.

    The claim of a "New High-Definition digital restoration" always sounded a bit suspect, like it would wind up being the same scan as before with a little digital clean-up. But you stated in the prior thread about this movie that you were told this would be a totally new element and restoration. That doesn't at all seem to be the case, unless the wrong master was used.

    I suppose the person you spoke to previously could have simply been misinformed. I'm not in a position to judge that.

  14. JoshZ

    The claim of a "New High-Definition digital restoration" always sounded a bit suspect, like it would wind up being the same scan as before with a little digital clean-up. But you stated in the prior thread about this movie that you were told this would be a totally new element and restoration. That doesn't at all seem to be the case, unless the wrong master was used.

    I suppose the person you spoke to previously could have simply been misinformed. I'm not in a position to judge that.

    I believe that it’s Father Goose that’s a new scan.

  15. Robert Harris

    I believe that it’s Father Goose that’s a new scan.

    In the thread about that movie, you said: "Both Grant films appear to be the same transfers, with the new BD, at a higher bitrate. Final results seem to be very similar, although the new product may be slightly better."

    It sounds to me like neither is a new scan.

  16. JoshZ

    In the thread about that movie, you said: "Both Grant films appear to be the same transfers, with the new BD, at a higher bitrate. Final results seem to be very similar, although the new product may be slightly better."

    It sounds to me like neither is a new scan.

    Father Goose is a new 4k scan. The current Blu-ray may not be representative of the final work. I have no more info than anyone else.

  17. Robert Harris

    Father Goose is a new 4k scan. The current Blu-ray may not be representative of the final work. I have no more info than anyone else.

    Was the prior Blu-ray for Father Goose that 4k scan? I never watched that one, just Petticoat.

  18. While we wait for Olive to fix the issues with Operation Petticoat, a bit of trivia:

    Joan O'Brien, who plays the voluptuous Lt. Crandall, was for a couple of years married to guitarist Billy Strange, a member of the famed Wrecking Crew and a favorite of Brian Wilson. Billy Strange also wrote the song "Limbo Rock." I got to know him during his later years and I attended his 75th birthday party in Nashville in 2005.

  19. JoshZ

    Was the prior Blu-ray for Father Goose that 4k scan? I never watched that one, just Petticoat.

    I don’t think so, which would lead one to believe that the new Olive Signature should be beautiful.

    What could be helpful is a bit more transparency. The only possible tech flaw that I noted, was a momentary digital breakup, that I wrote off, without checking further, to a bit of dust on the disc.

    I have no doubt that Olive went to the trouble and expense of accessing the OCN, and scanning in 4k. No reason to fake that. My problem was that it didn’t look as it should, presuming a new image harvest.

    Understand that a 4k harvest is a big deal. If done correctly, it’s time consuming, and expensive. Think of it as taking the cut original negative, and properly coloring the entire film from shot to shot. This can be weeks of work, if done meticulously. Months, if there is fade in the neg, which should be minimal for a film shot on 5251.

    Location work was done in Jamaica, so processing could still have been performed at a top lab. The neg should be in good shape, but who knows…

  20. Richard Gallagher

    While we wait for Olive to fix the issues with Operation Petticoat, a bit of trivia:

    Joan O'Brien, who plays the voluptuous Lt. Crandall, was for a couple of years married to guitarist Billy Strange, a member of the famed Wrecking Crew and a favorite of Brian Wilson. Billy Strange also wrote the song "Limbo Rock." I got to know him during his later years and I attended his 75th birthday party in Nashville in 2005.

    Billy Strange was also a top arranger, most famously with Nancy Sinatra ("Boots", a series of hits, and all those duets with Lee Hazlewood) and sometimes with Frank, too.

  21. "The delay in release is due to the presence of digital artifacts on the screeners. It was an error made in replication and unrelated to the masters used. If you're asking about the masters used, we can confirm that Father Goose is from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, a different master than our 2013 blu-ray. Operation Petticoat is sourced from the same master as our 2014 blu-ray, but with considerable digital restoration undertaken."

    Above from a BR.com post taken from a Facebook response by Olive.

    Also, this release is delayed until November 28th. Amazon has changed the release date on their site.

  22. Well, I own the earlier "Operation Petticoat" BD and was more-or-less happy with it. When I started hearing about how crap the new release was (wow, RAH, do the posters at BRDC love what you have to say :thumbs-up-smiley:), my upgrade hopes were dashed and I focused on "Father Goose" which had still eluded me. Now, I guess it's more waiting and hoping. Thanks again, RAH (I'd use Robert, but it seems a bit familiar?). :thumbsup:

  23. They have indicated tech problems, and are fixing those of which they are aware, and presumably feel need to be fixed.

    They’ve performed a 4k OCN scan. Extremely expensive, if performed properly with a high end final result. Going that route, for which I commend them, can open a Pandora’s box of problems.

  24. Robert Harris

    They’ve performed a 4k OCN scan. Extremely expensive, if performed properly with a high end final result.

    For Petticoat or for Father Goose? I thought you said that only Father Goose had a new 4k scan?

  25. JoshZ

    For Petticoat or for Father Goose? I thought you said that only Father Goose had a new 4k scan?

    A Facebook response from Olive:

    "The delay in release is due to the presence of digital artifacts on the screeners. It was an error made in replication and unrelated to the masters used. If you're asking about the masters used, we can confirm that Father Goose is from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, a different master than our 2013 blu-ray. Operation Petticoat is sourced from the same master as our 2014 blu-ray, but with considerable digital restoration undertaken."

Leave a Reply