Come On Fox...Demitrius And The Gladiators Before The Robe???!!... - AVS Forum

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Frank J Manrique's Avatar Frank J Manrique
12:10 AM Liked: 11
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12-19-2000 | Posts: 5,133
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As I stated in an earlier thread, 2001 will prove to be a bonanza for film buffs for not only will Ben-Hur show up on DVD, but Lawrence Of Arabia and a host of other important movies as well. That is great but there are some troubling aspects to these otherwise good news...

It seems that very quietly Fox recently announced a DVD release of Demitrius And The Gladiators, the sequel to The Robe, slated for February 27. This alone would be great news...if it was not for the fact that The Robe is a far more important film because of its cast (Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, et al), much better acting (even by Victor Mature, who played the Greek slave in this one, and Roman officer-to-gladiator-to-hero in the sequel), and the fact that it was the very first movie to filmed in the CinemaScope anomorphic lensing process, thus of greater historic significance in my opinion (The Robe was also shot flat or with spherical lenses at the same time it was being photographed in CinemaScope. AMC and Fox Movies occassionally show The Robe in the full frame aspect ratio, and it almost seems a different movie altogether. I personally think it should be included along with the widescreen version IF...this movie is ever released on DVD).
I suppose Fox decided to release Demitrius first, perhaps desiring to cash in on GLADIATOR's phenomenal video sales success (just mention the word "gladiator" and the masses will buy, eh?).

I guess that I should be happy with the news that DATG will be put on DVD and released--and in some ways I am--but there is yet another fly in the ointment: the soundtrack...

Apparently Fox will release the DVD with only Dolby 2.0 sound...and not the 4-channel soundtrack, which is readily available as far as I know, so why not use it?
Demitrius, like The Robe, had a directional stereo soundtrack and this fact is most notable as it was Fox who pursued this sound mixing avenue with earnest, for most of their subsequent widescreen epics were endowed with, and featured such, ground-breaking multi-channel sound (it was Cinerama who first deployed several channels during projection besides Disney's multi-tracked sound Fantasia, but the latter two eventually fell to the wayside. Thus Fox deserves the credit for making directional stereo nearly universal in least until movie studios reverted to mono sound almost 100% towards the late 60's).

In any event, this is a travesty that should be stopped before the DVD goes in for pressing. Please, Fox...use the multi-channel soundtrack for Demitrius And The addition to a HD anomorphic master for the video transfer...and the do same for The Robe...which I hope is soon to follow...Thank you...


[This message has been edited by Frank J Manrique (edited 12-19-2000).]
Rachael Bellomy's Avatar Rachael Bellomy
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12-19-2000 | Posts: 8,453
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It's definitely that word gladiator, Frank. I'm just happy when we can get any of these classics, although I agree with you. They devote so much disc manufacturing capacity to excrement. Like, what the worlds needs now is more flicks about sorority babe nypho's, blood lusting aliens, Bill & Ted clones, ect, ect.... NOT! But as DVD picks up steam as a format, I believe, this will increasingly be the case. The weekly release lists are nearly always ill'in home boy! Happy holidays to you and yours!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
Frank J Manrique's Avatar Frank J Manrique
02:26 PM Liked: 11
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12-19-2000 | Posts: 5,133
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Funny stuff!...I've come to count on your good sense of humor to make my day! Merry Christmas to you too!!

bbqman's Avatar bbqman
08:39 AM Liked: 10
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12-23-2000 | Posts: 182
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Consider the source... nuff said and have a Happy Holiday to all


HDTV and good BBQ 2 out of 3 ain't bad
Robert George's Avatar Robert George
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12-23-2000 | Posts: 3,768
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I don't have a date as yet, but I do know that Fox has done some (badly needed) restoration work on The Robe and it is on the DVD release schedule. I hope Fox will announce it in time to be released simultaneously with Demitrius, but I'm more concerned it be done right, even if it takes a little longer.

As for the sound format on Demitrius, I say wait and see. If there is a usable multi-track master available, I'm certain Fox would use it. Believe me, the head guy over there loves 5.1 just as much as anyone

Oh yeah, one minor correction. The Robe was the first CinemaScope film released. The first completed film shot in 'Scope was How To Marry A Millionaire, but Fox wanted a bigger, "epic" type film to launch the format, so they held Millionaire and released The Robe first.


[This message has been edited by Robert George (edited 12-23-2000).]
Frank J Manrique's Avatar Frank J Manrique
02:08 PM Liked: 11
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12-23-2000 | Posts: 5,133
Joined: Nov 1999

Thanks for the heads up! Indeed those are great news...

Yeah, you are right about The Robe not being the first film to be shot in the then brand new CinemaScope widescreen process. Trying to do it on the fly can be a bit risky...and it shows: I was in error. Thank you for the correction.

Yes! The new head of Fox video, Peter Staddon, is a real multi-channel sound aficionado in addition to totally changing the course Fox has taken with video transfering quality! He is even using a subwoofer system from the same company my subbass system came from: SVS...unarguably the best bang for the buck in the low frequency bass reproduction field extant, IMHO, so I am with you and will wait to judge the results when both movies come out on DVD. I did not know he was such a fan of multi-channel sound until very recently and only after I posted this thread, though...Cheers!


[This message has been edited by Frank J Manrique (edited 12-23-2000).]
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