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2001: The year when films classics will be released!  

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hi, all,

Well, it appears that Warner Brothers have intentions of releasing my favorite movie of all time: BEN-HUR. Slated for next spring, it will celebrate the film's anniversary. I hope they finally do justice to this Oscar winning, superb motion picture...and eschews the mistakes made by Turner's people with the widescreen laser disc transfers...

Tri-Star/Columbia (Sony) also will be reasing yet another great film: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. It should be a superb DVD transfer...that with the exceptionally high quality video this studio consistently delivers...is quite a record! It should be out by the middle of next year.
Of course, this studio will also be releasing The Bridge Over The River Kwai soon, allegedly in its "original CinemaScope 55mm" aspect ratio format. Don't know about this one; need to check my film sources...

Fox is supposed to release CLEOPATRA with Rex Harrison, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor...in its original uncut lenght...yeah!
I hope the transfering proceeds from the original Todd-AO 70mm elements...
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, although not in the same league as the above film masterpieces, is a very entertaining, imaginative flick so it's good to see Fox will finally put it on DVD..."enhanced for 16x9 TVs," I am sure...

Now if only studios would release EL CID, 55 DAYS IN PEKIN, KORTUM, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (with Marlon Brando), THE ROBE, DEMITRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS, THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, ITS A MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD...as well as THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING...I would as happy as a pig eating slop! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

post #2 of 38
Frank, I'll be first in line for BEN HUR, I'm tired of roughing it with the LD. I really worry they will chop the sides off some, so that tourists won't be freaked by the width! Keep your fingers crossed, best wishes!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #3 of 38
gotta' love the Epics. Bring on Wind & the Lion too, agree on Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad world, and add in the Great Race for commedy, too.

post #4 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by Frank J Manrique:
"Hi, all,

Well, it appears that Warner Brothers have intentions of releasing my favorite movie of all time: BEN-HUR. Slated for next spring, it will celebrate the film's anniversary. I hope they finally do justice to this Oscar winning, superb motion picture...and eschews the mistakes made by Turner's people with the widescreen laser disc transfers..."

Great news, Frank! As you know, BEN-HUR is also my all-time favorite...the best film ever made, in my opinion. Its eleven Academy awards are richly deserved. Please tell me the DVD will be 1.77 anamorphic, NOT just windowboxed in 1.33! Windowboxing an aspect ratio of 2.76:1 within a 1.33:1 frame is very problematic---way too much resolution and pixel density is lost on black bars.


2001 could be a great year for movie lovers!


[This message has been edited by Tom Hilton (edited 11-16-2000).]
post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Rachael, Tom, Tim...

Yes...I forgot to mention that undoubtedly I too wish to see THE WIND AND THE LION in an anomorphic DVD...with the soundtrack contained in the widescreen laser disc, which is DIRECTIONAL stereo! The Sand Pebbles is also a must have! The Great Escape could be remastered in anomorphic...and with the correct 35mm aspect ratio...not the wider job (cropped) I've seen in the laserdisc incarnations. The Great Race would nice, too, if freshly redone...and in anomorphic as well...

As for Ben-Hur, even with a fresh HD anomorphic master I would rather sacrifice a bit of the 2:76:1 aspect ratio (down to 2:65:1 or even a bit less will be just fine; a lot of theaters presented it thus during projection due to a wide variance of projectors aperture plates differing dimensions, so no audiences really viewed the full 2:76:1 AR anyway) in favor of higher resolution--and this is one movie that needs all the help that it can get. So I hope WB sees the wisdom in doing a bit of cropping while gaining height...thus higher resolution. Add 33% of more resolution from the "enhancement" of the anomorphic process and we'll be able to see this motion picture on video as never have been done before! Don't worry, Rachael...it will be just fine. Trust me on this one...

post #6 of 38
Frank, if it was cut to 2.5 to 1 A-morph, how would it look downconverted on the average TV? Fairly good as in fairly tall? Should we hope Warner puts a P & S on side 2 to keep the indians happy? That's what I hope. I've never seen the narrower LD, but it can't be too tall. This tuly is one movie that demonstrates why it's cruel and unusual to P & S a movie. I have a couple of LDs that are 2.5 to 1, forget which, but they're short. Quite nary a sight more folks cusses them thar bars cuttin' thu movie uhp! I've seen guys pawin' thru the titles desperate, looking for full-screen DVDs at Busted Buy. I want to trust you, Frank. But even if Warner is well-intentioned, I think this is a difficult project. The LD has more shimmer than a freshly zambonied ice rink. The colour is lifeless. I hope this is a major, great restoration! Best wishes, Rachael!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #7 of 38
That's great news, Frank! I hope many of the great movies you mentioned (like the bible/ancient epics) are released soon. The release of these films will be a major event.

If you look at the restored version of Vertigo (film restored by Robert Harris) on DVD, the picture quality is very high, especially when you consider it's non anamorphic. It has about as much vertical resolution (in the 1.85:1 AR) as a cropped to 2.35:1 anamorphic DVD of Ben Hur. So my guess is that while it would be great to watch a 1080p master (or a restored 70mm transfer itself) of Ben Hur, an anamorphic DVD will look great. I think it all depends on whether or not the film elements will be restored and whether or not they give it the right priority while transferring to DVD. Some transfers of older films look fantastic. I hope this is one of them!

All the best,
post #8 of 38
Any news on the release of Doctor Zhivago on dvd. No one should miss this film.
post #9 of 38

"more shimmer than a freshly zambonied ice rink"

This is classic. I will use with attribution in the future.

post #10 of 38
Tim, I used to go to my brother's hockey games. Come to think of it I skate well myself, I used to work at an ice rink when I was a teenager. I got TEHL from Amazon too! Best wishes!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #11 of 38

Good to hear TEHL came in. Your Dad should be happy.

Keep those colorful expressions coming, and Happy Thanksgiving,
post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 

Yes...films like 2001: An Space Odessey, et al, need better treatment...
Too many of those moving picture classics must be released in the best condition as possible. Let's hope movie studios also realize this and do the right thing...

Happy Thanks Giving to you all!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

post #13 of 38
I watched THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD on Criterin LD today with my dad. There is no excuse that this film isn't on DVD. And, looking at very least as good as this LD. Errol F., Claude R., Olivia DeH, Basil R., Alan H., whew (!) what a cast! The more modern films are getting too much attention in my world, err, wishful scheme of things. The 30s & 40s have so many gems waiting to become DVDs. More golden age stuff I wish, I wish, I wish.......with no SHIMMER, IT'S A DESSERT TOPPING! NO, IT'S A FLOORWAX......YOU'RE BOTH RIGHT IT'S BOTH........-S.N.L.


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #14 of 38
Brett, those Madcy discs are nearly all dung. I bought one, it sucked. I was loaned one it was poor at best. I've never seen the Bob Hope film you mentioned on LD, I have seen it on TV. It didn't look good on TV. Some films are not well-preserved, that may be one that has no surviving good copies. Your LD player should be coming soon, eh? I'm hardly title-starved, that's for sure! I replace some LDs with superior DVD releases for sure. But, I can afford to be picky. These old films, with academy aspect are not going to look significantly better on DVD. The S9's colour is so good that even old colour films proably won't. Soon is the word I hope! Best wishes!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #15 of 38

How altruistic of thee!

If there is one person around that isn't martyred by the absence of classics on DVD it is thou with thine LD-S9 and plentiful flawless LD pressings... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Thanks to you I'm starting to get those Preston Sturges movies at long last. If the pressing is good and with good equipment and scaling, I'll be looking at buying mostly movies on DVD which I don't already have on LD rather than systematically replace films each time a new one is released on the small discs. I haven't seen it in its LD pressing, but I just tried to watch "My Favorite Brunette", a hokey Bob Hope skit, on DVD. Its transfer was made with film material that looked like it had been mauled by a bobcat. The sound was all but inaudible, adding to the ageing induced distortion careless transfer of the soundstage. This is one movie where I would say: "When are they coming out with the LD???"

Keep spinning them discs, big & small! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif



PS. You guessed - it was published by Madacy Entertainment Group Inc.

[This message has been edited by Brett (edited 11-21-2000).]
post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 

Yeah! I also got the Criterion Robin Hood. Great film! How about Don Juan (Flynn)? Captain Blood (Flynn)? The Charge Of The Light Brigade (Flynn)? Scaramouche (Stewart Granger)? The Three Musketeers (Gene Kelly, Van Efflin, Lana Turner, Vincent Price)? Quo Vadis (Kerr, Robert Taylor, and Ustinov)? The Buccaneer with Yul Brynner (in its glorious original VistaVision aspect ratio)? Circus World (Charles Heston, Jimmy Stewart...also in VistaVision)? Cyragno De Bergerac' (Jose Ferrer)? To name just a few "oldies but goodies"...

post #17 of 38
Frank, they are avoiding releasing the older movies way too hard. The explanations I accept is that older movies generally don't make good 5.1 fare, may be B & W (yuk, to some folks), and are only appreciated by foogies. The ones you listed are darn good ones. How many Edward G. Robinson films are on DVD? Films before 1960 are, for the most part, very badly represented on DVD. Frank we could list them by the gross, ones that should be released. Does Errol Flynn have a single DVD released? Thank goodness, you have Robin Hood too Frank, no serious collection should be devoid of that one! I have my quota of modern, noisey, and effective later day films. I want some classics! Best wishes!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #18 of 38
Here's a piece of great news for Stanley Kubrick fans: his entire collection including titles such as The Shining, Barry Lyndon, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey and others will be completely remastered in anamorphic content and include 5.1 DD. As you all know Warners has already released all his films on dvd and none of them were given the royal anamorphic treatmentother than Eyes Wide Shut which generated a hailstorm of protest. In fact most of them weren't even converted to widescreen, but rather were issued in 1.33:1 format. It appears now that they will all be redone in the format we're accustomed to and the releases should hit the shelves later this winter and early spring.

post #19 of 38
Re: Ben-Hur release

"We keep you alive to serve this forum"

I hope there's an audio commentary so Chuck can tell us all about the homosexual backstory between Judah and Masala. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

Re: Kubrick

Thank God. My wife has been bugging me about buying Clockwork Orange, I didn't want to get the current release with the lousy transfer. What's the point of a DVD that looks like VHS? I wouldn't mind having Strangelove on DVD. Who would do the audio commentary though, the person in that cast still alive is James Earl Jones.


[This message has been edited by abbeynormal (edited 11-22-2000).]
post #20 of 38
Thread Starter 

Kubrik mostly shot his films with spherical (flat) lenses (full frame); theaters had to show them by matting in the 1:85:1 aspect ratio because of the lack of facilities to exhibit in the "Academy" ratio (nearly 1:4:1). Besides, a lot of information contained in the 35mm frame (mics, booms, sets' tops, etc.) isn't supposed to be seen by the audience. Thus the bulk of them are OK viewed in what appears to be P&S but in fact aren't.

2001: A Space Odyssey was shot in spherical 70mm widescreen, thus it should be in its 2:21:1 widescreen aspect ratio. Of course, this magnificent sc-fi classic needs a restoration job, HD anomorphic mastering, and enhanced DVD transferring...with 5.1 soundtrack...


[This message has been edited by Frank J Manrique (edited 11-23-2000).]
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 

The story goes that Wyler, the Director, and Gore Vidal (apparently he was gay, but I can't very it either way) played a nasty trick on Charlie Heston...about Messala being homesexual. Charlie apparently freaked out...'cus he is straight as an arrow! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif However, there is nothing in the book to even suggest that either Messala or Judah Ben-Hur were homosexuals; just childhood friends... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

post #22 of 38
I'd love to see many of Charton Hestons old flicks. SOILENT GREEN, etc. And one whos title I just can'r recall. Saw it years ago. Charlton is like the only survivor on earth that hasn't been turned into a vampire-like mutant. He hunts them during the day... Any trivial pursuit winners out there?

post #23 of 38

Answer is: Omega Man, based on "A man called Legend." And it IS coming to DVD. Saw it announced somewhere. Great flick. Have it on LD, looking forward to the DVD. As for your other Soylent classic, ..... people!


You canNOT beat Adventures of Robin Hood, you are right. (just the musical score in isolation is fantasitic). Basil "Sherlock" Rathbone is great. Also, Alan Hale, Sr., father of the Skipper is a hoot. Captain Blood is Flynn's next best. Waiting for They Died with Their Boots On, which has been announced and not delivered too many times. They just don't mak'em .... Gutta' go and watch Gladiator, not the same feel or style but an Epic none the less.

post #24 of 38
Tim, OMEGA MAN has been announced, with no release date for at least two years. I'd like to have it. The LD has ice rink disease! Sh-sh-sh-shimmer! I want the DVD!!!! Best wishes!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #25 of 38
Thread Starter 
Soylent Green is a most underrated futuristic film. Edward G. Robinson's last movie, too. He was great as the dying professor and his death in the movie is made most poignant, particularly with Beethoven's 6th Symphony as the background music (his exit music!) while he is being euthanized. Perhaps a precursor of his own demise...

Charlie Heston is great as the cop who still has too much honor and decency left in him for a doggy-eat-dog, overpopulated world run by a elite powers-that-be who don't seem to have any problems living it up...scheming, self-serving, and greedy as ever (so what else is new?).

In The Omega Man, Charlie excels as the seemingly sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust; his survival skills are superbly rendered in this dark view of the future after atomic blasts devastate our world. Even so, he finally succumbs to forces that just are too much even for his survival skills (no man is an island!). Another underrated "B" movie that deserves better treatment...

post #26 of 38
The Omega Man.... You guys are really something! OK, here's another one that I can't possibly ecall..Sean Connery with a ponytail muscle type. Real Sci-Fi as he's zipped from reality to reality, place to place in a sphere of some sort, as I recall. This was a LONG time ago, I saw it once as a kid.

Any takers on the name of the film??

post #27 of 38
That's an easy one Ted, ZARDOZ. The big floating Head, the vortex, Sean in a loin cloth diaper kind of outfit, and Zardoz's most memorable line is, "... the gun is good, the penis is bad...". I have the LD, I watched it a few months ago. It's supposed to come to DVD in the not too distant future. Next question! Best wishes!


Rachael,la gata del disco Grande
post #28 of 38
I'm looking forward to most of the above films, especially Lawrence of Arabia and The Wind and the Lion, but there are some guilty pleasures I want as well. One is The Agony and the Ecstacy, with Chuck playing a fussy Michaelangelo and Rex Harrison playing an over-the-top Pope Julius II. The other is Exodus, with Paul Newman playing an Israeli freedom fighter and a cast of thousands. I haven't heard any news about these two.
post #29 of 38
Rachael, you are amazing! You really are. And you have these already have these on LD? You must have a most impressive collection. I'll think of another toughie.

post #30 of 38

- The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis
- Rocco and His Brothers, with Alain Delon
- 1900, with Gerard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda & Robert De Niro
- The Leopard, with Alain Delon & Burt Lancaster
- The Lover, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Director
- Le Samurai, JP Melville Director; with Alain Delon
- Le Beau Serge, Claude Chabrol Director
& hundreds of great European movies who never made it to Laserdisc and have not made it to DVD yet.

By the way Dersu Uzala (Akira Kurosawa, Director) is now available on DVD. It is a magnificent movie. Also a must see on DVD: Entre Nous, Diane Kurys Director. A pure gem.


[This message has been edited by Grosse Fatigue (edited 11-26-2000).]
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