917 The Awful Truth

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
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917 The Awful Truth

#1 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:06 pm

The Awful Truth

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In this Oscar-winning farce, Cary Grant (in the role that first defined the Cary Grant persona) and Irene Dunne exude charm, cunning, and artless affection as an urbane couple who, fed up with each other's infidelities, resolve to file for divorce. Try as they each might to move on, the mischievous Jerry can't help but meddle in Lucy's ill-matched engagement to a corn-fed Oklahoma businessman (Ralph Bellamy), and a mortified Lucy begins to realize that she may be saying goodbye to the only dance partner capable of following her lead. Directed by the versatile Leo McCarey, a master of improvisation and slapstick as well as a keen and sympathetic observer of human folly, The Awful Truth is a warm but unsparing comedy about two people whose flaws only make them more irresistible.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interview with critic Gary Giddins about director Leo McCarey
• New video essay by film critic David Cairns on actor Cary Grant's performance
• Illustrated 1978 audio interview with actor Irene Dunne
• Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1939, starring actor Claudette Colbert and Grant
• PLUS: An essay by film critic Molly Haskell

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Luke M
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#2 Post by Luke M » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:56 pm

This is the third title Criterion has released from Sony's Cary Grant Box Set. Only 2 titles remain unreleased: Holiday and The Talk of the Town.

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Never Cursed
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#3 Post by Never Cursed » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:30 pm

I haven't seen Holiday, but I wouldn't be surprised (or dismayed) if Criterion passed on The Talk Of The Town.

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swo17
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#4 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:38 pm

Holiday is the best film of that set.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#5 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:32 pm

Great confirmation because the dvd quality is pretty awful.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#6 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:45 pm

Rayon Vert wrote:Great confirmation because the dvd quality is pretty awful.
The Sony DVD? I would have to disagree - I saw this film projected twice in 35mm, once at BAM in 2009 (for their massive Cary Grant retrospective) and again several years later at MoMA, and both times I was able to pop in the DVD soon afterwards for a brief comparison. The film print looked great, and the DVD seemed to have the same general look: a bit grainy and gauzy (or hazy may be a better word for some).

If they have the original camera negative, this could look very different - a 4k transfer straight from the OCN will undoubtedly look much cleaner and, compared to the prints (or perhaps the same print?) I saw, ultra-crisp and clean. But it's very possible that won't be the case, and not necessarily bad.

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Drucker
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#7 Post by Drucker » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:23 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Rayon Vert wrote:Great confirmation because the dvd quality is pretty awful.
The Sony DVD? I would have to disagree - I saw this film projected twice in 35mm, once at BAM in 2009 (for their massive Cary Grant retrospective) and again several years later at MoMA, and both times I was able to pop in the DVD soon afterwards for a brief comparison. The film print looked great, and the DVD seemed to have the same general look: a bit grainy and gauzy (or hazy may be a better word for some).

If they have the original camera negative, this could look very different - a 4k transfer straight from the OCN will undoubtedly look much cleaner and, compared to the prints (or perhaps the same print?) I saw, ultra-crisp and clean. But it's very possible that won't be the case, and not necessarily bad.
*quietly murmuring to himself in a corner, afraid if others hear him he'll be stoned to death*
I sort of feel that way about most classic Hollywood films from the academy ratio era I see screened in 35mm that are available at least via HD-mastered DVDs.

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Ribs
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#8 Post by Ribs » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:27 pm

You're able to peek at the new restoration in SD via the clip on Criterion's page for the release.

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Red Screamer
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#9 Post by Red Screamer » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:27 pm

A Molly Haskell essay! \:D/

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hearthesilence
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#10 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:00 pm

Drucker wrote:
hearthesilence wrote:
Rayon Vert wrote:Great confirmation because the dvd quality is pretty awful.
The Sony DVD? I would have to disagree - I saw this film projected twice in 35mm, once at BAM in 2009 (for their massive Cary Grant retrospective) and again several years later at MoMA, and both times I was able to pop in the DVD soon afterwards for a brief comparison. The film print looked great, and the DVD seemed to have the same general look: a bit grainy and gauzy (or hazy may be a better word for some).

If they have the original camera negative, this could look very different - a 4k transfer straight from the OCN will undoubtedly look much cleaner and, compared to the prints (or perhaps the same print?) I saw, ultra-crisp and clean. But it's very possible that won't be the case, and not necessarily bad.
*quietly murmuring to himself in a corner, afraid if others hear him he'll be stoned to death*
I sort of feel that way about most classic Hollywood films from the academy ratio era I see screened in 35mm that are available at least via HD-mastered DVDs.
Hah, you're not alone in that regard!

Don't get me wrong, there are exceptions - when I saw The Magnificent Ambersons from a 35mm print (not a digital restoration, just an old print in really great shape), I was floored by how good it looked. Very crisp detail, very clean image, and really deep, inky black areas.

But that gauzy, hazy look is common, especially with 1930's era Hollywood films, even if you have a great looking print. In the long shots, pay attention to a face in the background and see how well you can make out the details in their face - it's going to look like a grainy haze. I think most of the time this is the look of the film stock, not because the OCN is unavailable, and you just have to live with it.
Ribs wrote:You're able to peek at the new restoration in SD via the clip on Criterion's page for the release.
That looks like what I remember - gauzy and grainy.

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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#11 Post by AisleSeat » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:07 pm

Author Viña Delmar wrote the screenplay for The Awful Truth, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. She also wrote the screenplay for Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow, also a Criterion release. Viña and her husband, Gene—they worked as a writing team—produced only two screenplays in total, and, interestingly, both are now in the Collection.

Viña lived a interesting life. She gain fame in the late 1920s with her risqué novel, Bad Girl, and with her pert bobbed hairstyle, become a Jazz Age icon. Wikipedia has a nice write up on Viña Delmar.

Edit: Grammar
Last edited by AisleSeat on Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shrew
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#12 Post by Shrew » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:35 pm

Didn't realize Delmar wrote both the McCarey's and the source for Bad Girl, which is among the most sublime Borzage films (with an incredibly misleading title).

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Ribs
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#13 Post by Ribs » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:45 pm


Werewolf by Night

Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#14 Post by Werewolf by Night » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:24 pm

I guess this looks about as good as I could expect it to. As much as I love Cary Grant, I've been really slow to get these Criterion releases of his Columbia films because they just don't seem like significant improvements, visually, over the DVDs. The relatively thin extras don't help, either. I'll buy them eventually, though.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 917 The Awful Truth

#15 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:41 pm

Not surprised - as I mentioned before, this is pretty much how it looked when I saw it projected in 35mm on two different occasions, and pretty much how the DVD looked as well. I wouldn't call it bad though, far from it, and it's probable the OCN doesn't exist anymore, so you can't expect anything that clean.

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