Olive Films

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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captveg
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:28 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1251 Post by captveg » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:27 pm

hearthesilence wrote:I thought Body Snatchers and Johnny Guitar had problems? Forgot what, but that's why I held off on them.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is fine. It's fairly grainy because of its conversion to Superscope 2.00:1, but that's hardly the fault of Olive.

Johnny Guitar is fine aside from the fact that it's open matte 1.37:1 instead of matted 1.66:1. But since it's been seen at 1.37:1 for several generations now some may be willing to give it a pass there.

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chatterjees
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:08 pm
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Re: Olive Films

#1252 Post by chatterjees » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:27 pm

What's wrong with The Quiet Man? :-k

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1253 Post by domino harvey » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:29 pm

XXX @ "Bad"

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1254 Post by Gregory » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:34 pm

Moe Dickstein wrote:The Quiet Man is supposed to be pretty bad too.
What do you mean "supposed to be"? Have you seen it?

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Re: Olive Films

#1255 Post by swo17 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:35 pm

Quiet Man and Johnny Guitar, though they could be improved upon, are by far the best home video versions available for these films.

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HJackson
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1256 Post by HJackson » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:36 pm

chatterjees wrote:What's wrong with The Quiet Man? :-k
Very little. But Robert Harris doesn't like it, therefore it's shit.

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Moe Dickstein
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:19 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1257 Post by Moe Dickstein » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:00 pm

HJackson wrote:
chatterjees wrote:What's wrong with The Quiet Man? :-k
Very little. But Robert Harris doesn't like it, therefore it's shit.
No offense, but I'll take his word over yours on matters of film restoration.

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Lowry_Sam
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:35 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Olive Films

#1258 Post by Lowry_Sam » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:15 pm

hearthesilence wrote:I thought Body Snatchers and Johnny Guitar had problems? Forgot what, but that's why I held off on them.
DVD Beaver on Johnny Guitar:
The new Olive Blu-ray is superior to all the SD-DVDs and, remarkably, is the only digital edition in accurate theatrical running time. Colors gain vibrancy, detail and contrast advance and there are far fewer artefacts although there are still some light scratches and speckles on the 1080P source. Certainly this is the edition to own with modest lossless sound (no subtitle options) and a cool 3.5-minute appreciation by Martin Scorsese. This is iconic cinema and we give a full endorsement to the Olive Films Blu-ray package. This is great news!

NOTE: The film was originally composed for 1.66:1 and the Olive Films Blu-ray is, like the DVDs, approximately 1.33:1. (Thanks Bob!)
In the Crawford (w/ Little Rid Riding Hood outfit) grab, the Olive looks overly red in comparison to the Spanish dvd, but I don't know how it's supposed to look. Otherwise, color & detail is better than any other options, though it doesn't even fill 20G of a single-sided disc, which is the biggest problem of most Olive blu-rays (but most titles won't get blu-ray release anywhere else anytime soon).

There is an error (manufacturing?) in at least some copies of Letter From An Unkown Woman, where the image breaks up a couple minutes before the end. I emailed Olive, but never got a response.Really wished Criterion had grabbed this one, Johnny Guitar, & The Pawnbroker, which was supposedly on schedule to be released for over a year now.

Otherwise, my favorites so far are:

Force Of Evil
Body and Soul
Dark City
Appointment With Danger
Despair
Macbeth
(if you like theater/Shakespeare)
Betty Boop (if you like vintage cartoons)
The Magic Christian (but I'd only recommend it to people who enjoy off-beat experiments from late 60s & early 70s, think Head meets Medium Cool)

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HJackson
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1259 Post by HJackson » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:28 pm

Moe Dickstein wrote:
HJackson wrote:
chatterjees wrote:What's wrong with The Quiet Man? :-k
Very little. But Robert Harris doesn't like it, therefore it's shit.
No offense, but I'll take his word over yours on matters of film restoration.
Thank you for passing on this key piece of information. I'll be sure to file it somewhere safe.

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Askew
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:23 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1260 Post by Askew » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:32 pm

swo17 wrote:Quiet Man and Johnny Guitar, though they could be improved upon, are by far the best home video versions available for these films.
I'm certainly no expert on the picture quality on these discs, I was only recommending these on the merits of the films themselves, but I can certainly attest to what swo17 says. The Quiet Man, Johnny Guitar and Champion at least are far superior to old DVD editions I owned. I'm still disappointed that Olive has decided that they won't release One of Our Aircraft is Missing since that's another atrocious DVD I was looking forward to replace.

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Olive Films

#1261 Post by Drucker » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:40 pm

The Quiet Man does look great, and most of Robert Harris's criticism seems to be that it could have looked better. The technicolor registration isn't nearly perfect (a la Red Shoes) but it is quite good. I will say that Harris mentions something about the image being "brittle" (I think that's the word he uses) and honestly...I kind of see what he's talking about (the image isn't lush), but jeez, if you just want to enjoy the Ford film, the blu ray is lovely (even with possible nit-picking).

Anyway, Champion is a fabulous and great looking film, and Rio Grande also looks great, though I found the film pretty underwhelming.

PS. I thought Nick mentioned somewhere that there is DNR on Johnny Guitar but I can't confirm that.

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EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: Olive Films

#1262 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:41 pm

The Quiet Man looks fab. If RAH has a problem with it it's because it doesn't look like an original presentation would have. The fine detail, sharpness and natural grain structure are all plain to see. I guess you might have a problem with the colour if you're a 3-strip Technicolor expert. Indeed, even a layman can compare it to something like Meet Me in St Louis or Shane and see that the blacks are horribly milky.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers looks very mediocre though. Cropped from the OAR, transferred from elements 3 or 4 generations from the OCN.

Johnny Guitar looks pretty soft and smudgy, and is open matte.

doc mccoy
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:07 am

Re: Olive Films

#1263 Post by doc mccoy » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:59 pm

Thank you for the recommendations :)

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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1264 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:31 pm

Just in terms of quality of the film (my eye's not that great) I'd recommend Rio Grande, The Enforcer, and Secret Beyond the Door, too.

And Force of Evil is amazing, 100% second that rec.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1265 Post by Gregory » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:18 pm

I find RAH's Few Words About™ The Quiet Man unconvincing because he seems to simply assume that it could have looked close to perfect, and that it does not is all on Olive and their 4k transfer. His comments don't seem to suggest he has any firsthand knowledge of the state of the negative, yet he expects that if Olive knew what they were doing, the Blu-ray should have looked pretty much the film did when it was brand new. He and others on HTF make all kinds of offhand comments about how simple it would have been for Olive to fix the Technicolor registration problems but, unless I'm badly mistaken, it can sometimes be far from an easy problem to fix. Especially if the center of the image is well aligned but areas closer to the edges appear misaligned (as he acknowledges is the case with The Quiet Man), which suggests that it's not a simple kind of alignment problem, and to get it close to perfect would have needed something like Warner's proprietary Ultra-Resolution process, no?
His comments are quite vague about what Olive did wrong, or didn't do, that supposedly caused it to be harsh, "brittle," "gritty," (yet "lacking in texture"? as well as "any real cohesiveness") and "strident-looking" (sounds like we're in the same realm here as indecipherably abstract and poetic wine-writer language).
To me, the Quiet Man disc shows only the expected problems likely inherent in the source elements. RAH seems to argue that all of this could have been solved with more "processing" and "final steps."
Judging from comments in that thread, it seems that some wanted the transfer to be razor-sharp with all alignment problems solved, but not too "hard" or "realistic" looking; sharp and crisp yet at the same time "soft" and "dreamy" [shrug] It must be a drag having such unrealistically high expectations all the time.

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Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: Olive Films

#1266 Post by Finch » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:34 pm

I thought The Quiet Man looked fine and after RAH's recommendation of the disastrous Madame de disc, I don't put much store in his opinion.

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chatterjees
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:08 pm
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Re: Olive Films

#1267 Post by chatterjees » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:31 pm

Moe Dickstein wrote:
HJackson wrote:
chatterjees wrote:What's wrong with The Quiet Man? :-k
Very little. But Robert Harris doesn't like it, therefore it's shit.
No offense, but I'll take his word over yours on matters of film restoration.
The Quiet Man Blu-Ray (the total package) is so far the best release from Olive! In case of Known films (BDs), you see, I don't read too much before I buy what I wanna buy and watch what I wanna watch! It looked stunning on my 55" LED! The only issue I have with any Olive release is the lack of subs. The Quiet Man BD is not an exception. Other than that, I am really happy with my $14.63 purchase from importcds, and the package also includes a booklet!

So far I own 20 Olive BDs, and The Quiet Man is the best looking one, PQ/SQ wise! That's only my opinion though :D

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Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
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Re: Olive Films

#1268 Post by Roger Ryan » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:10 pm

EddieLarkin wrote: Invasion of the Body Snatchers looks very mediocre though. Cropped from the OAR, transferred from elements 3 or 4 generations from the OCN.
There are some DNR issues as well with INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS that does some weird things to faces on occasion (McCarthy's jaw sort of blends into his neck and almost leaves his face at one point), but this is sporadic and seems to not be a problem during the lengthy night sequences.

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Olive Films

#1269 Post by Drucker » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:32 pm

Finch wrote:I thought The Quiet Man looked fine and after RAH's recommendation of the disastrous Madame de disc, I don't put much store in his opinion.
It seems like you can depend on him panning an Olive release as not good enough and praising a Twilight Time as the best is possible frequently. And if you go back far enough he praises things like The Searchers which is still a very "open for debate" transfer (color-timing wise).

I trust the good folks here more than anyone else on the internet.

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captveg
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:28 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1270 Post by captveg » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:28 am

Roger Ryan wrote:
EddieLarkin wrote: Invasion of the Body Snatchers looks very mediocre though. Cropped from the OAR, transferred from elements 3 or 4 generations from the OCN.
There are some DNR issues as well with INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS that does some weird things to faces on occasion (McCarthy's jaw sort of blends into his neck and almost leaves his face at one point), but this is sporadic and seems to not be a problem during the lengthy night sequences.
And its not like the aspect ratio and later generation issues are avoidable. The film was cropped to 2.00:1 and distributed in Superscope in the 50s, causing these issues immediately. As far as I know the earlier elements are not known to currently exist.

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kingofthejungle
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:25 am

Re: Olive Films

#1271 Post by kingofthejungle » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:15 am

I'll second almost all of the Olive titles that have been recommended so far (the one exception being Champion, which I thought was a pretty lackluster film). I especially want to join in the praise for all of the John Ford films they've released so far. I want to add a few of my own favorite Olive titles to the list as well.

Crashout - This is a superb little noir starring Arthur Kennedy and William Bendix, directed by Lewis R. Foster and lenses by Russell Metty. I consider it one of Olive's great discoveries.

Samuel Fuller's China Gate
Raoul Walsh's Dark Command
Leo McCarey's My Son John - This is a controversial one, to be sure. It's got some histrionic right-wing politics being voiced, but it's far more nuanced and complex than it's detractors seem to believe. The image is a little soft, but I consider this film an essential McCarey masterpiece, and it's been previously unavailable.
Andre de Toth's Ramrod - a very good noir/western starring Joel McCrea and the beautiful Veronica Lake.
Robert Aldrich's Twilight's Last Gleaming

Also, an honorable mention to the later Cary Grant films (The Grass Is Greener, Father Goose, etc), the films of poverty row's answer to Orson Welles - John Auer (Hell's Half Acre, A Man Betrayed), Panama and Frank's The Trap, and Lewis Allen's Appointment With Danger.

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domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
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Re: Olive Films

#1272 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:47 am

Of the less visible titles, my favorite is certainly the Devil and Miss Jones, which repairs Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn and is arguably the best film of both. A hilarious socially-conscious comedy about a department store boss who masquerades as an employee at his own store to spy on the union and ends up falling for the lower class. It was my spotlight title in the 40s List, but since at the time there was no home video release, I don't think very many people saw it. It also has my fav opening credits ever:

Image
Image

AfterTheRain
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:42 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1273 Post by AfterTheRain » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:15 pm

I'll put in my input on some of Olive's releases that I would recommend:

William Castle's Project X
Hit!
Escape From Zahrain
Rope of Sand
Union Station
Crack in the World

Joseph Losey's The Lawless

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Grisbi
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:19 pm

Re: Olive Films

#1274 Post by Grisbi » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:02 pm

I've blind bought a good handful of Olive titles, and while I've yet to be flat out disappointed by any of them yet, my favorite discoveries that I would recommend with no reservations are BLOWING WILD (Fregonese) and RUTHLESS (Ulmer).

TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING is probably my favorite overall release of the ones I own - essential film from an essential director, great looking transfer and an excellent, substantial documentary as an extra.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Olive Films

#1275 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:48 pm

I've finally gotten to Hal Hartley's Meanwhile and really loved the film. I liked the sense of optimism on display throughout in the portrait of the world of the film and the way that, while there is a little bit of a schematic structure with the tension over what happened to the girl on the bridge, everything else is just a packed day of mundane problems being dealt with in an elegant manner by the main character. (I think it is going to be the film I'll turn to whenever I need something that will inspire me to work up the energy to do some multi-tasking of my own!)

There are lots of problems and snags that everyone is facing and the film beautifully straddles the line between knowing that chances of success are slim and the stresses of daily life and the sense of optimism that you can be the person who makes someone else's day easier by a considerate or helpful act, or that one of your various jobs could possibly pay off (Or more than one! Or all! One of the best things about the film is that all of the various jobs from the book finally getting read to the drumming audition to the window scheme are suggested to be duly about to pay off, justifying all of that effort, but the final result is left pleasingly ambiguous so as to leave the film on a note of maximum hope), or simply the satisfaction of having achieved a lot of little tasks in one day.

Strangely, considering the films are tonally completely the opposite from each other, I kept thinking of the main character here with his finger in many different pies as contrasting well to Richard Widmark's desperate entrepreneur Harry Fabian in Night and the City! I think the main difference isn't just in the desperateness of one character compared to the capability and helpfulness of the other but also in the way that the wider world of the city is portrayed (both feature characters who seem to travel across the entire length and breadth of their respective cities during the course of their films). In Night and the City the city itself and the people Harry Fabian meets are exasperated by his stupid schemes, driving Harry into even angrier fits of mania, screaming that he'll "show you all!". In Meanwhile Joe might be occasionally berated by ex-wives or models that haven't been paid, but even they can be reasoned with and helped out, and Joe even has his brother who is frustrated with his own corporate job speak admiringly of Joe's lifestyle. Joe might have money troubles of his own (like Harry) but is able to make it through without the city and the people around him grinding him up mercillessley and hounding him to his death, even if we do get suggestions of a darker post 9/11 era New York in the security announcements being played on the subway.

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