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Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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devlinnn
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#251 Post by devlinnn » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:14 am

Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief - Paramount, R4 (AUST)

Old version - top
New version - bottom

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Enough said....

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david hare
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#252 Post by david hare » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:21 am

Dev you captured my one uncredited screen appearance (in the red check)!

This looks massively better! No edge enhancement, far cleaner, less oversaturated color. I wonder if the reissue of Greatest Show on Earth is similarly worthy? (The R1 is horrible.) I must confess I never watched the original R1 Thief after a first viewing, thanks to the shitty transfer, even though this is a Hitchcock I like a lot (unlike SOME people.)

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devlinnn
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#253 Post by devlinnn » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:48 am

I was going to post one of Ms. Kelly, but something came up as I was taking shots.....

It's a friggin' beautiful transfer, and yes, I love this movie too. Pure wall-to wall dreamland.

(I've also re-appraised the local Greatest Show... during sober viewing. The transfer is just so-so, sadly.)

Billy Wilder's Five Graves to Cairo - Madman, R4 (AUST)

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Very nice.

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david hare
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#254 Post by david hare » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:30 am

Mercis pour tous, toots!

The Wilders are now on the must borrow and something list.

I cannot thank you enough for the caps from Thief and the reminder of what a great movie it is!

How many Hitch "signatures " can you count in the first five minutes, right up to Cary sitting next to Hitch on the bus? All the while this is going on you get a precise Langian mise en scene which neatly dispwnses with Cary and the gorgeous black cat in 30 seconds as amere afterthought to a history of montage.

And the degree to which Cary (only time in his career it seems to me) gives a parallel "gay" to straight performance - the straight one he's doing with the sublimely horny Grace has more to do with levels of performance and exactitude and is extremely winning. (Maybe - and theres an argument for this - he does it in Suspicion.) Then there's Hitch's hommage to French wartime iconography, like the giant Renault buses , painted a fabulous red, as though this were (and it IS) a postwar cheer up, and an obviously flattered reply to the army of his French Admirers au Continent.) and the wild if not crazy casting of Vanel, etc - flawlessly I should say.

And THEN,, - if you were to simply put this movie as wallpaper if, like me, you were just some fucking harried husband going around prepping for the fucking husband/wife/etc as some sort of chore and needed release back into the world of movies - Voila! !! Hermanns apparently cueing score, but actually perfect score for radio (as wel as the movie) which puts the smile back on your face - even while you're cooking dinner for the one you want to kill.

LOVE the movie. Who canNOT?

AND - before I go inna another episode of my harried sexlife - if Thief can look THIS good, how much better will Funny Face look with a rework from Paramount? Their source print looked like a very good Vistavision/35mm reduction but was totally buggered by those old 90s analogue transfer faults. (It's only my favorite movie of all time.)

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devlinnn
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#255 Post by devlinnn » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:02 am

If Funny Face could ever look this good, I'd need to be hosed down on the hour.

Lordy, after upteenth viewings since very young childhood (just how many screening did Bill run during the 70s and 80s?), I just have never seen this film before now. The transfer is that astonishing beautiful.

Just look at it...(how well this all goes with a wet gin and an endless supply of rum balls.)

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david hare
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#256 Post by david hare » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:30 am

WHOARAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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HerrSchreck
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am

#257 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:51 am

You know you're looking at a top-tier transfer when you can start, in the case of those beach caps for ex., smelling the fuckin suntan oil, feel the sand sticking to your leg hairs and feel the fuckin heat on your face when staring at it. That's real brain-ambrosia, that one.

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david hare
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#258 Post by david hare » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:04 am

Couldnt put it better (if not more obscenely...)

This Movie and caps surely actually shows you how totally gorgeous the Techni reduction 35mm prints of VIstvision were. Can you even IMAGINE Vertigo looking like this!!! Or Funny Face !!!!!!!

My Mother and aunt were in Nice during 53/54 (the mother had in essence abaondoned me with dad and, because he was working fulltime I was then shiffled to some fucking "facility" when I was 3) and she and her sister both remembered a gentleman, who called himself Monsieur Chabrol, with a giant 'Scope grin., asking them if they wanted to be "passers by" , to get in a queue. Both my long dead mother and aunt always remembered the day because of Mr. Hitchcock and the huge exictement he caused up and down the beach near Nice. (I recall my mother couldnt get over how huge the cameras were - Burks was obviously using two.)

Honestly guys - Dev is THERE - the mise en scene in this is completely gorgeous. And it's a great witty Hitchcock. MUch funnier than Harry.

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devlinnn
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#259 Post by devlinnn » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:10 am

Two more (I forgot the pussy).

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The green night filters throughout are perfection.

Merci Mr. Hitchcock. Merci Mr. Grant. Life just wouldn't be the same.
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david hare
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#260 Post by david hare » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:04 am

Total and complete ephemera. But there is a wonderful Carl Barks Donald Duck comic book (one of the 24 page three color ones) also from the 54 era in which the great Barks - never one to shy from cinematic influence - totally replicates some of Dev's screencaps, in particular the babes on the beach in one pieces and giant sunglasses. And carries the same self-knowing insouciance.

I have a modest collection of Barks buried inna drawer somwehere but NOT this comic. Does anyone else here have it? Or remember it?

There used to be a nice thread on Barks at a_f_b. Another two great Barks/Donald titles which obviously drew inspiration from movies were "Lost in the Andes" - a post-Capraesque Shangri-la tale which montages itself into Siegel territory (aka the square eggs), and "Bombie the Zombie" from the late forties/early fifties which picks up the vibes on a combo of Tourneur and Gjon Mili

Of course Dev, one must NEVER forget the pussy.

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Scharphedin2
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#261 Post by Scharphedin2 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:46 am

Those caps look amazing Dev! If only more technicolor films could be transferred to look this beautiful on DVD. I take it, this would be the same transfer that is on the R1 SE of Thief...?

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devlinnn
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#262 Post by devlinnn » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:08 am

Scharphedin2 wrote:I take it, this would be the same transfer that is on the R1 SE of Thief...?
It would have to be. It was released a few weeks earlier down here due to Mother's Day tie-in promotions for early May, and can be found for below AU$15 (around US$10), with all the extras.
One thing to keep in mind - it's a PAL transfer, so technically speaking the colour should always be better than N(ot) T(he) S(ame) C(olour). This was always the case in the VHS days, but the mastering down here (and in the UK and Euruope) has never been as good as the US, so it all balances out in the end I guess.

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Kinsayder
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#263 Post by Kinsayder » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:24 am

And of course you get higher vertical resolution in PAL (a fact that Gary often conceals in the Beaver comparisons by resizing the caps).

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tryavna
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#264 Post by tryavna » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:16 pm

davidhare wrote:Total and complete ephemera. But there is a wonderful Carl Barks Donald Duck comic book (one of the 24 page three color ones) also from the 54 era in which the great Barks - never one to shy from cinematic influence - totally replicates some of Dev's screencaps, in particular the babes on the beach in one pieces and giant sunglasses. And carries the same self-knowing insouciance.

I have a modest collection of Barks buried inna drawer somwehere but NOT this comic. Does anyone else here have it? Or remember it?
David, I too am a big fan of Barks and have a drawer-full of his work, and I know I have the particular comic you're referring to. (Unfortunately, that drawer isn't where I currently live.) I don't remember the title, but it opens with Donald and his nephews on the beaches of Monaco, where the homages to Hitch are to be found. Donald is persuaded by a leggy spy to help her. I don't remember everything, but one part that has stuck with me is where Donald, having been drugged by the spy, falls asleep on the railroad tracks -- only to be spared when the French engineers remember that they're supposed to go on strike! (French transportation strikes are always good fodder for humorists of any kind.)

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david hare
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#265 Post by david hare » Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:15 pm

Thanx Try - this is one of several I lent someone years ago never to see again. (I now dont lend anything at all ever to anyone). Others from the same year or thereabouts included one of Donald and the Nephews taking a concession to sell Steam Calliopes in uncharted Indian Territory. And an amazing 40s WDC 10 pager of Donald tripping on "ether" (or something) in the manner of Porky in Wackyland.

Barks is a great study in mise en scene. At least until the mid fifties.

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zedz
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#266 Post by zedz » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:48 am

tryavna wrote:
davidhare wrote:Total and complete ephemera. But there is a wonderful Carl Barks Donald Duck comic book (one of the 24 page three color ones) also from the 54 era in which the great Barks - never one to shy from cinematic influence - totally replicates some of Dev's screencaps, in particular the babes on the beach in one pieces and giant sunglasses. And carries the same self-knowing insouciance.

I have a modest collection of Barks buried inna drawer somwehere but NOT this comic. Does anyone else here have it? Or remember it?
David, I too am a big fan of Barks and have a drawer-full of his work, and I know I have the particular comic you're referring to. (Unfortunately, that drawer isn't where I currently live.) I don't remember the title, but it opens with Donald and his nephews on the beaches of Monaco, where the homages to Hitch are to be found. Donald is persuaded by a leggy spy to help her. I don't remember everything, but one part that has stuck with me is where Donald, having been drugged by the spy, falls asleep on the railroad tracks -- only to be spared when the French engineers remember that they're supposed to go on strike! (French transportation strikes are always good fodder for humorists of any kind.)
Is this the one where the climactic scene involves Donald as a matador, and are they being pursued by the mysterious Monsieur Mattress-face (That Barksian dwarf with the specs and enormous bushy beard down to his knees)?

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ola t
They call us neo-cinephiles
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#267 Post by ola t » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:45 am

The one I think we're all thinking of is Dangerous Disguise from 1951 (so it predates the film). Here's the wonderful Donald-as-matador cover picture. Just to get even more ephemeral, a nice bit of trivia is that this is the only Barks story where the non-duck characters are fully human. His editors didn't like it and made him go back to the usual dog ears, pig snouts, etc.

Lost in the Andes... but don't forget Tralla La which is a more explicit riff on Shangri La.
Voodoo Hoodoo (zombie story)
Land of the Totem Poles (steam calliope)
Not sure about the tripping story, unless it's Donald Duck's Worst Nightmare which is quite Wackylandesque.

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david hare
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#268 Post by david hare » Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:00 am

Zedz - I wish I HAD the damn thing! - It possibly is (although I dont remember the Matador) but after a google I discovered an amazing thing. It was first printed in 1951! Which predates the release of the Hitch by three years. And - here's where we need the original comic - Dev's two caps of Grace and Cary in the car, and particularly the babe on the beach in the white one piece just hallucinated the whole thing back.

Did Hitch copy Barks for these shots?

(Hallucinating FLox!)

EDIT: Ola! I am totally (FREAKING OUT) delivered in Paris Hilton Valley Voice.)

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feckless boy
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#269 Post by feckless boy » Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:52 am

Giliap (Sandrew Metronome, R2)

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No english subs.

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tryavna
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#270 Post by tryavna » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:11 pm

ola t wrote:The one I think we're all thinking of is Dangerous Disguise from 1951 (so it predates the film). Here's the wonderful Donald-as-matador cover picture. Just to get even more ephemeral, a nice bit of trivia is that this is the only Barks story where the non-duck characters are fully human. His editors didn't like it and made him go back to the usual dog ears, pig snouts, etc.
Yes, Ola, that is definitely the one I had in mind. Thanks. I had forgotten about the matador climax, but it's coming back to me. I had no idea it was so early. Perhaps I have the Gladstone reissue version -- I lose track of some of the original publication dates when it's the Gladstones I own.

I'm with David, though. Those early frames look uncannily like some of Hitch's shots in To Catch a Thief. Who knows? Maybe Hitch was an avid comic-reader. I wouldn't be surprised if he were. The sketches for shots in his notebooks look a little like comic books anyway.

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Kinsayder
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#271 Post by Kinsayder » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:14 am

Human Desire (Lang, 1954)
Spanish edition. Interlaced, non-anamorphic. Spanish subs are menu-removable.

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Kinsayder
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#272 Post by Kinsayder » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:02 pm

Easy Virtue (1927)

Sadly, the new French edition in the Alfred Hitchcock Collection series is no improvement on the Laserlight version (on the Blackmail disc)...

France R2 PAL:
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Laserlight NTSC:
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France R2 PAL:
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Laserlight NTSC:
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Elstree Calling (1930), an extra on the French disc, is also in poor condition and badly over-compressed (worse in fact than the DivX bootleg that's in circulation):

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Kinsayder
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#273 Post by Kinsayder » Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:34 am

L'Aîné des Ferchaux (Melville)
The new French release (Rene Chateau) vs the 2006 German edition (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Both are non-anamorphic (I've cropped the black borders). The French release gives more of the frame but is picture-boxed, looks noticeably pinched and the whole image is almost constantly juddering. Very disappointing.

German:
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French:
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German:
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French:
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German:
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French:
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Rich Malloy
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: Boston MA

#274 Post by Rich Malloy » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:30 am

devlinnn wrote:
Scharphedin2 wrote:I take it, this would be the same transfer that is on the R1 SE of [To Catch A] Thief...?
It would have to be. It was released a few weeks earlier down here due to Mother's Day tie-in promotions for early May, and can be found for below AU$15 (around US$10), with all the extras.
One thing to keep in mind - it's a PAL transfer, so technically speaking the colour should always be better than N(ot) T(he) S(ame) C(olour). This was always the case in the VHS days, but the mastering down here (and in the UK and Euruope) has never been as good as the US, so it all balances out in the end I guess.
I've read the three reviews of the R1 disc currently listed on DVD BASEN, and while all but one proclaim it to be superior to the prior release (one claims it to be the exact same transfer), none are exactly blown away citing some black level problems and lost shadow detail. The screen captures from the R4 disc, however, do look positively amazing. Has anyone seen or done a direct comparison of the two?

Rich Malloy
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:29 pm
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#275 Post by Rich Malloy » Tue May 01, 2007 1:39 pm

I can sorta answer my own question... it appears that the R4 and R1 "To Catch a Thief"s are not the same.

DVD BEAVER now has its review up, comparing the new R1 against the old R1.

There is a nearly identical frame in the Beaver's review and in the captures on the preceding page - the shot of Grant sitting next to Hitch in the car. The R1 appears brighter (perhaps more contrasty) and redder. To my eyes, the R4 looks superior.

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