mizo wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:26 pm
I couldn't say right now, but I did just order a copy (intrigued because the product description suggests that Saint Joan might be presented in full frame, where the WA DVD was matted to widescreen) so if you can wait, I'll be able to let you know in a few weeks!
Just over a month later and I can finally report back. I've given all the films a cursory once-over, and took a few screenshots on my laptop. I'm not sufficiently keyed into technical details to give a full bluray.com style write-up, but here's my best effort. The sound on each disc defaults to German dubs, but they all have the original English audio, and no forced subs. The packaging on the set is kind of awful - it has those plastic tabs on the sides of the disc, where you have to push the disc down almost too hard to get it back into place (like the Arrow Rivette set, if you own that) and the outer cardboard is flimsy and was already pretty dinged up when I got it.
Anyway, here's the main event - the Saint Joan
transfer. First off, it looks to be in 1.66:1. Not the academy I'd hoped for, but also not the 1.85:1 of the WA DVD. Given that the other transfers on this set frequently allow you to see the edge of the frame (and you can detect some black creeping in, especially on the left side, in some of these shots) I don't think there's any masking going on on the sides. I don't have the WA disc on hand, but I remember the transfer being pretty weak, and this one handily surpasses it, with a nice deep, grainy look. Not sure that really comes through in these images, but the film looks good in motion - better than I've ever seen it before (and, as mentioned above, I had to look really closely at the old DVD in order to write a paper on the film):
Also, I'm fairly certain that the print used on the old DVD was missing this United Artists logo, so here it is for posterity:
You didn't ask about the other transfers, but I'll also include samples. Advise & Consent
basically looks like the old (pressed) WB DVD, maybe a little
sharper. And you can totally see the rounded corners of the frame on the right. The Moon Is Blue
looks considerably better than my recollection of the WA DVD, and you can only sometimes see the corners of the frame (so you could make a drinking game out of it!). It also has a British censorship card at the start.
The infamous "virgin" scene!
I don't have a great ear for film sound quality, but on cheap headphones, these all sounded fine. Disappointingly, the elusive German version of The Moon Is Blue
is not included on the disc, just a German dub, like the others.