And the Oscar Goes to... Eight-Plus Decades of Best Picture Winners on Blu-ray - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:41 AM
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Default And the Oscar Goes to... Eight-Plus Decades of Best Picture Winners on Blu-ray

Part 1 is up:

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...Part_One/13650
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:13 PM
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Default Many Great Movies

Great write-up by David. Makes me want to go out and see several of these movies that I haven't seen yet, especially Wings.

It's funny David says Cavalcade is one of the least known Oscar winners because when I was just thinking to myself as I went down the list that I had never even heard of that movie.

Gone With the Wind is a must see for anyone that likes movies - I believe it is still the highest grossing movie in domestic ticket sales (no home viewing back then and foreign markets were small for US made movies) when adjusted for inflation. By a lot!

Mutiny On The Bounty is also a fun movie to watch, and I agree it is better than the Brando remake, but David failed to mention by far the best of the lot - 1984's The Bounty with Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis, Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox, and Liam Neeson. That is a great movie and you should get a copy and watch it now - even though it is not yet available on Blu-ray for some reason.

Grand Hotel I agree is maybe the first "lets cast lots of famous actors together" type of movies, but I don't think it is all that great to tell the truth.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:31 PM
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I own some of these and have yet to see them, Gone With THe Wind being one of them. I need to see these
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:42 AM
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Sony needs to release It Happened One Night. Easily the best of the group yet to be released and probably my favorite of all the movie in that article.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:28 AM
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I own some of these and have yet to see them, Gone With THe Wind being one of them. I need to see these
Yes, Boston, you need to see these! And I'd be very interested to hear how you like them after you watch them. GWTW should be first on your list. A big time investment, but worth it!
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:32 AM
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Sony needs to release It Happened One Night. Easily the best of the group yet to be released and probably my favorite of all the movie in that article.
I totally agree, Bruce. I cannot for the life of me understand why we haven't seen a Blu-ray release of It Happened One Night. Maybe it just needs too much restoration and the cost is too much versus the potential $$$ return. But it won the four major awards (Picture, Actor, Actress, and Director), and I believe only two other movies have accomplished that feat (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Silence of the Lambs), so it deserves to be preserved and released in the best possible format.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:37 AM
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Great write-up by David. Makes me want to go out and see several of these movies that I haven't seen yet, especially Wings.
I can't recommend Wings highly enough. The aerial scenes were filmed in midair and are truly spectacular, and the movie is quite exciting, beautiful to look at, and very moving.

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Grand Hotel I agree is maybe the first "lets cast lots of famous actors together" type of movies, but I don't think it is all that great to tell the truth.
I agree with you on that one. It's fun to watch, but it doesn't have much substance. I think a far better all-star film of the period is 'Dinner at Eight,' which unfortunately has yet to see a Blu-ray release.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:14 PM
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The only one I own and have seen in that lot is Gone with the Wind.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:23 PM
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I totally agree, Bruce. I cannot for the life of me understand why we haven't seen a Blu-ray release of It Happened One Night. Maybe it just needs too much restoration and the cost is too much versus the potential $$$ return. But it won the four major awards (Picture, Actor, Actress, and Director), and I believe only two other movies have accomplished that feat (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Silence of the Lambs), so it deserves to be preserved and released in the best possible format.
Like most studios, a lot of Columbia's catalog from the 20s/30s (and 40s) is in terrible shape: lost negatives, elements deteriorated to a state of disrepair, etc. Columbia's issues are compounded by the fact that they were the poorest, and least prestigious mini-major of the era. They were basically a Poverty Row studio for most of the 30s (and literally were in the 20s). When Columbia had a success, like It Happened One Night, they kept that film in rotation until it stopped making money. It Happened One Night made money for a long time, and as new theatrical prints were needed, Columbia duped directly from the negatives.

Apparently, It Happened One Night and 4 other Capra films were recently remastered in 4K, and Sony intends to release them in their 4K download service:
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Frank Capraís 1934 comedy It Happened One Night has undergone painstaking 4K restoration by Sony Pictures Entertainment in advance of its release on Sonyís newly-launched Video Unlimited 4K download service. It Happened One Night, which starred Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, is the first of five Capra films slated for re-release in 4K over the next few years. Those are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and You Canít Take it With You.

The original 35mm negative that served as the basis for the restoration was in poor condition. Rita Belda, Sony Pictures Entertainmentís executive director of asset management, digital mastering and film restoration notes that in the 1930s it was common practice to use original negative to produce film prints for distribution. As a result, the negative suffered from damage due to overuse. Furthermore, a number of damaged scenes had been replaced by poor quality duplicate elements.
Because they've abandoned older films on Blu-ray, if It Happened One Night ever gets a HD disc release, I doubt it'll come from Sony themselves. Best bet would be TCM, Twilight Time, or Criterion.

Personally, I hope Criterion gets all 5 and puts together a nice Capra box set, like their BBS release, with a ton of supplements. Maybe include a few his "lesser" Columbia films, too.

Last edited by Super-VHS; 01-25-2014 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:24 PM
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Thanks for that post, Super-VHS! That's encouraging news! I hope Twilight Time releases It Happened One Night. I recently purchased their Blu-ray of Cover Girl, another Columbia picture with poor original elements. The reviews at various sites were not very complimentary regarding PQ, but I found the transfer to be very pleasing. Maybe my expectations were so low I was pleasantly surprised, but I feel the release, despite the challenges involved, was quite good. I hope the same holds true for It Happened One Night.
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