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Old 10-23-2007, 07:29 PM   #1
Steelmaker Steelmaker is offline
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Default Black and white movies in Blu-ray. Is this pointless?

I was thinking about this today. Old b&w movies such as King Kong, Psycho, Citizen Kane, Frankenstein, Dracula, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, etc. Would these movies really benefit all that much from blu ray in comparison to the dvd releases upscaled to 1080p? Out of my entire movie collection I'd say I have around 10 black and white movies and I'm just debating about whether I'll double dip on these when/if the high def versions are released.

Last edited by Steelmaker; 10-23-2007 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
The Big Blue The Big Blue is offline
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They will benefit exactly as color films do.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
BigB88 BigB88 is offline
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Default Of course

They will benefit in clarity and sound, so definitely YES.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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Yes they would benefit nearly the same amount. Although they will not get the new vibrant colors that most color movies you see on blu-ray have, they will benefit from the upgrade in audio quality not to mention video clarity. I would love to see some older black and white movies on blu. First off...Seven Samurai.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:59 PM   #5
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No, they aren't worth it..... You can't turn a turd into a Porsche if it is still a turd to begin with.....
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:05 PM   #6
Joe Cain Joe Cain is offline
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I'd hardly call Seven Samurai a turd...or it's Japanese equivalent.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:09 PM   #7
Bullseye Bullseye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDaddyOJack View Post
No, they aren't worth it..... You can't turn a turd into a Porsche if it is still a turd to begin with.....
Stupid statement. Some of the greatest films ever made were B&W.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #8
grainock grainock is offline
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Default How is that possible?

I understand the concern of the old stuff not looking as good. What is the process of transferring the old stuff? Do they find the original film strip and make a digital transfer from there? This is the same concern I have with TV shows that were not originally shot in HD. How can something that was shot at 720x480 (standard tv format) be upscaled into HD? I haven't seen "Rio Bravo" on Blu-ray yet. How does that look in comparison to the standard dvd?

Thanks,

Gibbs
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDaddyOJack View Post
No, they aren't worth it..... You can't turn a turd into a Porsche if it is still a turd to begin with.....
So, do you honestly categorize all B&W films as "turds?"

For any of you who doubt how great black and white films can look on BD, please see the already released examples Good Night and Good and Memento.

I guess if MacDaddyOJack has his way, we'll never see Psycho, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, Casablanca, The Bicycle Thief...

Last edited by Ben; 10-23-2007 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:29 PM   #10
Ben Ben is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grainock View Post
I understand the concern of the old stuff not looking as good. What is the process of transferring the old stuff? Do they find the original film strip and make a digital transfer from there? This is the same concern I have with TV shows that were not originally shot in HD. How can something that was shot at 720x480 (standard tv format) be upscaled into HD? I haven't seen "Rio Bravo" on Blu-ray yet. How does that look in comparison to the standard dvd?

Thanks,

Gibbs
Old B&W movies were shot on 35mm film. New movies are shot on 35mm film. Nothing shot on film is shot at 720x480 as film is not resolution-based like video is. There is no reason why a pristine print of a 70 year old film can't look beautiful and "HD" like a newer one.

Repeat: 720X480 is a video resolution / limitation and has nothing to do with film.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:30 PM   #11
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NXNW is beautiful colorful VistaVision
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:35 PM   #12
J6P J6P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grainock View Post
I haven't seen "Rio Bravo" on Blu-ray yet. How does that look in comparison to the standard dvd?
"Old" films, as we know them, have always been High Definition. Your 1080p display at home resolves about 2 million pixels of information. Although the comparison is not exact, breaking down a frame of 35mm film into its smallest possible components gives you the equivelant of from 3 million (at worst), to over 22 million pixels (at best).

Old movies, when properly encoded, are absolutely HD. They were all along. We just haven't had any way to view them at even close to their true resolution at home until now.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:46 PM   #13
Ben Ben is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Blue View Post
NXNW is beautiful colorful VistaVision
Duh!
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:47 PM   #14
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Well.. the problem lies in if that master film reel has been lieing in some dank basement somewhere for the last 60 years and yadda yadda yadda... you get my point.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:03 PM   #15
grainock grainock is offline
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Thanks for the clarification. I guess my worries now are more toward older television.

Thanks,

Gibbs
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:05 PM   #16
CptGreedle CptGreedle is offline
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It is not just the color the BD does well.. it is the contrast, the grain, the details, the subtle nuances of shades and highlights... the sound!

I would LOVE to see some of the great classic B/W films on BD. They would look fabulous!
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:06 PM   #17
grainock grainock is offline
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Good point.

Gibbs
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:15 PM   #18
bluperch bluperch is offline
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Many old TV shows (Twilight Zone, for example) were shot with film (in later years of TZ they went to terrible video, but most of the show is on film). It's just a matter, as someone pointed out, finding a clean master to, uh, master from. I know the Marx Bros. sDVD I have from a 1929 print is pretty bad in spots, but that might be the only print they have. Though it can also be a matter of the producer of the DVD doing it as cheaply as possible and simply not caring if there's a better print available. But all film is decaying, just a matter of how bad it is. And not everything turned into digital content is done with great care and re-mastering.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:40 PM   #19
MacDaddyOJack MacDaddyOJack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docjan_uk View Post
Well.. the problem lies in if that master film reel has been lieing in some dank basement somewhere for the last 60 years and yadda yadda yadda... you get my point.
I never said the movies sucked, I was refering to the master as this person above me suggested. How many times has a remastered edition of a B&W movie turned out to be a let-down!?!?!
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:47 PM   #20
Frode Frode is offline
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Quote:
There is no reason why a pristine print of a 70 year old film can't look beautiful and "HD" like a newer one.
My emphasis. It depends a lot on how the title's been stored and treated. The camera optics and how the movie was shot also plays a role.

Personally I've never been that much of a fan of black and white movies, mostly because I watched them on a small TV. That changed when I watched Seven Samurai on a projector. It makes a huge difference IMO, and gives you that theatrical feeling that a lot of B&W movies really need.
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