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Old 10-24-2007, 03:01 PM   #41
bhampton bhampton 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."

Apart from the fact many films have been lost completely. Looking at what went into restoring Vertigo it's amazing and the result,.. could have been better.

I don't think it's a strech to think that Laserdisc masters of some films is the best source that's left. Many films were melted down for the metals to be re-used.

I wish many older movies had been preserved better.

-Brian
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:43 PM   #42
Kristin Simard Kristin Simard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deciazulado View Post
Kristin, your post is half right half wrong, GWTW was shot in Technicolor which exposed b/w film to create a 3 strip B/W RGB record, and then color prints were made using the Technicolor IB Dye Transfer method (were color is overlaid on a film base using matrices made from the b/w records and YMC dyes "jumping" from them into the print's film base. (That's why it's called dye transfer). Many color films before the mid fifties were shot this way (including Disney's animated films, done with a single b/w strip sequential RGB exposure Technicolor camera)

If you search for Technicolor, there will be a couuple of web sites where they show you graphically how the process worked
Ah! Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:37 AM   #43
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Look at the vast improvement in the standard-def "deluixe edition" of the original KING KONG compared to the earlier release. I have numerous black and white standard-def DVDs that are better than their Laserdisc counterparts and would definitely buy them on Blu-Ray - Burt Lancaster's THE TRAIN and SINK THE BISMARCK come to mind.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:40 AM   #44
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Did anyone ever start a thread on here listing B&W movies on blu? There is something about a good B&W movie that instils a sense of mystery and escapism when viewing it. I wouldn't mind increasing my collection.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:13 PM   #45
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Watch the white ribbon on bluray and you wouldn't even need to ask the question. Black and white can look stunning on bluray.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:08 PM   #46
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From Here To Eternity, Strangelove, Casablanca (remastered), Night Of The Living Dead, there's plenty of beautiful B&W movies on Blu. The rich tonalities of the process were lost on prior home video releases, even on DVD, and they've been restored on Blu-ray. Properly calibrated greyscale always help to release that gorgeous detail, too.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:16 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
From Here To Eternity, Strangelove, Casablanca (remastered), Night Of The Living Dead, there's plenty of beautiful B&W movies on Blu. The rich tonalities of the process were lost on prior home video releases, even on DVD, and they've been restored on Blu-ray. Properly calibrated greyscale always help to release that gorgeous detail, too.
Thanks! I hope they continue to restore as much BW movies as possible. There sure are a lot of classics that never seem to see the light of day on BD.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:59 AM   #48
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Psycho is one of the best looking B and W movies on blu.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #49
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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I forgot about Psycho. The transfer's good but it falls short of greatness IMO. The lossless mono audio on the Euro version makes up for it though.

Oh, you can A Streetcar Named Desire to the list, too. As with Psycho, there might be something funny going on re: degrained opticals, but apart from that it's gorgeous.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:47 PM   #50
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My favorite Blu-rays to watch are the black-and-white film noir movies from the 1940s and 1950s. The Maltese Falcon, The Big Heat, Shadow of a Doubt, Laura, White Heat, Kiss Me Deadly, The Night of the Hunter, The Enforcer, The Killing, Strangers on a Train, Sunset Boulevard, etc.

I have always had an affinity for the genre, but these film noir movies are downright amazing in high definition, with the deep black shadows, the cigarette smoke, the streetlamps, the close-ups, etc. I've taken it upon myself to seek out any film noirs from that era as they come available on Blu-ray.

The same applies to most of the notable black-and-white films from that era, of course, because the source material is generally in good condition. From Here to Eternity looks spectacular. Casablanca and Psycho both look as though they were filmed on sound stages here in my apartment.

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series box set is an outright revelation on Blu-ray. I am blown away by how good these old episodes look in high definition.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:51 PM   #51
Penton-Man Penton-Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movie View Post
Did anyone ever start a thread on here listing B&W movies on blu?
Glancing here….https://forum.blu-ray.com/forumdisplay.php?f=31 without doing a formal search, I see no “official” or unofficial listing.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:49 PM   #52
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Quote:
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Thanks! I hope they continue to restore as much BW movies as possible. There sure are a lot of classics that never seem to see the light of day on BD.
Excerpt from a Hollywood Section meeting notes earlier this year devoted to the topic of B&W films –

Tom Burton (of Technicolor) summarized some of the considerations for what is today generally 4K scan film restoration, including pin registered and electronic pin registered scanning techniques, of both acetate and nitrate sources, and the use of scanners such as the pin registered Northlight 1 and 2 scanners, the pin registered Arri scanner, and the electronic pin registered DFT Scanity.

Burton explained that image restoration includes dirt, scratch, and defect repair, and that there is no infra-red channel available for use with the black and white stocks. Missing and torn elements are also in need of replacement. Warped color separations where the separated film stocks shrink unevenly need to be re-fit and warped back into alignment. Archival new negatives need to be created. YCM separations are created primarily for new, first run features. Work can be checked by either or both the photochemical or the digital recombine verification processes. It is anticipated that most work when checked is through the digital recombine verification process rather than by striking prints through optical printing. Examples of motion picture stocks found in or used in the restoration and archiving processes are, Kodak 2237, 2238, 2302 print stock, and Fuji 4791.

The first clip introduced by Scott MacQueen (Head of Preservation of the UCLA Film and Television Archive… http://www.tft.ucla.edu/2012/07/arch...-preservation/) was from Cecil B. DeMille’s 1934 spectacle Cleopatra, from a 35mm dupe print that had been created from a UCLA Archived personal release print of Mr. DeMille, loaned to YCM Laboratory for the creation of a dupe negative and new print by Universal, who owns the pre-1948 Paramount library.

The audience was then treated to an authentic tonal rendering of the black and white film, where Cleopatra, played by Claudette Colbert, was “delivered” wrapped inside a rolled up carpet, into the presence of Caesar, played by actor Warren William, at his palace in Alexandria.

Cleopatra was the first of six DeMille pictures photo-graphed by Victor Milner, a top Paramount cameraman who had excelled at sophisticated comedies like Love Me Tonight and Trouble in Paradise, lavishing this tale of the legendary Egyptian queen with Paramount’s then house style of burnished polish décor with diaphanous glowing silks.

Tanned skin tones, the textures of the marble set, and Claudette’s visually silky black hair were all apparent and well balanced in the preserved images, creating many layers of detail, monotonic but tonally colorful compositional interest, and the perceptual resolution of being immersed in the scene. The original prints would have similarly fascinated audiences when seen projected on a large screen almost 80 years ago.

The audience was then returned to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from a print courtesy of Warner Bros., showing its famous “Nocturne” fantasy scenes, where the story’s spirits and night creatures retreat as dawn approaches, achieved by the filmmakers with the use of considerable special effects, double exposures, and carefully choreographed dancing.

MacQueen informed the audience that the picture had been started by Ernest Haller, later the cameraman of Gone with the Wind, who was dismissed from Midsummer after the first day’s shooting, but through no fault of his own (he had made the perceptual mistake of giving the directors the “blackest night” exposure that they had insisted on).
Haller’s replacement, Hal Mohr, would win the Academy Award for this film, for his remarkable use of diffusion, gauzes and sequins set in front of the camera lenses to achieve an ethereal mood.

MacQueen quoted memos to the audience from the film’s producer Hal Wallis that revealed that even this sequence was to be reshot for being too dark and gloomy. Mohr was technically not nominated for the Cinematography award, but rather, won his Oscar by accumulating write-in votes (for details of the 1935 Academy Awards regarding this subject , go to the database at http://www.oscars.org).

The Midsummer Night’s Dream print shown was struck from a dupe negative of the 135 minute roadshow version of the picture, as the picture was seen when released in New York, London and other key metropolitan centers in October, 1935, before being cut back to 117 minutes three weeks later for general release.
Additional excerpts were:
Marie Antoinette (MGM, 1938), a three minute clip example of Hollywood studio production at its grandest, introducing the audience to an artistically significant two-and-one half hour spectacle, where the film story ranges from a young girl named Marie Antoinette becoming the Queen of France, on through the French Revolution, and ending with her death. The clip shows Marie being introduced to the French court, headed by King Louis IV (John Barrymore), the soon to be King Louis VI, who was also Marie’s husband-to-be (Robert Morley) accompanied on screen with numerous very elaborately dressed and made up dignitaries.

The beautiful black and white photography was done by William Daniels, who gave the film a bright, high-key look, helping to ensure that the one million dollars of production value was not missed by audiences, and fully and obviously “up there on the screen”. The period costuming was done by Adrian.
It was the same William Daniels who had been Greta Garbo’s cameraman, but later in the 1940s, had no trouble adapting to new visual trends toward stark reality, and giving the hard-edged urban realism to the location shooting of the picture Naked City.

The Marie Antoinette print as shown, was provided courtesy of Warner Bros., and was struck during MGM’s ambitious conversion of their nitrate library to safety film, beginning in the late 1960s. The original negative is preserved at George Eastman House.

Rebecca (Selznick International, 1940)
A three-minute clip from Rebecca was shown, David O. Selznick’s second Best Picture Academy Award winner in a row (after Gone With the Wind for 1939). Rebecca was the first American project directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

In the clip, the audience was treated to images of the grand entry hall at the deWinter mansion, Manderley, where a costume party is just getting under way. The second Mrs. deWinter played by actress Joan Fontaine, whose character is never named, descends the grand staircase in a dress that she has foolishly copied from a portrait in the house gallery, unaware that the same gown had been worn by the first Mrs. deWinter, the ghostly Rebecca in the story, as such, infuriating her husband, Maxim, played by Laurence Olivier.
The sequence emphasized texture, compositional intrigue, the integration of grand-sized sets but with intimate staging, deep image focus, and the use of matte paintings for set extensions.

George Barnes’ cinematography won him the Academy Award for Black and White photography, an honor that did not prevent him from being reassigned to lower budgeted B-pictures when he was subsequently contracted to 20th Century-Fox, resulting in a paradox where it would be noticed through his talent that Fox “B” pictures photographed by George looked like most other studios’ “A” pictures.

The Rebecca print reel was loaned to SMPTE by the Walt Disney Company. It had been made from the original camera negative by YCM Labs under Mr. MacQueen’s direct supervision as part of the preservation of the entire Selznick library when ABC was acquired by Disney.

The Grapes of Wrath (20th Century-Fox, 1940).
In the opinion of MacQueen, possibly the best picture ever made by Fox was The Grapes of Wrath, and the audience was treated to a three minute clip. The film was directed by John Ford, as based on the John Steinbeck novel of the Great Depression. Ford would receive the Best Director Oscar, and Jane Darwell received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The cinematography was by Gregg Toland, working in a style that evokes Walker Evans’ 1936 photojournalism of the Dust Bowl.

It was Gregg Toland who would go on to lens Orson Wells’ Citizen Kane, where large areas of those sets would be cloaked with black velvet, and along with deep focus, and bright pools of light with enough convincing details, would serve to enhance contrast and help draw the illusion that the sets were much bigger than they were.

In the three minute The Grapes of Wrath clip, the audience could experience a high contrast scene with an intimate setting through actors Tom and Casey, played respectively by Henry Fonda and John Carradine, inside the Joad family’s crumbling house, lit as if by only one candle. The story at that moment concerns disclosure by Muley, played by John Qualen, of how the bank foreclosed on his property. The use of shadow in this scene limited the depth of focus, but contributed to the feeling of intimacy.

Qualen’s performance in this short scene, and as lit starkly by Cinematographer Greg Toland, was considered to be one of the most gripping performances in the film, as part of a full audience experience of wonderful characterizations that as experienced visually by the audience in high dynamic range black and white form related the story’s necessary moods through sound, visual composition, expressive use of contrast and mid-tones, staging, and the actors’ performances themselves.

The audience attention was held and directed through the story without the use color to create or reinforce the intended emotional mood or context.
Although the original negative has not survived, the 35mm print shown to the audience was the result of a digital restoration by Cineric, as output to a film negative, from which a release print was struck.

The Lodger (20th Century-Fox 1944)
A three minute clip was shown from the dark horror genre picture, The Lodger, released by 20th Century-Fox in 1944, perhaps best described in summary form as a stand-out example of its exemplary integration of contrast and dynamic range achieved through seemingly realistic and dramatic use of softened shadows with range blended intermediate tones, accented with bright pools of softened light. The cinematography so transparently captured transitions between light and shadow, and depicted scenes of characters turning on and off gas light sources, that it can be said to serve as an illustration of what it may have looked like, otherwise given a color muted palate, to be living in that time in history before the advent of electric lighting.

In the clip, emerging from the nighttime London fog into gaslight, Jack the Ripper (played by Laird Cregar) seeks a room to rent. He arrives that the door of a middle class home, where the lady of the house, played by actress Sara Algood, leads him through the family’s quarters, lit by a fireplace, and kerosene lamp, to the upstairs rooms.

When the available room does not appeal to the solitude sought by the lodger, holding a lit single wax taper, she takes the new lodger up a black staircase to the attic rooms, using the solitary flame to light successive gas sconces as they ascend the stairs and enter the attic.

To help achieve these dramatic lighting effects, the film’s Cameraman, Lucien Ballard, used dimmer lights and “specials” to illuminate their progress through the sets. The exposures also appear to be consistent through the moving shots and intercut shots, and also appear to be logical to the audience in their depiction of what the actual contrast and black levels might have been.
Guided by the continued dramatic visual cues in the performances, staging, and lighting, when the lodger says he is a pathologist, the audience naturally suspects otherwise.

When the sequence concluded with a low angle shot of the lodger as seen through the cold iron burner ring of a dark toned stove, as he intoned that sometimes in his work he needs “great heat”, a swath of light falling across his eyes points up both his performance intensity and hinting at the unspoken purpose of his intentions.

Lucien Ballard married the film’s leading lady, Merle Oberon, and was credited with 142 titles starting with Joseph Von Sternberg’s lustrous Dietrich films in the 1930s and culminating as Sam Peckinpah’s cameraman starting with Ride the High Country. The print shown was from a dupe negative, and the laboratory work was by YCM.

All About Eve (20th Century-Fox 1950)
A three minute clip from All About Eve was the third print presented, and was provided courtesy of Fox. All About Eve was the Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1950. The film also won five other Oscars, but did not win for Best Cinematography. Milton Krasner, while nominated as the film’s Cinematographer, lost that honor to Robert Krasker for the picture The Third Man.

Milton Krasner’s work on All About Eve was selected by presenter MacQueen to illustrate the generally straightforward studio work of that period, highlighting the tuxedo-and-gown milieu of the backstage theater world, like a period cartoon from The New Yorker magazine, without distracting from the story with any tricks of camera or special lighting.

The clip began with Margo Channing, played by actress Bette Davis, delivering the now-famous line “Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!”. In the selected clip, Margo meets the acerbic critic Addison DeWitt, played by actor George Sanders in an Academy Award winning performance, and his escort, Miss Caswell, played by actress Marilyn Monroe in one of her first on-screen performances. Monroe’s actual screen time is as notably brief in the film as it is memorable. “Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?” she sighs, gazing over the pool of middle aged producers that in the story she is about to “canvas”. Like The Grapes of Wrath clip, the All About Eve clip was a digital restoration by Cineric, that was taken out of an intermediate file to film negative, and then struck to film print.

Hud (Paramount 1963)
A three minute clip from Hud was shown, a picture released by Paramount Pictures in 1963, and photographed by legendary Cinematographer James Wong Howe. Hud was one of his two Academy Award winners out of his ten nominations, ranging from 1938 to 1975.

The clip showed Paul Newman as a drunken ranch hand named Hud, described by host MacQueen as “rapaciously invading the guest house cabin of Alma, a housekeeper”, a character played by Best Actress winner Patricia Neal.

In the clip, a lone porch light illuminates the exterior of the cabin. Hud enters the cabin by forcing open the door, and attacks Alma in her room. The scenes in the cabin are starkly lit only as if by a single naked bulb dangling from its cord. The clip ended when she is rescued by Hud’s brother Lon, played by actor Brandon De Wilde. The black and white CinemaScope print was made from the original negative at Film Technology Company.

Following the film clips, speakers Andrew Oran of FotoKem and Tom Burton of Technicolor, led a presentation and discussion of the current use of black and white film stocks, including color separations for archive.

Two famous scenes from 1950’s Sunset Blvd. were then shown, as a representation of the imaginative photography of Cinematographer John F. Seitz, and of the picture’s Academy Award winning set decoration. The story line was described by MacQueen as “acidic”, with the screenplay authored by Academy Award winning Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman, and Billy Wilder.

In the clips, the audience saw actor William Holden come upon silent movie queen Norma Desmond, played by actress Gloria Swanson, living in an aged Hollywood mansion, with the story and imagery capturing the smoky romanticism of the past in sharp contrast to the contemporary modern world of 1950.

Gloria Swanson’s famous lines as were heard, where she proclaimed, “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small” and, “I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille”.
For his contributions to the film Cinematographer John F. Seitz was nominated for an Academy Award in the black and white category. Seitz had been Valentino’s cameraman at Metro and thus was what was considered to be a genuine veteran of the stature of cameraman who would have worked in the mythical Desmond’s roaring twenties time period. Although the original negative of the film did not survive, the print clip shown was struck from a digital restoration of 2002 by Lowry Digital for Paramount, and then output to film negative and struck into film print.

^ Of the above, I think that Cleopatra (1934), Rebecca, The Grapes of Wrath, All About Eve (1950), Sunset Boulevard and perhaps more? are on Blu.

As I know of only one lab in the Hollywood area that is still accepting black and white 35mm motion picture negatives, flash forward to modern B&W acquisition…. http://nofilmschool.com/2012/10/red-...hrome-footage/
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:54 PM   #53
Penton-Man Penton-Man is offline
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UCLA Film and Television Archive…
Heads-up to locals who find Monday nights a bit slow, or may have missed out on the creepiness of recent Halloween festivities because they work an evening shift, etc., although not a B&W movie....following the presentation of Pan’s Labyrinth, there will be a Q&A with Guillermo Navarro, ASC, AMC 2013 Kodak Cinematographer-in-Residence

http://www.tft.ucla.edu/events/2013-11-04/

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Old 11-03-2013, 04:21 AM   #54
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Psycho is one of the best looking B and W movies on blu.
Including Psycho I have a total of "3" black and white BD's.

1. Psycho
2. The Haunting
3. The Innocents
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:30 PM   #55
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I have a few BD movies (just the Hitchcock and the universal monsters help a lot with that count). Honestly I find them (generally speaking) even better than the colour film. I am guessing part of it is that BW needs less compressing so the benefit from BDs much higher available BW over DVD.
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Old 08-09-2021, 09:48 AM   #56
jackranderson jackranderson is offline
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I love that some of the films in the OP have now gotten 4K releases and look stunning.
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