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1  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Check one off my bucket list! Viewing 35mm print of GBU tonight! on: July 15, 2013, 03:30:23 PM
The restored 35mm print is good and far better than the pitiful video transfer it got. The BD shows how much post processing was done and it isn't pretty. That said, it isn't as good as it should be and was rather oddly color timed to my eyes when i saw in a Leone program with other restored and vintage prints.

Triage had to time by eye against as US dupe print and at times resort to it, which I'm sure is the same one MGM used for their VHS/LD/DVD release. As I posted in the FAFDM LD thread, I think that source was a International cut interpositive, as the original MGM videos from this same source had Italian captions which were later swapped for English ones in later video releases.

Also, 1967 release prints were handled by Technicolor which handled their own invented process's limitations by their dye transfer printing process. This gave beautiful deep and unique color that also covered up some of the increased grain by shooting a Techniscope frame (2 frames on a single 35mm 4 perf frame, roughly 16mm each).

This is why a vintage battered print of FAFDM (the only one MGM has) absolutely blew away the GBU restoration and even for the most part the Italian restored AFOD.

This was not replicated by Triage. Their work on FAFDM is far better because they were able to work from the original camera Techniscope negative. And of course somehow MGM still missed the edits and correcting audio sync.

Lastly, I wanted to cry watching the restoration theatrically, on hearing that awful butchered 5.1 remix and not being able to turn it off.
2  Films of Sergio Leone / For a Few Dollars More / Re: Just dug out my old laserdisc... on: July 15, 2013, 03:18:44 PM
I just went through and spot compared the LDs for GBU against the original DVD and SE.

The initial LD has Italian captions but is the US international version.
The remastered LD has English captions that were simply subbed into the same transfer. (Same damage marks in video and audio) Has less video noise and overall slightly better color. Also correct framing as the older laser is a bit cropped. Note: Some idiot forgot the English subs on the Italian extra scenes.
The original DVD is the same as the remastered LD but with better picture. 16:9!  However the sound is lossy ac3 which has been EQ'd and scrubbed to be cleaner, thus losing detail and effect.

I'm pretty sure MGM used a International interpositive as their source, which would have had Italian onscreen captions meant to be subbed out for the language of whatever country a print was being made for, just like the dubs.

See what happens when you own 6 copies of GBU alone?  Cheesy
3  Films of Sergio Leone / For a Few Dollars More / Re: Just dug out my old laserdisc... on: July 10, 2013, 10:18:52 PM
I recently got the box set version of the trilogy on LD (same as separate releases), and have been going through the films on my favorite outdated format.

AFOD is uncut, print is overall in good shape with similar color to the restored 35mm print. Audio is the best available quality for the English mono track as everything else is lossy ac3 and EQ'd to remove noise. The noise here is very minimal and it's only in the last half of the final reel that some intrinsic transfer noise comes through. Wonderful audio. The video master for this was reused for the initial DVD with some minor cleanup. The audio was scrubbed of detail for the DVD mono.

FAFDM is a mixed blessing. The picture is good, coming from a worn print source. It looks overall to be the same source as the MGM DVD, and a 1967 United Artists edited release print. The "third eye" shot of Mortimer's first bounty is excised.  Also missing is the end of the scene where Col. Mortimer gets his bounty, with the mention of Manco being cut right out. The thunderclap/face reveal is correct. Indio only shoots once through the door in his prison escape, with the other shots from the reverse angle cut. His extended laugh is present. The correct night to dawn color timing is present. The beating scene is heavily cut, with most not even having the punching sounds intact.
Audio is again great, despite the censoring. The video seems to be more open than the correct 2.35, more like a 1.8 or 2.0:1 framing.

GBU uses an Italian print seemingly, as all the onscreen title captions for the characters are in Italian. The picture is good, but cropped too closely for more of a 2.5:1 ratio. Audio is excellent.

MGM usually took IPs or available prints and synced them to higher generation audio at this time. The PCM audio here may have come from the English dub master.

The 35mm archival print of FAFDM I saw a few years ago (2010 or so) was said to be the only one MGM had. It was heavily damaged, and I was braced for an edited 1967 release print. What instead played was a beautiful yet heavily worn print that was fully complete. I cannot remember exactly if Indio's laugh or the beating scene was intact (pretty sure the laugh might have been there, but not the beating). So where exactly these sources came form I don't know. Also, FAFDM was restored by Triage from the Techniscope negative for MGM, and used for the remastered DVD/Blu so who knows what exactly has gone on with the film.
4  Films of Sergio Leone / A Fistful of Dollars / Re: The dub job on A Fistful Of Dollars? on: April 22, 2012, 09:20:28 AM
As a childhood Speed Racer fan, I instantly recognized Don Miguel's English dubbed voice as being Peter Fernandez.
5  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Region 1 DVD - Correct mono mix? on: April 21, 2012, 11:08:31 PM
This bugged me when I originally saw the film. I bought the SE DVD especially because it had the mono...then got to this fakery. I saw the film theatrically, and it featured the same incorrect mix. For a mix to just have new effects slapped on over the old ones is like MGM sticking their tongue out. Why go to the trouble?
I'm happy to say that the Image NTSC Laserdisc has none of this tomfoolery and features the original English mono (even "Short fuse"). The only problem is that it lacks the full final flashback and uses the AFOD end title card. The alternate deleted scene simply removes the flashback snippet altogether.
6  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: So what title best fits this film? on: April 21, 2012, 11:02:45 PM
I think the OUATTR title is brilliant but that the DYS title probably fits the film's cynical quirky humor better. I use DYS when referring to the film.
7  General Information / General Discussion / Re: What are your favourite leone films in order on: April 21, 2012, 11:00:03 PM
I think all six films are masterpieces. DYS feels a bit weaker overall, with some parts feeling a bit underdeveloped. OUATITW never fully connected with me, though I understand it and love absolutely everything about it. OUATIA is the film Godfather II never was.
But it all boils down to those Dollars films. They are gloriously vibrant, sweaty, colorful and direct.
I love FAFDM and GBU to such a degree that I can't really choose one.
1.FAFDM/GBU tie.
2.AFOD
3.DYS
4.OUATITW
5.OUATIA
8  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Stanley Kubrick's Western he never made on: April 21, 2012, 10:55:21 PM
I just had to post in here...I think SK would have made a great Western, as he made a great film in virtually every genre he worked in. It would have been interesting to see, as it would not likely have been a "Western" per se but at least in the historical time frame. I'm thinking it would feel like a cross between Peckinpah and Leone, or maybe even a bit more narratively tight like his 1950's period.
I still need to see One Eyed Jacks. Every time I go to find it I only find terrible public domain copies that are pan & scanned to hell.
9  Other/Miscellaneous / Web Site Announcements / Re: The Official 'Welcome To The Forums' Thread on: April 21, 2012, 10:51:25 PM
Hi all!

Longtime Leone fan, ever since catching GBU late one night on cable many years ago. In fact, the Dollars films are what actually turned me on to Westerns. Previously, I thought they were all cliche-ridden and extremely tired. I loved all kinds of classic films no matter the language, but Westerns bored me to tears.
Then I was introduced to Sergio and the magic of Techniscope.
After recently re-watching Duck You Sucker  and mulling about the ending's implications for the zillionth time (not to mention the incorrect 5.1 mix!) I decided to join the board.

Here's to many great discussions.
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