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 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

http://www.amazon.com/Searchers-Blu-ray-John-Wayne/dp/B000JLSM00/ref=pd_bxgy_mov_img_b

http://www.amazon.com/Searchers-Ultimate-Collectors-John-Wayne/dp/B000F0V0LI/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_img_in

I tired to watch the Ultimate Collector's Edition box-set of The Searchers last night, the 4K restoration, but had to turn it off after the Indian attack on the Edwards cabin. The massacre happens off-screen, of course, but the build-up is one of my favorite scenes in the history of cinema, ending on the close-up of John Wayne looking across the saddle of his horse. The gamma and color are so utterly wrong. Areas are too bright or too dark, shadows are illuminated so that the edge looks like a drawn line. The ruddy (as in red) earth of Monument Valley is turned into pale brown. The image is oversaturated with yellow, turning the red glow of a sunset into orange. Orange is not ominous when it spills into the Edwards cabin. Ford stipulated red in the script. When Aaron looks outside for Indian sign, the cutaways to the landscape should have a red glow like the light spilling inside his cabin, an effect added in the lab back in 1956 for continuity, but this effect has been lost in the 4K scan, and color timer Ned Price seems to have no idea it's supposed to be there. He doesn't know the film well enough, and he is incapable of reading what he sees. The whole image has a kind of linoleum feel to it, like too much detail and not enough.

And yes, my widescreen monitor is professionally calibrated. It works just fine for all movies, and I shouldn't have to adjust for this one. We tried, and it didn't help.

Warner Brothers Home Video has made a wretched mess of The Searchers.


Richard

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Are you talking about the Blu-ray or the DVD? What Blu-ray.com had to say about the BD:

Warner Brothers has recently remastered The Searchers, and the result is extraordinary. This print looks absolutely beautiful and pristine. The film is presented in luscious, vibrant technicolor in 1080p high definition and in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I really love the look of technicolor. There is nary a speck of dirt on this print. Black levels are good, flesh tones looks great, and detail is high. Watching The Searchers on Blu-ray was a marvel and a revelation. I simply cannot wait to see more classic films on Blu-ray. If they look as good as The Searchers, we are going to be in for some mighty fine treats in the coming years. A long distance shot with snow on the ground and buffalo in the background is one of the most lifelike I have ever seen. A few other long distance shots, sometimes the type of shots that look the worst on home video, look as natural and lifelike as anything I have ever seen on a television set, and this is coming from a 50 year old movie. Who would have thought combining a 50 year old film with modern entertainment mediums could result in an image as stunningly beautiful as this one? I'm simply astonished at just how wonderful The Searchers looks on Blu-ray.

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

I have the film on HD Dvd. It looks stunningly good. I have it on laser disc as well. The HD DVD and the blu ray release which are identical from everything this I have seen, is worth the purchase.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I was referring to the Blu-ray, which I linked at the top of my post, but I also have the DVD box-set, which is the SAME restoration.

I know what the reviews said.
They don't take into account the gamma and color, which is all wrong, because they don't know how the film is supposed to look. I do.




http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Navajos-Narrator-Edwin-Jerome/dp/B0043RIRAQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1325526325&sr=1-1

My first trip to Monument Valley was in 1968.

I've lived near Monument Valley for several years now, and have spent a lot of time there. I can match shot by shot, frame by frame, the landscapes to the film. I know the ground isn't pale brown. So does everybody else. It has a ruddy color. Ruddy as in reddish. It has always had a ruddy color, long before John Ford shot there, and the film maintained this ruddiness in previous releases. The photographic record has always shown the ruddy color of Monument Valley throughout time. In the state production manual, Monument Valley is listed as red rock country. Not pale brown country. Nature is what it is. The previous releases may not have been as sharp and detailed and restored, but they don't change the color of the earth. Ned Price did that at the console. All it takes is a click. Then he doctored the opening title, in effect colorized it to red that the location should suggest. If you want to see how The Searchers is supposed to look, compare it to the documentary TALE OF THE NAVAJOS on a Warner Archive DVD. Also shot in Monument Valley on the same emulsion as The Searchers. Price didn't mess with that one.

I don't care if they're selling it for a dime and a nickel, don't buy The Searchers Blu-ray at any price. The original DVD from 1998 has other problems, but the gamma and color aren't wrong.

Richard

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

The imperfections of modern technology, you win some you lose some.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

The imperfections of modern technology, you win some you lose some.

You mean, it's okay to urinate on a Rembrandt, because urine preserves? The painting turns piss yellow, but it is preserved. Sure.

Ned Price is known for over-saturating restorations with yellow. He likes to turn red into orange or yellow. He did it to The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and The Searchers. And perhaps to others I haven't seen. Then he invents some bullshvt logic to justify what he's done and the critics buy into it.

Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   KubrickFan   (Member)

And here's what Ned Price had to say in an interview with Robert Harris, one of the most well-known and highly regarded film restoration experts:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/robertharris/harris082106.html

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Storyteller   (Member)

In this particular case, I have to say the Blu-Ray looks great. Given the films film stock history, i don't think they will ever go back and make the ground more "ruddy".

If you like the movie, pick it up.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 1:31 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Yes, that's the interview I was referring to when I said Ned Price invents some bullshvt excuse to justify over-saturating restorations with yellow. He cranks up the yellow into films that don't have the same problems as The Searchers. Yellow layer failure etc etc etc does not necessitate nor account for the over-saturation of yellow. That is something you put into the mix at the time base controller. It's purely personal. I know because I've done it.

Put a different pair of eyes at the controls and you'd get a properly color timed film.

Don't buy the Blu-ray of The Searchers.
It is not the film that John Ford intended.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 3:16 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Poor RICHARD
frown
everything upsets him
smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 6:08 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Poor Mr. Marshall.

He doesn't know the time of day and he doesn't agree with the people who do.

Richard

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 6:38 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I'm not looking to buy this DVD; however, I wanted to comment on the movie. The first time I saw this movie when very young, I did NOT like it. I was restless and a bit bored, and I think rather angst-ridden or at least uncomfortable with Wayne's character because he was flawed. I kept wondering, "Where is the rather perfect, heroic Wayne?"

I think, at least for me, this was a movie that became much better with my own aging or maturity. I could watch it as an adult and admire its artistry...finally. And with adulthood, I would grow to admire Wayne for inhabiting a character who was flawed and imperfect.

Hmmm, this might be a good topic on this side: movies we thought were perfect as kids but flawed when we watched them as adults, and movies that became much better with adulthood.

Just my two cents. Carry on.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 7:22 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I'm afraid Richard is absolutely correct about this, and I waged a mighty campaign on every website when this travesty came out. It's obvious from the first frame of the main titles - suddenly the bricks, which should be grayish, are completely yellow and it never gets better. I can only tell you that at the height of my brouhaha Mr. Price (prior to the interview with Mr. Harris who, BTW, agreed with me completely) admitted that no one had even bothered to look at the IB dye-transfer reference print they have. Had they, perhaps we would not have this mess. And, for a very brief time, there was talk about fixing it, but then Mr. Price did this interview which is pure BS. The Searchers is one of the greatest color films ever made - Winton Hoch's camerawork is amazing, the lighting is amazing. I have owned both 16mm and 35mm IB prints - they look nothing like the Blu-ray. You want to see a VistaVision film from that era done perfectly look no further than The Ten Commandments or White Christmas - the colors on those transfers is absolutely accurate to IB Tech, which, BTW, IS saturated, but not with YELLOW. Tone down the yellow, add a bit of blue and you'd have a perfect transfer. The laserdisc is much closer to the correct color. Why? Because the fellows who did that transfer DID use the IB reference print to time their transfer. I did an article about that in the DGA magazine when the laserdisc came out and interviewed those folks. Yes, the blu-ray is obviously miles sharper than the laserdisc and it doesn't matter when the color is completely wrong. You know, if they'd screwed up the sound mix somehow, everyone would be bellyaching about it to the skies but because very few know what the color on these films should look like, they give a big pass to a screwed up disc just because it's 4K and sharp. They need to go back and fix it. Both Mr. Harris and myself would be happy to act as a color guide. I'd do it for free. It's not a major deal to fix, and it needs to be fixed because The Searchers is a work of art.

Do NOT believe the reviews you read on those sites. They're written by kids whose only experience with The Searchers has been on home video IF they even saw prior releases, which is doubtful in some cases.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2012 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



For Joan and Anyone Else So Inclined Department:

Since T.A.N.A. (There Are No Accidents), it just so 'happens' this fabulous flick is the latest one covered
on the adjacent "True Grit-The Shootist" Appreciation a few posts down (but far from out). smile

Everyone's invited to join the party - Pappy & Da Duke are already being feted ...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 1:36 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

I'm not looking to buy this DVD; however, I wanted to comment on the movie. The first time I saw this movie when very young, I did NOT like it. I was restless and a bit bored, and I think rather angst-ridden or at least uncomfortable with Wayne's character because he was flawed. I kept wondering, "Where is the rather perfect, heroic Wayne?"

I think, at least for me, this was a movie that became much better with my own aging or maturity. I could watch it as an adult and admire its artistry...finally. And with adulthood, I would grow to admire Wayne for inhabiting a character who was flawed and imperfect.


I was also young the first time I saw the film. In fact I was only 11 when I saw it on the cinema screen on first release. Even at that young age I thought it was a great film and it's remained one of my all-time favourites. Apart from the wonderful photography, it's the subtleties and ambiguities which make the film so good. I wish Wayne had played more nuanced characters like Ethan Edwards who was much more interesting than his usual screen persona. My second favourite Wayne/Ford film is (of course!) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon which, although I'd seen it on TV, I didn't get to see on the cinema screen until the '70s when the BFI showed a stunningly good print of it.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I have a 16mm dye-transfer print. The color values are pretty close to the 35mm Tech prints.

Best thing about dye-transfer prints are night scenes. When Technicolor is black, it is virtually opaque. The entire theater darkens. An effect never replicated in later Eastman printings.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Ray Faiola:
I have a 16mm dye-transfer print. The color values are pretty close to the 35mm Tech prints.

Best thing about dye-transfer prints are night scenes. When Technicolor is black, it is virtually opaque. The entire theater darkens. An effect never replicated in later Eastman printings.


Ray, as a matter of curiosity, what's the vintage of your 16mm print?
It must be from the 1950s?
What's the aspect ratio?

I envy you owning a dye-transfer print of this majesterial masterpiece.

As you know, the interior of the Edwards cabin is a studio set, matched to the exterior walls at the location. During the build-up to the attack on the cabin, does the location light in those cutaways to the landscape match the ominous red that spills in through the windows? Perhaps just a hint of red in the cutaways? Does it look as if Winton C. Hoch gelled some huge lights, or cranked up the red in post? Or both?

These high-def digital scans see through gels and filters like a lens sees through fog and smoke.
Gelled and filtered light is hardly visible at all unless it records as some kind of anomaly, an artifact. Artifacting in The Searchers Blu-ray is usually noticeable the way a gelled light bounces off a surface, like a face or a windowsill. If the transfer had been properly timed for color temperature and density it might be correctable, I don't know.

The blacks in the Blu-ray don't drop off into opaqueness so much as into gray shadow.


Richard

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 2:27 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

My print is early 60's when Technicolor's printing was at its sharpest. And it was struck for television as opposed to rental, so it has minimal wear.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

WASN'T THIS A VISTAVISION release?

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2012 - 3:25 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Yes, originally filmed in horizontal 35mm.

 
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