• “Gone with the Wind” BluRay Review

    Courtesy of Hollywood Elsewhere we get this quick overview of the rather extensive Blu-Ray release of Gone with the Wind. This paragraph sums it up nicely, but I like the idea of opening the package for the first time to see what is all included in this box set. This looks like the Blade Runner brief case for classic drama fans.

     

    “I’ve just watched the first half of the new Gone With The Wind Bluray, and I’m truly dazzled. No, levitated. This is by far the most beautifully rendered old-time Technicolor film I’ve ever seen on a high-def system — razor-sharp, pulsing with color, pretty close to grain-free and significantly upgraded over the 2004 DVD version, which was excellent for what it was … I do know what my eyes tell me. This Gone With The Wind is amazing — a candy-store Technicolor eye-bath like nothing I’ve ever sunk into before. The key element is ‘next to no grain.’ I haven’t come up with a term that conveys the opposite of a ‘grainstorm’ but this delivers that. Hallelujah — somebody finally heard!”

     

     

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10 Comments


  1. I don't have Blu-ray and I'm soooo tempted to put this on my Christmas wish list for "eventually". Awesome.

  2. kurt says:

    Not to nitpick the packaging, but how garish is the BluRay logo at the top of the exterior box. I'll be very happy when that ugly blue strip is stopped being used. (I guess it is a necessity considering that regular DVD still has the majority of the 'movies on disc' market)

  3. chirpie says:

    Grain/lack thereof isn't the way to tell if a film has been cared for properly. In fact, if too much DNR has been applied to the transfer in an effort to remove as much film grain as possible, detail is being removed at the same time! Going to far can give an almost waxy look to the film's texture. (See the botched Transfer for The Longest Day)

    My personal belief is if the grain was there in the original film, it should be there in the home version, as that's an accurate reproduction of the original looked like. I'll never expect/want Aliens, The Third Man, or Raging Bull to look pristine/clean because they never were!

    I'm just hoping GWTW just so happens to have a fine grain structure with minimal DNR applied and is a great transfer of a de facto standard of American cinema. We'll see…

  4. Gary says:

    I have seen David O Selznick's personal print of the movie and this looks exactly like it-even better. There was grain in the opening shot in the field of the secnd half, to convey the devastation, and it's still there on the blu ray. The blue ray strip on the box is just packaging and comes off.

    • Andrew James says:

      Not sure I completely agree with you there chirpie. If the film maker intended grain to be in the film (Michael Mann, Greengrass) then it should DEFINITELY REMAIN! But if the original print has grain simply because that was the best they could do at the time, then it should be cleaned up if possible don't you think?

      I'm sure if Victor Fleming could've made the film as clean and beautiful as possible, he would've done so.

  5. kurt says:

    Sweet on the packaging!

    Certainly the big advantage of BluRay is the preservation of film grain. This is all encouraging to hear, and it seems the DNR woes with companies scrubbing out (accidently or due to focus groups) the grain seems to have passed at this point, much like the 'pan and scan' issues in the first couple years of DVD.

  6. kurt says:

    "best they could do at the time, then it should be cleaned up if possible don’t you think?"

    For a film with the age of Gone With The Wind, how is anyone to know better what may or may not have been. Artistic decisions were made with the equipment at hand and the film is what it is. Grain should be preserved. Films should not be colourized, and George Lucas is an asshole.

    End of story.

    I don't mind people fucking with films after the fact, but the original version should be the first one available, then afterwards you can release something gimmicky like the Trek original series will all new special effects. Most people, I assume prefer to see the film as it was originally made, not gussied up for one reason or another.

    • Andrew James says:

      I don't think cleaning up grain that is only present as clearly a sign of the times is a gimmick. Colorizing and adding effects is changing the film.

      I see your argument that maybe the grain was intended and who are we to say it wasn't? But in this case it's a judgement call that is alright to be made. Grain that is there simply because the camera or film stock was shitty and only makes the film harder to watch should be cleaned. I agree it's a slippery slope, but in this case I have no problem with Gone with the Wind being cleaned up.

      Should we leave the scratches in too? That's how it was presented originally. Maybe they should add a bit of an iris effect to the blu-ray as well since that is how it appeared on screens in the 30s/40s? Old concert footage is cleaned up all the time and good on em for it! My Led Zeppelin DVD is probably the best DVD I own for it's stunning restoration.

  7. kurt says:

    "Grain that is there simply because the camera or film stock was shitty and only makes the film harder to watch should be cleaned. I agree it’s a slippery slope,"

    It's not a slippery slope. The grain is what it is, part of the film in most cases, at least in the films I tend to want to watch.

  8. kurt says:

    "Should we leave the scratches in too?"

    Scratches are something that happens to the physical print from being projected many times, a difference is that the original artists do not account for scratches, but they may light for grain or use it one way or another.

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