Once Upon a Time in the West

travlinmatt

Novice Member
Leone's classic has just been re-released and shown at the NFT in its longest, restored, uncut form, thanks to a little help from Scorsese.

Hopefully this'll bring about a release on Blu-ray Disc, and yet more input from the excellent Sir Christopher Frayling.

Steve W
I can't wait to see this, easily in my all time top five. Hopefully I'll get the chance to see it on the big screen, even if they just show the opening, I'd be a happy bunny. :smashin:
 

IAN P

Novice Member
Great news,my favourite western.

The German LE wooden box with the harmonica gets a good spot on my shelf.:smashin:
 

Dr Force

Well-known Member
Thnaks Steve

I have the speial edition in my SD DVD collection and never watched it.

Is it worth a watch??????

Dave
 

Dr Force

Well-known Member
You've never seen it?

Get it watched man,the opening 20 mins is worth it alone.:thumbsup:
Ok thanks Ian

I'll give it a go next weekend:thumbsup:
 

ray100

Standard Member
Excellent western, the extras on the special collectors edition are well worth watching. I take it that the NFT release is the same version as the special collectors edition DVD?
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Excellent western, the extras on the special collectors edition are well worth watching. I take it that the NFT release is the same version as the special collectors edition DVD?
I dunno. There was an interview with one of the blokes responsible on BBC NEWS 24 yesterday, and it looked like a new, longer cut.

He was saying the film was cut before even the Italian release, and they've had to go back to find the original negatives to get everything.

Some discussion here about different versions, but nothing concrete.

Steve W
 

pRot3us

Distinguished Member
Come on Blu-ray release! :lease:
 

John Hodson

Well-known Member
Excellent western, the extras on the special collectors edition are well worth watching. I take it that the NFT release is the same version as the special collectors edition DVD?
Yes, it was/is.
 

IAN P

Novice Member
What happened to the blu? I thought it was due out around about now.:confused:


Info is thin on the ground.
 

richard_t

Novice Member
For anyone within travelling distance of Bradford, this is being shown for a week at the Cubby Broccoli Cinema (part of the Media Museum) for a week from Friday 2nd October.

Really looking forward to it.:thumbsup:
 

KBD1

Novice Member
Are you sure this was on SkyHD? I can't find any record of it being shown on HD on TV.

Hope the blu-ray comes out soon.
Hi:hiya:
Yep.
It was in my planner for over a year before i watched & deleted it last week.
Deleted it because i thought it was near the time it was due out on BD.

Still got all the first 3 Star War films in HD on planner.
These will most likely be staying in the planner for some time to come.:(
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
I went to see this at Bradford last night - met up with forum member Richard T - top bloke. :thumbsup:

I've never been in the Cubby Broccoli before - it's quite a small cinema, and there were maybe only a dozen people in. I don't know if Richard knows, but the screen appeared to me to be CIA, either 2.0:1 or 2.1:1, with a little variable masking at the top and bottom, and again at the sides.

The film was, as ever, superb. It's the first time I've seen it on the big screen, and it may be the only time I get to see Leone anywhere other than home, so it was an experience to treasure.

I think most people will be more than aware of the film, so I'd like to discuss the restoration. There were quite a few scratches, and I presume this is because there was possibly only 1 print created for the UK, which has been doing the rounds in arthouses cinemas for the last year.

Some of the images were stunningly sharp and detailed, none more than close ups of Bronson's face. I can't imagine these shots looked better back at the premiere. However, this only served to show the maddeningly inconsistent nature of the print. Never mind changes from scene-to-scene, this one changed from shot-to-shot. Grain was there, but was often very mild, but again levels were extremely inconsistent.

Some images were pin sharp, whilst others were soft, almost to the point of appearing blurry/out of focus.

All in all, the picture quality reminded me of nothing so much as the Blu-ray Disc of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Having seen OUATITW 'in the flesh', in the best presentation it's ever had, I'm now far happier with the Blu-ray Disc release of TGTBATU. Inconsistent and uneven, yes; but I'm now more convinced than ever that it's as good as it'll ever look, or at least pretty close.

I’d be interested to hear Richard’s thoughts.

Any other Leone fans out there, I'd recommend watching out for this one coming to an arthouse cinema near you. Let us know what you think.

Steve W
 

norliss

Well-known Member
...
Hopefully this'll bring about a release on Blu-ray Disc, and yet more input from the excellent Sir Christopher Frayling.
I can almost hear the "this transfer sucks..." and "oh no it doesn't" arguments already :D
 

John Hodson

Well-known Member
I went to see this at Bradford last night - met up with forum member Richard T - top bloke. :thumbsup:

I've never been in the Cubby Broccoli before - it's quite a small cinema, and there were maybe only a dozen people in. I don't know if Richard knows, but the screen appeared to me to be CIA, either 2.0:1 or 2.1:1, with a little variable masking at the top and bottom, and again at the sides.

The film was, as ever, superb. It's the first time I've seen it on the big screen, and it may be the only time I get to see Leone anywhere other than home, so it was an experience to treasure.

I think most people will be more than aware of the film, so I'd like to discuss the restoration. There were quite a few scratches, and I presume this is because there was possibly only 1 print created for the UK, which has been doing the rounds in arthouses cinemas for the last year.

Some of the images were stunningly sharp and detailed, none more than close ups of Bronson's face. I can't imagine these shots looked better back at the premiere. However, this only served to show the maddeningly inconsistent nature of the print. Never mind changes from scene-to-scene, this one changed from shot-to-shot. Grain was there, but was often very mild, but again levels were extremely inconsistent.

Some images were pin sharp, whilst others were soft, almost to the point of appearing blurry/out of focus.

All in all, the picture quality reminded me of nothing so much as the Blu-ray Disc of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Having seen OUATITW 'in the flesh', in the best presentation it's ever had, I'm now far happier with the Blu-ray Disc release of TGTBATU. Inconsistent and uneven, yes; but I'm now more convinced than ever that it's as good as it'll ever look, or at least pretty close.

I'd be interested to hear Richard's thoughts.

Any other Leone fans out there, I'd recommend watching out for this one coming to an arthouse cinema near you. Let us know what you think.

Steve W
I had almost the *exact* same experience recently at the Cornerhouse in Manchester; it was shown on Screen 3, which is probably the tiniest cinema I've ever been in. Again, less than a dozen people, which really was disappointing. The seating was damned uncomfortable; not good for this magnificent epic.

The print I saw was quite marked; tramlines, speckling, dirt, the lot - again, I put this down to a well used print, but I've seen similar comments post-screenings pretty much the world over. I was less than impressed with the colour, although as you say it did vary from scene to scene. In fact, I *think* I preferred the current DVD in most respects (though I must be honest I haven't had a viewing since to confirm that).

I would venture that any BD release will be subject to further digital work and surely will look far better; I do hope so because the picture I have in my head is quite stunning. IMDB lists this right now 'Paramount Home Video (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)'; well, that was probbaly the plan. Maybe the delay is to get this one just right. Fingers crossed.
 
Last edited:

Pecker

Distinguished Member
John, I was interesting to read this page on TFF's restoration of The Red Shoes:

The Film Foundation - The Restored 1948 Masterpiece THE RED SHOES to Premiere in Cannes on May 15th Martin Scorsese will introduce Special Screening presented by Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation

Martin Scorsese will introduce the film which has undergone an extensive 2-year 4K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation...
That implies that, to restore these classics, the Film Foundation is scanning the film at 2k, 4k, or above, then restoring this digital copy, and returning that to film.

Any de-graining may well be taking place at the restoration stage rather than when the Blu-ray Disc is mastered.

Steve W
 

John Hodson

Well-known Member
John, I was interesting to read this page on TFF's restoration of The Red Shoes:

The Film Foundation - The Restored 1948 Masterpiece THE RED SHOES to Premiere in Cannes on May 15th Martin Scorsese will introduce Special Screening presented by Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation

That implies that, to restore these classics, the Film Foundation is scanning the film at 2k, 4k, or above, then restoring this digital copy, and returning that to film.

Any de-graining may well be taking place at the restoration stage rather than when the Blu-ray Disc is mastered.

Steve W
Hmmm; I've read that (and the end results for The Red Shoes are glorious) but I fancy there must surely be some involvement by Paramount before they finally re-release this on BD. To me, the grain inconsistency wasn't as big a problem as much as the fact that, colour-wise, it simply didn't pop or at the very least it was wildly inconsistent. If something like The Prisoner can look so mind-bogglingly gorgeous in HD, I'd expect Leone's masterpiece to at least match it.

For Paramount, for any BD release to make a profit, that's the standard they have to aim at surely?
 

richard_t

Novice Member
As Steve said, we had the pleasure of being able to see a theatrical 35mm presentation of this last night. Unfortunately we didn't have any time after the showing to discuss this in person but here are my feelings...

The first thing I've got to say this being my first viewing of the film in a lot of years, by which I mean ten at the very least I would have thought, I didn't really have my 'AV critical' head on. From the very first scenes at the station with the amazing, and what I can only presume was improvised scene of Jack Elam and the fly, to the first appearance of Henry Fonda and then of Claudia Cardinale, who's eyes I could look into for hours, I was drawn utterly into the film.

The print we were watching was as Steve mentions in a pretty poor state of repair. I'm sure I've heard somewhere that there were actually just two 35mm prints struck by the BFI, so as it's been doing the rounds it's to be expected really. It seemed to be considerably worse around the reel changes and so I guess the handling of the film as it's spliced and then separated again before moving on can't be doing it much good. I find it odd that a digital copy of the film hasn't been offered to cinemas (the screen we were at yesterday is certainly capable of showing them) as this would allow the true beauty of the restoration to be seen as well as allow more cinemas longer runs. Bradford only have the film until Monday which shows how much demand must be there.

I'll be honest and say that I didn't notice any changes in grain level that I wouldn't have expected but for the reasons mentioned above I wasn't really in the frame of mind where I was looking at the quality of the presentation. Combined with the poor state of the print, if what Steve and John have said is true, which I've obviously got no reason at all to doubt, then it's proof yet again for me - not that it's needed, that it's the quality of the film itself that is by far the most important thing and the presentation is nothing but the cherry on the top. I honestly don't think I'd have enjoyed it any more if it was pristine in every way and not much less if I'd been watching a 16mm version made back on release.

I wouldn't swap my home cinema stuff and Blu-ray collection for anything, but if push came to shove it's because of films like this that I'd still love movies even if I had to watch them them all on VHS.
 
Last edited:

John Hodson

Well-known Member
Hear, hear Richard.

When all that furore broke out over Warners last restoration of The Searchers - and some of it was really quite vicious stuff that went beyond merely impassioned - a good friend of mine, who also loves the film as I do, said he'd recently been to his old mum's and he'd watched The Searchers on her ancient 16" black and white telly. And it didn't detract from his enjoyment of the film one jot. Kind of put the whole thing into perspective.

The are moments during OUATITW when - as the French did during the 'Ecstasy of Gold' sequence at the premiere of TGTB&TU - I just want to stand up and cheer.
 

Similar threads

Trending threads

Top Bottom