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-   -   Dracula (1958) Blu-Ray Specs Revealed! (http://www.horrordvds.com/vb3forum/showthread.php?t=44435)

Shawn Francis 01-11-2013 07:33 PM

Dracula (1958) Blu-Ray Specs Revealed!
 
From Hammer's blog:

RELEASED ON 3-DISC DOUBLE PLAY ON 18TH MARCH 2013

Hammer, Icon Film Distribution and Lionsgate are proud to present a major event in British film history.

Terence Fisher's 1958 classic DRACULA, fully restored in High Definition and available on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time. The release will contain two versions of the feature (seamlessly branched on the Blu-ray):

The 2007 BFI restoration plus the 2012 Hammer restoration, which adds additional footage that has been unavailable for decades.

The additional footage comprises two of the scenes that were originally censored by the BBFC in 1958 that have now been restored to the film from the “Japanese reels”:

• Dracula’s seduction of Mina

• Dracula’s sunlight disintegration

These will be the most complete versions ever released and taken together fully deserving of the description DEFINITIVE.

DRACULA has been unavailable on any UK home entertainment format for many years. This release will be at the correct aspect ratio of 1.66:1 which has never been available for the home.

Available 18th March in the UK on 3-disc Double Play, the pack comprises1 x Blu-ray and 2 x DVD, the release also includes brand new featurettes, a new commentary track, multiple bonus extras and a stills show.

DRACULA is the first in the series of Hammer films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. It was directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Carol Marsh, Melissa Stribling and Christopher Lee.

Dr. Van Helsing, investigating the death of his friend Jonathan Harker concludes that Harker was the victim of a vampire. When Harker's fiancée, Lucy, becomes affected by the terrifying force and hypnotic power of Count Dracula, Van Helsing releases her tortured soul by driving a stake through her heart. But Dracula seeks revenge, targeting Lucy's beautiful sister-in-law, Mina. Van Helsing, now aided by Mina’s husband Arthur, swears to exorcise this evil forever by confronting the vile and depraved Count himself.

Four Brand-New Featurettes:

• "Dracula Reborn". New 30 min. featurette about the film’s creation and history, featuring, among others: Jimmy Sangster, Kim Newman, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Rigby and Janina Faye (Tania in the film).

• "Resurrecting Dracula". New 20 min. featurette about the film’s restoration, from the BFI’s 2007 restoration through to the integration of “lost” footage, featuring interviews with key staff at the BFI, Molinare and Deluxe142. Also covers the February 2012 world premiere of Hammer’s interim restored version including “vox pop” interviews with fans after the event.

• "The Demon Lover: Christopher Frayling on Dracula". New 30 min. featurette.

• "Censoring Dracula". New 10 min. featurette on the original cuts to the film ordered by the British Board of Film Censors.

Commentary:

• New commentary by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn and author & critic Jonathan Rigby.

Plus:

• All 4 surviving "Japanese reels" (6 - 9) unrestored (40 mins).

• The World Of Hammer episode: Dracula And The Undead.

• Janina Faye reading a chapter of Stoker’s novel at the VAULT festival.

• Stills Gallery of over 100 fully-restored and rare images.

• Booklet by Hammer archivist Robert J. E. Simpson (PDF).

• Original shooting script (PDF).

DRACULA Technical Information:

• Certificate: (TBC)
• Region: B/2
• Barcode: 5060223769196
• Catalogue number: LGB95006
• Double Play: 1 x BD & 2 x DVD
• Languages: English

dave13 01-11-2013 07:42 PM

sounds great! hopefully the transfer doesn't suffer from the same issues and controversy that The Curse of Frankenstein BD did. although all previous dvd releases appear to be 1.78:1...so this 1.66:1 is...curious. anybody know anything about that?

X-human 01-11-2013 08:38 PM

There's zero doubt that Dracula should be 1.66:1 (standard for England at the time) and little doubt that Frankenstein should be anything but 1.66:1. Hammer's press releases at the time stated as much. Here's Hammer's blog on the Dracula aspect ratio: http://blog.hammerfilms.com/?p=335

It'll be fun to see the original Japanese reels and comes as a nice bonus. I wonder if they'll have the original Japanese sound? That'd be cool. Unfortunately there is still some cut footage that would have been present in the Japanese print if it were not so deteriorated. It's likely this footage is forever lost.

It's nice that they're offering two version of the film even if it's rather unnecessary. I think they got bit hard on Devil Rides Out and wanted to be sure to cover their bases here. But horror fans will never complain about censored footage being added back in.

dave13 01-11-2013 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X-human (Post 725023)
There's zero doubt that Dracula should be 1.66:1 (standard for England at the time) and little doubt that Frankenstein should be anything but 1.66:1. Hammer's press releases at the time stated as much. Here's Hammer's blog on the Dracula aspect ratio: http://blog.hammerfilms.com/?p=335

well, thats nice to know. can we just assume, then, that the previous dvds were slightly cropped or mislabelled? definitely looking forward to this. i'd grab it for the extras alone, much like i did with the Frankenstein BD, but here's hoping this one gets a great transfer.

buck135 01-11-2013 09:19 PM

Pre-ordered. Thanks for the heads up Shawn! Here's the Amazon.uk link.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dracula-Blu-...7938923&sr=1-1

shape22 01-12-2013 03:51 AM

Awesome news! I'm truly glad that the BFI restoration is being used. It's received glowing reviews for color saturation and framing. It should look amazing.

Erick H. 01-12-2013 06:03 AM

Great news,nice to see a classic title getting the attention it deserves.

X-human 01-12-2013 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dave13 (Post 725027)
well, thats nice to know. can we just assume, then, that the previous dvds were slightly cropped or mislabelled? definitely looking forward to this. i'd grab it for the extras alone, much like i did with the Frankenstein BD, but here's hoping this one gets a great transfer.

They were screened in America at 1.85:1 and 1.77:1 is pretty much indistinguishable from that. Still there were a lot of complaints that the Warner DVDs were over cropped but that's also because Warner zoomed in a bit too much on the picture as well. A combination of problems. I'd prefer to see any film in its country of origin's OAR which for Dracula would be 1.66:1.

I'm hopeful with BFI's involvement we'll have less problems here then the "new improved" Hammer has been giving us lately. Even with the problematic Blu-ray for Frankenstein it still feels like a must own. Whether Dracula's got its own set of problems or not it's shaping up to be a must own as well.

X-human 02-15-2013 03:26 AM

Ugh... It's Night of the Living Dead all over again apparently: http://thelatarniaforums.yuku.com/sr...ment-good-news

Frank Collins' review:
Quote:

As far as I can see there is no difference in the grade of the 2007 version and the 2012 grade. The caps were taken from the 2012 grade. On the Blu-ray the two versions are branched which suggests they are using the same grade with the only difference being the inclusion of the restored Japanese footage on the 2012 version.

In many scenes I agree that it is very dark. And the colour grade is colder, moving predominantly into blue.

On the restoration documentary the only clues we are given about this are from the BFI's Ben Thompson. Warner's allowed access to the camera negative and a new IP made for their DVD release. The work was done at their approved lab in Burbank. "The grading are the red, green and blue values that are used in the printer to control the colour content... to balance the colour. I felt that in controlling the overall look of the grade the most genuine, given the lack of materials, thing to do was to not push saturation bias to emulate an imbibition print (*commonly known as a dye transfer print if that makes it clearer) for example. It was really just about faithful reproduction of colour as I saw it in the print without putting too much of a signature that might suggest we're trying to look like an Eastman colour print or trying to look like an imbibition print. Really just trying to emulate what I saw on that check print from the camera neg. It just felt like the most faithful thing I could do."

The Japanese footage was restored and integrated by Molinare into the BFI 2007 version. Molinare made the Japanese footage "the same colour and grade match to the shots that go around it" and dropped it into the BFI version. There's no indication they did a full regrade of the film itself. The overall grade you see is, it seems, the one undertaken by the BFI.
http://www.zetaminor.com/roobarb/sho...=1#post1520164

buck135 02-15-2013 04:11 AM

AHHHHHH! What is the problem with these Hammer blu-ray's? Pre-order canceled.

maybrick 02-15-2013 04:55 AM

I disagree about this being the same as NOTLD. The stills I've seen actually look really good and natural to my eyes whereas the NOTLD tinting didn't. Ill totally buy this if ever released in the USA.

shape22 02-15-2013 04:55 AM

I'm not sure we should rush to judgment. Almost all of the Hammer Dracula films look "off" on DVD. Day for night scenes consistently look ridiculous. I've always assumed that was a limitation of earlier technology. But now I wonder if the DVD masters were authored incorrectly. If answer prints weren't consulted it's very possible that many shots were printed too light and color timed for a more neutral appearance.

I'm never in favor of altering the color timing of films for home video. So if this is revisionist history it's appalling--and hugely disappointing for such a landmark film. But I think it's distinctly possible that Horror Of Dracula might have looked darker and bluer when it originally ran in theaters.

I suspect we haven't heard the last word on this release yet. I need to know how closely the new Blu replicates the look of the projected BFI restoration before I make up my mind.

buck135 02-15-2013 05:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shape22 (Post 727672)
I suspect we haven't heard the last word on this release yet. I need to know how closely the new Blu replicates the look of the projected BFI restoration before I make up my mind.

Point well taken. I reacted to seeing "NOTLD all over again". Hammer's region B blu-ray's have had a checkered history. I'm still holding off on my preorder for now.

X-human 02-15-2013 12:59 PM

Well this is probably much the same as NotLD in that screen captures look worse then how it'll appear on a properly calibrated TV. Still no one is saying this is how it looked theatrically in 1958, in fact the quoted restoration states that they did not try to make it look like Eastman technicolor which is how it was distributed.

Here's what restorationist Robert Harris (Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia) had to say about the restoration's comments:
Quote:

[T]hese comments make no sense.

A "check print" is meant to replicate (for projection or benching) what has been printed to the IP. It is of no value towards color reference. Further, if the OCN had reached any levels of problematic dye fade, it would not have been the sole candidate for any basis of modern restoration.

Am I confused?

Yes.

RAH
http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/32...0#post_4037658

He advocates a wait and see approach but I don't doubt the screen captures we've been provided are accurate of what's on the Blu-ray. I may buy it anyways just to get the full Japanese reels as I doubt those will be on Warner's release stateside.

shape22 02-15-2013 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X-human (Post 727686)
Still no one is saying this is how it looked theatrically in 1958, in fact the quoted restoration states that they did not try to make it look like Eastman technicolor which is how it was distributed.

This is definitely the most confusing aspect of this. If the DOP wanted the film to look the way it will on the Blu-ray, why wasn't it printed that way for theatrical release? I have to believe Terence Fisher got what he wanted, which makes the changes tougher to justify.

Off the top of my head this seems like the first time a film was "restored" this way without any input from the actual folks involved. I'm still curious to know how closely this BD will replicate the look of the projected BFI restoration. That seemed to get raves across the board.


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