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Lousy print of CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD from "National Film Museum"


kriegerg69
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Yesterday morning, TCM aired "Castle of the Living Dead" with Christopher Lee. I Tivo'd it, hoping it would be a replacement print in correct widscreen (I believe it was shot in 2.35:1 scope), but it turns out it was the same bad and incorrectly letterboxed print TCM acquired a couple of years ago. The controversy back then was that this "National Film Museum"....which is nothing more than a crummy public domain video company....supplied TCM with a master which was a letterboxed version of a panned-and-scanned print! At the time, TCM reportedly claimed they would sever all ties with this NFM.....but WHY was this crummy and INCORRECTLY presented print still being aired? This print should have been flushed from the TCM library until a better and correctly presented widescreen master could be had. How many other crummy presentations from "National Film Museum" are still being used and aired by TCM? This is somewhat unforgiveable for TCM to still be showing this, especially in light of what happened a couple of years back....TCM's programmers should have learned from that (another bad incident involved a re-edited "The Vampire Bat", which also stirred up controversy...is that print still being used?).

 

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Crummy print? You mean - it wasn't filmed in 200% sunlight thru gauze and bedsheets? I kept hoping they'd wipe the fog off the inside of the camera-lens, but I thought the oils on the outside of the lens might have ruined it anyway.

 

Other than that, I thought it was a great print in two shades of white.

 

Rumor has it that this print is being further panned & puked onto 1-inch video screens everywhere, and then maybe NFM will re-size it from there back into a letterbox. They can bring back the Clutch-Cargo Only Lips Move effects.

 

It's going to be a great film at 4-fps. Quick download! MP3 it at 32k, and whoosh, you've got a full copy in 22 seconds. Even at 2400b dial up.

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Oh, that was a brilliant and intelligent answer....thanks for nothing. My point was in regards to the incredibly crummy and incorrect letterboxing which actually cuts off the tops of actors' heads (among other objects cut off) during the film.

 

Hopefully someone can give a proper response.

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"It's the only print we have" is their response. Titles, heads, edges cut off occur on EVERY pan & puke film. I thought an intelligent film viewer knew that, so I addressed the bleached out video quality instead. I was wrong - I obviously needed to state something for you that all other pan & puke sufferers knew. Welcome, new pan & puke, viewer.

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Excuse ME, but why are you being such a nasty smarta**?? I am QUITE aware of what pan-and-scan is, and my question was....and I'm ALSO aware of TCM's canned "only print we have" response....in regards to the whole NFM situation and why they continue to show this particular print (which, in this situation, goes way BEYOND a mere pan-and-scan print because this master is a pan-and-scan print which has been RE-LETTERBOXED, so this instance is different from a basic P/S print) instead of NOT showing the movie any further until such time as a proper print can be had? You also don't need to be so g.d. insulting with the "welcome, new pan & puke, viewer"....what difference does it make HOW many posts I've made here on the forums? I don't need to spend a lot of time here, as I do have a life outside of the internet. What the hell is your problem? You "obviously" needed to state nothing except your rudeness.

 

Are these boards even moderated for insulting and rude behavior like this??

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> My point was in regards to the incredibly crummy and incorrect letterboxing which actually cuts off the tops of actors' heads (among other objects cut off) during the film.

 

Hi, welcome to the board.

 

Your statement reminds me of something.

 

Some films before TV were shown on almost a square screen, and even today when people are standing up in films, the tops of their heads are cut off in some films.

 

Notice that when TCM starts some old films with the titles in a special box of reduced size, smaller than the TV screen, with black around the outside of the title box, that shows the original format of the film, which, in many cases, was almost square, and the titles have to be put in a special square box, reduced in size, so that the top and bottom and sides of the titles won?t be cut off.

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I didn't watch the film so I can't comment it, but I'm not sure I'm ready to call National Film Museum a "crummy" public domain video company. I've seen a couple of their films that TCM's shown (I can't remember the titles) that were very nice and their restored version of OUR TOWN is just beautiful. I know, it's one of my favorites and I must have bought 15 PD copies of it over the years trying to get a better one and they all were mastered from the same bad 16mm print. So I was thrilledwith NFM's DVD release.

 

If CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD was as bad as you say I wouldn't even try to make any excuse for it or TCM for running it, but without seeing more of their releases, I don't think I'll write them off just yet.

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