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Does TCM show the best prints?


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I'm sure that they try but are they tryig hard enough? Take yesterday's showing of George Pal's groundbreaking sci-fi classic Destination Moon shot in technicolor. The colors are somewhat faded to but it mildly and the hues are terrible. Hell, I've downloaded Destination Moon myself and put it through VirtualDub, made adjustments to brightness and contrast as well as tint and what I got on a vcd looks a helluva lot better than TCM's lousy print....you know, I am very disappointed in TCM's responsiveness to the public. My nick is a nod to the wondrous south of the border inports of the late great K. Gordon Murray which many a couch potato like myself loved watching on saturday nite television while we were growing up. Do we get that? No. TCM thinks we would rather visually choke on sick stuff from the minds of guys like Russ Meyer and Herschel Gordon Lewis. TCM, I say to you. Honor and do pay homage to the golden era of mexican horror and their great Azteca-Churubasco Studio. That's what the public wants to see and not the other stuff.

 

Message was edited by: VonFrankenhausen

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*I'm sure that they try but are they tryig hard enough?*

 

No doubt they are. But as they get their prints from the studios, your beef should more likely be with the studios sending faded prints than with TCM.

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> {quote:title=VonFrankenhausen wrote:}{quote}

> I'm sure that they try but are they tryig hard enough? Take yesterday's showing of George Pal's groundbreaking sci-fi classic Destination Moon shot in technicolor. The colors are somewhat faded to but it mildly and the hues are terrible. Hell, I've downloaded Destination Moon myself and put it through VirtualDub, made adjustments to brightness and contrast as well as tint and what I got on a vcd looks a helluva better than TCM's lousy print.

 

Often it's a matter of showing a lousy print or no print at all. If the studio sends TCM a bad print, TCM can ask for a better print to be made available, but there's no guarantee the studio has one, even for major Technicolor films. Read about all the restoration work that had to be done to Vertigo sometime. There are times when even private 35mm film collectors have better prints in their collection than the studios have.

 

Me, I'd rather see something than nothing.

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VonFrankenhausen,,

 

I have never used Virtual Dub Mode. I thought it was just for audio? Can I add subtle tints to Monochrome video with this program? If so, how does it work? And how much additional space will it take up once the tinting is in place?

 

With a Silent film like WINGS for example, there are much better prints than Paramount stuck TCM with last year. The Photoplay Productions version is like night and day, and is tinted. Plus there have been even newer restorations by the Library of Congress, and AMPAS which have never been on TV. They have never been made ready in broadcast format. I'm still hoping the TCM will eventually be able to air the Photoplay version with the Carl Davis score.

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*They can't tell the studios not to send them faded prints?*

 

TCM asks for the best print possible. The studios send the print/tape they have, depending upon the studio or distributor, it can be a breathtaking restored copy or it can be faded.

 

Unless it's financially feasible for the studio or the distributor to strike a better copy, they are going to send what they have in their vault.

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It is really the studio's fault for giving TCM a bad print. The James Bond films that were played in May were the brand new restored prints while other classics like To Catch A Thief and Casablanca are very old non-remastered prints. Although I did notice that they played the brand new restored version of How The West Was Won earlier this year. Also, they started to play the new remaster of Ben-Hur earlier this year because before they used to play the 2001 remaster which was slightly cropped.

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You have to keep in mind that TCM does not run movies on film. Everything is distributed on some format of videotape. As far as television is concerned the days of throwing a reel of film on a projector and showing it are long gone.

 

The studio or distributor uses a film print to make a duplication "master" which is then used to make broadcast copies. There isn't a choice in getting a "better" copy. All of them are the same. The quality depends on the print used to make the "master". Obviously, one made from a pristine 35mm print will look far better than one made from a faded 16mm print.

 

Since many times, TCM is the only channel interested in certain films, I think the distributors, especially smaller ones, will simply make one copy from whatever print they have on hand and won't spend a lot of time and money trying to locate a better one.

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hamradio,

 

 

Yeah I remember seeing some Roy Rogers films earlier this year. Yes, those looked really awful. Like third or forth generation dubs! They were probably public domain, and have never been restored. Personally, I thought DESTINATION MOON looked fine? I didn't see anything wrong with it.

 

These days if everything isn't crystal clear, and has a few minor scratch's people seem to complain about picture quality. Doesn't anyone recall the days when virtually all syndicated re-runs looked dismal? Because they were prints that had been copied dozens of times over. People have really become demanding and picky.We are well and truly spoiled today.

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I still remember the days before videotape when TV stations used the "Telecine" system in which there was a 16mm projector / TV camera setup. It was the ONLY way to show movies. Back then beggers couldn't be choosers.

 

Here's an example

 

5o87rm.jpg

 

Message was edited by: hamradio I knew I should have used Tinypic.com

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How well I remember the TK-27. I was a program film editor for a local station back then and we had two film chains with four projectors. Those were the days when tape was just starting to appear so close to 99% of the station's local programming ran through those projectors for years. They were real workhorses.

 

I know a lot of folks look down their noses at 16mm, but if we got in nice prints, they looked great on them. I'll always remember how terrific the prints of the pre-'49 Paramount titles looked when MCA first released them. The b/w films we just gorgeous and the Technicolor prints where spectacular. It was hard to believe we were watching 16mm.

 

Ah, those were the days.

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Me too - at WCIX in Miami back in the late 70's. It's a good thing I wasn't collecting 16mm then because I would have embezzled the entire library!

 

As for DESTINATION MOON, I believe this is part of the Wade Williams / Corinthian Films group. It was originally a Pal Production released through Eagle-Lion. It is more than likely that the original Technicolor separations are either gone or missing. A friend of mine has a 35mm dye-transfer print and even that had some processing problems and has a certain amount of discoloration. When the 16mm prints were made for television and rental through Ivy Films, a ghastly reduction negative was used and the prints were just awful.

 

Until the original seps turn up, I think we're seeing the best DESTINATION MOON we are likely to see.

 

And separations or not, NOTHING can fix Dick Wesson!!!

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> {quote:title=RayFaiola wrote:}{quote} It's a good thing I wasn't collecting 16mm then because I would have embezzled the entire library!

 

I know where you're coming from. I was just starting to collect 16mm then, and the station did let me take prints home to screen, but boy was I tempted to "lose" them on the way back. Never did though.

 

I didn't see what TCM ran, but I did look at the Image DVD of the Wade Williams release and while I'd say it was ok most of the way, there were some scenes that were a little faded. I would guess that's the only version out there. If so, I wouldn't have been too upset to see it on TCM.

 

No offense meant to anybody, but I think with so many beautiful restorations of films around, some of us get spoiled and expect every film to be that way and that's just not possible.

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> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

> I know a lot of folks look down their noses at 16mm, but if we got in nice prints, they looked great on them. I'll always remember how terrific the prints of the pre-'49 Paramount titles looked when MCA first released them. The b/w films we just gorgeous and the Technicolor prints where spectacular. It was hard to believe we were watching 16mm.

>

> Ah, those were the days.

 

I have one of those early MCA 16mm prints of FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO, and it's wonderful (still want it on DVD, though).

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> {quote:title=CineSage_jr wrote:}{quote} I have one of those early MCA 16mm prints of FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO, and it's wonderful (still want it on DVD, though).

 

Sadly, I'll bet there are thousands of those prints just gathering dust in some warehouse or worse yet Universal has had them destroyed.

 

"FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO" is a great film that really needs a DVD release in the United States. It's been available in Europe for years.

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