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THE WINDOW on Noir Alley -- was that a blu-ray print?


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You’re in luck - Warner released The Window (1949) on blu-ray in September of last year, and their releases are usually first-rate restorations:

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Window-Blu-ray/298571/

Unfortunately, however, these days TCM does not always get the best version to show on the channel (there have been some other threads on the message board for other titles).  Sometimes TCM shows a version that is a few steps away from the final blu-ray.  As you point out, the broadcast version of The Window this time has sharp definition and contrast but still has a few flashes and spots that need to be cleaned up.  This is probably where digital image processing would be used to do the time-consuming frame-by-frame final restoration.

This is conjecture on my part, but it seems possible that Warner does not always give the best version of the video for TCM to show in order to not take away from potential blu-ray sales for recently released titles.  Over time there may be additional chances for TCM to get the better version.  We have seen other titles eventually be improved in this manner - TCM recently included The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) as part of Errol Flynn’s Star of the Month presentation, and the version they showed was breathtaking.  This title was released on Warner blu-ray in May of last year.

So we can always hope for better, but it seems there is a wide variation in video quality from film to film, and there’s really no guarantee as to what exactly will be shown in the future for any given title.

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