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Comments by Victor

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Victor

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02 Mar 2013, 8:19pm

(Continued) ... the aethetic choices that are made, as well as unpredictable chemical reactions. I applaud the Blu-Ray digital mastering team for following the BFI's lead. After seeing online screen captures, I can't wait to see the difference in the color balance from the American IB Technicolor prints that I have seen over the years. The way DRACULA was processed in its country of origin was certainly the best model for digital remastering. What matters most is that Hammer has cooperated in making a restored version of DRACULA before there coud be any additional deterioration of the original elements. BRAVO!

Related to: Dracula (1958)

Victor

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02 Mar 2013, 8:17pm

First of all, I saw HORROR OF DRACULA first run in its original U.S. release in 1958. Over the years I have seen American IB Technicolor prints in both 35mm & 16mm many times. Let me urge everyone who is actually interested in film restoration to visit this site: www.widescreenmuseum.com. It will give you technical information on aspect ratios and color printing. Now as to the new Blu-Ray remastering of DRACULA: It sounds like the BFI referenced an original check print, or "answer print". Such a print would have had correct exposures for every shot, following Jack Asher's original printing instructions to the laboratory. It would probably be an IB Technicolor print from Technicolor's London facility. Seperation matrices would have made from the original camera negative. Referencing such a print was absolutely the right thing to do! The different Technicolor labs in Hollywood, New York, London, & Rome could yield strikingly differrent results when printing the same photographic material. Dye transfer Technicolor printing involved bathing the celluloid in a solution. The mineral content of the water could affect the result, because the minerals were "imbibed" into the celluloid along with the petroleum based pigments. HORROR OF DRACULA was released by Universal-International in the U.S. American Technicolor would have made the dye transfer prints for U.S. release with a much "hotter" color balance, the way U-I typically wanted their pictures to look. Call it a house style. However, British Technicolor was known for having a more delicate, subtle color balance. I can easily believe that this was what Terence Fisher & Jack Asher would have wanted! Bear in mind that motion picture film is a chemical process, subject to variations all down the line. Digital mastering is an electronic process, subject to a different set of characteristics altogether. Reproduction in any medium is problematical, with many possible variations. The final result depends on

Related to: Dracula (1958)

Victor

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03 Jul 2012, 10:26pm

I saw THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in its original 1957 U.S. release, along with X THE UNKOWN. The tag line on the U.S. posters & ads was, "The Curse of Frankenstein will haunt you forever!" In my case, it has proved to be literally true. Yes, it was strong stuff in 1957! Yet, I count myself fortunate that I saw so many of the early Hammer Films in their original theatrical release. Since I saw CURSE at such an impressionable age, CoF and Hammer became an indelible part of me. Looking at this page, I'm led to believe that I am not alone. Like most of us, I hope that the new Hammer organization will build on the success of THE WOMAN IN BLACK. It looks as if they will respect the past, while the create something new, reinventing Hammer Films for a new century.

Related to: The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957)

Victor

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03 Jul 2012, 10:12pm

That UK release date does not appear to be correct. As I understand it, REVENGE was filmed at the Bray Studios in early 1958, directly after DRACULA was completed. It was not released in the U.S. until 1958. At any rate, REVENGE is the product of Hammer's golden age and it is one of their very best films. If only Hammer had made a direct sequel to it!

Related to: The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958)

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