109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#151 Post by whaleallright » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:23 pm

ethel wrote:The apparent absence of Jack Smith from the extras is concerning. I hope the overall impression of sober heteronormative academic analysis isn’t actually the whole story. Couldn’t they rope in John Waters, Charles Busch and Lypsinka for balance? Sheesh. The films are delirious, and the extras should ideally reflect this at some point. It’s not John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks fans who’ve lit candles and kept shrines to these films for lo these 80 years.
I gotta agree with this. The centrality of Dietrich and these films in particular to the development of a camp sensibility—and all the gender fuckery the films include— is so important that it would be a major oversight not to make these things the subject of at least one of the "extras" on this set.

Tuco
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#152 Post by Tuco » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:13 am

I swear that the last time I saw Shanghai Express on TCM (before Comcast bumped TCM to a more expensive tier), the missing dialog was, well, not missing. And that wasn't the first time I've heard/seen it. At any rate, so excited about this set. And not just because my wife won't be crabby about me "buying another fucking blu-ray" because she luuuuuuuuves Marlene.

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Roscoe
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#153 Post by Roscoe » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:51 am

The last time I watched it on TCM the dialogue about the French officer was missing. A pity.

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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#154 Post by david hare » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:45 pm

The cut is not that long, it runs no more than fifteen seconds, maybe less. You can see the film visually deteriororating with emulsion damage just before the cut lines.

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Feego
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#155 Post by Feego » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:16 pm

david hare wrote:I can't verify the 4K of Shanghai Express has the missing dialogue reinstated but one assumes it will.

If it isn't this is it:

CHANG. Explain to him if he does not tell the truth I'll have him shot.
LILY to LENARD (in French): He says if you don't tell the truth he will have you shot.
LENARD (In French) when I was in the army I committed a minor offence and I was discharged.
LILY: He has been discharged for a minor offence.
CHANG. THen why does he wear that uniform?
LILY. Why do you wear that uniform then?
LENARD. I'm going to see my sister and I dont wamt her to know I've been discharged. It would cause too much shame and sorrow.
LILY. HE is going to visit his sister and he doesn't want her to know about his disgrace.
Tuco wrote:I swear that the last time I saw Shanghai Express on TCM (before Comcast bumped TCM to a more expensive tier), the missing dialog was, well, not missing.
I just checked my DVD of Shanghai Express that was released by TCM in 2012. The lines I have bolded in David Hare's quote above are there, but the lines before that are missing. We hear Chang say, "Your passport says nothing about your military rank." Dietrich translates and the soldier answers, then there is a visible cut to Chang asking about the uniform. I saw no evidence of visual deterioration prior to the cut however. I'm pretty sure this is the version that has aired on TCM for the last several years.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#156 Post by Fred Holywell » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:43 pm

Here's the shot as seen on TCM last month:

"Shanghai Express" dialogue cut

The cut comes between Lenard's line in French about having resigned from the army, and Chang's line: "Then why does he wear that uniform?"

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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#157 Post by david hare » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:20 am

Thanks for the clip. Some seconds before the beginning of that the tramlines and ragged bits start to appear and the print (on the French PAL disc) looks like its coming to a reel end. One assumes some fuckwit in an archive snipped out the "bad" footage. But one should never assume.

black&huge
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#158 Post by black&huge » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:08 pm

With this mammoth being announced I hope an upgrade of the 3 silent classics box set isn't too far behind.

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domino harvey
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#159 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:27 pm


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hearthesilence
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#160 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:01 pm

Universal released a PAL DVD of Shanghai Express that's pretty good - surprised DVDBeaver didn't use it in their comparisons, and I have to say the new Criterion doesn't look all that different from it. (No surprise - I was under the impression that any radical improvement in PQ is very unlikely given the best available elements,)

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domino harvey
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#161 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:05 pm

I'm surprised that Shanghai Express only has one extra directly related to it. Those coming into this set blind would not be blamed for not realizing it's one of the most popular of the films

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swo17
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#162 Post by swo17 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:11 pm

One extra that's apparently just apologizing for its Orientalism no less

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R0lf
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#163 Post by R0lf » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:24 am

hearthesilence wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:01 pm
Universal released a PAL DVD of Shanghai Express that's pretty good - surprised DVDBeaver didn't use it in their comparisons, and I have to say the new Criterion doesn't look all that different from it. (No surprise - I was under the impression that any radical improvement in PQ is very unlikely given the best available elements,)
I have the Universal PAL DVD releases of all these movies from the UK and the French blu ray release of BLONDE VENUS and the difference between the DVD and blu is night and day. The DVDs by any standard are not good. I can't imagine a scenario where the blu ray in motion won't be a radical improvement in PQ. We all know the difference between Beaver caps and how the final product will actually look on our TV!

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hearthesilence
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#164 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:50 am

That's good to hear. I'm definitely getting the set anyway - once I do, I'll be able to make a proper comparison.


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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#166 Post by david hare » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:59 pm

As one can see the print is identical to the Elephant source with the same emulsion scratches and fine tramlines in the same places. But grain management is superior with Crtiterion's usual black boosting (whcih dopesnt harm this at all.) On the fist two titles from 1930-31 it is refreshing to see them finally released in OAR 1.19:1 with more headroom to the image. These also look great and while Morocco is still a little soft, it looks very clean and should be good in motion. FInding a pristine nitrate OCN of this was I suppose not easy. The last two should look terrific, the current backchannels 1080p WEBDL if Empress is a killer. And the DVDs of Devil were all very fine. The 14 minutes Paramount short with Travis Banton looks great, much better than the version up on Youtube.

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Lost Highway
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#168 Post by Lost Highway » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:15 pm

My favourite of the bunch and that looks lovely.

Marwood
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#169 Post by Marwood » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:46 am

Has there been any confirmation regarding the cuts to Shanghai Express for this blu-ray? The beaver review does not seem to mention it at all…

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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#170 Post by david hare » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:14 pm

Good point! I am assuming it’s reinstated but we have to wait for a reviewer who is even aware of the problem.

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Ashirg
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#171 Post by Ashirg » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:14 pm

Looks like this dialogue is still missing in the Criterion release -

CHANG. Explain to him if he does not tell the truth I'll have him shot.
LILY to LENARD (in French): He says if you don't tell the truth he will have you shot.
LENARD (In French) when I was in the army I committed a minor offence and I was discharged.
LILY: He has been discharged for a minor offence.

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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#172 Post by david hare » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:46 pm

Are you quting from a viewing? That’s very disappointing.

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Ashirg
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#173 Post by Ashirg » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:53 pm

Gary checked it and updated review at DVD Beaver.

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david hare
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#174 Post by david hare » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:27 am

Nowhere does this “note” say who actually watched it, and if anyone actually has, why did they not report on it earlier? It is now accepted wisdom that gary does not watch everything he reviews. This appears to have benn reviewed by somebody else and the notation is both completely meaningless and completely unreliable.

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domino harvey
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Re: 109, 930-935 Dietrich & von Sternberg in Hollywood

#175 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:06 am

Gary puts who wrote/captured the review at the bottom of the Comments box. Here it's credited to "Colin Zavitz and Gary Tooze"

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