1051 The Elephant Man

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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GaryC
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#51 Post by GaryC » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:31 pm

The original sound mix was Dolby Stereo non-surround (so 3.0). I don't know why there was no surround, but there were a few other films released around then with similar sound mixes - the 35mm prints of Apocalypse Now for example. I saw 35mm Dolby Stereo prints of both of these at University, so can confirm this.

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justeleblanc
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#52 Post by justeleblanc » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:26 pm

GaryC wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:31 pm
The original sound mix was Dolby Stereo non-surround (so 3.0). I don't know why there was no surround, but there were a few other films released around then with similar sound mixes - the 35mm prints of Apocalypse Now for example. I saw 35mm Dolby Stereo prints of both of these at University, so can confirm this.
I'm curious, where did you read that the film's original Dolby Stereo mix did not include a matrixed surround?

I ask because there seems to be some debate online as to whether or not this view is accurate. The Criterion Blu claims to draw from a Lynch-approved restoration. And it appears to be 3.0 as opposed to 4.0. However, earlier releases of the 2.0 mix all included a matrixed surround channel. So people are wondering if Lynch chose to oversee a restoration that has removed the original surround effects in some way. If you are able to shed any light on this, that would be much appreciated!

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MichaelB
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#53 Post by MichaelB » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:53 am

I would imagine Gary projected it at some point in the 1980s. You tend to recall unusual formats like non-surround Dolby when they’re encountered.

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justeleblanc
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#54 Post by justeleblanc » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:36 am

Actually, I'm mistaken about the 3.0 mix on the Blu ray. Some people on another forum were sayng that it's 3.0, but i can confirm that (at least through my sound system) it plays with a matrixed surround channel.

This, though, raises a question that might be too in-the-weeds for this forum, but that is still worth asking for those who are also curious, especially if we have projectionists who are able to answer these questions. A film like Apocalypse Now, which was designed without matrixed surrounds, would still play surround effects if the projectionist kept the matrix circuit board plugged in (the processor would find the difference between the L and R channels and send this information to the surrounds). This was reportedly an issue with Apocalypse Now, as there was no way for Murch/Coppola to police whether or not theaters were playing the 35mm prints correctly. So if Elephant Man was indeed designed only for L, C, and R, Dolby processors could still produce an surround channel. So is it better to say that these sorts of films (which were mixed for 3 channels but exhibited in 4) had derived matrix surround rather than dedicated matrix surround? Maybe there's a better wording to use. I feel like this might be seen as a moot point, but it's important to bring up if we are trying to determine whether or not the film should play with surrounds, and if the Criterion Blu is indeed an accurate reflection of how the film originally sounded in theaters.

But if this is too in the weeds, no worries. Not trying to be difficult here. Just very interested in this sort of stuff.

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tenia
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#55 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:22 am

These are actually questions I'm wondering myself, since I never really fully understood how these details work exactly. I'm used to either mono tracks or full 5.1 tracks, and have always struggled to understand the exact differences for Dolby Stereo tracks that kind of fall in between (to me and to simplify).

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GaryC
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#56 Post by GaryC » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:46 pm

justeleblanc wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:26 pm
GaryC wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:31 pm
The original sound mix was Dolby Stereo non-surround (so 3.0). I don't know why there was no surround, but there were a few other films released around then with similar sound mixes - the 35mm prints of Apocalypse Now for example. I saw 35mm Dolby Stereo prints of both of these at University, so can confirm this.
I'm curious, where did you read that the film's original Dolby Stereo mix did not include a matrixed surround?

I ask because there seems to be some debate online as to whether or not this view is accurate. The Criterion Blu claims to draw from a Lynch-approved restoration. And it appears to be 3.0 as opposed to 4.0. However, earlier releases of the 2.0 mix all included a matrixed surround channel. So people are wondering if Lynch chose to oversee a restoration that has removed the original surround effects in some way. If you are able to shed any light on this, that would be much appreciated!
Southampton University film society, 1984-1987. We showed both films during my time there, and I was the projectionist for Apocalypse Now. With that film, we had a mono print delivered and we asked for and got a Dolby Stereo print - as it happened, the only one in the country at the time. I don't know about reissues, but the 5.1 mix for Apocalypse Now was originally only on 70mm prints.

Also, we had a booklet supplied by Dolby with a list of films available with Dolby sound mixes, and both of these films were indicated as non-surround in 35mm. There may well have been others, but I don't remember them now.

Lynch may well have remixed the soundtrack later. One directional effect I remember is in the scene where Treves displays Merrick to his fellow doctors. The curtains sliding apart to reveal him were heard in the left and right speakers.

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Adam X
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#57 Post by Adam X » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:22 am

The following was quoted from Criterion's booklet in the BD.com review. Not sure it solves the riddle, and actually seems to offer conflicting information to what GaryC's related, given their review lists the BD soundtrack as LPCM 2.0.
The audio presented is the original Stereo mix of the film. A brand new ingest of the film's original magnetic printmaster was done in 2019 by StudioCanal. Digital restoration of the track was done repair punch-in and clipping artifacts as unbalanced channel signal and dropouts. The entire soundtrack was reviewed by Lynch at his Asymmetrical Studio, where equalization choices were made to extend bass frequencies in certain sequences and ensure that the soundtrack was as close in spirit as possible to its original presentation. The effort to honor the film's original mix came after revisiting a 5.1 decode of the soundtrack and the realization that something had in fact been lost, not gained, in the conversion process. Careful consideration and review ultimately led Lynch to make the decision to present this version of the soundtrack, with its original mix and format, and without additional channel information. The original magnetic stock mix is itself a notable achievement of the period, and it is presented here in the best reproduction to date. Mastering of the soundtrack was executed by Lynch, Ron Eng, Dean Hurley, and Ryan Hullings."
Last edited by Adam X on Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelB
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#58 Post by MichaelB » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:39 am

Some directors actively disliked using the matrixed surround channel in Dolby Stereo - I remember Joseph Losey was particularly unenthusiastic about the process when making Don Giovanni, and was never happy with how the original release prints sounded, and was so upset by one screening in a cinema with supposedly state-of-the-art equipment that he seriously urged the producer to consider scrapping the Dolby prints and releasing it in mono across the board. But the Dolby Stereo presentation was a major part of the film's marketing campaign, so he lost that battle.

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justeleblanc
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#59 Post by justeleblanc » Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:30 pm

GaryC wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:46 pm
justeleblanc wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:26 pm
GaryC wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:31 pm
The original sound mix was Dolby Stereo non-surround (so 3.0). I don't know why there was no surround, but there were a few other films released around then with similar sound mixes - the 35mm prints of Apocalypse Now for example. I saw 35mm Dolby Stereo prints of both of these at University, so can confirm this.
I'm curious, where did you read that the film's original Dolby Stereo mix did not include a matrixed surround?

I ask because there seems to be some debate online as to whether or not this view is accurate. The Criterion Blu claims to draw from a Lynch-approved restoration. And it appears to be 3.0 as opposed to 4.0. However, earlier releases of the 2.0 mix all included a matrixed surround channel. So people are wondering if Lynch chose to oversee a restoration that has removed the original surround effects in some way. If you are able to shed any light on this, that would be much appreciated!
Southampton University film society, 1984-1987. We showed both films during my time there, and I was the projectionist for Apocalypse Now. With that film, we had a mono print delivered and we asked for and got a Dolby Stereo print - as it happened, the only one in the country at the time. I don't know about reissues, but the 5.1 mix for Apocalypse Now was originally only on 70mm prints.

Also, we had a booklet supplied by Dolby with a list of films available with Dolby sound mixes, and both of these films were indicated as non-surround in 35mm. There may well have been others, but I don't remember them now.

Lynch may well have remixed the soundtrack later. One directional effect I remember is in the scene where Treves displays Merrick to his fellow doctors. The curtains sliding apart to reveal him were heard in the left and right speakers.
GaryC, this is great information, thank you! I've seen some of those booklets from the 1970s and 1980s. They pop up in libraries here and there but as far as I can tell they have never been scanned and uploaded to an online archive. If you ever happen upon one again, please let me know. It would surely come in handly when trying to identify which films have been released on DVD/Blu with the original stereo mix intact.

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#60 Post by swo17 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:08 pm

Just noticed a standard edition of the StudioCanal UHD finally came out this month

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#61 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:42 pm

After watching the extras I didn't realize what a big part Mel Brooks had in this production besides just signing the checks. He really was involved in various decisions and some creative input. And I totally get why he didn't want his name on the credits which I didn't understand at first. It's a fascinating backstory.

Thinking about Mel Brooks watching Eraserhead cracks me up

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Roger Ryan
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Re: 1051 The Elephant Man

#62 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:20 am

FrauBlucher wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:42 pm
... Thinking about Mel Brooks watching Eraserhead cracks me up
Brooks' reported assessment that the film was "a nightmare of an adolescent's fear of responsibility" was quite astute.

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