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The Good The Bad & The Ugly - 35MM IB Tech Preservation!

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Friends, gather around...

It's time to take matters into our own hands and preserve the US cut of The Good The Bad & The Ugly using an extremely rare original IB_TECH from Italy!

For those of you who haven't been following the other thread, there's a group of us who are in the process of acquiring a 1971 IB tech 35MM of Il Buono Il Brutto Il Cattivo from a seller in Italy. Here's a link to the other thread if you'd like to bring yourself up to speed:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/The-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-4k-nightmare/topic/16690/


IB tech prints are known to be fade proof and therefore reflect the actual color timing during the film's original theatrical release. The 35MM in question is no exception; the colors are solid. Once acquired, this print will be scanned at 4K and used to regrade the colours of the highly controversial MGM 4K BD that has a (piss) yellow/teal push that's a popular trend nowadays but undermines the artistic integrity of the original theatrical release. 

If you've read all the bickering in the thread at bluray.com then you probably picked up on those who praise the new MGM bluray believe the colors of the 4K transfer are more faithful to SL's intent because Sergio Salvati said so. Some also argue that variation between different IB Tech prints could explain the variation between the Mondo 2009 and MGM 2014 restorations. Undoubtedly there's going to be some variation from print to print but nothing that would explain the huge difference between the Mondo and MGM 4K BDs. It's inevitable that the Italians will release their own 4K BD. Based on the Leone Film Group trailer and screenshots posted last month in promotion of the Italian theatrical re-release it's likely the same master as the 4K MGM BD (not surprising since both parties were involved in the latest restoration effort) yet the colours are much better. So what the heck is going on? I suspect there's some tinkering of colors going on at MGM after the fact. Perhaps even after getting Sergio Salvati's stamp of approval. Long story short...an unfaded IB Tech of BBC from the initial theatrical run is the best available evidence of how the film originally looked. 

The cool thing is we've already identified one scene that's unique to this print and hasn't been seen in any home release (VHS, LD, DVD, BD) in the last 30 years!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v420/trailerparkboy/BBC-desert-frame_zps54544540.jpg

There's a small yet highly passionate and devoted group of us that strongly believe this film has been done a disservice by MGM for over a decade for another reason; the original theatrical release in English is the US/International cut. Nothing to debate there. Fans demand this cut - WITH THE ORIGINAL MONO TRACK - but MGM isn't listening and therefore we will preserve it ourselves. We've decided to take matters into our own hands and invest our time and money into producing a PROPER home release that this film strongly deserves but we need your help!

I will cover the cost of the IB_TECH ($1600) but we don't have the funds to cover the cost of shipping ($400) and 16-20TB of HDD space ($600?). 

There's already a handful of individuals who have contacted me and wish to donate to the cause but we could definitely use more help. We're hoping you will contribute to this important endeavour.

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Please everyone donate if you can. This print is a pretty big deal and I am totally serious when I say a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is the right time and right print. For everyone who disliked the 4K. Everyone who wants to see TGTB&TU the way it was meant to be seen. This is it.

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I'm already on board and ready to donate to this excellent cause. :)

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DoomBot said:

I'm already on board and ready to donate to this excellent cause. :)

 Excellent! I just PM'd you with my paypal address.

The donations are trickling in now. I hope we can meet our target in the next few days.

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Yeah, I agree, this is possibly the only chance that will ever come up to know what this film really looked like.

And potentially some new scenes as well! Please get behind this everyone!

I'm in, send me a PM :)

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
Help get Empire Strikes Back preserved!

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Wow, very cool!  Have never seen the film (I know, I know...), but having read of all the various issues in the blu-ray releases, I'm inclined to wait till a proper version such as this is available.  ;-)

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It won't be available if the shipping target isn't reached though. I hope there is some more interest out there somewhere!

Donations welcome: paypal.me/poit
Help get Empire Strikes Back preserved!

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We're up to $360.34 now.

EDIT: I underestimated the cost before. 9 reels will have to be shipped in 3 boxes (rather than 2) due to weight restrictions imposed by the courier. Add to this the cost of tracking and insurance. Therefore the shipping will be around $400. I have revised my original post to reflect this.

Another 5 members have said they'll donate. Hoping to hear from them soon.

Thanks to all who have donated thus far! We've almost covered the shipping cost!

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Donated! Not much, but money is always tight for some reason.. :/

“Stargazing wizards, stare into the night,
Hurricanes and blizzards, here comes the final fight”

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Thanks to you we're even closer (very close, actually) to our target to cover the cost of shipping.

Next we'll tackle HDD storage cost.

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Lil Brutto said:

Thanks to you we're even closer (very close, actually) to our target to cover the cost of shipping.

Next we'll tackle HDD storage cost.

Donation sent.

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How do you know if the 35 mm film is in good condition? Is it an inter-positive?

Could there be other surprises on the film - Socorro scene?

I would be happy to make a donation. What is the current status of funding and the acquisition etc?

Best,

Peter

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We've been able to raise enough funds to cover the cost of the print plus shipping. The transaction with the seller will be completed this week.

We still require $$ to the cover the cost of film cleaning/scanning/digitization (HDD storage etc) so your donation is much appreciated and needed.

My paypal is: eurospec19@gmailDOTcom

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Clinton said:

How do you know if the 35 mm film is in good condition? Is it an inter-positive?

Could there be other surprises on the film - Socorro scene?

I would be happy to make a donation. What is the current status of funding and the acquisition etc?

Best,

Peter

We've had our resident expert, poita, visually inspect pics of various cells from all 9 reels. The film is in good condition overall; there are scratches at the beginning and end of the reels (to be expected) but the colours are vivid.

I'll let poita comment further. The fact that the "skeleton scene" is included makes me wonder what exactly we are getting.

Usually the soundtrack CD hints at cut scenes (e.g. "Il Forte" track that was deleted from the US cut; 2nd half of "Il Ponte Di Corde" that was likely intended for the grotto scene). Is "Il Deserto" longer than the desert scene as found on any home release? I haven't had a chance to compare the track to the film yet.

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For those of you who don't visit the Sergio Leone Web Board, Clinton posted an excerpt from the original Italian script that sheds light on the mysterious cell I posted of Blondie laying near some bones:

Clinton said:

...here is more from the original Italian script so that you can see where the "skeleton shot" fits in:

Desert. The sun is glowing in the sky. Two forms unprotected from the sun are seen wandering in a scorching valley. Tuco is on horseback, and Blondie is walking ahead. [The musical cue for this scene, as described by Charles Leinberger41, “begins with a long and suspenseful introduction featuring a tonally ambiguous and disjunct piano melody accompanied by sustained string tremolos . . . [followed by] a beautiful English horn melody.”] The first part of the desert scene is similar to the film, except the script explicitly states that Tuco fires five shots in rapid succession into Blondie’s water canteen, and then he fires a sixth shot (characteristic 5:1 pattern) which sends Blondie’s hat flying. A little later the revengeful Tuco informs Blondie that the end of the desert is 140 miles away (in the film, Tuco says, “100 miles, that’s a nice walk . . .”). After his short speech, Tuco takes out a parasol from under the saddle, opens it and points it in the direction of the sun. A cut is described in the script: Tuco’s head is dangling and his eyes are heavy from tiredness. He rides past the camera . . . Blondie is now seen in the distance. His steps are heavy and sluggish. The heat has worn Blondie down. Nevertheless, he seems to have noticed that Tuco has fallen into a light sleep under his sunshade . . . Blondie looks around as if he is searching for something. About 10 meters in front of him is a white, gnawed animal skeleton. Blondie’s eyes appear to be hypnotized by this sight. He encroaches towards the skeleton. Close-up: Blondie’s hand appears in the frame and he grasps a club-like bone. The camera zooms on to Tuco, who suddenly turns, grabs his revolver and fires a shot. The bone flies out of Blondie’s hand and Tuco threatens him saying, “Don’t try that again. Now, get going!” Blondie sets off again. Tuco waits until he has gone past, and then he drinks out of his canteen. He also moistens his head and neck.

Blondie struggles as he walks on and on through the desert, and at some point he falls to his knees. Tuco rides around him as he tries to get back onto his feet. Blondie’s lips are one continuous wound, and his eyes are swollen and closed. Through the slits of his eyelids Blondie sees the slope of a dune which appears like an insurmountable wall. He struggles to his feet and tiresomely continues. Tuco rides past him and says tauntingly, “It’s just another 115 miles to the end of the desert, and eight hours until sundown. That’s nothing (he laughs).” Cut or cross dissolve (simultaneously fading out one image as another fades in): Tuco with his parasol opened is seen on horseback observing . . . From below, Blondie is seen approaching on all fours. As Blondie gets to within a few meters of Tuco, he is at the end of his strength and falls face down. Tuco gets down from his horse and cautiously approaches Blondie. Close-up: Blondie is motionless but the clanging of Tuco’s spurs indicates that he is coming closer. Blondie opens his eyes . . . Within a few centimeters of Blondie’s face, Tuco’s boot comes into the frame. In a state of desperation, Blondie plunges towards the boot and grabs it with both hands . . . but the boot is empty. Tuco, a little further away, laughs and slaps his hands on his belly . . . He lies on his back, shakes with laughter and kicks his feet in the air. Blondie is at his limit and lets his face fall again into the sand.

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Four members have offered to contribute to the project but I haven't received any donations yet. Please let me know if you're still willing and/or able to send a donation.

Thanks!

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Someone over at the Sergio Leone Web Board posted scans (with red reduction) of 35mm elements. Pretty cool to see all this stuff popping up lately!

mike siegel said:

I finally found some time to scan some frames from my 35mm elements (the 'cannon' shots are from my trailer). Just as another reference regarding this endless color-debatte probably of some interest for some of you. My prints are slightly more reddish, I reduced the red during scanning. Otherwise the colors are just the way I saw them on the big screen (just 3 years ago I screened a German 35mm at our local cinema.)

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/gbu10xxx-kl.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/gbu6xx-kl.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/gbu13xx-kl.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/gbu3x-kl.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/gbu7axx-kl.jpg

http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/gbu7dxx-kl.jpg

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I like that color timing. Slightly yellow, no green and bright blues like the old International cut DVD and LDs. Looks like that's an IB tech trailer too

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Those scans don't look good to me personally, everything is far too red, fleshtones are far too red, all the other colours have been adversely affected, there's no balance to the colours at all. Not an appealing look, for me at least.

I doubt that's how it looked in the cinemas, more likely that 35mm print is suffering from severe red fade IMHO.

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BIG UPDATE: Payment for the print has been sent a few minutes ago.

I'm hoping we'll continue to raise funds for the next steps...

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Lil Brutto said:

BIG UPDATE: Payment for the print has been sent a few minutes ago.

I'm hoping we'll continue to raise funds for the next steps...

 Fantastic!

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Donations are still trickling in but we still have a way to go to cover the costs of scanning the print.

If you know anyone that doesn't visit this forum or AMPS who'd be interested in contributing to this amazingly super spectacular project, please get in touch with them.

Let's continue spreading the word!

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