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Dracula (1931)

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Hi all

 

I have always been a huge fan of classic horror films, especially the 30's-40's universal horror classics.

 

The much-maligned Dracula has always had a poor history on home video.  There have been 3 DVD releases, ('99, '04, '06) and none of them have gotten it quite right.

 

The first two editions were dark, but reasonably accurate representations of the aged film.  The audio was nice, but there were errors and ommissions.  The "remastered" '06 edition corrected the missing audio elements, (edit: i was wrong, the 06 version is missing dracula's death groans) but  the overall sound quality reverted to being a muffled mess. The image was overly brightened and cleaned, and lost its dark, creepy feel.

 

Perhaps someone more resourceful than I could combine the best elements of the existing releases, and create a hybrid version, that would get us by until a true HD release.

Here is a good comparison http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/articles/dracula_misfires.htm

 

Vudu has it availabile in HD, but i have not looked at it to see how it compares, or how the audio is.

 

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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Hello there, I've no idea how it compares, but on the torrent site Cinemageddon, there is apparently a 1080i version, which looks promising... It's too bad it isn't officially out on Blu-Ray yet though.

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This is a topic I got heavily into back in October. Most of the other Uni horrors don't have any DVD issues (aside from low bitrates etc.) but Dracula has issues on every edition.

The 99 disc and 04 Legacy collection are almost the same, but the 04 audio is heavily processed and has a great deal of noise reduction applied. It is also missing the death screams at the end. The 99 disc is only missing a small amount of music from the end of the ballet scene.

The 06 Legacy DVD is artificially brightened, sharpened and does not look like the original film. The audio is processed but complete.

I personally watch the 99 disc, and have the LD on my wishlist (even though it lacks a PCM track).

I've thought about doing a version, but as TAF pointed out there are some unofficial and  official 1080i and HD versions of the films floating around. It seems Universal did HD masters some time ago and are just sitting on them for a Blu-ray release. I've only seen a bit of the HD Frankenstein but according to others it looks like many if not all of the previous issues have been fixed.

And Bride of Frankenstein was just restored!!! Maybe we can finally see these on Blu! Still holding out for an ultimate Criterion boxset though.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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So how is the audio on the LD? I actually have this LD as well as Nosferatu and both versions of Bram Stokers Dracula(Criterion and Special Edition).

also so without knowing how good the LD audio is, and going by what captainsolo is saying, would it be better to use the 99 audio for a base and fill in what is missing with the 06 audio? and not waste time with 04?

it does seem though that the 1080i HD video is the best hands down to use though, it really looks great! here are some screens,

also captainsolo you have a PM.

also which audio is on the HD version, I would assume the 06, or is it new? I have not watched it yet, just skimmed through the video.

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I've never seen the LD, but it was always analog audio only even on the restored Encore editions. I'd say since you've got it it should be compared to the 99 to see the differences. It might even be good enough to be made into a lossless soundtrack.

The 06 audio is bad but in slightly different ways than the 04 audio was. It's processed slightly but highly degraded.

I haven't seen the HD version (still need to) so I can't really tell if it's the 06 or not. Judging form the caps I think it is and so I would believe it has the same audio.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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the 1080i version looks like some pretty heavy noise reduction was applied, but its hard to tell from a still.

 

 

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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Im downloading the 1080i version now.  Im very curious to  see how it looks and sounds.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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To anyone interested, the 1080i version is actually on tehparadox as well, so it's not exclusive for Cinemageddon. If anyone finishes downloading it, I'd be curious to know what the frame rate is: 25fps or 23.976fps. I downloaded a 25fps of Frankenstein 1931 and was quite saddened I couldn't play an AVCHD of it.

By the way, to my eyes, it seems the '04 wins a tad bit over the '99 release. The '04 had less compression artifacts when viewed under a good upconverter. The audio situation is however rather unfortunate. Anyone else agree/seeing this?

On a side note, as a "minor" fan of the Universal Classics, does anyone have a silent version of this, complete with intertitles? It's my understanding that this came out in both silent and sound versions. I'd be curious to see the silent one... that is, if any copies still exist. Has there ever been some sort of bootleg of this... even a rudimentary telecine on VHS?

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I have downloaded the 1080i version of Dracula.

 

VLC states a frame rate of 50.

 

I have not had a chance to watch the whole thing, but I can confirm that the audio elements are intact.  Music and death groans are there.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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Video
ID : 512 (0x200)
Menu ID : 1 (0x1)
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Main@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 4 frames
Codec ID : 27
Duration : 1h 11mn
Bit rate : 10.6 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 25.000 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Top Field First
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.205
Stream size : 5.30 GiB (92%)

http://avpspreservations.blogspot.com

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I dont know if it would look bad, but you could just re encode it with handbrake at 24 or 23.97fps, then use TSMuxer to create an AVCHD disc.

 

Then it would play back fine on a BR player.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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The 04 and 99 should share the same video transfer. All of the Legacy Collections re-used the original DVD transfers save for Bride of Frankenstein.

I'm going to grab the 1080i and check it out.

As far as a silent version goes, that's pretty much lost just as the original ending is. I have always wanted Universal to give these films the restoration they deserve, and hopefully that tag ending will finally resurface.

The silent version is much like the original green tinted Frankenstein-lost to the ages.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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I just watched a few minutes of the 1080i version.

 

AS a longtime fan of the film, seeing the 1080i version is like watching it for the first time.  You can truly appreciate the sets, lighting, and smoke effects that are present in the production design.

 

You could argue that few scenes are too bright, especially the opening, but perhaps thats the way it was intended, and all previous home video versions were unitentionall dark.

It sounds better than all previous DVD versions.  Its not too muffled, and the theres not too much hiss.

The video quality is good, and blows away all the DVDs. 

I'll be very happy with this version, until a BluRay disc comes along.

Ill try creating a 1080p24 AVC DVD, and see how it turns out.

 

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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AvP said:

Frame rate : 25.000 fps

Thank you.

Echo3 said:

I dont know if it would look bad, but you could just re encode it with handbrake at 24 or 23.97fps, then use TSMuxer to create an AVCHD disc.

Hmm... I'll try this. Thanks for the tip. I had a 25fps thing that I tried adjusting with TSMuxer's frame rate control but it looked awful, producing countless junk frames.

captainsolo said:

The 04 and 99 should share the same video transfer. All of the Legacy Collections re-used the original DVD transfers save for Bride of Frankenstein.

It may be the same video transfer but I believe the Legacy disc allowed a higher bitrate because it have the movie more space than the comparatively cramped '99 disc. For example, Creature From the Black Lagoon is the exact same transfer but because it has an extra GB worth of space on the Legacy Edition, it looks better.

As far as a silent version goes, that's pretty much lost just as the original ending is. I have always wanted Universal to give these films the restoration they deserve, and hopefully that tag ending will finally resurface.

Actually, I watched the Brownlow Documentary with the Dracula DVD and it has a clip from the silent version, so it may have survived. It probably just hasn't been released. The clip looked surprisingly decent quality. I hope it isn't a lost film.

The silent version is much like the original green tinted Frankenstein-lost to the ages.

Hmm... I'd be interested in that as well though it's probably not hard to recreate.

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The Aluminum Falcon said:

Actually, I watched the Brownlow Documentary with the Dracula DVD and it has a clip from the silent version, so it may have survived. It probably just hasn't been released. The clip looked surprisingly decent quality. I hope it isn't a lost film.

 

 

I always assumed this was a recreation for the documentary.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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The Aluminum Falcon said:

AvP said:

Frame rate : 25.000 fps

Thank you.

 

Echo3 said:

I dont know if it would look bad, but you could just re encode it with handbrake at 24 or 23.97fps, then use TSMuxer to create an AVCHD disc.

Hmm... I'll try this. Thanks for the tip. I had a 25fps thing that I tried adjusting with TSMuxer's frame rate control but it looked awful, producing countless junk frames.

 

captainsolo said:

The 04 and 99 should share the same video transfer. All of the Legacy Collections re-used the original DVD transfers save for Bride of Frankenstein.

It may be the same video transfer but I believe the Legacy disc allowed a higher bitrate because it have the movie more space than the comparatively cramped '99 disc. For example, Creature From the Black Lagoon is the exact same transfer but because it has an extra GB worth of space on the Legacy Edition, it looks better.

As far as a silent version goes, that's pretty much lost just as the original ending is. I have always wanted Universal to give these films the restoration they deserve, and hopefully that tag ending will finally resurface.

Actually, I watched the Brownlow Documentary with the Dracula DVD and it has a clip from the silent version, so it may have survived. It probably just hasn't been released. The clip looked surprisingly decent quality. I hope it isn't a lost film.

The silent version is much like the original green tinted Frankenstein-lost to the ages.

Hmm... I'd be interested in that as well though it's probably not hard to recreate.

 

 

Mine should be done tonight... Ill let you know how it turns out.

 

make sure you dont crop any pixels. Handbrake will try to crop the black bars.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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my 24fps is done.  There are dropped frames.  It can be somwhat distracting.  Im not sure if there is a program that could convert it to 60fps, but handbrake wont.

My Boxee plays the 25fps back at 60fps, and it looks good.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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I have completed a 1080p version encoded at 29 fps, and it looks fine.  Im going to make an AVCHD version, and possibly add the david skal  commentary.

 

Ill be testing the results on a PS3.

 

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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Echo3 said:

I have completed a 1080p version encoded at 29 fps, and it looks fine.  Im going to make an AVCHD version, and possibly add the david skal  commentary.

 

Ill be testing the results on a PS3.

 

LOL, 1080P @ 29fps? why not 23.976?

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dark_jedi said:

LOL, 1080P @ 29fps? why not 23.976?

Read above.

 

Dropped frames.

 

Doing a version at 29.97 (30)fps  means I'm adding frames, not dropping.

 

The result is a version that should play back on most BR players at 60fps without any noticable issues.
i can also try a 1080i 29.97 version.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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It is 25fps, there should be no problem at all bringing this to 23.976, not sure how you are doing it, or what you are using, but I was going to wait and download your version if you made it available because I have enough projects on my plate at the moment, but I see now I should probably do it myself.

Thanks anyways, and I did read above LOL.

 

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I used handbrake to create a 23.97 fps mkv.  it had dropped frames.

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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from the digital bits:

“And on the catalog film note, we’re also hearing that Universal is working on plans to release a Blu-ray box set of the classic Universal Monsters films in time for Halloween 2012. This is actually something I talked about with USHE president Craig Kornblau back at Blu-Con 2010. I mentioned to him that a lot of our readers would love to see those films in high-definition, but the studio’s concern was that – believe it or not – sales of those titles haven’t been very good on DVD over the years. So I suggested doing them all as a big Blu-ray box set and making it sort of a special event release to generate sales and interest. Then they could always release singles later if the numbers justified it.”

aka nostromo777 on myspleen

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Just as long as they haven't been tinkered with! And lossless mono not 5.1!

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com