Sign In

Gold Standard Collection #1: A Fistful of Dollars — Page 2

Author
Time
 (Edited)

My current guesses in regards to the reels:

There are five reels.
The break between Reel 1 and Reel 2 is between Esteban and Joe meeting for the first time and the arrival of the cavalry into San Miguel.
The break between Reel 2 and Reel 3 is between the Rojos departing for the cemetery and the Baxters arriving at the cemetery.
The break between Reel 3 and Reel 4 is between Joe shooting up the small house and some nearby Rojos reacting.
The break between Reel 4 and Reel 5 is between the initial explosion of the Baxter mansion and Ramon signaling for the wine barrels to be brought over to use as fuel for the fire.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Something I just noticed due to having too much free time on my hands on a slow Wednesday: the CBS/Fox laserdisc is similar to the Kino Lorber Blu-ray, only it’s somewhat more on the blue side and (typical of prints used for home video in the '80s) higher-contrast.

ETA: It’s apparently the exact same print 20th Century-Fox Video had used for their rental-only release a mere three years earlier. At some point, I’ll see how it compares with the print(s) MGM/UA issued in the late '80s/early '90s.

Author
Time

After further comparison, I’ve decided the CBS/Fox laserdisc is the better color source to use than the MGM/UA laserdisc, which, if its videocassette counterpart is anything to go by, looks closer to the MGM Blu-ray, whereas the CBS/Fox laserdisc looks closer to Sergio Leone’s intentions.

Author
Time

Is it possible for you to share some screengrabs of the different sources please? I am curious to see the varying contrasts of colour etc. between the releases.

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
Author
Time

That’s what the on-disc screenshot comparison is for, I guess, but I’ll probably show a sneak preview of what to expect as soon as I am able to.

Author
Time

Ok, cool. Look forward to it. 😃

“Logic is the battlefield of adulthood.”

  • Howard Berk
Author
Time

HUGE UPDATE: I just won the Warner Bros. rental-only pre-cert VHS from 1983 at auction, so it looks like I will be able to include the UK theatrical version in addition to the US theatrical and uncut versions I had already planned to include.

Author
Time

Well, I tried color-matching the Kino Lorber Blu to the '80s Fox prints, but the damn thing turned out to have been too far gone on the yellow side of the spectrum, plus there were certain shots during the first reel, particularly in the quarters Joe had been assigned at the Rojo compound upon joining, where I just couldn’t get the lighting right. Plus, as mentioned elsewhere, the Kino Lorber looks cropped, albeit not as heavily as the MGM. So, I decided to compare the Fox print to the Ripley’s print, and wouldn’t you know it, it looked more like a low-contrast Fox print on closer inspection. Just pump up the brightness to about 15 and the contrast to about 30, give the gain a slight boost towards the yellow end, and give the gamma a slight boost towards the magenta end, and you’ve got a Fox print that looks better, not to mention more complete and in widescreen.

Author
Time

Forgot to mention: you may want to change the color correction settings on a scene-by-scene basis, as the second scene, in which Joe enters San Miguel only to be greeted by the sight of a dead man with a sign reading “Adios Amigo” on his back, looks a little too magenta in the skies compared to the Fox print. Also, depending on the cropping, I might use different sources at different places (but never the MGM Blu, for obvious reasons). For example, the balcony scene, in which Silvanito explains San Miguel’s situation to Joe, loses a little bit of the top in the Ripley’s, whereas that portion is visible in the Kino Lorber.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I just gave my Warner Bros. VHS of AFOD a preview. Due to the way PAL output to my 3D TV works, I can’t speak for color accuracy yet, but I noticed a few things. First, the Warner Bros. release features a whole new pan-and-scan job, different than both the Fox and the MGM/UA, and it has its own quirks and screwjobs. Second, it uses the standard English-language opening sequence, instead of the one that credits Sergio Leone as Bob Robertson as seen on the Dutch DVD. Thirdly, the audio jump at the end of the opening sequence sounded similar to that on the MGM/UA, if it wasn’t exactly the same. Fourthly, the THE END title appears to have been made specifically for the Warner Bros. master, fading in in a more recognisable font instead of zooming in. And last, but far from least, certain of the cuts made to the UK theatrical version aren’t what I expected (for example, the torture scene is somewhat shorter, with Joe being roughed up for less time onscreen than in the Fox release by the Rojo thugs before Don Miguel advises him to talk so as to not prolong his suffering, an entire long shot of Joe crawling out of the storeroom after smashing Chico and another Rojo thug which was in the Fox release was removed—whereas that portion in the US theatrical version started with Joe crawling down the ramp after killing Chico and the other Rojo thug sent to guard him between torture shifts, here it begins from the point it begins in the uncut version, and continues until right before the aforementioned long shot—and a portion at the end of the scene where the Rojos torture Silvanito in his cantina was removed entirely, with the shot going from Ramón ramming the butt of his rifle into Silvanito’s chest immediately over to the shot of Piripero and Juan de Dios right after the scene).

Author
Time

I finally got a good look at the color of the Warner Bros. VHS, and it doesn’t look anywhere near as yellow as the Fox releases do. Needless to say, I’m still going to do all color correction based on the Fox print.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Nice one, and wishing you all the best with this - do you have any screenshots comparisons so we can see the differences between the sources, please?


Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

Author
Time

I hope to have an initial comparison ready with most sources sometime this month or next (I’ve just finished capturing my Warner Bros. VHS). As I don’t yet have every source I had planned to compare, the sources I will compare will be the Warner VHS, the CBS/Fox laserdisc, the MGM/UA 1988 VHS and 1990 laserdisc, the Dutch Afilm DVD, the Ripley’s Blu, the MGM Blu, the Tobis Blu, and the Kino Lorber Blu, plus a preliminary color correction based largely on the Fox print from the ‘80s.

Author
Time

After getting to study the Warner Bros. VHS colors more closely, I can safely conclude that the colors hew more closely to the Ripley’s print, but with less saturation. Edited NTSC-ified video to be uploaded to Thanos’s Italian Reddit Reject Forum sometime this week or next as proof (the only editing will be in terms of slowing down the WHV logo and the feature presentation to 24 FPS and putting the whole thing on a digital NTSC master).