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The Shining - Restoring the German Version (RELEASED)

Author
Time
 (Edited)

After completing the German Version Preservation of Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” I decided that this might be a long-term project, to preserve German versions of Stanley Kubrick’s films. And the next in row was the most complex of them, namely “The Shining”.

Now the project is released.

Screenshots

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More Screenshots

Scope of the project

Here are the following things I aimed to achieve.

  • International version
  • 4:3 Fullscreen version and 16:9 version in HD
  • 70s WB logo
  • German intro credits
  • German intertitles
  • German typewriter footage
  • German photo of Jack at the end
  • German End Credits
  • German and English mono audio
  • German and English subtitles
  • Other little things

International version

The German version was the 120-min International version of the movie. The new 4K restoration is, however, the US version (with additional footage dubbed recently and rather badly - sadly, Kubrick was not around anymore to prevent such an outrage). This was the version I was conforming to.

4:3 Fullscreen version and 16:9 version in HD

I have been able to obtain a WEB-DL of The Shining in 1080p and 4:3. Although the quality was suboptimal (many compression artefacts) I decided to use it as the main version for the restoration.
Due to those artifacts, I decided to also make a branch of the project, a 16:9 version (with the first BluRay as a source). Therefore, all the needed footage was created in 4K resolution to be scaled down accordingly for each of the versions.

70s WB logo

As “Shining”, when originally released, made use of the 1970s WB logo, I cut it in instead of the 80s one. (The source being the HD version of “The Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Movie”).

German intro credits

I attempted various ways of upscaling existing intro credits. From the digitally re-created interlaced German TV ones to an upscale and regrade of the original VHS footage. None of them brought any decent results.
So it was decided to do it frame by frame, removing the German parts in the intro credits (“Produced and Directed by” - “Produktion und Regie”) and cleaning it up. That was possible by programming some clever Photoshop actions and scripts, though led initially to some weird artifacts.
However, it was quite helpful that the digital TV version had a custom-made intro, having different timings and placement of the scrolling text. Therefore, it was in parts possible to “patch” over the credits with blank footage. After that, some very complex retouching and color/levels adjustments were necessary. However, I am quite pleased with the results, and there are only a few artifacts left.

German intertitles

The original intertitles were replaced by German ones, according to the original translations from the VHS. The letter look and spacing were approximated to that of the original German texts.

German typewriter footage

Now that was probably the 2nd main reason for doing this at all. Originally, Kubrick shot different international versions of the typewriter footage, replacing the words “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” with various proverbs in other languages, which would be more or less fitting. The German saying used was “Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen” (Do not hold off for tomorrow what you can get done today).
The footage was in a decent quality from the German digital TV recording, and was already upscaled and cleaned up by Taddäus Tentakel. My job was just to upscale it some more with some of my AVS scripts.
Also an interesting point: the German typewriter footage actually doesn’t sync up to the English (or German 5.1) audio, only to the original German mono.

German footage of Jack at the end

The last shot of the movie was replaced by a German-localized version, having a German inscription on the photograph. This was the last thing I did, as I originally planned to used scaled-up VHS footage. However, after having put so much effort into the intro credits, it would just not do the product justice quality-wise. Therefore, the German text was recreated and the pan down re-done. Also, that German insert did not have the dissolve effect the original version had. The missing of the dissolve was also recreated.

German End Credits

The end credits were done using the German VHS footage and the high-res of 4K UHD which was then scaled down for both the 4:3 and 16:9 version. The German credits had some small differences, adding or moving some names from one title to another. Also they had two cards added, crediting the creator of the German versions and the German dubbing speakers.
Also, the original spelling errors were re-created.

German and English mono audio

The German mono audio was taken from the digital TV version. It had quite a decent quality, too, except in the end credits. This part was replaced by the English mono.
The English mono was taken from the 1st edition of the US version of the 4:3 DVD (it was later replaced by a version without a mono track. Clearly, Leon Vitali seems not to like mono). The audio needed to be conformed to the European version.
Also, the English and German 5.1 Dolby Digital versions are conteined as a bonus.

As stated before, the German mono version actually used different production sound (or foley design) at the typewriter footage, which is conformed to the German version. The German 5.1 and the English track are out of sync in this shots.

  • German and English subtitles
    There are following subtitles available:
  • German
  • German for the Hard of Hearing
  • English Inserts
  • English
  • English for the Hard of Hearing

The subtitles were adapted to the fact that the intertitles and typewriter footage are in German, so they are translated into English via the subtitles (and are removed from the German subtitles, accordingly).

Other little things

Chapters were created for the video using the International BluRay chapters. The names of the chapters are taken from the 2001 4:3 DVD (English and German versions).

Thanks to

pinheadraiser
Taddäus Tentakel
SpaceBlackKnight
pipefan413

MediaInfo

4:3 version:

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16:9 version

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Encoded date                             : UTC 2021-08-04 05:49:40
Writing application                      : mkvmerge v60.0.0 ('Are We Copies?') 64-bit
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Author
Time

Sources:

Eurocut BluRay (2007)

Eurocut Web-DL (4:3)

German 4:3 TV airing. The intro sequence and intertitles have been redone digitally, but it does contain the typewriter scene in good quality.

German VHS (mostly for time reference).

Author
Time
 (Edited)

The Intro Credits

As it is well-known, Kubrick (at least up to and including The Shining) used to do complete localization for credits for his movies. The Shining is no exception in this matter. The entire intro sequence is in German.

I had two sources of German credits. One was the VHS version, the original theatrical sequence was used. Unfortunately, it has a rather bad quality.
Then, the version by TV station ZDF. This has been re-created digitally.

After several attemtps of upscaling VHS footage, I was quite unhappy with the results. Neither the AI approach, nor my AVS filters could produce anything of at least of a decent quality, even after color-correction.

So I decided to take the English footage and rotoscope out the titles that need translation. For that, I broke up the relevant sequences into single frames and edited them one by one.

My first approach was using Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill feature. That worked quite okay, however, it had noticeable flaws at high-contrast areas. Then it tends to produce artefacts which I deemed unacceptable. They are especially visible in motion (see the random piece of rock at “L” in “STANLEY”). But what’s even worse, are the boundaries between the mountains and the sky. That was quite inacceptable.

After that, I had to refine my workflow. The German TV version has proved quite helpful, as the credits are rolling there at different locations and with a different speed. Therefore, I could combine the two footages (albeit after alignment and color correction) in order to cover up the credits in original footage.
As there were still differences in color, brightness etc., I have combined the two approaches. After that, some retouching by hand frame-by-frame still remains though.

Here a video sample I am quite content with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9CjRbTVCas

Screenshot:

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’m intrigued! Could you possibly post the German typewriter footage?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

SilverWook said:

I’m intrigued! Could you possibly post the German typewriter footage?

Why, here some examples.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Status update: front credits are finished! Rather happy with how it turned out.

Author
Time

Thank you a lot for your efforts. The “final cut” should be preserved.

“People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians”

“In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be “replaced” by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.” --George Lucas on March 3, 1988

Author
Time
 (Edited)

By the way, I just became aware that the helicopter sequences were filmed by Greg MacGillivray from “MacGillivray Freeman Films”, the company responsible for a whole load of those nifty IMAX documentaries!

Author
Time

I saw a trailer for one of those docs when I was at the IMAX dome in San Jose to see one of the Star Wars sequels. Just when I was thinking the aerial shots were a lot like The Shining, I saw their credit. 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

Hi! Excellent work, sadly there aren’t localized versions these days! I wonder if there’s an HDTV broadcast of the Spanish version to preserve it too?

Do. Or do not. There is no try…

Author
Time

I decided that I will be restoring not just the 4:3 fullframe version, but also the 16:9 widescreen (as the BluRay has a higher bitrate).

For the title credits, I had to recomposite the entire sequence once again for the correct aspect ratio.

Author
Time

Now, pray, what’s wrong in this picture?

Author
Time

Is the 4:3 HD version available to watch anywhere? I’ve always wanted to see it.

Author
Time

Had some technical issues with sync on the 16:9 version (because of the darnded VC-1 codec).
Seems to work now. 😃

Author
Time

When is the project going to be finished?

Project creator and film enthusiast.

Author
Time

Pretty soon, I guess. Since I actually solved the sync error on the 16:9 version. 😃

Some small but still important things still need to be done, like the right set of subtitles, etc.

Author
Time

That’s great. This has been one of the most anticipated projects ever for me.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Gave it a test watching yesterday.
Everything is quite fine, but the localized last shot (taken from the VHS) turned out to be quite a falloff in quality.
After so much effort in the opening credits, such a shot would be unworthy. Especially when zoomed further in for the 16:9 version.

So I decided to redo it with retouching and keyframe animation.

Author
Time

I found some errors in the German mono audio:

  • Some distortion in the opening sequence
  • After “The End”, a short artifact of the credit music seeps in.

These errors have been fixed and the German audio is added as a separate file (so it can be muxed in or sideloaded during playback).

Author
Time

Apparently the end credits were originally blue as opposed to white. I think you should make the credits blue in your version.

Project creator and film enthusiast.

Author
Time

CloakedDragon97 said:

Apparently the end credits were originally blue as opposed to white. I think you should make the credits blue in your version.

I have no evidence so far that the end credits were blue in the German theatrical version.

Author
Time

And yet another fix for a little oversight by me.

The German theatrical version had a subtitle translation “MORD” when “REDRUM” is shown in the mirror (and revealing “MURDEЯ”). That went unnoticed by me.

I have now provided a separate subtitle file (for 16:9 and the 4:3 versions) with this one insert done via soft UT.