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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Thing from Another World -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The 1951 version of The Thing was an interesting production for RKO.

    Produced by Howard Hawks, shot by Russell Harlan, and with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin, it was a big deal.

    James Arness, at 6'6", and not quite settling upon a screen name, played the alien creature. He would still occasionally go by Jim Arness, and had gone by James Aurness for a time.

    It would be another few years, until he made his mark as the lead in TV's Gunsmoke.

    With various cuts of the film, anywhere from 87 down to 81 minutes, reconstruction from secondary elements was necessary for Warner Archive's new Blu-ray. While there are many dupe sequences, astute viewers should be able to delineate between dupe footage and the pick-ups for the missing shots and sequences.

    Bottom line, the film looks as good as can, as RKO elements were never kept in the best of shape.

    An extremely important sci-fi film, it belongs in ever serious library, and Warner Archive is to be commended for their work in bringing the film back from the depths.

    Image - 3.5

    Audio - 4.5

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Upgrade from DVD - yes

    Very Highly Recommended

    RAH
     
  2. Message #2 of 19 Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My video image grade is 4.0 considering the history and film element conditions. I'm extremely happy with this BD release. What a great film especially considering its influence on the sci-fi genre. It was basically the first of its kind and came out just before "The Day the Earth Stood Still" back in 1951.

    People who see it today for the first time might be disappointed, but you have to recognize the ground-breaking status in grading this film in fair manner.
     
    Peter Keller, Jimbo64, Jack K and 6 others like this.
  3. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    Good thriller and James Arness did appear in another great one..Them!
     
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  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    A future double feature viewing for me.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yep, glad to have both Them! and The Thing on Blu-ray! Thanks, Warners!
     
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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I had never seen the movie before and just got the new disc. I really enjoyed the movie, and I thought it looked great. Visually, I’d give whats on the disc 4/5, but I’d give it a 5/5 for effort since it’s clear that they did the very best that they possibly could.
     
  7. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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  8. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    It looks like the WB BD was squeezed slightly compared to the DVD.
     
  9. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    But, damn, CAT PEOPLE and its sequel, KING KONG, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1948), OUT OF THE PAST, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (I haven't viewed MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS yet)...these and more look pretty splendid to me. The quality of negative and print storage must have vastly varied from title to title.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Those other films in bold weren't cut either.
     
  11. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    More picture info at the top and a tiny bit less less at the bottom on the Blu-ray.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    No big deal to me!
     
  13. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Ditto
     
  14. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    Squeezed (i.e geometry altered) or just reframed slightly?
     
  15. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Well, KING KONG was based on a reconstruction, albeit from many years ago, and included a bunch of cut scenes that had been reinstated. But the result, while still noticeable, was close to seamless on the latest Blu-ray. Also, I wasn't trying to imply that I didn't get the differences in visual quality between the remastered reissue material (81 minutes) and the recovered 6 minutes. I do. It showed up in my 87-min. super 8mm print from the UK also. I am merely suggesting that each RKO title must have been treated differently in terms of preservation, which is a shame. Probably the locating of cut material and efforts to re-incorporate it into video presentations has been hell on Earth for WB, and maybe that is why we haven't yet had a Blu-ray of THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER from Criterion.
     
  16. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    King Kong was a 35mm nitrate master positive found at the BFI, not a reconstruction.
     
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  17. Douglas_H

    Douglas_H Stunt Coordinator

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    FWIW, I concur with CrawDaddy's image rating & with the rest of his assessment.
    I would add that The Thing was more than just a Sci-Fi film with an intelligent, interesting premise.
    To me it was very reflective of the time in a non-anti-red way & was more so a character study in reacting to the unknown.
    Yeah, in some ways it's a corny 50's Atomic Fear Film, but that is it's essence.

    Like all great Sci-Fi films, it is much more than a Sci-Fi film.
     
  18. Message #18 of 19 Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    kinzoels

    kinzoels Stunt Coordinator

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    just watched the new blu ray of The Thing From Another World. I think a rating of 3 out of 5 stars for quality is fair..I felt the blacks were a just a little strong at times, preferring the grey scale look of the DVD.The jumping in and out of the originally excised footage is somewhat jarring in this respect.The film has been cleaned up of pinholes and such and this helps. The Sound however is another matter... I never heard this film sound so good.All the instruments sound...well. sound like instruments..a true first for this wonderful and imaginative score (DimitriTiomkin) on video. It's a bit sharper than the DVD for sure, but not with a wow factor. One of my favorites of all time..and Ken Tobey was a great guy!!
     
  19. kinzoels

    kinzoels Stunt Coordinator

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    speaking of the score to The Thing From Another World, Film Score Monthly (as I am sure many of you know) released Tiomkins' personal acetates of the entire original soundtrack on CD. A few are even in stereo, and the fidelity is not bad at all. It's great to hear the stuff that was buried under dialog too. Tiomkin was harmonically the most complex (just try singin' some of his melodies) of the great Hollywood movie composers, (Steiner, Rosza, Hermann, Bernstein, Newman etc.) and this is considered a very difficult one to perform as per musical directors of other re-recorded.Suites of it.. I also like to A/B it with Hermanns' The Day The Earth Stood Still, another classic and totally different...If you don't have it, Highly Recommended!!!
     

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