952 The Magnificent Ambersons

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Big Ben
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#251 Post by Big Ben » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:21 pm

I'm under the impression that The Trial, at least in the US is in the public domain. I saw it maybe ten years ago on a very poor DVD and it's probably my favorite Welles. But I'm unsure if it holds as much public interest as his other works.

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domino harvey
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#252 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:23 pm

Discussion of the Other Side of the Wind moved to its thread

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#253 Post by FrauBlucher » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:16 pm

The Ambersons are on backorder on Criterion's site. December 17 is listed for availability.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#254 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:28 am

I just watched it and oh boy, is it sweet. The stuff inside the Amberson mansion looks phenomenal. There is some softness here and there, but for the most part the detail is excellent. The supplement that discusses the cinematography and the DPs on the film is very interesting and explains why the look varies throughout the film. Fans will be very happy with this release.

Glowingwabbit
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#255 Post by Glowingwabbit » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:51 am

I didn't pick it up this go around (going to wait until the Feb sale), but I rented the dvd from my library. I've only listened to the Rosenbaum/Naremore commentary so far but it's really great and just wanted to recommend checking it out. It's my favorite of their Welles commentaries thus far.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#256 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:40 pm

The supplements are excellent. The history and deconstruction of Welles’ vision is fascinating. But the biggest offense is the ending. If that exact film, without the backstory was made today the critics would kill that ending. It doesn’t work and just shifts the tone so dramatically. It’s too bad. But still love the film.

Looking forward to what CForums’ Welles expert, Mr Ryan, thinks of the release.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#257 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:51 pm

I'm very pleased with how Criterion handled this title, from the transfer and supplements to the package design. I agree that there is some softness at times in the image quality, but the majority of the film looks spectacular. The level of detail is such that I am just now seeing things that I overlooked the (literally) dozens of times I've watched the film before, like the "Amberson Hotel" sign adorning the building in the background of the shot where George strikes the man with his switch while driving his buggy through town. The detail can work against one's suspension of disbelief as well - I can now make out the dolly track covered with carpeting in an attempt to camouflage it as George first enters Mrs. Johnson's house (crew members undoubtedly pulled the carpeting away as the camera continued tracking into the set)!

The supplements go into great depth covering aspects of production that I find fascinating, such as the various cinematographers who were brought in to replace the demoted Stanley Cortez. I was greatly impressed with Christopher Husted's analysis of the original edit's symmetry when it first appeared in the CD liner notes of the re-recording of Bernard Herrmann's score in 1990; that he was able to expand on those notes with a new visual essay is very welcome, and this supplement effectively demonstrates how the 131 minute version was structured without having to go on at great length. I was disappointed with Simon Callow's contribution. While his interview is entertaining and enthusiastic throughout, by the second half he begins indulging in a lot of pat proclamations about Welles not giving a second thought about Ambersons after leaving for Brazil. Callow's increasingly flippant remarks not only contradict existing documentation, but his own published work on the subject. His carelessness is really showing when he states erroneously that principal photography was completed on December 8th, 1941 when it is correctly established elsewhere on the disc that the initial shooting went on well into January, 1942.

Is there another Criterion booklet that has more essays devoted to a film than this one? Molly Haskell's is especially insightful, but I like them all. The design of the booklet is really ingenious: while it will recall a shooting script for most readers, for me it suggested the cutting continuity for the 131 min. edit which, like the booklet, has large "X"'s through all of the pages where footage will be deleted.

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jbeall
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Re: 952 The Magnificent Ambersons

#258 Post by jbeall » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:27 am

The studio-ordered ending aside, I loved this movie. Probably my Criterion release of the year.

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