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Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich [Blu-ray]
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Come onboard the magnificent Norwegian square-rigger as it sails its spectacular 17,000 mile journey, manned by a crew of young sailors-in-training, all photographed in the widescreen splendor of Cinemiracle, Cinerama s only true competitor to thrill 1950s audiences by sheer size and clarity. Now digitally remastered in the unique SmileBox curved screen simulation, the color, the music, and the true artistry of this classic are reborn.
Embarking from Oslo, Norway, the ship sets out across the Atlantic with a storm-tossed stop in Madeira, where New Year s festivities entice the young crewmen to enjoy Portuguese musical celebrations and heart racing rides in basket sleds down steep cobblestone streets. After that, it is on to Willemstad, Curacao, where the young sailors take part in Dutch festivities. They catch a courtyard performance of Pablo Casals in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, they re greeted by native steel bands and Calypso singers. By the time they arrive in New York, the Cinemiracle cameras offer a kaleidoscopic treat of color and sound created by famed photographer Arthur Weegee Fellig. A later encounter with the U.S. Navy Task Force makes for a grand promenade of ships, and when underwater shots of frogmen and a submarine emerge from the depths to reveal the Windjammer on the open sea, Cinemiracle becomes the true star of this breathtaking story. Morton Gould s top-notch score, along with a fine variety of music throughout the picture, sounds perfect in Cinemiracle s 7-channel sound recording. Seen digitally, the film hasn t looked and sounded as good since its original theatrical engagements, over 50 years ago.
Bonus Materials Include:
The WINDJAMMER Voyage: A Cinemiracle Adventure (2012) A new documentary by historian Dave Strohmaier on the film s original production - 56 min.
WINDJAMMER Gets a Facelift: Featuring before and after demos on the film's remastering - 13 min.
The WINDJAMMER Breakdown Reel - 14 min. The Christian Radich Today at the Aalbourg Denmark Tall Ships Festival 2010 - 7 min.
WINDJAMMER Trailer: New re-creation from the original 1958 release trailer - 3 min.
WINDJAMMER Behind The Scenes Slideshow: Featuring images of the production, the original exhibition, and original publicity of the film - 9 min.
Cinemiracle Booklet Image Gallery: Facsimile of an original WINDJAMMER Cinemiracle booklet.
Top Customer Reviews
The Windjammer oddysey takes a crew of teenage sailing cadets from Norway on a nine-month voyage across the Atlantic aboard a tall sailing ship with the ever present risks of severe storms, followed by colorful stops in Madeira, then on to the Carribean and Puerto Rico for a concert with renowned cellist, Pablo Casals, followed by a great beach party. Then Cadets experience sailing with a U.S. Navy guided missile frigate. The next stop lands them in New York City where the Christian Radich sails past the Statue of Liberty into the New York harbor, saluted by fireboat water streams. Special effects cinematographer Weegee added unprecedented multi-image kaleidoscope optical effects to the exciting NYC activities of the Cadets.
Sven-Erik Libaek, one of the 16-year-old cadets who starred in the film and was featured playing the renowned Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's A-Minor Piano Concerto with Arthur Fiedler, Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.Read more ›
There were no surviving Cinemiracle prints of "Windjammer" in good shape for this restoration, as there were for "How the West Was Won." One reason - the Eastmancolor stock on which it was filmed has not held up at well as Technicolor. Considering the only print found capable of restoration on a modest budget was 35mm, squeezing all three panel on one film strip, the results are surprising good. Smilebox is nice but I wish, as with "How the West Was Won," a non Smilebox version had been included as well, especially since ALL of the 2nd disc in the set is just a DVD of the Blu-Ray edition. Finally, it would be gratifying to know a part of the profits (if any) from this set will go to a full-scale restoration of the original three-strip elements. The supplementary materials really don't make clear if such a restoration is a possibility. All that's said is that such a restoration would have exceed the budget for this project.
Some have mentioned the film's hokiness. More than 50 years later the film DOES seem hokier than I remembered it - but no more so than most films of the period. The film IS a little choppier than I remembered - and seems more amatuerishly directed.Read more ›
In April of 1958, I traveled via subway from Brooklyn, New York to Manhattan to view a motion picture that was playing at the Roxy theater. No other theaters in New York had the special projection equipment required. This film required three projectors for viewing and three cameras to film it. The process was named Cinemiracle. This was at a time when the motion picture industry was trying to do everything possible to regain the huge audience lost to television. Cinemiracle was a wide-screen technology that came and left within but a few years to be replaced by better and simpler wide-screen methods such as Cinemascope.
The motion picture that I viewed that day would become one of my all time favorites, one that I hardly ever expected to see again due to its complex technology, but one that I did see again, at home, on my own video equipment. And that film was and is “Windjammer, the Voyage of the Christian Radich,” produced by Louis de Rochemont. Though basically a travelogue, the stars of this presentation are: the Christian Radich, the full-rigged three-mast Norwegian sail training ship home-ported in Oslo, the Norwegian crew and trainees, and Norway itself. Amazingly restored by David Strohmaier, a resident of the Los Angeles area, it has taken 58 years for this to happen. David did not do all the work on this but he was the principal technician. The instrumental music is by Morton Gould and the vocals are by several popular songwriters of those days before rock and roll.
Packaging consists of a well-built plastic container containing two DVD’s and a copy of a booklet from the Odeon Theatre in London, one of the rare locations where the movie was shown in the more recent past.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Semi-documentary windjammer experience mixed with 'south pacific' effects . But absolutely worth seeing especially for us that still remember when the film was shown on the cinema... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Tore Strand
My recollection was more action in the version I saw when it was released so this version was more of a travelogue for Norway and other stops along the voyage. Read morePublished 2 months ago by James Alexander
Rather dull but as the only cinemiracle movie its nice to see it restored. Keep up the good work Mr Strohmaier!Published 5 months ago by D. J. W.
Unusual film. It is a 1950's travelogue. It features a training voyage of a Norwegian sailing ship in the North Atlantic. Read morePublished 10 months ago by J
As with many other reviewers watching this brought back memories of when I watched it the first time - with my Dad. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bill B.
I was lucky enough to see most of the Cinerama movies in Hollywood and remember them. I also remember seeing this one advertised but somehow I never made it to the theater. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ronald B. Moore