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Initial post: Dec 14, 2010 1:22:28 PM PST
鍱仙 says:
The blu-ray (from Nov 2009) is missing the 14-minute tribute to Frank Capra that even my old Republic DVD edition has. It also doesn't have a lossless audio track and has just a regular mono track that sounds just like DVD, thus it doesn't take advantage of the blu-ray medium. And to add insult to injury, they added an extra disc that contains the colorized version, adding to the cost and also showing no respect to James Stewart, who hated colorization. I love the film but this BD is a non-purchase for me.

Posted on Dec 25, 2010 7:21:07 PM PST
mao_soup says:
how is the picture on the bw blu ray? Is it the same as the 60th anniversary?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2010 1:51:27 PM PST
keviny01 says:
Both the b/w and colorized version apparently came from the same video source that made the 60th anniversary edition. Screen captures are here: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdcompare/wonderfullife.htm . The blu-ray picture is clean and sharp, but Robert Harris said the picture was artificially and needlessly smoothed and grain-reduced like so many other blu-ray titles of classic films so they would look "clean" to modern viewers.

Posted on Nov 28, 2011 8:00:18 AM PST
L. Mettee says:
Is the black and white in blu-ray? Or maybe I'm technology impaired and blu-ray can't do black and white?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2011 8:41:42 AM PST
keviny01 says:
Both the B/W and colorized versions are on blu-ray. Each on a separate disc. This is a two-disc set.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 10:21:20 AM PST
Why the heck didn't they port over the only other produced extra for this title:"A Personal Remembrance" - A special tribute to Frank Capra narrated by his son Frank Capra Jr.? This would seem like a no-brainer!

Posted on Dec 3, 2011 10:44:35 PM PST
Jrnyvoice says:
Is the blu-ray an actual frame by frame digital transfer from the original master print? Does anyone know?

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 11:22:51 AM PST
keviny01 says:
If you mean a 4K (or higher) scan of film elements specifically for this blu-ray, then this is most certainly is not it, because the picture quality of this blu-ray is simply not as good. If it were a brand new 4k or 8k scan, you would certainly notice it, such as the blu-rays for It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Gone with the Wind, Wizard of Oz, Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur. Most likely the blu-ray for It's a Wonderful Life was made from the same HD transfer that produced the 2006 standard-def DVD edition.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011 5:10:49 PM PST
Jrnyvoice says:
How depressing is that. And they are charging more for this why?

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 5:34:37 PM PST
keviny01 says:
Charging more for the extra disc that has the colorized version, apparently. Christmas is around the corner so, sadly, I'm afraid this BD will sell very well.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2011 5:41:10 PM PST
Jrnyvoice says:
Yeah, I hear you. Hopefully people read the reviews in depth...but doubt they dig too deep. I have a solid DVD collection, so to see this happen and not have all the previous extras and a new 4-8K transfer......well it is a glorious money grab IMHO.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2011 6:53:28 PM PST
Don Dilbeck says:
Much, much better quality in Blu-ray!

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 9:41:36 PM PDT
James says:
I bought the blu-ray and found it stunning. Perhaps there's been another remaster? If you google "High Def Digest" and go to their review of the picture quality, which they do after the general review, they give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and they are pretty trustworthy and picky about video quality on blu-ray; I've never viewed a 4-or-above star rated blu ray from them and found it anything but beautiful.

Can't help thinking this transfer is getting a bad rap in this thread. To my eyes, it's one of my best looking black-and-white blu-rays, and I have quite a few of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 12:30:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 12:34:23 PM PDT
keviny01 says:
Yes, the Blu-ray got a lot of positive reviews, but one of the most authoritative voices on the matter, Robert Harris, who was the film restoration expert for Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, and others, wrote here that the Blu-ray is "assuredly NOT recommended": http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/294790/a-few-words-about-its-a-wonderful-life-in-blu-ray

His reason is that the Blu-ray was "transferred, processed, grain reduced, sharpened -- to give it that wonderful Christmas tinsel look -- and then compressed by someone who apparently has no idea what they're doing." In short, it doesn't look like film; it looks like video. For regular consumers that may not be a deal-breaker, but those who (a) have seen old movies in theaters and know what old movies should REALLY look, and (b) have a large screen TV that can offer film-like viewing ONLY IF the Blu-ray transfer is done right - know what Mr. Harris meant exactly. The squeaky-clean screen captures at DVDBeaver bear out Mr. Harris's opinion. They still look pretty good as still photos, but if you see them in motion, and if you HAVE seen old movies in theaters, you will notice that is not the way it should look.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 6:03:25 AM PST
ttg says:
So, what is the "best-looking" version to buy? My mom has a new 55 inch flat screen and Blu-ray and I wanted to get her the sharpest, yet authentic-looking version for Christmas. Is the 60th anniversary version the best (also because it includes the missing Frank Capra tribute)? Is it any better/crisper than the older DVD version? Thanks!

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 8:10:54 AM PST
keviny01 says:
The "best-looking" is still the Blu-ray, but it isn't as good as a Blu-ray should be. Many people like myself are avoiding it because of this, on the chance that they may release a better Blu-ray in the future.

The next best is the 2007 DVD edition: It's A Wonderful Life (Two-Disc Collector's Set) . It has the Frank Capra tribute, plus the half-hour 1990 making-of documentary hosted by Tom Bosley.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2012 6:32:46 PM PST
ttg says:
Thanks! Very helpful!
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Participants:  9
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  Dec 14, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 3, 2012

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It's a Wonderful Life (Original Uncut Version) [VHS]
It's a Wonderful Life (Original Uncut Version) [VHS] by James Stewart (VHS Tape)
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