Why on earth they did a good remaster job on this and NOT bother to restore it also .... I'll never know. This is my one of my all time favorite movies. But I do have a different release of this on DVD and I'd much rather watch it - then be reminded that Universal botched this one. There are obvious places in this edition that are SOOO annoying visually - that are not even in the other DVD's - makes me wonder why go to all the trouble to remaster a lesser quality print of the film. *sigh*
UP DATE: January, 2014
Ok, lots of time has past since I initially posted about this DVD. Since then have watched all the copies I have at the moment ...
... here's my STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS.
1.) For God sakes - DO NOT BUY - the 'now out of print' Holiday Inn (Three Disc Collector's Set) disc that is selling - you'll kick yourself until you end up in the hospital for that if you do. IT IS NOT WORTH ... $71.99 (!!!???) .... even with a 'colorized disc'.
If you need a 'quick fix' ... do yourself a favor and buy the 'Special Edition' one for $7.99. (It IS BETTER than the older discs ... - and from what I can presently see ... it's better than the '(Three Disc Collector's Set)'.
Of the three different discs - the 'Special Edition' is the best of the bunch (so far). AND THE PRICE .. IS RIGHT TOO!
Now my 'quibbles' .... if you care to read why I say this.
I have an older disc - a 'two fer' ... of 'Going My Way / Holiday Inn'. It's noticeable less quality than the 'Special Edition' one. The 'Special Edition' says it's 'newly remaster' on the back. Yes - they did 'remaster' ... the picture is better.
BUT ... what they did NOT DO ... with the 'remaster' is FIX TWO MAJOR THINGS ... that sorely need to be DONE RIGHT. (and that means BOTH - the 'Special Edition' and the 'THREE DISC COLLECTORS SET')
1.) FIX THE 'ARTIFACTS' - UNIVERSAL !!! .... THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE VERY FIRST THING THAT WAS DONE ... WITH THE REMASTERING.
There REALLY IS .. NO EXCUSE ... for leaving the 'specs' ... 'dirt' ... bad places in the film anymore. THAT IS JUST JAW DROPPING ... in itself to leave so much bad spots in the film - ESPECIALLY THIS MOVIE TOO ! YES ... it's TIME CONSUMING. I know because I work with audio all the time - BUT THE RESULTS ARE WELL WORTH IT.
2.) Someone REALLY HAS TO FIX ... the 'flickering in the lighting' in the scenes. It's very noticeable - and very annoying. (Yes - it can be done too.)
3.) FIX THE needless 'jitter in a frame' ... get it centered ... and consistent. (very annoying too ... but fixable.)
NOW .... back to this OBSCENE price on the 3 disc set.
Although it's 'novel' that you get a 'new black and white version' ... - you ain't missing a thing here. It does look like someone tried some 'sharpening of the picture' ... BUT ... IT DID NOT HELP ... AT ALL. The picture looks too GRAINY ... and it even boosts the bad places in the film that were NOT fixed to begin with.
IT ALSO LOOKS ... like they tried to make the 'blacks blacker' ... but it's too much. Some scenes now look like it's lost it's definition. When the look at someone wearing a suite ... sometimes it's SO BLACK ... that's all you see - but no more details in the suite at all.
The 'colorized version' is 'just 'ok' at best - ... you WILL NOT LOOSE ANY SLEEP OVER IT ... and here's why ..
Same POOR REMASTERING .... - SAME BAD SPOTS IN THE FILM TOO - even with color added. DO NOT WASTE YOU MONEY ON THESE HACKS THAT ARE TRYING TO SELL THIS ON AMAZON AT .... 72.00 BUCKS ! ... (it's insane). I could live with a pristine black and white .. over a colorized version any day.
NOW ... I have a REAL PROBLEM ... with the guys the colorized this movie too.
The colorization is 'ok'. Some of it does indeed help in some scenes - and I like it. Some of the coloring choices look a bit too 'out of place' at times. Seems someone liked 'burgundy' (I do too) ... but in places it was used ... it does NOT seem to fit. (A quibble I know - but still it doesn't seem to work with the holiday balloons - and some other places.)
BUT THE PEOPLE THAT COLORIZED THIS THING ..... KNEW ... they could fix a lot of the bad places in the film - because there is an 'added feature' on the DVD .... that SHOWS that very thing.
They even show you they have the movie computerized frame by frame. AND IF YOU WATCH IT CAREFULLY .. THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVE THE DIGITAL TOOLS TO MAKE THIS MOVIE PRISTINE.
At the end of the feature - the guy says '... it was an 'intense 6 weeks' ......
Just six weeks huh? ....
My question is 'who did you snow at Universal' to get the work to begin with ? ... I WOULD HAVE MADE SURE ... AND STAKED MY REPUTATION ON MY WORK ... TO GIVE UNIVERSAL ... AND THE FANS OF THIS CLASSIC ... THE MOST IMPRESSIVE THING THEY HAD EVER SEEN IN THEIR LIFE.
(There's no way someone could 'snow me' by telling me ' well .. it was an 'intense' 6 weeks we worked on the film. I work with restoring audio all the time - and six weeks ain't nothing on a major project.)
UNIVERSAL ... you are headed in the RIGHT DIRECTION.
DO THE BASICS ... FIX THE BAD SPOTS in the film ... don't OVER BLACKEN things ... DO NOT OVER SHARPEN ... and make it TOO GRAINY. FIX THE LIGHTING FLICKERING in the film ... AND FIX THE PICTURE JITTER from scene to scene.
(If you have to - go back and do A BETTER TRANSFER ...... and start from scratch ... and THEN BUILD ON THAT ...)
UNIVERSAL ... I am A LONG STANDING CONSUMER ... AND A LONG STANDING FAN .... PLEASE DO US ALL A HUGE FAVOR ... AND DO NOT BE SLOPPY ... NEXT TIME.
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The DVD I got was in excellent condition, but it was Going My Way and Holiday Inn on the same disc. It was also the black and white, not the remastered color version, of the movie. I was hoping the "Special Edition" would be in color.
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