Miracle on 34th Street [Blu-ray]
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For not only does the release feature the original black & white version shown in theaters and the circa 1980s colorized version of the same feature film, but also hidden away on the second disc is the curiously titled "20th Century Fox Hour of the Stars: The Miracle on 34th Street," which turns out to be a 46 minute 1950s remake for television that is surprisingly in incredibly good quality.
The inclusion of this feature is indicative of Fox's loving tribute to this family movie gem that is this 2-disc release. Prior to its release the studio had no idea how to market what it considered to be an "unimportant program picture" and stuck it in the middle of its summer schedule with a trailer (shown here as a 5-minute promotional short) that did not feature one single clip from the movie and went at lengths to conceal it's Yuletide theme.
The story is so well known that it hardly bears relating in this review. Suffice to say that it charts the efforts of a man (played in an Academy Award winning performance by British actor Edmund Gwenn) to be legally recognized as Santa Claus, which in fact he is and to persuade a doubting young girl (played by Natalie Wood in a star-turning performance) and a practical realist (played by Maureen O'Hara) that he is indeed Father Christmas. Picked to replace a liquor induced Santa as the Macy's Parade Santa he is a smashing success and indeed Gwenn's performance is so incredible that Natalie Wood really did believe that she was acting opposite Santa Claus.Read more ›
With that said my review will concentrate on the technical issues related to this release rather than the film itself so you can help decide if it is is worth your hard earned cash to upgrade from your current copy, be it VHS or DVD.
Miracle on 34th Street comes to you on a BD25 disc with DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 sound (the original Mono is an option for you purists out there) and a small but pleasing amount of extra features. Mine came in an eco case with no slipcover but has nice color printing on both the cover itself and the disc.
How does the picture quality on this Blu ray disc compare to the most recent DVD release? Simply put, it is a noticeable improvement but won't win any transfer of the year awards. There are NO 'issues' with the transfer other than it being from less than an ideal source. I can not bring myself to believe this was taken from a camera negative, but rather from a previous scan done at a less than ideal resolution. Don't get me wrong, it looks GREAT and at time shows much fine detail and even depth from time to time. It just isn't reaching the heights of 'Casablanca' or 'The Maltese Falcon' to name few older B&W Blu ray titles I own. I have learned over the last few years that the sharpness of the image has very little to do with the age of the film, but rather the condition of the source used for the scan and whether or not that source was the original negative or 2nd or 3rd generation COPY of that negative. I have films from the 30's that are razor sharp but they came from a full restored original negative and it shows.
The picture is clear and free of almost any print damage.Read more ›
I am, however, very disappointed that Amazon has not seen fit to tell the buyer whether or not this film is restored or remastered. They continue to list these movies with minimal information, even after repeated complaints to their "help" center. Come on Amazon....provide the proper information so we can decide if this really is a "new" version or simply one that has been "repackaged".........we DESERVE more info if you expect us to spend our money.....!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my favorite version of this movie. I had to get a DVD being that my VHS tape is just out of date. :)Published 2 days ago by Angela Eaton
I can watch this movie any day of the year. Love it! Gives me a sense of comfort and happiness whenever I watch it.Published 19 days ago by janj64
Arrived quickly and item as described. Good seller! Wonderful movie.Published 1 month ago by Rachael
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