Third Man On The Mountain
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BEHIND THE SCENES TRIVIA: The movie was filmed entirely on location in Switzerland. Helicopters and mule trains were used to get the gear to the filming spots. Disney arranged for the actors to actually learn to climb in order to make the scenes that involved the actors more realistic. The long shots were usually filmed with doubles, and close range shots involved the real actors. In the case of the close-up shots the crew used movie magic to make the actors to appear high off the ground when they were not. James MacArthur really enjoyed the climbing and disappeared without authorization from the set in order to do some real climbing, which panicked the crew as an accident would delay filming.Read more ›
I worked at the Disney Studios in the 1970's in 16mm film distribution (just prior to the coming of home video). I distributed 16mm prints of this title. A new 16mm print struck at that time had a much better picture quality than the element used to make this current DVD transfer. The main problem is negative dirt. It's like watching a film in a snow storm. The N.Y. reviewer also correctly observed that the color correction was uneven.
Some audiences do not notice these technical flaws. Yet those in the industry have spent decades trying to improve the quality of how to present film product. DVDs are marketed on this very point. After all, what else do studios have to offer but their inventories? If all the Hollywood studios can agree to spend millions of dollars over the years investing in the latest technology, then they must care how to present their work in the best possible light. Or not, apparently.
For over three decades, video equipment has existed that can electronically "clean up" much of the dirt and some of the scratches that show up on video from a poor original source. The best way is to strike a new interpositive from the camera original negative (the original should first be chemically "washed"). You color correct when you make the digital transfer. I have overseen this process many times during my years in the video trarnsfer business. In this way, you will create the absolute best transfer possible. Otherwise, why bother?Read more ›
My advice -don't buy the DVD unless you have no concern for quality. I returned mine and instead watch my old laserdisc (which was, in fact, a better transfer).
Now, the bad news...and the reason I could not give this DVD a full five stars: the DVD transfer is poor. The film print they used is fine considering it's age and generally looks rather good. However, and I don't know this as fact, I strongly suspect that they did not do a new film transfer for this DVD release. I think they used an old 3/4" tape - very likely the same source tape used when they released this film on VHS tape and laserdisc way back when. On the DVD, you can see very slight and subtle analog hits in the tape - the type that don't occur on digital source tapes. Not to mention, the color correction and brightness which someone did an atrocious job with - again, probably when trying to remaster the 3/4" tape rather than a new pristine film transfer which is what should have been done. The color correction is not SO bad (though some of the skin tones look awful), but there are portions of peoples faces that are washed out in certain scenes due to someone incompetent being behind the brightness/contrast controls - did Disney use a summer intern to prepare this DVD release?
I think that someone just threw an old 3/4" tape of this movie into a deck and badly tweaked the colors and brightness/contrast while it was running to DVD - that's it. Easy and cheap and a very sub-standard result.Read more ›
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