Posted by: ckckred | June 1, 2014

What Movie Would You Like To See Receive a Better Restoration for Home Video?

In my review of The Birds, I criticized the paltry condition of Universal’s blu-ray release, which had an erratic playback and sound features.  It’s a movie that deserves a better treatment for viewers.  So today I’m asking what film do you think deserves to be restored?

Besides The Birds2010: The Year We Make Contact really needs to have its current blu-ray release fixed.  While I’m not a fan of the movie, the quality of the DVD distribution is awful and I would like to see a better edition come out.  But what about you?


  1. Apparently a lot of Hitchcock films have had to be restored. Rear window was done to a good standard. I would love to see the original blue lagoon, but it’s impossible to find.

    • I haven’t seen the blu-ray of Rear Window (I watched in on standard definition), but I agree a lot of Hitchcock’s movies need stronger restorations. The ones the Criterion Collection released are great but the films under Universal are mostly not in great condition.

  2. I worked as a restoration specialist (sound), preparing more than 600 films and TV shows for release to DVD. Whether a film is more or less deserving is pretty irrelevant. None of the studios expected there would be any interest in their ordinary titles more than a few years later. It’s just a matter of luck how the original elements got stored. More often than not prior to the 1990s, all the original negatives and sound mags got piled up in warehouses, without temperature control. Every week we would get an assignment, and open the oldest cans and boxes only to confront powder, goo and toxic fumes. You can’t restore that, so you have to go to the next oldest set of elements, dupe negs, interpositives, 16mm library copies, soundtrack albums, or whatever. That’s what determines how good a restoration it’s possible to produce.

    All this stuff got valuable in hindsight, because members of the audience cared, but no one besides a few historians anticipated the general desire for preservation. Motion pictures were regarded to be about as valuable as a good sandwich. The makers took pride in serving them, but expected people to be satisfied after a single consumption.

  3. Good topic. Kurisawa’s Ran is one which really needs a better transfer. Its a film of grand, sweeping landscapes but the colours are so washed out it really lessens the impact. Other movies which I’ve noticed have too much DNR on their Blu-rays are Butch Cassidy and Batman Begins.

    And from what I hear, Spartacus has an atrocious blu-ray.

    • I haven’t seen Spartacus for a long time but as I recall the blu-ray quality was dull. Ran’s another one I need to see again, I own the Criterion release.

  4. I patiently await Blu-Ray releases of Peter Jacksons early films. I wish Arrow Video would pick up Bad Taste especially, but I’ve no idea what the rights situation is with it.

  5. Good question. First film to come to mind is Out of Sight, which I just saw for the first time a couple months ago. It was obvious that it was a very early DVD release, and it looked grainy as hell. It doesn’t look like there is a better version out there either.

    • I still need to see Out of Sight. I put it in my Hulu plus queue and have been meaning to watch it since I read your review.

  6. Well, when I was bingeing on a lot of Gregory Peck films, I wish some of his films would have a decent dvd release. Some of them are in such horrible quality. I’d love to see The Macomber Affair and The Great Sinner be restored properly.

    • Haven’t seen either unfortunately but I know plenty of compiled released tend to suffer because the distributors spend more time collecting the films than properly restore them.

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