"The Quiet Man" standard DVD review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 8 Old 04-21-08, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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"The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

This is a quickie review.

Despite the title, I'll have to say out loud, do not buy any of the various DVD releases of this John
Wayne/Maureen O'Hara classic. It was filmed in three strip Technicolor in Ireland and should look
spectacular. It was fully restored by UCLA from the original negatives so lab mint perfect copies

For inexplicable reasons, they appear to have used the most faded, blotchy, virtually unwatchable
16mm source for the transfer even though it's called a "Special Edition". The sound is fine but the
image horrid. It looks worse than a public domain dupe.

So, if you like John Ford's picture, wait until they master it in standard DVD or high definition DVD
from the UCLA restoration. I will have to say it is literally the worst DVD I have ever screened. I've
seen better prints in syndication on television. It was depressing to sit through since it's a nice picture
and one of Wayne's few romance movies although it does have a great fist fight as the climax.
Wayne and O'Hara were great personal pals and the chemsitry shows on screen.

Last edited by Richard W. Haines; 04-21-08 at 03:25 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-21-08, 05:10 PM
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

Thanks for the heads up on these.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-21-08, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

You're welcome Sonnie. I don't want the other folks on this forums or fans of the movie to get

I guess the good news is that it's been restored.

Another film that was restored (and looks sensational) was "Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd".
Again, UCLA found not the negative but the black and white separations used to make the Super
Cinecolor prints. These were the black and white protection masters (each B&W reel was the densities of one color in silver halides) that is still common for all Eastmancolor negatives since
even low fade stock can fade. The camera negative of the A&C film was lost but they found
the seps in England and made a new color internegative on modern stock which is actually sharper
than the Super Cinecolor originals. Once again, a number of terrible DVD versions of old dupes
are out there. They look horrid, don't buy them. Wait until the UCLA version is released some
day. It's strange since this movie is copyrighted.

Abbott and Costellos's other color film "Jack and the Beanstalk" is PD and all DVDs out there also look terrible and are all cut. It hasn't been restored for the simple reason is that I have the only uncut version of the movie. It's the sole surviving 84 minute cut (actually Lou Costellos' cut before Warner Bros. released it) in mint Super Cinecolor. The reason no one wants to master my print is the PD status. Everyone else will copy it immediately afterwards. If I had the extra money, I'd release it myself in high definition but alas, I dont' and need to utilize my funds for my films. At least it's preserved in my cold storage vault. It took me 15 years to piece together the uncut version from various sources. Very weird looking color but completely unfaded and lab mint.
It was in the orignial cinecolor lab cans when I found it...left in a camera store of all places.
Treasure hunting.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-21-08, 07:20 PM
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

Too bad,... The Quiet Man is one of my all-time favorite films. Richard, you make it sound like my VHS copy of a Japanese copy of who knows what (got it while I was in Okinawa) is better than the DVD

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post #5 of 8 Old 04-21-08, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review


It might well be. I'm sure they'll use the restored UCLA version for blu-ray some day.
So I'll keep a look out for it. It's so strange that when a movie is restored, they sometimes
don't use that for the master. This is a copyrighted movie, not a public domain film. Why
would they use that horrible copy for the DVD special edition?
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-25-08, 11:34 AM
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

Richard you may have summed it up... I can't say for certain, but it makes sense if they are interested in pushing a format (not saying this studio is or isn't) then they wouldn't put a lot of effort into a standard def release. In fact, if someone was more interested in selling the higher priced Bluray versions then it is easy to see them not wanting a pristine SDVD version out there.

That's just some subjective opinions on my part though.

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post #7 of 8 Old 03-19-09, 07:19 AM
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

After watching the standard DVD version of the The Quiet Man, part of my annual St. Patrick's day rituals, I once again was struck by the poor quality of the transfer. I then searched to see if there was a Blu-Ray version released so I could replace this horrible DVD copy. I saw this forum and your notes about a potential Blu-Ray transfer - is there any indication that such a process is underway? While I am glad someone released the DVD version it is truly a shame that the quality is so poor. Is there any way to press for a Blu-Ray release from UCLA? I see the last post here is from 2008 - are we any closer to seeing this film in Blu-Ray?
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-20-09, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "The Quiet Man" standard DVD review

I like the film too but alas, I haven't heard anything about a blu ray release
from the restored UCLA negative much less an improved standard DVD re-issue.
A tragedy really. But at least excellent quality materials exist. Personally, I enjoy
the movie so much I cannot sit through the current DVD. Too depressing.

I will see if there is a Region 2 release of the film from better materials.

Now this is just speculation but I'm guessing that part of the problem might
be that when a third party restores a classic movie (usually because the owner
won't or can't afford to), that third party should be entitled to a percentage
of the revenue derived from it. If the owner or distribtuor won't give them a
percentage of the proceeds, why should the archive give access to the materials
they subsidized for DVD release? There are many archives and institutions that
restore and preserve movies under these conditions. They figure it's more important
to save the film than worry about future legal complications. There's an 'Orphan film'
program the American Film Institute is involved with that preserves movies in instances
where the producing company no longer exists. But who gets the money from
the video release? Until it's worked out, distributors might release substandard
materials because it's all they have access to.

Last edited by Richard W. Haines; 03-21-09 at 07:02 AM.
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