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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"The Pink Panther" (1964) blu ray is identical to the earlier anamorphically enhanced
standard DVD released by MGM which was the successor owner of all UA
titles when that studio went bust following the "Heavan's Gate" debacle in 1980.
The exception is the greater pixel count so the image is sharper but the color is
the same. The superimpositions are a bit grainier since digital exagerates the problems
of the duplicating stock back then but the remaining fades and dissolves are
the same generation as the rest of the film because the 35mm Technirama negative
was A & B rolled for printing. It's most noticeable during the animated credits which
are not up the quality of the rest of the movie. In addition, the greater detail of the
blu ray format shows up smudges and dust on the cells. That aside, most of the picture
looks spectacular in high definition. This is one of the movies that made Technicolor
"Glorious" along with the director's "The Great Race". Since a huge negative was
used exposing an 8 sprocket horizontal image in 35mm with a 25 % anamorphic
squeeze, the standard scope reduction prints were very fine grain and colorful.
This is the best looking of the series and it's clear they had a larger budget than
the subsequent features which were all printed at De Luxe. The locations are
very plush as are the Cinecitta sets. Henry Mancini's music is catchy and his
colaboration with the director was one of the great teams in cinema.

As for the movie itself, it's the first 'official' Pink Panther movie...sort of...and by
accident. The original concept was to make a comedy variation of Hitchcock's
"To Catch a Thief" with David Niven playing the same type of role as Cary Grant.
Niven is fine of course. Very charming and debonair as always. Peter Sellers had
the secondary role of the detective tracking him down known as "Inspector Cleauseau".
But as the shooting developed, Seller kept expanding the role and improvising and he
ended up stealing the movie away from Niven to such a degree that when the real
plot keeps resurfacing in every other scene, it comes off as a distraction. Seller's
slapstick routines are hysterical and Blake Edwards does funny variations of the Marx
Brothers bedroom hopping as well as having a lot of the humor appear off screen.
The scenes with Niven attempting to seduce Claudia Cardinale seem to go on forever
and the pay off is weak. Robert Wagner is amiable but his character seems
irrelevant to the story and he could easily been cut out.

So as I watched this film for the first time in a while and compared it to the rest
of the series, I found it entertaining but uneven. The best Cleauseau movie was
actually the second, "A Shot in the Dark", which set up the other re-occuring characters
that would be regulars from then on. It was also an 'accidental' Pink Panther movie in
that Sellers had contracted to make the picture as a standard mystery but hated
the script. He called up Edwards and asked him to direct it and he agreed providing he
could adapt it into another spoof starring the bumbling detective and the rest is history.
If you've seen the later Cleauseau comedies you will miss Herbert Lom as Seller's
frustrated boss who is not in this film, nor is Kato, his karate sparring partner.

The film was reportedly shown in 70mm when it was first relesed in 1964 as well as in
35mm mono Technicolor. If this is accurate, it doesn't sound as if they used the six
track stereo 70mm mix for this 5.1 version. The sound field is very limited although the
bouncy music is helped by the two front channel separation. It sounds as if they mixed
it from the surviving elements from scratch. 70mm mixes were very directional and
lively in the sixties. UA was unusual in that they rarely released films in 35mm stereo
although they did produce some 70mm movies.

Blake Edwards commentary is the same as the standard definition version and is rather
melancholy. The director obviously misses his friends who did not die peacefully. Capucine commited suicide at 59, Niven of Lou Gehrig's disease, Sellers of a heart attack at age 55 and Mancini of cancer at age 70.

He does give a bit of interesting trivia here and there like crew members who did
cameos but his battles with Sellers is barely referenced. The two of them fought
like crazy during the productions but the end results were so good and profitable,
it became their volatile working relationship. He also assumes the viewer is familiar
with Hollywood history so when he refers to "Julie", his wife, you'll know he means Julie Andrews. I'm not sure that is the case.

In summary for the blu ray version: Picture: A-, Sound B, color and cinematography A +,
performances A, screenplay B
 

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Sounds like a worthy purchase Richard. I got one horror classic for you, I believe its called "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake, I think. Its been years since I have seen that. Also, "The Hideous Sun Demon. Saw both of those on Chiller theatre, before the hand!! Also on Supernatural Theater, what memories!!!!!!!!
The Beast from 20,000Fathoms and IT! the Terror from Beyond Space.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Greg,

I saw all of those films on the same program you mentioned although it's
been many decades since I screened them. I'll try to track them down. I
did see "Gorgo" and "The Giant Behemoth" recently which was also shown on
Chiller theater. The Behemoth held up nicely and had those scenes with people
and radiation burns which was still disturbing. Gorgo was disappointing. The
editing and characterization was a bit choppy and rushed although it was the
first time I saw it in color. I was really into monster movies as a kid which is
one of the reasons I ended up making them as a film-maker. Aside from the films
I had all of the Aurora monster monsters on display cluttering up my room. Now
they're cluttering up my livingroom since I re-purchased them on ebay.
 

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Greg,

I saw all of those films on the same program you mentioned although it's
been many decades since I screened them. I'll try to track them down. I
did see "Gorgo" and "The Giant Behemoth" recently which was also shown on
Chiller theater. The Behemoth held up nicely and had those scenes with people
and radiation burns which was still disturbing. Gorgo was disappointing. The
editing and characterization was a bit choppy and rushed although it was the
first time I saw it in color. I was really into monster movies as a kid which is
one of the reasons I ended up making them as a film-maker. Aside from the films
I had all of the Aurora monster monsters on display cluttering up my room. Now
they're cluttering up my livingroom since I re-purchased them on ebay.
Thats excellent. Obviously so was I, a big monster fan thanks to my dad. My first experience was the Lost World.. After I saw that Dinosaur come out of the hot lava pit at the end, I had nightmares that same night!! lol. Second experience was the Hideous Sun Demon. The Giant Behemoth was also a favorite of mine. Saw that more on Supernatural, than Chiller. I`m glad it held up. Sorry to hear about Gorgo though.

Well, if you find them, please let me know. I will have to break the bank and get them for sure. Its good to know some else had a good childhood too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Greg,

I didn't say I had a good childhood. But I did like the movies, comics
and TV shows of the sixties. That's pretty much what I lived for. Glued
to the tube until I got a Super 8 camera and then I started making my
own amateur movies.
 

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Greg,

I didn't say I had a good childhood. But I did like the movies, comics
and TV shows of the sixties. That's pretty much what I lived for. Glued
to the tube until I got a Super 8 camera and then I started making my
own amateur movies.
Okay, I hear you. Well, let me know when and if you find these movies, that would be great. Very good memories. Its too bad you can`t purchase the movies that came on Supernatural and Chiller. Another words, so that you see the opening of both Chiller and Supernatural the way they both opened up on tv, before the movie started. W/O commercials of course.

Though it mighht be humurous to see what those commercials looked like today.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Try Youtube. Last time I looked they had the Chiller theater with the six fingered
hand intro along with the Million Dollar Movie intro you can download.
 

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Try Youtube. Last time I looked they had the Chiller theater with the six fingered
hand intro along with the Million Dollar Movie intro you can download.


That is cool, I will. However, and this will probably make you laugh, I`m looking for the original opening with that woman walking thru the swamp, you know that is the one!!
 

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Haven't seen that one on line anywhere.
Actually, thanks for the You Tube info, they had the original black and white intro and the hand, excellent. Brought back many memories. I don`t normally use you tube, but now I see how much content they have. For instance, I put in Mission Impossible intro, and they had it.

So, when you find those classic horror films, please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I bought the Universal Hammer horror collection. Maybe I'll review it after
watching all of the DVDs. They restored the films to the original uncut
versions. Check out "Curse of the Werewolf". Even by contemporary
standards this is one nasty, sadistical and gory film. Really disturbing.
Completely different than the censored American theatrical version and
heavily cut TV copies. In some cases I used the remote to go back when
I thought...did they really show that? The same applies to "Kiss of the
Vampire" which was not only re-cut for television but Universal filmed
extra scenes to extend the running time.. The original uncut version
is pretty graphic for it's era.
 

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I bought the Universal Hammer horror collection. Maybe I'll review it after
watching all of the DVDs. They restored the films to the original uncut
versions. Check out "Curse of the Werewolf". Even by contemporary
standards this is one nasty, sadistical and gory film. Really disturbing.
Completely different than the censored American theatrical version and
heavily cut TV copies. In some cases I used the remote to go back when
I thought...did they really show that? The same applies to "Kiss of the
Vampire" which was not only re-cut for television but Universal filmed
extra scenes to extend the running time.. The original uncut version
is pretty graphic for it's era.


Sounds good. Real good. Where did you get them? So I can pick them up myself also.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I found it on sale at Borders in Poughkeepsie but it was the last copy. You can
order it Amazon.com which is usually cheaper than purchasing it in a store. And
they ship pretty fast too. I've never had any problems with that on line service
so I recommend it.

Ebay often has sales on older DVDs but sometimes sellers take a long time to ship you
the discs. I have a number of purchases where I had to send email reminders
for them to send them to me and in a couple of cases it took three weeks.
 

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I found it on sale at Borders in Poughkeepsie but it was the last copy. You can
order it Amazon.com which is usually cheaper than purchasing it in a store. And
they ship pretty fast too. I've never had any problems with that on line service
so I recommend it.

Ebay often has sales on older DVDs but sometimes sellers take a long time to ship you
the discs. I have a number of purchases where I had to send email reminders
for them to send them to me and in a couple of cases it took three weeks.
Okay, I`ll check Amazon. For some reason during ourtalks, I assumed these old horror films. Hideous, etc. would be difficult to find. I`ll check once I get back from church, and see what gives.

Thank you very much.
 

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Greg,

Why do you outline my comments and then include them in your response?
I'm just curious.
Outline? I`m not sure I understand the question? You answer me in great detail and focus, as I think I mentioned before. Which is great. But, outside of that, I`m not getting what you are saying. I thought we were just conversing and sharing information, and enjoying talking about what we both love, films and movies?

The Universal Hammer movies, those were the ones with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, right? They were definitely more bloody and sexier with the women, than our black and white classics with Bela, Chaney, and Boris. nOW i did search Amazon for thr Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake. They had it packaged with something called Voodoo Island. But the date said 2005, which is not when that film came out. It has Boris Karloff in Voodoo, but I can not tell if this is the original, or a remake.

So I passed until I can get confirmation.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
What I meant was why did you repeat my comment or review in your post and then
answer as opposed to just answering it? Other people do it as well. Why not just post a response rather than include what is in the thread on each line? Just curious.

Regading the Karloff film what they are probably listing is the release date of the
DVD rather than the date the feature was released theatrically. DVD dates can
get confusing when there are multiple versions and releases of the same film. For
example, when I went into Wal-mart they had both the restored DVD of "The Robe"
(which is recommended) along with the older un-restored DVD of the film which looks
terrible. Same with "West Side Story" the Leone films and other movies which have
bad transfers and excellent transfers. I guess consumers really have to do research
to make sure they get the best copy of many movies and then note what the box art
looks like. In fact I'll try to remember to note that when I do a review and tell everyone
what the new box art looks like so they don't get stuck with an older DVD that stores
are trying to dispose of because of the excess inventory.
 

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What I meant was why did you repeat my comment or review in your post and then
answer as opposed to just answering it? Other people do it as well. Why not just post a response rather than include what is in the thread on each line? Just curious.

Regading the Karloff film what they are probably listing is the release date of the
DVD rather than the date the feature was released theatrically. DVD dates can
get confusing when there are multiple versions and releases of the same film. For
example, when I went into Wal-mart they had both the restored DVD of "The Robe"
(which is recommended) along with the older un-restored DVD of the film which looks
terrible. Same with "West Side Story" the Leone films and other movies which have
bad transfers and excellent transfers. I guess consumers really have to do research
to make sure they get the best copy of many movies and then note what the box art
looks like. In fact I'll try to remember to note that when I do a review and tell everyone
what the new box art looks like so they don't get stuck with an older DVD that stores
are trying to dispose of because of the excess inventory.


Thanks for the heads up. So I`ll buy Jonathan Drake and let you know if thats it, and how the quality is. Wal-Mart, I would never have thought of them. My wife loves Wal-Mart. I for one have never been big on department stores, Macys, Sears, etc. Give me a specialty store anytime.

I now have a reason to shop at Wal-Mart. I definitely must pick up the Robe. Is that were you got the DVD boxed set of the Hammer films? If so, I should try and find everything at Wal-Mart, then order from Amazon if they do not have it.

I didn`t realize I was doing that. At least now I know what your talking about. I`l try not to repeat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think you misuderstood me. I guess what I was referring to is reprinting the
quote at the top of your comment post. Since what I posted is already in the
thread, why put the quote on top of your comment since it's repeated information?
Unless it's doing it automatically on your computer. I see a lot of people doing
it here so I was just wondering why...

In terms of the quality of the Jonathan Drake DVD, that I don't know.
For the lesser known titles it's a real crapshoot. Sometimes they look sensational
like the Universal Hammer films collection. Other times they look awful. It all
depends on the condition of the negative. All pre-1983 Eastmancolor negatives
are faded. Sometimes they can be restored, other times they are too far gone.
The industry worked with unstable film stock for most of it's history. Combine
that with the distributor. Some distributors are restoring their entire library.
Others are just doing the movies they think they can recoup the cost of
for it's DVD release.
 

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I think you misuderstood me. I guess what I was referring to is reprinting the
quote at the top of your comment post. Since what I posted is already in the
thread, why put the quote on top of your comment since it's repeated information?
Unless it's doing it automatically on your computer. I see a lot of people doing
it here so I was just wondering why...

In terms of the quality of the Jonathan Drake DVD, that I don't know.
For the lesser known titles it's a real crapshoot. Sometimes they look sensational
like the Universal Hammer films collection. Other times they look awful. It all
depends on the condition of the negative. All pre-1983 Eastmancolor negatives
are faded. Sometimes they can be restored, other times they are too far gone.
The industry worked with unstable film stock for most of it's history. Combine
that with the distributor. Some distributors are restoring their entire library.
Others are just doing the movies they think they can recoup the cost of


Okay, maybe its the computer, but I`ll watch it. Kool, so I`ll hit Wal-Mart today, and check for all of them, IT The Terror, Hammer, The Giant Behemoth, Jonathan, etc. I`m really surprised that Wal-mart would have this classic stuff. Best Buy, has mostly new stuff, I just assumed Wal_Mart would be like them.
 
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