Oz is likely will be among the first waves of movies released in high-def.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Allan, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Allan

    Allan Guest

    Delivers two special editions of restored classic
    By Scott Hettrick 7/7/2005

    JULY 8 | Warner Home Video will release two new special editions of
    The Wizard of Oz on Oct. 25, offering the first new restoration and
    new bonus features in 12 years.

    Warner restored the film using its proprietary digital
    Ultra-Resolution technology process. Used on such recent releases as
    last year's Gone With the Wind, Ultra-Resolution presents such an
    improved visual and color clarity that WHV senior VP classic catalog
    George Feltenstein said he noticed for the first time that the
    Scarecrow's face make-up is actually burlap.

    This new restoration has been created with high-definition
    presentation in mind. Although Warner has not named the title to be
    one of its first batch of high-def DVD this fall--when it plans to
    introduce the first releases on HD DVD, the studio's preferred
    high-def disc format of the two incompatible options hoping to secure
    the market--Feltenstein said Oz likely will be among the first waves
    of movies released in high-def.

    The Oscar-winning score and soundtrack also has been enhanced and
    remastered for a new 5.1-channel stereo audio track, creating more
    separation from the two microphones used to record some of the music.
    The original mono track will be an option on the disc, however.

    Two versions of the DVD will be released with different sleeve art for
    the two-disc special edition and the three-disc collector's edition.

    The three-disc edition, with 13 hours of bonus features, including
    more than five hours of new extras, features a new documentary about
    creator L. Frank Baum and the entire 1925 silent feature film version
    of The Wizard of Oz, starring Oliver Hardy as the Tin Man. The silent
    version has been restored from 35mm nitrate, with a new score recorded
    by Robert Israel.

    Feltenstein estimates that about 20 million copies of Oz have been
    sold collectively of the multiple VHS and Betamax editions, three
    laserdisc editions and the two previous DVD editions since the initial
    VHS release in 1980 as one of MGM Home Entertainment's first group of
    home video titles. That first VHS edition used an original theatrical
    release print. The studio reissued the movie on video in a 50th
    anniversary edition in 1989, using a transfer from a rare Technicolor
    print found in the basement of CBS.

    In 1993, MGM released The Ultimate Oz set, which featured the film
    transferred from a new interpositive from the original negative and
    hours of bonus features presented in their entirety on a laserdisc
    set. But that edition has registration problems with colors out of
    alignment causing a fuzziness and hosting in some scenes.

    That same film element was used for the edition that MGM released in
    1997 for one of its first DVDs, which had none of the bonus features
    from The Ultimate Oz, and again on the 1999 DVD release from Warner,
    which had then taken over the MGM library. That current release
    includes all of the bonus features from the 1993 laserdisc.

    No doubt many of the 20 million copies have been sold to the same
    customers who keep upgrading their collection. Warner is hoping that
    will be the case again with this new edition, but Feltenstein points
    out that there are more than 70 million DVD households and therefore
    plenty of room for additional sales to new first-time customers.


    "Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game
    because they almost always turn out to be -- or to be indistinguishable from
    -- self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
    - Neil Stephenson, _Cryptonomicon_
    Allan, Jul 11, 2005
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