I remember as a teenager seeing South Pacific screened in Todd-AO (70mm film) at the Dominion in London. and I wondered what justice my High-def projector, thrown on to a home 12ft diagonal screen, would do for my nostalgic memories of it.
Already in possession of a standard DVD copy which I thought quite good, I was a bit nervous about ordering an American Bluray version, as I was not sure if it would be playable on a UK Play Station 3. Well it arrived yesterday and I tried it out immediately.
And wow, the presentation brought tears to my eyes. As I watch from a relatively close distance (about 5 metres) the super size projected BluRay image, brings back the original memories of TODD-AO with very sharp images, outstanding sound and vibrant colour. However one scene is not quite up to scratch, particularly the Bloody Mary rendition of Bali-Hai. (The original film used colour filters and blurring of the edges, for setting some of the songs, because, as I once read, it was felt that the huge TODD-AO screen would reduce audience emotional participation).
Nevertheless apart from one scene, most of the rest of the film compensates, and I can honestly say, I have never seen such superb clarity on screen, which feels a bit like Imax in my living room. Yes it is better than standard cinema. Thank you 20th Century Fox for the wonderful film transfer; I look forward to similar treatment of other musicals like The Sound of Music, King and I, and West Side Story.
I have also ordered copies of the American Bluray versions of An American in Paris and Gigi, and I just cant wait for them.