Most helpful critical review
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Print Disappointing, But Fine Film
on 4 November 2012
I watched this on DVD on an HD tv recently for the first time in some years and I was shocked and disappointed at the quality of the print and the sound. DVD was sold to us at the turn of the century as the ultimate format and MGM couldn't even bother re-mastering the print and the sound; now those faults are more obvious than before.
The film is one of my all time favourites. It's multi-screen format was not the first, but it wasn't far behind John Frankenheimer's Grand Prix (1966). The direction by Norman Jewison is stylish and innovative and the marvellous soundtrack by Michel Legrand is the icing on the cake. BUT, there are deficiencies in the print qaulity apparent in darkened scenes with a pale green band visible at the sides. The picture during lighter shots varies between good and grainy. The sound is in mono and often sounds 'fluffy' despite the CD sountrack of the film being in stereo. The DVD's length is five minutes shorter than stated officially so there has been an omission of some scenes somewhere along the line. The picture aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and not widescreen (2.35:1). It comes up in 4:3 so I had to expand the picture to fit the screen from my remote.
I'd like to upgrade to the Blu-Ray format, but there is no way of knowing whether the same print has been retained or improved and there is no point in making that investment unless you know that the studio has pulled out the stops and made it the definitive version pictorially. In the meantime, although I am an ardent fan of Amazon shopping, under the Blu-Ray product they list out-of-date reviews of the DVD version going back a decade or more.