Blues and Blacks

The Shane Bluray is “simply astonishing,” Blu-ray.com’s Michael Reuben wrote on 7.30. “Details, densities, black levels, textures and colors are all revelatory. I literally felt that I was seeing a film I had never seen before.

“It’s not just in the obvious scenes, such as the mountain vistas around the Starrett farm. It’s also in the subtler shadows of the day-for-night sequences (what director George Stevens called the ‘Rembrandt lighting’), such as the encounter between Ryker and Joe Starrett after the Fourth of July celebration, where the shadow detail is just sufficient and the shades of black and blue layer over each other in just the right proportions to create the sense of depth and danger that Stevens and dp Loyal Griggs intended.”

  • brenkilco

    Hope this is true. Getting a bit disenchanted with vintage blu rays lately. Picked up the cheap universal blur of Charade and boy was it drab, even allowing for all the diffusion used on Hepburn and Grant. I guess it was better than an upconverted DVD but should I have to guess? Maybe it was an accurate representation of the original film and most of the reviews were positive. So I assume it looked lousy theatrically. Would have appreciated knowing that. Glad I didn’t blow forty bucks on a criterion.

    • Max Stephens

      Have seen Charade on big screen, TV, VHS, DVD, and the Criterion Blu, and the later is much darker and crisper. Found this review: “Criterion’s previous DVD of Charade looked pretty good, but
      this Blu-ray has darker, crisper images and much more detail. Until
      seeing this transfer, I had never noticed that one of the skiers in the
      opening scene is wearing red pants. Reggie’s red coat has richer
      textures and the spangles on a beaded evening gown sparkle. Even the
      small paintings on hotel room walls are much clearer. Charles Lang’s
      beautiful cinematography shines throughout, with the shot of a massive
      tour boat on the Seine at night looking particularly luminous.”

      • brenkilco

        In the eye of the beholder I suppose. The blu has a few nice moments like the rooftop fight but overall its soft and somewhat muddy. IMHO. No blu ray expert. Don’t know a moire from an alias, but I sure expected this to look better.

  • lazarus

    Dear lord, will the posts about this overrated film never end?

    So many Westerns worth talking about over this one. What kind of philistine trashes The Searchers repeatedly yet holds up this bloated fossil as some pinnacle of the genre?

    • Max Stephens

      Agree with Laz. The world seems divided into High Noon/Shane and Searchers/Rio Bravo camps. I’m solidly in the latter.

      • brenkilco

        High toned, middlebrow dramas that happen to be westerns vs. real westerns. No argument. That said, Shane looks great, is interestingly edited and ya gotta love Palance. It’s only its pretentious insistence on being THE great western that grates.

        • hupto

          It’s a western made by people with no real affection for the genre; it’s the same old ranchers-driven-off-their-land plot pumped up with millions of dollars and a self-assigned air of importance. Yes, some of the performances are good, but I just can’t understand the adoration for it. Any George O’Brien “B” is far more entertaining.

  • taikwan

    Looks stunning. Each time I see Alan Ladd in his gear, I also hear the ending.of Shane.