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 Posted:   Dec 31, 2013 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Looking forward to that sort of ending becoming fashionable again.

I'm afraid this era of movie franchise building that we're in will keep it out of fashion for some time yet: dead heroes don't make for good sequels.

 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2013 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Well now, the question on my lips is which score is the greater - The Blue Max or The Sand Pebbles?

They both represent the pinnacle of Goldsmith's orchestral finesse, in my estimation. The scores are major roadshow era efforts and it damn well shows. I say this without having heard a great many of his works.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2014 - 5:45 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

I saw THE BLUE MAX when it was first released and was surprised to find that it was shown with a magnetic stereo soundtrack because it was fairly unusual for a 35mm print to have a stereo soundtrack in 1966 following initial enthusiasm for stereo in the 1950s. There were a few others, such as VON RYAN's EXPRESS, but not many.

The film was shown in the UK in continous performances, with an intermission, and it was only much later that I learnt it had been given roadshow presentations in the US. Again, it was unusual for a 35mm film to be roadshown although there were, of course, quite a few roadshow 70mm blow-ups around that time. The film never struck me as being important enough for a hard ticket, reserved seat presentation though.

There have been suggestions that the film had some 70mm roadshow presentations in the US but is there any documentary evidence of this?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2014 - 7:43 AM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

I saw THE BLUE MAX when it was first released and was surprised to find that it was shown with a magnetic stereo soundtrack because it was fairly unusual for a 35mm print to have a stereo soundtrack in 1966 following initial enthusiasm for stereo in the 1950s. There were a few others, such as VON RYAN's EXPRESS, but not many.

The film was shown in the UK in continous performances, with an intermission, and it was only much later that I learnt it had been given roadshow presentations in the US. Again, it was unusual for a 35mm film to be roadshown although there were, of course, quite a few roadshow 70mm blow-ups around that time. The film never struck me as being important enough for a hard ticket, reserved seat presentation though.

There have been suggestions that the film had some 70mm roadshow presentations in the US but is there any documentary evidence of this?


The NYC BLUE MAX roadshow was in 35mm CinemaScope. In an unusual move, the venue was a small Manhattan "eastside" cinema rather than one of the huge Times Sq. movie palaces which usually hosted the roadshow attractions during this era. I am not aware of any 70mm presentations.

 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2014 - 8:26 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

There have been suggestions that the film had some 70mm roadshow presentations in the US but is there any documentary evidence of this?

As far as I know, THE BLUE MAX wasn't a roadshow picture. (Joec says it was, but I've never heard of a 70mm blow-up on MAX.)

I also believe that VON RYAN'S EXPRESS was originally a mono movie, but I could be wrong. Trying to find out what 35mm Fox films from the sixties and early seventies had mono prints or 4-track "Mag-Optical" prints is very hard, because only so many stereo prints would be produced and distributed. The majority of prints would be opitical mono. Here's interesting info from Wikipedia:

Fox originally intended CinemaScope films to use magnetic stereo sound only, and although in certain areas, such as Los Angeles and New York City, the vast majority of theaters were equipped for 4-track magnetic sound (4-track magnetic sound achieving nearly 90 percent penetration of theaters in the greater Los Angeles area) the owners of many smaller theaters were dissatisfied with contractually having to install expensive three- or four-track magnetic stereo, and because of the technical nature of sound installations, drive-in theaters had trouble presenting stereophonic sound at all. Due to these conflicts, and because other studios were starting to release anamorphic prints with standard optical soundtracks, Fox revoked their policy of stereo-only presentations in 1957, and added a half-width optical soundtrack, while keeping the magnetic tracks for those theaters that were able to present their films with stereophonic sound. These so-called "mag-optical" prints provided a somewhat sub-standard optical sound and were also expensive to produce. It made little economic sense to supply those theaters which had only mono sound systems with an expensive striped print. Eventually Fox, and others, elected to supply the majority of their prints in standard mono optical sound form, with magnetic striped prints reserved for those theaters capable of playing them.

Magnetic striped prints were expensive to produce; each print cost at least twice as much as a print with a standard optical soundtrack only. Furthermore these striped prints wore out faster than optical prints and caused more problems in use, such as flakes of oxide clogging the replay heads. Due to these problems, and also because many cinemas never installed the necessary playback equipment, magnetic sound prints started to be made in small quantities for "roadshow" screenings only, with the main release using standard mono optical sound prints. As time went by roadshow screenings were increasingly made using 70mm film, and the use of striped 35mm prints declined further. Many CinemaScope films from the 1960s and 1970s were never released in stereo at all. Finally the introduction in 1976 of Dolby Stereo, which provided a similar performance to striped magnetic prints but more reliably and at a far lower cost, caused the 4-track magnetic system to become totally obsolete.


Take the case of PLANET OF THE APES. Shawn Belston (Senior Video President, Library & Tech Services at 20th Century Fox) insists that PLANET was always a mono movie, but there are people out there that swear they saw it in stereo back in 1968, usually around L.A. I've heard from others that lived in New York City in 1968, that PLANET was only shown in mono, and I believe them. I saw it in it's original release, but only in neighborhood theatres on Long Island, where I'm sure, though at the age of nine what would I have known, that it was mono only. The question is then, was 4-track stereo prepared for PLANET and a few MagOptical prints made? Who knows? The issue is now moot because Fox does not have stereo elements from PLANET other than the original 35mm session tapes of the score, which Fox hasn't used for any of its home video releases for PLANET as of yet. The "stereo surround" soundtracks that Fox have used for PLANET have all been from mono sources "stereoized" by, I believe, Chase Productions in Burbank, and this includes the current Blu-ray from 2008.

I continue to be puzzled by what has stereo and what doesn't from Fox. I swear I'm hearing a true stereo soundtrack for BANDOLERO! on all video incarnations of that movie, but APES, the FLINT films, THE DETECTIVE, 100 RIFLES, FANTASTIC VOYAGE and many others all seem to be re-channeled mono. THE BLUE MAX, THE SAND PEBBLES, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY and DOCTOR DOLITTLE are true stereo. Why BANDOLERO! would have rated a stereo soundtrack -- and one that has survived -- is a mystery.

The case with most movies from the '60s and early '70s is pretty much the same from all the major studios, most everything was in mono, and if you're hearing a stereo soundtrack from your DVD or Blu-ray, consider yourself lucky, or more probably, consider it fake stereo.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2014 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Yep, it's odd the way the big studios (esp. Fox) went off stereo in the early sixties. The imdb & my "Wide Screen Movies" book has Planet Of The Apes & The Blue Max as stereo, but both are wrong a lot. I remember The Blue Max was a big release in England, & I saw it in a first run cinema in London's West End, but I can't remember if it was in stereo or not (& I don't really trust anyone who say they can after all these years).

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2014 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Yep, it's odd the way the big studios (esp. Fox) went off stereo in the early sixties. The imdb & my "Wide Screen Movies" book has Planet Of The Apes & The Blue Max as stereo, but both are wrong a lot. I remember The Blue Max was a big release in England, & I saw it in a first run cinema in London's West End, but I can't remember if it was in stereo or not (& I don't really trust anyone who say they can after all these years).

THE BLUE MAX was definitely stereo when I saw it. I spoke to the projectionist, who I knew, afterwards and he also confirmed that it was a magnetic stereo print.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 1, 2014 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)



THE BLUE MAX was definitely stereo when I saw it. I spoke to the projectionist, who I knew, afterwards and he also confirmed that it was a magnetic stereo print.


Well that's good enough for me!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2014 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

The NYC BLUE MAX roadshow was in 35mm CinemaScope. In an unusual move, the venue was a small Manhattan "eastside" cinema

The Sutton on East 57th Street. An "exclusive" engagement but not reserved seat. The picture had its merits, but the score really leaped out on the album. Re-viewing the film years later, I found out why: they cut some of the best music out of the movie. Goldsmith's wonderful "Bridge Duel" is a highlight of his career. The two daredevil pilots try to outdo each other with their fancy flying underneath a stone bridge until one of them makes a fatal mistake. It's a suspenseful scene on its own, but the music, evocative of prancing horses and jousting knights, takes it to a higher level. Imagine my surprise to discover that the music wasn't even in the film. They left only a final "sting" to accompany the crash. I'm reminded of Wyler's intention to omit music from the rowing of the galley slaves in BEN-HUR. Sometimes the filmmaker has no idea how much music can add to a scene.

I believe the celebrated Passacaglia is also truncated in the movie.

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2014 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

And I love the actors, including Peppard. And it has that 1960s 'class struggle and exploitative powers-that-be' thing that's in all those '60s serious war films, like 'Lawrence of Arabia'. It's a story about class struggle, and the aristo way of making heroes and then dismantling them when they've trodden on sacred heights.

And it's the jewel in Jerry's crown.


Thank you! I think you have it pegged. I’ve said this before on another thread, but I enjoyed Peppard’s acting. I thought he well conveyed the character’s disdain for yet pretense of being the equal of if not superior to his squadron mates, class-wise. Seems to me it would be a challenge to play a role that no one is supposed to like. Envious, devious, dishonest, ambitious, willing to screw over his fellow pilots to get what he wants regardless of their fates. You could see the seething anger in his steely eyes. I can’t help but wonder if some Americans were perhaps uncomfortable with the central character of a film being the one whose job it is to kill the good guys of WWI.
Definitely in my top 5 of Goldsmith scores.
Thanks for the Bluray update!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2014 - 10:43 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Jeremy Kemp is very good in it. Anyone in England in the sixties would recognise him from the low budget BBC TV series Z Cars. There's not a lot of actors that have made the jump from TV to big features (in England anyway). He says the only line in the film I can remember, when James Mason presents him with the Blue Max in a ceremony, Mason says something like, it's not much but it's the best Germany can offer, & Kemp replies, thank you uncle. It got a laugh in the cinema.

EDIT I just remembered another actor from that series, Brian Blessed, a quiet guy you may not have noticed himsmile

I wonder if TT will feature the whole Goldsmith score as an extra?

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2014 - 3:08 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

CinemaScope: Ahhhhhhh … Jeremy Kemp! He played a lot of German generals, such as in "The Winds of War" and its sequel "War and Remembrance." Plus didn't he once play Jean-Luc Picard's father? [Edit] And I've come back to note that he turns 79 tomorrow!

As for Brian Blessed, he was wonderful in "Cats"!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2014 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

"Is there anybody in Rome who hasn't been sleeping with my daughter?"

Ah, yes. I had never noticed him before, and not often since. But that role, especially that scene, iss unforgettable..

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2014 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

"Is there anybody in Rome who hasn't been sleeping with my daughter?"

Ah, yes. I had never noticed him before, and not often since. But that role, especially that scene, is unforgettable..

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 2:32 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

"Is there anybody in Rome who hasn't been sleeping with my daughter?"

Ah, yes. I had never noticed him before, and not often since. But that role, especially that scene, is unforgettable..


"GORDON'S ALIVE !!"

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 2:36 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

CinemaScope: Ahhhhhhh … Jeremy Kemp! He played a lot of German generals, such as in "The Winds of War" and its sequel "War and Remembrance." Plus didn't he once play Jean-Luc Picard's father? [Edit] And I've come back to note that he turns 79 tomorrow!


Then there's the actor born to play Germans, the great...Derren Nesbitt. He's in The Blue Max, but most people will remember him from Where Eagles Dare.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 4:54 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Then there's the actor born to play Germans, the great...Derren Nesbitt. He's in The Blue Max, but most people will remember him from Where Eagles Dare.


Did you ever have the feeling that Alan Tracy, Thunderbird puppet was based on him?!

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 7:54 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Did you ever have the feeling that Alan Tracy, Thunderbird puppet was based on him?!

Yeah - but as a doppelganger, only from the opposite side of the square! smile

Edit: My father sat with Nesbitt on the train from London to Stevenage and had a chat - many moons ago.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 7:56 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

"I believe the celebrated Passacaglia is also truncated in the movie. "

That's an understatement--there's more gone than there is THERE.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

The Sutton on East 57th Street. An "exclusive" engagement but not reserved seat.

 
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