Director William Friedkin has confirmed via his Facebook page that Warner Brothers is planning to release Sorcerer (1977) on Blu-ray in 2014. Paramount Pictures will also bring the film to U.S. theaters. The preliminary street date for the Blu-ray release is April 14th.
Synopsis: Set on the edge of a South American jungle, a desperate four-man team, led by Roy Scheider, must transport a volatile cargo of nitroglycerine over 200 miles of treacherous terrain in order to stop a potentially disastrous oil fire. Featuring a beautiful soundtrack by Tangerine Dream. Also starring Francisco Rabal, Amidou, Bruno Cremer, Ramon Bieri, and Joe Spinell.
It's about time. The SORCERER DVD is a pan-n-scan rip-off so, I could not force myself to shell out the cash for it when it was released in 2005. So glad to finally see a release date. I will definitely be seeing the theater release before buying the Blu-ray. A flop in it's day thanks to films like STAR WARS and ROCKY, This film may break even yet.
Just to clarify, the DVD is not pan & scan...the movie wasn't shot in widescreen, it was shot open matte. (For anyone who doesn't understand, it was shot in fullscreen 1:33:1 aspect ratio & matted to either 1:66:1 or 1:85:1 for theatrical release). I hope they include both options for the blu ray release.
Gerby - you are correct that the movie was shot open matte. However the DVD IS pan & scan. On a now closed blog, a collector used a screen shot from the movie where the originally picked drivers are being spoken to by the foreman. The DVD completely eliminates the driver (on the right) who is murdered by the man who ends up with Roy Scheider's character, whereas the 35mm screen cap from an original print shows all four drivers and the foreman all within the frame.
I saw the trailer for this at the Coronet theater in San Francisco while waiting to view Star Wars. The soundtrack for Sorcerer sounded awesome with the audio set up the Coronet used at the time. I have The Wages Of Fear blu-ray, a great movie.
Looking forward to this. The first and only time I saw Sorcerer was when it was first released, in a drive-in theater (might have been the last film I saw in a drive in). My date didn't like it, I did. One thing I still remember is the score by Tangerine Dream; talk about setting the mood. I'm really curious to see how I'll feel about it now.
Perfect timing: just finished reading the Friedkin biography. Saw it in the theater TWICE when first released. Bought the laserdisc and saw it AGAIN in the theater for a Friedkin Q&A in San Francisco. So... I win. Can't fuckin' wait!
Only Criterion could do justice with this "hard to transfer to home video" release. Hoping Warner will continue (like Universal) to release this in the director's preferred 1.33 aspect ratio. I like how Friedkin said it added to the claustrophobia. This is not a pan and scan issue. I am hoping Warner does NOT use DNR to remove all that film grain and hoping they allow Friedkin to supervise the transfer. Strange Warner is releasing this when it was owned by Universal at one time. I know Warner is putting out Paramount catalog titles, not sure of Universal catalog titles.
Gerby - no pan, he is simply cut off the side of the image. But if you get a chance to see this in the theaters, he is definitely in the shot (based on the frame blow-up I referred to earlier). I' guessing the DVD was scanned from a print, but mastered through a hard-matte telecine and blown up for the DVD master.
Been wanting to see this for a long time. I hope seeing this first won't ruin WAGES OF FEAR for me, as I still haven't gotten to that either. I know it's usually better to see the original classic first, but with it's cinematography and the Tangerine Dream score, as well as my feeling Friedkin is still in his prime here, this just seems so much more to my taste right now.