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The Phantom of the Opera (Original) Blu-ray
Posted June 23, 2011 01:58 AM by Webmaster
Milestone Films have revealed that they are preparing a Blu-ray release of the original The Phantom of the Opera (1925-1929). This Blu-ray release, which will be distributed by Image Entertainment and is expected to be available for sale in early October, will feature two complete runs of the 1929 version of the film, as well as a standard definition transfer of the original 1925 edit of the film from a tinted 16mm print. Extras will include set construction and production stills, publicity stills, original advertising art, frames from a stencil-colored French release, and the complete script.
I think there's a misunderstanding. There are *two* different releases of Phantom of the Opera planned for release on Blu-Ray, one by Image Entertainment and one by Milestone Films.
Dave Shepard wrote on the Nitrateville forum:
"This will be Blu-Ray, mastered at Movietone aperture from much better 35mm material than we have ever used before. There will be two complete runs of the 1929 version: one at 24 fps with a new score by the Alloy Orchestra and an optional score on theatre pipe organ by Gaylord Carter, previously issued in monaural but now in stereo from the original master stereo recording; the second run at 20 fps with orchestra/soprano score by Gabriel Thibadeau and an optional new audio essay by Jon Mirsalis. Both runs will include the Technicolor sequence mastered from our 35mm YCM labs negative and hand colored scenes on the opera roof and in the scene of "intolerable heat." The program will also include a standard definition transfer of the original 1925 edit from a tinted 16mm print in the usual deplorable quality but with a superb new score by Frederick Hodges. Extras will include (as still images) set construction and production stills, publicity stills, original advertising art, frames from a stencil-colored French release, and the complete script. "
And then there's another ultimate edition planned by Milestone for 2012 which will contain additional footage and Technicolor sections. This was confirmed by the owner of Milestone Films on Nitrateville:
"Milestone's DVD is out-of-print right now but a BD edition is in the works for next year. There's a few more surprises, hopefully, and reason to have several copies. Congrats to David S. and I'm looking forward to seeing his edition!"
This is what Blu-Ray needs! There's a dearth of Old Hollywood on BD, and 'Phantom' is a wonderful gateway film for the blind-buy generation. It's one of the more watchable 'classic' films that movies buffs yammer about. I mean all of that in a good way.
There are two version coming apparently. David Shepard is from Blackhawk Films. The release and quotes being referred to are for the Blackhawk/Image Entertainment release in October. Milestone has yet to announce a dateor new on specs. So the Blu-Ray.com listing and news should actually be for the Blackhawk release, distributed by Image Entertainment.
I would think it will be a replacement/upgrade of the existing Milestone Films dvd that has both versions on it and is distributed by Image. don't expect two separate bds. just one that has both versions--one in true hd, the other sd only. Image--like they have before--will distribute the Milestone bd.
btw: just sold my OOP Image dvd; will use the $ to pay for the upgrade.
now, that's the way you do it.
At last, we will get a new 24fps transfer. The Milestone DVD was a horrible PAL conversion, and there hasn't been a 24fps transfer from Image/David Shepard since the two-disc Image laserdisc back in 1990 (with the Carter score from the old Blackhawk prints). Sadly, unlike the Kino Keaton features, we don't get the Lee Erwin organ score, which, for my money, was the best accompaniment, available on 16mm from the Griggs-Moviedrome/Essex film club prints, now very hard to obtain.