The French Connection Gets a New Blu-ray Release, New Master
Posted March 7, 2012 11:00 PM by Webmaster
Blu-ray.com has been informed that 20th Century Fox Entertainment has issued a new Blu-ray release of director William Friedkin's 5 Oscars winner film, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, The French Connection (1971), which is currently sold exclusively at Best Buy stores across the U.S. Blu-ray.com has also been able to confirm that the new release features a brand new high-definition transfer struck from a new master supervised by director William Friedkin and cinematographer Owen Roizman.
We will have a detailed review of the new Blu-ray release shortly. Stay tuned!
I'm happy to see this get a new transfer, it really needs it. They should even have an exchange program for people who got that first director approved release where they let Friedkin play around with the transfer way too much
This is potentially good news, as the picture quality of the existing blu-ray of The French Connection is far from ideal. It's too bright, too washed out, too lacking in detail and too waxy, with colors that are unnatural and overly-punchy. It also has persistent bleeding and haloing, especially where reds are concerned. In short, colorwise it looks nothing like the dark, realistic and gritty film most fans had come to love.
Yes, Friedkin had supervised the previous blu-ray release but the end result was definitely not the best the film ever looked. As I understand it, cinematographer Owen Roizman had been excluded from involvement with the previous blu-ray.
Here's hoping for a substantial improvement. Perhaps a few more extras will be included, too.
This is good news. But I've never understood the economics of an exclusive release vis a vis a general release. It's not as if Best Buy or any of the other retailers seem to give their exclusives much in the way of advertising and promotion. How does this benefit the distributor economically? Anyone?
They also have the original "Wall Street". Took a quick peek and it is far improved from the original. Now it is worth a purchase, easily besting the far too soft DVD.
Bought the first blu-ray of "The French Connection" despite the bad reviews. Couldn't finish watching it because of how bad it looked, and I like film grain. Hopefully now, I'll be able to enjoy it more.
If you click the link above to go to the new French Connection Blu-ray page on Blu-ray.com, you will see some more info, and also under the picture of the cover click BACK and you can see the back cover which have all the special features listed.
From what I understand, it is only the movie which has the new transfer, not the special features.
wth is going on Mr Friedkin...?
you gave us a" decolorized" version on blu just a while back while that was the way you always wanted it to look,sort of more "documentary"...(even explaining it in the docu!!!)
a outcry was the following over the net...fans hated it(including me)for ruining the original ..as in original how it looked before...wich was allready decolorized...but was about right for the supposed look.
now when i look at the pic above......this is gonna have to be some re-master to have me buying again....in a crisis time like we are in now it 's not obvious people will double dip.....and i personally hate double dipping......
Hopefully justice has been done to this wonderful movie. There are a few titles I wish Fox would revisit. Just to name a few:
Master & Commander
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Die Hard films (I still would like to own the unrated version of Live Free or Die Hard on blu)
HDvision...we know about the "business",but...we ALL hate double dipping,especially in a crisis time like we are in now!
btw...he should have just left the original alone in the first place...just do a new transfer,removing dirt,scratches etc...sigh....i blame George Lucas for other director's start doing "new" stuff to their movies to "improve" the original release...its bad enough Lucas ruined his own legacy....
Just watched it - I can't imagine it looking any better. I never saw the original BD so I can't compare, but the color timing looks perfect and I couldn't detect any digital manipulation. This one should get at LEAST a 4 (and is probably deserving of a 4-1/2 or maybe 5) rating for PQ - except, of course, if that clown Nate Boss from HDD reviews it...then it'll be 3-1/2 tops as usual.
so peterraes, you complain about the original blu transfer but then complain that he is doing something about it and re-releasing it with a new master? Yeah, maybe bit of a crappy double dip but at least he's fixing it... unlike Mr. Lucas...
Why are people talking about "IF" they get it right and "remember, it's FOX"... I had the disc in hand yesterday, watched it, confirmed it along with several other pople... there's no "IF"s and "Maybes" when it's 100% confirmable that the job was done right.
Not to mention the DP worked on the transfer. It's now correct and looks as it always should've.
threefiftyrocket...yeah,at least he is correcting the appaling previous blu,wich is a good thing,granted..i'm just upset about a double dip and more upset about the fact a director these days just changes things.."why fix if it ain't broken"i say...
and as for Mr Lucas...not giving us the original trilogy unaltered...in short....i have NOT and will not buy the saga box set cause of it...and believe me,i am a fan but cannot live with the butchered versions,i rather upscale my non anamorphic unaltered dvd's then buy such a appaling blu set!
sopranogl....the original theatricall was desaturated,and so it appeared on the previous home releases,for the first blu release friedkin didnt feel it was't desatured enough,wanting more the docu..look and toned if down even more untill virtually all color was gone,hence the fans outcry on the web....it does seem now that he saw his mistake and re-did it again putting back some color...for the latest BB exclusive...and according to "retablo" it should now we back in good shape thank goodness.
The initial blu ray release was a disaster and to my regret I had given away my DVD version. The washed out look as Friedkin suppposedly had envisioned was never the version envision by Cinematographer Owen Roizman.
This came out of left field, didn't it? Just bought French Connection and Wall Street from BestBuy.com. Two titles that definitely needed an upgrade. Like someone said above, Fox needs to give us new Patton, Die Hard, Butch Cassidy and Predator upgrades.
Despite all the teeth gnashing, hysteric hair tearing and know it all hissy fits from people who have never seen the film except on video, I can tell you, having seen the film when it was new and in theaters for the first time, and having seen it several times then, I liked it so much, that the original BD disc that everyone was so upset about really did look just like the film looked way back when, when it was new, and I absolutely believe Friedkin that it is the best version available of what he intended. It may not be the version that best suits modern younger tastes. But it really recreated the feel of the film for me.
The problem with the orginal Friedkin The French Connection blu ray release is that there are too many youngsters out there who never saw the movie on the big screen when it was orginally release mouthing off that Friedkin screwed it up.
Hey Kiddies, I was there when it was relased in the theaters and saw it 3 or four times and guess what? The blu ray version that you are bitching about is how it's supposed to look. It is not a video game or Pixar cartoon, it is a gritty, no nonsense in your face move that looks exactly the way we all saw it. Now, you little kiddies go ahead and buy your pumped up color version that was just released to satisfy your cartoon generation and we older more mature movie fans who remember what it looked like in the theaters will stick to the way it actuall looked.
And guess what else, The Godfather Blu Ray that you bitch about is also the way it looked when it was released.
Can some one explain to me how a brand new high-definition transfer struck from a new master can be achieved for 40 year old film? Do they mean a restored or remastered master copy taken from the original negative. Otherwise I cannot see why you would digitally restore the print only to then produce a new print physically and then take a new tranfer from this new print.
You're preaching to the choir, my friend...I've watched this "film" many times on DVD and Blu-ray...now I'm gonna fork over some money for the new version. Both versions look great. W.F. is a master -- now where's "The Hunted"?
@ peterraes I see I see, I'd be a little irritated too, however this is not a movie that I will have to double dip on. I have both this and FCII but seing as I've only watched the blu once since I bought it, no need to double dip for me. I am in the same boat as you with Lucas tho, I refuse to buy the big box until I get what I want with them. Have them all on DVD and I'm fine with that until he makes the UOT available... which will be Never, I know.
I saw The French Connection several times when it was originally released in the theater too...and I applaud Logic for his amazing memory, because most mortals don't have a complete recollection of exactly how a movie looked on the screen over 40 years ago.
If the original BD was EXACTLY the way it was SUPPOSED to look, why is that Friedkin's DP completely disowned that version and wanted nothing to do with it? Let me guess: he forgot what it was SUPPOSED to look like too!
Aside from all the carrying-on over the two versions, has anyone else had a problem finding the newest release at Best Buy? No store in the New Orleans area has it. And it's not available through BB on line.
I love Friedkin's de-colored version. It fits the mood, time, and sound. I was really absorbed by it. I'll check out the new remaster - but that green, green grass doesn't seem to fit in that time or place for me.
I'm really torn between the two because I actually liked the look of the color timed version. However, I'm truly happy that this was restored to its original look. For me both versions can co exist on my shelf.
I just popped in my original BD release of the French Connection, and I must admit that I have more problem with the constant picture noise in it than the colors themselves. I think they look fine. So, I probably won't fork over more money just to see more vibrant colors for this film. The first version does represent the grittiness of the story quite well, like some others have already stated it here.
I figure if I haven't watched to first blu yet, probably going to be quite a while before I'm ready for the remastered one. Watched the dvd set when it came out a decade ago...
Recall the Gene Hackman commentary was one of the dullest things I ever listened to (or started to listen to anyway), part of the reason why I'm much more inclined to skip a commentary just about always.
mrzero27 - The film was intended to have a "documentary" look in 1971. Which means shooting mostly in natural and available light. Which generally yields natural colors. Vivid green grass, when filmed in natural sunlight, appears vividly green.