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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Those Redheads From Seattle (3D and 2D) [Blu-ray]

 

(Lewis R. Foster, 1953)

 

 
3-D Blu-rays Reviewed at DVDBeaver:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Pine-Thomas Productions

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:35.263 

Disc Size: 46,173,033,639 bytes

Feature Size: 22,609,938,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.52 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 23rd, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1573 kbps 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1573 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1576 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1576 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary by Film Historians Hillary Hess, Greg Kintz, Jack Theakston and Bob Furmanek
2006 Interview with Rhonda Fleming (8:16)
Before/After Restoration Demo (5:28)

3-channel Stereo Demo (3:00)
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:10)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Newly Restored in HD and 3-D from 2K Scans! A married woman (Agnes Moorehead) takes her four unmarried redheaded daughters (Rhonda Fleming, Teresa Brewer, Cynthia and Kay Bell of The Bell Sisters) to Alaska during the 1898 Gold Rush so they could help their father run his newspaper. The four heroines get work at the saloon owned by Johnny Kisco (Gene Barry). Kathie Edmonds (Fleming) searches for her father s murderer, who may or may not be Kisco. Hollywood veteran Lewis R. Foster directed this wonderful and colorful musical, which was the first ever 3-D musical and the first widescreen film released by Paramount Pictures.

 

 

The Film:

In 1898, in Dawson, Yukon Territory, Johnny Kisco's proposed Klondike Club comes under attack by Vance Edmonds, the publisher of The Daily Breeze newspaper. To silence Vance, Mike Yurkil, Kisco's partner, sets his warehouse on fire, but Vance manages to get the paper out despite the setback. Yurkil then shoots Vance as he is going to mail a letter to his family in Seattle. Later, in Seattle, Mrs. Edmonds and her daughters, redheads Kathie, Pat and Connie, and young blonde Nell read the letter, unaware that Vance has been shot. After Mrs. Edmonds reads that because of financial setbacks, Vance cannot send for them, she decides to pack up her family and go to Dawson anyway. By the time they reach Skagway, Alaska, the women have run out of money but are befriended by song-and-dance man Joe Keenan.

Excerpt fromTCM located HERE

After her husband is killed, a woman (Moorehead) takes her four unmarried daughters to Alaska during the 1898 Gold Rush to help their father, not knowing he is already dead. When the Edmonds women arrive in Skagway, they meet Johnny Kisco, owner of the Klondike Club, whose partner is the one who killed Edmonds, a newspaper publisher.

When the women find out Edmonds is dead and had no money, one becomes a dancer and singer, one becomes a nurse and the other two run the newspaper that was once belonged to their father, trying to run out the owner of the burlesque club. Pat, the singer, falls for Johnny and performs at his club. He is more interested in her sister Kathie, who takes exception to Johnny's ways and decides to wed a more respectable minister.

Johnny departs for Fairbanks to track down his partner, saving him from an avalanche and bringing him back to confess to Edmonds' murder. On the day she's to be married, Kathie, still in her wedding dress, runs to Johnny, realizing she is in love with him.

Excerpt from Wikipedias located HERE

The 3-D world premiere took place on September 23, 1953 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle with the cast in attendance. In their September 26 review, Motion Picture Herald wrote: "The whole story of 3-D to this point might have been a happier one, even a more profitable one, if the process had been premiered with a chorus line instead of lions and tigers close-upped for the customers. But if the process is turned to this kind of use from here on, as would seem inevitable if Hollywood's emulation policy continues in force, the 3-D situation is nothing to despair about by any means."

However, by the end of September, the situation for 3-D exhibition had gotten worse. Both Paramount and Universal-International began offering exhibitors the option of booking their new 3-D films in flat versions instead and theater owners jumped at the opportunity. In the October 17 edition of Harrison's Reports, the editors blasted Paramount on the reasons given for their decision.

REDHEADS had a total of 16,464 domestic bookings but only 345 theaters played it in 3-D. They include the Paramount Theatres in San Francisco, Oakland and Buffalo; Loew's State in New York; the Fox in Spokane, WA; the Princess in Toledo, OH (Theresa Brewer's hometown) and the Hawaii Theatre in Hollywood.

However, when screened in 3-D, Lindon's superb stereo cinematography often fell victim to the ongoing trend of sloppy projection. Variety reported the 3-D "as previewed, was uncomfortable on the eyes." Hollywood Reporter said, "Lionel Lindon's Technicolor photography is excellent, but the 3-D is hard on the eyes."

In his New York Times review, cantankerous Bosley Crowther wrote: "And, as for the 3-D projection - well, it is putting it mildly to say that it is strictly a snare and a delusion and an unspeakable strain on the eyes. At the first showing yesterday morning, the stereoscopic images were out of synchronization most of the time - that is, when they weren't fluctuating between very poor placement of the double images and no double-image at all. This viewer finally settled on looking through the glasses with one eye at a time. A better way might possibly be to look at it with both eyes closed."

Excerpt from Bob Furmanek's 3-D Archive located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, this Kino Lorber Blu-ray package offers both the 3D and 2D (Standard) versions of the film, Those Redheads From Seattle. We will only review the 2D version here.

NOTE: The menu offers the option for both 3-D and 2-D playback, but when this disc is viewed on a regular 2-D monitor and 2-D blu-ray player, the 3-D version button is visible but not accessible -- the "Play Movie" option works only with the 2-D version -- there is nothing wrong with your disc, the specialized encoding merely prevents the 3-D version being incorrectly displayed on a 2-D screen.

 

 

As described in the commentary, this was one of the most difficult restorations with plenty of issues to overcome. It was another labor of love by the team to recover the film to its present state. It was one of the rarest and most requested Golden Age 3-D features, and it was a pivotal film in the demise of 3D. The image shows some heavy, but pleasing, grain, the colors required plenty of work to restore. This, 3D-produced from the start, effort from 1953 featured impressive stereoscopic photography by Lionel Lindon, an Oscar-winning cinematographer. The resulting 1080P image is heavy, and has some softness, but is mostly consistent with a few later sequences shining a bit brighter in terms of detail. The 2-D looks fairly flat, has some teal leaning, and contrast wavers a bit throughout - but it does improve as the film runs to completion.  There are a few speckles and most of the 1080P is pleasing in-motion - transferred in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio.  The Blu-ray provided an appreciated presentation noting all the restoration hurdles circumvented.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Those Redheads From Seattle had a three-channel stereophonic sound which has been restored and we also get the option of a mono track - both in DTS-HD Master Audio at 1573 kbps (16-bit.). Discerning ears will note the separation in the 3.0 channel (which is also offered as a sample in the extras.) The score is credited to Sidney Cutner (part of the music department for Gun Crazy and Rear Window) and Leo Shuken (composer for Preston Sturges' The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels etc.) There were only 5 numbers performed in the film; Teresa Brewer singing Baby, Baby, Baby and Mr. Banjo Man, Guy Mitchell for Chick-a-Boom, a duet by the pair for Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael's I Guess It Was You All the Time, as well as The Bell Sisters singing Take Back Your Gold. The audio is quite good - clean with some depth. Some may find it disproportionately strong in relation to the video. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' - locked.

 

 

Extras :

Premium in terms of supplements is the audio commentary by film historians Hillary Hess, Greg Kintz, Jack Theakston and Bob Furmanek who give a plethora of information regarding the entire production (we learn that John Payne was initially cast in the role of Johnny Kisco but was already committed to starring in, the essential noir, 99 River Street) with detailed discussions educating the listeners on the restoration hurdles with specifics. I found it extremely enlightening and it advanced my appreciation of the film and process. Great job! There is an 8-minute 2006 interview with Rhonda Fleming, a 5-minute 'Before/After' restoration demonstration, the aforementioned 3-channel Stereo demo and an original theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Once again, I was able to watch the 3-D on a friend's system and the effects were, occasionally, impressive. 3D musicals are rare and Those Redheads From Seattle is a lot of fun. Teresa Brewer, kind of, steals the show - even though I'm a big Rhonda Fleming fan. I also liked the snow covered atmosphere... and the numbers were catchy tunes and enthusiastically performed. This type of archival work and production to consumer Blu-ray is very important and many will appreciate the, painstaking, efforts gone through to restore Those Redheads From Seattle. I was thankful to actually see this and those keen on this historical 3-D format should snap it up with glee. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

May 18th, 2017

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze

 

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