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  1. Member
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    I never thought I'd see the day when someone would actually make me miss gamemanico, whose incessant ramblings are at least consistent and have some scientific basis, not just "I am open to any discussion but everything people say contradicts what I see with my own eyes."

  2. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    As I stated above, I could not envisage Fox or CBS/Fox not ever re-releasing Cleopatra on home video in the US between 1978 and 1992 even if it was just a re-badged Magnetic Home Video release (which is the date quoted on the net for the longer release).
    Absolutely: "Cleopatra" (at +-180 mins) WAS released by Magnetic Video in North America (as well as the rest of the video consuming world). There is no way it was released in Australia at 180 mins but not USA. This is definitely a point I would dispute firmly with OP: Fox at that time would have only licensed one official cut or print. At the dawn of the VCR age, Magnetic Video was the first (and only) company to think of licensing films for VHS/Beta and selling them to consumers to own. As it happens, the first studio that was willing to take a chance on this concept was Fox, so all initial Magnetic Video offerings were from the Fox library. But Fox hedged its bets: they held back most of the blockbusters, testing the waters with a sampling of high-profile flops and mid-level hits. This generated some nice publicity and a few incremental bucks for disasters like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "Doctor Doolittle", which nobody in their right mind ever wanted to see again but were drawn to rent/buy just because they were among the few films then available on home video. Fox eventually purchased Magnetic Video outright and brought it in-house, changing the name to CBS Fox Video.

    Those first few years, Magnetic Video used a distinctive box art layout of random still from the movie at the top, with a cutout window showing the tape inside below. Many buyers & sellers were confused because they often used a black and white still for a color movie and vice-versa. The transitional MV boxes en route to becoming CBS/Fox featured full-sleeve artwork of the movie poster with no cutout window. Cleopatra was among the first Magnetic Video titles released, and did not gain full-sleeve box art until it was absorbed back into CBS Fox and re-issued (a few years later) under the studio label at the longer running time. The studios lost their minds between 1981-1986 because they couldn't completely control the video market, resulting in a series of counterproductive moves that frustrated distributors, retailers and renters/buyers. Among those moves was withdrawing certain films that hadn't been selling well, including "Cleopatra", which in 1985 still had plenty of brand new unsold Magnetic Video copies sitting in warehouses. Along with several other Magnetic Video pioneers, it wasn't added to the revamped CBS/Fox slate until the excess backlog of Magnetic Video copies had been sold off (which took years).

    The Magnetic Video "shorter" Cleopatra release is hard to find now for the same reasons many of its companion releases are hard to find: age related failure, and collector hoarding. These tapes were never that great quality to begin with, and as sales took off like a rocket they got worse. For a couple years there MV used some really lousy blank tape suppliers like Ampex, which self destructed within a dozen plays and were the bane of video rental shops. The second T60 or L250 tape from the set was especially failure-prone, and extended-play Beta L750 rental cassettes had the life expectancy of a snowball in July. Over the years, most survivors were sold off at flea markets and garage sales. By the time eBay appeared, Magnetic Video cassettes in good condition had become vintage collectibles. Any title that was campy or notorious like "Cleopatra" , "Valley Of The Dolls", "Sound Of Music", "Poseidon Adventure" and "Towering Inferno" largely disappeared from circulation. "Doctor Doolittle" and "The Longest Day" and "Tora Tora Tora" MV tapes pop up on eBay, MV "Cleopatra" does not.

    No nefarious conspiracy to suppress the 192 min cut, no big difference between the NTSC and PAL version. Simply age-related decay and loss, and supply/demand of the surviving copies. Thousands of "Cleopatra" tapes were sold by Magnetic Video, but at $69.00 ($150 adjusted for inflation) most ended up as rental store fodder destroyed by indifferent renters and their garbage tape-eating Fisher By Sanyo or Sanyo BetaMax budget VCRs bought from Sears. Few commercial studio tapes from 30-40 years ago survive today: many that I bought new myself in 1984 and only played a couple times are now junk that instantly clogs video heads. The worst offenders? CBS Fox!
    you just don't know anything about the history of this movie. You think 20th century fox cared about anything? They didn't even know which length to copyright when this movie came to homevideo. They destroyed the negatives of the most expensive film of all time. They couldn't care less, and no, no shorter version was ever released on home video in the US.

  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Earlier today, I was tempted to post a rebuttal to the latest missive sent at my own expense. But other commitments took over and now I am back I see the above. It only goes to show just how ignorant the OP is when it comes to the video release history of this film.

    Some pages ago I mentioned I would hope to visit a store in the not too distant future and even hope to obtain this film on blu ray. Well this was the day and for some time in the store I felt it was not to be my day since all I could locate was a single (assumedly) dvd just with the commentary which is an extra I rarely use. Asking the sales assistant produced what may be the very last copy of the blu ray in that store (complete with all the xtras) which, itself, has almost closed down atleast twice. It is not region-free as is touted on the net but is coded Zone A.B,C which is practically the same thing.

    Later tonight I will afford myself the privilege of watching this. Purely for my own entertainment since nothing that can be written will influence the OP's own opinion.

    PS. I was asked why I was looking for Cleopatra. My response was that it was rather a long story. Almost as long as the film itself
    Last edited by DB83; 18th Sep 2019 at 12:00. Reason: footnote added

  4. Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    you just don't know anything about the history of this movie. You think 20th century fox cared about anything? They didn't even know which length to copyright when this movie came to homevideo. They destroyed the negatives of the most expensive film of all time. They couldn't care less, and no, no shorter version was ever released on home video in the US.
    And with that statement, you finally pulled the trigger on the loaded chamber in this game of Russian Roulette.

    You can argue subjective impressions of what a video looks like, because none of us can see with each others eyes: personal opinion is personal opinion. But you cannot make up your own facts, and expect everyone to go along with you. As I noted earlier, I was actually in the video retail business back when the Magnetic Video Cleopatra was a current product. I handled, sold, and rented many examples of it between 1981-1985. I can assure you the American NTSC release was in fact the second-run theatrical cut you carry on so passionately about, and it was available in North America long before it got anywhere near a PAL version for Australia.

    See picture below of the North American Magnetic Video NTSC VHS tape set (in this case, comprised of two Scotch T120s instead of the typical T120+T60): note the running time listed is 192 mins. That running time is correct for the projected version but not this tape set, which was actually mastered (if you can call it that) from a 16mm syndicated TV broadcast print that omits the title card sequences for Overture, Intermission, and Exit music. Resulting in a probable actual tape screening time of about 184 mins. When converted to PAL for the Australia/NZ/Europe release, that gets sped up 4% resulting in the approx 176 mins running time correction listed on the label/sleeve of your PAL Beta tape. Mystery solved.

    Re your assumptions about Fox Studio: you are simply flat out wrong. Get it thru your head: at the time Magnetic Video launched, it was utterly unprecedented for any movie studio to permit private sales of any of their films in any form on a mass commercialized basis (apart from the limited, failed 1972 Cartrivision rental experiment, which they had stricter control of). Fox was taking an enormous risk licensing 40 films to Magnetic Video, a risk virtually every other studio MV approached turned down. You are seriously misinformed if you think some lackey at Fox just randomly threw some Cleoptara reels at Magnetic Video with no regard for which exact print it was, or that random prints were randomly used for video releases around the world. Fox absolutely made a deliberate decision which print to use, contracts with MV specified it down to the frame, and lawyers/studio heads verified the tapes were made from it. There was one print, period: the 192 min theatrical cut, reduced to 16mm, cropped & edited for syndicated TV broadcast without the additional music segments. No changes were made until Cleopatra was re-released in 1988 as the cropped 246-min "tv premiere" cut under the CBS Fox Home Video umbrella.
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    Last edited by orsetto; 18th Sep 2019 at 17:42.

  5. Great post, Orsetto, but totally pointless. The OP will call you names and will not agree with you. The following old adage perfectly sums up this person:

    "My mind is already made up; don't confuse me with the facts."


  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Another nice write up from orsetto.

    Might I be so bold as to enquire where those images of the Magnetic VHS tapes came from ?

    Might make the OP salivitate. Grow green horns with envy. Bark during a full moon etc.etc.

  7. Somehow made a double post. Sorry. No way to delete, apparently.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 18th Sep 2019 at 14:14. Reason: double post

  8. DB83, the Magnetic Video example pic is from a youTube header.

    johnmeyer: if nothing else, contributing to this thread helped recharge my dormant memories of the Jurassic-era home video industry. Somebody should really write an entertaining book (or at least an MBA cautionary text) about that period, before everyone who was around and involved dies off. The now-forgotten, boneheaded studio shenanigans alone would fill chapters. At one point, they all colluded on conflicting illogical restrictive distribution policies that were nerve-shredding to the majority small-scale retailers (and frustrating/confusing to video consumers) between 1981-1983.

    Had the business not still been booming and demand growing by double digits year after year, and indie horror, porn and Atari games not already become half the product supply, the witless reactionary bungling of the Three Stooges (Fox, Warner, MGM) would have strangled the goose and shoved the golden eggs back up its rear. Fortunately, the industry was diversified enough to run out the clock until those studios were brought to heel. But a lot of their poor decisions then had ramifications that still cause problems today.

  9. To johnmeyer

    Sorry if I didn't make myself clear about stabilization.
    I was not referring to the gate weave which is a clear problem of projection, nor to artifacts like the wobbles in telecine. I used inaccurately the term "flicker", that is another evident artifact of projection. Maybe jitter is a better word. I meant the imperceptible (underlined) oscillation between sharpness and blurness, the subtle variations of light frame after frame due to the mechanical instability of the film that scrolls through the projector. It's difficult to explain, but I think it's a well-known feeling to all those who grew up during the film era. Well, this "breath" - i cannot find a better word - lacks in digital scans and, of course, in DCP. In digital world all is sharp and clean, but this can sometimes be a flaw. Speaking of moving images, in my opinion, not necessarily more perfect or more accurate means better. Someone says "Life is in colour, but black and white is more realistic". But don't get me wrong, I enjoy digital.
    Last edited by robertoferrari; 18th Sep 2019 at 18:08. Reason: misspellings

  10. You're right: there is a little variation in focus from frame to frame because the film isn't perfectly flat when it (almost) comes to rest in the gate for its roughly 1/30 of a second exposure (the rest of the 1/24 second period is when it is being pulled down to the next frame). When film is scanned in a professional Spirit or Cintel scanner, there is no residual movement after it has been advanced into the scanning area: it is held far flatter than in a normal projector.

    However, any variations in the perceived focus of each frame would be pretty subtle. I'm not sure I've ever detected it or, now that you've brought it to my attention, I'm still not sure I've seen it. Compared to the other things changed by the digitization process, this one is, at most, of tertiary importance.

    As for B&W, I absolutely love B&W movies. My all-time favorite movie is B&W. Years ago someone gave me a colorized laserdisc of "Miracle on 34th Street." I had developed a pretty good relationship with the local laserdisc dealer and he let me exchange it for the B&W version.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 18th Sep 2019 at 20:01. Reason: grammar

  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    It has been a long day so I will keep this short.

    I have restricted myself to the first disk and watched the feature and just one short extra. I will say nothing about the visual quality as there is nothing to be said even on my IPS monitor which has not been touched from the day it came out of its box.

    What I would like an opinion of is where is the proper place to put intermission music. My disk has it at the end of the first disk. I understand that the US version has it at the beginning of the second. For me, the natural place is at the end of part one. My only other experience with something like this is the two-tape version of 'The Alamo' - the longer cut - but I'll be darned if I can remember where the intermission music was.

  12. It's been a very long time since I've watched some of my laserdiscs which have intermission music, like "Ben Hur" and "Lawrence of Arabia." Strictly from memory (and I could be very wrong about this), I think they put it at the beginning of the next disc so that it felt somewhat like the overture on the first disc.

  13. The intermission (or entr'acte) music placement at the end of the first disc of the UK Cleopatra BluRay sparked a huge backlash, enough that Fox re-positioned it at the beginning of the second disc of the later USA release. Purists feel it should immediately precede the second part of such films, as the music often segued right into the action and was meant to call people back into the theater and refocus their attention on the screen.

    How well this tradition carries over to home video viewing is open to question: I enjoy them in theater revivals, but rarely sit thru these music intervals at home. Except maybe the ones in "2001: A Space Odyssey": those seem more integral than usual.

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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    See picture below of the North American Magnetic Video NTSC VHS tape set (in this case, comprised of two Scotch T120s instead of the typical T120+T60): note the running time listed is 192 mins. That running time is correct for the projected version but not this tape set, which was actually mastered (if you can call it that) from a 16mm syndicated TV broadcast print that omits the title card sequences for Overture, Intermission, and Exit music. Resulting in a probable actual tape screening time of about 184 mins. When converted to PAL for the Australia/NZ/Europe release, that gets sped up 4% resulting in the approx 176 mins running time correction listed on the label/sleeve of your PAL Beta tape. Mystery solved.
    Please clarify if Magnetic Video did the actual transfer from 16mm film (itself several generations away from the original prints used to show the film in theaters and not color accurate) or did they receive a broadcast videotape (possibly 1" or even U-Matic?) [another loss of correct/original color] from which they created the home video releases [about as far from viewing on the original theater experience as possible].
    Last edited by lingyi; 18th Sep 2019 at 22:06. Reason: Additional info

  15. Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    See picture below of the North American Magnetic Video NTSC VHS tape set (in this case, comprised of two Scotch T120s instead of the typical T120+T60): note the running time listed is 192 mins. That running time is correct for the projected version but not this tape set, which was actually mastered (if you can call it that) from a 16mm syndicated TV broadcast print that omits the title card sequences for Overture, Intermission, and Exit music. Resulting in a probable actual tape screening time of about 184 mins. When converted to PAL for the Australia/NZ/Europe release, that gets sped up 4% resulting in the approx 176 mins running time correction listed on the label/sleeve of your PAL Beta tape. Mystery solved.
    Please clarify if Magnetic Video did the actual transfer from 16mm film (itself several generations away from the original prints used to show the film in theaters and not color accurate) or did they receive a broadcast videotape (possibly 1" or even U-Matic?) [another loss of correct/original color] from which they created the home video releases [about as far from viewing on the original theater experience as possible].
    so 16mm prints and broadcast videotape are innacurate but blu-ray has surgical precision I assume.

  16. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    you just don't know anything about the history of this movie. You think 20th century fox cared about anything? They didn't even know which length to copyright when this movie came to homevideo. They destroyed the negatives of the most expensive film of all time. They couldn't care less, and no, no shorter version was ever released on home video in the US.
    And with that statement, you finally pulled the trigger on the loaded chamber in this game of Russian Roulette.

    You can argue subjective impressions of what a video looks like, because none of us can see with each others eyes: personal opinion is personal opinion. But you cannot make up your own facts, and expect everyone to go along with you. As I noted earlier, I was actually in the video retail business back when the Magnetic Video Cleopatra was a current product. I handled, sold, and rented many examples of it between 1981-1985. I can assure you the American NTSC release was in fact the second-run theatrical cut you carry on so passionately about, and it was available in North America long before it got anywhere near a PAL version for Australia.

    See picture below of the North American Magnetic Video NTSC VHS tape set (in this case, comprised of two Scotch T120s instead of the typical T120+T60): note the running time listed is 192 mins. That running time is correct for the projected version but not this tape set, which was actually mastered (if you can call it that) from a 16mm syndicated TV broadcast print that omits the title card sequences for Overture, Intermission, and Exit music. Resulting in a probable actual tape screening time of about 184 mins. When converted to PAL for the Australia/NZ/Europe release, that gets sped up 4% resulting in the approx 176 mins running time correction listed on the label/sleeve of your PAL Beta tape. Mystery solved.

    Re your assumptions about Fox Studio: you are simply flat out wrong. Get it thru your head: at the time Magnetic Video launched, it was utterly unprecedented for any movie studio to permit private sales of any of their films in any form on a mass commercialized basis (apart from the limited, failed 1972 Cartrivision rental experiment, which they had stricter control of). Fox was taking an enormous risk licensing 40 films to Magnetic Video, a risk virtually every other studio MV approached turned down. You are seriously misinformed if you think some lackey at Fox just randomly threw some Cleoptara reels at Magnetic Video with no regard for which exact print it was, or that random prints were randomly used for video releases around the world. Fox absolutely made a deliberate decision which print to use, contracts with MV specified it down to the frame, and lawyers/studio heads verified the tapes were made from it. There was one print, period: the 192 min theatrical cut, reduced to 16mm, cropped & edited for syndicated TV broadcast without the additional music segments. No changes were made until Cleopatra was re-released in 1988 as the cropped 246-min "tv premiere" cut under the CBS Fox Home Video umbrella.
    so you basically confirmed everything I've been saying, the three hour theatrical version of Cleopatra has never been released anywhere.

  17. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    It has been a long day so I will keep this short.

    I have restricted myself to the first disk and watched the feature and just one short extra. I will say nothing about the visual quality as there is nothing to be said even on my IPS monitor which has not been touched from the day it came out of its box.

    What I would like an opinion of is where is the proper place to put intermission music. My disk has it at the end of the first disk. I understand that the US version has it at the beginning of the second. For me, the natural place is at the end of part one. My only other experience with something like this is the two-tape version of 'The Alamo' - the longer cut - but I'll be darned if I can remember where the intermission music was.
    When was the last time you saw it? And why would that person ask why are you looking for Cleopatra?? Is it THAT weird to want to see this movie? What a tragedy what has happened to this film and so many films now lost. Do you think the footage will ever be found? They found all deleted footage of Caligula but apparently it will never be seen because the Penthouse owners are handling it wrong.

  18. Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Please clarify if Magnetic Video did the actual transfer from 16mm film (itself several generations away from the original prints used to show the film in theaters and not color accurate) or did they receive a broadcast videotape (possibly 1" or even U-Matic?) [another loss of correct/original color] from which they created the home video releases [about as far from viewing on the original theater experience as possible].
    Just going from memory of how bad those first tapes were: they were full of the telltale splicing and fading defects you see with a used 16mm tv print source (which would be greatly reduced if sourced from a 1" or U-matic video print). I'll have to dig thru my basement to find an original Magnetic Video to confirm: pretty sure I kept two or three somewhere for old times sake.

  19. Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    so 16mm prints and broadcast videotape are innacurate but blu-ray has surgical precision I assume.
    You delight in snarkily answering arguments that nobody has made. Not one of the 285 replies to this thread has suggested that. The BluRay is 40 years newer technology made from a 40 years newer print: by default it is an overall better home video experience than the Magnetic Video tape release (on which the jewelry tones and red banners you love are lost in swirling clouds of hideous chroma noise). Perfectionists can and will argue about the BluRay color/contrast, but 99 out of 100 people would rather watch nothing than those old tapes today. Noting there is huge technical image quality improvement in the BluRay doesn't also mean its flawlessly executed or everyone will be satisfied with it. The dvd release of a few years ago is warmer toned, less "restored", and will still look 10x better than the Magnetic Video tape. So if you want warmer, watch the dvd: it looks fine on any reasonable screen size (and stunning compared to any tape version).

    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    so you basically confirmed everything I've been saying, the three hour theatrical version of Cleopatra has never been released anywhere.
    I spent four paragraphs detailing the exact opposite, with photos: it WAS widely available on VHS/Beta for some ten years (minus only the intermission/overture cards). Such a spurious reply cannot be taken as anything but trolling. That's like telling me I said 2+2=9, when I clearly said 2+2=4.

    Don't complain if/when you get that Beta transfer back from UK, and nobody here is willing to help you further with it. Not too many other video forums left around where people still offer technical help: burning this particular bridge wasn't a good idea.
    Last edited by orsetto; 19th Sep 2019 at 01:34.

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    I put the OP on my very short Ignore List (he's the third) and this thread reads and flows SO much better! Seriously, I love the great info about the history of the film and the process/progress from 1978 to now, without the drivel the OP spews!

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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Please clarify if Magnetic Video did the actual transfer from 16mm film (itself several generations away from the original prints used to show the film in theaters and not color accurate) or did they receive a broadcast videotape (possibly 1" or even U-Matic?) [another loss of correct/original color] from which they created the home video releases [about as far from viewing on the original theater experience as possible].
    Just going from memory of how bad those first tapes were: they were full of the telltale splicing and fading defects you see with a used 16mm tv print source (which would be greatly reduced if sourced from a 1" or U-matic video print). I'll have to dig thru my basement to find an original Magnetic Video to confirm: pretty sure I kept two or three somewhere for old times sake.
    Interesting. I ask because I wonder whether Magnetic Video did the film to tape transfer themselves and if so, there had to be a higher quality master tape for duplication. Of course, it would still be from a lower quality film print and severely cropped.

    The reason I mentioned 1" tape is because according to Wikipedia, 1" C-Type tape essentially replaced 2" Quad by 1976 and quality for these early home video releases wasn't a prime concern. And for the film to be in syndication, it seems tape would be an easier method of distribution, especially for foreign markets like Italy.

  22. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Thnx for the replies guys. I will not reply to the OP since he does not deserve any more.

    There is an valid argument to have the intermission music at the start of the second disc as long as the 'intermission' card appears on the first one before the 'insert disk two' (assuming that also appears on the US release) message. These overtures etc. do not really have the same effect as watching a film on the big screen and nothing would really be lost were they removed. But at the end of the day they exist for completeness of how they film was screened (and I also assume they existed on the 2-tape 4+ hour video release)

  23. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Well I found that Youtube link that shows the Magnetic VHS from 1978. The actual yt entry is from this year. Would have been interesting to see if it played any longer than the intro.

  24. Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Interesting. I ask because I wonder whether Magnetic Video did the film to tape transfer themselves and if so, there had to be a higher quality master tape for duplication. Of course, it would still be from a lower quality film print and severely cropped.

    The reason I mentioned 1" tape is because according to Wikipedia, 1" C-Type tape essentially replaced 2" Quad by 1976 and quality for these early home video releases wasn't a prime concern. And for the film to be in syndication, it seems tape would be an easier method of distribution, especially for foreign markets like Italy.
    I've been trying to locate some source of info re exactly what source material Fox gave to Magnetic Video, but so far no luck. The MV tapes were pretty dismal quality, with obvious grunge and grime, color fading, splices, etc. My impression is they were from previously-used 16mm TV syndication prints, but I could well be mistaken. Whatever the originating film prints were, it is unclear if Magnetic Video created their own master tapes from film reels provided by Fox, or Fox provided them with pre-made 1" or U-matic masters (which may also have been previously used in TV station circulation). Back in 1977-79 when these MV tapes first appeared, most people in America owned mediocre 19" or 25" RCA color televisions. The "meh" tapes would have looked fine on those, if not quite as nice on the super-expensive Sony Trinitrons of the day. To be fair to Magnetic Video, there wouldn't have been much point in aiming for premium video quality that few could really see yet.

  25. Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    so 16mm prints and broadcast videotape are innacurate but blu-ray has surgical precision I assume.
    You delight in snarkily answering arguments that nobody has made. Not one of the 285 replies to this thread has suggested that. The BluRay is 40 years newer technology made from a 40 years newer print: by default it is an overall better home video experience than the Magnetic Video tape release (on which the jewelry tones and red banners you love are lost in swirling clouds of hideous chroma noise). Perfectionists can and will argue about the BluRay color/contrast, but 99 out of 100 people would rather watch nothing than those old tapes today. Noting there is huge technical image quality improvement in the BluRay doesn't also mean its flawlessly executed or everyone will be satisfied with it. The dvd release of a few years ago is warmer toned, less "restored", and will still look 10x better than the Magnetic Video tape. So if you want warmer, watch the dvd: it looks fine on any reasonable screen size (and stunning compared to any tape version).

    Originally Posted by LetThemEatCake View Post
    so you basically confirmed everything I've been saying, the three hour theatrical version of Cleopatra has never been released anywhere.
    I spent four paragraphs detailing the exact opposite, with photos: it WAS widely available on VHS/Beta for some ten years (minus only the intermission/overture cards). Such a spurious reply cannot be taken as anything but trolling. That's like telling me I said 2+2=9, when I clearly said 2+2=4.

    Don't complain if/when you get that Beta transfer back from UK, and nobody here is willing to help you further with it. Not too many other video forums left around where people still offer technical help: burning this particular bridge wasn't a good idea.
    the pictures you posted were from the 4 hour double tape that I also found on ebay months ago when I bought the single tape. You have not shown a single American tape of the three hour version. Not one. If your theory that the tape I have is in fact the 4 hour version but sped up hence the smaller running time, then the three hour version has never been released on homevideo and hasn't been since in 60 years.

  26. 1. For the love of Elizabeth Taylor, would you PLEASE knock it the **** off with the excessive quoting? Just say whatever you need to say- we know which posts you're replying to. There are only three of us left chatting here, and that number is rapidly dwindling to zero due your incessant redundant quoting.

    2. Are you blind, or just pretending to be? I posted photos of TWO DIFFERENT tape sets: the top one shows the USA Magnetic Video 1979 VHS tape set with clearly-labeled running time of 192 mins on both the cardboard sleeve and both tape stickers. As explained, the 192 mins printed on the tape is slightly inaccurate because it doesn't factor the removal of theatrical Overture, Entr'acte, and Exit music interludes. So the actual USA NTSC Magnetic Video run time is approx 184 mins. Your beta version is PAL format: PAL conversion from NTSC entails a 4% speedup which results in the slightly shorter playing time of 176 mins printed on your beta tape label. This VHS and your Beta copy are from the exact same cut: yours only runs a bit shorter because the frame rate is sped up 4% for PAL Australia.

    The second tape set below is the more common CBS/Fox VHS HiFi Stereo re-issue of 1988, still cropped to 4:3 from widescreen but from a better source print of the then-reintroduced 246 min cut. Unfortunately this version is also ruined by Macrovision protection flaws. This was only the second release on home video: the Magnetic Video version had been quietly discontinued five years before, but not replaced yet because it was still heavily stocked at distribution warehouses. Eventually this set was supplanted by a letterboxed widescreen update, then laserdisc, dvd and bluray.

    There's nothing left to say about availability or history of the "3-hr theatrical cut" on home video tape. I'm done with that part of the discussion. Believe me or don't.
    Last edited by orsetto; 19th Sep 2019 at 16:27.

  27. Orsetto,

    You are wasting your time. I thought he was a troll, but his last few comments indicate that he may be waiting for Wapner to come on.

    Yeah Wapner ...
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 19th Sep 2019 at 16:04. Reason: spelling

  28. Member
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    Naw...he's waiting for this forum and all other forums to die....ummm...because people don't believe/understand/agree with him??? You oldtimers (I consider my 12+ years here as middle of the road) better enjoy this and the other forums while you can!

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    Back to what really matters.

    Orsetto, I'm particularly interested in whether Magnetic Video did their own film transfers or used tape because of the strange history of one of my personal holy grail films that was first released by them in 1980/1981, Farewell Concert of Cream. This was the first video I ever bought in 1981. It has a strange history. It was recorded on videotape, then transferred to film for theatrical release. I can't really judge how bad the transfer was (from film or tape), because even in its latest Blu-Ray version, it still looks really bad, both video and audio. But it stands a testament to the end of Cream and in a way that era.

    There have been a least a dozen different releases of the film/video over the years and I've owned at least six of them, Beta videotape, Japanese LD (both the full and music only versions), DVD (at least two different releases) and now Blu-Ray. None of these releases contain the full performance of all the songs. Supposedly, a full uncut version of the concert, without any special effects or narration was shown at midnight screenings during late 60's, early '70's. I think I remember seeing a newspaper ad for it, at a local theater that used to show these types of films as part of their cult films midnight showings.

  30. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I am reading these posts in the year 2919 which may approximate the sudden realisation tonight that an hour now only lasts 48 minutes and time has sped up just like a PAL VHS/Beta.

    And it's marvellous how well that quaint digital format that was known as blu ray has survived down these years. Maybe I can find a player capable of playing the second disk or even some kind soul to convert it to a modern form.

    I had my bi-annual eye test earlier today. I was somewhat surprised when my optician told me that a)my sight has not deteriorated and b)I do actually have 20/20 vision despite having a lazy eye for some 60 years and an episode of shingles that hit my right one appr. 10 years ago when I could have lost it. As I told the optician I was quite worried when I was seeing blu sky instead of 'Scottish' fog. (deliberate mis-spelling included)




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