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Le Samourai (1967): Restored FR Master

11 Replies, 8872 Views

Project Info
Le Samourai (1967) is one of the most influential films of all time, being a favorite of both Walter Hill and Quentin Tarantino. Lacking a US BD release, the film is only available in two countries in HD- Japan and France, both without English subtitles.

The restored HD master is DNR'ed, without much trace of grain compared to other Melville films. The color timing is unnaturally cool compared to the DVD and other Melville films. That being said, the familiar Criterion DVD (and also the Rene Chateau DVD) seem too warm and may not be accurate color references.

This preservation adds a grain plate and also removes the blue tint. The overall color grading is primarily based on trailers of Le Samourai and other contemporary Melville films; it still has blue, but the whiteness of highlights is now respected. I included more screenshots than usual, so you get an idea of how this custom looks.

  • FR Remastered BD - regrained and color-corrected to remove teal tint
  • French DTS-HD Master 2.0
  • English

[Image: 1_BD.png]

[Image: 1_CUSTOM.png]

[Image: 2_BD.png]

[Image: 3_BD.png]

[Image: 3_CUSTOM.png]

[Image: 4_BD.png]

[Image: 4_CUSTOM.png]

[Image: 5_BD.png]

[Image: 5_CUSTOM.png]

[Image: 6_BD.png]

[Image: 6_CUSTOM.png]

[Image: 7_BD.png]

[Image: 7_CUSTOM.png]

[Image: 8_BD.png]

[Image: 8_CUSTOM.png]

Project Status
V1 of this project is done. Eighth project completed and released!

Color timing is based on trailers, as well as better releases of contemporary Melville films.

That being said, I may do a V2 if someone has a nice rip of Criterion's HD master. Despite the grain plate, the French HD master still looks pretty rough with fine detail erased. Sad

Final Product
1080p BD25 with PGS English Subtitles
(This post was last modified: 2017-06-09, 01:39 AM by The Aluminum Falcon.)
Also a fav as I love everything Melville. Have the Criterion and can't wait to see this version.

(Also a big influence for John Woo)
There is an old DVD with the correct timing. From René Chateau DVD I think.
Interesting. Anyone have screen caps of said release?
I think you may find rips on a russian tracker, try the different DVDrips listed.

Here you go.
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader
Thanks for the above information, guys. However, after looking at the René Chateau, it honestly looks pretty similar to the Criterion. This concerned me, as it's been pretty much taken established on other forums that the old Criterion transfer went too far to naturalize the palette; in point of fact, it doesn't look like transfers of other Melville films like Army of Shadows or The Red Circle.

Ultimately, I also used the trailer included with one of the releases (can't remember which), which looked far less manipulated to me- blue but not overly so and a healthy amount of contrast.


Good news: The encode is done, and I'll post screen caps in a few days. The video maintains a lot of blue, as with other Melville films, but flesh tones now look accurate with the "blanket tint" being gone.

Bad news: Even after the grain plate and doing some work to bring out the finer details, the limitations of the Blu-Ray master shows, moreso than my previous release of Peeping Tom. Quite frankly, it's DNR'ed to the point that facial textures still look waxy.

Does anyone happen to have a WEB-DL of the iTunes version, which uses the Criterion master? Seeing some samples on FilmStruck, their streaming service, it may be a better starting point.


Either way, I'll upload my first version, using the Blu-Ray master, and, if anyone has a nice copy of the Criterion master, that could serve as a possible V2.
Now available in the usual places!

YMMV on the color grading. The teal tint is now gone, and contrast is healthier. Again, it unfortunately represents a best guess more or less, using only trailers and other Melville films made at the time. The Rene Chateau DVD in motion looks pretty similar to the Criterion DVD, and both just look like old DVD masters to me with the blue sucked out a bit much.

But, the French HD transfer just has too much detail scrubbed out, even in the reissue and the Japanese release. This may be something I would like to redo in the future, possibly using an HD copy of the Criterion DVD master if anyone could oblige. Smile
Glad to see it done.
This looks awesome

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