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The Ladykillers 4k Restoration
#1
Firstly I have to admit I've never actually seen the whole film only parts when I was much younger (and probably uninterested) when my parents had it on the TV. Now I'm much older it's one of those titles that I planned to get around to watching at some point, and seems like the perfect time. It sounds like a lot of work has gone into this restoration and I'd love to hear from anyone who has watched the original and/or this version. I'm also happy they've included both 1.37:1 and 1.66:1 aspect ratios.

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The Ladykillers: Studiocanal 4K Restoration

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Ealing Studios’ flawless The Ladykillers, STUDIOCANAL will be releasing the first ever 4k restoration of the 1955 black comedy from the original 3-strip Technicolor negative, showcasing director Alexander Mackendrick’s vision in its full glory.

The Ladykillers features an all-star line-up of the finest comedy actors of the era: Alec Guinness (Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob) plays the gang’s mastermind ‘Professor Marcus’; Cecil Parker (A French Mistress) is Claude otherwise known as ‘Major Courtney’; Peter Sellers (I’m Alright Jack) is Harry aka ‘Mr Robinson’; Herbert Lom (The Pink Panther) is Louis aka ‘Mr Harvey’ and Danny Green (A Kid For Two Farthings) plays One-Round also known as ‘Mr Lawson’.  Jack Warner, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Connor also appear in supporting roles.

As The Ladykillers was the last Technicolor three-strip film shot in the UK, it was crucially important that the original camera negative was used for a restoration that will serve as the best version of the film since its original release. The restoration began with the 4K pin-registered scanning of the original 1950s Technicolor three-strip camera negative. The three strips had to have their colour separations combined to produce the final colour image. One of the biggest issues to overcome was aligning the colour separations together, initially an automated process, but also requiring a huge amount of manual tweaking.

Manual and automated digital restoration was carried out over the aligned images. The film suffered from a few extreme issues such as blue marks in the middle to right hand side of frame throughout the film that had to be removed, there was significant density fluctuation (flicker) that has been corrected as best as possible on a shot by shot basis. Many shots suffered from instability and some sections also suffered from scratching, the worst being a four-minute section including scratches throughout the sequence with up to eight onscreen at a time. In total the film benefitted from over a 1000 hours’ worth of 4K digital restoration.

A 35mm Technicolor print was used as a reference for the colour grade to ensure the new HDR Dolby Vision master stayed true to the films original 1950s ‘Colour by Technicolor’ look.



Link to the above article - http://wearecult.rocks/the-ladykillers-4k-restoration
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#2
Interesting to hear Studiocanal is apparently paying close attention to the colors this time around (though I've never seen this movie, let alone an IB Tech print). A shame they couldn't have done this for past endeavors, like their John Carpenter UHDs.
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#3
I watched this. Thought the results were excellent in terms of color and contrast, and I personally preferred the 1.66 ratio. The previous BD was overly bright, very underwhelming.
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#4
The old BD was, on top of being done on old tech with EE and maganta tinge, based on a 2004 HD scan of an Interneg. Obviously, with the advancements in restoration we have now, scanning the delicate 3 strip negatives was easier now than it was back in the DVD glory days.
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#5
This is on my to-watch list, I'll report back once I've checked it out.
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