The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (TGTBATU) is my favorite film of all time and over the weekend I had a desire to watch the old International Cut/US Theatrical Cut. So, I popped in the 98 DVD and as I was watching, I lamented the fact it wasn't in HD.
So I decided to assemble the IC/TC so I could watch it in HD. I pulled out my old work, re-cutting the 4K to the IC/TC while re-grading to the Mondo's (the Italian Blu-ray restoration) colors. I wanted to use the 4K since it had the best detail and grain but in getting out the old files, I remember why I abandoned it. The 4K's picture is bad all around. Its not just the colors but the contrast, gamma, shadows, highlights....basically everything. So I went back to the Mondo and decided to use that as the main source. Although it has less detail then the 4K, the colors are vastly superior. The hard part, the audio, was already taken care by thehutt on the OT. He took his 4K mono soundtrack and synced it to the Mondo. The gave me an audio base to work with.
There is one problem. What cut represents the IC/TC? The 98 DVD/LD is itself a restoration of the film. Lil Brutto (Fanres' TGTBATU expert) found out in fact the 93 LD cut is in fact the truest version of the IC/TC. So what I did was create 3 versions of the movie:
The Long Version - This is basically the entire movie sans the Italian parts that had to be re-dubbed into English for the most current restoration. The one difference is I kept all the Italian parts that didn't have dubbing which includes the Union general's extra moans, the longer dynamite on the bridge scene and Blondie's chewing on his cigar while waiting for the bridge to blow up.
The 98 DVD/LD Version - Same as the Long Version in removing the Italian only parts and removing the general, dynamite and cigar parts so it better matches the 98 DVD.
I did keep the extra shot of Blondie holstering his gun since Lil Brutto confirmed it was on the LD and accidentally left off the DVD master. I also left in the "flip cut" transition from Tuco talking to Blondie to being hung. That was not in the 98 version but in original prints. I also noticed a bit that was in the Mondo and 93 LD but missing from the 98 and 4K. There is a fade in/fade out at the missionary from when Blondie passes out and Tuco is bringing him water. Its meant to better show the passage of time. I made to choice to leave that is vs restoring the hard cut that the 98 and 4K have.
The 93 LD Version - This is the version that Lil Brutto confirms is the "truest" IC/TC. Its shorter then the 98 version, missing shots here and there. For example, close-ups of the bandits in the beginning, shots of Angel Eyes eating, shots from Tuco's gang sneaking up the stairs, shots from the Blondie hanging scene, shots from Tuco's bath, etc.
(I'll follow up this post with a cut list for each version)
So the goal it to quickly throw together the 93 IC/TC using the Mondo, 4K and old Extended Edition BD and have it be a stop gap till the better TGTBATU project is released.
The Italian transfer from the Mondo BD cut down to sync with the 1993 laserdisc of the International/US Theatrical cut. Additional parts from the US 4K and older Extended Edition BD.
The PCM mono from the 1993 laserdisc in PCM 2.0 format.
MKV compatible within the spec for a 25GB BD
Lil Brutto: for information on the various cuts and additional soundtracks
thehutt: for his original English audio sync to the Mondo.
Chewtobacco: for advice and additional video