REAR WINDOW - BD50 - R0 - Checkdisc date 27th July 2012 Length 01:52:25 / VC-1 / DTS-HD MA 2 Ch. 48kHz / Confirmed AR 1.66:1
These are my rough viewing notes about the technical quality of the *UK* Blu-ray:
Upshot: Will this impress the average punter? Very much. Will this impress the discerning enthusiast? It should do. It’s really terrific.
According to Robert Harris, the film’s restorer, REAR WINDOW was shot on an early version of Eastman Color 5248 negative stock and originally printed via Eastman Color direct positive. Separation masters were Eastman 5216, the earliest of the separation stocks, and for the 1961-2 reissue, prints were produced via dye transfer method which tended to an overall beige look.
I have no idea how this film looked when it premièred, or at the 1960s reissue, nor have I ever seen it projected. I therefore have no idea how the colours or the grain of this great film ought to look on Blu-ray.
Having watched the entire Blu-ray, all I can say is that it’s extremely impressive. The detail is incredible, the colours strong, beautiful, and consistent. Grain is very fine and looks like it’s being suppressed by DVNR in some shots, but I detect a more sensible approach here. It’s used on some shots more than others and is not really a problem, but I have no idea what they were wrestling with.
It feels like a lot of work has gone into it, with difficult materials (the grain structure of these early stocks was apparently quite large, but that’s not apparent at all on the Blu-ray), and the result is impressive.
I spotted four very brief noticeably dupey shots at 00:29:44 & 00:29:59 of Lisa, at 00:54:33 of Jeff, and a quick shot of Doyle at the end 01:50:30. All four are poor quality and quite jarring because 99.9% of the rest of the film looks so stunning.
This disc was a pleasure and a treat. I’ll give it 8.5/10 in my own little marking system.