Wizard Of Oz 4K
(1939/MGM/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: A- 1080p Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras:
B* Film: B+
you have been a fan of the original 1939 Wizard
in the last 10 years, you have been treated to some great releases of
the film. Ten years ago for its 70th
Anniversary, it finally arrived on Blu-ray based on the totally
restored three-strip Technicolor version that was released around the
Anniversary and that batch of prints remains some of the best
photochemical 35mm prints issued in the last 45 years, even if you
include the best digital projection of any film made. Those prints
have become valuable in the six-figure range if you can get one.
having spent the money for 8K scans of all three strips of that
priceless camera negative, Warner created a 3D version when we had
the big series of 3D discs and 3D movies hitting theaters. We
reviewed that version and the new 2D version at this link for its
both cases, there were box sets and regular releases.
it is the 80th
Anniversary of the film and we are now in the 4K era of Ultra High
Definition TV and discs, so Warner has issued the film in a stunning
4K edition and whereas I felt the 2D version on the 3D disc allowed
you to see the color and money on the screen like never before, this
new 4K edition does so in an even richer, more profound way and is
easily the definitive way to see the film, unless you have one of
those real 35mm three-strip prints I was talking about before.
2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.33 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD
Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image has the early part of
the film still in sepia-toned black and white to suggest the dust and
age of the old farmland of Kansas where Dorothy lives in 'real life'
which only has so much going for it and is only so exciting. When
you tint or tone a black and white film, it can look nice in the
chosen color, but it cuts into the definition and depth. Though this
is the most refined way you can see this early part of the film, as
rich as that single color can be, you also can see some limits from
when in 4K you jump from that to color (especially in 12bit Dolby
Vision color), it is stunning as the film is designed to be when
Dorothy arrives in Oz, but you can get the jolt here all over again
since it is the transition to color is even richer and more
pronounced as the depth, detail and fullness of the image remain,
then the Technicolor kicks in and you will be floored all over again
as if you never saw it before. It is so vivid, it looks like it was
shot decades sooner than 1939, the color as definitive of 'Glorious
Technicolor' as you'll find on any disc in print or ever made all the
way to the Criterion Blu-ray of The
each actor turns up in their classic rolls looking better than ever
and it becomes more than just never having seen it before like this
or with the best color you have ever seen it in, but like you are
there, more than any previous 2D version and definitely the 3D
version. More than just 3D without the glasses, it is really like
being in Oz. The better your system, the better the effect. It is
amazing and anyone with a serious 4K system need to get this disc.
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer comes from the
8K scans of the three Technicolor negatives Warner made a few years
ago for preservation purposes and the 3D edition, but you can really
see the benefit of scanning the original nitrate negatives this way.
Some actually thought the 8K was more than the film needed, but 8K is
actually the least any film negative should eventually be scanned at,
though plenty of 2K and 4K scans have looked great and those keep
coming in too.
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor process remains the greatest of
all time and is much duplicated, as well as being a palette for all
kinds of color restoration. Warner will use this for all theatrical
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix from the previous editions
is also here, but I think it sounds a bit better here since it is a
soundmaster they have likely retransferred (maybe at a higher
bitrate?) and is as fine as the original monophonic soundmaster will
likely ever sound.
for extras, I already noted the various editions released each of the
last few anniversaries and a 4K box set has been issued, but it looks
like it will be harder to get than usual. With that said, the extras
for this double set include
what is included in each formatted version:
Wizard of Oz
Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the following previously released special
by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman, Margaret Hamilton, Ray
Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr, Jane Lahr, Hamilton Meserve, Dona
Massin, William Tuttle, Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy and Jerry Maren.
CBS Special ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie
Wizard of Oz regular Blu-ray has those extras and adds:
Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook (narrated by Angela Lansbury)
Haven't Really Met Properly...
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Frank Morgan"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Ray Bolger"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Bert Lahr"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Jack Haley"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Billie Burke"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Margaret Hamilton"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Charley Grapewin"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Clara Blandick"
We Haven't Really Met Properly: "Terry"
& Effects Track
is on the Air Radio Promo
News of 1939 Radio Show
Lux Radio Broadcast
Oz on Broadway
Sketches and Storyboards
Richard Thorpe's Oz
Oz Comes to Life
Behind the Scenes
8/15/1939 Hollywood Premiere
8/17/1939 New York Premiere
2/29/1940 Academy Awards Ceremony
box set noted above has even more than this set, including a CD and
some other goodies, so diehard fans will want to hunt that one down,
but this is still a solid set and any 4K copy of Oz
is more than worth your time!