Tuesday, May 2, 2023

HD Alert!

Here's a quick overview of the new German Blu-ray of CONSTANTINE AND THE CROSS (1961)

I like this release even though it doesn't have the English dub. There might be a reason for this. I'll explain later. But as for the quality of the transfer, I'm pleased with it but not dazzled by it. The quality of the image seems inconsistent. In some particular scenes, I know the film was originally shot this way (when Constantine fights with the lion) so I know it's not due to the transfer but many scenes are beautiful and sharp (above, with Cornel Wilde and Belinda Lee) while other scenes like below (with Fausto Tozzi and Christine Kaufmann) look murky and second generation. The differences make me wonder if different sources were used for this uncut version. It wouldn't be the first time a German release would have done this.

The great thing about this release is that it is uncut. The runtime is 2 hours and 12 minutes. I have 10 or so different versions of this movie in my collection and only one is 'uncut' at 2 hours and 7 minutes, in PAL 25 frames per second. The fact that the English dub is missing is most likely due to this. The original runtime of the English version is 2 hours. So 12 minutes were shaved from the original Italian cut. I don't know if the original uncut version is available in English. Just to give an idea of these issues with dub versions, the German version of the uncut print is in German *and* Italian since scenes that were cut in the original German release (see text below) lack a German dub, therefore it switches to Italian during those scenes. 

This Blu-ray release also includes an extra copy of the movie with the German cut, at a runtime of 1 hour 47 minutes. This version is DVD quality not BD. The resolution is much smaller but the image quality is nice, and during the Monte Gelato waterfall scene below, it's actually less murky than on the Blu-ray. Go figure!

I'll have a full rundown of every version I have and compare it with this new Blu-ray release. Hopefully, Kino Lorber will pick it up and release this movie in English in North America one day.



1 comment:

Orsh said...

This is definitly one of my all time favorite Peplums. The movie was made on an epic scale with thousands of extras. No CGI here, plus a grand musical soundtrack. I wish Kino would come out with uncut English version.