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Sam Peckinpah >> Everything Peckinpah and more >> CROSS OF IRON Blu-Ray Special Edition UK / Germany
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Message started by Mike S. on 03/04/11 at 12:47pm

Title: CROSS OF IRON Blu-Ray Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 03/04/11 at 12:47pm
I have the honor to announce here a great project I just started:
I'll produce the supplements for the UK BlueRay - German BlueRay + Special Edition DVD.

I was decided just days ago and the discs will already go into production in April.

I can't say anything about the (uncut) transfer, that's not my departement.
But the extras hopefully will be first rate :)
I'll produce
-PASSION & POETRY - SAM  PECKINPAH's WAR (35-45 min.)
-5 featurettes based on audio interviews recorded on the set in 1976.
-Additional featurettes with longer stories by my interview partners.

now back to work :)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Stanton on 03/05/11 at 3:02pm
That great news.

And it was real time for an uncut German DVD.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 03/05/11 at 5:05pm
Yes amigo! Better late than never. I almost gave up hope..

Would you do me a favour? You're good at posting in forums.
Would you spread out the news a bit?
I'm not surfing these days - just editing :)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Stanton on 03/08/11 at 7:40am
Then I need a few more informations.

Is it again a Kinowelt release? It will be released simultaneously in Germany and the UK? will it be a 2 DVD?
For which date is the release planned if everything runs smoothly?

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 03/08/11 at 2:36pm
Kinowelt for Germany (BlueRay & 2-Disc SE DVD)
Optimum for the UK (only BlueRay, all 3 same content)

Release will be soon. May/June I suppose.

I just finished a rough cut of the supplements:

-PASSION & POETRY - SAM PECKINPAH's WAR  45min.
a documentary featuring James Coburn, Senta Berger, David Warner,
Vadim Glowna, Roger Fritz, Katy Haber.

- 5 featurettes with 1976 on set audio interviews:
  ON LOCATION - CROSS OF IRON: SAM PECKINPAH
  ON LOCATION - CROSS OF IRON: JAMES COBURN
  ON LOCATION - CROSS OF IRON: JAMES MASON
  ON LOCATION - CROSS OF IRON: MAXIMILIAN SCHELL
  ON LOCATION - CROSS OF IRON: DAVID WARNER

   approx 5 min. each (25 min. altogether)

- featurette KRÜGER KISSES KERN (9 min.)

- featurette VADIM & SAM - SON & DAD (7min.)

- featurette CUTTING ROOM FLOOR (5 min.)

- Mike's Homemovies - Steiner meets Kiesel again (8min.)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by The Dude on 03/13/11 at 5:04pm
YesYesYesYes!!!!! Awesome news.
Mike, please keep us updated!
I'll spread the word, as always!!!

:) :) :) :) :)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 03/14/11 at 7:49am
I just spent 4 solid days animating 300 stills for the featurettes.
Hard work - fun to watch!

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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by The Dude on 03/14/11 at 9:48am
Can't hardly wait! :)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Gashade on 03/18/11 at 8:28pm
GREAT NEWS!!!
I´ll spread the word in France and Czech republic also.
What about the yougoslavian documentary? And the japanese commercials shot with James Coburn when he and Sam were promoting the film in Japan?
Anyway, I can´t wait to see your extras!

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 03/21/11 at 6:06am
I had only 3 weeks to produce 100 minutes of supplements.

My initial plan had been to visit Slovenia at one time and film there,
as well as filming Max Schell & Wolf Hartwig. Three shootings
in 3 countries :)
But that wasn't managable in such a short time of course.
You try to push the companies for years into such a project
and then they call you up and want it next week :)

Nevertheless I'm very satisfied with the bonus material. I hadn't
looked into the interviews for 5 years. Good stuff :)

I think it's gonna be the only really worthwhile release for a long time.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Stanton on 04/22/11 at 3:34pm
Hey Mike, what's about the 2 DVD?

So far Amazon.de lists only the Blu Ray.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 04/25/11 at 6:07am
Kinowelt Germany has no release date yet. They decided to do this months after the blue-ray went under way.
Communication is not their highest virtue anyway. I don't care,
as long as they do it :)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Gashade on 04/26/11 at 8:56am
Anyway, it looks very promising!
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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Cineriz on 05/26/11 at 1:13pm
Great news!!

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 05/27/11 at 4:59am
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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 06/04/11 at 6:18am
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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Starblack on 06/08/11 at 10:26am
Hell yes. And I don't even own a Blu-ray player. Yet.

Thanks for all your hard work on this Mike.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by The Dude on 06/08/11 at 9:28pm
Finally! Thanx Mike, as always, for all your hard work

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 06/09/11 at 4:28am

Starblack wrote on 06/08/11 at 10:26am:
Hell yes. And I don't even own a Blu-ray player. Yet.


Me neither :)
But it all looks great - as far as I could see, sitting on my buddies couch ...

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Larzz on 06/26/11 at 11:00am
Great blu-ray. I have the German version which is the same as the UK. The film itself looks great. See the reviews. The sound is unfortunately only in mono. Good sound but no 5.1 DTS track. It can be done: see other mono Peckinpah movies like Major Dundee or The Osterman Weekend. This film would sound magnificent in 5.1 surround! I'm sure about that. The extra's are fabulous. Great documentary from Mike Siegel. Marvellous inside information about Peckinpah and other people involving this film. Great to see James Coburn and David Warner talk about the film in Italy. Fantastic!!!!
They need to release more Peckinpah films on blu-ray: only 3 until now. For example Kubrick:10 films! Come on Warner, Sony, MGM, Universal. Release Peckinpah stuff instead of stupid commercial Hollywood crap! 8-)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Gashade on 08/02/11 at 1:01am
Any news about this release coming out on DVD too?

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 08/02/11 at 8:25am
In Germany there will be a two-disc in September.
Unfortunately Kinowelt decided to release Breakthrough (1978)
on Disc 2. So there won't be enough space to include all my
supplements (110 min.)on Disc 1 with Cross Of Iron. 60-80% maybe.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Gashade on 08/02/11 at 10:35am
Too bad...
Looks like I´m going to have to buy a Blue Ray player one of these days.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by JEFF1950 on 08/02/11 at 12:17pm
Gashade

go get a blu ray player, they are getting cheaper all the time.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 08/02/11 at 12:54pm

Gashade wrote on 08/02/11 at 10:35am:
Too bad...
Looks like I´m going to have to buy a Blue Ray player one of these days.


Yes my dear.
So am I.
Can you believe it? I can't even watch my own stuff :)

Anybody from England here who reads film magazines like
Premiere or Blu-ray/DVD magazines?
Would be nice to get some reviews..(scans)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by The Dude on 08/03/11 at 8:37am
Breakthrough is Steiner 2, right?
Who cares for that?
Gonna have to really buy a blu ray player soon!

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by JEFF1950 on 08/03/11 at 11:54am
Breakthrough was Wolf C Hartwigs atempt to cash in on the success of Cross of Iron, but casting different actors for the leads didn't help and Burton is baddly miscast as Steiner.
Cross of Iron is in a different class to this poor follow up.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 08/06/11 at 10:51am
Some reviews:
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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Gashade on 08/20/11 at 11:09pm
I agree that Cross of Iron is a good film, to my taste certainly way better than Convoy, Osterman Weekend and The Killer Elite. But the comparison with The Wild Bunch, while being actually quite to the point as both films have in fact a lot in common, is much to the disadvantage of Cross of Iron. I´m sure you didn´t mean to say that Cross of Iron is as good as The Wild Bunch. But saying that it has elements similar to The Wild Bunch doesn´t make it better than what it is.

In The Wild Bunch, each member of the Bunch is characterized just enough for us to feel as though we get to really know those men, so that when they die in the end, we feel a deep sense of loss. In Cross of Iron, the members of Steiner´s platoon are mostly characterized by exterior traits: one stinks, the other has digestion problems, one wears a moustache, the other is young... Those characterisations seem more like gimmicks. If we still feel a sense of loss when we see them die in the end, it is weaker and comes through only thanks to Peckinpah´s great direction and editing, not because we would see the death of people we would have really gotten to know and like.
The same applies to the side characters. In The Wild Bunch, we get to feel who Mapache is: not only do we see him behave like a psychopath, we also see him sincerely idolised as a leader and hero (even if by a child). Stransky is shown as a sadistic coward, but does not have the complexity which enriched The Wild Bunch. And we actually never learn anything about Brandt or Kiesel for instance, who would both certainly deserve so.

Both films revolve around a conflict between two men - Steiner/Stransky, Pike/Deke. But in Cross of Iron, the Steiner/Stransky conflict seems to be not much more than a plot device. In The Wild Bunch, the plot device is the pursuit of the outlaws, and the Pike/Deke conflict is an element that comes to enrich it, turning a simple plot device into a work with a lot more psychological depth. In fact, The Wild Bunch is written so that various apparently small elements come to form a rich network of meaningful information turning the film into a complex and rich work. In Cross of Iron, there´s a lot less of that. All we get are several more or less well made isolated moments which do not really connect together. To give one example: the scene where Steiner tells Brandt that he hates all officers, including him, is surprising and quite good. But think about how, in The Wild Bunch, you have constant tension inside the various groups (the Gorches vs Angel, Tector vs Sikes, the Gorches vs Pike, the bounty hunters vs Deke...), a tension, that is justified, explained, shown as natural... This scene is but a pale shadow of the organic structure of The Wild Bunch.

There is also a major difference in the cinematic storytelling: in Cross of Iron, we are merely told why Stransky wants the cross of iron so bad, whereas in The Wild Bunch, we are actually shown what is at the root of the Peke/Deke conflict. We see Brandt telling Kiesel that men like him will be needed after the war, but we have no clue as to what he is referring to as we know practically nothing of the both them: we have been entertained by their cynical conversations, but we have never actually seen who they are.

From this point of view, there are only few sequences that really work. The best one has to be the hospital sequence. Never mind the fact that it is visually somewhat different to Peckinpah´s style (in fact, the sequence with the war veterans seems to have been mostly shot by the Yugoslavian second unit), this is Peckinpah storytelling. By the way: it works much better than the equivalent segment with Melinche/Aurora Clavel in Major Dundee. (But even here, it would have benefitted from showing us a little more of Steiner´s relationship with Eva – as it is, once again, we´re merely being told that they were considering settling down together, but we see nothing of it, only Senta Berger´s pleading eyes...) The birthday party scene, although very well directed, is a common device to tell the audience: those men have a nice camaraderie going on between them. But one of the few scenes where we are actually shown real affection is when Steiner embraces Kruger left alone in a bombed bunker.

Another point: of course, in itself, it doesn´t matter at all that Peckinpah embraced the point of view of Germans. In fact, it´s rather interesting. What matters is that, although Peckinpah had to have some knowledge of WWII, we actually don´t get to see anything from that time period´s reality. In The Wild Bunch, Peckinpah led painstaking research to get the feel of the time right and the film is filled with small meaningful details - like the automobile, Mapache´s German advisors, etc. - which add another layer to the film. In Cross of Iron, we have almost none of that. For instance: the battle for the Taman peninsula, during which the film takes place, was to a great extent an aerial battle: there´s not a single mention of planes in the film (of course, Peckinpah didn´t have the budget to shoot planes – what he´s done with only three malfunctioning tanks in the main battle sequence is already a miracle). In his audio commentary to the Hen´s Tooth release of the film, Stephen Prince points out that when Steiner leaves SS member Zoll to die with the Russian women, telling them "Now we´re even.", he may be referring to the violence committed by the SS on Russian civilians. That´s an interesting interpretation, but there´s nothing really in the film to sustain it: there´s no mention of the extermination of Jews, not a word about the violence commited on civilans, etc... We see Steiner despising Zoll because he´s an SS, we see Brandt and Kiesel being ironic about the German empire´s demise, but those are simple script devices to tell the audience: these people are ordinary soldiers, they are not Nazis. The only research Peckinpah made was used for the opening sequence whose only purpose is to tell the audience: we´re in the middle of WWII. It´s very nicely edited but doesn´t tell us much more. When Peckinpah made The Wild Bunch, the Mexican revolution may not have been the film´s most important element, it is nonetheless very present, and we are led to feel this is the Mexican revolution, not just any revolution. In Cross of Iron, it seems to be the opposite: we´re almost led to believe that the time and place are not important, that this is could well be just any war. Except, it isn´t. And ignoring it weakens the film.

Another big difference is in the ending. The structure is actually the same: first a big shootout resulting in the death of almost all the main characters, than an eerie aftermath. But first of all, of course, in Cross of Iron, Peckinpah ran out of money and had to improvise the ending. While being interesting if somewhat puzzling, Cross of iron´s ending, with its absence of a big cathartic finale as in The Wild Bunch, is definitely much weaker. And then, in The Wild Bunch, the main characters are first presented as professional killers, but by the end of the film, while still remaining efficient killing (and autodestructive) machines, they have largely redeemed themselves in our eyes, through their friendship, their principles (as frail as they may be), etc. In Cross of Iron, no one is redeemed. The whole film remains covered in a cynical atmosphere, with men totally obsessed with war, incapable and unwilling to try anything else. I guess it makes for a meaningful statement about men at war, but it´s definitely not enough to make a masterpiece as The Wild Bunch.

And finally, there´s one thing I regret: in The Wild Bunch, Peckinpah´s style of showing violence was not only exciting, it really made sense as a logical component of the film. It was repulsive and fascinating at the same time - just as the Bunch itself. In Cross of Iron, I fail to see the same logic. To be sure, there are some beautifully shot moments of violence with lots of intercutting of slow motion with normal speed (I guess one of my favourite is right at the beginning when Steiner throws away his empty cartridge), but somehow, it partly feels as if those scenes were shot because they were expected of Peckinpah, not because they organically make sense for the film. And strangely enough, Cross of Iron also has several gory shots that go further than his usual use of squibs and that are not typical of Peckinpah (in The Wild Bunch, for instance, he quickly cuts away from the frontal shot of the bunch´s member who´s been shot in the face): I may not remember all of them exactly, but I recall a body crushed into vehicle tracks, run down by a tank, a man´s back torn by barb-wire, Zoll´s castration, and – I´m not sure anymore, but I think even a dismembered body. As if Peckinpah was trying to turn away from his trademark balletic violence towards something that would again infuse the beauty of his style with a real sense of horror and disgust. And I´m afraid this attempt was more of a failure.


This is only personal taste, but to me the best film of Peckinpah´s final decade is Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia... Or should I rewatch Cross of Iron (possibly with Mike´s edition) and change my mind?

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Starblack on 09/01/11 at 7:35am

JEFF1950 wrote on 08/03/11 at 11:54am:
Breakthrough was Wolf C Hartwigs atempt to cash in on the success of Cross of Iron, but casting different actors for the leads didn't help and Burton is baddly miscast as Steiner.
Cross of Iron is in a different class to this poor follow up.


If I remember correctly (it's probably been 20 years since I've seen Breakthrough), doesn't it include some of the same archive footage featured in Cross of Iron? I'm sure there are shots that were also used in the concluding battle of Sam's film.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Mike S. on 09/01/11 at 1:03pm
Actually it might be interesting to watch BREAKTOUGH again,
because Hartwig used some battle-outtakes from CROSS OF IRON.

'Archive footage' (besides the title sequence of course) wasn't used in CROSS OF IRON. The production had no money for planes, so they intercut 3-5 takes of attacking (US!) fighter planes from another war film. I suppose it was IL GRANDE ATTACO (U.Lenzi, 1977/78). Of course it shows. Especially horrible was the use of a bad long shot with dozens of tanks etc. at the end of the German theatrical trailer.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Starblack on 09/07/11 at 3:49pm

wrote on 09/01/11 at 1:03pm:
'Archive footage' (besides the title sequence of course) wasn't used in CROSS OF IRON. The production had no money for planes, so they intercut 3-5 takes of attacking (US!) fighter planes from another war film. I suppose it was IL GRANDE ATTACO (U.Lenzi, 1977/78). Of course it shows. Especially horrible was the use of a bad long shot with dozens of tanks etc. at the end of the German theatrical trailer.


Gah. I meant outtakes in the first place rather than archive footage. My bad.


Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Starblack on 02/28/12 at 12:11pm
Does anybody have a problem with the colour on the Optimum Blu-ray?

I've only just got a BD deck and, of course, upgrading my Peckinpah discs was a top priority. Most reviews laud the release, but then I read this one:

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and it shows the sepia tones of the Optimum package side by side with the more colourful look of the SD DVD, which I have. I have to say, I think the muted tone suits the film, but I have no way of knowing how this was shown in cinemas in 1977 or what palette Peckinpah intended.

Any comments?

Similarly, upgrading The Wild Bunch looked like a no-brainer - dvdbeaver and most reviewers/consumers give the BD a thumbs up, but I've read comments on forums complaining that the colour is (still) weighted towards green and brown, there is edge enhancement, DNR...

I don't have the sharpest eye for this kind of digital tinkering. Does anybody who has the disc care to comment? 

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Nate B. on 03/05/12 at 4:14pm
On the whole, The Wild Bunch, The Getaway, and Cross of Iron are all worth getting on Blu-ray (so is the US Blu-ray of Straw Dogs.) The thing to remember about The Wild Bunch and The Getaway is they were pretty early Blu-ray releases. I would not be surprised if there were remastered Blu-rays of both titles somewhere down the road. That being said, to me, both films look good on Blu-ray. I am not an expert but the colors look better than their DVD counterparts. There is some edge enhancement on the Wild Bunch but it is not an insane amount. They hold up pretty well and thankfully there is some grain visible in both transfers. (Again, I am not the best judge.) Cross of Iron is a little bit different. That Blu-ray is probably a bit stronger (if nothing else it has the benefit of being a recent release) but as DVDbeaver and others pointed out the colors have been significantly tweaked from the previous DVDs. I have no idea if this is more accurate than the DVDs but to me, it looks better. I've thought the colors in the Cross of Iron DVDs seemed all over the place and there were different saturation levels on the different releases. The Blu-ray looks more consistent while watching it but it is a departure from the DVDs. All my rambling is really to say that I think the Blu-rays are worth getting. The detail levels are higher and even if the color changes are not your preference, it is pretty hard to argue that they are still not a step up from the DVDs.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Starblack on 03/07/12 at 12:45pm
Thanks Nate. I realise The Wild Bunch, in particular, is a 'vintage' Blu-ray disc, but all things considered, I will almost certainly pick it up. Only one way to judge for myself, right?

I hope we get Ride the High Country and Pat & Billy before too long.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Nate B. on 03/12/12 at 4:47am
I agree about both films and would love to Pat & Billy have multiple versions. There is a Spanish (I think) Blu-ray of Garcia that I haven't got yet but I'm hoping for a quality release maybe with a few new extras (wishful thinking) that is easier to get. I made some screen captures of The Getaway, Wild Bunch, and Cross of Iron to check out. There are plenty around on other sites but it is always a good excuse to check them out again. God damn do Sam's films hold up well! I'll probably do some of the US Straw Dogs Blu-ray as well at some point. Ironically, 2 of the captures from Wild Bunch and Getaway turned out to be almost identical to a couple I made for the forum over a year ago!
Getaway:
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Cross of Iron:
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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Starblack on 03/28/12 at 12:07pm
Thanks for the grabs Nate. They look pretty sweet, I have to say.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Nate B. on 03/30/12 at 4:04pm
Hey, no prob'! I plan to post a few from the US Straw Dogs Blu-ray as well at some point.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by LPLQ on 07/23/12 at 6:50pm
I just found out about this and The Passion and Poetry...ordered them both and really looking forward to them...

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by mike bishop on 07/25/12 at 3:44am
If you like Peckinpah, you should enjoy them both :).
8 1/2 hours to watch !

Where did you order PASSION & POETRY ?

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by LPLQ on 07/26/12 at 4:58pm
Hi Mike

On EBAY...the mfg website that it's on doesn't ship to the U.S., apparently...

I have "Cross of Iron" on an old video, so I've seen it a few times, but I'm really looking forward to seeing a pristine copy...

I love Peckinpah's films, except for "Convoy" and the last half of "Major Dundee"...even on some others that don't rank with his best, there's always a moment here and there that you just don't get in movies anymore...

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by mike bishop on 07/27/12 at 12:12pm
What's an 'mfg website'  ?

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by LPLQ on 07/27/12 at 5:42pm
At this link: Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

Had no luck with it...

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by mike bishop on 07/28/12 at 4:38am
Right...

it changed to:

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:
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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by LPLQ on 07/28/12 at 9:11am
Thanks...I ordered it for $33.00, so with the exchange rate it looks like it would have been about the same.

It looks like a great film...have about 20 minutes of it on the "Major Dundee" DVD, and went looking for it right away after watching that.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by mike bishop on 07/29/12 at 5:05am
Well then prepare for 250 more minutes :)
You'll get it next week, I shipped 5 days ago..

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by LPLQ on 07/29/12 at 10:21am
Thanks again!  FYI - I put a post about on the site about a Spaghetti Western guitar CD I self produced last year with reviews in case you're interested.  Supposedly Peckinpah always said Leone made it easier for him to get "The Wild Bunch" made, so I thought it was somewhat appropriate.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by mike bishop on 07/29/12 at 2:18pm
Yes, it's great! I checked it out at Amazon. Think I'll buy one. I play certain themes on my bass (I'm to untalented for 6 strings). WELL DONE !! (how did you get those rights??)

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by LPLQ on 07/30/12 at 7:57pm
Thanks...would really appreciate it!  I got the rights through a company called Limelight - link is:

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Was pretty easy to do, once I got all the necessary information...


Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Sergej on 04/18/13 at 2:03pm

mike bishop wrote on 07/29/12 at 5:05am:
Well then prepare for 250 more minutes :)
You'll get it next week, I shipped 5 days ago..

this 250 minute addition - you're reffering to 2xdvd ballad & poetry or 250 minute addition to double dvd B&P?

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON BlueRay Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Robert Blenheim on 02/19/14 at 4:27pm
This is a perfect time to thank you, Mike Siegel, for all you are doing to further Sam Peckinpah's legacy!


Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON Blu-Ray Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Novecento on 03/25/16 at 10:25pm
I've stimulated some discussion regarding the color scheme used for the blu-ray of this over at the blu-ray.com forums:

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Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON Blu-Ray Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by Novecento on 03/30/16 at 10:12am
Here's what was posted (my comments in bold):


Quote:
This really does need re-doing. I think a steely, slightly desaturated bleach-bypass look would be just the job. That look wasn't available when Peckinpah made the film, I know he was going for a desaturated image & ended up with a greeny look, that's even worse now on the Blu-ray. This is a brilliant film & it deserves better.
...

Interesting comment. How exactly would a desaturated look end up green? Also, are you suggesting that the color should be re-done but in a different manner from the original so as to attain what you say Peckinpah (or rather Coquillon) was aiming for but did not manage to achieve?
...

I don't know, maybe going away from warm colours he ended up with green, there wasn't really a way to desaturate a print then (he'd been better off with a cold look), what's worse, the picture is so flat on the Blu-ray)

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With bleach-bypass (so beloved by film-makers about 15 years ago) you get deep blacks desaturated colours, a cold look, I'd think perfect for Cross Of Iron. This is achieved by bypassing the bleach bath on the processing machine. Peckinpah didn't have that option then. Meanwhile, I'd rather have my memories of this film than own the rotten looking Blu-ray.
...

Thanks - I'm curious since all the other reviewers that criticized the colors said it was not an authentic representation of the original. It seems you are saying that it is actually an authentic representation of the original, its just that the original was not what Peckinpah and Coquillon intended. Also, hadn't Vilmos Zsigmond already famously flashed the print of McCabe & Mrs Miller 6 years earlier to get a desaturated look?
...

Yes there was, and that kind of grading, if not commonplace, was often used in 70s films - the end of Taxi Driver was deliberately desaturated through a Chemtone process to avoid getting an X rating because of the quantities of onscreen blood, for example. John Huston and Oswald Morris were experimenting with how far the process could be taken long before that, desaturating the Eastman-shot Moby Dick through adapting the Technicolor dye-transfer system on the release prints to get the look of vintage whaling prints. Freddie Young used pre-exposed stock on The Deadly Affair to create a muted color range that Sidney Lumet called 'colorless color.' The opening sequence of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is another example, albeit in a very different style. Had Peckinpah really wanted a drastically desaturated look - something that he never really went for in any of his films - he certainly would have had the means to do it in 1976-77, either in-camera or processing the release prints.
...

I'm thinking back to a documentary I saw on the telly about Peckenpah, I can't remember much about it, I think it was about the time of Cross Of Iron, & it in he was at the lab trying to mute the colours (not "drastically desaturate" it)*. He didn't use flashed stock when he shot it & probably didn't have any budget left to muck around too much. But...I'd be happy with a full colour version, as long as it looked good. That's all I really want, a good looking Blu-ray of Cross Of Iron.

*or was it a doc about Cross Of Iron? In it, they talk of how the ending came about...they ran out of money, Peckenpah came to the set one morning & no crew or cast, shooting finished, no money left!
...

Though it never hit the crisis point it did on Convoy, Peckinpah's drug abuse problem was so bad on the film that he reportedly forgot he had already filmed certain scenes and had sent the actors home and would turn up on set expecting to shoot them for the first time. The story was that the only day he turned up on the set on time was the day after they'd finished shooting. But I do know several of the editors who worked on the film - it was basically a tag team effort with different editors working on different sections of the film by the end - and they seemed to be able to find the money for that. It wouldn't have been a huge problem to simply grade the film with a muted look without going through any elaborate special processes, but Peckinpah's state of mind may well have changed from day to day during the process

....

The interesting thing is that the new BD has quite a muted color scheme - not in a desaturated sense but more in a sepia-tinted sense. I actually really like how it looks and the reviewer of the disc on this site suggests that is how it should actually look. While you do not agree with the reviewer on liking the colors, you do seem to be suggesting that it was the original color (regardless of Coquillon's and Peckinpah's actual intent). It would be great if you could remember where you saw/heard all this.

Title: Re: CROSS OF IRON Blu-Ray Special Edition UK / Germany
Post by mike bishop on 04/01/16 at 6:24am
Would be great if he could remember.
I researched quite a bit while co-producing the BD, can't recall that quote.

I adjust my TV set a bit when watching the BD, I think the greenish color filters are pretty bad. Just more than a touch-to-much.Skin tones & blood look so much better on 35mm.
I have a beautiful 35mm print and the colors never appear to be "wrong". Of course there is a lot of green, the film was shot late spring/early summer. When you look at the poster you think of the German defeat in Russia due to the winter, but again, the film was shot with the green leaves of summer. You can't desaturate those away. Why would you anyway? The film (35mm) looked and looks great.
Also Sam didn't do drugs on CROSS. "Just" a lot of booze. TRy to get some Coke behind the iron curtain :). EMI picked up the film after filming when Hartwig finally ran out of money (due to Sam's shooting style, then again Hartwig had never done a bigger - or even mediocre - budgeted film before). Editing started only after filming, back in London. And once EMI was aboard there were no restrictions really. Somehow I'm sure they got the prints looking the way they wanted them to look.

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