Just got my hands on all the Titanus Wild West DVDs that were released a week ago. Thompson 1880 was supposed to be amongst them but for some reason has been cancelled (too good print?). First the good news: the covers look nice.
But the first moment of horror came when I realized the back covers for all the discs say the films are presented in 4:3… So opened and checked a couple of them and unfortunately it seems minimum effort has went into these discs. There is only a very basic menus with only the option to either play the film or choose a scene, nothing else. Which wouldn’t really be a problem though but the films are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen. Non-anamorphic in late 2010, just great. Still, I could even accept that if they were fine otherwise which they unfortunately are not or at least not the three I checked. The image on all three has been cropped from the sides to make them into 1.85:1. This has to be some kind of a sick joke!
Un genio, due compari, un pollo (A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe, 1975) is the same cut version we have seen so often except in this case non-anamorphic and cropped. Wonderful. The opening credits are in 2.35:1 though! This is supposed to exist in better quality in Italy (I think the German disc came from an Italian print) so what the hell.
Ballata per un pistolero (Ballad of a Gunman aka Pistoleros, 1967) also exists in a much better print (which was used in the Japanese release first I think and then on the Wild East disc). Oh and this new disc appears to be couple of minutes shorter, not sure if there is something missing or not (the WE may be in PAL speed despite being a NTSC release). Here’s two screenshots comparing the Wild East disc with this 01 one. Click the images to get bigger versions. Enjoy!
And the final disc I checked was the Lee Van Cleef movie Il grande duello (Grand Duel, 1972). Same story as with the others, non-anamorphic and cropped from the sides. In this case though, the transfers seems to have move image at the top and bottom when compared to the Wild East disc so I wonder what the exact aspect ratio should be? Probably 2.35:1 though and WE is also missing something from the sides. Oh and this is probably the same “cut” that we have on the WE disc. I’m thinking that maybe there is a chance that the longer version has only been available in Germany? Well whatever the case most of the cuts probably make the film better (they are mostly just few seconds extentions to scenes or just almost repeating same stuff we have seen already) but a few (like the bloody hand) I would like to see back in the film.
Here’s two screenshots to look at, first one from the Wild East and the second from the 01 disc. They are not the exact frame but good enough.
The collection has the following movies in it:
Ballata Per Un Pistolero
Di Tressette Ce n’è Uno, Tutti gli Altri Son Nessuno
Domani Passo A Salutare La Tua Vedova…
I Corvi Ti Scaveranno La Fossa
Il Figlio Di Django
Il Grande Duello
La Preda E L’Avvoltoio
Occhio Alla Penna
Preparati La Bara
Prima Ti Perdono, Poi Ti Ammazzo
Un Genio, Due Compari, Un Pollo
Una Nuvola Di Polvere… Un Grido Di Morte… Arriva Sartana
Uomo Avvisato Mezzo Ammazzato… Parola di Spirito Santo
Vivi O Preferibilmente Morti
Vivo per la Tua Morte
And as I mentioned before Thompson 1880 was supposed to be in it, but seems to have been canceled.
PS. I’d appreciate it if you’d link to this entire post instead of just the screenshots (if you want to show them to someone), please, thanks.