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Never underestimate the power of 35mm film… or 65mm or 70mm for that matter! Old film was remarkably high quality, certainly much more so than the classics would have us believe, and today we’re able to enjoy this in all its glory.
Digital remastering allows for colour correction, scratch removal, and even added effects; practically anything can be achieved using modern techniques on original film reel content. So here are 5 old movies remastered in high definition that are definitely worth watching.
We’re going to need a bigger boat to enjoy Jaws in all its HD, shark-infested glory! To celebrate Universal Pictures’ 100th anniversary in 2012, the film studio decided to digitally remaster one of its most iconic movies of all time, transforming the original 35mm film into a 1080p picture. Once scratches were removed, colour was corrected, and degradation of the reel was addressed, the results were incredible. Even Steven Spielberg himself said it was ‘more vivid’ than he remembered it being in 1975!
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Many of Alfred Hitchcock’s creepy classics are now available in high definition, including Rear Window, Psycho, and 1941 Academy Award nominee Foreign Correspondent, which underwent 2K digital restoration in 2014; 74 years after the movie’s original release. An old black and white film about wartime British spies, Foreign Correspondent was shot entirely in monochrome film. At least, we know now that it was black and white…. The original version was very much poor quality grey and white!
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
What would The Wizard of Oz be like without the yellow brick road, or the red ruby slippers? Luckily, we don’t have to find out! Remastering the 1939 Judy Garland movie, The Wizard of Oz, and transforming it from the original camera negatives to full 4K, took a whopping 8 months solid work. Each negative had to be scanned 3 separate times — in cyan, magenta, and yellow — before the colours could all be blended together, creating the beautifully remastered 4K movie that really is somewhere over the rainbow.
Titanic’s heart certainly keeps going on and on, especially when it’s been digitally remastered in Dolby Vision! In the 20 years since the Rose and Jack love story hit our screens, Titanic has undergone a whopping upgrade, and the result is so impressive that the movie is even being re-released at cinemas across the world! Originally shot on 70mm film, like most big-budget blockbusters were in the 1990s, the difference is truly spectacular, with director James Cameron saying it’s like watching it for the first time.
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Especially now that the 1984 original has been stunningly remastered. To celebrate the movie’s 30th anniversary in style, Bill, Dan, Sigourney, and the rest of the gang were remastered in 4K, and like Titanic the upgraded picture was re-released in cinemas. As an added bonus, Ghostbusters II was also given the magic digital treatment, but let’s just hope the 2016 all-female version (dubbed by some the worst film of all time) is given a pass during the next round of upgrades!