“DRACULA DEFEATED” ASPECT RATIO COMPARISON

Van Helsing pursues Dracula in flashback...

We thought you’d be interested in the comparison we made last week between the BFI’s 2007 restoration of DRACULA (1958) and the opening flashback sequence of DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS. The footage within the “diamond of smoke” optical effect of DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS is top-and-bottom matted at 1.66:1 within the 2.35:1 Techniscope frame (using an identical 1.66:1 centre matte to the BFI’s 2007 restoration). This means that: a) DRACULA (1958) was neither shot nor originally intended to be exhibited at 1.85:1, as if this were the case the flashback footage would have been framed at this ratio, rendering more of the picture visible at left-and-right and requiring less smoke; b) 1.66:1 is definitely a Fisher-sanctioned aspect ratio for DRACULA (1958); c) this still does not except that Fisher originally composed DRACULA (1958) for Academy, as framing the flashback at 1.37:1 would have meant very little width to the insert and even more smoke around the picture as framed in Academy, which would have been extremely narrow within the 2.35:1 Techniscope frame. In any case, the controversy over THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN aspect ratios will be avoided with DRACULA (1958) as the BFI restoration is centre-matted at 1.66:1 and our 2012 restoration of censored footage from the so-called “Japanese reels” (due for UK release on 18th March 2013) integrates such into the BFI’s 2007 version.

From the 1.33:1 WB VHS. Side-matted down from 1.66:1 to fit a 4x3 frame.

From the 1.77:1 WB DVD. Matted top-and-bottom to fit a 16x9 frame.

From the unrestored HD transfer of the "Japanese reels". There is slightly more picture info top-and-bottom than the BFI 2007 restoration 1.66:1 matte, but less at the left (more) and right (less) due to a hard matte in the telecine.

From the 1.66:1 BFI restoration (16x9 frame).

NB: The BFI’s 2007 restoration at 1.66:1 has the same amount of picture information top-and-bottom as the 4×3 screengrab, and the same amount left-and-right as the 16×9 screengrab (allowing for a very small margin in each case).

UPDATE 15th November 2012: As some of you have already deduced, we can now confirm for definite that DRACULA (1958) was indeed shot with a 1.66:1 matte in camera. To the best of our knowledge, DRACULA (1958) remains the only Hammer film shot in this way (though in the 60s, prints of Hammer films were sometimes struck with a 1.66:1 hard matte). We know for certain, for example, that THE MUMMY (1959) was shot open aperture full frame 35mm, the same as THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN. (The slight extra picture information at the top-and-bottom of the screengrab from the “Japanese reels” is pre the fine matte applied by the BFI when they mastered their 2007 restoration.) As we’ve said before, because we’re basing our 2012 restoration of the censored footage on the BFI’s 2007 restoration, we have always been working on the film in 1.66:1, so there is no question of the film being presented in any ratio other than 1.66:1, in the case of DRACULA (1958) the definitive and sole UK OAR. There is of course still plenty of room for further speculation regarding Terence Fisher’s preferred composition aspect ratio and whether the return to shooting open aperture full frame was connected to Fisher’s preferences, or to an understanding that TV versions were better with more information top-and-bottom than with less information left-and-right.

178 thoughts on ““DRACULA DEFEATED” ASPECT RATIO COMPARISON

    • Hopefully when the American releases are done, they’ll have the films glitch free in the correct ratio, correctly framed, and properly restored, without gimmicky new effects as the only option.

      • Hi Tim, the enhanced effects on THE DEVIL RIDES OUT are certainly not “gimmicky” (i.e. they were most definitely not added as a “gimmick”). All our aspect ratios and framing are “correct” (though debate still rages and there is a degree of subjectivity involved). It is far too simplistic to talk about a single “Original Aspect Ratio” when it comes it UK films from the 50s and 60s and early 70s. “Properly restored” is again a matter of balance, debate, subjectivity and, most importantly, resources, which are finite.

        • Can’t wait for Dracula. I still don’t think the sound for Dracula Prince of Darkness is quite right on the blu-ray.

          I do feel that the un-altered version of the Devil Rides Out should’ve been offered as an option on the disc, but I have to say, I really liked the new effects on The Devil Rides Out.

          So apart from those few gripes, I have to say I’ve loved the new Hammer blu-rays!

  1. The person who decided and is responsible for releasing the Hammer DVDs in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, should be sentenced in court to prison.

    Nothing has annoyed me more than the missing strips of film matted at top and bottom. The problems start right away, with the opening landscape scene in The Curse of Frankenstein; you only see half a castle, because the top of it has been cut off. Now, a person who doesn’t understand the damage of that, should not even be allowed to go near and touch a film, because he has no artistic understanding what so ever. It is a crime, and therefore he must go to jail.

    • That’s rather harsh, but you’re certainly entitled to your opinion! Worth pointing-out though, that one of the strands we’ve noticed most regularly is that fans seem to want to experience these films as they did when they first experienced them. They want to recreate that original frisson in an almost Proustian manner. And this often appears to mean watching the film in a way that most resembles what they remember (albeit in HD on a widescreen TV with home cinema speakers).

      • They also want to experience them with the original effects. In short we want them as they were released theatrically, but to look as good as they possibly can. No problem if you want to release Academy versions, but please let’s not have another fiasco like CoF. Properly framed widescreen OAR as the first option, Academy as an alternative, no errors with sound (especially synch), with any fancy new effects as an option ONLY please and everybody would be happy.

        You’ve done yourselves no favours with the releases so far and particularly with the way you’ve responded to criticism recently, almost all of which has been constructive. You looked like a company that really cared when the error with DPoD was fixed swiftly, but since then the releases have been far from impressive

        • We’ve already posted at length on TCOF aspect ratios and matting and have nothing more to say on the subject unless cast iron primary evidence appears, but regarding your other points, we always listen to our fans (why would we have this blog otherwise, on which we approve the vast majority of comments and respond to nearly all of them; we are human beings, not a bot!)

          • I appreciate that, but there are errors on the releases that simply shouldn’t happen. I appreciate it must be maddening to put a lot of work into something and get loads of criticism for it (re CoF and The Devil Rides Out) but you’re not helping yourselves. For instance you have no concrete proof that Curse was intended for Academy and certainly less proof than the documented examples supporting widescreen presentation that have been provided, from trade papers etc, yet you insist Academy is the correct ratio. It seems nothing will shake you from that position and you’ve dug your heels in no matter what.

            I do appreciate the openness of this blog, but not some of the decisions you’ve made nor the stubborn refusal to admit that you have got CoF wrong. I certainly don’t appreciate the errors that exist in the releases…

            All I can say in closing is that I’ve gone from pre-order to no order and I know I’m far from alone in this, which you may say is my loss but I will not buy in future until I know, from reviews and other sources, that the discs are fault free, presented as intended and so on.

      • HAMMER wrote: ” . . . fans seem to want to experience these films as they did when they first experienced them.”

        Well, what was the original aspect ratio for The Curse of Frankenstein in theaters? Surely not 1.85:1, was it? Was it 1.66:1?

        • Hi Terri, to be clear, the fact that “…fans seem to want to experience these films as they did when they first experienced them” does not mean that we should release every film in its original home video state! We were just making an observation, not stating an edict or imparting restoration/release policy! In any case, often different generations will have first experienced each film differently, so there’s simply no way to meet this requirement for everyone. To answer your question, as far as we can tell after months of living with it (and even more of research) THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN has an Original Composition Aspect Ratio of 1.37:1 (Academy) and at least two Original Exhibition Aspect Ratios (1.37:1 and 1.66:1 in the UK and probably 1.85:1 in the US) due to the ongoing evolution in British cinemas from Academy to Widescreen and the fact that many American theatres were already fitted-out for Widescreen (1.85:1 in the US). The whole debate is rehearsed at length both here and elsewhere if you care to look… Thanks!

          • The only honest path, seems to me to release a movie in the format the artist/director originally intended it. What the herd wants to buy is beside the point.

  2. Hello Hammer: looking at the owl shot from the Japanese print you fooled us with, you say it was composed for 1:37.. Would that mean that DRACULA was composed for Academy with a center crop at 1:66 for exhibition? If that owl shot was cropped for 1:66 we’d loose much of his face. Sorry If I’m not quite understanding this new post. Could you please clarify this a little more?

    • We’ll probably never know what aspect ratio DRACULA (1958) was composed for. The badly-damaged “Japanese reels” were scanned in Tokyo open matte. Because of the deterioration in the materials, this scan did not consistently capture the full frame, however it captured enough for us to restore the censored scenes (as best as we can). The BFI’s restoration is 1.66:1, and that is what we used as source master for our 2012 restoration of the censored footage, so the compositional aspect ratio is academic.

  3. Funny! I thought I was gonna see an image comparison, but I guess it’s too early to do that and it’ll have to wait until March 2013 is near. Still, thanks for telling us about the aspect ratio of this film. Whatever the case, I’m sure this film can best be seen both ways.

    BTW, if you’re doing an image comparison shortly before the release, I would like to see a comparison between the unrestored Japanese footage with the new BFI restored footage. Would be interesting to get a first glimpse of Dracula decaying.

    • We will indeed post an image comparison in due course and may well give fans a further taste of the extended disintegration (some lucky fans already had a preview at the VAULT festival in London in February).

  4. “And this often appears to mean watching the film in a way that most resembles what they remember…”

    Such as THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, for instance. How dare fans want it kept as it had been for over 40 years…

    • All fans are entitled to their own views of course. That doesn’t mean we will always agree with them, or indeed be able to meet their demands, even if in the best possible world we would wish to…

      • But what’s the reasoning for NOT including the original version? I cannot imagine there’s a fair reason not to. If there is a reason that it could not be included, fans would like to hear it. It does not make sense to us on this side of the fence.

      • What fans want is for Hammer not to pull a George Lucas on us and constantly tinker with well loved classics. We consider these releases to have a preservation purpose as well as an entertainment purpose.

        By all means, release the Devil Rides Out with updated special effects, we all know that there was unhappiness about them in the first place, but also include the original version on the release, or give a download code for it, and you’ll go along ways towards satisfying the major complaints. There is room for both on Blu Ray.

        That’s the chief problem with the aspect ratio for Curse of Frankenstein. There’s documented proof of what aspect ratio it showed in much of Britain, but because someone fell in love with how it looked in Academy ratio, you went to lengths to ignore how it was mostly seen to justify that because it MAY have been shown in Academy Ratio in some second rate theaters, that was the way the creators intended. So instead of a bonus inclusion, the subjective reasoning overrode any real historical preservation instinct. Really, how the films were shown in London should be where the debate ends, unless you have direct proof from the principals.

  5. So it means that if they experienced the films wrong all those years, your job is to perpetuate it by offering the wrong aspect ratios, wrong color timing etc.?

      • While I was disappointed with The Curse of Frankenstein blu-ray, and have placed a review on Amazon to express my dismay, I have found the previous Hammer blu-ray releases to be excellent. I posted my Amazon review of CoF before I’d received the Mummy’s Shroud, Rasputin and Devil Rides Out discs, but they’ve now been received and viewed and have helped restore my faith in the project again (though the Lionsgate involvement in Dracula does make me a bit nervous).

        Speaking personally, I have no problem at all over the tinkering with the special effects in The Devil Rides Out. If I ever want to watch the original again then I can on the DVD edition, but I probably won’t bother now I’ve got this Blu-Ray version, especially as the ‘enhanced’ effects really are not as aesthetically offensive as some people think. To me, the special effects upgrade is so subtle and light of touch that if it hadn’t been announced I don’t suppose too many people would have registered it at all. A full scale George Lucas style CGI defacement it’s not. And all the jarring rear projection in the car shots has been retained, the fiery death of Mocata is still totally unconvincing and the studio staff lounging in the background as Rex rescues Tanith at the nocturnal baptism have not been optically removed. And even with the touch up, the tarantula is still fairly rubbish. So those people who like the evidence of Hammer’s low budgets and rushed schedules to be in evidence on screen are not going to be disappointed. I can understand the purists upset to a degree, but really, in the context of watching the film as a whole I barely registered the changes.

  6. Thanks for the release for Dracula, any other hammers before then?
    Howa the talks with Sony going about the backlog of hammer, i see that america has just got don’t panic chaps.
    Are we going to get any unreleased hammer films?

  7. All I’m going to say is ‘well done, Hammer’! I don’t care what anyone else says, the Blu-rays are looking amazing. I don’t know how some people get that obsessive about tiny details, my life is way too busy for that. I congratulate you for the 1.37:1 version of CoF as it looks like it should; even after all the evidence, some people are still throwing the rattle out of the pram.

    Keep up the good work. I’m really looking forward to Dracula and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell next year.

  8. I just want to say thank you for the time and effort that you have put into these blu-ray discs. I live in the states and I’am a big fan of these classic Hammer films.

  9. Oh dear, and so it all kicks off yet again, days after Hammer announce that “Dracula” will be available in March 2013 – hooray!!, and the criticisms are piling up already.

    I was lucky enough to be at The Vault to see the screening of the restored Dracula – at last with it’s correct UK title and containing the long rumoured and at last discovered extra few precious seconds of Chris Lee clawing at his decaying face and also seducing Mina. All looked fabulous, and it will be wonderful to own this version next year, with some mouth-watering extras no doubt.

    Personally, I love the work Hammer have done with the restorations so far, and I look forward to all the titles getting a make-over for Blu-Ray.
    Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile were stunning releases.
    Dracula Prince of Darkness looked amazing.
    Curse of Frankenstein nicely done and with a ton of extras too.
    The Devil Rides Out looked brand new, and the little tweaks to hide the awful matte lines as well as the enhanced effects for the skull reveal and the spider hit by the water, and the lightning bolts at the climax just tidied it up to look so much better. (If I’d had the opportunity I would have removed the terrible reverse action shot of the trampling hooves that move ridiculously back and forth over Patrick Mower to comical effect as well, but that really WOULD have had people up in arms I’m sure.)
    I appreciate there have been some flaws that had to be addressed in some of the releases like the sound problem on DPOD which were addressed anyway, but the level of petty complaints seen on the Hammer blogs about most of the titles has been overwhelming and frankly quite ridiculous.

    People should think just for a moment, and imagine how far any of them would have got complaining to Warner Home Video that the print of Dracula said “Horror of Dracula”, and could we have it corrected please, or could we have “Plague of the Zombies” edited correctly rather than the idiotic way the Americans watched it, blah blah blah.

    To all the American fans who are eager to have these Blu-Rays out in Region A, please spare a thought for us poor Brits who have had 30 years of Americanised VHS and DVD copies of these films to put up with, complete with the wrong titles and sometimes different edits (Plague opening sequence for example), and in a way it is nice that these British productions are now getting some restoration treatment at home to cater to British fans for a change. The US will just have to wait I guess, much as will the UK for titles like Twins of Evil and Vampire Circus to come out in Blu-Ray format, since in the US, Synapse chose to keep the releases Region A, thus making them of no use to UK customers. It is swings and roundabouts as they say.

    Film collectors have become too spoilt I think, expecting tailor made releases that pander to their every whim, and thinking that by threatening to not buy a release that doesn’t completely offer them 100% satisfaction, they will somehow force distribution companies to back down, regardless of factors like cost and available materials.

    I’m just grateful the films are getting new releases at all, and with great new bonus features too, instead of the bare bones previous efforts we had to endure from the big guns who couldn’t be bothered to offer extras to their UK customers.

    Well done Hammer. So glad you are back with us again!

  10. Ben.. the Japanese cans surely show 1:66 but that could be an instruction for projection… Now focus your attention on the Japanese “owl” screen grab Hammer posted and you will see it is NOT a 1:66 frame, but a 1:33. IMHO, Dracula was possibly shot open or academy w/a 1:66 center mat for projection.

  11. Dracula has had not one, but two blu ray World Premiers with thumbs up reaction from fans. Not one complaint about the aspect ratio. So, lets put away all those screen grabs and 50 year old newspaper articles and use this blog to talk about the film and all of its legendary elements!!!!!!!

    • Ok, fine. Let’s make it b&w then so that it has more atmosphere. And while we’re at it, I want Citizen Kane in widescreen so I don’t have to see those unsightly black bars on the sides. Technical facts be damned! :P

  12. We are going to hear from Sir Christopher Lee in the DRACULA extras, i hope?

    Regarding TCOF. It looks perfectly fine in open matte. If one wishes to adjust it to fit their screen, many players and televisions have that option. I highly advise, especially if you’re a film collector, to invest in a player that does XY scaling, which is to say adjusting the top and bottom of the visible screen to exactly how one would wish. Problem largely solved.

    As for THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, the effects are very well done and not intrusive at all. If this is one’s first time viewing, I doubt they’d notice. However, yes. Give us an option, please. I LOVE the multiple aspect ratio options being offered on TCOF and RASPUTIN, THE MAD MONK. No issues with that being a continuing feature.

    BUT…my issue so far is with the transfers themselves. Every screenshot I’ve sen from TCOF is very faded, with some blown contrasts. DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS is very clean, but inferior in color saturation and contrast levels to the Warners HD print aired on U.S. television, which is also much sharper. Same thing with THE DEVIL RIDES OUT. As an example, where the Warners transfer “pops” in the credits, here I’m seeing a reddish tint throughout the background instead of the inky black of the Warners.

    I’m unsure what’s exactly going on, but it’s very important, imho, that any new Blu Ray/HD version restores and retains the lush colour scheme that Hammer is famous for. So far, this has not been happening.

    • What he said. I’ve read/heard that the relatively weak restoration efforts with regard to clarity and color is a result of not enough money. But if Warners or someone else has already done the work, it seems we should be getting these restored prints on blu-ray rather than faded ones. I haven’t seen the prints Domenick has written about but I don’t doubt they are out there. Let’s get it all together folks! We don’t want to have to buy these twice.

    • We can only assume that the left-hand edge was so badly damaged that it made more sense for the Tokyo facility to apply a matte than to scan the reels fully open gate…

        • Hi Ben, the shots being integrated are all discrete, so working alongside Deluxe142 in London we have managed to integrate them almost seamlessly (albeit that the change of source is discernible in some cases due to the condition of the Japanese source element). Nice pun btw! :-)

          • I hope the inclusion of the Japanese footage is going to be an option and not the only way to view the film.

          • Looking forward to this release, regardless of issues I’ve had with a few lately. And, you’re welcome for the pun. It came (un)naturally. :D

  13. Oh, no! It’s all about branching extra footage now! Surely the extra scenes in Dracula were part of the original as filmed? If it’s possible to use seamless branching to make a kind of Director’s Cut, then I suppose that’s good. But, I honestly am not that fussed either way.

    • They were certainly filmed at the same time as the rest, but I’m not so sure that they were intended to be included in the UK/US prints.

      There’s a couple of interviews with Michael Carreras in the early 1960s where he talks about preparing material specifically for the European/Japanese markets.

      • Have been reliably advised (the censorship of the various prints isn’t something I’ve ever researched properly – has been well covered by others) that the extra material in the Japanese cut, was originally submitted to the BBFC. So in this case at least, your supposition seems right Carl.

        • The more I think about this, the more I realise I’d be happy with this new extended cut as the sole version on the disc, provided the “new” footage doesn’t jar too much and if indeed it is close to the cut first submitted to the BBFC prior to what had to be removed.

        • I won’t dispute that, but I also kind of wonder if some footage that wasn’t really intended to be included was included just so that they could cut stuff to satisfy the censors while preserving more vital material.

          Negotiating the censorship process is a fascinating story in and of itself, but I think it’s important to remember that there was some gamesmanship going on.

  14. I hope Tim is kidding!

    To me, and I suspect a lot of fans, this found footage is like the Holy Grail for this film.
    It should always have been part of the UK released feature, and only interfering UK censors prevented that.
    It’s a miracle that 55 years later they’ve been discovered.
    I don’t want these precious shots included as an extra, I want them in the main film where they should have been all along.

    I also think that any more comments about OAR’s for Hammer films will drive me screaming out of these forums!

    • I’m not kidding. It’s the way I and everyone else knows the film. Add the scenes by all means, but I want the option to watch the film I know and love, in high definition, as well thanks.

      I love Dracula and watched the Warner DVD just the other day. I don’t want the default version to be the new and “improved” version and as a consumer and customer I will make my choice of whether or not to buy on what Hammer does.

      After recent releases though, I’m not exactly holding my breath with anticipation.

      • Tim, the Warner DVD actually features the original US cut of Dracula, under the ‘Horror of Dracula’ title. This edition was also featured on VHS and has been the default version for consumers of Home Entertainment versions. There were slightly different cuts between the US and the UK.

        Fans in the UK haven’t been able to see ‘Dracula’ as it would have been released originally for many years.

        The BFI restoration from 2007 is a hybrid. It restores the original UK title plate, and basically includes all of the available cut material – so all the material that was cut from the US version but was in the UK prints AND all the material cut from the UK prints but which appeared in the US version.

        Anyone watching Dracula in a cinema in the UK/Ireland (and probably Europe) over the last five years, will have seen the hybrid print. That in itself was available in 35mm and as a digital print (which was visibly more restored than the 35mm).

        The screening at The Vault in London earlier this year combined the hybrid with (most of… I think) the Japanese footage.

        Speaking purely personally, I’m most interested in seeing a proper restoration of the UK cut, with the Japanese material as an alternative/option.

        • Just curious, but why would you want the *most* cut version as the default option, Robert?

          Surely the restored uncut version should be the main attraction?

          • Well, arguably that is the most ‘authentic’ version to release for a country of origin release. The original print as seen in the UK. There’s been a lot of criticism of Hammer’s approach to the restorations, the additions of Devil Rides Out being the most notable. The reality is, no matter what choice is made, some people aren’t going to be happy.

            But to be fair, I don’t mind the hybrid BFI print. And having now seen some of the additional Japanese footage, I think the fans will be pleasantly surprised.

            There’s always going to be slightly different versions out there, much as there was back in the 50s and 60s when the film was doing the circuits first time round.

            I’d like to be able to compare the cuts, but I can do that by comparing with my old DVD and VHS anyway.

  15. As there is not a BLOG re Devil Rides Out…I will put it here…..
    I enjoyed the new version… looks great..The new FX are OK, neither here nor there really.
    BEST part for me was , the ‘orgy’ scene when the devil appears…45.25
    when they drive the car into the masses to rescue the guys and girls…
    If you freeze frame there is a shot of a couple of Hammer guys clearly in the background holding a cup of coffee and desperately trying to get out of shot.
    You have love hammer !

  16. I don’t know how this may end up involving Hammer, but it was announced today that Warner Bros. in the US will begin releasing blu-rays in their Warner Archive Collection starting next week. Only four titles announced so far, but this may be a way for HORROR OF DRACULA, THE MUMMY, and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN to be released in HD here in the US. Other Hammers the Archive have released include HYSTERIA, SHE, and CRESCENDO — wouldn’t mind an upgrade for SHE, personally.

  17. O.K……The first BFI restoration of DRACULA looked great according to John Hodson…So I assume color, AR,picture quality and sound is good…Now on to the 2nd restoration with the Japanese footage..Mr. Hodson hasn’t seen this one so we must accept the fact that the new footage may not be as good… now the only thing that can go wrong would be in the Discs mastering process and this would be up to whoever’s doing it.I would suggest to Hammer that they send a pre-release disc to Mr. Hodson and or Mr. Harris for final approval.. this way the movie dosn’t get out if there’s any technical bugs to be straightend out and will save everyone A LOT OF HEADACHE!!!! What say you HAMMER?

  18. Ben, since you’re a “no if’s, an’s or buts” kind of guy, I have a solution to you Dracula 58 hard matt stand. The BFI restored this film from the OCN (according to all the sites I’ve seen)) and it would be them who would know for sure if it was shot open frame or hard matted for 1:66:1. I suggest you contact them and see what they say. Surely their asnwer would put to rest this question and just may prove if you are right, “no if’s, ans’s or buts”

  19. If Horror of Dracula was, as you say, shot 1.66 matted in camera, then it cannot be a 1.66 release. It would have to be 1.75 at a minimum.

    RAH

    • Warner Bros. tell us that DRACULA (1958) aka HORROR OF DRACULA was matted in camera at 1.66:1 and exhibited in the US at 1.85:1. The BFI did extensive research into the UK OAR of DRACULA and came to the conclusion that it is 1.66:1. The BFI applied a fine matte to the source materials they used for their 2007 restoration, but the aspect ratio remains 1.66:1.

  20. hello Mr. Harris: Please excuse my ignorance, but I don’t understand how a film matted at 1:66 becomes larger to 1:75. Aren’t you in essence cropping the image? Please enlighten if you get a chance..many thanks, Bill Lettang

  21. Hello, Hammer friends.
    Congratulations for your work. I’m very happy with the announcement of Dracula release and with all the previous blu-rays that I already own.
    I only have a doubt about the extended version: how have you adjusted/matched the mixed original soundtrack (from the cut version)with a new longer image track (the Dracula’s dead with new japanese footage)? It may be difficult, specially in sequences with music, so the international soundtrack probably doesn’t exist anymore. I work as a cutter in a production company, and thats a curiosity I’ve always had about restoration processes.
    Thanks.
    J. Sancho (Spain)

  22. Hello Hammer & Fans: Thanks Hammer for the screen grab from the BFI’s restored Dracula. I can say with certainty that the grading is spot on and perfectly matches the IB technicolor in my possession. I always new it had to be “colder”(on the bluer side) and darker… its amazing how much more atmosphere this movie has with the correct grading, so please everyone, forget about the old Warners DVD cause it’s WRONG

  23. Hello Hammer: Me and a lot of fans wish you luck with the blu ray DRACULA.. Being a recording musician I know what it’s like to work on a limited budget, and sometimes you just can’t get your project exactly the way you want it. By the way, if I may a little bold, I’m hoping the rare photo of Christopher Lee as the count I sent you makes it to the photo gallery. That would really top it off for me!!

  24. I would be happy with [almost] anything so long as Dracula isn’t released in godawful retrograde Academy ratio. Extra picture information for the sake of it is not always a good thing. Pictorial composition is what matters. Square movies suck

    • They won’t be releasing Dracula in Academy, only at 1.66:1. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Earlier Quatermass and X The Unknown in Academy though. When it comes to ratios, some people seem to think that Blu Ray automatically means widescreen. Well, there’s always that stretch button!!!

  25. Re: HOD, in an old 16mm ib tech print some scenes are full frame and some matted. Most of the full frame scenes are exterior shots. And re: DPoD maybe Hammer can work towards putting on dvd just an original ib tech 35mm scope print of the film when the original elements are ng

  26. On DPoD, just put a 35MM ib tech scope print from UK or other parts of Europe if the elements are NG; that way we can at least see the original colors

  27. I am bored with the complaints about aspect ratios. Curse of Frankenstein is an old film and I think it looks great, lets face it you can tinker with ratios on most modern TVs if you have nothing better to do with your lives. Its only a film. Dracula is the film I am really looking forward to seeing. Is the Japanese footage being added to the film or is it an extra? I already have the WB dvd and would rather have the complete film with the restored footage than have it as an extra. Is there any information on what is going on the bluray as extras? I would love to see a documentary on how the footage was traced and a look at how it was restored back into the film. Can’t wait to see it but I am sure you will get some people on here complaining about ratios when they get to see it. You cant please all the people all the time!

  28. I don’t agree with Mr. Mills that “square” movies suck. First off, they were only square during early television broadcasts and were actually slightly wider at 1:37 AR. Second, many of the all time great classics are in this ratio and will be around and appreciated long after some of today’s wide screen crap is forgotten. I wish people would stop nagging Hammer over the AR for Dracula.. it has been stated quite clearly by them it will be released in 1:66

  29. Here is a list of suspect continental versions: The Mummy; Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll; Man Who Could Cheat Death; Terror of the Tongs; Curse of the Werewolf; Kiss of the Vampire. And, this is a list of suspect Japanese versions in addition to HOD: The Mummy; Brides of Dracula; Curse of the Werewolf; Terror of the Tongs; The Gorgon; Dracula Prince of Darkness AND probably others. The ideal dvd release would be a 3-disc set including the domestic or UK/USA version and the Continental version and the Japanese version. The Japanese version would have the extra gore with the non-nudy clothes scenes; the Continental version would have the nudy scenes with the modified UK/USA gore and the USA/UK domestic version would have the modified gore and the clothes version of the nudy scenes. There can not be no perfect single uncut print. Re: all the discussions of what matte a film is shot or projected in, what I want to see is what is in the original negative regardless of how it was projected. If there is twelve feet of empty studio space above an actor’s head, then that is what I want to see!

    • Here, here! Down with bogus ‘Correct Aspect Ratios’! Why is it such a terrible thing to want to see the whole frame including space below and above? Look at the AWFUL matting applied to Horror of Dracula & The Vampire Lovers as obvious examples. Please cease this destructive trend for rubbish 16X9 or at least give true fans a full frame option as you so graciously did with The Curse of Frankenstein.

  30. Hello.

    Is the film going to be released only with the japanese footage in?

    As far as I know, it wasn’t in the original cut of the movie, instead, it was only intended for the japanese market (so much so, that Terence Fisher repeatedly denied its existence to everyone who interviewed him).

    Would it make sense to include it as part of the film? Does “more” equals “better”?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Pablo, the so-called ‘Japanese footage’ was always intended for inclusion in the UK cut. (‘Cut’ being the operative word, as it was removed by the BBFC…)

      As for Fisher’s denials of shooting extra footage, I’m sure he simply meant that he didn’t film a special version for any particular territory – It was only after-the-fact censorship in various countries that created the differing versions.

      Another thing worth considering is that the finale’s disintegration scene would have been handled by the film’s effects crew (Syd Pearson, etc.) – it’s entirely possible that the likes of Terence Fisher and Jack Asher weren’t even present for the filming of these scenes. (Hence Fisher not remembering them!)

      Bottom line – what we’re now referring to as the Japanese version IS the original version, pre-censorship. It’s only right that it should take pride of place on Hammer’s blu-ray presentation. They’ve already confirmed that the 2007 BFI restoration (sans extra footage) will also be included, so I’m sure that most people will be happy.

  31. hello Anthony… looks like we’re in a minority here.. I too like to see as much of the frame as possible, even though I accept the other film buffs view about theatrical presentation. I’m also a huge BEATLES fan and have a large collection of alternate mixes..and thats an interesting point….The American and British mixes differed quite frequently so which is the real mix? At this pont in all of this restoration business, I’m really not that concerned with any of the other films, I just want DRACULA to be GREAT!!! (and I wouldn’t mind if I saw Terrence Fishers pipe sticking out of the side) HA HA!

  32. On DPoD and the idea of simply putting a 35MM Ib tech scope print on dvd/blu ray when the elements are ng, note that the French company, Bach, when they issued the Mexican vampire film, El Vampiro (b/w), they also placed on the dvd as an extra, in addition to the restored CasaNegra elements, a complete original genuine French print with the on screen French titles. Disney has also used original ib tech positive theatrical prints of their trailers as extras of their classic animated films. The ib tech definately comes through with the blazing color looking like 3D. The film was ib tech in UK and Germany and others but not USA

  33. I wonder if the film vaults of Japan have any other Hammer titles that contain missing scenes we’ve all been hoping would eventually be found.
    It seems entirely likely that if Dracula has been found with censored shots intact, then perhaps other titles are also waiting to be un-earthed. I wonder if Hammer have explored this option fully?

  34. Hello All: If you look closely,In the fight scene between Dracula and Harker in HOD, Christopher Lee is wearing a dark “leathery” type of bracelet on his right wrist, and this same bracelet shows up in pics and vids of him through the years. Does anyone know it’s history?

  35. Re: the questions and wonderings on the aspect ratios, I don’t think there will be a final absolute solution. Since I have seen so many of these Hammer films on (1) there original theatrical showings (2) 16mm prints in private collections (3) VHS (4) dvds including foreign editons – WHAT I havn’t seen is an unexpurgated unmatted virginal print from the original camera negative, dead space and all above an actors head. The matte on a film I think (could be wrong) originates on the interpositive (first print made from the negative), hence that would be why internegatives (negatives made from interpositives to run off mass produced theatrical prints) would then carry over the matte framing in the negative form and that perhaps may account why some matte framing on USA and UK prints can vary. On a lessor level the same thing applies to publicity stills where the original negative may have more detail and then a print is made from it that is matted and then a negative made from that for release. All this would of course require that one works straight from the original camera negative to get the image as shot. Note also that the interpositive is very much subject to all the same color fadings as any other print unless it is made in IB tech. AND that all these elements remain subject to the elements of nature.
    And,yes, I suspect VERY STRONGLY that over in Japan can be found so-called Japanese prints of many Hammer films including non-Hammer horror films such as Horrors of the Black Museum and Circus of Horrors. It really is a gold mine when you think on it. But perhaps a gold mine that can be measured more as art rather than money

    • I don’t think we should expect anything else to turn up from the Japanese vault. It took Simon much work to deal with them, and the negotiations were rather sensitive afterwards with Hammer, et al (my understanding of the matter). Heck, how many times in the past were the Japanese companies approached about getting extra footage? A number of times is my understanding there too. We should count our blessings for the way everything came together for Simon (especially with the disaster in Japan that almost foiled it all). I sincerely hope Simon gets to tell his story on the bd release.

  36. Dear Hammer,
    Please don’t release Dracula on Academy ratio. The world progressed to widescreen for a reason. Extra picture information is not always a good thing. Sooner or later there has to be an edge to the frame and composition has to be a consideration

  37. hi folks…I’m a bit bewildered…are we to believe that in all of Japan (and the whole world for that matter) there’s only 1 print of DRACULA with the censored footage? It must have run in multiple cities at the same time in Japan. What happens internationally when a theater run is done..do they return the prints to the parent company? I also noticed while on YouTube that the opening theme music on the German release was a different mix. Anyone know of other ones? (by the way, (laughing) I’m not trying to start another “AR” type disagreement over which is the correct one).

    • As far as I know, prints are usually destroyed after the theatrical run of a film ends (after a number of showings, they end up in a pretty rough shape). Interpositives and internegatives are usually kept, which is logical because they allow to create new prints from them, if needed.

  38. Just my personal thoughts on the screen ratio debate.

    If Hammer need to tweak the picture size here or there in order to reintegrate the missing footage as successfully as possible, then I have no problems with that.
    I say this as someone who saw, firsthand, the truly awful condition of the Japanese film-stock – Hammer have not had the luxury of working with even remotely pristine material (from Japan at least) and so this should really be taken into account before criticising any changes they may be forced to make to reintegrate the extra material .
    Please note that I’ve written “REintegrate” twice now rather than “integrate” because, as Stuart stated, the footage I found in Japan was always intended to be in the original cut – however, unlike the UK and US, Japan enjoyed no film censorship in 1958 and hence we had the sole surviving – albeit sadly battered – copy which included the missing seconds residing in Tokyo for over five decades.

    I fully appreciate what an emotive subject this film is. Those who know me are aware that I, myself, got frustrated many times and “threw my toys out the pram” on a couple of occasions! (Eh, Stuart?)
    But I must add that, on the long, arduous journey between confirming the extra footage actually existed and its long anticipated restoration and release on Blu ray, Hammer have taken this project very seriously indeed and have always strived (and are still striving) to do it complete justice.
    I, for one, can’t wait for the release in March next year – whatever the ratio.

    Anyhow, just my ha’porth worth folks.

    Simon Rowson

    PS I did try to find other lost Hammer footage in Japan but all to no avail thus far I’m afraid.

  39. re: Japanese 35mm theatrical prints, I roughly estimate that Universal in Japan may have struck about 100-odd prints since they may have struck about 350 prints of HOD in the USA for nation wide distribution. Many prints are junked after their lifespan has expired but some find their way into archives and private collections

  40. This is interesting. That is, just where are these old prints stored, if they are not junked. We know that regarding the vintage foreign language sound tracks are stored safe and sound because that is why dvds are able to have multiple language tracks; we know that probably due to finances on dvds foreign language prints are not used but only the multiple language tracks played over the same elements and we know this because there are no on screen foreign language credits which we will assume there could be although that may not be true always as many times a voice over in the foreign language would mouth the foreign language title. I think there is a possibility that studios may not be searching well enough for foreign language elements. It is interesting that the art of making foreign versions or continental versions, or, as the case in point here is, gory Japanese versions, was in fact in vogue as early as the silent era in the 1920s as there they would indeed make contiental versions of silent films featuring steamy kissing scenes which were not non-edited versions of domestic scenes but totally alternative takes especially done for the continental market.

    • And get a text commentary on these blu-rays! For you guys it’s another (low-rent) extra feature, and believe me if done right it will up the perceived value of your special features. Imagine, being able to read your historians, scene specific comment as the scene is being played out.

  41. Hi Anthony,

    Whilst many films did undoubtedly have cuts made explicitly for the foreign market (and still do – the far gorier Japanese print of Kill Bill Part 1 being a prime example), I honestly don’t believe this to have been the case with Dracula. Such claims were simply down to publicity hype by Jimmy Carreras – after all, if you know that there is an uncensored copy of your film doing the rounds in another country, why not try to add some spin suggesting that it was what you intended all along?

    Alas, I also believe – based on my conversations with the National Film Centre in Tokyo – that there were far fewer copies of the film in circulation in Japan than your estimate of 100. Furthermore, having experienced firsthand the Japanese film industry’s inflexibility with regards to regulations and protocol, I have no doubts whatsoever that only one copy was eventually deposited in the national archive and that none fell into the hands of private individuals.

    So, as far as I’m aware, what is about to be released is all that still exists.

    Simon

  42. On an old 35mm German IB tech print of Brides of Dracula in a private collection, the following can be seen: 1. the on screen credits are in German in white print against the usual background – not red letters as in the print we are familiar with; 2. there are what look like negative spices in between gory scenes and those scenes are the following – after the immediate close up of the stake going into the body of the Baroness Meinster there is a negative splice (white line in between frame) and the next shot is usual wide high angle shot of Van Helsing tearing down the curtain to cover up the body and this shot has a jump in the sound track; 2. when the huge bat attacks Severin outside the stables the scenes with Severin yelling in close up and covering up his face – a negative splice occurs there too when the scene ends; 3. there is also another negative splice in the immediate cut prior to the close up of the Baron Meinster’s burnt face when the Baron has his hands covering his face and when he removes his hands from his face we see his damaged face with the skin pealed off. These negative splices can be physically seen in the actual print in both projecting the print and in examining the print by hand and are distinguised by a white line (similar to when a regular print breaks and one has to splice it with film cement). Other than the credits the German print is identical to the USA edition and probably the spliced negative splice is more seen in a 35mm positive theatrical print than in a dvd although one should be able to identify these scenes on a dvd (perhaps without the white line?). It looks to me as if something could be missing from where those negative splices occur although what would be missing is anyones guess – alternative takes or just censorship. There are of course other Hammer films which are even more blunt in the censorship or cutting, such as Terrof of the Tongs.

  43. This is purely gut reaction with nothing to back it up, but I also believe somewhere, in the hands of private collectors, that excised and territory specific material exists. Let’s reiterate the message, and make it more viral. If anyone knows a film collector collector, ask them to check for missing Hammer material. And ask that collector to get that message out to their collector friends, and so on. Hammer, get the message out to the memorabilia, collectors’ and movie fairs. In the UK alone, there are several of these well attended events every year, and I’m sure their marketing departments would welcome an association with Hammer, even for little or even zero financial reward. At one of these shows, and as a not completely relevant example, I bumped into Brian Lewis’ grandson, (yes the Brian Lewis who used to do the artwork on the old House of Hammer magazine covers), and had an interesting chat on how he was slowly recovering the original artwork from various sources, (really wish I’d taken his phone number now!).

    Anyway, that’s my 2p worth!

  44. The one remaining member of the camera crew from the “Curse of Frankenstein” many other of the best of Hammer films left us on
    Tuesday.A true gentleman and the finest of technicians,it was a privilege to work with him,sadly missed,Harry Oakes.

  45. The private collections of fans are always good resources for rarities but I don’t think one will find rarities like Japanese and Continental versions of films in USA and UK private collections and I also don’t think that in the Continent of Europe and Japan that the elements we are talking about (positive theatrical 35mm prints) would have filtered into private collections if simply because of the fact that in those countries the availability and distribution of film was on a more smaller scale than in the USA. Note that it is because of massive USA nation wide distribution of movies including non theatrical film distribution that prints eventually landed into the hands of private collectors and because these prints were significantly less in numbers in the Continent and Japan that there would be an unlikely amount of collectors in those countries who would have the foreign versions. With regard to actual film elements by way of either positive 35mm or 16mm prints of films, generally the USA followed closely by the UK, were the prime collectors and mainly prints in those private collections have a tendency of originating from the same country as the collector. Too, as film capital the USA made a high number of 35mm prints of films and should I add that in the era of the late 1950s and the whole of the 1960s the majority of Hammer horror films were made direct for the major USA companies like Universal and others. Culturally, in terms of being collectors, the USA composed the collector primary fan because of element availability, possibly followed by UK; but even the UK did not have the sheer amount of material the USA had – massive nation wide distribution of 35mm and lots of 16mm non theatrical distribution markets (that is, within the era of the time frame of HOD and its longevity as a film to be played in theatres or thereabouts). My belief will be that if there are elements to be found one will have to go to the country in question (ex Japan) and or do a more thorough search in the dungeons and catacombs of the USA majors such as Universal. My compliments and congradulations to all those involved in the hunt for the Japanese footage of HOD and there success. However the dream and fantasy must go on because there are just too many other titles involved. (In hindsigt, if producers of the low budgeted Hammer horrors had had forsight into how valuable their elements would become in years to come… not unusual, negatives were thrown out all the time.)

  46. Probably all true Anthony, but collectors are opportunistic magpies. Witness that much of the ’60s Dr Who was junked by the BBC, and yet, from various sources, much of it has been recovered. I believe that one of the preceived barriers in people volunteering their material was that they were worried that action may have been brought against them for having purloined the said material.

  47. Re: the the subject of a collector feeling paranoid about allowing a privately owned print to be borrowed by a company such as Hammer to do dvd restoration of a hypothetical ultra rare Japanese ib technicolor 35mm print, I will share an interesting story told to me by an acquaintance. Mr. X owned an extremely rare and precious and valuable 35mm print of a film that was considered so-called ‘lost’. The major Hollywood studio learnt about it and approached him about borrowing it to do a dvd restoration. The owner of the print however felt that once it was put on dvd the value of his print would drop significantly and so he offered to sell it to the studio for x-amount of thousands of dollars in the 3-figure range so they could do their dvd restoration. The studio told him that they did not think they should have to pay him these monies since the print was theirs to begin with. The collector argued he owned the print as a private object similar to how you may own a book and the studio spokesperson handling the negotiations argued the studio owned both. And both parties continued their respective arguments right and left. The bottom line was that all conversation stopped and the studio did not get the print from the collector and of course the dvd restoration was not done. My recommendation is that such negotiations should be treated legally and contractually and with diplomacy and once conversation starts and agreements start to occur for the agreement to be in writing so that both parties understand where they stand with regard to their rights and what they agree to. One would like to think this process should be pretty straight forward but it can get murky and bogged down in legalities which can be time consuming and costly to sort out. If there are money matters to be agreed to then they should be discussed; if there are matters to be discussed and agreed to with regard to the actual print and its ownership then that to should be part of the final agreement.

  48. Hello HAMMER: Evidently there’s a lot of mud slinging goin’ on over at other websites full of fear about the quality of the DRACULA blu ray. One persistant question concerns the audio and what was used with the new footage. Could you tell us if you did a “drop in” with the Japanese video to the extant footage or did you use and restore the Japanese soundtrack along with the Japanese footage. I myself am confident with you folks but we could use a little update as to how and what is being done. Also if I may, How are sales going with all the other blu rays releases? Thanks much, Bill

  49. Okay’ couldn’t resist, I’m back! Mud-slinging, never! I just ignore now’ can’t be bother with negativity. Really looking forward to “Dracula” but would love to know what the next two Studiocanal releases are?
    You know I haven’t seen any of these releases in HMV at all? Would love to see a glut of them with a advertising campaign. Anyhow “Hammer” I’m back’ risen from the grave. Cue; evil laugh.

    • hi franny,
      i’m glad that you’re back again.looking forward to dracula as well.i first watched this film when i was a child back in 1975 or 1976 on german tv and i’ve been a fan ever since thanks to christopher lee and peter cushing.

  50. Thank you’ Rainer for the welcome. Yep’ “Dracula” soon with us! Bet there are great supporting features as there has been so far with these releases. Have enjoyed each release so far and apart from that sync prob on the original issue of DPOD’ I haven’t had any cause for concerns with the range. Just brilliant restoration and work done. Chris really stated how I feel. Anyway’ can’t wait to see what “Hammer” has lined-up for us this year. Wonder do we have to wait till after “Dracula” to hear any announcement of what the next titles will be?

    • Announced today, here are the…

      DRACULA (1958) extras:

      Four Brand-New Featurettes:

      • “Dracula Reborn”. New 30 min. featurette about the film’s creation and history, featuring, among others: Jimmy Sangster, Kim Newman, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Rigby and Janina Faye (Tania in the film).

      • “Resurrecting Dracula”. New 20 min. featurette about the film’s restoration, from the BFI’s 2007 restoration through to the integration of “lost” footage, featuring interviews with key staff at the BFI, Molinare and Deluxe142. Also covers the February 2012 world premiere of Hammer’s interim restored version including “vox pop” interviews with fans after the event.

      • “The Demon Lover: Christopher Frayling on Dracula”. New 30 min. featurette.

      • “Censoring Dracula”. New 10 min. featurette on the original cuts to the film ordered by the British Board of Film Censors.

      Commentary:

      • New commentary by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn and author & critic Jonathan Rigby.

      Plus:

      • All 4 surviving “Japanese reels” (6 – 9) unrestored (40 mins).

      • The World Of Hammer episode: Dracula And The Undead.

      • Janina Faye reading a chapter of Stoker’s novel at the VAULT festival.

      • Stills Gallery of over 100 fully-restored and rare images.

      • Booklet by Hammer archivist Robert J. E. Simpson (PDF).

      • Original shooting script (PDF).

  51. Get a multi-region’ Chris. I had to take steps so that I could order the Anchor Bay releases. Have a fondess for them as it was the first time some effort went into presenting a fan’s package.

  52. Can’t wait for this title. Thought “Curse of Frankenstein” was an excellent package. I’m so confident in these releases that I no longer have my WB disc to play’ on the wall! Also got rid of other titles that are pending this year. Stll a bit puzzled as to why we haven’t any announcements of dates for other titles. I guess there are none before “Dracula.” Hoping’ not long after we will get a double release or even a triple again!
    Those features sound fantastic, just a shame no Lee. Was he approached even. An introduction by him’ would had been the best. Any archive material in “Dracula Reborn” I wonder? The “Resurrecting Dracula” feature should be fascinating and the “Gallery” sounds massive! What I’m really looking forward to is seeing the title card “Dracula” not that “Horror of” business.
    These releases really are the “definite” versions. Can’t wait to see what’s presented with all the other releases. Hopefully something on the original front-of-house posters/artwork for the Hammer productions. The notion of “Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell” being the next in that series is cool, as we then have the two bookends to the series! Was this intentional? Any how’ do let us know about other releases as it will tide us over whilst awaiting the “Dracula” release.

  53. I was very impressed with the blu ray of The Devil Rides Out, it may have been upgraded a bit in effects but not enough to detract from what we know. I would have liked the repeat footage of the horse kicking its front legs out removed or altered – as it just looks like repeat film anyway!! Original versions on the disc ??? Well ok, but the chances are we have those on a DVD anyway so its not that important.

    The Curse of Frankenstein is a superb disc, I remember all to well the print the BBC showed for years, the left hand side was paler than the right – it looked awful…….so thank you Hammer and everyone who worked on restoring the film. One question what happened to the documentary on Tales of Frankenstein……are we ever going to see it ?

    I am looking forward to Dracula and the promised extra material. Thank you guys once again!

  54. Uh oh. What happened to DRACULA? I saw screenshots from the upcoming BD and it looks not like it should. Too dark and the colour has been desaturated, which is criminal when it comes to early, Eastman colour process Hammer. It seems as if someone, again, has taken down the gamma and colour saturation levels in the original cinematography in order to make it look more modern without understanding how important that warm and deeply saturated look is.

    Here is the link to the screengrabs:

    http://thelatarniaforums.yuku.com/topic/10643/More-Hammer-classics-coming-to-bd-announcement-good-news?page=9

    • Never mind. I’ve seen new shots since that may contradict the first screenshots. I shall wait until my copy arrives :)

  55. So, now that caps are coming out for DRACULA, it seems someone leaned on the blue tint button. Was that done by the BFI, LG, or Hammer?

  56. PS – Please – before it’s too late – please make it look the way it’s supposed to look, as intended for the last 50+ years.

    • So it seems that the earliest caps turned out quite blue and not accurate for whatever reason. From Frank’s review (and others), it’s stated there’s still some bluing going on but not quite as bad. Anyhow, I’m still looking forward to it and am relaxing a bit after seeing Frank’s full in depth review.

  57. I counted myself a staunch supporter of this forum, but even I’m getting frustrated now with this silence, especially considering we’re approaching the launch of the restored “Dracula.” If there is to be no more communication on here’ then state so!

    • Apologies for the extended silence! We’ll post soon! We’re just a little bit snowed-under with the ongoing restorations (FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL uncut; THE WITCHES; THE MUMMY). ^..^

      • Not to mention FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, which is now listed at Amazon… Will you be addressing the Anolis titles starting in April? I.e., are they going to be released in tandem in the UK? Also, what about the US 3-title dvd (no bds?!) of DPoD, SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES, and FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN?

  58. At last’ your back with us’ Hammer! Missed ya. Hopefully an announcement soon on the next titles to see release. Can’t wait for “Dracula” this month. The restored title card is enough to thrill me. The Witches!? What a great choice. A highly underrated neglected Hammer film. With supporting features’ this should be a very interesting release. As for “Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell” very interested as I have seen various prints, so can’t wait for the definite version. My second favorite Frankenstein feature after “Frankenstein Created Woman.” Question; Will you be releasing “FCW” as well as Anolis? I’m a little confused on that point. Got rid of some of my old dvds awaiting your releases’ that’s how much trust I have in these restorations. Haven’t let me down’ since that sync-glitch with DPOD and then you fixed it! I’m hoping your next releases will be another batch of three titles. You haven’t mentioned “Kronos” in that last post? Was rather hoping that was this year as well. Negativity originally drove me away from these forums’ but decided you need your supporters! Keep-up all this good work and let us know soon what releases next!

  59. The work of an artist, although it is not a masterpiece, should be respected. Change the look that the director chose for a flat, change colors, or intervene in any way in the original film, is altering not restore. Restore is to return to work the original look. Although not like the restorer. Who is the restorer to vary a work w without respect what the author wanted to do? Not to the alteration and modification of the original! Not the bombing of a work and its author! YES to restoration of the original objective and respectful! Thanks and excuse me for my bad english.

  60. release all your monster films on blu ray in america please i grew up with those films anxious to see them again in their full glory :)

  61. Hammer’ you really need to start talking properly again as there is a lot of confusion over releases. Anolis, Millennuim, Studiocanal’ then in what format!?

    • Hi Franny,
      Re. Millennium: See this press release http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=10613
      Re. Anolis: They announced Blu-rays of THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT, THE LOST CONTINENT and FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, but all three have now been put back. Will update when we have news!
      Re. StudioCanal: No plans for any Blu-ray releases beyond the seven titles already released.
      Thanks!

  62. Thank you for replying. However confused. Amazon.co.uk have “Frankenstein Created Woman” down for pre-order. Apparently 2 discs from Studiocanal? You mention “Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell” and two other titles’ what’s happening regards them? Everyone is confused on CHFF and other forums.

    • Hi Franny, wouldn’t take Amazon as gospel! Re. FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL, this is one of 3 titles (FATMFH, CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER, THE MUMMY) that we hope will be released on Double Play Blu-ray/DVD through Lionsgate/Icon (following their releases of TCOF and DRACULA) at some point in the future. Re. THE WITCHES, we are restoring this, but there are currently no plans to release the title. Thanks!

  63. Thank you’ Hammer for putting me straight. May I also ask about this forthcoming Millennuim triple pack in U.S. Are those restored? Will they have supporting features? Is the Anolis “FCW” the only other version we will see, or will it eventually be released by Studiocanal. You can see why there is confusion, sad there hasn’t been any definite announcements of release dates from you about titles to follow “Dracula.”

    • We work in partnership with multiple distributors internationally which means multiple moving parts. We can assure you, as soon as anything is 100% confirmed we’ll post it here! The triple-pack “Feature Film Set” from Millennium Entertainment is a budget-priced vanilla release with no extras. The masters used were the best available SD masters. As already mentioned, HD-mastered Blu-rays will follow in due course…

        • Hi Ben, of the three films on the “Feature Film Set”, we have only so far restored DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, so that film is taken from an SD master of the restored film. The other two films have been mastered from the best available SD source.

  64. Still no announcement about forthcoming UK releases? We have known about and waited a long time for “Dracula.” Are you slowing down on the restoration work? Can we expect to hear some news soon about release dates on further titles?

    • Dear oh dear – it starts already……

      I wonder why people can’t wait five minutes between posts before grumbling that they’ve had no response from Hammer?
      They are a busy company, and remastering films isn’t something that you can turn around in a few days, and then rustle up tons of extras – and then put it all onto blu-ray and dvd – all in time to please the ever ungrateful fans, who then moan about how it doesn’t look or sound right.

      Hammer have said that work is ongoing on their new releases, and they will post when there is some definite news. Why badger them every five minutes for updates if there is nothing to say?

      I am just grateful that Dracula is nearly with us in all it’s promised glory as the most definitive version ever produced for home consumption.
      Of course, you can bet your life that on 18th March the forum will be full of whingers nit-picking about something being wrong.
      It seems to have kicked off already on other sites where a few screen grabs have got everyone going again.
      Why take all the fun out of a release before it has even hit the shelves?
      I sometimes wonder about these so called fans of Hammer ,who spend so much time being negative that the eventual releases will surely disappoint in some way, whatever they contain, and however good the film looks.

  65. Gone quiet again? Can’t wait till tomorrow. I’ll say a big “THANK YOU” now, that’s how confident I am. Though will you please let us know when we can expect next titles?

  66. Geez’ all this debate about picture quality and when the bloody thing is released’ all goes quiet!? Makes sense…..not!
    Absolutely stunning presentation and the features are so’ right on the mark. Thank you’ Hammer.
    Now’ please, please, please’ can we have an announcement of some more titles?

  67. Hi, Hammer, Now that Dracula is out of the way, how about giving some attention to The Satanic Rites Of Dracula and Dracula A.D. 1972 and what are the chances of these being restored on Bluray?

  68. Hammer’ speak to us! Must say a bit disappointed. We were kept in the loop last year and we had a glut of releases. Now’ all quiet and nothing on the horizon. I mad t hte mistake of discarding my old editions of FATMFH, TM, CKVH & Q2 as was fairly sure there would be a staedy stream of updates this year. Disappointed.

  69. Still thrilled with this version of Dracula’ best yet! The features are fab, my favorite being the one with Christopher Frayling. Excellent stuff.

  70. Hammer speak to us’ please. we were kept in the loop last year. Feel in the dark at\ moment. Should had kept my copies of FATMFH, CKVH & TM as I was certain that they would had been with us by now. Last year there was a steady stream of titles, a bit slower so far’ this year.

  71. Thought we might had heard about further releases by now. I made the mistake of getting rid of my copies of “Frankenstein & the Monster from Hell” as I expected the release sooner. Also “Captain Kronos” but I may purchase again as haven’t heard a peep. I know “The Mummy” is pending this year. I just thought there would had been a steady stream of titles as like last year. I am disappointed, but I suppose restoration can be lengthy business. The “Dracula” release is just brilliant, a fantastic package. May I ask can we expect “Captain Kronos” sometime this year?

  72. Dear Hammer – now that the magnificent bluray of Dracula has been released to such acclaim, is it possible for you to give us any information about the timetable for further bluray releases? Many thanks.

  73. And again, Giving-up on this site. No life at all. Any announcement made is available elsewhere. Though not expecting one anytime soon. After a terrific first year, now flat.

  74. Right’ this is getting beyond stupid. Amazon.co.uk are taking pre-orders for “The Brides of Dracula” & “The Evil of Frankenstein” on Blu-ray!!!? Whilst you stay silent! What’s going on’ what’s official, what is not? You’re not helping’ if you won’t talk!!!

    • “The Brides of Dracula” Blu-Ray as shown on Amazon is coming from a different company entireley – First Cut films, who released “The Brides of Dracula” and “Curse of the Werewolf”, as well as “Evil of Frankenstein” and “Kiss of the Vampire” in 4:3 dvd versions a few years ago.
      That is why I assume that this Hammer forum is not getting any responses from the Hammer team, because it is nothing to do with them.
      I’m hoping First Cut will up their game and make these releases worthy of Blu-Ray’s capabilities. The bare bones DVD’s were, according to most online reviews, very expensive and in the wrong ratios.

    • Hi all, here’s an update on forthcoming restoration releases of Hammer films:
      THE MUMMY will be released later this year as a Blu-ray/DVD Double Play by Lionsgate/Icon.
      FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL and CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER currently have no UK release date.
      THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE BRIDES OF DRACULA are owned worldwide by Universal and have been licensed to Final Cut Entertainment in the UK, subsequently Hammer have no involvement with these releases.

  75. I also have noticed that Final Cut Entertainment are going to be releasing The Brides of Dracula and The Evil of Frankenstein on Blu. Are Hammer working on these? I hope they’re not going to be hatchet jobs.
    Some info would be welcomed.

  76. Oh’ great! Should had held onto my dvd copies of “Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.” Please let it be this year’ at least.

    • Hi Franny, as things stand we can’t confirm when our FATMFH restoration (fully uncut for the very first time since the original release) will be released on Blu-ray/DVD in the UK, but the world premiere is at the BFI South Bank on May 29th as part of the Cushing centenary. Details: http://bit.ly/14Kx6Z0 (please ignore the running time; it is incorrect).

    • Quite why someone would dispose of their existing copies of Hammer films they clearly love, simply because they have heard that a new Blu-ray restoration is in the works, and then constantly complain to the production company in a chat forum that the new releases are taking too long to appear, is quite beyond me.
      Film restorations take months to perform, and extra features like documentaries have to be researched and filmed.
      I am more than happy that The Mummy/Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter, and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell are getting a makeover from Hammer for their new Blu – Ray releases.
      However, until they appear, I am prepared to be patient for them, and I won’t be fool enough to throw away my existing dvd versions and then sit pining for them in the meantime.

  77. I know’ silly of me. Won’t do that again. Just with reading about restorations it read like they would appear this year. D’oh!

  78. Note that TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA is another film that has alternative Japanese footage involving actor Martin Jarvis converted into a vampire when he is bitten by Isla Blair but as far as I am aware the footage was used only in Japan.

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