The Great Silence / Il grande silenzio (Sergio Corbucci, 1968)

(autephex) #341

Thanks to Reza making me aware of a German HDTV recording, after about 2 weeks of downloading I finally have it and am working on editing the English dub into this version. I am mixing the English dialouge bits with the German audio, so the final result will be a mixed dub with better quality for the non-talking parts.

Decided it would be a good idea to do a quality comparison before I get too far into this work, and just spent a ridiculous couple of hours getting these screenshots :P. I was using a program called Avidemux to get exact frames, and after getting all the shots captured, realized that the image quality was very poor for some reason so I had to switch over to VLC which makes it almost impossible to get exact matching frames (plus the runtimes are different between versions). Anyway, the frames are still matched up pretty well.

The HDTV version isn’t an amazing upgrade, but it does look a bit better. The coloring looks better to me, and there is more detail visible which is more noticeable in some shots than others. I also notice a layer of grain which I don’t really see in the DVD version. I suppose its possible that this HDTV print could just be upscaled, colored better, sharpened more with less noise filtered, but it looks better to me and is particularly appreciable when actually watching the video. If you examine the many shots very closely there is clearly more detail visible and the color looks much better and not all washed out.

Screenshot comparison album:
French DVD vs German HDTV
(right click on images & open in new tab to view fullsized shots)

(dvd images have been upscaled to HD size, original resolution is of course much lower)

The runtime on this German HDTV version is 1hr41min versus 1hr46min on the French DVD. So far, I haven’t really noticed any cut scenes but I have yet to do a very careful examination (will likely do this as I complete the new English dub). The framerate on this French version I have is 23.976fps and the German HDTV recording is at 50fps, and the audio goes out of sync between the two versions in a matter of seconds - so, there is likely a difference in runtime due to framerates as well as any slight scene differences. I’m not 100% sure the 50fps is accurate or if its just set in the file headers this way, I have experimented with altering the FPS flag to 25fps which results in a file that is 3hours long and plays very slowly ::slight_smile:

Anyway, hopefully this comes along nicely, and soon

(Jonny Powers) #342

Oh, this is awesome! So looking forward to downloading this!

(John Welles) #343

Great work autephex, although judging from the similarity in the caps, I would hazard and guess and say this TV HD source is not from a new scan but the same as the DVD, probably using the full 1080p image - as this will be quite old now I imagine, that might go someway to explaining why this isn’t a massive improvement (although it is noticeably better).

(autephex) #344

Yea, somewhat similar to the difference in quality of the Koch Navajo Joe DVD versus their blu ray, although the NJ may be more of a noticeable improvement.

For me, this HDTV print just looks better even aside from the HD aspect. I compared to the French DVD because its the best I know of. The version I’m working with is an x264 rip at about 4.5GB, so if there is a larger sized version floating around anywhere, or if anyone records a larger rip in the future from this HD channel, could possibly be upgraded a bit more.

Am also wondering if this title may get a German blu ray release sometime soon

(scherpschutter) #345

The French DVD is indeed of superior quality, but a few early scenes seem to have a sort of grid hanging ove or in front of the image. Has that problem been solved on the HDTV print ?

(autephex) #346

Ah yes, I haven’t had the French DVD version until just recently and actually have not watched that one yet, but I do remember noticing this grid like thingie the last time I viewed the film and remember discussing it here on this forum… from what I remember, it has been speculated this may be a fault in all the source masters.

I will check for this when I get a chance and report back

(Reza) #347

I concerned about Eng audio before…but thank to autephex…he will sync the audio with HD version… :slight_smile:

but cutting the movie or audio sync is one of the hardest works and it will take some days, i think…

(autephex) #348

Just had a look at the HD print and can confirm the strange grid is still present in some of those early scenes. It looks like the grill on the front of big PA speakers, weird.

I gotta say, looking again between the HD and DVD versions, I am impressed how much better the HD recording looks. The screenshots just don’t convey it.

You’re right, it will take some days but going to try to complete it soon. One thing I have learned doing these jobs is that it has a tendency to burn you out on the film because it requires rewatching the same scenes many times, and then watching the entire film again upon completion. This can be a real bummer if its a good movie, so I take a more spread-out approach now and try to break the work up between days so as not to get so burnt out…

(Stanton) #349

Why not simply waiting until a good Blu of TGS will be released?

It would be a wonder if this does not happen within a few years. Up to that point I can live with my DVD.

(autephex) #350

It does seem that surely the film will receive a blu release but then again these things don’t always make a lot of sense in terms of time frames and the quality of releases… its already on blu in Japan and the quality is terrible isn’t it?

Seems like a title that should have gotten a quality release years ago to me…

Anyway, have already started the work and am ok with doing it as the film is among my top 10

Luckily the film is not titled The Great Talkie

(Lord Brett) #351

To be honest, my first thought was that it was a filter on the camera lens. A starburst filter would look not unlike the grid in those scenes, though it would not be the natural thing to use on a sunny day.

(Stanton) #352

I remember that it had something to do with the frosty weather, and there was something on the lens to protect it, which then produced this grid image for some shots.

(Sundance) #353

The HD caps look better than the DVD but if I remember correctly the French disc has had some filtering done to it which has removed lots of certain kind of small details away. Snow flakes, wood splinters, stuff like that missing in some frames. I assume it is because of automatic scratch removal or something thinking of them as not belonging in the picture.
But because of that it wouldn’t surprise me if other stuff has been done to the image as well, and a better DVD could be out there somewhere.

But does the HD shots actually have any detail which wouldn’t survive in DVD resolution?
Which of the following is your original HD shot and which one was saved into DVD resolution jpg and then resized back?

There is a difference but as far as I can see it is only because the original shot has lots of small compression artifacts (blockiness) because of filesize and all the resizing smooths those away.

(autephex) #354

[quote=“Sundance, post:353, topic:122”]But does the HD shots actually have any detail which wouldn’t survive in DVD resolution?
Which of the following is your original HD shot and which one was saved into DVD resolution jpg and then resized back?


Unless you’re being tricky, then the second one (baa.jpg) is definitely the re-saved re-sized one :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree though, I’ve had my doubts about this video being sourced to an actual HD transfer. There really doesn’t appear to be enough extra detail in the screenshots to actually be an HD source. Although there is some detail present which doesn’t show in the DVD shots (drifts in the snow, wrinkles on faces, etc), like you say, this may just be because it doesn’t have the same noise filters applied as the French DVD. There is also a nice layer of grain which I don’t notice on the DVD, again obviously could just be a difference in filtering.

But then there’s also the possibility that the recording from TV and compression into a 4GB x264 rip could have resulted in some quality loss. Really you’d want at least 6-8GB for a good HD rip, and that is coming from a blu-ray source, whereas here you have the additional factor of someone recording from TV and consideration of their recording settings/capabilities.

I’ve wondered since first looking at it if its just an upscaled DVD quality transfer. But, either way, it looks really great when you’re watching it. I actually am really looking forward to viewing the film once I complete the dub transfer. I’m not sure if its something in the x264 encoding or what, but the video actually looks like HD to me when I’m watching it whereas the screenshots don’t appear as impressive.

The German dub sounds really good too, and although I’ve found hybrid dubs which mix tracks to be often distracting, I’ve developed a certain way of combining dubs to avoid too much distracting switching back and forth, and I am also really looking forward to viewing with the excellent score sounding much better now.

Maybe I will upload a clip to youtube if anyone is interested in seeing the video before committing a large download of this.

(pauljms88) #355

[quote=“Sebastian, post:5, topic:122”]according to the DVD:

“This alternate Happy Ending was originaly created for Japanese and North American markets, where producers felt audiences wouldn’t tolerate a grim ending. No sound effects were available and there is some question whether audio for this sequence was ever created”. This is a quote that we got straight from the official[/url] site. And you can read more about it if you see the article. There was another interesting piece that I wanted to include here but I thought you would be better off [url=]seeing it there.

I am not sure if you have watched it.

if you watch it, and imagine yourself as a producer, you’ll think “how ridiculous” :-)[/quote]

Not much love for the happy ending? I kind of get why the producers made that decision, although I couldn’t really imagine people to really feel that ending to be part of the story. It just felt off. Makes me wonder if producers would still make the same choice if they were to make this film today. What do you think?

(JonathanCorbett) #356

It wasn’t a regarding choice from a commercial point of view: at first the authorization for public showing was categorically and unanimously (!) denied on 21 October 1968, then an appeal was made and ten days later the uncut film was rated VM18 (no one under 18 admitted). But five members of Board of Censors asked to put into writing that the film was an exaltation and glorification of crime.

(autephex) #357

Well I finished my dub editing for the German HDTV print, and I’m pretty satisfied with the audio result. I used the great sounding German dub where possible, and paid careful attention to strategic crossfade points between the English and German dubs, for example when having to switch while music is playing, doing so at a time where there is some change in the music so it isn’t so noticeable. I made sure to use the better audio for every gunshot (except one where there is dialogue mixed with the gunshot) and all music-only sections. The end result is a English dub which probably sounds the best yet.

But, while watching the final result I notice something weird which seems like the video is just slightly sped up, not really noticeable until sitting down to watch the whole thing. I watch these digital files on my Roku and I don’t know if its something specific with this file and the Roku playback, or if I’m just crazy :o When checking on my computer, I don’t really notice it but I’ve gone back and forth so much at this point that I’m overloaded and its hard to tell…

The runtime is about 3min shorter than the DVD version at 23.976fps, and I found no cut scenes. Originally I thought this was probably just minor differences in where scenes change and/or this recording being at 50fps - but just because its at 50fps doesn’t really mean it should have a shorter runtime… so I don’t know. If the video is just slightly sped up for some reason, I guess that would account for the 3min shorter runtime.

I checked and 50fps is listed as common for European HDTV airings, so I assume this is correct framerate in relation to the airing.

Going back and forth between the DVD and this HDTV recording, I am again struck by how much better this HDTV print looks, would be a real shame if its messed up somehow.

And again looking at the HDTV recording on my PC, it seems to play fine compared to watching on my TV/roku… but again I’ve looked back and forth so much now its hard to trust my eyes :stuck_out_tongue:

So I am uploading to my server and will have a torrent link ready today if anyone could download and give me their opinion on this issue, how it plays and looks to you.

Generally I can figure out this technical stuff but this one has me scratching my head & could use some other eyes at this point.

I think I am going to take Stanton’s advice from here out and leave these bigger titles to get proper releases, since surely it will eventually happen, and focus more on finding stuff that isn’t likely to get released by anyone instead…

(Jonny Powers) #358

I’d love to give it a look! How big is the file and will you have a direct download link or will it be through CG?

(autephex) #359

Having a look at the website for the channel which aired this HDTV version, and it lists the runtime as 101min, which is the same runtime in this file. So I guess it must be recorded exactly as aired on the ARTE channel

I guess that it must just be something about my Roku setup that doesn’t like this HD 50fps file or something… (or I’m crazy)

Would still like to get some second opinions… I still don’t understand the missing 3 minutes compared to the DVD

@Johnny for you guys I will provide a torrent link hosted on my private server, which is very fast. The file is about 4.5gb. I also just found another recording of the same HDTV source at 1.9gb that I am attempting to download, just for the sake of comparison… but that may take a while if it ever completes as going very slowly.

I may also try doing a conversion down to 25fps, just to see how it plays

(Stanton) #360

Aute, as far as I understand this, these TV HD transfers must have still a Pal runtime. We have every TV HD channel still also as a SD channel for all those who still have old TVs, and they need for this the exact same runtime cause by parallel airing everything on TV has to start and end at the same time, and this is only possible if the HD stuff also runs the same 4% faster.

This Pal stuff will still bug us for the next years.

It’s different with DVDs and Blus. Even if taken from the same HD master and played on the same TV sets, the Blu has now the theatrical runtime, the DVD is still in Pal.