« New DVDs: The joy of 'King of Kong' | Main | Lost 'Fall of Roman Empire' footage found »

January 30, 2008


Mark Woodstock

I'd like to correct a few error's in your post. Firstly the film wasn't and hasn't been restored. All that happened in the early 90's was that an existing print element was cleaned up and duplicated for theatrical release.

There are no elements missing either. The original camera negative is sitting in a vault in london and if someone bothered to spend any money it could be used to create a superb looking transfer, rather than the soft, off-colour mess that is the new dvd.

It's a pity that weinstein and/or the rights owners didn't spend a little money on the project...


Thanks for the comment, Mark.

It's lovely to think that the original negative is sitting there, waiting for someone to get off their wallet and finance its revival.

Gerry Byrne goes over this on the "El Cid" DVD and says he doubts any missing elements would be in shape to be of much use. Bronston's son talked about lost and damaged elements at the AFI screening.

Stranger things have happened: An audience member at the Hollywood screening was able to locate deleted scenes from "Fall of the Roman Empire" in London (as you say).

I've never seen the Scorsese/Miramax project of the early '90s referred to as anything other than a restoration -- but true enough that what we're seeing now is not the film restored to its original theatrical glory.


Did anyone see the laserdisc of "Fall of the Roman Empire" that was released in the early 90s? It was the most beautiful print I've ever seen on any home video format. Unfortunately the DVD fails to equal it.

bill baldwin

The 1993 prints, for all the
attention paid to the effort,
were softer and often off-color
in comparison to the original release.

The attempt to re-register
shrunken silver seps was evident
in color halos on certain
physically repaired scenes. These
were muddy and murky. All these
problems carried over into the
lasar disc.

The best transfer for both
true color and resolution was
the Japanese subtitled lasar disc
of the mid-1980s. It had some
frames missing(slugged with black)
but was impressive in its clarity.
I believe it was made from a
1.85:1 IB Technicolor 35mm print
(extracted to the disc at semi-
letterbox of about 1.66:1).

The best way to approach a new
transfer would be with a collector's
IB Technicolor 2.35:1, 35mm.print
with the new computerized advantages
of total dust-busting, frame repair,
scratch repair, and jump alignment
for any splices in the
print. I doubt there's a market
big enough to approach this job
but it is certainly possible
with a good IB print as the
starting point. Bottonline:
Better is now possible.

bill baldwin

Mike, you're right, the lasar disc
of the letterboxed "Fall of the
Roman Empire" was probably the
best looking I can remember. It
was magnificent. "55 Days at
Peking" was also beautiful. I
don't know why "El Cid" as
restored by Miramax and Scorcese
was so desaturated and soft. I've
watched the Japanese lasar xfer
and the Miramax side-by-side and
it's very obvious.

Joshua Bautista

I am a very big fan of this movie since childhood but unfortunately my mother's friend borrowed it and never return it to me. Sir I want to have a copy of this. How will i have one? What must I do? Please sir.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About this DVD blog

Privacy policy

© 2007-2011 Glenn Abel