• Mildred_pierce_restor-4_one_large


    Michael Curtiz’s 1945 Mildred Pierce—a noir-tinged melodrama for which star Joan Crawford won her only Oscar—is a classic whose reputation hasn’t faded over the years. But ahead of its recent Criterion release, the decades-old frames of the film required a painstaking rehabilitation process. After a number of archival film elements were scanned at 4K resolution at Warner Bros.’ in-house Motion Picture Imaging lab in Burbank, the original camera negative of the film came to light, providing the basis for the majority of the restoration—that is, until the negative’s inferior final reel necessitated dipping into another archive altogether. The resulting presentation of Mildred Pierce, now available on Blu-ray and DVD, beautifully reflects the silken texture of that original nitrate stock, the luminosity of the black-and-white images accentuating the film’s stark themes of social ambition and familial loyalty. For the full story behind the restoration—as well as an opportunity to get acquainted with the technical experts and state-of-the-art equipment at both Warner Bros. and Criterion—watch the video below, made by Criterion videographer Tara Young.


9 comments

  • By Malickite
    March 02, 2017
    02:19 PM

    These restoration videos are a real treat. Please make more!
    Reply
  • By Chuck L.
    March 02, 2017
    03:12 PM

    It pleases me to no end that Warner Brothers entrusted you with such an important piece of Hollywood history. Mildred Pierce, while easy Crawford at her finest, and being a fine example of Noir, it's also a vital piece of women empowerment. You all have done a fine job with this title and it's one for which I am proud to have in my collection. With Criterion, I know that you all love film as much as the fans do.
    Reply
  • By HUSKY
    March 02, 2017
    08:18 PM

    Amazing transfer, watched it yesterday! Thanks again Criterion!
    Reply
  • By Jamie Tate
    March 02, 2017
    11:11 PM

    I LOVE when Criterion adds these videos about film restoration. Fascinating stuff.
    Reply
  • By David Hollingsworth
    March 02, 2017
    11:27 PM

    I adore these restoration videos! With Criterion, film lovers know that they are in good hands when it comes to Cinema, and how important it really is. This is how you know that the people at Criterion really care about movies just as much you do. Film restoration is taken very seriously with the upmost time and care to give films new life. Criterion certainly makes me what to a better cinephile.
    Reply
  • By Ross McLeod
    March 04, 2017
    03:39 AM

    Great video, please add more like these !!! They're very informative for everyone.
    Reply
  • By David Kubik II
    March 04, 2017
    05:44 PM

    I love these restoration videos. For one, I love seeing how things come to be, especially with classic film and how it survives today. For another, it's great to see the painstaking care and effort that Criterion puts into these films. It shows how much they care about cinema, whether it's looking for another master print of "Mildred Pierce" to complete their restoration, or the lengths they went to restoring as much of the original roadshow version of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" as possible. I'd love to see more of these videos.
    Reply
  • By CJames
    March 05, 2017
    11:26 PM

    Wish you could have shown an extended side-by-side of (1) a scan of the nitrate negative versus the fine grain print, (2) a scan of a nitrate print versus a non-nitrate print. Would like to know what is going on in the left half of the frame at the 4:03 mark, which should be static, but has some sort of blurred motion. Funny, seeing all this makes me want to buy it. Who know that the technical side would be the deal maker, not the artistic (actors, story, etc.).
    Reply
  • By CJames
    March 05, 2017
    11:27 PM

    Odd question: Do you also use an infrared scan as a way of identifying dust and scratches?
    Reply
  • By Pooky
    March 12, 2017
    05:36 PM

    Read someone's comment on a restored movie - it was something along the line of, "It's so nice to have my own 35 mm copy (on a blu ray), and I thought of Criterion Collection!!!" You do get what you pay for. Thank you, Criterion Collection! (Now it's time to add Mommie Dearest.. to your esteemed collection. . )
    Reply