A little over four years ago I bought Olive Films’ 60th anniversary High Noon Bluray, and I was immensely pleased with the image quality. It makes Fred Zinneman’s 1952 classic look like one of the most beautiful monochrome films ever shot. Naturally, schmuck that I am, I’ve just bought the new Olive Signature Bluray version of the same guldarned film because it’s a remaster from an all-new 4K harvest. How much better can it look? Will I notice tiny little improvements? I have doubts, but I can’t tolerate the notion of a slightly better looking version being out there and my not owning it.
This at least affords an opportunity to re-post Matthew Morettini’s improved version of the famous ticking clock sequence, which is apt with the new Bluray containing an essay called “A Ticking Clock — Mark Goldblatt on the editing of High Noon.”
Matthew Morettini 2015 version:
Posted on 12.2.15: “Yesterday I posted a short piece about how Elmo Williams‘ cutting of the famous High Noon tick-tock sequence has always bothered me slightly. It was edited to match Dimitri Tiomkin‘s music, and so every cut was supposed to happen at the precise instant of the final beat…but it doesn’t quite do that. Today editor Matthew Morettini wrote to say the reason for my slight irritation is that the picture is four frames ahead of the music.
“But now Morettini has fixed it.
“‘I’m a professional editor and had a few minutes on my hands today and re-synced the clip the way I always felt it should be,’ he wrote. ‘And guess what? It’s better. Each and every picture edit was exactly four frames early.” Compare the Morettini version (above) to the Elmo Williams version (below). For the first time in 63 years, this famous montage has finally been cut right.”
Elmo Williams 1952 version: