(Click to enlarge.)
In case you’ve only seen Max Ophüls’ last and only widescreen, color film on the abysmal Fox Lorber DVD that refuses to go away, you might check out this comparison I’ve made between a direct screengrab of the DVD versus a still courtesy of Rialto Pictures from the new restoration. I just saw the new print today, and I can vouch that it looks just as good–or even better–than the still provided here. Note that in addition to the fact that the DVD doesn’t include the full 2.55×1 early CinemaScope frame, it also horizontally compresses the image, which suffers from pink-faded colors, less contrast, less resolution, and a darker tone. In short, it’s unwatchable.
Given the fact that Fox Lorber no longer produces DVDs (though its descendent Koch Lorber does), this may be an instance of beating a dead horse, but this comparison merely underlines the necessity of seeing this film (and many like it) on the big screen if at all possible.
The restored Lola Montès–which includes a Dolby Digital soundtrack taken from the original tapes, plus five minutes of unseen footage–opens theatrically on October 10, when it will begin a multi-city tour. Keep an eye on Rialto’s page for playdates.