Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Widescreen "Let It Be" DVD

You can expect to see a new version of the Let It Be film on DVD, distributed on the internet in about 2 weeks time. Specs are:

- NTSC format
- 1.66:1 anamorphic picture
- Completely new hifi audio track assembled from the film crew's Nagra reels and stereo mixes
- Original mono audio option

This new transfer has been made from an original, undamaged VHS recording of the BBC2 repeat from Christmas 1979. Unusually, the Beeb screened the widescreen 35mm theatrical print with black bars at the top and bottom. When officially released on VHS and laserdisc some years later, this widescreen version was cropped severely at the sides to produce a full-frame image. Here it is presented unaltered.

Although the film was shot at 24 frames per second, BBC2 aired it in PAL format at 25 fps. For this disc it has been slowed down to 23.976 fps and presented in a compatible NTSC format, thus preserving the correct speed and pitch of the original. The actual picture area has been scaled up to 480 pixels and encoded in anamorphic format so as not to lose any resolution.

This should prove to be an upgrade for everyone's collection, until Apple and The Beatles get their official version out. It will be shared for free on the net, and is a fan-made project. You can read more about "Let It Be" here.

20 comments:

The Badge said...

Great scoop, as always. Thanks for the info. Great news, too. :-)

Urchinn said...

Whoever is behind all the recent dvds...THANK YOU SO MUCH!

William said...

"Let It Be" was shot on 16mm with a 4:3 aspect ratio. A 35mm version would be a blow-up (and a rather grainy one at that) plus what was shot was framed for 4:3 so with even a 1.66:1 ratio you'd be chopping off people's foreheads.

So far the best versions out there are sourced from the laserdisc releases.

Wogew said...

The final version of the film was blown-up from full-frame 16 mm to 35 mm film for theatrical release, which increased the film's graininess, that's correct. To create the wider theatrical aspect ratio, the top and bottom of the frame was cropped, however, every single shot was repositioned in order to maintain optimum picture composition. The laserdisc release used the 35mm film as source. Here's a comparison of various sources.

Kwai Chang said...

Awesome link showing the different sources. You've done it again. This news is invaluable...Thank you Roger

reviloremeor said...

Hi, I'm from Germany and I want to correct a little mistake, that was made during the reviews of "Let It Be" as a VHS Video from that country.
The german VHS of "Let It Be" never was a bootleg and was officially released by "Warner Home Video" in 1984 (not 1992!). The Cassette was available at first as a rent-a-video, later as a retail video for a the then very pricey sum of around 100 Deutsche Mark (DM).
The movie was also sometimes shown on a regular bases during the late seventies and early eighties in some small german art film-theatres and it was always shown in it's original version with only a few german subtitles added in here and there, like in in that VHS from 1984. Meanwhile, the VHS was withdrawn from the german market after only a few months, due to legal rights problems between Waner/UA Home Home Video & Apple. The Film was shown on german TV only once, on December 26th 1983, by ARD stations SWF / SR 3 (South-West Germany)and possibly also on Bayern 3 (Bavarian TV-Munic) and WDR (Western area TV - Cologne)on the their third programme. However, it was never shown on the combined chain of the northern third programmes of the ARD stations NDR (Hamburg), RB (Radio Bremen) and SFB (Berlin). I hope, this was of some help to you and this mistake about the german version of the film has now been cleared.
It's really great news, that the BBC version has been made into a new DVD with even better sound.

D. said...

Is this still coming? I can't find any news about it anywhere.

Cyril said...

Any news and links to buy this DVD?

Bam said...

I'm curious about this too....anyone seen these anywhere?

masah said...

I'd like to know How to get this.

Wogew said...

Here's the entry for this DVD at bootlegzone.

2cef525a-66d5-11e0-abb3-000bcdcb5194 said...

In the land of torrenting, seek the site of the green demon. If you have an account, you should be able to search for it and find it there.

This DVD was put together by Hobnail, and you can find his work uploaded on that site by different users. His Beatles DVD work is pretty much definitive. I always found the Beatles bootleg world overwhelming, but not with this. :)

Phillip said...

Available here....

http://dvdconcertth.blogspot.com/2011/03/beatles-let-it-be-bbc-2011.html

Benvinato said...

Hello all, I need to make this very clear, that one format was supported for "Let it Be", and that was Pioneer Laser Disc (circa 1990). A quick story, that may have people reaching for a LD Player, I mean, it is a worthwhile investment. To make a short story long...
1990, I had a great collection of Laser Discs, it was/is a viable format, as it was the percursor to DVD, but the format was massive, as 50 Giant-Style 12-inch Laser Discs (not to be confused with the horrible Picture Disc format from RCA 1980) weighed close to least 50-60 pounds, not very mobile.
I rented "Let it Be" Laser Disc at a Video Store, and dubbed two copies to (a great-quality) VHS Tape, not really thinking about it. I returned the Let it Be LD to the Rental place, some one stole it a week later (I was going to purchase it for $70.00, but it was gone)...
15 years later, I put these Video tapes up for sale, people nearly fainted at the "perfect picture" on the VHS dubs, and immediatly had two buyers for $100.00 USD each!!
I then thought, hmmmm, why so much, I had only seen "Let it Be" at the Movie Theatre (as was the fashion in the 1980's). THEN, I saw the actual DVD playing last year, and about dropped!! I have never seen a more horrible print in my life! Trust me, Laser Disc is pristine, and finding a Laser Disc Player (Pioneer brand recommended) is easy, but the "Let Be" Laser Disc, I dunno. I saw one Disc at eBay for $1,000.00 USD.
This is simply an alternative, hoping to see some real DVD released by Apple Corps someday (and SOON)...

Wogew said...

The Let It Be laserdisc has a yellow hue, is a pan-and-scan job and features a muffled mono soundtrack. And there's one on ebay at the moment, costing $169.95 if you select the Buy It Now option.

leesa said...

I have borrowed the Let It Be LD and was not all that impressed. According to some, it's even smaller (cropped) than the original 4:3 16MM.

There was a newer version of Let It Be at the Green Demon that appeared around June of this year. It disappeared this morning. It looked amazing. Best I've seen and the biggest picture I've seen.

It was listed as "Let It Be 16MM UNCROPPED." I'd be curious what you folks think.

~leesa

leesa said...

Oops... I guess I should say that 2cef525a-66d5-11e0-abb3-000bcdcb5194 and I may be talking about the same version. Really good version.

leesa said...

Oops... Getting a little blonde here. I forgot yo ask:

Is the version that Phillip posted here the same as the Demonoid? Does anyone know? How's the quality?

leesa said...

Hi again. I hope Mr Wog doesn't mind me posting this... I just finished D/Ling the Let It Be Phillip posted. It's a very nice, very cropped version.

The 4:3 uncropped version I found, supposedly from a 16 MM Print, is the very best I've seen.

THE CZAR said...

Hi, I'm new to this blog.
I am interested in getting the Let it Be dvd.
I found this on ebay, is this the version everyone thinks is the best?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Beatles-let-it-be-movie-DVD-Stereo-version-/201123137878?pt=US_DVD_HD_DVD_Blu_ray&hash=item2ed3df8956