It’s taken some time, but at last a couple of the major studios are getting around to applying the new generation of digital 3-D technology to the stereoscopic films of the 1950s. The results are superb in the case of Warner Home Video’s Blu-ray 3-D release of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder” — with the color properly graded and the image stablized, the film’s restrained depth effects show up better than they have in decades in the available 35-millimeter prints. Universal’s 3-D presentation of “Creature from the Black Lagoon” — for the moment, available only as an extra in their Blu-ray “Classic Monsters” collection — isn’t quite as impressive, but there’s no comparison between this new version and the hideous red/green anaglyph prints that have been making the rounds for years. Hitchcock’s film points to expressive properties of the medium that few subsequent 3-D directors have explored, while Jack Arnold’s “Creature” remains a superior sideshow attraction — a distinction I try to develop in my New York Times review for this week. And for a very full account of the production and distribution of “Dial M,” hop over to Bob Furmanek and Greg Kintz’s site, 3-D Film Archive.
UPDATE: The 3-D Film Archive article on “Creature” is now up here, and includes some criticism of Universal’s occasional misalignment of the left/right elements.