The Warner Archive has made no official announcement, but Amazon now has a listing for the Archive’s new Blu-ray edition of In The Good Old Summertime. CLICK HERE to order.
It had previously been mentioned that the film would get a new HD remastering and transfer, and a premiere Blu-ray release at some time in 2021. Most fans assumed it would be around the Christmas season, so this August date is good news!
POST RELEASE UPDATE: Unfortunately, this release is a letdown. After the recent stellar releases of 3-strip Technicolor films from the same era, the Archive has spoiled us. Allegedly the original 3-strip negatives for one or two of the reels for Summertime are missing. This is apparent in certain sections of the film. It’s much more clear than the DVD release, but still has a kind of flat look with little to zero film grain whereas some reels, especially from just before the party sequence (“I Don’t Care”) to the end of the film, look great. It’s similar to the more flat restorations of the late 1980s and 1990s. The audio is also muffled in parts, possibly due to that print quality. These are most likely the reasons why the Warner Archive didn’t promote this as a 1080p high def transfer with restored audio.
The BIGGEST disappointment is the inexplicable omission of the outtake song “Last Night When We Were Young.” No reason for the omission has been given. The footage and audio exist and have been included as an extra on the That’s Entertainment! series releases. Fans had hoped that the short dialog sequence just before Judy begins the song, featured on the laserdisc but not elsewhere, would also be included. Instead, none of it is included. Only two FitzPatrick Traveltalks shorts (Chicago the Beautiful & Night LIfe in Chicago) and the theatrical trailer are included as extras. To top it off, the images on the back cover art are horrendous as if the only screenshots they had available were from super8 prints from the 1960s.
All that being said, it is still a big improvement over the DVD releases and worth the upgrade. The lower quality reels are still better than the previous DVDs and while the omission of one of the few Garland outtakes (a classic one at that) that have survived in both film and audio form is unforgivable, it’s nice to have an enjoyable upgraded print of the film, one of Judy’s best.