"Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience" DVD

SuperCubRick

Well-Known Member
For any formation flying / Blue Angels fans this is an outstanding documentary about the Blues and formation flying. It contains a lot of excellent footage from inside/outside the pit along with the radio chatter and pilot commentary and great narration. Filmed during their '69-'71 season I believe. I love the Phantom and it really looks awesome in that blue paint.

I've about worn out the old VHS copy. I first saw it when I was a kid and just keep popping it back in every once in a while, never gets old.

I looked around forever for a VHS or DVD and found this site early this year - a replacement VHS was impossible to find.

http://www.thresholdtheblueangelsexperience.com/

Here's a trailer I put together.

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Jimmy_Norton

Opie killer
I have this DVD, and used to rent the VHS every week (or so it seemed) from the local movie store. AWESOME DVD!!! I have a total F-4 fetish, and watching them fly around in formation gives me a boner.

As a footnote "The Boss" during the season of the filming returned to fly combat in Vietnam after his tenure with the Blues. He ended up getting shot down, and is still MIA to this day. His airplane was supposedly the last airplane shot down in Vietnam.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
How is the DVD transfer?

There was a 'bootleg' DVD transfer of this several years ago that was lousy...even worse than the VHS copy I had.

Fantastic movie, though.

As long as you can get past that groovy 70s soundtrack.

"....on the thresholllllld ooooooofffffff the skyyyyyyyyyyyy"
 

SuperCubRick

Well-Known Member
Yeah it's a great film. Knew that about Harley, pretty crappy.

Skip was also killed in a Blue Angels accident in '73 I believe - mid air I think, bad stuff. He was my favorite character - I got a kick out of the scene at the end of the film showing him inverted over the desert and the narrator says something like "Skip graduated 176 out of a class of 215 - since then he has learned to concentrate."

Hacker, the quality of this DVD looks better than my VHS - not a drastic change though.

I kinda like the ol' 70's soundtrack, gives it character, :laff:

Ran across this on ASB, thought it was pretty interesting. In the film, at the end as the narrator's talking about the moment when you cross the threshold and realize "you've gone too far" there's a quick still shot of #4, gear up, nose high, just a few feet above the ground and I always wondered what the story was behind that, turns out he just geared it up. Ernie Christensen (#4 pilot) found this thread and posted a few replies.

http://www.airshowbuzz.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=565&st=0
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Is it a widescreen transfer, by any chance?

The original film was, of course, in sweet widescreen....
 

SuperCubRick

Well-Known Member
Doesn't look like it's widescreen (it fills up the whole screen), my VHS wasn't either though. However it looks fine on my 41" plasma filling up the whole screen on "automatic" format setting - doesn't look stretched.

This one was converted by David Marlow, the son of the producer - so may be the best DVD conversion out there.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Well, that's too bad. The data on Amazon.com says it is a "full screen" display format, so not widescreen. Sounds like they simply converted the VHS master over to DVD.

I just desperately wish someone would go to the original film and do a real widescreen digitization. There's probably not enough of a market to warrant spending all the time and effort to go back and locate the original film prints, but it would make for a great video. I can almost see it on my TV right.....nooooooowwwwww.....

Is the "Winter Training" video part of this DVD release? The website isn't really clear if this is on the DVD or not.

This is a movie that had an impact on my decision to become a military pilot back in the day, so it has some sentimental value, that's for sure.

I ordered the DVD today, so I can't wait until it gets here.
 

SuperCubRick

Well-Known Member
Yeah would be great if someone could make a true wide screen conversion and clean it up a bit.

I'm pretty sure the footage near the end of the film showing the new guys practicing over the desert is the winter training?

"Length- "Threshold" 93 Minutes, color. "Winter Training" 46 min (shortened version for inclusion in schedules of meetings, seminars, schools and libraries)."

It sounds like the Winter Training is an abbreviated version of the film?

"Contents: (partial list) Multiple air shows, maintainance, pre-flight breifing, Trans-Pac Tanking, air show at Quito, Ecuador (10,000 ft base altitude), Bi-planes, New team at winter training."

I started watching it when I was about 8, my dad showed it to me, and man I knew that's what I wanted to do, kept popping it in every now and then for motivation - but I found out a few years ago that I had scoliosis in my lower back that would DQ me from ejection seat a/c. I had been planning to go the Guard route to F-16's - I was pretty bummed :( It kills me seeing the fighters at airshows or flying over my house, and knowing that I will never be able to do that.

So Hacker, you're living my dream man, you lucky mofo!
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Yes, "Winter Training" is a separate film, a shortened edit of just the training portion of the movie.

I seem to remeber that there were a few small editing differences between it and the theater cut of Threshold.
 
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