I saw Dial M for Murder not too long ago, and joy of joys, my Universal Movie Monster Collection finally arrived and I put in the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Now, is it just me, or does the 3D in these older films actually look better than some 3D I've seen today? I was underwhelmed with Dial M for Murder as a movie, but the 3D on my TV looked natural, clean, and overall very enjoyable. Ditto with the few minutes of Creature I checked out. I'm wondering if some of it has to do with digital 'tweaking,' which Ridley Scott referred to, where the filmmakers can take the composite shot in the editing computer and fiddle with distance and angles and get depth they can't normally realize. All I can say is, these are movies from the 50s and 60s, and while the technology to make 3D may have changed, the quality of the effect itself hasn't. Maybe they've done a few things to correct mistakes like lining up the shots more strongly (I did read that older 3D projectors sometimes ran the reels at different speeds and the movie frames ended up out of sync), but overall I really enjoyed seeing both films in this original presentation looking as good as they do.
Now, I do have a passive LG, which from fairly close up does add some 'jaggies' to the picture and something that looks very close to interlacing, but it does that with every movie. But I do know the reviewer on Blu-ray.com brings up the issue of 'ghosting' and ringing on a lot of 3D films, which very rarely pops up on my TV unless I'm sitting or standing at a weird angle to the TV, and I didn't see that on either film...or on Hugo, which he said was a major problem and which I didn't notice at all (Hugo, by the way, being one I definitely recommend for movie AND 3D without question).
But yes, as much the movie itself just sort of sat there without a lot of the traditional Hitchcock tension, Dial M's use of space to make you feel like you were in the room was well done...except for one segment where it looked like they didn't film it in 3D at all. I don't know if it was replacement footage that came from 2D source material, but there's about a 3 minute segment close to the end, before Ray Milland leaves the apartment, where it just sort of shuts off. He then steps into the hallway and the effect is back. I checked...those minutes look the same with glasses off as on, so that's the only explanation I can think of.