Restoration is a good topic in terms of what it can do to elevate a film's importance. Certainly any upgraded film enhances the brilliance of cinematographers like Alton, Musuraca and at least a dozen other standout shooters. One I did not mention yesterday was The Naked City, in which the power of the location shooting by William Daniels in late 1940s New York City is so critical to the film's allure. The Naked City's astounding restoration does incredible wonders for the film, perhaps more than any noir film I can think of that's been restored to its original luster. I can even tolerate Barry Fitzgerald's Irish cliches now.
One thing I never would have noticed until viewing the upgrade -- there's a wacky cameo of director Jules Dassin shouting instructions during a subway terminal chase scene. It was left in because it only lasts a second or two, but it's quite hilarious when you know when and where it's coming.
Another one I'm hoping gets a re-do: The 3rd Voice. It's out of the classic noir cycle (1960), but it's too good of a film to be in limbo in an almost unwatchable state. One of Edmond O'Brien's best efforts, which is saying something, and Laraine Day shines as well (and Julie London, of course).