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David Lean Directs Noël Coward Blu-ray

United States
DigiPack / In Which We Serve / This Happy Breed / Brief Encounter / Blithe Spirit | The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1942-1945 | 4 Movies | 407 min | Not rated | Mar 27, 2012

David Lean Directs Noël Coward (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: see individual releases
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
English: LPCM Mono

Subtitles
English

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Four-disc set (4 BDs)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing
DigiPack

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $99.95, Price history
Amazon: $66.94 (Save 33%)
New from: $50.79 (Save 49%)
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Buy David Lean Directs Noël Coward on Blu-ray

Rating


7.6
/10
96
ratings


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.8 of 54.8
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 4.5 of 54.5
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Romance17%
War3%
Dark humor1%
Supernatural-
Comedy-

60%
popularity
678
collections
n/a
fans




David Lean Directs Noël Coward

 (1942-1945)

David Lean Directs Noël Coward Blu-ray comes close to perfection with top scores all around making it one of the best Blu-ray's ever

In the 1940s, the wit of playwright Noël Coward and the craft of filmmaker David Lean melded harmoniously in one of cinema’s greatest writer-director collaborations. With the wartime military drama sensation In Which We Serve, Coward and Lean (along with producing partners Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan) embarked on a series of literate, socially engaged, and enormously entertaining pictures that ranged from domestic epic (This Happy Breed) to whimsical comedy (Blithe Spirit) to poignant romance (Brief Encounter).

For more about David Lean Directs Noël Coward and the David Lean Directs Noël Coward Blu-ray release, see David Lean Directs Noël Coward Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Starring: Celia Johnson, Joyce Carey, John Mills, Stanley Holloway, Everley Gregg, Kay Walsh
Narrators: Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier
Directors: David Lean, Noel Coward


This Blu-ray release includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:

In Which We Serve (Blu-ray)

In Which We Serve Blu-ray


DigiPack / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1942 | 114 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | No Release Date

An action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors fighting the Germans in the Mediterranean.

Drama / War


This Happy Breed (Blu-ray)

This Happy Breed Blu-ray


DigiPack / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1944 | 111 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | No Release Date

Robert Newton and Celia Johnson are surpassingly affecting as Frank and Ethel Gibbons, a couple with three children whose modest household is touched by joy and tragedy from the tail end of the First World War to the beginning of...

Comedy / Drama


Brief Encounter (Blu-ray)

Brief Encounter Blu-ray


DigiPack / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1945 | 86 min | Not rated | Region A (locked) | Mar 27, 2012

A love affair which was not meant to be is the basis for this real-life look into the extra-marital attractions which develop between married couples.

Drama / Romance


Blithe Spirit (Blu-ray)

Blithe Spirit Blu-ray


DigiPack / The Criterion Collection
Criterion | 1945 | 96 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | No Release Date

In David Lean's adaptation of Noel Coward's three-act farce, an English mystery novelist invites a medium over for dinner in the hopes of gathering enough material for his latest book, as well as exposing her as a charlatan....

Comedy / Dark humor / Drama / Romance / Supernatural


David Lean Directs Noël Coward Blu-ray, Video Quality

  5.0 of 5

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray release:

"From 2006 to 2008, the BFI National Archive carried out an ambitious one-million-pound program to restore the first ten feature films directed by David Lean, in time for the centenary of his birth. The project was generously funded by the David Lean Foundation and undertaken in association with Granada International (now ITV Global Studios Entertainment) and Studio Canal. As a result, preservation materials now exist to ensure the survival of these classic films in their original state. The transfers included in this release were all created from these new restoration elements.

In Which We Serve: The new restoration was created in 4K resolution on an Oxberry 6400 liquid-gate scanner at Cineric, New York, from the original nitrate negative and sections of the nitrate fine-grain master.

Digital intermediate supervisors: Andrea Kalas, Kieron Webb/BFI National Archive, London.
Colorist: Daniel DeVincent/Cineric, New York.
Sound restoration: Richard Yeoman-Clark, Charles Fairall/BFI National Archive, London.

This Happy Breed: The new high-definition digital transfer was created at Technicolor Creative Services, London, on a Spirit Datacine from the restoration internegative, which was produced from the original YCM negatives.

Film restoration supervisor: Kieron Webb/BFI National Archive, London.
Color grader: Andrew Reid/Cineric, New York.
Telecine supervisor: Mark Stanborough/ITV, London.
Colorist: Dave Mason/Technicolor Creative Services/London.
Sound restoration: Richard Yeoman-Clark, Charles Fairall/BFI National Archive, London.

Blithe Spirit: This new high-definition digital transfer was created at Technicolor Creative Services, London, on a Spirit Datacine from the restoration internegative, which was produced from the original YCM negatives.

Film restoration supervisors: Andrea Kalas, Kieron Webb/BFI National Archive, London.
Color grader: Andrew Reid/Cineric, New York.
Telecine supervisor: Mark Stanborough/ITV, London.
Colorist: Dave Mason/Technicolor Creative Services, London.
Sound restoration: Richard Yeoman-Clark, Charles Fairall/BFI National Archive, London.

Brief Encounter: The new restoration was created in 4K resolution on a Spirit Datacine at Cineimage, London, from the best surviving duplicate safety negatives. Pixel Farm's PFClean was used for flicker correction.

Digital intermediate supervisors: Ben Thompson, Kieron Webb/BFI National Archive, London.
Colorist: Ray King/Cineimage, London.
Sounds restoration: Sound restoration: Richard Yeoman-Clark, Charles Fairall/BFI National Archive, London."


Note: The screenshots offered with this review appear in the following order:

1. Brief Encounter: 1-9.
2. In Which We Serve: 10-20.
3. This Happy Breed: 21-30.
4. Blithe Spirit: 31-40.

The restoration work has produced very impressive results and all four films now look spectacular in high-definition. In Which We Serve, in particular, looks as good as A Night to Remember -- the high-definition transfer conveys tremendous depth, even when light is restricted, while detail is consistently pleasing. The outdoor sequences also boast well balanced colors (with the blacks and grays, in particular, looking crisp and enormously rich) and stable contrast. Furthermore, grain is well resolved and evenly exposed throughout the entire film. Also, there are no traces of problematic sharpening or denoising corrections.
Brief Encounter also looks solid. Not only is depth and color stability substantially improved, but there are entire sections of the film where various small details have been revealed (compare screencapture #6 with screencapture #5 from our review of the UK release of the film from 2009). Needless to say, the new high-definition transfer also boasts well resolved and evenly distributed grain. As it is the case with In Which We Serve, no attempts have been made to apply compromising sharpening corrections. Lastly, there are no serious stability issues to report in this review either.
Aside from a few extremely small color pulsations, This Happy Breed looks excellent. Most close-ups convey excellent depth and pleasing object definition (take a look at screencapture #27 and see how well refined lines and curves are). More importantly, however, there is no color bleeding or edge shimmer, both of which are often present on dated releases of three-strip Technicolor films. Generally speaking, the colors here are thick and well saturated but at the same time, as intended, looking quite warm (director Lean wanted to enhance the sense of realism with his color preferences). Lastly, there are no traces of severe denoising corrections.
The fourth and final film in the collection, Blithe Spirit, also has a fresh new look. Detail and clarity are once again very convincing, while the various color stabilizations have clearly improved depth and fluidity (see screencapture #39). Brightness levels are slightly elevated and especially during the final third of the film there are also some intended contrast fluctuations. Obviously, the various effects here have plenty to do with the nature of the story the film tells, not with any transfer-specific anomalies. There are no traces of problematic denoising either.

(Note: The four Blu-ray discs in this collection are Region-A "locked". Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access their content).


David Lean Directs Noël Coward Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

Each film in the David Lean Directs Noël Coward collection arrives with an English LPCM 1.0 track. For the record, Criterion have also supplied them with optional English SDH subtitles.

Like the video treatments, the audio treatments are very impressive. Clearly, during the individual restorations various audio stabilizations have been performed on all four tracks, while hiss, hum, clicks, and pops have been removed as best as possible. As result, the dialog on all four films is stable, crisp, and easy to follow. Obviously, the loseless tracks are unlikely to test your audio system, but all four of them have pleasing organic qualities and give the films plenty of depth. In Blithe Spirit, for example, the improvements are very easy to recognize as the winds never sound anemic. In In Which We Serve the explosions are also well rounded and free of high-frequency distortions.



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This Week on Blu-ray: March 27-April 3 - March 26, 2012

This week, Warner Home Entertainment releases the 70th Anniversary Edition of Casablanca, and every aspect of its design seems carefully calculated to stave off cries of double-dipping; Warner gave the film a new 4K scan, fancy Ultimate Collector's Edition packaging, ...

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The Criterion Collection has posted their full roster of Blu-ray releases for February 2012. Titles include Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, Mikhail Kalatozov's Letter Never Sent, Chris Hegedus & D.A. Pennebaker's The War Room, the David Lean Directs ...


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