A Few Words About A few words about...™ Mrs. Miniver -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One need look no further than Warner's second Best Picture offering of the month, Mrs. Miniver (1942), the original negative of which also does not survive, to get a very good idea how beautiful a nicely exposed nitrate element can be reproduced on Blu-ray. Absolutely gorgeous. One of the great wartime dramas arrives in startlingly beautiful black & white, scanned, colored and cleaned to perfection, creating a release that no doubt would have those who made it giving a huge thumbs up. And "those who made it" is quite a list. Director - William Wyler - (These Three, Dodsworth, Jezebel, The Letter, The Little Foxes, The Best Years of Our Lives, Roman Holiday, Friendly Persuasion, The Big Country, Ben-Hur, Funny Girl) Director of Photography - Joseph Ruttenberg - (Fury, A Day at the Races, The Shopworn Angel, The Great Waltz, The Women, The Philadelphia Story, Ziegfeld Girl, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Woman of the Year, Gaslight, Madame Curie, Brigadoon, Gigi) and the Composer - Herbert Stothart - (Rasputin and the Empress, Queen Christina, David Copperfield, Anna Karenina, Mutiny on the Bounty, A Night at the Opera, A Tale of Two Cities, San Francisco, Camille, Ziegfeld Girl, The White Cliffs of Dover, Kismet, National Velvet, The Yearling, The Sea of Grass) This, like the other two in this release pattern, should all be in the category of "no-brainer" purchases, especially as (like Grand Hotel), is under $14 on Amazon. A perfect Blu-ray presentation of a great classic. Everything about this release is dead on. Image -5 Audio - 5 Very Highly Recommended. RAH
     
  2. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Uhhh..."colored?"
     
  3. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I agree that this is an excellent-looking BD - just gorgeous. Don't agree that it's a good movie, though! :) Potentially dopey question for RAH: why does it seem like pic quality for movies from the early 1940s has held up so much better than pic quality for movies from the early 1930s? It's rare to find something from the early 30s or before that looks great, but there are a number of BDs from the early 40s - or late 30s - that look stunning. Not sure why there's such a substantial drop-off when the time frame is so minimal...
     
  4. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    For those who watched Downton Abbey Season 1, you will see that Downton stole the flower show scenes from Mrs. Miniver . I will not go into details in case someone would consider it a spoiler but if you have seen both Mrs. Miniver and Downton you will know what I mean.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Totally film element and generation dependent.
    RAH
     
  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I get that, but in general, it seems like early 40s films are much, much more likely to look good than something from 10 years earlier...
     
  7. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    I actually never got around to watching the DVD, so this blu-ray is a great incentive. However, William Wyler's presence in the director's chair is really all the encouragement I should need.
     
  8. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    I'm no expert, just a major fan of films of the 1930s and 40s. But it's clearly obvious that there were improvements in film stock on almost a yearly basis throughout the era, as films of the early 1930s are grainier and aren't as rich in shading as later films. Just watch something like The Thin Man series to see how film stocks evolved through the years. Each installment has less grain and better shading than the one before, until you see a leveling off around 1941 or so.
     
  9. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    Not sure what you mean just watched the Blu-ray it is in Black & White as the movie was shot. Did you want this particular movie to be released in color?
     
  10. battlebeast

    battlebeast Screenwriter

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    Bonus features?
     
  11. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Per the back of the box: 1942 Academy Awards newsreel Vintage cartoon "Blitz Wolf" Two World War II-era shorts "Mr. Blabbermouth" and "For the Common Defense" Theatrical trailer
     
  12. Escapay

    Escapay Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, cool! The original DVD didn't include "Blitz Wolf." Is it (or any of the bonus features) in HD? Or are they just the existing SD transfers?
     
  13. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    Mrs. Minver looks fantastic! I also love the bonus features. The best part in the bonus section is where WHV gives a very thoughtful well written reason as to why they wanted to include Blitz Wolf. Disney should do the same thing with Song of the South. I was able a few years back to buy a DVD of Song of the South from a store in Disneyland Paris. I guess I was very lucky for I read they sold out fast. I also own one Pal VHS copy. I had two and gave one away to my local library
     
  14. Mike Frezon

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    I enjoyed my first-ever viewing of Mrs. Miniver on this Memorial Day 2013.

    Wonderful film. I found it quite moving and was thrilled to pick out so many stars in its terrific cast.

    I was really taken by how this film must have struck such an emotional chord with the American audience as they watched those dramatic scenes of the bombing of London and the surrounding communities.

    I'll have to check...but I think the only other film in which I have seen Greer Garson is The Happiest Millionaire (quite a different type of film!). She was certainly a classic beauty.

    [​IMG]

    I certainly know what you're talking about, Gary. What a strange thing for the Downton Abbey writers to do. Maybe a "tip of the hat" as it were to this British classic as they were telling their own tale of a different Britain war?

    I did have a slight issue with the sync of audio to video being off by the slightest fraction of a second. Nothing to take me out of the film...but there nevertheless. I did recently install a new player into my system. Maybe that had something to do with it...but nothing else I've watched has had a similar issue.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Mike,

    Regarding Greer Garson's beauty, you might want to checkout Random Harvest, released that same year as Mrs. Miniver. Then there is Pride and Prejudice or The Valley of Decision. She had a certain class about her.
     
  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    She was also Elizabeth Bennett in the MGM version of Pride and Prejudice and very memorable (and Oscar nominated) as the love interest in Goodbye Mr. Chips.

    Yes, Random Harvest shows off her beauty better than any, I think.
     
  17. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    And Random Harvest is one of her very best films, not to be missed. I also like The Valley of Decision and Mrs. Parkington.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks, fellas. I had forgotten she was also in Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

    The rest are films I haven't seen. I will make an effort to find Random Harvest.
     
  19. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    And don't forget Warner Archive has released the sequel "The Miniver Story"... Plus there's "Julia Misbehaves", "That Forsyte Woman", "Madame Curie", "Adventure", "When Ladies Meet"... Warner Archive has been very good to Garson fans.
     
  20. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    She does a music hall number in Random Harvest which exhibits her shapely legs (also in view in Julia Misbehaves). So Ms. Garson could sing, dance, do comedy, drama, melodrama, and had one of the loveliest voices in the history of movies. And she was a redhead to boot!
     

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