Photographed by the great Karl Freund, and with a cast of M-G-M’s top players – Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Edna May Oliver, Maureen O’Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Marsha Hunt, Heather Angel…
The new Warner Archive release is from a gorgeous scan of a safety fine grain master, in turn derived from the original nitrate camera negative, lost to decomp c. 1970. I had to double check as to generation, as it appeared to be OCN-derived.
I actually noticed things that had never been previously obvious, such as the major use of rear-screen projection, within which can now be seen actual proof of the zombie infestation that hit Culver City 1939-40. Pay extra attention to the backgrounds of these shots. Strange as it may seem, there was also a zombie outbreak in UK c. 1813-14, which makes sense that M-G-M might attempt to allow the flavor.
The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther actually gave it glowing a glowing notice:
”Hunt Stromberg and his associates have managed to turn out a film which catches the spirit and humor of Miss Austen’s novel down to the last impudent flounce of a petticoat, the last contented sigh of a conquering coquette. With no more of a plot than Miss Austen herself provided they have told the simple but continuously captivating story of the five Bennet sisters in quest of husbands, of their frankly scheming mother, their wisely unmeddlesome father, of Darcy and Bingley and the treacherous Wickham. The whole thing has been accomplished through a steady flow of superlative wit—most of it out of the novel and some of it supplied by Aldous Huxley and Jane Murfin—which puts a snapper on almost every scene; and also through a consistently artful inventiveness of detail and a keen appreciation of the subtleties of Miss Austen’s characters. It isn’t often that a cast of such uniform perfection is assembled.”
Gorgeous black & white imagery, with a perfect gray scale and meticulous blacks. Film grain is perfect.
Time to turn the old DVD into a coaster.
Image – 5
Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 2.0 – Monaural)
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Yes!
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