Warner Archive is releasing The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, a magnificently produced 1939 classic on Blu-ray, and the results, along with The Yearling (also being released) produced seven years later, will knock your socks off.

I’m referencing absolute perfection.

The the very special opening Warner logo to the production footage, this is an almost unworldly release.

Seeing the early three-strip process in this way is something devoutly to be wished. Only a dozen features were produced in three-strip in 1939, and only two from Warner Bros. Interestingly the other also stars Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, who as some may recall appeared together in three-strip a year earlier.

That must be some kind of record.

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex is a costume drama in overdrive, that may appear stagey, but makes sense, as it’s based upon a stage play that’s been opened up.

Just go with this one – as well as The Yearling, for which one is best to have some brand of absorbent paper product ready to wipe one’s eyes.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Better believe it!

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
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Robert Harris

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Arthur Powell

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While I've been asking for more Errol Flynn for several years, this wasn't the title for which I was rooting to be towards the top of WAC's list. Still, it's not a bad movie. I'm looking forward to the Technicolor restoration as well as Korngold's sublime score. Here's to Amazon not dawdling with my pre-order.
 

GlennF

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The two sequences Warner Archives have on Youtube show just how beautiful this blu-ray will be. Not my favourite film, but love me that 3-strip technicolour.
 

Stefan Andersson

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Richard P. May comments on The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex:

"In about 1986, just after Turner acquired the MGM/WB libraries, this was the first Technicolor feature that we commissioned for preservation. UA held the pre-1950 Warner films up to that time, and Eliz & Essex had never been transferred from 3-strip negative to recombined color film stock. The work was done at the now long-gone MetroColor laboratory.
It looked very good for its time, and I'm sure this new transfer, some 35 years later, must be splendid.
Dick May"

Source: https://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31481

Mr. May formerly worked at WB. Now retired according to post 19 (2014) here, by David Strohmaier:
https://www.hometheaterforum.com/commun ... st-4173290
 

Mark Toscani

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Robert, I cannot wait for this blu ray. When Warner Archive uploaded the restored clips a couple of weeks ago...I couldn't believe what I was seeing. To my untrained eye, it looked like something I've never seen before....and you just confirmed it. PERFECTION! The folks at Warner Archives have outdone themselves in 2020 and continue to do so in 2021. Thank you for your dedication to preserving and perfecting our classic films from the past century! Just 17 more days...
 

RobertMG

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First time I saw this great film on NY'S old Channel 5 when they had the rights to the Warners library thru Transamerica the film had the replacement title card "Elizabeth The Queen" due to copyright issues??????
 

Mark Toscani

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Mar 11, 2005
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First time I saw this great film on NY'S old Channel 5 when they had the rights to the Warners library thru Transamerica the film had the replacement title card "Elizabeth The Queen" due to copyright issues??????
Yes I remember that. It was very odd. And the title card looked like someone just typed that title on a piece of construction paper!? Was it a copyright issue?
 

Nick*Z

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Over the moon on this one. It's been on my wish list for years. And it is a superb melodrama with Davis and Flynn at the top of their game. DeHavilland is a knock out too. And Donald Crisp, one of my favorite character actors, is marvelous. It should be noted that Mr. Crisp, one of the most prolific actors of his generation, at the time of his death, thanks in part to his real estate investments, was also one of the wealthiest. His treasure trove of great performances have left the world of entertainment that much richer too!
 

MovieMan66

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While I've been asking for more Errol Flynn for several years, this wasn't the title for which I was rooting to be towards the top of WAC's list. Still, it's not a bad movie. I'm looking forward to the Technicolor restoration as well as Korngold's sublime score. Here's to Amazon not dawdling with my pre-order.
Out of curiosity, which title were you rooting for to be on the top of WAC's list? For my part, that is an incredibly easy decision: Gentleman Jim. I just re-watched it the other day on DVD, and it not only stands the test of time, but gets better with repeat viewings. Great performances by all involved, especially Alexis Smith and Ward Bond, very funny, some of the best boxing scenes ever put on film and, from what I understand, Flynn's favorite out of all his films.
 

Arthur Powell

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Out of curiosity, which title were you rooting for to be on the top of WAC's list? For my part, that is an incredibly easy decision: Gentleman Jim. I just re-watched it the other day on DVD, and it not only stands the test of time, but gets better with repeat viewings. Great performances by all involved, especially Alexis Smith and Ward Bond, very funny, some of the best boxing scenes ever put on film and, from what I understand, Flynn's favorite out of all his films.
Gentleman Jim is definitely at the top of my Flynn request list, and I am in full agreement with your comments. I also would put priority on Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, They Died with Their Boots On, San Antonio, and The Adventures of Don Juan. Truth be told, if I could only choose one for upgrade, it likely would be Gentleman Jim.
 

Billy Batson

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Yes, the two I'd love out of that lot are, They Died With Their Boots On & Gentleman Jim (I haven't seen that one since the early sixties), but who am I kidding, I'd buy the others as well. I'd also like, The Master Of Ballantrae (1953), it plays out like a pirate film, & I always enjoy it (although Errol Flynn looks about 95 in it). Oh well, wait & hope.