Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,998
Real Name
Robert Harris
It's a little known fact that while Ben Kingsley was lauded for his portrayal of Gandhi in Sir Richard Attenborough's epic, he was not the first choice for the lead. Back in mid-1980, with no known Indian actors capable of taking on the role from an international marketing perspective, numerous names were in play.

Everyone from Steve McQueen to Jackie Gleason were considered for the role (too tall, too portly). But taking a page from Aurens, Sir Richard went with a moderately tall actor, Sir Ben, who would play the great Gandhi, who was 5'5".

Miraculously, he appears far shorter on screen, and it works.

As I can see neither McQueen nor Gleason in the role, the casting turned out to be not only fortuitous, but extraordinarily perfect.

What is also perfect, is Columbia's new 4k of the film (available in that beautifully designed boxed set), that allows the individual films to be kept as needed on one's shelves.

In an absolutely non-characteristic studio move, the 191 minute film is divided between two discs, properly separated at the intermission point, showing not only intelligence at the studio level, but respect for home theater enthusiasts as well as those involved in the production.

What a novel idea...

A truly great film, that can be considered a Lean-type production, and an absolutely perfect home theater presentation.

Not being in Dolby Vision also gives it a better chance at reproduction via projection, which works quite well with the film. I have no complaints.

The 70mm track has been reconfigured to Dolby Atmos, and is wonderful.

Everything is in the proper place with the release. Prospective viewers should have no fear of it being too biographical or too dry.

It's an extraordinary film at every level, making the boxed set of six an absolute steal at under $100. There are rumors that in some states the price is construed as theft.

From a personal perspective, Aurens is worth every bit of $50, Gandhi at least 40, and League another 35 or 40.

Which means that three films, even if you never watch them, are free - that would be Strangelove, Maguire and Smith.

I'm a huge fan of this film. Got to spend some time with Sir Richard in London, and was able to chat about not only Gandhi, but the shoot on
one of his early films, A Matter of Life and Death. Sweet gentleman.


4k Image – 5 - OLED Panel
4k Image - 4.75 - Projection

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Oh, yes!

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,011
Real Name
Ben
Thanks for the wonderful review of this excellent film. I've watched my solid blu-ray of this at least half a dozen times in the ten years I've had it. But it's been a couple of years, and so I hope my next time will be with this improved presentation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

ghostwind

Stunt Coordinator
Premium
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
118
Real Name
bogdan
What is also perfect, is Columbia's new 4k of the film (available in that beautifully designed boxed set), that allows the individual films to be kept as needed on one's shelves.
I haven't seen any "unboxing" images anywhere from this set, so a quick question. Does each film come in it's own standard sized case with artwork, so that I can remove them and put them in my standard rack, with other BDs and UHDs?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

PMF

Cinematographer
Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
4,296
Real Name
Philip
It’s suddenly occurred to me that of the first three films reviewed from this boxed set that I’ve met, so very long ago, at least one lead actor from each. None had disappointed. But, as it is, I don’t want to distract any attentions from this fantastic 4K collection, so I’ll just simply dispense from the dropping of their names. :P

P.S. At this point; with a three-for-three of perfect scores received from RAH; are there any question remaining as to the totality of excellence that lay ahead for all six? Oh, yes, it feels as if the 4K planets are about to be aligned.:)
 
Last edited:

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,011
Real Name
Ben
It’s suddenly occurred to me that of the first three films reviewed from this boxed set that I’ve met at least one lead actor from each. As it is, though, I don’t want to distract any attentions from this fantastic 4K collection, so I’ll just simply dispense from the dropping of their names. :P

P.S. At this point; with a three-for-three of perfect reviews received from RAH; are there any question remaining as to the totality of excellence that lay ahead for all six? Oh, yes, it feels as if the 4K planets are all about to be aligned.:)
I hope you will drop the names and share some stories if you feel like it!++
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

PMF

Cinematographer
Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
4,296
Real Name
Philip
I hope you will drop the names and share some stories if you feel like it!++
Well, perhaps I might; but only if Grover Crisp includes either “Oliver!” or “Funny Girl” in the next 4K boxed set of the Columbia Classics Collection (Vol. 2), to which I already can tell will be a future purchase. :)

Meanwhile, if Gandhi isn't already a great and unforgettable film; in and of itself; I, for one, can’t wait to see this as a restoration and in 4K, too. After all, this is a work that also belongs to the great DP Billy Williams. Gandhi, On Golden Pond, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Woman in Love; it’s high time we had more discussions concerning his career.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: benbess

battlebeast

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,100
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Real Name
Warren
I love this film. There is something about it that just jumps out at me.
Unlike LAST EMPEROR, which I’ve never been able to get into, this one I revisit often.
Sir Ben Kingsley is incredible. Unlike other Asian portrayals (Mickey Roone, I’m looking at you!) Sir Ben actually IS part Indian.
I’m curious as to how this is an upgrade from Blu Ray. In what ways? To me the Blu Ray is stunning. What areas did they improve upon?
 
  • Like
Reactions: benbess

PMF

Cinematographer
Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
4,296
Real Name
Philip
[...]I’m curious as to how this is an upgrade from Blu Ray. In what ways? To me the Blu Ray is stunning. What areas did they improve upon?
The marketing specs have stated that “Gandhi” was fully restored from the Original Camera Negative. Also, we’re going from Blu to 4K/UHD. And, most of all, the work on this disc was overseen by Grover Crisp. Just think of a Rolls Royce and you’ll know what I’m driving at. :cool:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: benbess

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,998
Real Name
Robert Harris
The marketing specs have stated that “Gandhi” was fully restored from the Original Camera Negative. Also, we’re going from Blu to 4K/UHD. And, most of all, the work on this disc was overseen by Grover Crisp. Just think of a Rolls Royce and you’ll know what I’m driving at. :cool:
With Grover it‘s all Connolly hides and Wilton leathers. Perfection.
 
  • Like
Reactions: benbess and PMF

owen35

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
240
Real Name
Steve
Just out of curiosity: Ghandi does not have Dolby Vision yet LOA does. With both directors no longer with us, who makes the decision to choose this standard? Both films are coming from the same studio and part of the same box set, so why the inconstancy?
 

Tom McA

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 15, 2002
Messages
176
I misread Robert's last comment and was concerned there was a Rolls Royce out there somewhere with seat hides made out of Grover from Sesame Street...
 
  • Like
Reactions: willyTass

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,998
Real Name
Robert Harris
Just out of curiosity: Ghandi does not have Dolby Vision yet LOA does. With both directors no longer with us, who makes the decision to choose this standard? Both films are coming from the same studio and part of the same box set, so why the inconstancy?
Aurens is the only DV of the six.
 

noel aguirre

Supporting Actor
Premium
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
729
Location
New York City
Real Name
noel
While I thoroughly enjoyed this film at the Ziegfeld when it was first released I found it waay too long and not particularly visually arresting unlike Aurens or The Last Emperor.
I found it very Lean lite. IMHO
 

PMF

Cinematographer
Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
4,296
Real Name
Philip
Ah, yes, but if memory is serving me correctly, Sir David Lean had once considered directing a treatment Ghandi, as well.
 
Last edited:

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,137
Messages
4,701,578
Members
141,178
Latest member
July