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(remade in he U.S.A. as "The Wild Heart")

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UK 1950

The title "Gone to Earth" is taken from the Fox Hunter's bellow when the sought after target is no longer obtainable. Emeric Pressburger adapted Mary Webb's story and with backing from the legendary David O. Sleznick, this film, with its fairy tale qualities, was directed by Michael Powell. Shot, on location in the Shropshire countryside, I don't think I have seen a more beautiful film in my life.

 

Set at the turn of the Century, we are introduced to Hazel Woodus (Jennifer Jones), a very desirous, superstitious and simple country lass who loves all the creatures who inhabit her small village. Objectified for her striking beauty by the local squire, arrogant Jack Reddin, who comments "she is mine - head to foot" even though she has already taken marital vows with Edward Marston (Cyril Cusack). 

 

This is a story about innocence, desire, small town religious oppression, values, forgiveness, arrogance, and standing up for one's beliefs and love at all costs. The cinematography is some of the best I have ever seen and the outdoor colors will make you swoon - and if that doesn't Jennifer Jones will. I was so wrapped up in this film that I am prepared to continue to make sweeping and superlative statements about it - enough to fill this page. I will, for everyone's sake, stop here. In short, THIS is MY type of film. out of

 

NOTE: Sleznick, in his infinite wisdom, took Powell and Pressburger to court for not adhering to the script, eventually losing, but as he had obtained the western hemisphere rights to the film. He re-shot many scenes using the California countryside and mercenary Rouben Mamoulian as director filling in the plot with a higher than required melodramatic tone. The new film was called The Wild Heart.  As with his interference in Terminal Station, converting it to Indiscretion of an American Wife, he again bastardized an original masterpiece creating a flawed and unnecessary reproduction.

Gary W. Tooze

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Theatrical Release: November 6th, 1950 - UK

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DVD Review: P T Video / Fremantle -  Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution P T Video / Fremantle -  Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:46:28 
Video 1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: P T Video / Fremantle Home Entertainment 

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• Powell's Home Movies (Behind-the-scenes footage) (24:55)
• 5 Interview questions to Ian Christie, (Powell biographer) (Total: 10:56 min)
• Text page biographies of Jennifer Jones, David Farrer, Cyril Cusack, Michael Powell and Ian Christie
• Photo gallery (14 images in click-thru slideshow)


DVD Release Date: August 27th, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Comments:

Colors, so important to this particular film, are the highlight of this DVD where contrast is its failing. The image can be extremely dark at times lightened only by the vibrancy of the Technicolor objects in the frame. Its almost as if the color was lighting the film - the effect, as it turns out, works wonderfully well, simply because of the manner in which it was shot. It would not be of benefit in most other films. The outdoor Shropshire countryside envelops yours eyes. Aside from the black level flaws, I was really blown away by this image. Sharpness is not at Criterion levels, but it will satisfy most.

There are some keen Extra features with lovely music playing during the Powell Home Movies. I mentally make another deduction for lack of subtitles. The accents and dialogue are so thick it would be a benefit for some. Original audio is quite soft at times. Other than that I quite strongly recommend this DVD. The only one available Digital Versatile Discs for this masterpiece film that I am aware of.   out of    

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution P T Video / Fremantle -  Region 2 - PAL

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