directed by David Lean
U.K. 1946

One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean's Great Expectations brings Charles Dickens's masterpiece to robust onscreen life. Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham, and Estella populate Lean's magnificent miniature, beautifully photographed by Guy Green and designed by John Bryan.

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: June 1946

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DVD Comparison:

ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Carlton - Region 2 - PAL

 

1) ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray - LEFT

2) Criterion Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Carlton Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

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Distribution

ITV DVD -

REGION FREE Blu-ray

Criterion Collection Spine # 31

Region 1  - NTSC

Carlton
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:58:09 1:58:12 1:53:30 (4% PAL speed-up)
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 17-20 mb/s
1080P Single-layered

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.50 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.66
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

ITV DVD

 

NO BITRATE GRAPH YET FOR Blu-ray

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

Carlton

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono) English (Dolby Digital 1.0)

English (Dolby Digital 1.0)

Subtitles English and none English and none None
Features Release Information:
ITV DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Restored theatrical trailer 2:59

DVD Release Date: June 23rd, 2008
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 15

Release Information:
Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Black & White, Dolby
• Restored theatrical trailer 2:59

DVD Release Date: March 7, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Carlton UK

 

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

Biographies of David Lean, Charles Dickens, John Mills and Valerie Hobson

 

DVD Release Date: April 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 13

Comments:

ADDITION: ITV DVD Blu-ray July 08': NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc and are linked to their 1920X1080 counterpart if you are interested to see.

 

Firstly, the great news - despite rumors to the contrary this release, like The Boys From Brazil and Black Narcissus, is REGION FREE and will play on Blu-ray players world-wide.

 

I would say, of the three new Blu-ray releases from ITV DVD in the UK, that this has the least prominent improvement over SD. Although the image quality appears about the same at smaller sizes obviously when expanded to an HD system the 1920X1080 resolution is maintained by the Blu-ray, and hence, looks far superior. I toggled back and forth from the Criterion (on a region free player) with this Blu-ray and the differences are immense - even considering we were using two non-compatible output systems. The ITV DVD is quite a bit brighter and doesn't have the extensive flickering contrast of the Criterion (from way back in 2000), but overall I'd say the most noticeable improvement would be in detail. The Blu-ray maintains it at higher levels and this is where the Criterion, and most SD DVDs of older films, look weak. All three still show some dirt and light speckles - it doesn't appear that any have had a 'full' restoration but definitely the Blu-ray 'appears' much smoother and cleaner.

 

You may note that the Criterion looks a little vertically compressed with faces looking slimmer than the other two editions. ITV may have used the same source as the Carlton so its hard to know which is correct.

 

NOTE: This is a very old comparison and I don't know that I got exact frame matches on all screen grabs.

 

There are no extras and, as expected, I noted no vast improvement with the mono audio. Once again though the Blu-ray seemed set at an initially louder level.

 

Bottom line is that Lean's classic has never looked better for home theater presentation, but those with higher-end viewing systems will notice the superiority the most. We, of course, recommend this release to those concerned with seeing the film in the best possible transfer. It is heads and tails above the SD editions.    

 

***

 

Similar to the "Oliver Twist" comparison the Criterion disc has a far superior image than the Carlton. It is closer than the Oliver Twist but Criterion still leads the way. It is minutely sharper with more subtle contrast.  Most DVD attributes are in Criterion's favor. In the Extras dept. the Criterion gives a nicely restored theatrical trailer as compared to the Carlton's static screen filmographies pages. So pretty much bare-bones for both. Hopefully an edition will come along that has some viable supplements.

 Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

ITV DVD - Blu-ray

 



(Criterion R1 - NTSC - Left vs. Carlton R2 - PAL - Right)


 


Screen Captures

 

CLICK (ONLY) THE FIRST BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE FULL (CROPPED) RESOLUTION

 

1) ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Carlton Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM



 

1) ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Carlton Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


 

1) ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Carlton Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

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1) ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Carlton Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

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1) ITV DVD - REGION FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Carlton Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

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Image:

ITV Blu-ray

Sound:

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Extras: Criterion

Menu:

Carlton

 

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Distribution

ITV DVD -

REGION FREE Blu-ray

Criterion Collection Spine # 31

Region 1  - NTSC

Carlton
Region 2 - PAL

 


 

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