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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by George Cukor
USA 1964

Like most movie musicals this was adapted from a long-running Broadway musical. In this case most of the original Broadway cast repeat their roles in the film version, the only exception being the addition of Audrey Hepburn excellent in the role of Eliza (despite the fact that she does not do her own singing). Julie Andrews played the part on Broadway but lost out in this film version, creating a shock around Hollywood at the time and ultimately lead to Andrews winning that year's best actress Oscar. Hepburn however could not sing and was dubbed by Marni Nixon, a famous singing double of the time. The film retains its theatrical roots however, the set pieces are stunning and only a very few changes were made from the original score. Indeed, the whole thing appears very staged, in the gloriously engaging style of similar scale musical films such as Oliver.

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, the addition of the Lerner & Loewe songs provide an extra dimension to the story. Even if you do not usually like musicals. Songs like `The Rain in Spain' and `Get Me to the Church On Time' will be familiar to most people.

Fantastically unmissable.

Excerpt from Liz Burroughs' review at the Edinburgh University Film Society located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 21 October 1964 - USA

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Comparison:

Warner - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC vs. Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed for the Warner (SE) DVD Screen Caps!

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner
Region 1,4 - NTSC
Paramount
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:52:48 2:52:48 2:52:58.993
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.95 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.38:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.58 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,496,422,959 bytes

Feature: 40,593,487,872 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Warner

 

Bitrate:

 

Warner (SE)

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)

English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dub DD 1.0.

DTS-HD Master Audio English 5076 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5076 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio English 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, French and none. English, Spanish, French or none. English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by art director Gene Allen, singer Marni Nixon, and restorers Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz.
• Production notes.
• Behind-the-scenes documentary.
• Alternate versions of 'Show Me' and 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly?'.
• Four theatrical trailers.

DVD Release Date: December 8, 1998
Snapper Case

Chapters 47

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.38:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary with Gene Allen, Marni Nixon, Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz.
• Making of - Then and now (57:49).
• 1963 Production Kickoff Dinner (23:17).
• George Cukor Directs Bina Rothschild - Audio with stills(2:37).
• Audrey Hepburn Vocals of 'Show Me' and 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly?'.
• Sketches, productiion stills, documents and publicity.
 Rex Harrison radio interview - Audio with poster and lobby card stills (1:02)
• The Fairest Fair Lady - Featurette (9:32).
• Los Angeles premiere footage. (4:51).
• Rex Harrison Golden Globe Acceptance Speech (0:42).
• Academy Awards ceremony highlights (0:24).
• Comments on a Lady - Scorsese (1:20) Lloyd Webber (1:06).
• List of awards.
• Trailers of Brigadoon, Camelot, Gigi, My Fair Lady original & 30th anniversary.

 

DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
2- DVD insert in cardboard box

Chapters 50

Release Information:
Studio:
CBS

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,496,422,959 bytes

Feature: 40,593,487,872 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary with Gene Allen, Marni Nixon, Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz.
• Making of - Then and now (57:49).
• 1963 Production Kickoff Dinner (23:17).
• George Cukor Directs Bina Rothschild - Audio with stills(2:37).
• Audrey Hepburn Vocals of 'Show Me' and 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly?'.
• Sketches, productiion stills, documents and publicity.
• Rex Harrison radio interview - Audio with poster and lobby card stills (1:02).
• The Fairest Fair Lady - Featurette (9:32).
• Los Angeles premiere footage. (4:51).
• Rex Harrison Golden Globe Acceptance Speech (0:43).
• Academy Awards ceremony highlights (0:24).
• Comments on a Lady - Scorsese (1:20) Lloyd Webber (1:06).

 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 50

 

Comments

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: CBS Home Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray (November 11'): I have to say that something is 'wrong' here. While the Blu-ray image looks marginally better (in certain areas) as compared to the SD transfer - it's not enough, in my opinion. Firstly, I find it quite annoying that the image is shaking (almost vibrating) throughout the entire presentation. This is most visible by looking at the edges of the frame. With an evolution from Super Panavision 70 (like West Side Story or Lawrence of Arabia) shouldn't this look significantly more dynamic in 1080P? The image is flatter than I was anticipating, colors are not demonstratively tighter and when you zoom-in it looks more like bumped artifacts than grain. Also there seem to be some exposure issues on the sides that I noted - I don't know - I suppose the word is 'underachieving'.. Now - trying to be positive this is indeed a bit better than the 2004 DVD. The more I watch of the Blu-ray - the more that I suspect that, as with the latest DVD, they simply used the same 1080i Master as they did for the 1998 transfer. It's hard to believe that they would do this. My anticipation is that it would be sharp as a tack.

 

After viewing, I contacted Robert Harris and asked his take on resolution. I asked how much of what should be there, is there? His answer: "A solid 30%."

 

The audio, on the other hand, fares much better with a DTS-HD Master 7.1 at an exuberant 5076 kbps. Marni Nixon's piercingly clear voice is even more so via the lossless track. Fans will swoon. This track sounds brilliant with some separations and depth in the score. The disc has multiple subtitle options and is identified as being region FREE.

 

Supplements duplicate the Special Edition DVD with the Gene Allen, Marni Nixon, Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz commentary and the video pieces including the 'Making of...'.

 

Perhaps my expectation on the image quality were too lofty. I'd be interested to hear what others will say when they have the disc in-hand. This is a title that was made for the Blu-ray format with its stunning set-pieces. I am hoping someone can address the video - but the rest of the package is solid. Those with higher-end systems, and a more discerning eye, may be less-thrilled than they anticipated.  

 

***

 

ON THE DVDs: On a projection system the 98' disc was almost un-watchable with edge enhancement and artifacts visible. The new version is from the same transfer (look at the bit-rate peaks and valleys). It runs at a higher bitrate (better compression), but still has issues when viewed on larger than a 50' screen.  

 

The new SE version is the one to buy. Great Extras - we can hope for improvement in the PQ one day. Most will be very happy with its sharpness and vibrant colors. 

 Gary Tooze

 


Menus

(Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


Screen Captures

 

Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner (SE) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount (CBS) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


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Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Warner
Region 1,4 - NTSC
Paramount
Region FREE -
Blu-ray


 

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Gary Tooze