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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Wedding Bells" )

directed by Stanley Donen
USA 1951

Not, thankfully, a documentary about a couple with cotton wool in their mouths, but a lively Technicolor musical (produced by Arthur Freed), with Astaire and Powell as a brother-and-sister musical act who travel from America to London at the time of the Queen's wedding (then Princess Elizabeth, of course), and both find romance, he with a dancer, she with a lord. A pleasant enough score by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, helped out by Donen's stylish direction; best number is 'You're All the World to Me', with Astaire energetically dancing his way round the walls and ceiling of a hotel room.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: March 8th, 1951

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DVD Comparison:

Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Alpha and PAL screen captures.

1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Sanctuary Digital

Region 0 - PAL

Alpha
Region 0 - NTSC
Warner
Region 1 ,2, 3, 4 - NTSC
Royal Wedding is also part of Warner's Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 2 (The Pirate / Words and Music / That's Dancing / The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding / That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans)

             

Runtime 1:32:33 (4% PAL speedup) 1:32:42 1:32:57
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.36 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.85 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition)

 

Bitrate:

 

Alpha

 

Bitrate:

 

Warner

 

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0

Dolby Digital 2.0

Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles English, None None English (SDH), English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sanctuary Digital

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Cast & crew profiles
• Production background
• Photo gallery
• Audio commentary (Fred Astaire's daughter Ava talks to Laureate's Ken Barnes)
• Graphic illustration of 'Walls & Ceiling' dance sequence
• Theatrical trailers for Yolanda and the Thief and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

DVD Release Date: March 5, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: Alpha

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

 

DVD Release Date: February 19, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 5

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Comedy short
• Classic cartoon
• "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man" alternate version
• Robert Osborne hosts TCM's Private Screenings with Stanley Donen
• New featurette
• Song outtake
• Promotional radio interview with • Fred Astaire and Jane Powell
• Theatrical trailers

DVD Release Date:
July 24th, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 27

Comments ADDITION: Warner (2-disc) Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - April 2010: Shamefully, we didn't update this comparison until now (thanks Paul!) and it's a prime example of what happens when a great film falls into the Public Domain - DVD production companies like Alpha and Sanctuary have little concern or resources to give Royal Wedding its just due. I don't need to comment on the image with the huge difference in the below screen captures. Cropped too! Patience would truly have been rewarded in this case.

Audio is as improved as the video and Warner have supplied some great extras including an interview with Donen, a classic cartoon, an, audio only, radio program and much more PLUS this set includes another Astaire film, "The Belle of New York" with the dancer working his magic on the rooftops. That second disc also have some viable supplements.

If you want Royal Wedding - the best deal is to indulge in the Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 2 with 5 more films for double the price. I really miss that time when Warner was pumping out these vintage classic looking and sounding so good with decent supplements. Those days need to return!

***

ON THE ALPHA and SANCTUARY DVDs: I'm afraid we can't recommend either of these DVDs (Alpha / Sanctuary). They are both quite horrible. Looks like the picture on UK disc is zoomed and it still needs lots of improvement. It is as saturated an image as I can remember seeing. Until someone (Warner?) goes to restore original elements, we'll have to get by these terrible public domain prints. I would wait till a better edition comes out... or buy the VHS.

 Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus

(
Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Sanctuary Digital (Special Edition) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

The Warner 2-disc package contains both Royal Wedding and The Belle of New York

 

 

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Warner

Sound:

Warner

Extras: Warner

Menu:

Warner

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Sanctuary Digital

Region 0 - PAL

Alpha
Region 0 - NTSC
Warner
Region 1 ,2, 3, 4 - NTSC
Royal Wedding is also part of Warner's Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 2 (The Pirate / Words and Music / That's Dancing / The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding / That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans)

             



 


 

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Gary Tooze

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