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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by John Farrow
USA 1940

 

After fifteen years in a mental asylum, Hilary Fairfield (Adolphe Menjou, The Front Page) has suddenly regained his sanity, escaped from the institution and come home. But a few things have changed in his absence. For one, his strong-willed daughter Sydney (Maureen O’Hara, Lisbon) has grown up and is planning to marry. For another, his wife (Fay Bainter, The Children’s Hour) has divorced him and is planning to re-marry. It’s enough to drive a man crazy – or a woman, for that matter. Especially when Sydney learns it wasn’t “shell shock” that send her father to the asylum, but family madness – and now she’s sure she’s inherited it. Brilliantly helmed by director John Farrow (The Big Clock) and co-starring Herbert Marshall (The Letter), May Whitty (The Lady Vanishes) and C. Aubrey Smith (The Hurricane). This 1940 film was a remake of the 1932 film with the same title, directed by George Cukor and starring John Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn in her film debut.

***

A creaky remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Bill of Divorcement tells of the effect an emotionally disturbed father's homecoming has on this household. Adolphe Menjou, a longtime mental patient, is released after 20 years' confinement and returns home. Only vaguely aware of the time lapse, Menjou meets his daughter (Maureen O'Hara), and attempts a reunion with his wife (Fay Bainter), who is on the verge of divorcing her long-absent husband and remarrying. Thanks to undue pressure from friends and family, the wife very nearly takes her husband back, much against her will. But the daughter steps in and volunteers to sacrifice her own future to take care of her father, thereby allowing mother to chart her own course of happiness. Incredibly dated in its attitudes toward divorce and insanity, Bill of Divorcement worked somewhat better in its 1932 version, thanks to the charisma and chemistry of John Barrymore as the father and newcomer Katharine Hepburn as the daughter. For many years, the 1940 Bill of Divorcement was retitled Never to Love when shown on TV.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 30th, 1940

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:14:15.617         
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,278,558,972 bytes

Feature: 21,713,891,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.11Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,278,558,972 bytes

Feature: 21,713,891,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.11Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Theatrical Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 26th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

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

Kino Lorber bring the 1940 adaptation of A Bill of Divorcement after already releasing the 1932 George Cukor film on Blu-ray HERE with John Barrymore, Billie Burke and Katharine Hepburn. This Blu-ray is on a single-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. For these older films in 1080P, it's all about the layered contrast, grain and source condition. It's all impressive here - love the texture and pleasing detail. The film is mostly Maureen O'Hara and she's in top form looking great in HD.  

The audio transfer is via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono in the original English (16-bit). 
There are no aggressive effects but minor depth of the lossless is subtle score by Roy Webb (Notorious, The Spiral Staircase, The Curse of the Cat People, I Married a Witch, The Fallen Sparrow, The Window, Journey Into Fear, I Walked with a Zombie etc.) which sounds as goods as the mercy of the production limitations. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region 'A' Blu-ray.

No extras - save some trailers - and none for the film. This is a true bare-bones release.

This is inferior to the earlier Cukor version - seeming more like a Maureen O'Hara vehicle - and it works for audiences to witness her budding abilities. A powerful story. The
Blu-ray transfer is excellent and the bare-bones status should be reflected in the price - have patience. Vintage era fans should seriously consider.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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