directed by Peter Weir
Australia 1975

Twenty years after it swept Australia into the international film spotlight, Peter Weir's stunning 1975 masterpiece remains as ineffable as the unanswerable mystery at its core. A Valentine's Day picnic at an ancient volcanic outcropping turns to disaster for the residents of Mrs. Appleyard's school when a few young girls inexplicably vanish on Hanging Rock. A lyrical, meditative film charged with suppressed longings.

On the TOP 100 List of DVDs.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1975 - Australia

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Umbrella Entertainment (2 disc) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Pathe - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Second Sight (UK) 3-disc - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Gaumont Boxset (France) CTVH - Region 2 -PAL

Big thanks to Steffen Bieker for the Kinowelt screen captures!

(Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL  LEFT vs. Pathe - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND)

DVD Box Covers

REISSUED ANAMORPHIC:

 

Distribution

Umbrella Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Pathe Films
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 29

Region 0  - NTSC

Runtime 1:42:20 (4% PAL speedup) 1:42:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:47:00
Video

1.77:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.45 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.94 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

 

(Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 -PAL - RIGHT)

 

Second Sight (UK)
Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt (German)
Region 2 - PAL

Gaumont - Columbia Tri-Star HV
Region 2 - PAL

1:42:20 (4% PAL speedup) +

Original theatrical release (1.66:1)  1:50:52 (4% PAL speedup)

1:42:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:42:12 (4% PAL speedup)

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.87 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.28 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.83 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:

Second Sight + Umbrella Entertainment

   

Bitrate:

Pathe + Criterion

 

     

Bitrate:

Kinowelt + GCTHV

 

  

 

Distribution

Second Sight Film (UK)

Region 2 - PAL

Umbrella Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Pathe Films
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 29

Region 0  - NTSC

Kinowelt (German)
Region 2 - PAL
Gaumont - Columbia Tri-Star HV
Region 2 - PAL
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby digital 5.1)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

 

English (Dolby Digital 5.1) DUB: German (Dolby digital 1.0)  English (Dolby digital 5.1) 

English (Dolby Digital 2.0) , DUB: French  (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

Subtitles English, and none None None English, and none German and none French (removable AFTER starting)
Features

 Release Information:
Studio: Second Sight

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen

  - 1.77:1

 

Edition Details:

• "A Dream Within A Dream" (duration 90 Mins Approx)
An All New Feature Length Documentary On The Making Of The Film Featuring Exclusive • Interviews With Peter Weir, Patricia Lovell, Hal & Jim Mcelroy, Cliff Green, Russell Boyd, Bruce Smeaton, Jose Perez, Helen Morse, John Jarratt, Christine Schuler And Anne Louise Lambert.
• "A Recollection: Hanging Rock 1900" (duration 25 Mins).
A 1975 On-set Documentary Produced And Presented By Patricia Lovell Which Includes Interviews With Author Joan Lindsay, Director Peter Weir, And Key Cast Members
Including Rachel Roberts.
• Joan Lindsay Interview.
• Excerpts From An Interview Conducted With Author Joan Lindsay In 1974 In Which She Provides An Insight Into The Writing And Essence Of The Novel, "picnic At Hanging Rock".
• Short Recollections - Audio Interviews With Actors Dominic Guard (michael) And Karen Robson (irma).
• "Hanging Rock & Martindale Hall: Then And Now".
• A Tour Of The Film's Two Principal Locations.
• Trailer Collection
• Australian Trailer, Cannes Promo Reel And Double Feature Trailers.
• Still And Poster Gallery - An Extensive Library Of Images Accompanied By An Excerpt Of The Novel Read By Actress Helen Morse.
• The Day Of Saint Valentine - The First Screen Adaptation Of Joan's Novel Made In 1969 By 13 Year Old Schoolboy, Tony Ingram With Commentary From The Director.

• Deleted Scenes from the directors cut (8:25)

 

DVD Release Date: June 30th, 2008
Fold-out digi-pak in double case (see photo below)

Chapters 15

 Release Information:
Studio: Umbrella

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen

  - 1.77:1

 

Edition Details:

• "A Dream Within A Dream" (duration 90 Mins Approx)
An All New Feature Length Documentary On The Making Of The Film Featuring Exclusive • Interviews With Peter Weir, Patricia Lovell, Hal & Jim Mcelroy, Cliff Green, Russell Boyd, Bruce Smeaton, Jose Perez, Helen Morse, John Jarratt, Christine Schuler And Anne Louise Lambert.
• "A Recollection: Hanging Rock 1900" (duration 25 Mins).
A 1975 On-set Documentary Produced And Presented By Patricia Lovell Which Includes Interviews With Author Joan Lindsay, Director Peter Weir, And Key Cast Members
Including Rachel Roberts.
• Joan Lindsay Interview.
• Excerpts From An Interview Conducted With Author Joan Lindsay In 1974 In Which She Provides An Insight Into The Writing And Essence Of The Novel, "picnic At Hanging Rock".
• Short Recollections - Audio Interviews With Actors Dominic Guard (michael) And Karen Robson (irma).
• "Hanging Rock & Martindale Hall: Then And Now".
• A Tour Of The Film's Two Principal Locations.
• Trailer Collection
• Australian Trailer, Cannes Promo Reel And Double Feature Trailers.
• Still And Poster Gallery - An Extensive Library Of Images Accompanied By An Excerpt Of The Novel Read By Actress Helen Morse.
• The Day Of Saint Valentine - The First Screen Adaptation Of Joan's Novel Made In 1969 By 13 Year Old Schoolboy, Tony Ingram With Commentary From The Director.

 

DVD Release Date: August 18th, 2004
Fold-out digi-pak in double case

Chapters 15

 Release Information:
Studio: Pathe

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic  - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• none
 

DVD Release Date: 30 June, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• 4:3 Theatrical trailer (4:49)
• Soundtrack re-mastered in Dolby Digital 5.1
• 3 page liner notes by Vincent Canby

DVD Release Date: October 20, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 33
 

Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt (Germany)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic  - 178:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer

• Deleted Scenes (In German)
 

DVD Release Date: 22nd June, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 18


Release Information:
Studio: Gaumont -CTHV

Aspect Ratio:

Widescreen anamorphic  - 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• 3 other Peter Weir films on separate DVD - The Last Wave, The Cars that Ate Paris, The Plumber

• Interview with Patricia Lovell (22:54) English with optional French subtitles
• Dust (24:05) non-anamorphic widescreen -English with ingrained French subtitles
• Lost (13:45) 4:3 English short with optional French subtitles
• 6 Filmographies of cast and crew (moving text screens) 

DVD Release Date:
March 10th, 2004
2 double Keep Cases inside Box
Chapters: 12

 

Second Sight Package

 

 

ADDITION: Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2- PAL - July 08': Firstly - to back track - There was another Umbrella edition (Australia) that was anamorphic (not shown in this comparison - but purchasable HERE. As Eric tells us "Umbrella Anamorphic 1.78:1 reissue has 5.1 sound. The reissue has the same cover as the original Umbrella release. The only way to tell the difference between the reissue and the older version is the gold "remastered" sticker on the shrink-wrap and the 16:9 and 5.1 information on the DVD specs on the back cover. The anamorphic reissue seems to have used the same source as the original non-anamorphic source (though newly transferred as there does not seem to be any artifacts that might crop up from making a 4:3 letterboxed transfer anamorphic). The image looks pretty much the same despite the reissue's minutely higher bitrate. Criterion's non-anamorphic transfer is still the sharpest and the only one in its original aspect ratio (though that seems to be a subject of debate).". I strongly suspect the Second Sight using those 16X9 elements and many of the supplements are the same.

Well, to my eye this new Second Sight, anamorphic, dual-layered, progressive transfer looks as good, even possibly slightly better, than all other editions. It seems extremely close (if not exact) to the stellar German Kinowelt release. But there are some real viable reasons for buying this UK edition. The extras (discussed below) and they actually include the longer theatrical cut giving many fans this rare chance to see it after all these years. Unfortunately the condition is quite poor, and it is cropped, and we have added to full resolution screen caps at the very bottom of this comparison. Still, I was extremely happy to finally see it.

The 'Director's Cut' on disc on has English 2.0 and an option for 5.1 as well as optional English subtitles. Bravo on all fronts.

Extras, for the most part duplicate most of the wonderful supplements on the Umbrella release. They are on a third disc (also dual-layered) and include the 2 hour documentary ‘A Dream Within A Dream’, ‘A Recollection – Hanging Rock 1900’, a Joan Lindsay interview, 'Hanging Rock and Martindale Hall – Then and Now’, ‘The Day of St Valentine’ (1st screen adaptation), Audio Interviews, Stills and Poster Gallery and 8 minutes 25 seconds of curious director’s cut deleted scenes.

Until this comes to Blu-ray (no, I have heard nothing of the sort) this Second Sight is the package to own for fans of this incredibly haunting film.  

***

ADDITION: Umbrella Entertainment - PAL (October 2004) - Well this is probably the only film I will have 5 different DVD editions of. Phew.... the Umbrella Region 0 - PAL DVD from Australia has some good points... and some bad. On the positive side the Extras are magnificent ! The second disc blows away all other versions and Weir fans will, for this alone, make it a must-have DVD. The animated menus are incredible - some of the best I have seen- ever. Packaging likewise is classic - a perfect keepsake. This is, as all others, the 'directors cut'. Now the bad - why is this disc not anamorphic? and why are there no subtitles ? I found the audio clear but seemed to fluctuate in volume level at times - kind of unusual. The ratio is 1.77 keeping the Criterion as the only issue at 1.66 - thereby showing the most information in the frame (Go Criterion!). Why is this 1.77 and not anamorphic ? there is no reason not to adhere to the correct aspect ratio in this case. We give some leeway for 16X9'ing, but this is not right. As far as image goes - this is very good on tube - amazing actually - but falls short in sharpness next to the Criterion. I think the colors may be a shade more vibrant in this Umbrella issue. Bottom line: There is a very good reason to pick this up - those amazing extras! and if you don't own the Criterion or a projection system - you will be content with the image quality - guaranteed.

****************

In 1998 Peter Weir band Producer Patricia Lovell  decided to offer a 'directors cut' of his theatrical film "Picnic at Hanging Rock'. They both agreed that certain original scenes were not to their liking. This consisted of about 14 minutes that the production company thought would help ticket sales at the time of release. Most of the scenes that Weir and Lovell removed were in the last 1/3 of the film. Each of these above DVD releases represents the 'director's version' or 'cut version' of the film. The German Kinowelt actually offers the additional footage as "deleted scenes" in their extra features.

Okay, the Criterion is the only one of the four that is in the original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. The others have been slightly cropped to fit a 16X9 anamorphic screen. I really don't understand this as you can have 1.66 anamorphic images. And the Criterion is the only one of the four that is not anamorphic. However, if you do not have a widescreen system it is the best image. For widescreen viewing (HTPC, widescreen TV etc.) The Kinowelt is the best. Colors are pretty consistent in all 4 releases.

The Criterion remastered 5.1 audio is the best- even superior to the Kinowelt 5.1audio. Audio is such a large part of this film that this is a paramount criteria for purchase. The Kinowelt is marvelous, but I thought the Criterion was even better (range). The Gaumont and Pathe 2.0 were very flat in comparison.

Extras are a tie. I couldn't decide between the invaluable 14 removed minutes on the Kinowelt DVD of the extras (called 'deleted scenes'), or the interview and shorts on the Gaumont.

So, buying: Fans will want (depending on their system) the Criterion or the Kinowelt for image. True fans will want the Kinowelt and Gaumont for all the extras (they are super!)

NOTE: On my rear projection TV the French version looks great, but it has some quirks with my Malata Region Free player. It jitters unless you put it in 'still mode' and then it shimmers (strobs). No winning. It need filters on an HTPC setup for optimum viewing. The DVD Menus open to beyond the frame of the TV (is this anamorphic 'on the fly'?).  

 

 - Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL)

 

Disc 1

 

 

Disc 2 (Original longer theatrical version in 1.66)

 

 

Disc 3

 

 

(Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL )

 


(Pathe - Region 2 - PAL TOP 2 LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP 2 RIGHT )


 

(Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM 4 LEFT vs. Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 -PAL - BOTTOM 4 RIGHT)

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Pathe - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL FIFTH

6) Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


 


 

 

1) Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Pathe - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL FIFTH

6) Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 


 

1) Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Pathe - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL FIFTH

6) Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Pathe - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL FIFTH

6) Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Pathe - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Second Sight (FULL THEATRICAL) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

NATIVE RESOLUTION

 

 


 

1) Umbrella Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Pathe - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Second Sight (3-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Second Sight (FULL THEATRICAL) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL SIXTH

7) Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

NATIVE RESOLUTION - Notice font difference!

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Second Sight / Kinowelt

Sound:

Second Sight

Extras: Second Sight
Menu: Umbrella Entertainment

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Umbrella Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Pathe Films
Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection Spine # 29

Region 0  - NTSC

Runtime 1:42:20 (4% PAL speedup) 1:42:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:47:00
Video

1.77:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.45 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.94 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

 

(Kinowelt (German) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Gaumont (France) CTVH - Region 2 -PAL - RIGHT)

 

Second Sight (UK)
Region 2 - PAL

Kinowelt (German)
Region 2 - PAL

Gaumont - Columbia Tri-Star HV
Region 2 - PAL
1:42:20 (4% PAL speedup) 1:42:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:42:12 (4% PAL speedup)

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.87 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.28 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.83 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s



 

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