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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Mervyn LeRoy
USA 1940

When I was around 10 years old, I was fortunate enough to have a small black and white television set in my bedroom. It only received three broadcast stations, but on one Saturday night an old war drama called "Waterloo Bridge" was shown. I watched it with fading interest until I dramatically caught the subtleties of the plot.... then I wept while barely understanding why. If I was to unthinkingly blurt-out the film that initiated my life-long journey into cinema, I would probably say Chaplin's "City Lights". It is quite possible that this would be an incorrect answer and that the accolades really go to Mervyn LeRoy's "Waterloo Bridge". I remember so many details from my initial viewing and to this day that appreciation only grows.

 

Based on the play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert E. Sherwood, "Waterloo Bridge" stars Vivien Leigh as Myra, an innocent ballerina whose life is irrevocably altered in London by the announcement of war. During a Air-Raid warning Myra meets handsome, good-natured British officer Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor) on Waterloo Bridge.  The couple soon plans to wed, but Cronin is called to the front, and shortly thereafter a newspaper incorrectly reports him as a causality. Forced out of ballet school with her friend, both alone and destitute, Myra turns to prostitution, although the markers are as subtle as you could imagine for a 1940's film. By today's standards both tragic and melodramatic and Vivien Leigh is as good in this as anything she ever did... ditto for Robert Taylor who was so appropriate for the part.

 

This is cinema that should never be forgotten. Vintage melodrama at its best. Find some way to watch this - at least once in your life. out of

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: 17 May 1940 - USA

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DVD Comparison:

Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC vs.  Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Thanks to Ole Kofoed, Gary Tooze and  Gregory Meshman for the Culture captures!

 (Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE vs.  Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

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

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Film Prestige - Russia

Region 0 - NTSC

Best Movies Collection (Taiwan)

Region 0 - NTSC

Zoke Culture (China)

Region 0 - NTSC

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Distribution

Film Prestige - Russia

Region 0 - NTSC

Best Movies Collection (Taiwan)

Region 0 - NTSC

Zoke Culture (China)

Region 0 - NTSC

Warner

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Runtime 1:48:12 1:48:04 1:48:08 1:48:32
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.45 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.44 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.25 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:

Prestige Films

 

Bitrate:

 Best Movies

Bitrate:

 Zoke Culture

Bitrate:

 Zoke Culture

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Russian dub English Dolby Digital 4.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 4.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, DUB: French 1.0
Subtitles English, Russian, None English, Chinese, Indonesian or none. English, Chinese or none English, French, Japanese, Thai or none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Prestige - Russia

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Info about other titles in Collection of Viven Leigh (in Russian)
• Filmographies (in Russian)

DVD Release Date:
Slim Digipack

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Best Movie Collection (Taiwan)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• No extras.

DVD Release Date: 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: Zoke Culture (China)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• No extras

DVD Release Date: 2003
Keep Case with Outer Sleeve

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:20)

DVD Release Date: January 27th, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 33

Comments ADDITION: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - January 09': It's only been almost a decade since I picked this up Taiwanese version up in an Asian mall. Warner finally gives this gem some justice. Contrast and detail are the vast improvements - along with subtitle renderings. No intrusive chroma and there is a shade more information in the frame.

God, I love this film. Bare-bones, single-layered and only a trailer as an extra but I treasure this DVD. Our warmest recommendation. 

 - Gary Tooze

****

 

ON THE RUSSIAN, TAIWANESE AND CHINESE DVDs: I love doing comparison that no one in the world would do and most don't care about. Call it one of my many 'bents'.

This is three illegal bootlegs (presumably) of a VHS tape OR this film has slipped into the public domain. Judging by the bitrate the Asian releases are from the same very poor source. I can only assume the Best Movie Collections DVD from Taiwan is the initial and the Zoke from China have ported them removing the Indonesian subtitles. How it landed in Russia as well, I'll never know. They all have bad chroma bug and contrast boosting. I suppose the only big difference, aside from the Indonesian and Russian subtitles, are the menus and the fact that the Chinese exhibits a  watermark which popped up 3 times during the 1:48 showing of the film. Ole also tells me the Chinese edition' s English subtitles suddenly go missing  for 20-25 minutes. For some reason they have 4 channel audio - very strange. Regardless it is of poor quality. Gregory tells me the Russian subtitles are 'all over the place'.

Now to spout off - what the hell are the studios doing not putting this wonderful film out properly ? Some whole generations of people are seeing this for the 1st time on one of these awful bootlegs.

I'll recommend the VHS (remember those things?), but it is Out-of-Print as well... you may find one for sale by a third party by clicking the below logo. Best of luck!

 - Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 (Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE vs.  Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 


Subtitle Sample

 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

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

 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

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

 

 

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

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

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

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

 

 

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

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

 

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

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

 

 

More Screen grabs from the Warner

 

 

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Warner

Sound:

Warner

Extras: Warner
Menu: Warner

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...