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directed by Ken Russell
UK 1962

Ken Russell's ELGAR has attained classic status in the realm of television documentaries since it was first shown on November 11th, 1962 as the 100th programme in the BBC's Monitor series.

Made at a time when much that is now known about Elgar had yet to be published, Russell's film is remarkable for its sensitive portrait of the rise of a young musician from a relatively poor background to international fame. The film was also groundbreaking in that for the first time the BBC relaxed its taboo on using actors in factual films, although Russell was only allowed to use actors if they appeared in long shot and spoke no dialogue. As Russell's tribute to music he loved, the film is evocative, visually superb and true to the elegiac nobility of Elgar's music.

Television Release: 1962 - UK

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DVD Review: BFI Video - Region 1- NTSC

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Distribution BFI Video - Region 1- NTSC
Runtime 54:50
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.26 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.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Directors Commentary with Ken Russell and Michael Kennedy
• Footage of Elgar at the Three Choirs Festival
• Footage of a recording of Land Of Hope And Glory at the opening of Abbey Road Studios
• Stills Gallery

• Director’s Biography

• Liner notes by Michael Kennedy 

DVD Release Date: July 22nd, 2002

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 9





A wonderful DVD from BFI. Rich black and white image with strong contrast, valuable extras including director commentary - good subtitles, original clean audio. I can't imagine you wanting much more. There is some damage in the archival footage, but regardless this has one of the best quality images I have seen in years from a TV broadcast. out of

Gary W. Tooze

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Distribution BFI Video - Region 1- NTSC


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Gary Tooze