directed by Barney Platts-Mills
UK 1969

Del Quant is a 17-year-old welder's apprentice who lives in London's East End. He and his friends have little money, nothing to do and nowhere to go. They get their kicks robbing from the local café, bragging of their friend 'Bronco Bullfrog' who is on the run from Borstal, dreaming of girls and criminal adventures which are unlikely ever to be. One day Del achieves a degree of independence when his father wins a newspaper competition and gives his son the money he needs to buy a bike.


Del meets Irene Richardson, a 15-year-old schoolgirl whose father is in prison for armed robbery and whose mother is determined that she will rise above her surroundings. Del's father matches Mrs. Richardson's disapproving attitude and the young couple's awkward relationship is everywhere met with hostility. After helping Bronco rob a railway truck, and being paid cash, Del decides to run away with Irene on his motorbike. Heading for the country, they go to Del's uncle but are unable even to ask about the 'farm job' that they dreamed might await them there. They confirm to the uncle that they are going back home and to Del's apprenticeship but head instead for Bronco's flat to take refuge in his loot-cluttered rooms. Irene's mother has alerted the police to her under-age daughter's flight and the couple are soon tracked down by the enthusiastic Sgt. Johnson. Del and Bronco knock him down and take off with Irene but the exuberance of flight is short lived. The young lovers were not looking for a life of crime and feel uncertainly that they should return home before things get worse. Bronco, unable to face a return to jail, has no alternative but to keep on running and leaves them to their fate.

Gary W. Tooze

Poster

Theatrical Release: May, 1971 - Cannes Film Festival

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Comparison:

Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:15(4% PAL Speedup) 1:26:34.147
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.66 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,829,858,208 bytes

Feature: 16,971,708,864 byte

Video Bitrate: 22.573 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate: DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  English (LPCM Audio 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles None English, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Platts-Mills

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• 30m Documentary "Everybody's an Actor, Shakespeare Said"  

DVD Release Date: April 5th, 2004

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,829,858,208 bytes

Feature: 16,971,708,864 byte

Video Bitrate: 22.573 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Everybody's An Actor, Shakespeare Said (30:19)

• Joan Littlewood Interview (21:49)

• Seven Green Bottles (35:06)

• 33 Page Fully Illustrated Booklet 

Blu-ray Release Date:
September 13th, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION - Region FREE - Blu-ray (September 2010) - Well folks, this isn't much of a comparison. As you would have guessed, the BFI blows the Platts-Mills (now OOP as far as I can tell) out of the water in every way. In fact, the image ranks amongst the most impressive transfers that I've seen from the BFI thus far, joining recent releases like Loving Memory and Institute Benjamenta with a positively rich and gorgeous black and white transfer. The image here is impressive, exporting detail missing on the DVD. It looks as though the BFI has more information at the top of frame and the older edition has more at the bottom of the frame. One can only conclude that the audio is a major improvement as well. Gary noted that the DVD was weak, but the linear CPM audio is more than adequate here with clear dialogue and music and no discernible flaws.

The disc's supplements are also superior. While the previous edition only had a half hour behind-the-scenes documentary called "Everybody's an Actor, Shakespeare Said" this version expands on the supplements by reproducing the featurette along with a lengthy interview with Joan Littlewood who ran the actor's workshop from which the film's cast was drawn, and the short film "Seven Green Bottles" also touches on the theme of juvenile delinquency. Rounding out the extras is another fully illustrated booklet with essays on the films and filmmakers. Obviously, this BFI edition is the way to go for a film that is very highly recommended.

Brian Montgomery

ON THE DVD: I saw some extreme 'combing' in all motion sequences indicating an interlaced transfer. It is also quite hazy. Audio is understandably weak for the Indie effort and subtitles would have greatly improved the presentation. The documentary addition is a nice touch and overall, this clandestine film looks disappointing for the strong film experience.

Gary W. Tooze


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Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 

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DVD Box Cover

Distribution Platts-Mills - Region 0 - PAL BFI - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 

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Gary Tooze