http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/wyler.htm
USA 1949

 

  A soberly dramatic and polished version of Henry James's novel Washington Square, this shows some of its theatrical origins in situation and dialogue, having arrived via the Broadway adaptation by Ruth and Augustus Goetz. However, there are pleasures in the designs, score by Copland (winning an Academy Award) and performances. Oscar-winning de Havilland's portrayal of a plain-jane spinster who comes to the painful realization that her suitor's intentions are more mercenary than romantic is spine-chilling. As the dashing fortune-hunter, Clift brings a subtle ambiguity to one of his least interesting roles, and Richardson is also excellent.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 6th, 1949

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DVD Comparison:

Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC

(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL LEFT vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 2,4 - PAL Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:50:16 (4% PAL speedup) 1:55:16 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.77 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:  PAL

Bitrate:  NTSC

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: German (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, German, None English, French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: February 20th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Robert Osborne intro

• Trailer

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 17

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: NTSC - January 07': The new dual-layered NTSC edition has a superior image (especially in contrast), with far less artifacts - but it is slightly cropped on the top and side edges. It boils down to a personal choice I suppose - whether you wish to give up image quality or information in the frame. For the most part, Wyler's framing was not especially tight and I didn't notice the image being compromised by the cropping (composition seemed fine). I also prefer the NTSC subs and although I could live without the Osborne introduction - it is better than nothing. The NTSC trailer is in rough shape.

This is a great film - one deserved of an audience in the digital age. We recommend purchasing regardless of your choice of editions. They are both very reasonable considering the film's value.

NOTE: (Thanks Dee) The music is by Aaron Copland, for which he won an Oscar. It's really extraordinary music, though there isn't very much of it overall, because he didn't like "illustrating" scenes with music. There's only about 15 minutes of real music, in total. But Wyler had a bit of a tin ear, and famously didn't not care for the magnificent score to The Best Years of Our Lives. He had asked Copland to work in the theme of "Plaisir d'amour" to the score off The Heiress -- it's the song Montgomery Clift plays and sings in the movie. Copland did work it into the score. Copland sent the notated score to Hollywood, where it was orchestrated to his wishes, and recorded. But Wyler had some of the title sequence removed and replaced by gushing versions of "Plaisir d'amour"! Even if one was unhappy with the music, this doesn't seem to be the way to treat our great composers. Copland expressed a huge amount of dismay, but won the Oscar anyway. What I've done (completely illegally) is make an edit of the music over the credits. I've used the end of what's there now, but added to it some of the original score as recorded by Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony, to give just a sense of what the original might have been. The Slatkin recording is much slower, so I've had to start the music before the actual credits begin. SEE HERE  It's very rough, and if I wanted to, I could make it better, but I thought it might be fun for you to hear. The movie itself is some kind masterpiece, and I'm really surprised that it took this long for it to find its way to DVD. There is only a trailer as an extra, even though Olivia is still alive to do a commentary. (DeeF at HTF)   

***

RE: The PAL edition: Another bare-bones single-layered DVD from Universal (Europe) set to sell in English language Region 2, Germany and Australia (Region 4- PAL). The image quality is rather uninspired with some visible dirt (that resembles grain) and a few artefacts. I don't see excessive manipulations which is a positive and the subtitles appear to be well-done. Overall it is clear and detailed enough for a fine viewing experience. Another of my favorite Wyler films that I feel deserves so much more - but I suppose the trends these days are towards more modern films - how unfortunate. The price is acceptable for this release and we encourage purchasing on the strength of the film.

Gary W. Tooze


 

DVD Menus

 

(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL LEFT vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)


 

 


Subtitle Sample

 

(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


(Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL TOP vs. Universal - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 2,4 - PAL Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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