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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by John Baxter
UK 1941

 

Adapted from the celebrated novel of the same name by Walter Greenwood, Love on the Dole was one of the most controversial British films of its time, having been banned from production by the British Board of Film Censors and labelled a ‘very sordid story in very sordid surroundings’. It was eventually made in 1941 at a time when the Second World War had radically altered the country's social conditions and attitudes.

During the Depression in 1930s Salford in the North of England, young Harry Hardcastle (Geoffrey Hibbert, In Which We Serve) and his sister, Sally (Deborah Kerr, The Chalk Garden, The Innocents), fall victim to poverty and unemployment, and are forced to make difficult decisions to survive.

Making its US debut on Blu-ray, Love on the Dole is complemented by a selection of contexualising archival extras, including the feature-length 1947 documentary A City Speaks, which is co-scripted by Greenwood.

***

Depressing and realistic family drama about the struggles of unemployment and poverty in 1930s Lancashire. The 20-year-old Kerr gives an emotionally charged performance as Hardcastle, one of the cotton workers trying to make life better. Interlaced with humour that brings a ray of sunshine to the pervasive bleakness, this remains a powerful social study of life between the wars, and was a rare problem picture to come out of Britain at the time.

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 2nd, 1941

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Comparison:

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

Bonus Captures:

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:17.041         1:38:20.936
Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,485,328,525 bytes

Feature: 31,097,407,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,728,110,716 bytes

Feature: 25,205,325,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.03 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate BFI Blu-ray:

Bitrate Indicator Blu-ray:

Audio LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,485,328,525 bytes

Feature: 31,097,407,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Our Film (Harold French, 1942): enthralling propaganda film contrasting the Russian and British home front (14:00)
• The Call for Arms (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1940): Government sponsored film about life at a munitions factory (7:46)
• Island People (Paul Rotha, 1940): a film surveying of aspects of the British way of life (10:21)
• Illustrated booklet with new writing by Chris Hopkins and Jo Botting and full film credits

DVD
 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 18th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,728,110,716 bytes

Feature: 25,205,325,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.03 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• The BEHP Interview with Barbara K. Emary (1988): archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring Love on the Dole screenwriter and regular collaborator with John Baxter in conversation with Bob Allen and Bob Dunbar
• Island People (1940): documentary short, co-directed by Paul Rotha and Philip Leacock, taking a look at pre-war life in Britain from a French perspective (10:23)
• A Call for Arms! (1940): short film, produced and directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, focusing on a pair of chorus girls who join the war effort (7:49)
• Our Film (1942): short film, directed by Harold French and produced by a filmmaking co-operative, about the benefits of national unity during wartime (14:03)
• A City Speaks (1947): feature-length documentary, produced and directed by Rotha, surveying the development of post-war Manchester, England. Co-written by Love on the Doleauthor Walter Greenwood (1:09:13)
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Neil Sinyard, archival articles, new writing on A City Speaks and the short films, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 19th, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (August 2021): Indicator have transferred John Baxter's Love On The Dole to Blu-ray. While both are on dual-layered discs - but BFI having a higher bitrate - the Indicator has more pure contrast. The BFI can tend to look a shade damped or green beside it. Both have the same light scratches and marks but the overall HD presentation on the Indicator is a shade brighter and may export superior grain. It marginally wins in terms of video, imo.

NOTE: We have added 42 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Indicator also use a linear PCM (24-bit) track, in the English language, but it is one channel mono - sounding authentically flat and having a modicum, better support for the high-end. Love On The Dole has a score by Richard Addinsell, who is notable for the Blithe Spirit and the 1951 A Christmas Carol and who also composed the score for the Vivien Leigh films Dark Journey + Fire Over England. It sounds consistent and clean in the uncompressed. Indicator also offer optional English (SDH) subtitles but their Blu-ray is Region playable worldwide!

The Indicator Blu-ray offers a 1998 BEHP interview with Barbara K. Emary. It is an archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the Love on the Dole screenwriter and regular collaborator with John Baxter in conversation with Bob Allen and Bob Dunbar. It runs to the complete film and is not present on the BFI release. Repeated from the BFI Blu-ray are three early 40's British shorts as supplements; Our Film (Harold French, 1942) runs 14-minutes and is an enthralling propaganda film contrasting the Russian and British home front. The Call for Arms (Brian Desmond Hurst, 1940) is less than 8-minutes. It's a Government sponsored film about life at a munitions factory and Island People (Paul Rotha, 1940) is just over 10-minutes - a film surveying of aspects of the British way of life. But a notable new addition by the Indicator is 1947's A City Speaks which is a feature-length (1-hour 9-minutes) documentary, produced and directed by Rotha, surveying the development of post-war Manchester, England. It was co-written by Love on the Dole author Walter Greenwood. Indicator also add a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Neil Sinyard, archival articles, new writing on A City Speaks and the short films, and film credits. So, predictably, Indicator have, extensively, more supplements.

John Baxter's Love On The Dole is a touching, and at times, brilliant slice-of-life drama about working class poverty in 1930s Northern England. The book (1933) and the play (1934) were quite successful, but the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) disallowed a film to be made during the 1930s as it was "regarded as 'dangerous' ". "Love on the Dole" has the distinction of being the first English-made feature film to show British police wielding truncheons against a crowd. The author, Walter Greenwood, stated that he "...tried to show what life means to a young man living under the shadow of the dole...". It's an enjoyable melodrama showcasing Kerr as a stand-out with themes of morality, corruption, survival etc.. It poignantly focuses on social problems in Britain - similar to Tony Richardson's Look Back in Anger and Ken Loach's Cathy Come Home. The Indicator Blu-ray of Love On The Dole - their first solely released in the US - is the best available and another magnificently compete package from them. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

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Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

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Box Cover

Bonus Captures:

Distribution BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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