The Terence Davies Trilogy

Children (1976)     Madonna and Child (1980)      Death and Transfiguration (1983)






Restored by the BFI National Archive and released on DVD for the first time; with commentary by Terence Davies

While at Coventry Drama School in the early 1970s, Terence Davies wrote the script for Children which he directed in 1976. He subsequently took up a place at The National Film School and with the support of the BFI Production Board, made his graduation film Madonna and Child (1980). Three years later, also part-funded by the BFI, he completed the Trilogy with Death and Transfiguration.

Restored by the BFI National Archive who worked closely with Terence himself, the films are preserved by the BFI and are now released on DVD for the first time alongside The Long Day Closes (1992).

Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes confirmed Terence Davies' status as one of the cinematic masters of our day; these three early shorts reveal a filmmaker of great promise.

In stark black and white, Davies excavates the life of his fictional alter ego, Robert Tucker, in a narrative that slips between childhood, middle age and death, shaping the raw materials of his own life into a rich tapestry of experiences and impressions.

Over the course of these three films, we witness the emergence of Davies' singular talent and style, the refinement of his technique, and a director growing in confidence, soon to become gifted as British cinema's greatest film poet.

Excerpt from the BFI website located HERE

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1976 - 1983

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: BFI - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution BFI - Region 2 - PAL
Time: 44:26, 27:04, 24:50
Audio English (2.0)
Subtitles English, None - Optional subtitles for the hearing impaired on the feature film and commentary tracks!

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33

Edition Details:

Full feature commentary by Terence Davies for all three films
Filmed interview with Terence Davies by Geoff Andrew (15:34)
10-page illustrated booklet including essays by Derek Jarman and Distant Voices, Still Lives producer Jennifer Howarth on Terence Davies at Film School

DVD Release Date: June 23rd, 2008

Transparent Keep case (see image above)



This is coded for region 2 in the PAL standard. It is housed in a standard transparent keep case (see above image).  At present these three Terence Davies films are not sold separately and are only available in this Trilogy collection. The features can be played individually or one immediately following the next with a 'Play all' option.  

Each have original English audio with an option for English subtitles in a white font with black border (see samples below). The extras, including the commentaries, also in English, also have optional subtitles.  

Image: All three are transferred in their original 1.33 aspect ratio. Perhaps suffering their more meager production roots the image quality is certainly less than perfect. Contrast can be a bit muddy with a sepia/greenish cast on the black and white images taking away somewhat from their purity. Detail is mediocre but consistent throughout all three features. There is a bit of noises but it is fairly fine. Overall, I wasn't displeased but fans should, obviously not expect a modern quality presentation. The screen captures below should give you a good idea.    

Audio - All have 2.0 channel audio that sounds flat and unremarkable - this would be akin to original. It's clean and clear enough but shows signs of its simple roots and the optional subtitles are appreciated (samples below) especially for those unfamiliar with the occasionally strong accents.

Extras include more full commentaries, on all three, by Terence Davies and he is as eloquent and interesting as in the others I've encountered. A real pleasure to hear this man talk of his craft. There are also filmed interviews with Davies by Geoff Andrew and a 10-page liner notes illustrated booklet including essays by Derek Jarman and Distant Voices, Still Lives producer Jennifer Howarth on Terence Davies at Film School.

Overall impression: I was still reeling from The Long Day Closes and probably should have waited a week or so to view these but I was anxious and although not at the same level of impact as the latter work - you can still see the evolution of his cinematic eye in so many scenes. Davies really is a master and I consider him one of my absolute favorite living directors. This, expectantly has a very dour and dark edge but viewers willing to accept that receive a strong recommendation from us.             

Gary W. Tooze

DVD Menus




Children (1976)

Screen Captures


Top captures is an example of the Director commentary subtitles!



 Madonna and Child (1980)



Screen Captures




Death and Transfiguration (1983)


Screen Captures




DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution BFI - Region 2 - PAL


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