Directed by Karel Reisz
UK 1960

 

In the industrial streets and factories of Nottingham, Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney) spends his days at the factory bench, his evenings in the local pubs and his nights in the arms of Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the wife of a fellow factory worker. Irresistibly handsome and brimming with animal vitality, Arthur is anti-authority and unashamedly amoral.

Based on Alan Sillitoe's largely autobiographical novel, and with powerful central performances, crackling dialogue and a superb jazz score by Johnny Dankworth, the film stands as a vibrant modern classic. This Seminal film of the British New Wave was a great box-office success - audiences were thrilled by its anti-establishment energy, gritty realism, and above all its fresh, outspoken working-class hero.

 

Product Description:
Starring Albert Finney ,Shirley Anne Field and Rachel Roberts. In the industrial streets and factories of Nottingham, Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney) spends his days at the factory bench, his evenings in the local pubs and his nights in the arms of Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the wife of a fellow factory worker. Irresistibly handsome and brimming with animal vitality, Arthur is anti-authority and unashamedly amoral. Based on Alan Sillitoe s largely autobiographical novel, and with powerful central performances, crackling dialogue and a superb jazz score by Johnny Dankworth, the film stands as a vibrant modern classic. This Seminal film of the British New Wave was a great box-office success audiences were thrilled by its anti-establishment energy, gritty realism, and above all its fresh, outspoken working-class hero.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November, 1960

Reviews          More Reviews         DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

BFI - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

Distribution BFI - Region 2 - PAL BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:24 (4% PAL Speedup)  1:29:05.548
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 24,617,847,132 bytes

Feature Size: 14,766,206,976 bytes

Average Bitrate: 22.10 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1 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 mono)  LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0
/ 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0
/ 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film historian Robert Murphy, with writer Alan Sillitoe and cinematographer Freddie Francis.
• New interview with Shirley Anne Field.
• Interview with Albert Finney.
• Illustrated booklet containing essays and biographies.
• We Are the Lambeth Boys (1959), Karel Reisz's classic Free Cinema documentary.
• Feature presented with dual mono PCM audio (48k/16-bit), extras Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)

DVD Release Date: March 23rd, 2009

Transparent Keep Case

Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Disc Size: 24,617,847,132 bytes

Feature Size: 14,766,206,976 bytes

Average Bitrate: 22.10 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1 Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film historian Robert Murphy, with writer Alan Sillitoe and cinematographer Freddie Francis
• New interview with Shirley Anne Field (10:07 in HD)
• Interview with Albert Finney (audio).
• Illustrated booklet containing essays and biographies.
• We Are the Lambeth Boys (1959), Karel Reisz's classic Free Cinema documentary (50:38 in HD)
• Feature presented with dual mono PCM audio (48k/16-bit), extras Dolby Digital mono audio (1536 kbps)


Blu-ray  Release Date: March 23rd, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray  Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

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

NOTE: I can confirm that the BFI Blu-ray is region code 'B' and will NOT play on Blu-ray machines outside that region.

The differences between the DVD and Blu-ray image quality is extravagant. It is quite notable in the matched screen captures below. The DVD is hazy with weak, muddy contrast and the 1080P resolution disc improves upon it to a much higher ideal with richer black levels and brighter, more pure, whites. Detail is also a visible improvement and the Blu-ray supports the film grain extremely well. It looks quite marvelous. The disparity is so great that I suspect the SD-DVD may be the same transfer as the older out-of-print BFI edition from April 2003. I say this as I noted some minor differences in light damage marks that don't appear to be the same on both digital editions - some more visible on the hi-def rendering. This could very well be the transfer - but it did cross my mind a few times. For 4 quid more the Blu-ray offers far better value in my opinion even beyond the telltale image superiority.   

Audio-wise the DVD's mono was quite strong and the Blu-ray has an uncompressed linear PCM track. While differences may be subtle the HD audio is marginally crisper in dialogue and the sparse music and background sounds. Both offer removable English subtitles.            

 

Extras are very good with an in-depth and revealing commentary by film historian Robert Murphy, with segmented (edited) input from writer Alan Sillitoe and cinematographer Freddie Francis. This is duplicated from the original DVD.  There is a new interview with Shirley Anne Field for 10-minutes in HD where she is revealed as quite candid about her past career and work in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. She was certainly right about being photogenic as there are some stunning still photos of her shown during the interview. Wow. There is an extracted audio segment (less than 5 minutes) with Albert Finney - hosted by Michael Billington from 1982. BFI have included, also in HD, We Are the Lambeth Boys a 1959 Karel Reisz classic Free Cinema documentary. There is also an Illustrated booklet containing essays and biographies.

This is a perfect example of 'British kitchen sink' drama - quite an unforgettable classic of fatalism. The Blu-ray is definitely the best way to go for home viewing but and improves on every facet of the SD-DVD. We strongly encourage for those who are able to view it in region 'B' or who have a region-free Blu-ray player elsewhere.    

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus/ Extras

BFI - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT



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

 

BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


BFI - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution BFI - Region 2 - PAL BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!