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directed by Brian Desmond Hurst
U
K 19
51

Blu-ray Product Description: Alastair Sim's tour-de-force performance as the ultimate Christmas grouch, Ebenezer Scrooge, highlights this beloved version of the Charles Dickens story. The peevish pinchpurse learns the error of his unkind ways when he is taught the true meaning of the holidays by the ghost of his late partner and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future. Meryvn Johns, Michael Hordern, and Glyn Dearman as Tiny Tim co-star. 86 min. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital stereo; audio commentary; biographies. Also includes a DVD version of the film. Two-disc set.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 31st, 1951

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DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:57 (includes MacNee intro and ending) 1:26:31.853
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 3.71 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,128,775,884 bytes

Feature: 17,645,524,992 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-2 Video

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

Bitrate: DVD

Not Available

Bitrate:   Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles None English, Spanish, Pop-up Trivia Track, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Two-sided single-layered disc with black and white + colorized versions

• Introduction and closing by Patrick Macnee

• Text Bios, Production Notes

• Max Fleisher's Rudolph animated cartoon

DVD Release Date: October 28th, 1998

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,665,821,589 bytes

Feature: 22,797,717,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary with George Cole

• Pop-Up Trivia

• American Trailer in HD!

• British Trailer in HD!

• Standard DVD

Blu-ray Release Date: November 3rd, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: VCI Video - Region FREE Blu-ray - October09: VCI's original DVD from 1998 was one of the worst ever produced for this Christmas classic that has sunk into the Public Domain. It was single-layered - offering a deplorable colorized version on the opposite side of the disc. The transfer was interlaced (see combing example below), contrast boosted, riddled with artefacts and totally un-restored. As well as looking extremely poor - the audio was some of the worst and most indistinguishable I have ever heard.

It appears as though an immense amount of effort has gone into the new Blu-ray which claims to be taken from the original 35mm negatives with digitally restored video and audio. Contrast and detail are dramatically improved. Black levels and shadow detail are vastly superior. There is good grain visible but still some some noise on the MPEG2 encoded single-layered transfer. While not perfect - it is easy to state with confidence that this is the best this classic has ever looked for home theater digital presentation. There seems to be more information - especially at the top of the frame on the new hi-def rendering. I hope the screen captures below give you a good indication of the Blu-ray visual quality.

Audio had no where to go but up from the older VCI DVD. Most of the annoying and prevalent hiss has been cleaned away and dialogue is clearer and much more readily distinguishable. Both 5.1 and 2.0 channel mono audio flavors are available but neither in HD. There is some minor separation in the 5.1 track with the howling winds etc. but it is certainly not aggressive. The Blu-ray offers optional English or Spanish subtitles options and my Momitsu tells me this disc is region FREE - making it accessible by Blu-ray players worldwide.

NOTE: Tom says on our ListServ: "... as a musician, and perhaps I am a bit too critical, but I found the reverberation added during the 5.1 remastering to be completely distracting to me. I was compelled to switch to the mono track which was quite acceptable." (Thanks TOM!)

While the original DVD offered the superfluous colorized version, brief Patrick Macnee intro and closing, some text bios and production notes and Max Fleisher's Rudolph animated cartoon, the Blu-ray has an optional audio commentary with Marcus Hearn + George Cole (Young Ebenezer Scrooge from the film) - recorded, I believe in 2005 and present on VCI's 2007 DVD. It's a bit of a snooze-fest with the respectful Hearn trying to drag opinions out of Cole who seems unwilling to give, or remember, them. I think I would have preferred Heard to discuss more about production, locations etc. I didn't mind the Pop-Up Trivia track that infrequently gives a little dose of information and there is also an American and British Trailer - both in HD. I didn't notice it till after but ion the left side of the case as you open it is a standard DVD of the film.

Although some may still find flaws in the 1080P presentation - it is easily to note that it this is the best it has looked and sounded for your home theater enjoyment. For many this is a must-own disc to indulge on a cold winter night during the holiday season - the definitive of the many film versions of Charles Dickens' classic novel. Imperfect - but highly appreciated and still a strongly recommended Blu-ray!

Gary W. Tooze

 


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The original VCI DVD was interlaced - the new Blu-ray is progressive!

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

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VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


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Distribution VCI Video - Region 0 - NTSC VCI Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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