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A view on Blu-ray by Brian Montgomery


All the Right Noises (Flipside #005) [Blu-ray]


(Gerry O'Hara, 1969)




Review by Brian Montgomery



Theatrical: Si Litvinoff Film Production

Blu-ray: BFI



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:10.465

Disc Size: 34,904,238,396 bytes

Feature Size: 22,977,001,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.73 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 24th, 2009



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video




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



English, none



• Bernard Braden 'Now and Then' interview with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting (17:05)

• The Spy's Wife: a rare and little-seen short film by O'Hara starring Tom Bell (28:07)

• Extensive illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned contributions from film historian Robert Murphy, Gerry O'Hara, and The Spy's Wife producer Julian Holloway



The Film:

Originally sold with the provocative tagline 'Is 15 too young for a girl? Is one wife enough for one man?', this time-capsule of a film concerns itself with the story of a young married man who has an affair with a teenage girl, and forms part of a peculiarly 1960s British wave of films exploring such sensitive subject matter (others included Term of Trial, Age of Consent, and Three into Two Won't Go).

Starring Olivia Hussey, in her first post-Romeo and Juliet role, and the inimitable Tom Bell (The L-Shaped Room, Prime Suspect), this wonderful slice of British cultural history is one of only a handful of feature films directed by Gerry O'Hara, better know for his assistant-director work with such cinema giants as Tony Richardson, Carol Reed and Otto Preminger.

Excerpt of review from BFI located HERE


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

The image quality on the disc is a bit lower than the other BFI Blu-rays, but I strongly suspect that this was the result of problems with the original print and not the remastering. As the booklet states, the film went through a full high definition remastering that eliminated damage, dirt, and stability issues with the print, and you won't find a single instance of any of these (the booklet also warns of a green hue in some scenes, but I didn't pick up on any). However, there are some scenes that are overly grainy and an inconsistency with the clarity of some images. Some look quite sharp, but others look rather soft. As I previously stated, I'm fairly certain that these problems were inherent in the original print and simply couldn't be fixed like the damage was. Over all though, the image is acceptable if unremarkable for 1080p and I wouldn't discourage anyone from checking this title out in HD.
















Audio & Music:

The films soundtrack is presented here in LCPM 2.0, a format that I've always thought highly of. The dialogue sounds very crisp and clear (The booklet also mentions some instances of loose synchronization, but I again failed to notice it), and there are no instances of unwanted background noise (i.e. pops, hisses, cracks, etc). The music sounds wonderful here, but I really have to question the filmmaker's use of it. It appears often and sometimes seems to go on for too long. What's more, on at least one occasion, it overlays the dialogue, so that we can't tell what the characters are saying unless you have the subtitles on. Speaking of those subtitles, they do a great job, are as usual easily read, and unobtrusive.




With this release, we get three extras. First, there's another of the BFI's typically thoughtful and illuminating booklets, containing essays on the main feature (including one by the director), and three on the supplementary material. Next, there's an interview pulled from a television series called "Now and Then" which features Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. Unfortunately, the interview was made before the production of "All the Right Noises" began, so we hear nothing about the film. However, we do get a decent portrait of Hussey as an actress at age 15, a year before she made "All the Right Noises" (Also notice that they let a 15 year old smoke on set. Tsk tsk.). Finally the disc includes "The Spy's Wife", a comical short made by O'Hara a few years after the main feature. The short has a bit of damage on it, but is still a rather amusing diversion.



Bottom line:

Despite my small concerns over the image, this is another wonderful entry into the BFI's flipside series. If it weren't for their attention to the weird and wonderful world of underground British films, then this would have been another title that I would have never heard of. Bravo to the BFI for rescuing it and the rest of the series from obscurity. Recommended.

Brian Montgomery
February 11th, 2010








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