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Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (Flipside # 12 (Dual Format Release)) [Blu-ray]


(Clive Donner, 1968)





Theatrical: United Artists Corporation

Blu-ray: BFI



Region: B (A + C untested)

Runtime: 1:36:39:356

Disc Size: 30,229,815,984 bytes

Feature Size: 23,035,183,104 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.980 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-Ray Case

Release date: September 13th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video




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



English, None



• Censored Version (1:34:32)

• Because that Road is Trodden (23:31)

• Stevenage (21:27)


Description: Clive Donner's (The Caretaker) modish and glossy swinging Sixties comedy follows the sexual exploits of irrepressible teenager Jamie (Barry Evans) who is full of adolescent energy, obsessed by sex and determined to lose his virginity. Based on the book by respected British author and journalist Hunter Davies (The Beatles authorized biography), and with music by The Spencer Davies Group and Traffic, Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush caused a considerable stir when first released due to its taboo-busting portrayal of permissive 60s society and is now rightly regarded as a definitive British coming-of-age film. Unavailable in any format since its initial theatrical run, this lost cult classic now receives its home video premier, in High-definition.



The Film:

Of all of the films to emerge from the "Swinging London" film phenomenon of the sixties, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967) has remained one of the more difficult films to see due to its unavailability on any format. Though not as well known as some of its contemporaries such as A Hard Day's Night [1964], Blow-up [1966] or Performance [1970], the movie, based on Hunter Davies' first novel (he also adapted the screenplay) is a giddy, high-spirited time capsule of its era, popping with day-glo colors, groovy fashions, British slang and playful cinematic techniques influenced by Richard Lester's Beatles films such as speeded up motion, still frames, and the breaking of the fourth wall; the protagonist, Jamie McGregor (Barry Evans), constantly addresses the viewer in the manner of a confessional.

The entire movie is set in and around "Newtown" (Stevenage in Hertfordshire), an antiseptic, modern suburb of London, where Jamie lives, works (as a delivery boy and stock clerk at a grocery) and goes to school. There is only one thing on Jamie's mind - SEX - and the entire storyline is devoted to his pursuit of losing his virginity. Although Jamie's go-getter attitude suggests he's an Alfie in the making, he's much less successful when it comes to actual conquests and the movie chronicles one sexual misadventure after another, each one played for laughs, with Jamie coming close to but never succeeding in his quest.

Excerpt of review from Jeff Stafford located HERE



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

The BFI has done another admirable job of taking a well regarded, but long available underground British film and restoring it in a lovely edition. In this case, Clive Donner's "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush", comes to us after undergoing a meticulous restoration that has left it looking about as good as one could imagine that it ever could. Yes, there are some weaknesses in film itself, some softness here and there and infamous skinny dipping scene features some strange chromatic aberrations on the outlines of the characters for a few seconds, but these is almost certainly from the source used. Otherwise, this is a very lovely looking film, one that Donner crafted some very impressive shots with gorgeously orchestrated color schemes. The quality of the film itself will vary in a few scenes. Occasionally we see into the mind of the main character and his fantasy sequences are always altered in some fashion to separate them from the film's main narrative. In one instance the shot is done through a light red filter, in another there's intentional trailing of the image in a red and blue landscape so that it looks almost like older 3-D images without the glasses, and so on. Over all, this is a great transfer with high levels of clarity and contrast, and a very lovely grain structure to boot.
















Audio & Music:

The film comes mastered with a linear PCM 2.0 soundtrack. While it won't ever be mistaken for the high end of HD masters, the sound here more than does the job with regard to the dialogue and an absolutely lovely late 60s soundtrack. While perhaps the music could have received a bit of a boost, there's really very little to complain about. Like the visuals, the film's audio track underwent a full restoration and while the most serious issues have all been resolved, but there was some unwanted hissing in the background of an early scene. Other than that, there are no troubles. The film comes with optional English subtitles and is region free!





The disc boasts three extras. First there is a 33 page fully illustrated booklet with stills from the film and reproductions of its press interspersed with essays on it, it's star, it's director and two accompanying short films. Speaking of those shorts, there are two which both compliment the film in a unique way. First, there's "Because That Road is Trodden", which tells the dreams of schoolboy of roughly the same background in the main feature. In terms of tone the two couldn't be further apart, but they still make for nice, contrasting approaches to the subject. Finally, there's a short entitled "Stevenage" that looks at the town of the film's setting. While it doesn't exactly make for exciting viewing, it is nevertheless interesting to learn more about the town featured in the film.


Bottom line:

While watching the film I was reminded more than a bit of both "Billy Liar" and "The Knack...and How to Get It". However, I think that I enjoyed this film a bit more than the either of other two. It's star Barry Evans was affable enough in it, and while most of his puns fell flat, his quest is one that most adolescent males went through and despite the film's heavy use of fantasy still seems realistic. So, yes, I would recommend the release on the merits of the film alone, but the care and attention that the BFI has put into its restoration make this an essential purchase. Highly recommended.

September 10th, 2010



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