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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

It Always Rains on Sunday [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Hamer , 1947)

 

   

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Ealing Studios 

Video: Studio Canal

 

Disc:

Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:33.583

Disc Size: 20,120,648,796 bytes

Feature Size: 15,674,867,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: UK (think) Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: November 12th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• ‘Coming in from the Rain’ – exclusive interviews with: Film Historian Ian Christie; Writer Iain Sinclair; Producer Sean O’Connor and Director Terence Davies (16:36)
• Locations Featurette with Brtish Film Historian Richard Dacre (6:23)
• Trailer (2:33)
• Stills Gallery

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Directed by Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets) It Always Rains On Sunday starring Googie Withers, John Mccallum, Jack Warner is considered to be one of the greatest and most overlooked achievements of British 1940s cinema. The film was featured in Time Out's 100 Best British Films list, as chosen by 150 film industry experts, including Sam Mendes and Wes Anderson. Googie Withers stars as Rose Sandigate, a Bethnal Green housewife whose Sunday is turned upside down by the re-appearance of an old flame who is now an escaped convict seeking protection from the police. A rare glimpse into life in London's East End post WWII, It Always Rains On Sunday was Googie Withers' last film for Ealing Studios and, due to her wonderful performance as a woman trapped in a claustrophobic domesticity, it remains one of her best.

 

 

The Film:

After the war, British films began avoiding the heiresses and lordships that had dominated the drama field and began pursuing "realism" -- which often was just as artificial as the earlier white-telephone pictures. John McCallum plays Tommy Swann, a product of the working class who tries to better himself by becoming a criminal. Escaping from prison, Swann hides out in the East London home of his former mistress Rose (Googie Withers), who has since married George Sandigate (Edward Chapman). The film is told from Swann's point-of-view, and a dismal view that is. Nor does Rose seem any happier with her drab lot in life. Swann's return does nothing but further their misery, tearing Rose' family apart and sending Swann back into the arms of the law. Considered a tension-laden slice of life in 1949, It Always Rains on Sunday seems a bit contrived today, though it does full justice to the Arthur La Bern novel on which it is based -- especially when the film leaves the environs of the house and zeroes in on its colorful roster of bit actors

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

So this is modern life, warts and all. A snapshot of working-class reality over 24 hours. But what makes ‘It Always Rains on Sunday’ special is its humour and energy. The thriller element is taut and clear, and the comedy is served sparingly but pointedly: ‘Nice weather for ducks and aspidistras,’ quips a neighbour as Rose tries to hide her fugitive. There are no lessons learned, no easy answers. You feel next Sunday could be just the same for someone across the street. A real gem.

Excerpt from TimeOut  located HERE

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

It Always Rains on Sundays arrives on Blu-ray from Studio Canal.  While the image quality is good - I wouldn't say it was exceptional. I don't doubt this is true to the source and may even had some restoration (BFI remastered utilizing two, separate, nitrate positives). There are a few inconsistencies showing a few speckles and more but generally the 1080P visuals support the presentation adeptly.  It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows a modicum of depth. It doesn't look overly cleansed but contrast can be a bit muddy. This Blu-ray is single-layered with a modest bitrate and provides an acceptable, but certainly not stellar, video presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Studio Canal use a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 1536 kbps that sounds very consistent. Effects are minimal but the rain is notable. Dialogue isn't crisp but is audible with a bit of a rough edge. The score is by Georges Auric (Dead of Night, The Innocents, Lola Montes, Rififi, Wages of Fear) and has some presence - almost drowning out dialogue with its intensity. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked. It is purchasable throughout Europe.

 

 

Extras :

Studio Canal include some new supplements. ‘Coming in from the Rain’ is 17-minutes of casual sit-down discussion with film historian Ian Christie, writer Iain Sinclair, producer Sean O’Connor and director Terence Davies - all giving reflection and input on It Always Rains On Sunday. There is also a 6-minute piece with British film historian Richard Dacre visiting some of the film's locations. We also get a trailer and stills gallery.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
As stated on Wikipedia "The film was one of the most popular movies at the British box office in 1948. In the decades since its release, the reputation of It Always Rains on Sunday has grown from that of a neatly engrossing slice-of-life drama to a film often cited as one of the most overlooked achievements of late-1940s British cinema." This is a beauty, and while I'm not overwhelmed by the Blu-ray a/v, I don't doubt that this is the best we are likely to get and this is a film I that has repeat value. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

June 17th, 2014

 

   

  


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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