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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

To Sir, With Love [Blu-ray]

 

(James Clavell, 1967)

 

 

Indicator - Powerhouse initial slate of Blu-rays
Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006 Spine #019 Spine #013 Spine #020


 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time / Indicator (Powerhouse Films) UK

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) both are limited to 3,000 Copies!

Runtime: 1:45:00.335 / 1:45:03.547

Disc Size: 44,862,498,372 bytes / 47,524,050,694 bytes

Feature Size: 30,250,137,600 bytes / 33,133,557,312 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps / 35.01 Mbps

Chapters: 24 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Case

Release date: February, 2015 / November 28th, 2016

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1075 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1075 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1421 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1421 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1734 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1734 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1703 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1703 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Isolated Score:

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

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary with Actress Judy Geeson, and Film Historians Nick Redman and Julie Kirgo
Audio Commentary with Author E.R. Braithwaite and Author/Teacher Salome Thomas El
Isolated Score Track
E.R. Braithwaite: In His Own Words (23:47)
Lulu and the B-Side (5:07)
Miniskirts, Blue Jeans and Pop Music (15:21)
To Sidney with Love from Marty Baum (5:14)
Principal El: He Chose to Stay (11:00)
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:17)

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 units

 

Audio Commentary with Actress Judy Geeson, and Film Historians Nick Redman and Julie Kirgo
Audio Commentary with Author E.R. Braithwaite and Author/Teacher Salome Thomas El
Isolated Score Track

Interviews:

Those Schoolboy Days Christian Roberts on To Sir, With Love (23:32)

Look and Learn Tony Woolward on To Sir, With Love (10:58)
E.R. Braithwaite: In His Own Words (23:43)
Lulu and the B-Side (5:02)

To Sidney with Love from Marty Baum (5:14)
Principal El: He Chose to Stay (10:59)
Miniskirts, Blue Jeans and Pop Music (15:21)
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:18)

Booklet with new and archival contents
Dual format edition

 

Bitrate:

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Description: A Sixties classic about an earnest teacher (the exceptional Sidney Poitier) who takes up a position in a tough school in London’s East End, To Sir, With Love (1967) was adapted (from the book by E.R. Braithwaite) by best-selling novelist James Clavell (Shogun), who also produced and directed. Featuring lively appearances by Judy Geeson, Suzy Kendall, and Lulu, who sings the smash-hit title song.

***

Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) is an engineer who loses his job and turns to teaching in a tough East End school. He immediately faces hostility from his students - the graduating class - who are determined to break his spirit. However, Thackeray counters by treating the teenagers as young adults, attempting to prepare them for life in the outside world. Gradually, as he takes the class on field trips to museums and similar outings, Thackeray earns both their affection and respect.

 

 

The Film:

IT is a far cry from the gang of high school hoodlums with whom Sidney Poitier was involved 12 years ago in "The Blackboard Jungle" to the mixed group of East End London youths he teaches in James Clavell's "To Sir, With Love." And the difference between these student samplings not only marks the gaping difference between these films but also points up the change in Mr. Poitier in the years between.

In "The Blackboard Jungle," you may remember, he was an angry, ferocious Negro youth, full of the same cold aggressions as the vicious white toughs in his class but also moved by other impulses stemming from his racial experiences. He was as taut and terrifying as the other juvenile hoods in that film, which was all too accurate in representing conditions in certain New York slum schools. But when toward the end he came to the aid of his teacher against a knife-wielding pupil, it was a plausible demonstration of basic integrity and choice.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

 

Sidney Poitier, who in 1955 played a student in a tough inner-city high school, portrays a teacher assigned to a similar institution in To Sir, With Love. Unable to find work as an engineer, Poitier accepts a teaching post in London's East End slums. To reach his sullen, rebellious students, Poitier throws away his textbooks and endeavors to reach them as human beings--and as the adults they're going to become. It's an uphill climb, but gradually the students are won over. They begin referring to Poitier as "Sir," not out of blind obedience but as a gesture of genuine affection. Not that there aren't obstacles to overcome: in addition to trying to get through to hardcase student Christian Roberts, Poitier must face down the resistance and hostility of his fellow teachers. The sweetly sentimental finale amply displays the vocal talents of Lulu, who trills the title song. Based on the novel by E. R. Brainwaite, To Sir, With Love was one of the biggest moneyspinners of 1967 (with this film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, Sidney Poitier had quite a year). In 1996, a belated made-for-TV sequel was produced, briefly reuniting To Sir with Love co-stars Sidney Poiter, Lulu and Judy Geason, none of whom looked a day older.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

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

To Sir, With Love arrives in a Twilight Time Blu-ray package transferred at 1080P on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate.  Detail is impressive on the, original, 1.85:1 aspect ratio frame, there is consistent grain textures throughout and the visuals have barely a few speckles nor any damage. Colors are impressively bright and rich. I doubt it will ever look better for a home theatre presentation. No artifacts or digitization. The Blu-ray does its job with highly pleasing results.

 

Of the Indicator (UK) Blu-rays that we have compared (Christine, Body Double, 10 Rillington Place) this one - To Sir With Love - seems to look the most different to its Twilight Time counterpart. While the 2K UK transfer has a higher bitrate (max'ed out) - the visuals are much darker - and this is, presumably, more accurate. While grain, framing and consistency match-up - the Indicator 1080P supports the color scheme with darker black levels and richer contrast. It is a more robust image with deeper colors and, in my eyes, more film-like. Many may not notice to superiority on their less-discernable system but the improvement is very prevalent - even in-motion.     

 

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

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Twilight Time stay authentic with a DTS-HD Master mono track at 1075 kbps. It seems tight if not very demonstrative. Of course, the audio notable if Lulu's theme song To Sir, With Love and there are a couple of tracks by The Mindbenders (It's Getting Harder All The Time, Off And Running). It all sounds very crisp if having little depth. The score is by Ron Grainer (The Omega Man, the iconic TV show The Prisoner, The Devil Within Her etc.) and plays appropriately beside the film. Twilight Time add their usual Isolated Score Track - also in lossless. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Once again Twilight Time go DTS-HD Master mono while Indicator use a linear PCM - both transfers are 24-bit. Like the US audio transfer the sound is not overwhelming in depth but there is an appealing crispness in the songs - perhaps a shade 'tinnier' in the LPCM. Either/or there is not much of a difference and still sounds authentic. Indicator also offer the isolated score, optional English subtitles (SDH) and my Oppo has identified it as, also, being a region FREE Blu-ray.     

 

Extras :

Twilight Time offer a stack of new supplements including two audio commentaries. The first has actress Judy Geeson, and film historians Nick Redman and Julie Kirgo covering some basics of production, reaction to the film and discussion of the schooling system. The second, although not relating much to the onscreen activity, it very worthwhile with author E.R. Braithwaite and author/teacher Salome Thomas El giving specific coverage of the education foibles and brave, concerned, teachers who are challenged by it. We also get E.R. Braithwaite in a 24-minuite video piece entitled In His Own Words in which his career paths and experiences are detailed with honesty and integrity. Lulu and the B-Side is only 5-minutes of the performer discussing, what else, her song and its meteoric rise to popularity. Miniskirts, Blue Jeans and Pop Music runs 1/4 of an hour and examines the 60's counter-culture revolution in London which directly relates to the film. To Sidney with Love from Marty Baum gives us 5-minutes with the agent giving sound bytes on Poitier and the production. Principal El: He Chose to Stay spends another 11-minutes with the Philadelphia school teacher and the challenges of educating in lower economic regions. he is quite a well-spoken and interesting chap. There is also an original theatrical trailer, the aforementioned Isolated Score Track and the packages has the usual liner notes leaflet with an essay by Julie Kirgo. Like all Twilight Time releases, this limited to 3,000 units.

 

Once again, everything the Twilight Time has... plus a bit more. We get the same two audio commentaries (but in lossy Dolby), isolated score and interviews etc. plus two more video pieces (over 1/2 hour's worth) - Those Schoolboy Days has actor Christian Roberts (Denham) discussing To Sir, With Love for over 23-minutes and Look and Learn has 11-minutes with production designer Tony Woolward on the film. The package contains a booklet with new and archival contents and is dual-format with a second disc DVD included.

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
While I have never been a big fan of To Sir, With Love, it's hard not to be impressed with this Twilight Time package.  The image transfer is at their usual high-level, lossless audio and mega extras including two commentaries. There is so much to enhance appreciation. Fans of the film should covet this Blu-ray and I suspect it may be one that goes out-of-print sooner rather than later.

 

Indicator improve again to make their Blu-ray release the definitive edition for the film. With the Twilight Time out-of-print, the Indicator (also limited to 3,000 copies) makes for an excellent, more reasonably-priced, option. Our highest recommendation!   

Gary Tooze

March 2nd, 2015

November 26th, 2016

Indicator - Powerhouse initial slate of Blu-rays
Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006 Spine #019 Spine #013 Spine #020


 

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 5000 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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