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directed by John Schlesinger
UK 1967

 

Headstrong and passionate Bathsheba Everdene (Julie Christie) unexpectedly inherits a large farm in rural Dorset. Struggling to manage the farm herself, she captivates the hearts and minds of three very different men: an honest and hardworking sheep farmer (Alan Bates), a wealthy but tortured landowner (Peter Finch), and a reckless and violent swordsman (Terence Stamp). But as emotions become entangled, free spirited and innocent folly soon leads to devastating tragedy.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 16 October 1967 (London, UK)

Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                                  DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

  

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

Warner

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Studio Canal
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:50:25 2:50:40.230 2:47:04.708
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.98 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.41:1 Disc Size: 48,385,575,741 bytes

Feature Size: 45,520,779,264 bytes

Total Bitrate: 30.49 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

2.35:1 Disc Size: 46,858,062,340 bytes

Feature Size: 37,184,522,688 bytes

Total Bitrate: 25.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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

Bitrate

Bitrate

Warner

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Bitrate Studio Canal
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3242 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3242 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, French, None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (3:08)

DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 42

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

 

Disc Size: 48,385,575,741 bytes

Feature Size: 45,520,779,264 bytes

Total Bitrate: 30.49 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:

• Original Location featurette (10:24)

Trailer (3:11)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 42

Release Information:
Studio: Studio Canal

 

Disc Size: 46,858,062,340 bytes

Feature Size: 37,184,522,688 bytes

Total Bitrate: 25.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:

• New Interview with Terence Stamp (13:28)
• New Interview with Frederic Raphael (21:18)
• New Interview with Nic Roeg (3:28)
• New featurette – Devizes, then and now (6:34)
• Original Location featurette (10:23)

• Stills Gallery
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 1st, 2015
Standard UK (thick) Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Blu-rays June 15': These two Blu-rays sport surprisingly different images. The 2.41:1 Warner transfer is more robust with the higher bitrate and colors support their DVD appearance. The UK transfer is 2.35:1 and looks a bit blue to me and is cropped on the side edges when compared to the Warner. Could one be from the 70mm (blown-up fom 35mm) and the other 35mm? Studio Canal states: "The restoration process of Far From the Madding Crowd was overseen by the film’s cinematographer and acclaimed director, Nicolas Roeg. The Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme, Awarding funds from the National Lottery." The Studio Canal is darker, colors are richer and I am leaning to it having the superior (more accurate) visuals. Hopefully I will get some input because my opinion is not set in stone. Both looks great in-motion. This is such an impressive film. Yes, I think, I prefer the Studio Canal 1080P appearance. The Warner looks flatter and skin tones are unnaturally warm but I don't really know what either were like theatrically. You may be your own judge and toggle between the enlarged captures.

In email or FB:
Peter says "The color is a toss-up, since it was a Metrocolor film (i.e. nothing special); each master is timed differently, that's for sure, and if the bluish one is Roeg's, then I'd venture that he either wanted it that way all along and didn't get it in 1967, or that WAS the way it came out and he was trying to emulate it in the new transfer. Or someone decided it somewhere, and he signed off on it."

Paul says:
"I saw the film way back in 1967 or so roadshow in 70mm at NY Loews Capitol. Though the new restoration is highly touted based upon the clips it appears the WB Bluray is closer to the film as I remember it. "

Bruce says:
"I can assure you that the Studio Canal blows away the Warners in every possible way. So:

The film was not shot in 65mm, it was shot in 35mm and blown up for the 70mm dates.

The Warners is clearly taken from an printing internegative while the Studio Canal is just as clearly taken from the camera negative. It is just about as perfect as a transfer can get - and obviously Nicolas Roeg was there to make sure of that.

The sound on the Warners is, to me, tinny and awful, while the sound on the Studio Canal is much more inviting. The color on the Studio Canal is perfect
."

Another Bruce says:
"I have both versions, but I have to say I strongly prefer the US Warner version. The image quality is much brighter and warmer, and corresponds to how I remember it looking in the cinema (although that was admittedly a long time ago!). I found the Studio Canal version surprisingly dark and almost drab-looking in comparison.

And as you pointed out, the Warner has a wider aspect ratio with a bit more information at the sides.

Incidentally, as well as the Overture music, the Warner edition also includes the Entracte music played during the intermission. These two together account for the difference of about 4 minutes in the running times.

Although the Studio Canal edition has some extras, I didn't find them especially compelling, so I won't be keeping this edition
."

NOTE: The Warner DVD and Blu-ray start with the film's 3+ minute Overture music. This is absent from the Studio Canal - again possibly indentifying the US as from the 70MM and the UK from 35MM theatrical showing. Both have the Ente'act (intermission).

The Studio Canal is absent about 20 second of a 'cock-fight' - censored in the UK (for animal cruelty reasons.) It is present on both Warner discs.

Warner win in audio with their DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a very healthy. The 70mm screenings were 6-Track and the 35mm mono. Studio Canal use a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono at 2304 kbps. Overall, to my ears, the Warner sound superior and exports some keen separation. Beyond the traditional music in the film (Bushes and Briars, The Bold Grenadier, The Jolly Tinker etc.) we get Richard Rodney Bennett's (The Witches, Equus, Billy Liar, The Man Who Could Cheat Death) score and it sounds quite rich and full via the DTS-HD. The LPCM doesn't seem to support the higher-end as well as the Warner. Both offer optional English subtitles and the Warner Blu-ray is region FREE while the Studio Canal Blu-ray is region 'B'-locked.

Studio Canal win in the supplements. Both offer the 10-minute vintage Original Location featurette and Warner tack on a trailer. Studio Canal have almost 40 minutes worth of new interview with Terence Stamp, Frederic Raphael and briefly with Nic Roeg. They also include a new featurette – Devizes, then and now looking at places in the film past and present for 6 1/2 minutes. There is also a stills gallery.

Both releases offer different positives. I LOVED the film and, frankly, am pleased to own both Blu-rays. Warner for the a/v (notable with the audio presentation) and Studio Canal for the extras - as well as a very strong HD video. Either package is agreeable to me. The film has our highest recommendation!

 - Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: Long overdue release of Far from the Madding Crowd in region 1 happened in January of 2009, but the new progressive transfer is a revelation. This title will probably be revisited in high definition eventually. Far From the Madding Crowd has been released on SD in UK twice. The first disc from Studio Canal and Warner Home Video, was edited and the beautiful cinematography by Nicolas Roeg is cropped to 1.76:1.

The second disc, from Studio Canal and Optimum, is edited as well. The Warner DVD is the most complete version of the film presented in the original aspect ratio, including overture, intermission, and overture music. 6-track audio has been remixed to a fine 5.1 audio. English and French subtitles and a theatrical trailer are included as well.

 - Gregory Meshman

 


Menus
 

 

Warner Blu-ray

 

 

Studio Canal Blu-ray

 

 

Note: The Warner DVD and Blu-ray start with the Overture (running approx 3:00) which the Studio Canal Blu-ray does not include (hence the running time difference)

 


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

 

Screen Captures


Subtitle sample

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Box Covers

 

 

  

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

Warner

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Studio Canal
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray

 




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