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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The World of Henry Orient [Blu-ray]


(George Roy Hill, 1964)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Pan Arts

Video: Twilight Time



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

Runtime: 1:46:41.645 

Disc Size: 30,970,492,491 bytes

Feature Size: 29,644,664,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: July, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1067 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1067 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1849 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1849 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1799 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1799 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English (SDH), None



Audio Commentary with Film Historians Jeff Bond, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman

Theatrical Trailer (2:38)

Isolated Score

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo





Description: Director George Roy Hill’s The World of Henry Orient (1964), adapted from Nora Johnson’s novel by Johnson and her father, Hollywood veteran Nunnally Johnson (The Grapes of Wrath), is an utterly original comic drama about two Manhattan schoolgirls (fabulous newcomers Tippy Walker and Merrie Spaeth), both from broken/ breaking homes, who conceive mad crushes on a pompous, ridiculous, deplorably bad pianist, the titular Orient (played with magnificent aplomb by Peter Sellers). As they trail him, with enviable freedom, from one New York haunt to another, they somehow bust up his every romantic intrigue, even as they embark on their own painful growing up. Also starring Angela Lansbury, Paula Prentiss, Tom Bosley, Phyllis Thaxter and Bibi Osterwald, and featuring a superb Elmer Bernstein score, available here as an isolated track.



The Film:

Decked out with another of his American accents, Peter Sellers plays self-centered concert pianist Henry Orient. While Henry's active libido sends him off on pursuit of married woman Paula Prentiss, a pair of preteen boarding-school chums, played by Tippy Walker and Merrie Spaeth, worship Orient from afar. The girls' overworked imaginations, manifested in pursuing Orient about and recording their fantasies in their diaries, leads Walker's mom, Angela Lansbury, to conclude that Henry has "had his way" with her underaged daughter. The World of Henry Orient was later musicalized for Broadway as Henry, Sweet Henry.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The World of Henry Orient had originated as an autobiographical novel by Nora Johnson, daughter of acclaimed screenwriter Nunnally Johnson. The younger Johnson had grown up in New York after her parents' divorce, dreaming of her absent father and hoping that her parents would get back together. In the novel, Nora's stand-in is Val, a sophisticated-beyond-her-years girl who forges a fast friendship with Gil, another girl from a broken home. Together, they develop a mutual crush on superstar pianist Henry Orient, a character based on pianist/actor Oscar Levant.

Nunnally Johnson admired his daughter's work, but didn't see its screen potential when the novel first appeared in 1958. He couldn't envision finding two young actresses who could carry a story like that. Then Hayley Mills and Patty Duke shot to child stardom in the early sixties, and Johnson knew he'd found the film's stars. He bought the screen rights from his daughter, hired her to write the screenplay and even kept her name on the script after re-writing it completely. Then he found that he couldn't work out deals for either young star. Instead, he cast two unknowns, Tippy Walker for the emotionally demanding role of Val and Merrie Spaeth as Gil.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


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

The World of Henry Orient come to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with a very high bitrate. The visuals are brilliant with deep, rich colors. It looks very impressive in-motion - both tight and film-like.  There is detail and texture but the major attribute are the colors. This looks very strong and consistent with no damage or speckles. The Blu-ray image has no real flaws - it gave me a wonderful 1080P presentation with depth.

















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono at 1067 kbps does a competent job of exporting the original (Westrex Recording System) film's light sound effect requirements. Prominently is the Elmer Bernstein (Kings of the Sun, Hud, To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer and Smoke) score that is augmented with Kenneth Lauber's Henry Orient Concerto and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. The orchestrals sound very pleasing hinting at depth. Twilight Time offer an isolated score in a slightly more robust lossless track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Another interesting audio commentary addition from Twilight Time with film historians Jeff Bond, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman discussing the film, it's history and performers. There is also a theatrical trailer, the aforementioned isolated score and a liner notes leaflet with some photos and text by Kirgo.




The World of Henry Orient is a beautiful, mischievous, children's adventure involving themes of maturity, friendship, parenting and... music. George Roy Hill is a competent director providing even pacing while strongly realizing the story. It's an easy film to adore. The gals are great! The Twilight Time Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v transfer and further value with the commentary, isolated score and liner notes. It's another great package of a special film - absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

July 29th, 2015


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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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