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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Ken Russell

UK 1969

 

Ken Russell's lauded D H Lawrence adaptation is a sophisticated meditation on the complexities of human relationships and the shifting social mores of a country shell-shocked by World War One.

Women in Love was hailed upon its release, earning four Academy Award nominations, and the Best Actress Oscar for Glenda Jackson. Audiences flocked to see its famous, erotically-charged naked wrestling scene, and critics celebrated the film's opulent design, handsome cinematography and the compelling ensemble performances of Alan Bates, Jennie Linden, Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson. Often regarded as Russell's masterpiece, Women in Love endures as one of British cinema's finest achievements.

***

With this film, the audacious Ken Russell vaulted onto the international stage, drawing on the psychosexual radicalism of D. H. Lawrence’s classic novel to shatter taboos in his own time. Set in an English mining community on the crest of modernity, Women in Love traces the shifting currents of desire that link the emancipated Brangwen sisters (Jennie Linden and an Oscar-winning Glenda Jackson) to a freethinking dreamer (Alan Bates) and a hard-willed industrialist (Oliver Reed)—as well as the men’s own erotically charged friendship. Coupling earthy sensuality with kaleidoscopically stylized images, Russell pursues this quartet to the heights of agony and ecstasy, crafting a breathtaking drama of human sexuality at its most liberating, dominating, and destructive extremes.


Posters

Theatrical Release: November 13th, 1969

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 Comparison:

MGM - Region 0 - PAL vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric for all the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) MGM - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine # 916 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 0 - PAL

BFI
Region
'B' - Blu-ray
Criterion - Spine #916
Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:10:40 2:10:46.625 2:11:11.864
Video

1.65:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.10 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.75:1

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,560,277,896 bytes

Feature: 40,872,441,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.75:1

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,626,190,157 bytes

Feature: 33,164,464,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.36 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 

MGM

 

Bitrate:

 

BFI Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-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
The Guardian Lecture:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

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

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, French, and Spanish English (SDH), none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.65:1

Edition Details:
Audio Commentary by director Ken Russell
 Audio Commentary by writer/producer Larry Kramer
 Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery:
 - Director Ken Russell
 - Producer and Writer Larry Kramer
 - The Cast
 Theatrical trailer (4:3; 3:48)

DVD Release Date: 4 March 2003
Amaray

Chapters 20
 

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

 

1.75:1

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,560,277,896 bytes

Feature: 40,872,441,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Ken Russell
• Audio commentary with writer and producer Larry Kramer
• Billy Williams OBE BSC in conversation with Phil Méheux BSC (2015): in-depth interview with the Oscar winning cinematographer (49:17)
• Second Best (Stephen Dartnell, 1972, 27 mins): previously unreleased short film starring Alan Bates based on the short story by D H Lawrence (26:33)
• The Guardian Lecture: Glenda Jackson interviewed at the National Film Theatre (1982, 77 mins, audio only - played to the film)
• The Pacemakers: Glenda Jackson (1971, 14 mins): a documentary profile in which the actress speaks of her performance in Women in Love (14:19)
• Stills and Collections gallery (3:21)
• Original theatrical trailer (3:31)
• Illustrated booklet with new writing by Michael Brooke, Paul Sutton and Vic Pratt, and full film credits

 

Blu-ray Release Date: August 22nd, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1.75:1

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,626,190,157 bytes

Feature: 33,164,464,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.36 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Two audio commentaries from 2003, one featuring director Ken Russell and the other screenwriter and producer Larry Kramer
Segments from a 2007 interview with Russell for the BAFTA Los Angeles Heritage Archive (13:45)
A British Picture: Portrait of an Enfant Terrible, Russell’s 1989 biopic on his own life and career (48:41)
Interview from 1976 with actor Glenda Jackson (19:45)
Interviews with Kramer and actors Alan Bates and Jennie Linden from the set (10:17)
New interviews with director of photography Billy Williams (24:42) and editor Michael Bradsell (17:05)
Second Best, a 1972 short film based on a D. H. Lawrence story, produced by and starring Bates (29:35)
Trailer (3:47)
PLUS: An essay by scholar Linda Ruth Williams
 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Transparent
Blu-ray case

Chapters 29

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A'  Blu-ray - February 2018: Criterion's transfer is, also, described as a "New 4K digital restoration". I cannot distinguish much difference in the BFI Blu-ray image from 2016, although the Criterion is a shade less technically robust but that may only be notable in-motion. These are both very strong HD presentations. Colors are well-supported and contrast is at a high level. The 1080P, 1.75:1 AR, transfers both look very impressive adding depth not present on the, hazier, MGM SD.

Audio is pretty much the same with  linear PCM mono tracks (24-bit) for both Blu-rays.   I can hear no difference at all in the Delerue score. Exact same, imo.  Criterion's Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked and it offers optional English (SDH) subtitles in a lager font (see sample below).

Criterion include the same two audio commentaries from 2003, one featuring director Ken Russell and the other screenwriter and producer Larry Kramer. There are also 14-minutes of excerpts from a 2007 BAFTA Los Angeles Heritage Archive interview with director Ken Russell. A British Picture: Portrait of an Enfant Terrible is Russell’s, 49-minute, 1989 biopic on his own life and career. There is a 20-minute interview from 1976 with actor Glenda Jackson as well as a 10-minute piece from the British television show ATV Today with actors Alan Bates and Jennie Linden and screenwriter and producer Larry Kramer on location for Women in Love in Derby, England, in 1968. There is a new 25-minute Interview with cinematographer Billy Williams and one, 17-minute interview, with editor Michael Bradsell recorded in London in 2017 for the Criterion Collection. Second Best, a 1972 short film based on a D. H. Lawrence story, produced by and starring Bates and it runs 1/2 hour and is also found on the BFI. Lastly, is a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by scholar Linda Ruth Williams.

Predictably Criterion are equal to the challenge of the strong BFI Blu-ray package. It's great to have the options and Women in Love is very strongly recommended!  

***

Women in Love gets an impressive 4K restoration transfer to Blu-ray from BFI. It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2 hour 10-minute feature. Grain textures are fine and consistent supporting a very film-like rendering buoyed by Billy Williams exquisite cinematography and the sumptuous set pieces. Colors are brighter and truer than SD could relate and there is no noise whatsoever. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 1.75:1 frame. It's extremely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the appearance which generally looks gorgeous. This Blu-ray provides one of the better transfer of the year from BFI.

BFI give the option of mono or 2.0 channel linear PCM audio tracks. It carries some depth although there isn't an abundance of aggressive effects and dialogue is clean and clear. Georges Delerue (Mister Johnson, Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) did the score and it benefits from the uncompressed rendering creating an authentic 'period' atmosphere. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

BFI stack the release starting with two audio commentaries - a first with director Ken Russell - always enlightening, a second - also revealing - with writer and producer Larry Kramer and we also are privy to, for the first 77-minutes of viewing the film, Glenda Jackson interviewed at the National Film Theatre - audio from The Guardian Lecture series while watching the first 1 1/4 hours of Women n in Love. Billy Williams OBE BSC is in conversation with Phil Méheux BSC for almost 50-minutes for in-depth interview, from 2015, with the Oscar winning cinematographer. There are also two shorts; Second Best (Stephen Dartnell, 1972, 27 mins): previously unreleased - starring Alan Bates based on the short story by D H Lawrence and The Pacemakers: Glenda Jackson (1971, 14 mins): a documentary profile in which the actress speaks of her performance in Women in Love. There is a stills and collections gallery that runs about 3.5 minutes and an original theatrical trailer. The package contains an illustrated, liner notes, booklet with new writing by Michael Brooke, Paul Sutton and Vic Pratt, and full film credits.

 -Gary Tooze

 


 Menus
MGM - Region 0 - PAL

 

 

 BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

 Criterion - Spine # 916 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine # 916 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 0 - PAL

BFI
Region
'B' - Blu-ray
Criterion - Spine #916
Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 




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