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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hannah and Her Sisters [Blu-ray]


(Woody Allen, 1986)


Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-rays



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Orion Pictures / A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production

Video: Arrow Academy



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

Runtime: 1:47:00.080  

Disc Size: 33,952,999,565 bytes

Feature Size: 33,336,598,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.33 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Transparent Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 20th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



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



English (SDH), none



Trailer (1:37)





Description: One of Woody Allen's best-loved films, this won three richly deserved Oscars* (for Michael Caine, Dianne Wiest and the screenplay), and is a joy from start to perfectly judged finish.

Hannah (Mia Farrow) is a devoted wife, loving mother and successful actress. She s also the emotional backbone of the family, and her sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest) depend on this stability while also resenting it because they can t help but compare Hannah s seemingly perfect life with theirs. But with her husband Elliot (Michael Caine) becoming increasingly interested in Lee, it's clear that Hannah might have problems of her own.

An unusually strong supporting cast includes Allen himself as Hannah s existentially conflicted ex-husband and Max von Sydow as a perfectionist artist, but it's Caine who practically steals the film as a middle-aged man behaving like a lovesick teenager. It also has some of Allen s greatest one-liners, with a philosophical discussion about the nature of good and evil getting shot down with How should I know why there were Nazis? I don t even know how the can opener works.



The Film:

Three successive family Thanksgiving dinners mark time for Hannah (Mia Farrow), her younger sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest) and the men in their lives. Lee is having an affair with Hannah's husband, Elliot (Michael Caine), and trying to end her Svengali-like romance with artist Frederick (Max von Sydow). Holly is frustrated by her lack of career fulfillment and her increasing dependence on Hannah's largesse, while being courted by the hypochondriac Mickey (Woody Allen).

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE


This 1986 film won Oscars for Woody Allen for writing and Michael Caine and Dianne Wiest for supporting roles. Allen is Mickey, a hypochondriac on the edge of a family of three New York sisters, one of whom, Hannah (Mia Farrow), used to be his wife. Hannah is now with Elliot (Caine), an accountant with arty urges, who is wooing another sister, Lee (Barbara Hershey), behind the back of her tortured artist partner (Max von Sydow – keeping Allen close to Bergman). The other sister is Holly (Wiest), a troubled spirit adrift as she enters middle age. The script is full of great one-liners (‘Could you have ruined yourself…? Excessive masturbation?’ asks Farrow of Allen, after a visit to a fertility doctor. Allen: ‘Are you gonna starting knocking my hobbies?’). But the sharp wit sits well against a tender exploration of life’s messiness and a joie de vivre that marks this as one of Allen’s warmest pictures.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE


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

Arrow's Hannah and Her Sisters gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray.  It is dual-layered with a max'ed-out bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. Colors are authentically passive but the contrast is exquisite with pleasing layers. The 1080P supports a beautiful, grainy, film-like, presentation in the original 1.85:1 frame.  No noise, speckles or damage of any sort. This Blu-ray looks excellent in-motion but I'd say the texture is the most appealing attribute. I doubt it can look much better.





















Audio :

Arrow utilize a linear PCM mono track at 2304 kbps (24-bit). No effects of note, but Hannah and Her Sisters has so much beautiful music in it - perhaps more than any other Woody Allen film (and that is saying a mouthful) from Puccini's Sola, perduta abbandonata to Harry James, Dick Hyman, J.S. Bach's Concerto For Two Violins & Orchestra, from Dave Brubeck to Madama Butterfly, from Rodgers & Hart's Isn't It Romantic to Cole Porter's I'm in Love Again, numbers by Carrie Fisher and Dianne Wiest - it's a brilliant mélange and sounds fabulous in the lossless. I find the music a huge part of the Hannah and Her Sisters film experience. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Only a trailer - although I presume the Seven Films package will, again, include a booklet.



Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Allen's warmest, funniest and most human films - and that is massive praise considering his unparalleled output. The Arrow Blu-ray does its job with an adept, satisfying 1080P image, brilliant music is uncompressed and a film that you can, continue to, revisit for the rest of your life. What a cast, what film. This is one of the strongest reasons to indulge in the Seven Films boxset! 

Gary Tooze

January 25th, 2017

Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-rays



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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