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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Miracle Worker [Blu-ray]
(Arthur Penn, 1962)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Playfilm Productions
Video:Olive Films / Eureka (UK)
Region: 'A' / 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:46:39.393 / 1:46:39.393
Disc Size: 23,620,466,384 bytes / 33,259,340,826 bytes
Feature Size: 23,566,061,568 bytes / 31,173,504,576 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps / 34.89 Mbps
Chapters: 9 / 9
Case: Standard Blu-ray case/ Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: October 31st, 2017 / January 27th, 2020
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1881 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1881 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
• English, None / English (SDH), none
• Brand new audio essay by Amy Simmons (11:17)
The powerhouse performances of Anne Bancroft (The
Graduate) and Patty Duke (Valley
of the Dolls) are the heart and soul of director
Arthur Penn’s (Bonnie
and Clyde) screen adaptation of The Miracle
Worker. Working on familiar ground (having directed
Bancroft and Duke in the Broadway play), Penn would find a
fresh approach in transitioning the story of Helen Keller
from stage to screen by opening up the action with
on-location shooting, unique camera work by Ernest Caparros
Naked City), razor sharp editing by Aram Avakian (Lilith)
and several bravura set pieces.
Based on William Gibson's Broadway play and retaining its acclaimed cast, Arthur Penn's The Miracle Worker tells the true story of Helen Keller (Patty Duke), an Alabama girl struck blind and deaf as a baby after an elevated fever. Enter Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft), a partially-blind woman assigned the task of teaching Helen sign language. After first separating Helen from her over-protective parents (Victor Jory and Inga Swenson), Annie begins the arduous process of teaching the girl.Excerpt from B+N located HERE
During the filming of The Miracle Worker (1962), both Bancroft
and Duke became so immersed in their roles, they put their health at
risk. For the famous dining room battle scene, which required three
cameras for a nine-minute sequence and took five days to film, both
actresses wore pads beneath their clothing. At one point during the
filming, Bancroft started laughing from sheer exhaustion and her
reaction was left in the film. In fact, Bancroft was hospitalized with
pneumonia just after filming was complete. As for Duke, she later
admitted she dreaded the final wrap-up of the film because it meant her
final separation from a role that had become such an important part of
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Miracle Worker arrives on, single-layered, Blu-ray from Olive Films. The image quality is outstanding. The 1.66:1 aspect ratio has excellent contrast - deep rich black levels, a high level of detail and plenty of depth. The 1080P is impressive! The grain is fine and supportive of the presentation that has no detrimental flaws.
Eureka's 1080P advances upon the older Olive with a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate. The image quality improvement is visible in-motion - a smoother, more consistent HD presentation. It's not extensive but the superiority is there.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Blu-ray Captures
Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1881 kbps (24-bit). The score is by Laurence Rosenthal (Requiem for a Heavyweight, Becket, 1977's The Island of Dr Moreau, the TV Series Coronet Blue) and it sounds wonderful in he lossless. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
A slightly more robust uncompressed audio transfer is about the same to my ears - clear, audible with some depth in the Rosenthal score. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified the Eureka as being a region 'B'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases. This film, in particular, deserves more.
Eureka add some supplements starting with a new 11-minute audio essay by Amy Simmons. She is an author and freelance film critic who has written for Time Out, Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, the BFI and Senses of Cinema. Her comments on The Miracle Worker (to stills from the film) are very professional and revealing. There is also a theatrical trailer and the package contains a liner notes collector's booklet featuring new essays by film critic and writer Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, and film critic and author Richard Combs.
Olive Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
It's a good idea to see this film every couple of years. Iconic performances of an impossibly inspiring story. So impacting. Eureka have produced a superior version in every area from a/v to extras, plus I prefer the cover. This Blu-ray gets our highest recommendation and a double-dip for serious fans of the film.
November 1st, 2017
January 19th, 2020