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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Lindsay Anderson
USA 1987

 

Screen legends Bette Davis (All About Eve), Lillian Gish (Duel in the Sun) and Vincent Price (Tales of Terror) unite their iconic talents in this beautifully photographed, intensely emotional drama that offers unexpected and quite marvelous rewards. Libby (Davis) and Sarah (Gish) are widowed siblings who have vacationed for half a century at a seaside cottage in Maine. Now in their eighties, the sisters have unexpectedly arrived at an impasse: While Sarah embraces change and the possibility of romance with a courtly Russian suitor (Price), the stubbornly bitter Libby rages at the inevitability of death. As the summer months wane, can Libby and Sarah rediscover the powerful bonds of memory, family and love? The stellar cast includes Ann Sothern (A Letter to Three Wives) in her Oscar-nominated performance, Harry Carey Jr. (3 Godfathers), Mary Steenburgen (Melvin and Howard), Margaret Ladd (TV's Falcon Crest) and Tisha Sterling (Coogan's Bluff). The Whales of August features a wonderful screenplay by playwright David Berry (G.R. Point) based on his play and top-notch direction by the great Lindsay Anderson (O Lucky Man!, If....).

Posters

Theatrical Release: 19 August 1987 (France)

Reviews                                                                             More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the MGM Home Entertainment Screen Caps!

(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

 

  

 

   

 

   

Distribution

MGM Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:48 1:31:04.792
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,958,641,198 bytes

Feature: 18,614,956,032 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.94 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 Home Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Kino Lorber Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English SDH, French, and Spanish English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
Fullscreen Version on Side B

DVD Release Date: 7 August 2003
Amaray

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,958,641,198 bytes

Feature: 18,614,956,032 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Audio Commentary by producer Mike Kaplan, moderated by film critic Stephen Farber
Peer Talk: The Raw September 1986 Interviews with stars Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, Ann Sothern and Harry Carey Jr. (1:12:58)
Behind the Camera: Raw September 1986 interviews with director Lindsay Anderson, cinematographer Mike Fash and production designer Jocelyn Herbert (28:35)
New interview with actress Mary Steenburgen (13:50)
New interview with actress Margaret Ladd (12:27)
New interview with actress Tisha Sterling (15:46)
New interview with executive producer Shep Gordon (5:44)
Mike Kaplan Vignette 1 Bette Davis (1:46)
Mike Kaplan Vignette 2 Cab Ride (3:27)
Mike Kaplan Vignette 3 Cliff Island (1:49)
Never Apologize Malcolm McDowell on Lindsay Anderson (9:42)

  Limited Edition 16 Page Booklet
Song: You Can Never Tell - Performed by Tisha Sterling, written by Mike Kaplan (5:53)
-Original Theatrical Trailer

 

Blu-ray Release Date: December 19th, 2017
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters  16

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A'  Blu-ray - December 2017: The image improves, in most areas - better color balance, sharper, more grain, more information in the frame. Kino's 1080P transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. The opening sequence, appropriately, moves from yellow to sepia. The new Blu-ray image looks clean and consistent in-motion. No complaints.

Kino use  DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1555 kbps (16-bit). No demonstrative effects - it is not that type of film, but we do get a nice score by Alan Price (Lindsay Anderson's Britannia Hospital and O' Lucky Man) that sounds contemplative in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles on Kino's Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

The Kino Blu-ray has many supplements starting with an audio commentary by producer Mike Kaplan, moderated by film critic Stephen Farber (author of Hollywood Dynasties) - they discuss the material used for the film, initiation by meeting Lillian Gish, working with Bette Davis, her looking at the dailies and much more. Peer Talk: The Raw September 1986 Interviews runs about 1 1/4 hours and has one-on-one's with stars Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, Ann Sothern and Harry Carey Jr.. Fans will appreciate the frankness - especially from Davis. There is also a similar set of interviews with director Lindsay Anderson, cinematographer Mike Fash and production designer Jocelyn Herbert running just shy of 1/2 hour. It is likewise very enlightening. There are almost an hour's worth of new interviews with actress Mary Steenburgen, actress Margaret Lad, actress Tisha Sterling and executive producer Shep Gordon. There are three short 'Mike Kaplan vignettes', 10-minute of Never Apologize with Malcolm McDowell talking about Lindsay Anderson. There is also a song: You Can Never Tell video performed by Tisha Sterling, written by Mike Kaplan plus an original theatrical trailer. There is a limited edition 16-page booklet included.

The Whales of August is an exceptional film, dare I say - a masterpiece. Kino really do it justice after the bare-bones DVD from 2003. The commentary and extensive extras add great value - this is a very impressive Blu-ray release. We give it our highest recommendation!

 - Gary + Eric


DVD Menus


MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

 Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Subtitle sample

 

 

(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

  

 

   

 

   

Distribution

MGM Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray


 

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.

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