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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Ronald Neame
USA / UK 1964

 

From Ronald Neame, the acclaimed director of The Horse’s Mouth, Tunes of Glory, Gambit, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Poseidon Adventure and Hopscotch, comes this critically acclaimed drama starring screen legend Deborah Kerr (Separate Tables), with Hayley Mills (Endless Night), John Mills (Great Expectations) and Edith Evans (The Whisperers) in an Oscar-nominated role. The peculiar antics of Laurel (Hayley Mills), an emotionally troubled young girl, are the focus of The Chalk Garden—a stately household drama set on the cliffs of the English south coast. Evans plays a matriarchal grandmother who, in raising her granddaughter, has neglected her other love—a barren chalk garden. Mayhem ensues as Laurel’s behavior frightens away a succession of governesses until an enigmatic one (Kerr) is hired in spite of her mysterious references. She skillfully sets about tending to the girl’s reckless emotions and the pitifully failed garden. John Mills (Hayley’s real-life father) plays the compassionate butler working overtime to maintain order in this unpredictable environment. Beautifully photographed by Arthur Ibbetson (Where Eagles Dare) with a screenplay by the great John Michael Hayes (Rear Window), adapted from a play by Enid Bagnold (National Velvet).

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A grandmother seeks a governess for her 16 year old granddaughter, Laurel, who manages to drive away each and every one so far by exposing their past, with a record of three in one week! When an applicant with a mysterious past manages to get the job, Laurel vows to expose her. Meanwhile, Laurel's married-divorced-married mother tries to get her back.

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 2nd, 1964

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:33.387        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,780,193,067 bytes

Feature: 33,401,757,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

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, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,780,193,067 bytes

Feature: 33,401,757,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas
• Theatrical Trailer (2:50 in HD)


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 13th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (September 2020): Kino have transferred Ronald Neame's The Chalk Garden to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. Colors are vibrant and deep and aside from a shade of, what I call 'thinness' - almost imperceptible digitization-like frailness - as opposed to a heavy image. I don't believe it was manipulated and overall the 1080P looked very impressive on my system - bright, fine contrast and consistent film textures. Most will be very pleased with the occasionally lush garden and seaside locations (Beachy Head) for those two prominent scenes.

NOTE: We have added 40 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. Aside from a bonfire and beach ocean the soundstage is not very demanding but has a good score by Malcolm Arnold (The Night My Number Came Up, The Captain's Paradise, The Holly and the Ivy, Tunes of Glory, No Highway in the Sky. The Bridge On the River Kwai, Island in the Sun, Stolen Face, Hobson's Choice) sounding atmospheric with subtle depth. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Tim Lucas. He does an efficient job discussing production details, Enid Bagnold's play, Ross Hunter's production, Dame Edith Evans, writer John Michael Hayes, Hayley Mills and her Disney contract, Neame's disappointments plus much more. It's filled with small details that he has pulled from a variety of sources exporting a cornucopia of information you aren't likely to find in one place. There is also a theatrical trailer.   

Ronald Neame's The Chalk Garden has some unusual qualities - which is fitting for the less-conventional story (original play as a comedy?) with Hayley Mills as the undisciplined adolescent granddaughter who is confused, testing her limits as well as challenging the adults caring for her. The sub-story of Deborah Kerr as the mysteriously ambiguous murdering-suspect Miss Madrigal adds keen curiosity. The Chalk Garden is wonderfully realized by Neame. A beautiful film that I was pleased to see on this Kino Blu-ray. Lucas' commentary is always appreciated. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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