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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Mervyn LeRoy
USA 1940

 

Based on the play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert E. Sherwood, "Waterloo Bridge" stars Vivien Leigh as Myra, an innocent ballerina whose life is irrevocably altered in London by the announcement of war. During a Air-Raid warning Myra meets handsome, good-natured British officer Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor) on Waterloo Bridge.  The couple soon plans to wed, but Cronin is called to the front, and shortly thereafter a newspaper incorrectly reports him as a causality. Forced out of ballet school with her friend, both alone and destitute, Myra turns to prostitution, although the markers are as subtle as you could imagine for a 1940's film. By today's standards both tragic and melodramatic and Vivien Leigh is as good in this as anything she ever did... ditto for Robert Taylor who was so appropriate for the part - noted as his personal favorite.

 

This is cinema that should never be forgotten. Vintage melodrama at its best. Find some way to watch this - at least once in your life. out of

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 17th, 1940 - USA

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC vs.  Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Thanks to Ole KofoedGary Tooze and  Gregory Meshman for the Culture captures!

 

Box Cover

 

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Film Prestige - Russia

Region 0 - NTSC 

Best Movies Collection (Taiwan)

Region 0 - NTSC

Zoke Culture (China)

Region 0 - NTSC

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:12      1:48:04 1:48:08 1:48:32 1:48:39.554
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.45 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.44 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,291,454,398 bytes

Feature: 31,592,202,240 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 :

Bitrate Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC:

Bitrate Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC:

Bitrate Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, Russian dub English Dolby Digital 4.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 4.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, DUB: French 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio English 1830 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1830 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Russian, None English, Chinese, Indonesian or none. English, Chinese or none English, French, Japanese, Thai or none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Prestige - Russia

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Info about other titles in Collection of Viven Leigh (in Russian)
• Filmographies (in Russian)

DVD Release Date:  1998
Slim Digipack

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Best Movie Collection (Taiwan)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• No extras.

DVD Release Date: 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio: Zoke Culture (China)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• No extras

DVD Release Date: 2003
Keep Case with Outer Sleeve

Chapters 9

 
Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:20)

DVD Release Date: January 27th, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 33

 
Release Information:
Studio:
Warner Archive

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,291,454,398 bytes

Feature: 31,592,202,240 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Screen Director's Playhouse Radio Broadcast 9/28/51 (59:35)
Trailer (2:20)


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 27th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 33

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner Archive Blu-ray (November 2020): Warner Archive have transferred Mervyn LeRoy's Waterloo Bridge to Blu-ray. It is in the correct 1.37:1 aspect ratio showing more information on the side edges - and marginally more on the top and bottom. I did notice, what I thought was moiring - and hints of black level boosting. But it was only briefly in the beginning and seemed far less noticeable throughout the remainder of the film, if continuing to exist. Generally the image quality improves in the usual areas; more consistent grain textures, a boost in detail and even some minor depth - it's easily the very best digital presentation (on a dual-layered disc wuith a max'ed out bitrate) after suffering through the chroma of the early - mostly bootleg - SD editions. This 1080P was a welcomed and notable improvement.     

NOTE: We have added 75 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Warner Archive use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio - authentically flat effects , like trucks and the air raid sirens, carry minor, but improved, depth. The score is by Herbert Stothart (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mrs. Miniver)  - we also have Tchaikovsky's beautiful Swan Lake, Op.20, It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary played as our couple dance music in the Candlelight Club some traditional Scottish music but the consistent theme is variations on "Auld Lang Syne" played throughout the film. Audio is also a substantial improvement. Warner Archive offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Warner Archive Blu-ray has the a Screen Director's Playhouse Radio Broadcast of Waterloo Bridge from 1951 with Norma Shearer. It runs shy of an hour. There is also a trailer. 

Mervyn LeRoy's Waterloo Bridge is one of the best, and most beloved of vintage melodramas.  When I was around 10 years old, I was fortunate enough to have a very small black and white TV set in my bedroom. It only received three broadcast stations, but on one late Saturday night an old war drama titled "Waterloo Bridge" was televised. I watched it with mild interest until I was deeply invested in the story. I thought of my parents - or, more accurately, my grandparents, the effects of war on people's lives, the directions it took them, the chance meetings etc.. If I was to unthinkingly blurt-out the film that initiated my life-long journey into cinema, I would probably say Chaplin's "City Lights". It is quite possible that the correct answer would be Mervyn LeRoy's "Waterloo Bridge". Personally, remaining one of my all time favorite films. The 1931 version is a masterpiece too. The Warner Archive Blu-ray gives us an HD presentation more than 20-years in the making for home theatre cine a lovers. This gets an easy recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - January 09': It's only been almost a decade since I picked this up Taiwanese version up in an Asian mall. Warner finally gives this gem some justice. Contrast and detail are the vast improvements - along with subtitle renderings. No intrusive chroma and there is a shade more information in the frame.

God, I love this film. Bare-bones, single-layered and only a trailer as an extra but I treasure this DVD. Our warmest recommendation. 

 - Gary Tooze

***

ON THE RUSSIAN, TAIWANESE AND CHINESE DVDs: (2003) I love doing comparison that no one in the world would do and most don't care about. Call it one of my many 'bents'.

This is three illegal bootlegs (presumably) of a VHS tape OR this film has slipped into the public domain. Judging by the bitrate the Asian releases are from the same very poor source. I can only assume the Best Movie Collections DVD from Taiwan is the initial and the Zoke from China have ported them removing the Indonesian subtitles. How it landed in Russia as well, I'll never know. They all have bad chroma bug and contrast boosting. I suppose the only big difference, aside from the Indonesian and Russian subtitles, are the menus and the fact that the Chinese exhibits a  watermark which popped up 3 times during the 1:48 showing of the film. Ole also tells me the Chinese edition' s English subtitles suddenly go missing  for 20-25 minutes. For some reason they have 4 channel audio - very strange. Regardless it is of poor quality. Gregory tells me the Russian subtitles are 'all over the place'.

Now to spout off - what the hell are the studios doing not putting this wonderful film out properly ? Some whole generations of people are seeing this for the 1st time on one of these awful bootlegs.

I'll recommend the VHS (remember those things?), but it is Out-of-Print as well... you may find one for sale by a third party by clicking the below logo. Best of luck!

 - Gary Tooze

 


Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC

 

Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC

Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC

Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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

 

 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC FOURTH

5) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC FOURTH

5) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC FOURTH

5) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC FOURTH

5) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Film Prestige - Russia - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Best Movies Collection (Taiwan) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Zoke Culture (China) - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC FOURTH

5) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

Box Cover

 

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Film Prestige - Russia

Region 0 - NTSC 

Best Movies Collection (Taiwan)

Region 0 - NTSC

Zoke Culture (China)

Region 0 - NTSC

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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