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Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection [Blu-ray]
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Although all four of these titles have been released on DVD before (see the AMC boxed set that came out about 10 years ago), they were in dire need of restoration. The Cohen Film Collection stepped up to the challenge and has come through with flying colours. I had the pleasure of seeing the newly restored prints on the big screen at the BFI in London as part of their Vivien Leigh retrospective earlier this month. The picture and sound quality are really top-notch. It's like watching completely different films from what was previously available.
Bonus: the Blu-ray set is region-free, so you can watch it no matter where you live.
Of the four films offered, Storm in a Teacup is the only true "comedy," but it's very dated and more farce-like than the screwball hits that were coming out of Hollywood at the time. The notion of a politician petitioning to have a friendly looking dog "put down" because of unpaid license fees might seem a tad intense, but everyone here plays the folly likes its fool's gold. This is probably because the entire cast is on their best behavior, turning otherwise banal banter into charming, fluffy fun. Something similar happens with St. Martin's Lane, but it's not because of our storied star. Instead, Charles Laughton walks away with this film as the struggling busker who falls for Leigh's air-headed harpy despite himself.Read more ›
The aspect ratio for St. Martin's Lane is quite off, as evidenced in the opening credits. The left side of the screen cuts off the names. (Not so with my unrestored Kino version. The framing by Kino is much better.) I would imagine the rest of SML is also mastered in this same aspect ratio, too, which is a shame considering the print itself looks fantastic.
Also, the credits on Fire Over England look to be quite a hodge-podge compilation of different prints, although the film itself looks spectacular.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Scarlett in the making certainly i sidewalks kof London in a role totally redolent of Scarlet. Curiously 21 Daysxwas missing but the disc are fine and the transfers good.Published 10 months ago by Mort Peacock
Great collection of Vivien's early screen work. I'd like to see A Yank at Oxford restored and available on Blu-Ray. The Anne Edwards commentary is delightful!Published 10 months ago by Suzi Q Avocate
These were wonderful old films, with an excellent remastering. It was a great opportunity to see this great actress in roles before Hollywood discovered her, in well written films... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Patrick M. Hays
Two of the movies are ok and two of them are lame. None of them show any real promise in terms of the acting ability of the V. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Joe Bell