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Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

All four films in THE VIVIEN LEIGH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION have been fully restored and digitally remastered in collaboration with the British Film Institute.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Cohen Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EVU3SX6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,159 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kendra Bean on November 20, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
From her first pairing with Laurence Olivier in Fire Over England to her turn as an ambitious street performer in Sidewalks of London/St. Martin's Lane, it's fascinating watching Vivien Leigh develop as a screen actress in these early films for Alexander Korda.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This set is a must have for Vivien Leigh fans. Previously there have only been muddy sub zero prints of these pre Gone With The Wind Leigh films. The BFI has done wonderful restoration work on these movies-one can sit back and enjoy Vivien Leigh's versatility in four very different roles.
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Format: Blu-ray
Iconic actors and actresses aren't "born" out of the basics of cinema. They pay their dues, delve into and out of possible personas and production typecasts. They take risks and resort to the common and comfortable when said experiments yield insignificant results—or worse, outright industry and fan backlash. The Vivien Leigh Anniversary Collection may contain the role that convinced David O. Selznick to give the fledgling Brit a shot at Scarlett O'Hara (Fire Over England) but for the most part, it's an overview of opening volleys, a unique if often staid insight into how a beautiful ingénue is twisted and turned into something either bankable or broken. It was within these trenches where Leigh learned the ropes, established one of her more meaningful relationships (with Olivier, who she was with for over 20 years) and developed the chops that would lead to other award winning work.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It's certainly a well known fact that Vivien Leigh is both beautiful and talented. Unfortunately all we fans ever get to see of her is as Scarlett or Blanche DuBois or maybe Cleopatra. This four movie package of her earlier works is simply wonderful. Thanks to the fantastic restoration process that was done we get to see and hear this exquisite beauty as never before. Oh thank you,thank you,thank you!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The print quality of these films in the anniversary collection far surpasses that of AMC Movies' "Vivien Leigh Classics." Never has "Dark Journey" (1938) looked so good! Charles Laughton steals the show in "St. Martin's Lane," but that's all right---it's the film that got Viv noticed by Hollywood producer David O. Selznick, ultimately landing her the Scarlett O'Hara role---and the rest is history. What we have in this collection is a delightful bit of, er, PRE-history.
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Although overall I am quite pleased with the set, I am a bit disappointed in the presentation of one of the films, St. Martin's Lane.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
So happy to see these early films restored. Ms. Leigh was an exceptional actress and its a blessing to have been to view again. These are well filmed, if not great films. They are worth a place in anyone's film library.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The movies themselves, though very well restored, are not much but for Vivien aficionados they are a very valuable contribution. Besides, she is so beautiful that I doubt anybody is paying attention to what is going on in the screen.
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