Monday, November 16, 2009

Gone with the Wind: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 Size: 41.8 GB
Disc 2 Size: 27.5 GB
Film Size: 41.3 GB
Film Rating: G
Region: Free

Video
Gone with the Wind comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The almost 4-hour film is given a very nice 41.3 GB video presentation that is sure to dazzle any fan of the film. Gone With The Wind has never looked better, but after Wizard Of Oz from Warner, I was not surprised one bit.

Colors on this release are extremely pleasing, and detail can be quite amazing for a film of it's age. Having owned the film in many different formats, the Blu-ray release is truly a revelation of the film. Like the Wizard of Oz, there are many facial details and textures that just come alive in high-definition that were never seen before.

The level of upgrade is very significant, and any fan of the film should upgrade to the Blu-ray release without hesitation as it's just that amazing. Gone with the Wind looks so much better than I anticipated, and the quality and work put into restoring the film is easy to appreciate. 10/10.

Audio
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is available by default, but the original mono track is included as well. Personally I used the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track, which presents the film in lossless glory.

Like the Wizard of Oz, the surround use is minimal and used for only the most fitting times. It's actually used very nicely and can definitely appreciate the work put into the mix, as it definitely helps create a subtle separation that even the biggest fans of the film can appreciate as it never sounds tacky.

Dialogue is about as clear as it's going to get, compared to the mono track, there is a difference in overall clarity that helps the film not sound as dated as it's always sounded. Everything is just well placed and beautiful, sure there are moments when the dialogue shows age, but overall this is more than pleasing considering it's age. 9/10.

Extras

Disc 1:


Audio Commentary
with Rudy Behlmer.

Original Mono Track
Despite being an audio track, it's listed in the extras category.

Disc 2:

The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (2:03:26) (SD)
A look behind-the-scenes of the film, see all the work and challenges that went into making the film. This is a very extensive look at the production of the film that any fan will enjoy, despite the low quality video.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Presents 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year (1:08:20) (SD)
Footage from the February 29th, 1940 for the 12th annual Academy Awards. They take a look at many of the fantastic films produced in 1939.

Gone with the Wind: The Legend Lives On (32:44) (SD)
Basically a half hour long (well deserved) praise for the film and the impact it has made. It features cast interviews remembering the film, also included are film historian and studio exec interviews.

Gable: The King Remembered (1:05:03) (SD)
Featuring interviews remembering Clark Gable. They go through his career and personal life quite extensively in a very interesting documentary that features footage from many of his other films.

Vivien Leigh: Scarlett and Beyond (46:06) (SD)
See the 30 year film career of Vivien Leigh in a very fantastic look at her life and work.

Melanie Remembers: Reflections by Olivia de Havilland (38:43) (SD)
Olivia de Havilland talks about her memories filming Gone With The Wind, she's filled with so much energy and joy that make this a very entertaining feature.

The Supporting Players (SD)
At Tara (12:19)
At Twelve Oaks (8:15)
In Atlanta (8:22)
Exit (:45)

Restoring a Legend (17:40) (SD)
Documents how Warner Bros. first applied its Ultra Resolution process in the mastering of Gone With the Wind to video in 2004. While subsequent technological innovations were employed to remaster the film at 8k resolution for this Blu-ray disc, the use of the Ultra Resolution process played the most vital role in ensuring the accuracy and excellence of the motion picture image.

Dixie Hails Gone with the Wind (4:01) (SD)
See footage from 'News of the Day', which features footage from the premiere of the film.

Historical Theatrical Short The Old South (11:20) (SD)
A short was produced as a way for setting the stage for the release of 'Gone with the Wind,' to bring awareness to the history of the South.

Atlanta Civil War Centennial (3:41) (SD)
Footage from the premiere of the 1961 theatrical re-release of Gone With The Wind.

Trailers (SD)
1939 Announcement Trailer (1:50)
1961 Civil War Centennial Trailer (2:46)
1967 70mm Reissue Trailer (3:54)
1968 Re-issue Trailer (2:35)
1989 50th Anniversary Trailer (3:08)

Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara War (1:37:24) (SD)
The Emmy-winning telefilm is included in whole for this release. It's a dramatization of Producer David O. Selznick's search for the actress who would play Gone with the Wind's Scarlett O'Hara.

International Prologue (1:17) (SD)
See the prologue that was added to the beginning of the film for international viewers, explaining the Civil War.

Foreign Language Versions (2:38) (SD)
See clips from a few foreign language dubs for the film.

Disc 3 DVD:

MGM: When The Lion Roars
6-hour award winning studio chronicle.

Disc 4 CD:


'Gone with the Wind' Soundtrack sampler.

The Packaging
Warner Bros. has packaged the release in an ultimate collector's edition which features a nice amount of physical extras, which are pictured below:Blu-news Summary
It's been a great time to be a Blu-ray owner these past couple of months with iconic releases such as The Wizard of Oz, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and North By Northwest. Now the time has come for Gone with the Wind to make it's Blu-ray debut, a debut that has felt like years in the making is finally here and better than I could have imagined.

The film has already made quite the legacy and is certainly an all-time favorite for many, including myself. Imagine my excitement as I opened my door and found quite the large package at my door. Gone with the Wind was the first thing I had thought of, as I've awaited this release on Blu-ray since it was first rumored.

Vivien Leigh creates a performance that will never be forgotten, so iconic and so so memorable. Clark Gable among others are also terrific, and this is film at it's finest. If you have not seen Gone with the Wind, do yourself a favor and find a way to see it, hopefully the Blu-ray release as it's just that good. 10/10.

The Blu-ray release is the ultimate release of Gone with the Wind, everything is just spectacular about it. Amazing video, terrific audio, and so many extras to keep you entertained. The Blu-ray release is a high-def 'Must Own.'

Additional Screenshots:

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