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The Best of British Cinema (DVD, 1999) - Five Decades of Classic British Films

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Product Description
Sir John Mills narrates this entertaining compilation. "The Best of British Cinema" takes an insightful look back at some of the finest and most memorable feature films to be produced in major British studios over a period of five decades. All of the major stars are here, from Olivier to Leigh, from Sabu to Robert Donat, along with eminent directors. This series confirms the power, humor and drama of the great British films.

Narrated by Sir John Mills and originally broadcast on British TV, this five-part documentary proves somewhat problematic on DVD. To access its five episodes, viewers must scroll back to the main menu to choose which of the chapters they'd like to view, so each time segments ("Private Lives," "The Gentle Touch," "World of Adventure," "The Romantics," or "A Class of Their Own") are to be accessed, the menu button must be handy to progress through the series. This is essentially a freshman film studies course on the British greats, including producer Alexander Korda, actor Charles Laughton, actor and director Laurence Olivier, and movie stars Merle Oberon, Robert Donat, Leslie Howard, and Rex Harrison--among others--who are briefly skimmed over though they later made their mark on the international film scene in such classics as Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights, My Fair Lady, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. It's a Cliff Notes approach, so brief it hardly holds merit to the depth and influence that Korda, Laughton, and the first-wave English invasion held over the film world. These clips of British classics certainly whet the appetite for more--especially when the DVD seductively introduces rarely seen footage from the never released I, Claudius, directed by Josef von Sternberg. But surely there must be a better way to educate American audiences, weaned on Bruce Willis and James Cameron, in the breadth of English film history. --Paula Nechak

Product details
Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 1.33:1
MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.5 x 5.38 x 0.6 inches; 4 Ounces
Media Format ‏ : ‎ Color, NTSC, Black & White
Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours
Release date ‏ : ‎ August 24, 1999
Actors ‏ : ‎ John Mills
Producers ‏ : ‎ Maurice Sellar, Robert Sidaway
Language ‏ : ‎ English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00000JMOT
Writers ‏ : ‎ Ashley Sidaway, Lou Jones, Maurice Sellar, Robert Sidaway
Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
    • UPC 0014381595123
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