Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
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Limited Edition of 3,000 Units
Twentieth Century Fox / Twilight Time / Henry King / 1955 / United States
Running Time: 102 minutes
Region Code: Region Free
Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
Video: 1080p High Definition
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio / DTS 2.0 (Commentary Track) / DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (Isolated Score Track)
Subtitles: Optional English SDH
Adapted by John Patrick from China-born Eurasian physician and author, Han Suyin’s (the pen name of Elizabeth Comber) best-selling 1952 autobiographical novel ‘A Many-Splendoured Thing’, director Henry King’s sensitive and moving film is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s greatest, most authentic and most absorbing epic romance movies, and now this visually-arresting, three-time Academy Award-winner looks and sounds better than ever courtesy of Twilight Time’s stunning new Blu-ray release.
The simplistic yet highly effective storyline depicts the poignant tale of the reserved and widowed Eurasian doctor Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones), working in the exotic, conflict-ridden Hong Kong of the post-World War II era (during the period of China’s Civil War in the late 1940s). Once there, she meets and falls in love with the handsome, married-but-separated American war correspondent Mark Elliott, and as the two quickly embark on a whirlwind romance together (against her own initial reluctance), she finds herself shunned by the elder Chinese community and consumed in a wave of racial, political and military turmoil.
The ever-reliable Henry King’s (a renowned specialist of literary adaptations) acclaimed Best Picture-nominated romantic-drama proves an exceedingly poignant and heartfelt piece, effectively and vigorously exploring the ever-relevant themes of racial prejudice, political complication and domesticity to powerful effect.
Academy Award-winners Jennifer Jones (Best Actress in a Leading Role – The Song of Bernadette‘ – 1943) and William Holden (Best Actor in a Leading Role – ‘Stalag 17’ – 1953) are both excellent in the central roles (with Jones receiving a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance), displaying excellent levels of sensitivity and chemistry, and effectively accentuating the profound and wholly relatable emotions of the piece (which is very surprising considering they could barely stand each other on set, with Holden stating that Jones was generally rude and abrasive to everyone involved in the production and complained bitterly throughout).
The supporting cast of lesser known, yet recognisable faces are equally as strong, with particularly impressive performances from Torin Thatcher and Isobel Elsom.
Shot over a three month schedule on location in Hong Kong, four-time Academy Award-winner Leon Shamroy received one of his eighteen Academy Award-nominations for his sumptuous ‘Deluxe Color’ Cinemascope cinematography which perfectly captures the rich, exotic locations of the film, with Lyle R. Wheeler, George W. Davis, Walter M. Scott and Jack Stubbs receiving Academy Award-nominations for ‘Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color’, and Charles Le Maire winning one of his three Academy Awards for ‘Best Costume Design, Color’.
The film also features some equally superb location footage shot by second unit director of photography, Charles G. Clarke, however the four-time Academy Award-nominee Clarke was sadly uncredited for his work.
Twilight Time’s AVC encoded 1080p High Definition presentation, in the original aspect ratio of 2.55:1, delivers truly stunning results and is undoubtedly one of, if not their finest Fox licensed titles to date.
Colours are gorgeous and beautifully saturated, really enhancing the rich blue and green hues of the generally warm colour palette; contrast levels are excellent and levels of crisp definition and fine detail are very impressive.
The only images that do appear slightly soft are the numerous rear projection or process photography effects utilised without the film, however this is down to the original production and by no means a fault of the presentation.
The image is beautifully clean, with no noticeable signs of age debris or age related damage, and the image thankfully retains a wonderfully authentic filmic quality, with a nice layer of natural grain present throughout.
The lossless English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is equally as impressive, delivering crisp, clean dialogue, impressive effects and ambience, and a stunning presentation of Alfred Newman’s outstanding and sweeping, Academy Award-winning score, which is beautifully serviced on both the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Isolated Score Track, and effectively utilises the full capabilities of the surround channels to an impressive and utterly immersive degree.
Isolated Score Track
Audio Commentary with Film Historians Jon Burlingame, Michael Lonzo, and Sylvia Stoddard
Fox Movietone News Footage
Original Theatrical Trailer
A 6-page booklet featuring production stills and booklet essay by Julie Kirgo
In terms of visual and audio quality this is near enough as good as the film is going to get, and this limited edition blu-ray release proves another stunning, must-have release from Twilight Time! Very highly recommended!
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