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In the 1940s, the wit of playwright Noel Coward ("Design for Living") and the craft of filmmaker David Lean ("Lawrence of Arabia") melded harmoniously in one of cinema's greatest writer-director collaborations. "In Which We Serve" (1942) In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright Noel Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors fighting the Germans in the Mediterranean. Coward and Lean ended up codirecting the large-scale project - an impressive undertaking, especially considering that neither of them had directed for the big screen before (this would be Coward's only such credit). Cutting between a major naval battle and flashbacks to the men's lives before they left home, "In Which We Serve" (an Oscar(R) nominee for best picture) was a major breakthrough for both filmmakers and a sensitive and stirring piece of propaganda. "This Happy Breed" (1944) David Lean brings to vivid emotional life Noel Coward's epic chronicle of a working-class family in the London suburbs over the course of two decades. Robert Newton and Celia Johnson are surpassingly affecting as Frank and Ethel Gibbons, a couple with three children whose modest household is touched by joy and tragedy from the tail end of the First World War to the beginning of the Second. With its mix of politics and melodrama, "This Happy Breed" is a quintessential British domestic drama, featuring subtly expressive Technicolor cinematography by Ronald Neame and a remarkable supporting cast including John Mills, Stanley Holloway, and Kay Walsh. "Blithe Spirit" (1945) David Lean's delightful film version of Noel Coward's theater sensation, stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium to his house to conduct a seance, hoping the experience will inspire a book he's working on. Things go decidedly not as planned when she summons the spirit of his dead first wife, a severe inconvenience for his current one. Employing Oscar(R)-winning special effects to spruce up Coward's theatrical farce, "Blithe Spirit" is a sprightly supernatural comedy with winning performances. "Brief Encounter" (1945) After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) enter into a muted but passionate, ultimately doomed, love affair. With its evocatively fog-enshrouded setting, swooning Rachmaninoff score, and pair of remarkable performances (Johnson was nominated for an Oscar(R) for her role), David Lean's film of Noel Coward's play "Still Life" deftly explores the thrill, pain, and tenderness of an illicit romance, and has influenced many a cinematic brief encounter since its release.
New High-Definition Digital Restoration, "In Which We Serve" and "Brief Encounter" are Presented In Black & White, Audio Commentary, New Interviews with Noel Coward scholar Barry Day on all of the films, Trailers, Short Documentaries from 2000.
"David Lean: A Self Portrait" - A 1971 Television Documentary, Episode of the British Television Series "The Southbank Show" from 1992, Audio Recording of a 1969 Conversation between Richard Attenborough and Coward, Collectible Booklet Featuring Essays by Ian Christie, Terrence Rafferty and more.
|Starring:||Noel Coward, Bernard Miles, Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, John Mills, Margaret Rutherford, Constance Cummings, Trevor Howard|
|Studio Name:||Image Entertainment|
|DVD Release Date:||03/27/2012|
|Screen Format:||Full Frame|
|Run Time (in minutes):||407 minutes|
|Audio Tracks:||PCM Mono|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.02|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.5 x 0.5 x 7.44|
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