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George Bernard Shaw On Film
(Eclipse Series 20)

review by Zach B.

 

 

Not Rated

Running Time: 121 Minutes (Major Barbara), 128 Minutes (Caesar and Cleopatra), 98 Minutes (Androcles and The Lion)

Screenplays by: George Bernard Shaw

 

 

Studio: Criterion

Retail Price: $44.95

Features: None

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, Mono, English Subtitles, Chapter Stops (14 Chapters), Three-Disc Set

Released: February 23rd, 2010

 

 


All three movies in this collection — "Major Barbara," "Caesar and Cleopatra," and "Androcles and The Lion" — are presented in 1.33:1 full screen. The first and third are in black and white; the second in color. For the most part, these transfers are decent. They are cleaned up, but these are not grand restorations. The movies are quite watchable, and the basic elements are in good shape. Detail, while not overly superb, is more refined than I expected. The colors don't pop in "Caesar and Cleopatra," but are filled in well enough and don't smear. (The fleshtones in the movie are a bit off, though.) Otherwise, all the movies suffer from the same flaws: they are pretty grainy, have plenty of scratches and blemishes, and are on the soft and faded side. Nothing eye-popping here, but all things considered, they are good for what they are.

 


There is not too much to say here. All the films have Mono tracks, where dialogue is always audible and everything comes through well for the most part. Cackles and sound flaws can be noticed, and on "Androcles and The Lion," I found the sound to be especially tinny and a bit muffled. Still, given what the movies are, they're good enough.

English subtitles are included.

 


Nothing. However, film historian Bruce Eder provides nice notes within the keepcases for each movie.

 


Criterion continues their stellar Eclipse Series with this intriguing collection, highlighting famed playwright George Bernard Shaw's film work. It is nice to have these adaptations collected, even if the movies are not that engaging. Still, I am sure there are those fans of the writer who will want to see these, and I imagine some of those fans will want to compare his original work to his screen adaptations. The films look and sound decent all things considering, but really, this collection should be for Shaw buffs and classic film fans.