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All the Right Noises
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Bernard Braden 'Now and Then' interview with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting (1967)
  • The Spy's Wife (1972, 28 mins): a rare and little-seen short film by O'Hara starring Tom Bell
  • Extensive illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned contributions from film historian Robert Murphy, Gerry O'Hara, and The Spy's Wife producer Julian Holloway

All the Right Noises

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Gerry O'Hara
Starring: Tom Bell, Olivia Hussey
1969 | 91 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: £22.99 | Series: BFI Flipside | Edition: #5
BFI Video

Release Date: August 24, 2009
Review Date: August 20, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

Originally sold with the provocative tagline 'Is 15 too young for a girl? Is one wife enough for one man?', this time-capsule of a film concerns itself with the story of a young married man who has an affair with a teenage girl, and forms part of a peculiarly 1960s British wave of films exploring such sensitive subject matter (others included Term of Trial, Age of Consent, and Three into Two Won't Go).

Starring Olivia Hussey, in her first post-Romeo and Juliet role, and the inimitable Tom Bell (The L-Shaped Room, Prime Suspect), this wonderful slice of British cultural history is one of only a handful of feature films directed by Gerry O'Hara, better know for his assistant-director work with such cinema giants as Tony Richardson, Carol Reed and Otto Preminger.

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

For the 5th release in their Flipside series, BFI presents Gerry OíHaraís All the Right Noises in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer Blu-ray disc. The image is presented in 1080p.

Itís a decent image marred with a few issues, though I feel most of them lie within the source and how the film was shot. The transfer presents a fairly sharp image through a majority of the film but there are a few instances where it comes off soft and/or blurry, but in a majority of cases it looks either like a soft focus is being employed or the camera was simply just out of focus. Colours are decent, some reds and greens coming off fairly strong, but flesh tones look a little pasty, but in all fairness the actors could just be naturally pale.

Despite some heavy marks at the beginning and then some scattered throughout the film the print is in fantastic shape. What sort of threw me off was that for a transfer taken from a 35mm source grain is fairly heavy and though it looks natural there are some instances where it causes the image to come off a tad fuzzy. Certainly not a killer by a long shot, but I was still a little surprised.

Itís limited in some regards but itís still a much sharper image than I would have expected, BFI yet again surprising me.

(The Blu-ray is region free and should play on all Blu-ray players worldwide. I had no issues with it on my PS3.)

7/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The lossless mono track is perfectly fine for the film. Dialogue is clear, music is sharp, and the soundtrack overall is clean and crisp. There isnít much in the way of range but itís clear and easy to hear. Nothing extraordinary but perfect for the film.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

BFI presents only a couple of supplements for this Blu-ray.

The first is an interview with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, taken in 1967 and conducted by Bernard Braden for Now and Then, a planned series that never took off. The idea behind it was to interview various people (celebrity and non-celebrity) and then follow up with them years later to see how things have gone. Segments of this also appeared on BFIís Blu-ray (and DVD) for Primitive London. Running 17-minutes it focuses primarily on the two and their appearance in Romeo and Juliet, talking about their nude scene, working together, their past work, Romeo and Juliet in general, and other possible work. Itís not the best interview of the ones Iíve seen so far from the series but itís still rather interesting and I like how BFI presents it in its raw, unedited form.

Better is OíHaraís 28-minute short film The Spyís Wife, which co-stars All the Right Noisesís Tom Bell, Ann Lynn (Dudu in A Shot in the Dark,) and Vladek Sheybal (Kronsteen in From Russia with Love.) I unfortunately canít give a full description of it without giving away everything but it is actually an amusing, off-beat swinging spy film, apparently the first of two ďWifeĒ films OíHara made with Julian Holloway (the second being The Chairmanís Wife.) It hasnít received a vigorous restoration but the transfer itself is still quite strong.

Unfortunately this is it for disc supplements but BFI have again included one of their thick booklets. Inside you get an excellent essay on the film and some of OíHaraís other work by Robert Murphy, another essay by William Fowler that primarily focuses on the flats presented in the film and how theyíre used, and notes by Gerry OíHara on making the film. You also get an essay by Vic Pratt on The Spyís Wife, and a recollection of that short film by Julian Holloway. And finally you get biographies on Gerry OíHara, Olivia Hussey, and then a brief note on the Now and Then interview that appears on the disc. As usual the booklet is a great read loaded with information.

Of the Flipside titles Iíve come across it feels the most sparse when compared to their other releases in the series but the two we get are both quite good, plus a lot is filled in with the booklet. A small amount but theyíre of excellent quality.

7/10

CLOSING

BFIís Flipside series is so far one of the more fascinating collection of Blu-rays Iíve come across. I canít say the films Iíve viewed on them so far are ďgreat lost classicsĒ but theyíre fascinating and Iím certainly glad to have viewed them. While the music doesn't help it (it's awful folk stuff) All the Right Noises was still a bit of a surprise, the film not going down the route I was expecting. As the notes point out 20th Century Fox tried to sell it as an exploitive piece but it really isnít and tries to handle the subject matter in as honest a way as it can. BFIís Blu-ray is again a wonderful release. The transfer isnít their best looking but itís yet again stronger than what Iím sure most would expect for the film, and the couple of supplements are fascinating and enjoyable. Another pleasant surprise from the company.




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