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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Mono
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Theatrical Trailer

Summertime


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: David Lean
Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Darren McGavin, Jane Rose, Mari Aldon, MacDonald Parke
1955 | 100 Minutes | Licensor: Lopert Films

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #22
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: September 21, 1998
Review Date: April 4, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

An American spinster's dream of romance finally becomes a bittersweet reality when she meets a handsome-but married-Italian man while vacationing in Venice. Katharine Hepburn's sensitive portrayal of the lonely heroine and Jack Hildyard's glorious Technicolor® photography make Summertime an endearing and visually enchanting film.

Forum members rate this film 7.9/10

 

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PICTURE

Summertime is presented in the aspect ratio of about 1.33:1 on this single-layer disc. The release as a whole feels like an afterthought. I assume itís a straight port of the laserdisc, which may have been a great looking release, but itís been horrifically compressed on here.

Compression artifacts are quite noticeable throughout the film, making the image incredibly fuzzy and presenting an absolute mess in more dimly lit sequences. Detail is lacking and everything comes off a little soft. Colours are okay but skin tones can come off a little too yellow. The best aspect of the image is that the print is in decent if not great shape. Damage to the print is minimal presenting the occasional scratch and blemish.

Considering this is just about a featureless release the transfer would have to be the selling point and Iím sad to say itís not even average.

5/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly 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 Dolby Digital mono track is adequate enough. There is some background noise to it and music can sound a little distorted and harsh, but dialogue sounds natural.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Other than a theatrical trailer thereís nothing on here. Thereís a short essay by film critic David Denby included with the disc, where he briefly discusses the romance in the film, Hepburn, and Leanís technique. The essay is fine but more would have been welcome.

1/10

CLOSING

Iíd give this one a pass in the hopes Criterion might revisit it (though Iím not sure on the odds on that.) If it was cheaper (and Iím talking $9.99) then maybe I could recommend it to those that like the film, but as it stands (priced at $29.95) itís a unbelievable mediocre release.


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