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Underground (DVD + Blu-ray)

Elissa Landi , Brian Aherne , Anthony Asquith    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 13.13 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Underground (DVD + Blu-ray) + British Transport Films Collection Volume 11 - Experiment Under London [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Elissa Landi, Brian Aherne, Norah Baring, Cyril McLaglen, Music score by Neil Brand
  • Directors: Anthony Asquith
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Jun 2013
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00B6RBT0G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,585 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A film by Anthony Asquith

Introduced as a 'story of ordinary people', Anthony Asquith's Underground masterfully balances the light and dark sides of city life to evoke the daily existence of the average Londoner better than any other film from Britain's silent canon.

The BFI National Archive has restored the film using the latest photochemical and digital techniques and present it here with a newly commissioned score by Neil Brand.

Special Features

  • Feature presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Newly commissioned score by Neil Brand presented in 5.1 and 2.0
  • Alternative score by Chris Watson
  • Restoring Underground (2009,9 mins): featurette on the restoration
  • The Premier and His Little Son (1909-12, 1 min): previously unseen footage of Anthony Asquith as a child
  • A Trip on the Metropolitan Railway (1910, 13 mins, DVD only)
  • Scenes at Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park Corner (1930-32, 6 mins, DVD only)
  • Seven More Stations (1948, 12 mins, DVD only): a film about the expansion of the Central Line beyond Stratford
  • Under Night Streets (1958, 20 mins): a documentary about the tube's nightshift workers
  • Illustrated booklet featuring film notes and new essays by Christian Wolmar and Neil Brand

UK | 1928 | black and white | silent with music | 93 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1

Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | DTS-HD Master Sound 5.1 (448kbps) and PCM 2.0 stereo audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio (448kbps) and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio (320kbps)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great forgotten film 20 Jun 2013
Despite what the other reviewer said, this is a very good film and not at all dull. It shows a Britain long gone and has artistic flourishes which Hitchcock showed little of during most of his silent film career. There seems to be an knee jerk response amongst some people to compare many British film directors to Hitchock, not sure way as it is possible to assess and enjoy other directors on their own merits. Hitchcock's silent films are a variable bunch, some good, some mundane and routine, most withouth any of the qualities and flourishes he would later bring to bear.

Asquith is a great British director long forgotten which is sad as this and A Cottage On Dartmoor, leave us a tantilising taste of his skill.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riches reclaimed 25 Jun 2013
By R. A. Caton TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This was the movie that got me buying a Blu-ray player, and I would say that despite the age of the source material, the quality of the print presented justifies hi-def. It is amazing the work that has been done providing a picture as good as would have been seen at the time in the cinema, a restoration perhaps triggered by the discovery overseas of a print of the movie enabling the damaged parts of the previous viewing print (from 1948) to be replaced. From parts of the original camera negative and two prints a wet gate print is made (by printing under a liquid with a similar refractive index to film base, the liquid fills scratches in the base, minimising their effect on the print) before applying modern digital restoration techniques to further enhance the image quality.
Something that surprised me (although with DVD and BluRay discs included it's academic) is that the BluRay had fewer extras than the DVD! Both have a featurette on the restoration of "UndergrounD" and the short "Under Night Streets", the DVD has another four shorts including the celebrated footage shot on the Metropolitan Railway in 1910, travelling out from Baker Street (I bet that gets a good few YouTube hits!) although it is the feature, with the emphasis on ordinary folk, that is of course the main attraction.

The language of the silent film is different to that of the "talkie" and sometimes requires much closer scrutiny of the image on the screen (seems obvious, I know - sorry about that) - but features such as UndergrounD provide a window into a world that is gone forever although we are privileged to glimpse shadows and hear echoes via contemporary films and recordings.

Coupled with which, of course, it's a cracking good story. and British....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat 23 Jun 2013
By eeyore
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I've been looking forward to seeing this for a long time, as I couldn't be bothered to go to the BFI screening, and I wasn't disappointed.

It's pointless to judge eighty or ninety year old silent films by the same criteria as modern productions and, by the standards of its own time, it has aged pretty well. Yes, the stories are relatively simple - they need to be in order to be conveyed by mime plus a few intertitles - and the film-makers were still struggling to make the best of the technical limitations; but there are rich compensations.

The quality of the restored film is very good so that the location shots of 1920's London and the Underground are wonderful - especially for a `London and its transport' geek like me. It's also fascinating to observe the behaviour, manners and social attitudes of the time - something that modern `period' dramas never seem to capture convincingly.

Asquith's direction is perfectly adequate and incorporates many of the influences he picked up along his privileged way - notably, techniques borrowed from German and Russian cinema. The love-triangle (or rectangle) story chugs along with both humorous and dramatic moments, there are one or two good set pieces and the final chase at Lots Road power station ticks all the boxes.

The extras are pretty good too - mostly archive footage of undergroundy things

All in all, recommended - and a rewarding and worthy complement to the contemporary Hitchcocks. I'm still not convinced about blu-ray though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 26 July 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I saw this film at the BFI earlier this year and was delighted when it was issued on DVD. It's a lovely film that shows that you do not need endless dialogue to tell a story. The real joy of the film are the sights and fashions of 1920's London,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Restored Silent Gem. 25 Sep 2013
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER
Recently restored by the British Film Institute, this is a silent drama from Anthony Asquith (son of H.H. Asquith British Prime Minister during WW1). He would go on to make some classic films including `The Winslow Boy' and `The Yellow Rolls Royce'). As his first outing he took the story of four simple London characters and placed them in the social context of the London Underground, where the film gets its' title from.

These are Nell who works in a department store, Bert who is an electrician, Kate who shares his boarding lodgings and is a seamstress and Bill who works on the Underground. Both Bill and Bert run into Nell on the same day and both are smitten with her womanly charms. Whilst Bert is a bit of a spiv, Bill is more dependable and cuts a dashing figure in his uniform and matinee idol good looks, so is already ahead on points.

Bert is a man who gets his own way and if he can't have Nell then no one can. He will use anyone to achieve his own ends. This means the story will inevitably build to a dramatic conclusion. This was made at a time when an appetite for melodrama was high and hence some of the `action' here may be seen as far fetched, especially the scenes shot at Lots Road Power Station in Chelsea. We also have proper old fashioned acting, with long stares and exaggerated emotions. The musical score, which is completely new, was written by Neil Brand (a silent film specialist) and performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and tells the story as much as the on screen antics.

This is a beautiful restoration by the BFI but it is some of the scene quality varies. The real gems are some of the ancillary things that I found to be most interesting especially the underground scenes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars As before
Not that interesting, soon got bored watching, rather hoped it was going to be more to do with the underground.
Published 7 days ago by Guy
1.0 out of 5 stars Review
I shouldn't really rate or review this as it was bought through me by a friend and I haven't seen the film. Because of that the star rating above should be ignored.
Published 3 months ago by steamer
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait!
I first heard about this movie nearly 20 years ago in the Cinema Europe documentary and was thrilled that it's finally out on DVD. Underground definitely lives up to the hype! Read more
Published 7 months ago by caro3line
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic vintage
A wonderful look back at vintage London with some fabulous extras on the DVD. I bought this mainly for the extras and am not disappointed
Published 8 months ago by Winslow Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Get down there.
This will not give you The Underground as it is now.
What it does is take you out of yourself and your life, into a dream like state,when people used to say please... Read more
Published 9 months ago by flibity
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth restoring
Extremely interesting; beautifully restored, crisp as a new apple. It is of course what it is, and there is the usual proble, if it is a problem, of extremely leisurely shots and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Wiliam G. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem
I attended a screening of this film at the Barbican a couple of years back and really enjoyed the evening with a live orchestra providing the soundtrack. Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. Archer
5.0 out of 5 stars Social History at it's Best!!
Ok, so the story isn't "War and Peace" , but wow, this is a fantastic capture of
how life was then. Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. Curran
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