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This Happy Breed [1944] [DVD]


Price: £8.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 12 left in stock (more on the way).
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£8.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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This Happy Breed [1944] [DVD] + Mrs Miniver [1942] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, John Mills, Stanley Holloway, Kay Walsh
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan. 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V6AERW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,024 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

An episodic tale of an average working class family in the interwar years. Narrated by Laurence Olivier and directed by David Lean, the story traces the melodrama caused by illicit affairs, family bereavement, the first ripples of women's liberation and political instability in the country during the General Strike. It highlights the fact that these internal wranglings are all happening in one house in an average street, and that each average house has its own dramatic stories to tell. Adapted from Noel Coward's stage play.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Chappers on 29 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD
A wonderful, warm, witty, observant movie made during World War II, which follows the everyday lives of an ordinary family between the two World Wars. Somehow the simple plot manages to encapsulate the British character, particularly their fortitude during lean times and their quiet pleasure in small joys. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Noel Coward, with top-notch acting by the strong cast including Celia Johnson, John Mills and Kay Walsh.

Being raised on 1960's television, I'd previously only known Robert Newton as the bawdy Long John Silver (!) but here he delivers a blinder of a performance as the hardworking, upright and loyal head of the family.

This film is definitely in my Top 10, so it's a great pity that this dvd release by Carlton International is ruined by dreadful speckling and muted colour. I compared it last week to Film Four's current screened version, with its beautiful lush colours and pure picture, and I realised how badly this dvd version rates in the comparison. In my view, save your money and trust that a newer dvd release by another company will do this fine film justice.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "mattymyatt" on 14 May 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is a great film with first class acting and a gripping story. If you love british films then you will love this film. Shot in South Clapham, London 1944 during WWII this film will delight you with its charm and warmth of a era lost to us all.
If you go looking you can even find the street and house used for this film, took me only two days of research to find the location, which is unchanged to this day except for a few cars.
Great film GET IT. Its a shame that Carlton have deleted it from their DVD list, where is the justice in that, come on Carlton, release this title on DVD and do British Cinema the justice it deserves.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ross Gowland on 11 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Annoyingly, Amazon have attached a string of reviews of the substandard DVD to this Blu-ray.

Just to make it clear, the picture quality of this disc is stunning and the sound is perfect and completely in synch. The two episodes of the South Bank Show included as extras are terrific, too: the first, from 1985, juxtaposes an overview of Lean's career with footage of him making his latest (and, as it turned out, last) film A Passage To India and runs an impressive two hours and ten minutes; the second is about Lean's working relationship with the writer Robert Bolt.

This Happy Breed is a terrific film and it's never looked this good in decades. Buy it.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Adam Rowlands on 23 Jun. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I've just this minute finished watching it on Blu-ray (it's saturday afternoon - the best time to watch This Happy Breed, in my opinion!) and felt compelled to give it a bit of a review.. In a word, 'outstanding'.
Anyone who's a fan of this film needs to own it in HD, pure and simple. I had no idea the quality of the transfer for a 68 year old film would be this good. The actors' flawless performances and Lean's masterful camera work themselves are a pleasure to watch, but when seen with the incredible amount of detail this release offers, it's an absolute visual feast! The 105 minutes flew by!
I applaud the BFI and The Lean Foundation for giving this gem the treatment it rightfully deserves.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jun. 2000
Format: DVD
I came across this film by accident one day but what a find! I am so pleased that it has now been released in DVD as it is a great favorite of mine. A wonderful story, by Noel Coward, of family life between the two World Wars. Of men returning to civillian life and the family they left behind. Celia Johnson plays a very good mother and a young John Mills plays the "boy next door". Happy times and sad ones - get your hankies out! A "must" film for any family. Try the Cruel Sea or Dambusters as well.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE on 13 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
Don't let the b/w sleeve fool you, this film is in colour and the quality has held up fairly well. Where did they find all that colour film in 1944? This must have been regarded as an important national project.

It tells the story of a typical British family between the two world wars. It is almost trying to prepare people for the coming peace, like a reminder that it was not that far away.

Important historical events are weaved into the plot. The victory parades after world war 1, the general strike of 1926, and growing threat of war in the late 30s, are shown with music and fashions and advances in technology (radio, electric light in ordinary homes, talkies etc) contemporary to their time.

Blink and you could miss the one fleeting reference to the abdication of Edward VIII, when mother removes a 1936 calander of him. The event was too fresh to be dealt with fully during the war years.

Celia Johnson takes a good part as the mother. The character is a class or two below her parts in 'Brief Encounter' and 'In Which We Serve', but she seems just as comfortable and convincing here.

Robert Newton as the father displays typical British values of moderation and tolerance. While lecturing his son the night before his marriage, he even countenances the odd discrete affair, should the marriage become stale. What did our grandparents get up to? Perhaps they were not that different to us!

A well watchable movie and an interesting view of social history.
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