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4.0 out of 5 stars
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2007
A mixed bag of quality mars this collection of classics...DARLING & BILLY LIAR are near pristine, while the quality of the FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD & THE GO-BETWEEN are quite poor. The transfer for MADDING CROWD is particularly muddy. The fact that all films are NOT widescreen is a disapointment as well.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2007
I have to agree with the other reviewers of this collection: on the face of it an iconic collection of British films, but sadly marred by quality defects. I have to add that, far from pristine, sequences in 'Darlimg', particulaly during earlier parts of the film, are badly out of sync - near to half a second in places.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2008
I decided to buy this collection, in spite of the other reviews that described its poor video quality, so I have no right to complain. However, I wanted to add some specifics that the other reviewers did not mention. Far from being re-mastered, all four titles appear to have been taken from pre-existing transfers to analog tape. 'Far From the Madding Crowd' has the same scratches on it as on the VHS tape that I already owned. On top of this, these poor analog masters seem to have been digitally encoded in someone's garage using a cheap capture device and an old PC that someone found on a dump. The non-widescreen 'The Go-Between' seems to be from the same source as the DVD given away free by the Telegraph a while ago. The black-and-white titles have been so badly digitized that they look as though they have been copied from YouTube. With such low-quality encoding, all four titles could have easily been placed on two discs, and sold without the pretty packaging for five pounds; then none of us would be grumbling.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2007
I agree with other comments regarding the transfer quality of the two colour films in this set.

I was in particular looking forward to the Go-Between, as the pre-release information and the DVD box indicated that this great film is at last presented in the 1.85:1 ratio of the cinema release.

In fact it has been presented in 1.33:1 (4:3), which is probably the original negative format, rather than that of the cinema presentation.

Far from the Madding Crowd is presented in 16:9 full screen, as stated, which is a cropped version of the original Panavision film. This transfer is eye-wateringly blurred and must be the fuzziest DVD transfer of a movie I've ever seen!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2008
I'm very chuffed with this collection of Julie Christie films - they're all excellent films, and I found 'Billy Liar' absolutely charming (never mind that Julie Christie has a fairly small if important role in that film). I was expecting not to enjoy 'The Go-Between' in light of comments from other users here, but have to say that I found myself loving the wonderful camera-work; the colour reproduction is more than acceptable, and I couldn't say I noticed any information being cropped. Indeed, on investigating messageboard comments at IMDB I see that the picture in this release *hasn't* been cropped, but has been presented open-matte, so in fact we get more picture than if it had been presented as widescreen. (One poster on IMDB has offered the very practical solution for those who are bothered with the picture ratio of zooming in on a 16:9 to crop off the top and bottom 'superfluous' info.)

I'll allow that the picture quality for 'Far from the Madding Crowd' is rather grainy compared to the other three pictures, but is not at all wearing to watch (there's far worse DVD transfers out there of other movies which regular punters seem happy with - far happier than I am, certainly). It's still a great film, and I think it would be a pity if people missed the opportunity of seeing this and the three other excellent films simply because they were led to expect poor quality visuals from other reviewers here. Really, with three out of four perfectly good or excellent transfers, and a fourth acceptable (at least as good as a decent VHS), this is a bargain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2013
Julie Christie was one of my favourite actresses when I was young and I love all the films in this collection. She is wonderful to watch and the stories are excellent. At this price anyone can afford to have this collection.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2010
1) The Go-Between. Originally filmed in 'non-widescreen', and then chopped for release. Personally, I think the composition of the image is much better here. The framing is perfect in every scene, provided that you haven't got it stretched to fill the whole of your widescreen TV! The Go-Between is a beautifully made literary adaptation that creates a lush, living and breathing world. If a single word could sum it up, that word would be 'classy'. Julie Christie compliments the understated and subtle directing wonderfully.

2) Billy Liar. Tom Courtenay is the real star of this one, with Julie Christie in a small early role. It manages to be filled with hilarity, wit, pomp and grandeur alongside sadness, depth and heart. It's a screwball comedy that has grown up, in a sense, to fit in with the harsh realism that was starting to emerge in British film-making in the early 60s. Probably my favourite film in the set, coming just above The Go-Between.

3) Far From The Madding Crowd. The image is a little muddy, as some reviewers have pointed out, but I'm not entirely convinced that it's a fault of this particular DVD. It's never had a particularly strong release. Plus, it's always been a little muddy because it was filmed in the hazy, dull and wet English countryside! It's surely part of the charm, even if it does take a little while to adjust to it.

4) Darling. Julie Christie really dazzles here as the beautifully mysterious 'Darling'. She carries the film, I think, and I don't believe that it would stand up without her. She's given truly stunning performances (Away From Her and Doctor Zhivago spring instantly to mind), and I have to admit that I don't rank this as among her best. Perhaps it is my personal taste, but I was disappointed with the film as a whole. Hmm! Maybe I should watch it again...
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on 17 February 2014
I just loved her in "Far from the madding crowd" and "Dr. Zivago", I am so glad I could find this film collection for great entertainment
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on 8 March 2015
Delightful. Good memories of when Julie Christie and I were a little younger
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on 21 November 2015
Great for all fans of the 60s icon Julie Christie.
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