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This Happy Breed [Blu-ray] [1944]

4.5 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, John Mills, Stanley Holloway, Amy Veness
  • Directors: David Lean
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Jun. 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007TKTZKA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,771 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Noel Coward's celebration of the strength and humour of the British working class in times of crisis struck a resounding impact with viewing audiences when first released, and still does to this day. Chronicling the trials and tribulations of the Gibbons family from the end of World War One, Coward's anthem to British resilience became the most successful film of 1944.

This Happy Breed was David Lean's first credit as a solo director and was the first in a succession of worldwide hits for him and his distinctive visual style. Both Robert Newton and Celia Johnson preside over the ups and downs of their family with great humour and patience, ably supported by John Mills and Stanley Holloway. This is a High Definition digital restoration from the original film elements.

Special Features
[] Commemorative booklet by noted British film historian Neil Sinyard
DISC ONE (Blu-ray)
[] Two trailers
[] Restoration featurette
[] Extensive stills galleries
DISC Two (DVD)
[] Two South Bank Shows featuring David Lean
[] Original material in PDF format

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer 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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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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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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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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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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