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This Happy Breed [Blu-ray] 
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Frequently Bought Together
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.
 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film which I've seen many times in all its old format. This edition looks stunning compared to earlier ones but I have one criticism of the large chunks where the... Read morePublished 14 days ago by homebod
Lovely film from way back, quite sad in parts but never get tired watching it.Published 3 months ago by Mrs I Thomas