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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2007
Most film lovers are aware of the legacy Ealing Studios left to the nation and indeed the film world - and here is a small snapshot of some of their more famous films from over 100 in their history. The comedies are naturally the ones that are more instantly recognisable and enough has been said elsewhere about their lasting memory of class, quality and humour. Ealings output tho covered many other genres and it was a rare year that there wasn't a classic film made out of Ealing Studios that has stood the test of time today.

Unfortunately - as much as I would love to fully recommend this collection I must warn would be purchasers that for the most part the films are shoddily presented by Canal/Optimum and have been given little or no remastering or restoration.

Most of the transfers were done in the 80's and early 90's onto old 1" C format open reel tapes and used to duplicate onto the original VHS releases for Warner Home Video. These were done using pretty much the first print that came to hand - often an original (i.e. from the 40's/50's) In those days before HD, plasma, LCD, and indeed the infancy of surround "Dolby Digital" sound the transfers were adequate and served their purpose.

Many of the comedies 1" masters suffered heavy "rotation" at the duplication factory. It was general practice to review and to often commission a new transfer once the masters went above 50 rotations (each rotation meant loss of oxide on the tape and a weaker signal:noise ratio). However for most old films it was never considered value for money to strike a new duplication master.

When DVD came about it was decided again not to strike new masters for most of the films but to simply re-record the 1" onto Digibeta with no intermediary remastering. Sadly these releases are still using those old old transfers with all the inherent problems of the original film plain to see and hear. (the sound is probably the worst thing about all these releases)

What makes this particularly sad is that many of the films had brand new prints struck from the original negatives in the early 90's for a season at the Barbican. New transfers from these prints would have elicited a superb presentation.

wonderful films - awful discs. shame.
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on 16 June 2014
Here we have 16 great movies from the Ealing Studios, and as pointed out by other "reviewers", they are quite possibly the same old ones that are always trotted out. You'll probably have heard of them all...
If you just want a reasonable "snapshot" of Ealing films, then you might be happy with this quite nice collection, but if you are a little more discerning and want some of the many other brilliant movies they produced, you would do well to consider the separate volumes, each containing 4 films - all adding up to rather more than these 16, and far more satisfying to the soul.
And you don't have to buy them all at once, but if you do want them a little quicker, don't forget that birthdays, Christmas, father/mother days come round quite often and they are a very welcome present.
And you'll end up with well over 50!
Every one a priceless gem, in it's own way, and even if you've seen them all, just remember that there's always room for one more inside.
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on 23 June 2013
I have to say i can't agree with some of the reviews here. These films are excellent and many were made over half a century ago when technology is not what it is today. The presentation is not perfect but is certainly passable and is excellent value for money.

If buyers want perfect remastered films they had better be prepared to pay upwards of £15 a film as remastering costs are very high especially when units sales are so low on these old classics. Better some imperfections with these films than no release at all.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2007
Ealing made around a 100 films but the same 20 or so get continually trotted out in various repackaged box sets. As good as these films are what we want to see are all the other Ealing films on DVD , even if they are only limited runs. There are enough Ealing film fans Worldwide to justify their issue so what`s the problem ?
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on 7 October 2009
Overall, a great collection of the Ealing movies, let down a bit by the quality of some of the transfers to DVD.
No problems playing them though, which was good.

Overall, recommended.

The Definitive Ealing Studios Collection [DVD]
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on 30 May 2014
What can you say about Ealing? Nothing much as their reputation preceeds them. This is a wonderful collection of 16 films featuring the well known classics with Alec Guiness & Co. and a couple of not so well known ones such as the delightful comedy "The Maggie". This is well worth the asking price and a must for lovers of Ealing or classic British films.
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on 1 August 2011
Very very good english films of the '40 and '50, in all styles and genres, from family comedy to fantastic. Ealing was really The Studio in England during this two decades, and with this selection we have the proof. This box put together the four previous box-sets (then we have here 16 movies) at a very good price. We can just regret that there is no supplement (as the documentary includes in the French very smaller - only six films - edition) nor bonus; either no subtitle, even in english. But the image quality is great
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on 9 January 2015
Brilliant box set, bought to replace old "Ealing Greats" videos. Lots of old favourites like Whisky Galore, Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts & Coronets. Hubby has fallen in love with The Maggie which we had never seen before, love this set.
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on 24 February 2007
I am writing this as a review since it doesn't seem possible to write this as a product update. This is listed as 16 discs or 16 movies. But you have listed only 15. Please check the package carefully. I have a feeling that you have not listed "Hue and Cry".
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on 7 January 2016
if you have never ever seen a Ealing comedy here is more than a good reason to start and with 16 films some more known than others, but none the less are all unmissable and highly watchable, ranging from Kind hearts and coronets to It always rains on sundays, films for all the family to enjoy.
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