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It Always Rains on Sunday [UK] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English HOH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: PG
  • Run Time: 87 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: StudioCanal
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 12, 2012
  • RRP: £19.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

For most familiar with the name Ealing Studios and the dark comedies they are famous for, it may seem strange to come across the little known drama It Always Rains on Sunday and find that it comes from the same studio. Before Ealing became synonymous with that brand of filmmaking, they set out on this post-war genre of British cinema that turned its back on the grand, Upper Class tales for more realism involving the nation’s working class peoples. It would set the stage for what would become the British New Wave, even if by today’s standards, or by the standards of a decade on (this film was released in 1947) it would seem somewhat removed from the reality it was trying to portray. Nevertheless, It Always Rains on Sunday, set on one particularly dreary, rainy Sunday in Bethnal Green, was a tightly-woven slice-of-life drama centered around the working class folks. Their lives disrupted by one Tommy Swann (John McCallum), an escaped prisoner, who returns seeking aid from his former girlfriend Rose (Googie Withers), who is now unhappily married to a dullard named George Sandigate (Edward Chapman). As Rose tries to hide Swann and help him escape the law, it sets off a series of troubles between her and her husband. The screenplay from Angus MacPhail, Robert Hamer, and Henry Cornelius based on the Arthur La Bern novel artfully weaves to together the colorful stories of the lives of the people around Tommy and Rose, each one with their own peccadilloes, hopes, and problems. If there are any major flaws with It Always Rains on Sunday, it is that the film portrays the working class as all downtrodden or even morally ambiguous – they seem to all be adulterers, criminals, or hucksters of some form or another. It’s as if the virtues were all reserved for those films about the upper class that were abandoned after the war.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

StudioCanal’s release of It Always Rains on Sunday was remastered by the BFI. It has a natural, film-like appearance and hasn’t had an overabundance of DNR or HD-DVNR applied to it in anyway. There is still apparent source damage and it can look inconsistent, but given its age and the amount of scenes that look strong, I’d say this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement presents a generally strong even if not perfect presentation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Audio is a LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit) track that is limited by the original source more than the transfer to disc. It is boxy and a bit scratchy at times. Anomalies have been limited as much as they could be without hindering the sound in an unnatural way.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Two HD featurettes (in the Region B frame rate of 50Fps) are presented on disc. The first offers filmmakers and experts alike discussing the influence of the film and Ealing. The second is a look at the various locations featured in the film. Additionally production stills and the trailer are included.

The supplements:

  • Coming in From the Rain: Revisiting It Always Rains on Sunday (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:16:36) – Filmmakers and experts discuss the importance of It Always Rains on Sundays.
  • Locations Featurette with Richard Dacre (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:06:23)
  • Stills Gallery (1080i/50)
  • Trailer (1.37:1; SD/PAL)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A quaint redirection of British cinema in post-war times, It Always Rains on Sunday is artfully crafted, filled with strong performances, and enjoy to watch even if it does feel a little off target today. Thankfully the BFI and StudioCanal have given the film a strong Blu-ray release worthy of a spot in any cinephile’s collection.

Additional Screen Captures

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[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0091R42L6[/amazon-product]

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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