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That Kind of Girl [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Classification: 12
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: BFI Video
  • Release Date: January 25, 2010
  • List Price: £23.99[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B002XOL64U[/amazon-product]
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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

More Screen Captures (19 Total)

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

The BFI returns with another release in their Flipside series of unusual and usually forgotten films from the vaults with this low budget 1963 morality play that served as the directorial debut for filmmaker Gerry O’Hara.

That Kind of Girl captures the wave of social change that swept across Western society throughout the 1960s, from the sexual revolution to anti-war protests. The unrest of the college-educated middle class trying to desperately to break away from the cultural shackles of their parents’ 1950s is put on display, but not without a lot of moralizing about the perils of promiscuity to help assuage the fears of an older generation still casting a wary eye on the behavior of the “wayward” young.

Austrian au pair Eva (Margaret Rose Keil) moves to London and becomes entwined in a sexually charged whirlwind of college campus protests, violence, and beatnik jazz. Eva gets on with the anti-war protester Max (Frank Jarvis) who is immediately taken with the sultry blonde continental beauty, but she rebuffs his advances and dislikes the anti-nuclear proliferation protests. Instead, she takes up with the sports car driving Keith (David Weston), who’s hot to make his moves on her having frustrations of his own with his girlfriend Janet (Linda Marlowe) who’s a nice girl who won’t have sex and whose father won’t even allow marriage until Keith is out of college. Eva has no problem giving in to Keith’s desires having already been corrupted by an older man, Elliot (Peter Burton), who begins to jealously stalk Eva once he sees her with Keith. It’s all too late for Keith and Janet when they finally succumb to their desire, however, when Eva realizes Elliot has given her syphilis, which she manages to spread to all the men she has been involved with and Keith must confess to Janet that he has been with Eva and has now given her syphilis.

The film takes on a decidedly preachy, look down the nose tone from that point on. Moving from a fast-paced, nearly plot-free slice of early-60s college life to a doom and gloom of the perils of “permissive behavior” the way only the Brits can, That Kind of Girl is far less a true fictional account of life from the era than it is a thinly veiled public service announcement. It certainly falters in comparison to O’Hara’s later slice of life works like All the Right Noises, which merely presented issues without the moralizing. That Kind of Girl still has its moments of enjoyability and helped lead the way for some more groundbreaking works to come in the decade and beyond.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

That Kind of Girl was transferred to high definition from the original 35mm combined finegrain held at the BFI National Archive. The picture was restored using HD-DVNR, MTI, and Phoenix restoration systems removing dirt, scratches, warps, replacing damaged or missing frames and improving stability issues. There are occasional tramline scratches in the film that have been improved as much as possible.

The film appears on this Blu-ray release in a 1.33:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer. The original black and white imagery looks sharp, full of natural, complex and stable grain with deep blacks and strong white levels that do not bloom or clip. Some unavoidable source damage issues only occasionally mar the presentation, but compression artifacts are non-existent and post-processing artifacts are not present. The video quality maintains a consistently strong film-like appearance throughout. This is another solid effort from the BFI.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Audio issues such as pop, hiss and crackle were improved for That Kind of Girl, but some minor issues with loose synch inherent to the production still remain. That Kind of Girl is provided with a LPCM 2.0 mono (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack on this Blu-ray. Dialogue is reasonably intelligible, but sibilant distortions are a concern. Voices sound a bit thin and dynamic range is somewhat limited, but that is to be expected from such a low budget film from this period.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

To support the main feature The BFI have rounded up some short films from around that era that explore the themes presented in That Kind of Girl, be they sexually transmitted diseases or nuclear disarmament protests.

  • The People at No. 19 (1949) (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 0:18.14) — This short film was meant to drive home the message to unmarried women that premarital sex was dangerous and it once again brings up the topic of syphilis in post-war Britain using an over-dramatized fictional scenario.
  • No Place to Hide (1959) (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 0:09.20) — A documentary film bur director Derek Knight about the nuclear disarmament campaign.
  • A Sunday in September (1961) (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 0:28.00) — Easter Sunday disarmament protests in England are documented in this short documentary film.
  • Robert Hartford-Davis Interview (1968) (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 0:14.00)
  • Extensive illustrated booklet featuring essays from novelist Cathi Unsworth, director Gerry O’Hara, production stills, and detailed information on the high definition transfer of the film.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Glimpses of truth and fun wrapped up preachiness make for an odd mix in Gerry O’Hara’s That Kind of Girl, but its breezy 75-minute pace and excellent transfer from the BFI render it rather enjoyable nonetheless. Recommended.

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