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  • The Matrix/Matrix Reloaded/Matrix Revolutions [Blu-ray] [1999] The Matrix/Matrix Reloaded/Matrix Revolutions | Blu Ray | (24/11/2008) from £10.39  |  Saving you £-0.40 (-4.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    The definite three disc Blu-ray set. The Complete Matrix Trilogy features all three films in the trilogy together for the first time ever in stunning high definition with a newly re-mastered picture and sound for The Matrix. Also included is the companion piece The Matrix Revisited two new audio commentaries on each film Enter the Matrix video game footage deep-delving featurettes/ documentaries and much more! The Matrix: Perception: The Everyday World is Real. Reality: That World is a hoax an elaborate deception spun by all-powerful machines of artificial intelligence that control us. Mind blowing stunts. Techno-slamming visuals. Megakick action. Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne lead the fight to free humankind in The Matrix the cyber thriller that you will watch again and again. Written and Directed by the Wachowski brothers (Bound) the story sears the special effects stake out new movie-making territory - the movie leaves you breathless. The Matrix Reloaded: Neo and the leaders of the human resistance discover that Sentinels are burrowing their way towards Zion. Estimating they have perhaps just 72 hours until an all-out assault Neo must return back into the Matrix and find the keymaker to gain access to the mainframe to ensure human survival... The Matrix Revolutions: In this final explosive third installment of the Matrix trilogy the city of Zion last bastion of the human race defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo attempts to fulfill his prophecy as 'The One'. As the Machine Army wages devastation on Zion its citizens mount an aggressive defense - but can they stave off the relentless swarm of Sentinels long enough for Neo adrift in a no man's land between the Matrix and the Machine world to harness the full extent of his powers and end the war?

  • Band Of Brothers [Blu-ray] Band Of Brothers | Blu Ray | (04/10/2010) from £13.99  |  Saving you £36.00 (72.00%)  |  RRP £49.99

    From this day to the ending of the world we in it shall be remembered. We few we happy few we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother. From Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg HBO presents the story of Easy Company - an elite team of U.S. paratroopers whose WWII exploits are as incredible as they are true. Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose the epic 10-part miniseries Band Of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company as well as soldiers' journals and letters Band Of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. They were an elite rifle company parachuting into France early on D-Day morning fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and capturing Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were also a unit that suffered vast casualties and whose lives became legend. They were ordinary men swept up in the most extraordinary conflict in history. With the eyes of the world upon them they found their greatest source of strength in one another.

  • Platoon [Blu-ray] Platoon | Blu Ray | (16/05/2011) from £9.15  |  Saving you £9.51 (47.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Winning a raft of awards, not least of which four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, Oliver Stone's Platoon was a box-office smash heralding Hollywood's second wave of Vietnam war films. Where predecessors The Deer Hunter (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979) were elaborate epics, Platoon simply showed the daily reality of the war from the point of view of ordinary soldiers. Stone's own service in Vietnam gives his work a unique authenticity. Charlie Sheen gives his best performance to date, enduring a series of increasingly large-scale and bloody battles which retrospectively make one wonder why Saving Private Ryan was hailed as so new. Against this gruelling verity the film falters over the symbolic conflict between good and evil sergeants played by Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger. Even though this was also based in real life, it strikes a too conventionally Hollywood-like note in a film which otherwise maintains much of the raw power of Stone's other film from 1986, Salvador. Johnny Depp fans should look out for an early appearance by the star. Stone would return to Vietnam with the more sophisticated Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993). On the DVD: The 50-minute documentary "Tour of the Inferno" goes beyond the usual "making-of" to present a personal account both of the film and of Stone's own time in Vietnam. Likewise the two audio commentaries--one by Stone, the other by Captain Dale Dye, fellow veteran and military technical advisor--range between the making of the film and the degree to which the actors came to inhabit their parts, to their own wartime experiences. Both commentaries bring a fresh level of appreciation and understanding to the film. Also included is the original trailer and three TV commercials, together with well-presented stills galleries of behind-the-scenes photos and poster art. Following a credit sequence marred by dirt on the print, the anamorphically enhanced 1.77:1 image is sharp and clear. The many night scenes are very dark but remain easily comprehensible. The three-channel Dolby Digital sound is suitably raw and powerful, though an early sequence featuring rain in the jungle suffers from very distracting repeated drop-outs in the left channel. --Gary S Dalkin

  • Doctor Who - The Complete Specials [Blu-ray] Doctor Who - The Complete Specials | Blu Ray | (11/01/2010) from £12.99  |  Saving you £13.00 (50.00%)  |  RRP £25.99

    Includes all the Doctor Who Specials from 2009! Episodes Comprise: The Next Doctor: It's Christmas Eve in 1851 in The Next Doctor and Cybermen stalk the snow of Victorian London. When the Doctor arrives and starts to investigate a spate of mysterious deaths he's surprised to meet another Doctor (David Morrissey) and soon the two must combine forces to defeat the ruthless Miss Hartigan (Dervla Kirwan). But are two Doctors enough to stop the rise of the CyberKing? Planet of the Dead: Starring Michelle Ryan and Lee Evans Planet Of The Dead was the first of this year's specials. When a London bus takes a detour to an alien world the Doctor must join forces with the extraordinary Lady Christina. But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets hidden in the sand. And time is running out as the deadly Swarm gets closer... The Waters of Mars: The Waters of Mars welcomes Lindsay Duncan as the Doctor's cleverest and most strong-minded companion. The Waters of Mars is a dark scary thriller that sees the Doctor land on the planet Mars at a base in peril. A creeping infection beneath the Martian surface threatens not only the human race but also the Doctor's most fundamental beliefs. Together with Adelaide Brooke - the base's commander - the Doctor must stop a seemingly unstoppable menace before it can reach Earth and wipe out mankind. The End of Time: Part One: Join the Tenth Doctor for his final journey in The End of Time Parts One and Two when his psychotic nemesis the Master has been reborn on Christmas Eve. With both determined to cheat death the battle ranges from the wastelands of London to the mysterious Immortality Gate while the alien Ood warn of an even greater danger approaching as a terrible shadow falls across the entire Universe. The End of Time: Part Two: The Doctor faces the end of his life as the Master's plans hurtle out of control. With the sound of drums growing louder and an ancient trap closing around the Earth the Doctor and Wilf must fight alone. But sacrifices must be made and the deadly prophecy warns: He will knock four times.

  • Ice Cold In Alex [Blu-ray] [1958] Ice Cold In Alex | Blu Ray | (13/06/2011) from £11.99  |  Saving you £8.00 (40.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The title Ice Cold in Alex refers to the beer the heroes of this 1958 British World War Two classic plan to drink in Alexandria, once they have escaped from the Germans, negotiated minefields and survived both mechanical failure and the killing heat of the North African sands. The setting is Libya in 1942, at the height of the campaigns featured in The Desert Fox (1951) and The Desert Rats (1953), and a disparate group in a military ambulance--which include a Nazi agent to add tension of one kind and a beautiful nurse to add tension of another--must make an epic journey to safety. Staring John Mills, Sylvia Sims, Anthony Quayle and Harry Andrews the terror and poignancy comes from our certainty that not everyone will survive, such that the suspense sometimes reaches near unbearable levels. Director J Lee-Thomson was clearly inspired by the then recent French masterpiece, The Wages of Fear (1952) and handles both the character drama and set-pieces with great skill. He would go on to make another great war adventure, The Guns of Navarone (1961), also starring Anthony Quayle, who then returned to the desert for the ultimate British war classic, Lawrence of Arabia (1962). --Gary S. Dalkin

  • Wings Of Desire [Blu-ray] [1987] Wings Of Desire | Blu Ray | (22/02/2010) from £12.11  |  Saving you £7.88 (39.40%)  |  RRP £19.99

    An angel in Berlin decides to become human after falling in love with a mortal. One of Wim Wenders' biggest commercial successes and arguably his most accessible film to date Wings of Desire (aka: Der Himmel uber Berlin) centres around two trench-coated angels Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander) wandering the streets of post-war pre-unification Berlin. Invisible to humans they listen to the tortured thoughts of the mortals occasionally dispensing heavenly solace to those in need. An encounter with a beautiful circus trapeze artist Marion (Solveig Dommartin) sees Damiel falling in love and longing to give up his immortal state in order to experience the simple joys of human experience. Damiel is assisted in his transformation by an American actor (Peter Falk) filming on location in the city himself a former angel who has traded in his wings for a mortal existence. Scripted by Wenders and respected German playwright and novelist Peter Handke the film is impeccably shot by legendary cinematographer Henri Alekan (Jean Cocteau's cameraman on La belle et la bete) blossoming from the monochrome perspective of the angels to colour following Damiel's eventual transmutation. As ever with Wenders music plays an important part and the film features rare on-screen performances by the bands Crime And The City Solution and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. Multi-award winning (including the Best Director prize at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival) and hugely acclaimed Wings Of Desire is a delightfully poetic celebration of the human condition. It famously inspired Brad Silberling's 1998 hit film City of Angels starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. In 1993 Wenders reunited with Ganz Sander Dommartin and Falk along with Nastassja Kinski and Willem Dafoe for a sequel Faraway So Close!.

  • Tora! Tora! Tora! [Blu-ray] [1970] Tora! Tora! Tora! | Blu Ray | (07/06/2010) from £10.48  |  Saving you £9.51 (47.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Here is just one of the many mishaps chronicled in Tora! Tora! Tora!: "Sir, there's a large formation of planes coming in from the north, 140 miles, 3 degrees east." "Yeah? Don't worry about it." The epic film shows the bombing of Pearl Harbour from both sides in the historic first American-Japanese coproduction: American director Richard Fleischer oversaw the complicated production (the Japanese sequences were directed by Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, after Akira Kurosawa withdrew from the film), wrestling a sprawling story with dozens of characters into a manageable, fairly easy-to-follow film. The first half maps out the collapse of diplomacy between the nations and the military blunders that left naval and air forces sitting ducks for the impending attack, while the second half is an amazing re-creation of the devastating battle. While Tora! Tora! Tora! lacks the strong central characters that anchor the best war films, the real star of the film is the climactic 30-minute battle, a massive feat of cinematic engineering that expertly conveys the surprise, the chaos and the immense destruction of the only attack by a foreign power on American soil since the Revolutionary war. The special effects won a well-deserved Oscar, but the film was shut out of every other category by, ironically, the other epic war picture of the year, Patton. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com

  • Cross Of Iron [Blu-ray] [1977] Cross Of Iron | Blu Ray | (13/06/2011) from £11.48  |  Saving you £11.51 (50.10%)  |  RRP £22.99

    In Cross of Iron Sam Peckinpah weighs in on World War II from the German point of view. The result is as bleak, if not quite as bloody, as one expects from the director of The Wild Bunch, in part because this 1977 film was cut to ribbons by nervous studio executives. The assorted excerpts that remain don't constitute an exhilarating or even an especially thrilling battle epic. The war is grinding to a close, and veterans like James Coburn's Steiner are grimly aware that it's a lost cause. The battlefield is a death trap of sucking mud and barbed wire, and the German generals (viz., the martinet played by James Mason) seem to pose a bigger threat to the life and limbs of Steiner's men than the inexorable enemy. Not even Peckinpah's famous sensuous exuberance when shooting violence is much in evidence; the picture is a depressive, claustrophobically overcast experience. The bloody high (or low) point isn't a shooting; it's a wince-inducing de-penis-tration during oral sex. For a fun time with the men in (Nazi) uniform, try Das Boot instead. --David Chute, Amazon.com

  • King Lear (Blu Ray) [2008] [Blu-ray] King Lear (Blu Ray) | Blu Ray | (26/12/2008) from £16.95  |  Saving you £3.04 (15.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The Royal Shakespeare Company bring their adaptation of this lavish tale the stage with a multi-talented cast.

  • The Cruel Sea [Blu-ray] [1953] The Cruel Sea | Blu Ray | (13/06/2011) from £11.48  |  Saving you £8.51 (42.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Nicholas Monsarrat's novel is an unflinching, realistic and emotionally involving account of naval life during the Second World War in which the "heroes" are the men, the "heroines" the ships and the "villain" is not so much the German U-Boats lurking below as "the cruel sea" itself. This 1953 film has become a classic of British cinema largely because it is a straightforward, no-frills adaptation of the book and retain's much of the original's compelling yet almost understated dramatic focus. On convoy duty in the North Atlantic, the crew of HMS Compass Rose face as a matter of routine the threat of destruction from U-Boats as well as a constant struggle against the elements. The convoys themselves are Britain's only lifeline and their loss would lead to certain defeat, but in the early years of the war the ships sent to protect them can do almost nothing to prevent the U-Boat attacks. Jack Hawkins gives one of his finest performances as Captain Ericson, the commander who has to balance destroying the enemy against saving the lives of the men under his care. In one unforgettable scene--a crucial turning point for all the characters--he must decide whether to depth charge a suspected submarine despite the presence of British sailors in the water. As with the book, the individual officers and their lives are carefully delineated, helped by the strength of a cast of (then) young actors (notably Donald Sinden and Denholm Elliot). Ultimately what makes The Cruel Sea such an undeniable classic is that it has neither the flag-waving jingoism nor the war-is-hell melodrama so common to most war movies: instead it relates in an almost matter-of-fact way the bitterness of the conflict at sea fought by ordinary men placed in the most extraordinary of circumstances. --Mark Walker

  • M. Night Shyamalan - Collection [Blu-ray] M. Night Shyamalan - Collection | Blu Ray | (03/11/2008) from £10.99  |  Saving you £47.00 (81.00%)  |  RRP £57.99

    Set Comprises: Signs (2002): The Hess family in Bucks County Pennsylvania wake up one morning to find a 500 foot crop circle in their backyard. Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his family are told extra-terrestrials are responsible for the sign in their field. They watch with growing dread at the news of crop circles being found all over the world. Signs is the emotional story of one family on one farm as they encounter the terrifying last moments of life as the world is being invaded. Get ready for a close encounter of the scared kind... The Sixth Sense (1999): After the assault and suicide of one of his ex-patients award-winning child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is left determined to help a young boy named Cole who suffers from the same diagnosis as the ex-patient - they both see dead people. Malcolm cannot rest until he makes amends for his feelings of failure created by the mental breakdown of the first patient. Cole is a young boy who is paralyzed by fear from his visions of dead people. His mother is at her wits end trying to cope with Cole's eccentricities. With the help of Dr. Crowe Cole goes on a journey of self as he learns to overcome his fears all the while discovering the purpose of his gift. Unbreakable (2001): Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson star in a mind-shattering suspense-filled thriller that stays with you long after the end of this riveting supernatural film. When David Dunn (Willis) emerges from a horrific train crash as the sole survivor - and without a single scratch on him - he meets a mysterious stranger (Jackson) who will change David's life forever. Interrupting his life at odd moments it's Elijah Price's presence and probing that force David to confront his destiny on a journey of self-discovery and purpose that will absolutely stun you with its power.

  • Iron Man (Blu-ray) Iron Man (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (27/10/2008) from £14.05  |  Saving you £15.94 (53.20%)  |  RRP £29.99

    This Year: Heroes Aren't Born They're Built. Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series and featuring an all star cast including Robert Downey Jr Terrence Howard Gweneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges Iron Man is winging his way to you! Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) the enigmatic heir to the Stark Enterprises fortune. A driven inventor and executive who seems to have it all Tony is haunted by his dark side. Though he commands his empire by day by night he secretly becomes Iron Man the living embodiment of decades of defence spending and innovation. Strapping on billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art armor and weaponry each night to fight crime terrorism and corporate espionage Tony begins to crack under the strain of his fractured lifestyle and must ultimately confront the one enemy he can never beat - himself.

  • Belle De Jour [Blu-ray] [1967] Belle De Jour | Blu Ray | (28/09/2009) from £13.91  |  Saving you £11.08 (44.30%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Undoubtedly Luis Bunuel's most accessible film Belle de Jour is an elegant and erotic masterpiece that maintains as hypnotic a grip on modern audiences as it did on its debut 30 years ago. Screen icon Catherine Deneuve (Repulsion) plays Severine the glacially beautiful sexually unfulfilled wife of a surgeon whose blood runs icy with ennui until she takes a day-job in a brothel. There she meets a charismatic but sinister young gangster (Pierre Cl''menti) and ignites an obsession that will court peril.

  • Subway [Blu-ray] [1985] Subway | Blu Ray | (14/09/2009) from £10.00  |  Saving you £14.99 (60.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Besson's second feature after Le Dernier Combat Subway is a stylish urban odyssey which helped to consolidate Besson's growing reputation for unique visually creative output. Fred (Christopher Lambert) a charismatic safe blower realises he is in love with rich society girl H''l''na (Isabelle Adjani) when he is in the midst of trying to blackmail her. To complicate matters he is also on the run from both gangsters and the police and is forced to take refuge in the tunnels of the Paris metro. Here in the brutal and surreal world beneath the city a strange collection of petty criminals and people with a reason to hide exist. Gradually Fred's life begins to interweave with theirs as rediscovering forgotten dreams he decides to form a band. However Fred cannot forget H''l''na and he becomes determined both to win her love and drive his band to success - with the police and gangsters all the while in hot pursuit.

  • Fires on the Plain (Dual Format DVD/Bluray) [Blu-ray] Fires on the Plain (Dual Format DVD/Bluray) | Blu Ray | (11/09/2017) from £14.79  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    In the final stages of WWII, the occupying Japanese army in the Philippines is rapidly losing ground, facing local resistance combined with an American offensive. The final few Japanese survivors, having almost been wiped out, have crossed the threshold into a realm where there are no friends, no enemies and no God. Special Features: Dual format DVD & BLURAY 1 hour extensive making of New audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto First 1000 copies come with LIMITED EDITION slipcase

  • The Saga of Anatahan (1953) (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition The Saga of Anatahan (1953) (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition | Blu Ray | (14/08/2017) from £12.89  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Josef von Sternberg the innovative director with an unmatched eye for detail and a reputation for his intensity brings to life this vulnerable tale of human trauma, survival and redemption. Set during the dying stages of World War II, The Saga of Anatahan tells the story of twelve Japanese seaman stranded on a forgotten island for seven years. Accompanied only by Keiko (Akemi Negishi), a young Japanese woman, all rationality and discipline are soon overcome by a struggle for power and control over Keiko s affections. Narrated by Sternberg himself, the director positions himself as the story s unconscious viewpoint amidst his other trademark qualities: lush mise-en-scene, theatrical lighting and bleak yet poignant storytelling. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film on Blu-Ray for the first time in the UK in a special Dual Format edition. DUAL FORMAT SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: 1080p presentation from a new 2K restoration of the uncensored 1958 version of the film Uncompressed PCM soundtrack (on the Blu-ray) Optional English subtitles The complete 1953 version of the film (Blu-ray only) A new interview with Asian film expert Tony Rayns Whose Saga? - A visual essay by critic Tag Gallagher Saga: The Making of Anatahan An interview with Nicolas von Sternberg U.S. Navy footage of the actual survivors of Anatahan, immediately after their surrender Unused footage originally filmed specially for the 1958 version of the film Original theatrical trailer PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp, alongside rare archival imagery

  • Last Year In Marienbad [Blu-ray] [1961] Last Year In Marienbad | Blu Ray | (28/09/2009) from £15.00  |  Saving you £9.99 (40.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Considered by many to be Renais' magnum opus L'Ann''e Derni''re '' Marienbad is a work of fantasy and experiment in line with the French New Wave films of the 50's and 60's. Renais and co-writer Alain Robbe-Grillet seem less concerned with the conventional use of character and more interested in the intellectual preoccupations of man. The film consists of a series of memories from a man holidaying at an enchanting European hotel. When a woman seems not to recognize him he reveals that they had spent some time together the year before and that now he has come for her. However the presence of another man in the hotel complicates matters...

  • Casino [Blu-ray] [1995] Casino | Blu Ray | (24/11/2008) from £4.39  |  Saving you £9.87 (49.40%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Director Martin Scorsese reunites with members of his GoodFellas gang (writer Nicholas Pileggi; actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Frank Vincent) for a three-hour epic about the rise and fall of mobster Sam "Ace" Rothstein (De Niro), a character based on real-life gangster Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. (It's modeled after on Wiseguy and GoodFellas and Pileggi's true crime book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas.) Through Rothstein, the picture tells the story of how the Mafia seized, and finally lost control of, Las Vegas gambling. The first hour plays like a fascinating documentary, intricately detailing the inner workings of Vegas casinos. Sharon Stone is the stand out among the actors; she nabbed an Oscar nomination for her role as the voracious Ginger, the glitzy call girl who becomes Rothstein's wife. The film is not as fast paced or gripping as Scorsese's earlier gangster pictures (Mean Streets and GoodFellas), but it's still absorbing. And, hey--it's Scorsese! --Jim Emerson

  • The Battle of Algiers [Blu-ray] The Battle of Algiers | Blu Ray | (09/07/2012) from £9.99  |  Saving you £9.00 (40.90%)  |  RRP £21.99

    Director Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 movie The Battle of Algiers concerns the violent struggle in the late 1950s for Algerian independence from France, where the film was banned on its release for fear of creating civil disturbances. Certainly, the heady, insurrectionary mood of the film, enhanced by a relentlessly pulsating Ennio Morricone soundtrack, makes for an emotionally high temperature throughout. With the advent of the "war against terror" in recent years, the film's relevance has only intensified. Shot in a gripping, quasi-documentary style, The Battle of Algiers uses a cast of untrained actors coupled with a stern voiceover. Initially, the film focuses on the conversion of young hoodlum Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag) to FLN (the Algerian Liberation Front.) However, as a sequence of outrages and violent counter-terrorist measures ensue, it becomes clear that, as in Eisenstein's October, it is the Revolution itself that is the true star of the film. Pontecorvo balances cinematic tension with grimly acute political insight. He also manages an even-handedness in depicting the adversaries. He doesn't flinch from demonstrating the civilian consequences of the FLN's bombings, while Colonel Mathieu, the French office brought in to quell the nationalists, is played by Jean Martin as determined, shrewd and, in his own way, honourable man. However, the closing scenes of the movie--a welter of smoke, teeming street demonstrations and the pealing white noise of ululations--leaves the viewer both intellectually and emotionally convinced of the rightfulness of the liberation struggle. This is surely among a fistful of the finest movies ever made. --David Stubbs

  • The Bridge On The River Kwai [Blu-ray] [Region A & B & C] The Bridge On The River Kwai | Blu Ray | (04/12/2017) from £18.98  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Based on the true story of the building of a bridge on the Burma railway by British prisoners-of-war held under a savage Japanese regime in World War II, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of the greatest war films ever made. The film received seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Performance (Alex Guinness), for Sir Malcolm Arnold's superb music, and for the screenplay from the novel by Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Monkey Planet, the inspiration for Planet of the Apes). The story does take considerable liberties with history, including the addition of an American saboteur played by William Holden, and an entirely fictitious but superbly constructed and thrilling finale. Made on a vast scale, the film reinvented the war movie as something truly epic, establishing the cinematic beachhead for The Longest Day (1962), Patton (1970) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). It also proved a turning-point in director David Lean's career. Before he made such classic but conventionally scaled films as In Which We Serve (1942) and Hobson's Choice (1953). Afterwards there would only be four more films, but their names are Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984). On the DVD: Too often the best extras come attached to films that don't really warrant them. Not so here, where a truly great film has been given the attention it deserves. The first disc presents the film in the original extra-wide CinemaScope ratio of 2.55:1, in an anamorphically enhanced transfer which does maximum justice to the film's superb cinematography. The sound has been transferred from the original six-track magnetic elements into 5.1 Dolby Digital and far surpasses what many would expect from a 1950s' feature. The main bonus on the first disc is an isolated presentation of Malcolm Arnold's great Oscar-winning music score, in addition to which there is a trivia game, and maps and historical information linked to appropriate clips. The second disc contains a new, specially produced 53-minute "making of" documentary featuring many of those involved in the production of the movie. This gives a rich insight into the physical problems of making such a complex epic on location in Ceylon. Also included are the original trailer and two short promotional films from the time of release, one of which is narrated by star William Holden. Finally there is an "appreciation" by director John Milius, an extensive archive of movie posters and artwork, and a booklet that reproduces the text of the film's original 1957 brochure. --Gary S Dalkin

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