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  1. #1
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    Anyone who hasn’t yet bought the Carlton DVD of Whistle Down the Wind (1961), don’t waste your money. I’ve just run a copy of it and it has a most annoying fault throughout in the form of a jerking movement on the picture that can be seen during any horizontal movement in the image. It’s as though every 24th frame of the film has been printed twice onto the DVD and it is very noticeable. Apparently, according to a DVD review I read on the Internet, this fault also affects Carlton’s DVD release of Tiger Bay (1959).



    This is very regrettable, as the print used for the Whistle Down the Wind transfer is immaculate and has never been a cinema exhibition print as there are no cue marks on the end of the reels. The previous Cinema Club video had vertical shake on the image, probably caused by either incorrect tension in the gate of the telecine machine used for that particular transfer, or sprocket teeth covered with dirt and film emulsion, while the BBC2 transmission, although far superior in image quality than the sell-through video, was ruined by a continuity announcer rabbiting on about nothing in particular over the top of Malcolm Arnold’s haunting end cast music, completely ruining the effect the film had built up. So when are we going to get a fault free transfer of this film on home video or DVD?



    The one good reason for buying Carlton’s DVD of Whistle Down the Wind, is that it includes the original 3 minutes and 20 seconds trailer from 1961, which has never previously been made available to home viewers. Happily, the jerking movement doesn’t affect the image on that.



    [ 25. June 2004, 22:07: Message edited by: DB7 ]

  2. #2
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    Hi David,



    Just read your post and wanted to comment. You must be so annoyed about this - i certainly would be. This is one of my very favourite films and i think it is the only thing i can watch repeatedly and want to blubber through...it's so beautiful and emotional - i really don't cry at anything else and i can't say what it is about this film that gets me so much but i well up (and cry) every time. Anyway sorry about the DVD - i'll just keep watching my video of it!.



    Kind Regards

  3. #3
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    Maybe, Jane, it's Sir Malcolm Arnold's wistful score that affects you, or the fact that in 1961, the children in the film were living in a very different and seemingly far more innocent world than they would be today. A world where they would believe in Jesus without question...something that most likely wouldn't apply to most of today's streetwise youngsters.



    Anyway, carry on enjoying the film. Sometimes, we humans need a good cry now and again.

  4. #4
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    David,is it really that bad?Iwas just thinking about getting this dvd,would it be so noticeable to someone who focuses so much on the film that they don't notice the reel change markers sometimes,is it definatly a print issue and not an individual disc prob?

    cheers Ollie.

  5. #5
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    Well, Ollie, as I said previously, the 35mm print from which the DVD was made is pristine. It has no que marks on the end of the reels, so it can't have been used as an exhibition print in a cinema. However, the jerking movement, obviously caused by a technical fault during the DVD transfer, is very noticeable during any parts where the actors move across the image or the camera pans to and fro, and is annoying to me at least. However, if you can put up with this fault, you'll otherwise enjoy the DVD. The image is slightly sharper than on the VHS video release and is basically steadier, except for the unwanted judder during any horizontal movement.

  6. #6
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    Thanks david,maybe i'll give it a go, if it's too anoying i'll just return it.

    cheers Ollie.

  7. #7
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    You don't mention Hayley Mills' audio commentary, which I would think would be a major incentive to potential buyers...care to comment on it?



    You might want to alert Carlton to the problem, and then maybe they'll correct it.



    I don't know how big the audience for the film would be in the US, but Mills certainly has a following there, so perhaps a R1 release isn't out-of-the-question.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for reminding me, helldriver…I had forgotten about the Hayley Mills interview on the disc, so I ran it in it’s entirety this morning. Very interesting it was, too. Oddly enough, the jerkiness is not as prominent and more spasmodic when the version with the commentary is playing, although there is some strange picture disturbance during the last twenty minutes or so, where the picture breaks up into broad horizontal lines.



    She was so right about how things have changed in the 43 years since the film was made…especially with regards to children’s clothing. No unisex shell suits or sneakers or baseball caps in those days…and also that children back then would go out to play on their own, while today, you never see an unchaperoned child. They are always with someone these days. In actual fact, children are in no more danger of abduction now than they were back then, but in recent years, the mass media have brainwashed most parents into believing that there is a child abductor on every street corner in the country, just waiting to pounce…which is, of course, absolute nonsense. You’ve got more chance of winning the jackpot on the national lottery or of being struck by lightning than you have of having your child abducted by a total stranger when they’re out by themselves.



    Children in 1961 used to play out and roam all over the place and Whistle Down the Wind superbly reflects that very different time in which it was filmed. A world where they would believe in Jesus without question...something that most likely wouldn't apply to most of today's streetwise youngsters. Today, most children spend a lot of time indoors, not allowed to go out and sitting in front of a computer and, unlike their 1961 counterparts, they don’t know how to go out and play. Which is very sad.



    I don’t know how this film went down with the Americans, as it is so very north-western English in its tone and setting and dialogue and I suppose most Americans would find it difficult to understand the Lancashire dialect spoken in it. But Hayley Mills is a big star and they would probably buy it just for her being in it and run the film with the subtitles on. It would be interesting to hear from an American member of this forum on just what they think of this film.



    I was also very pleased that Hayley acknowledged Malcolm Arnold’s superb score for the film (now Sir Malcolm, of course and deservedly so). In my book, he never wrote a bad score for a film and Whistle Down the Wind is one of his very best.



    One last point. She said she still gets many letters from fans, but how do they know where to send them? I’m a fan and, being the same age as Hayley, fell in love with her when I first saw her in Tiger Bay, when I was 12. But I certainly wouldn’t know where to write to her.



    Still, even taking into account the intermittent picture disturbance on the transfer, this DVD is definitely worth buying for the Hayley Mills interview and for the trailer.



    [ 06. July 2004, 08:43: Message edited by: DAVID RAYNER ]

  9. #9
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>DAVID RAYNER:

    Thanks for reminding me, helldriver…I had forgotten about the Hayley Mills interview on the disc, so I ran it in it’s entirety this morning. Very interesting it was, too. Oddly enough, the jerkiness is not as prominent and more spasmodic when the version with the commentary is playing, although there is some strange picture disturbance during the last twenty minutes or so, where the picture breaks up into broad horizontal lines. [/b]
    This would seem to indicate either your disc is faulty (you might want to try exchanging it), there is some kind of disc/player incompatibility (can you try it on another machine), or the pressing is faulty, rather than it being a problematic transfer which wouldn't result in the problem being less prominent when viewed with a different audio track nor lead to the picture break-up you mention.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    </div><div class='quotemain'>DAVID RAYNER:

    A world where they would believe in Jesus without question...something that most likely wouldn't apply to most of today's streetwise youngsters.[/b]
    I've not seen it, but there's a film on tv this week called The Darkest Light which apparently owes a lot to WDTW.

  11. #11
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    I have just bought the Carlton special edition of Whistle Down the Wind',and it plays perfectly.I reckon you maybe received a faulty disc,and should see about getting it exchanged.

  12. #12
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    It's okay, Rich. I really only bought it for the trailer and that plays alright. I've got the film on video and it may well be that the video will outlast the DVD, many of which will become unplayable in a few years time. I don't really see any future for DVD's at all, until they change the method of manufacture to stop DVD rot from eventually setting in.



    I think that to be on the safe side, if there's anything you want on a DVD that you wish to preserve, copy it to video while the DVD disc is new and plays alright. That's what I'm going to do with these expensive and potentially short-lived items.

  13. #13
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    I have just listened to Hayley Mills' commentary on the Carlton release of 'Whistle Down The Wind',and have to admit to being disappointed in it,as there are many mistakes.I know it is 43 years since Hayley made the film ,but surely some sort of research could have been done beforehand.

    The worst 3 are-1)At the beginning of the film the kids are in Downham village,but Hayley says it is Clitheroe,which is about 5 miles away.Anyone looking for the location would not find it by going to Clitheroe.

    2)Hayley states that Alan Barnes has started acting again,and that he plays a film director in 'Love Actually.This is another actor with the same name,and the imdb has now corrected this error.Diane Holgate who i met recently confirmed it is not him,as Alan Barnes will not even turn up for reunions of'Whistle'as he shuns any kind of spotlight and interviews,and he still runs his joinery business in Lancashire.

    3)Hayley says that 2 kids in the final crowd scene are Bryan Forbes 2 daughters Sarah,and Emma.Well Emma wasn't born until 1965 so it isn't her but in fact Richard Attenborough's daughter with Sarah.

    Ok maybe i am being picky but as it is my favourite British film,and know a lot about it since my meeting with some cast members,it annoys me when mistakes like this are made.

    I think Hayley is great and don't mean to pick on her,but the guy who interviews her should have done some research to freshen her mind.

  14. #14
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    Yes, Rich, I noticed that about Clitheroe, too. I didn't know the exact location, but I knew it wasn't Clitheroe, so thanks for letting us know about it. It's important that these things should be accurate, because people in years to come will listen to the details in the commentary on DVD's such as this and wrongly treat the details as correct.



    As for Hayley's interviewer, he sounded as though he was too young to have been around in 1961, but as you point out, he could have done some research before the interview and rehearsed with Hayley before the recording was made.

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