Glorious 39

Featured In Issue 155, March 2011

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Entertainment One
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Some violent images, language and brief sexuality/nudity
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Stephen Poliakoff
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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On the eve of World War II, as the formidable Keyes family tries to uphold their traditional British way of life, eldest daughter Anne (Garai) sees her life dramatically unravel when she stumbles upon sinister, secret recordings of a pro-Hitler appeasement movement in Glorious 39. Anne Keyes is an attractive young woman who is enjoying modest success as a film actress; she's also the adopted daughter of Alexander Keyes (Nighy), a career politician and Member of Parliament. Anne still lives in the family home with her father, mother Maud (Agutter), budding diplomat brother Ralph (Redmayne), and socialite sister Celia (Temple). One night, Hector (Tennant), one of Alexander's friends, stops by for dinner and during a heated conversation makes no secret of his disapproval of prime minister Neville Chamberlain and his efforts to appease Hitler's Nazi regime. Later that evening, Hector is found dead of an apparent suicide. Anne, however, begins to suspect foul play when she finds a set of phonograph records that document conversations of men discussing state intelligence secrets. When Anne tries to share this discovery with others, they're soon found dead as well. (Gary Reber)

Special features include interviews with the cast (SD 54:56), behind-the-scenes footage (SD 06:41), and the theatrical trailer.

The 2.35:1 1080p AVC picture is gloriously natural in appearance. The color palette is perfectly rendered with rich and warm hues that enhance the beautiful cinematography. Fleshtones are accurate and reveal varying subtle tonal differences. Resolution is superb, rendering facial features, clothing, and object textures with realistic detail and clarity, especially during close-ups. Contrast is well balanced as well, with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. This is a magnificently beautiful and pleasing picture experience that won't disappoint. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced, with a superb dialogue presence that sounds spatially integrated and dimensional. This is a rarity in dialogue production and is to be greatly commended. This particularly enhances the sense of realism, as this is a dialogue-focused soundtrack. Atmospheric sound effects are quite nicely spatially dimensional, with effective surround envelopment. Foley effects also contribute to the realism. The orchestral music score is lush and nicely recorded, with a wide and deep soundstage that extends effectively into the surrounds, with at times, an aggressive presence. The .1 LFE element is perfectly balanced with the other sound elements and never excessively intrudes. The overall character of the sound is holosonic® and perfectly orchestrated to enhance the suspense and drama. This is a finely executed creative soundtrack that is effective and impressive. (Gary Reber)