DVDs: Reference Disc

David Lean's 1970 epic Ryan's Daughter (Warner; Movie •••½, Picture/Sound ••••, Extras ••••) gets the grand treatment in this two-disc special edition. Sourced from restored 65mm picture elements, the 2.2:1 transfer is consistently crisp, revealing every crag in stone houses. Slight speckling and grain are sometimes visible, but less so than with many other classics on DVD, and there's no trace of edge enhancement. Skin tones look natural and balanced, and there's a wide range of rich colors in shots of Ireland's rugged west coast, beautifully rendered in Super Panavision by cinematographer Freddie Young. Shadows are solid, particularly in the murky pub scenes. The sound, remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1, is surprisingly potent, with strong bass and convincing surround effects during the World War I flashback and storm scenes. Both dialogue and Maurice Jarre's score come across cleanly. Among the extras are a commentary plus documentaries that include interviews with Lean and screenwriter Robert Bolt.

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