Room at the Top

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MichaelB
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Room at the Top

#1 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:16 am

From a BFI press release:
ROOM AT THE TOP (1959) – 60th Anniversary Dual Format Edition release, 15 April 2019

The first of the British New Wave films, ROOM AT THE TOP (1959), directed by Jack Clayton, stars Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret in an adaptation of John Braine’s novel that boldly takes on the class system. This World Premiere Blu-ray release marks the film’s 60th anniversary.

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Mr. Deltoid
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Re: Room at the Top

#2 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:53 pm

Excellent! Harvey may not always nail-down the part of Lampton, but it'll be good to have another Clayton in HD! I wonder if it's too-much to ask for the BFI to include the 1965 sequel, Life at the Top as a bonus? It's been consistently under-rated over the years, but I actually prefer it to the original. It's often strikingly directed and boasts some fascinating credits (scripted by Mordecai Richler, photographed by Oswald Morris, directed by Wake in Fright's Ted Kotcheff!)

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colinr0380
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Re: Room at the Top

#3 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:18 pm

It is great to see the film getting its due, especially as many of the other 'angry young men' films of the era featuring striving Northern working class lads trying to elbow their way into a place in society have now been released through the Woodfall Films collection. It was apparently quite a controversial film at the time for some of the language and sympathetic adultery theme, but also for the general brutally pragmatic approach towards relationships. Here's a clip. It is also the first time an actress won the Best Actress Oscar for a non-American film with Simone Signoret's performance here and according to imdb only two French actresses have won the award, the other being Marion Cotillard for La vie en rose.

I would agree with Mr Deltoid that it would also be nice to see the 1965 sequel Life At The Top if possible since that keeps Laurence Harvey in the main role. Man At The Top, the 1973 film, has the character played by Kenneth Haigh and is more a feature spin off of the 1970 TV series

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Mr. Deltoid
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Re: Room at the Top

#4 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:26 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:18 pm
I would agree with Mr Deltoid that it would also be nice to see the 1965 sequel Life At The Top if possible since that keeps Laurence Harvey in the main role. Man At The Top, the 1973 film, has the character played by Kenneth Haigh and is more a feature spin off of the 1970 TV series
I haven't got round to the 1973 film yet, but I did pick up the Haigh TV series on DVD from Network a few years ago. The change of location from North to South gives the series a different flavour from the films, as does the switch from monochrome to colour and, more significantly, from film to video (the invariably set-bound ITV interiors are very much of their period, but I suppose suggest a hermetic enclosing of Lampton's world). It's also markedly different in that the post-war attitude to sex has loosened somewhat and Lampton finds himself navigating the waters of the new permissive society (where he gets to shag Gabrielle Drake - lucky bastard!) Haigh's performance is sometimes a little one-note, but I'd still recommend it for fans of the books - and for a quintessentially '70's title-sequence, where Haigh drives around town in an Aston Martin DBS, while the funky theme-tune blares on the soundtrack!

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MichaelB
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Re: Room at the Top

#5 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:32 pm

Postponed a month to May 20:
This year is the 60th anniversary of a truly game-changing British feature film – Room at the Top (1959). Directed by Jack Clayton (The Innocents) and starring Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret, this BAFTA and Academy Award®-winning film introduced a new style of cinema to the UK and kick-started the British New Wave. This Blu-ray premiere features a previously unreleased 2K restoration and will be presented as a Dual Format Edition.

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MichaelB
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Re: Room at the Top

#6 Post by MichaelB » Wed May 01, 2019 7:46 am

Full specs announced:
Room at the Top
Directed by Jack Clayton
Laurence Harvey, Heather Sears, Simone Signoret


Dual Format Edition and iTunes release, 20 May 2019, celebrating 60th Anniversary

See the trailer here

A mature treatment of sex and class, Jack Clayton’s Room at the Top is a landmark of the British New Wave. Winner of two Academy Awards®, from six nominations, including Best Actress for Simone Signoret and Best Adapted Screenplay (from John Braine’s novel), this kitchen-sink classic is made available on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK to mark the film’s 60th anniversary this year.

Released by the BFI in a Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray & DVD) on 20 May 2019, it is packaged with numerous extras including a new feature commentary and a selection of archive films of West Riding, Yorkshire, where the film is set.

In 1950s industrial Yorkshire, social climber Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) woos the boss’s daughter as he sets out to reach the top of his profession. But when his working-class background hampers his efforts, Joe seeks solace with the unhappily married Alice (Simone Signoret) – an affair that will have dire consequences.

Special features
• Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition;
The Visit (1959, 35 mins): Jack Gold’s quietly devastating drama portraying the everyday life of a working-class single woman;
The West Riding in Archive Film: Bradford Town Hall Square (1896, 2 mins); Bailey's Royal Buxton Punch and Judy Show in Halifax (1901, 3 mins); Tram Ride into Halifax (1902, 4 mins); Halifax Day by Day (1910, 2 mins); We of the West Riding (1945, 22 mins); This Town (1969, 8 mins): everyday Yorkshire life captured across a century of dramatic change;
• Original trailer;
• Feature commentary by Neil Sinyard (2009);
• Feature commentary by Dr Josephine Botting (2019);
• Image galleries.

Product details
RRP: £19.99/ Cat. no. BFIB1343 / 12
UK / 1959 / black and white / 117 mins / English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.66:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, 1.0 PCM mono audio (48kHz/24-bit) / DVD9: PAL, 25fps, Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio (48kHz/16-bit)

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dustybooks
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Re: Room at the Top

#7 Post by dustybooks » Wed May 01, 2019 10:40 am

This is perhaps my most anticipated release this year. I only wish Criterion would get on the ball with The Wedding March so I could have the ultimate
SpoilerShow
horribly bleak wedding ceremony double feature.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: Room at the Top

#8 Post by Aunt Peg » Thu May 02, 2019 3:34 am

I've already pre-ordered this and can't wait to get it. I haven't seen the film since the 1980's at a reparatory cinema. Two Jack Clayton films with a couple of months (the other being The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne) :D . Hope more of his work finds it way to Blu Ray releases.

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MichaelB
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Re: Room at the Top

#9 Post by MichaelB » Thu May 02, 2019 3:47 am

Only three of his films are currently MIA on Blu-ray: Our Mother’s House (Warner), Something Wicked Thjs Way Comes (Disney) and Memento Mori (BBC).

Sadly, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be handled by the boutique labels who have championed him thus far, for reasons embedded in the parentheses.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Room at the Top

#10 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Thu May 02, 2019 7:12 am

Shame about Our Mother's House which is a terrific film . Although served with a more than serviceable WB DVD it would benefit greatly from being blu with hopefully a pile of extras about Clayton. Dirk Bogarde, who lays the venal weasel father and particularly an overdue assessment of the wonderful Yootha Joyce. As usual with Clayton the camerawork is impeccable composing very precise framing and movement. No mean feat given the subject matter of 7 children of varying ages who also act their socks off.

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reaky
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Re: Room at the Top

#11 Post by reaky » Thu May 02, 2019 8:05 am

MichaelB wrote:Only three of his films are currently MIA on Blu-ray: Our Mother’s House (Warner), Something Wicked Thjs Way Comes (Disney) and Memento Mori (BBC).

Sadly, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be handled by the boutique labels who have championed him thus far, for reasons embedded in the parentheses.
I dearly wish Disney would put together a set of their early-80s stabs at a darker tone (Something Wicked, Watcher in the Woods, The Black Hole, Dragonslayer).

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knives
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Re: Room at the Top

#12 Post by knives » Thu May 02, 2019 11:30 am

Really they have a ton of films that they seem actively ashamed of. They even have a Borzage film hidden somewhere.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: Room at the Top

#13 Post by Aunt Peg » Fri May 03, 2019 2:49 am

I didn't realise Jack Clayton only directed seven feature films, eight if you count Memento Mori. Given I've only got The Innocents & The Pumpkin eater on Blu Ray with Room at the Top & The Passion of Judith Hearne coming soon it really does feel like I'm missing so many. I have SWTWC and Our Mother's House on DVD and I too would love to see them upgraded and restored on Blu Ray, along with Memento Mori.

The Great Gatsby is really the only blight on his career and its far from terrible but I have now desire to ever revisit it.

Maybe, the BFI can do a deal with Warners some time down the track for Blu Releases of some British director's titles like Our Mother's House & Ken Russell's Savage Messiah which both need major rediscoveries. I can't see Warners themselves doing anything beyond their MOD DVD for those titles and they both deserve so much more.

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dustybooks
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Re: Room at the Top

#14 Post by dustybooks » Thu May 23, 2019 11:48 pm

I'm enjoying this disc very much. The Josephine Botting commentary is excellent and informative; the Sinyard felt a bit redundant and dry just afterward, but I'll probably revisit it after a while, and I'm very glad the trouble was taken to license it and include it as an option in contrast to the strange habit of certain other boutique labels of dropping/ignoring older tracks altogether. Room at the Top itself looks gorgeous on the Blu-ray; I haven't rewatched the film without commentary yet, but just observing Simone Signoret's performance again was an experience; her face turns so seamlessly from joy to dread, and even though she said the part was easy to play, it feels like her interpretation of it contains so much depth and history.

One of the short films included, Jack Gold's The Visit (introduced in the booklet by MichaelB), is profoundly sad and beautifully acted, despite blocking and editing that feels a bit awkward at times. It's effective specifically because it hesitates to emphasize its lead character's despair, instead allowing for just the occasional crack to show.

As for the other shorts about life in Yorkshire, I'm particularly a sucker for early silent actualities -- and while I wouldn't have automatically expected that sort of film to find a home in this context, they're always a pleasure to see, and I wasn't familiar with any of these. The 3-minute Punch and Judy performance is especially hypnotic, though I also admired the longer We of the West Riding, with its comfortingly detached narration, and the lovely abstractions of This Town. I'm thrilled the BFI packed so much on the disc (and in the booklet!).

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