The Member of the Wedding: Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

&#13 Frances “Frankie” Addams, the lanky and reckless 12 year-old tomboy at the heart of Fred Zinnemann’s The Member of the Wedding (1952). is uncomfortable in her personal skin. She’s not afraid to let everybody know it, either: her patient housekeeper Berenice Brown (Ethel Waters), her sickly but precocious young cousin John Henry (Brandon de Wilde), her “pals” from college and the neighborhood, her all-but absentee father (William Hansen) and, most lately, her dear older brother Jarvis (Arthur Franz) and his lovely fiancée Janice (Nancy Gates), who will be married within the week. It is this latest event that is gotten Frankie (Julie Harris) particularly worked up: there is nothing at all for her in this modest Southern town—at least nothing at all she desires, apparently—and one particular of her final remaining remnants of a content childhood is leaving for his honeymoon in a matter of days. For Frankie, The Member of the Wedding is a turbulent coming-of-age story for the audience, it really is a litmus test for anybody who thinks they are prepared to raise a teenager.&#13

&#13 Primarily based on Carson McCullers’ extremely effective 1946 novel (and in turn, the well-known 1950 Broadway production that also starred Harris, Waters, and de Wilde), The Member of the Wedding remains a spirited slice of Southern drama that, despite a quantity of nagging faults, does a decent job of adapting the source material. It’s not possible to get by way of any write-up of the film without mentioning that the 12 year-old Frankie was portrayed by Harris at age 26—and to her credit, it’s a nicely-which means and memorable performance that is much more genuine than distracting. Nevertheless, there are issues right here: Harris—and to a lesser extent, her two returning co-stars–look so comfortable with the material in its stage format that they typically aim for the back seats: this is in no way much more evident than Frankie’s violent outbursts, which sooner or later wear thin on the ears of all but the most patient viewers. I quickly found myself far more interested in Berenice (along with her foster brother “Honey”, played by James Edwards), John Henry, and the newlyweds.&#13

&#13 Nonetheless, The Member of the Wedding has far more than its fair share of excellent moments: the lead trio usually impresses when they are in the identical area, and the downward spiral of Frankie’s emotional balance as the wedding approaches is fascinating in its raw, unfiltered presentation. It really is the type of film that’s effortless to get wrapped up in engaging sufficient the first time, but 1 whose bleak backdrop and steady, unsettling momentum is not specifically high on replay worth. It really is suggested to mature viewers who went via a equivalent knowledge for the duration of young adulthood…but for every person else, The Member of the Wedding will likely maintain you at as well considerably of a distance to make a lasting effect.&#13

&#13 Luckily, Twilight Time’s sparkling new Blu-ray package guidelines the scales in its favor, serving up a pristine A/V presentation and a properly-rounded collection of old and new bonus characteristics that dissect the film and its source material in fairly sturdy detail. It really is at least worth a rental for any person halfway interested in this production…but considering its final house video release was a 2008 DVD (portion of a boxed set highlighting the profession of producer Stanley Kramer), this belated but welcome bump to high definition will make Twilight Time’s disc a have to-have for die-difficult fans of the film.&#13

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&#13 Presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, this crisp 1080p transfer is a fine work that eclipses Sony’s 2008 DVD in every division, even although it seems to be taken from the very same source elements. Image detail and texture are quite impressive with strong black levels (specifically throughout the outdoor scenes), great contrast, and no glaring amounts of dirt and debris along the way. Digital imperfections are kept to a minimum, with no excessive noise reduction, contrast boosting, or compression problems to speak of. Either way, this is prime-tier work that represents The Member of the Wedding‘s ideal house video presentation to date for that alone, lengthy-time fans need to be thrilled.&#13


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&#13 DISCLAIMER: The nonetheless pictures and promotional pictures on this page are decorative and do not represent the Blu-ray below assessment.&#13
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&#13 The principal alternative (aside from an Isolated Music Track, presented in lossless two.) is a DTS-HD Master Audio 1. mix that preserves the film’s one-channel roots. This is a relatively sturdy work with crisp dialogue and occasional moments of depth, whilst background effects and Alex North’s music cues rarely fight for interest. Volume levels and dynamic variety are steady from start to finish even though it is obviously significantly less wealthy in comparison to larger-spending budget films, The Member of the Wedding sounds younger than its age implies. Optional English SDH subtitles are incorporated in the course of the film.&#13

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&#13 The interface is plain but perfectly functional, with fast loading time and the bare minimum of pre-menu distractions. This 1-disc release arrives in a common keepcase with striking black-and-white artwork and a good little Booklet featuring production stills, vintage promotional artwork, and the usual essay penned by TT typical Julie Kirgo.&#13

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&#13 Aside from the Isolated Score described above and a new Audio Commentary with Suzanne Vega, Derek Botelho, and David Del Valle, everything of interest from the 2008 DVD is also on board (with the exception of a quick Julie Harris video clip, but it did not add much). These recycled extras contain an older Audio Commentary—this time with Virginia Spencer Carr, author of Carson McCullers’ biography—as effectively as two mid-length Featurettes (“The Journey from Stage to Film” and “The Planet of Carson McCullers”, 25 minutes total), a brief Introduction by Stanley Kramer’s widow Karen, and the film’s original Trailer. Overall, it’s a effectively-rounded collection of bonus attributes that fans must take pleasure in from start to finish they look and sound quite excellent too, although the lack of optional subtitles is disappointing.&#13

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&#13 Fred Zinnemann’s The Member of the Wedding examines a quantity of universal themes that still carry weight today, making this turbulent drama a serviceable adaptation of the original Broadway play…and porting more than the three lead performers seems like a logical fit. Yet its stage roots are all as well evident in some respects: Julie Harris aims for the back seats, whilst many moments really feel overly rehearsed as an alternative of all-natural. Due to the intensity of its central character, The Member of the Wedding must appeal far more to those who went through a similar predicament in the course of young adulthood I didn’t, so Frankie’s plight didn’t resonate as deeply as it may well for a person else (it is also why I identified myself much a lot more interested in the largely neglected supporting characters). Nonetheless, it really is aged effectively sufficient for a 64 year-old period drama, and Twilight Time’s Blu-ray is a perfectly nicely-rounded effort with strong A/V marks and a handful of sturdy bonus attributes. Firmly Advised to established fans newcomers could want to rent it very first.&#13

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Randy Miller III is an affable office monkey by day and film reviewer by evening. He also does freelance style function, teaches art classes and runs a site or two. In his restricted cost-free time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs and writing in third person.&#13


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