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Rapture on dual format in July
One of the most remarkable coming-of-age films ever made, a dark fairy tale from the 1960s, comes to UK dual format in May from Eureka! Entertainment.
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4 Blu-ray releases in June as part of Network's "The British Film" collection

13 May 2014

Network Distributing's ongoing project "The British Film" collection has just shifted gear with the announcement that four new titles, three of them acknowledged classics, are to be released on UK Blu-ray. Two of the titles witll also be released simultaneously on DVD. The titles in question are: This Sporting Life, Ballad in Blue, Victim and The Four Features.

THE SPORTING LIFE (Lindsay Anderson, 1963) | 2nd June 2014 | Blu-ray only (£14.99)

Richard Harris (Unforgiven, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) gives a career-best performance as the brutally competitive miner in This Sporting Life.

Miner Frank Machin lodges with a widow, Mrs. Hammond. His competitive nature and powerful physique cause him to join the local rugby team and, as his career progresses, so too his brutal nature distances him from those around him. Success – and perhaps a new sense of insecurity – seems to make Frank harsher and cruder.

Strongly supported by Rachel Roberts (Murder on the Orient Express, Picnic at Hanging Rock) as his bitter landlady, they both received Oscar nominations for their performances, with Roberts winning the BAFTA for Best British Actress. David Storey's compelling script was also BAFTA nominated, while director Lindsay Anderson was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival for his unflinching look at working-class life set in the bleak landscape of Northern England. This Sporting Life is featured here in a High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

Special features will include:

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • Four image galleries, including extensive promotional and behind-the-scenes shots

  • Promotional material PDFs

  • Commemorative booklet PDF by film historian David Rolinson

BALLAD IN BLUE (Paul Henreid, 1964) | 9th June 2014 | Blu-ray (£14.99) and DVD (£9.99)

Making his only major film appearance, legendary soul singer, musician and composer Ray Charles helps transform the lives of a blind boy and his widowed mother in this poignant, uplifting film drama set in mid-1960s London.

During a performance for blind children, global star Ray Charles befriends David, a young boy who has recently lost his sight, and tries to help him come to terms with his condition. During a world tour, Charles finds himself in Paris where a surgeon is pioneering a radical procedure, and he sets out to convince David’s over-protective mother to allow her son to undergo the surgery.

Presented in a brand-new High Definition transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio, Ballad in Blue sees Charles performing some of his best-loved songs, including ‘I Got a Woman’, ‘Hit the Road’, ‘Jack’ and ‘Busted’.

Special features will include:

  • Image gallery

  • Instant play facility

VICTIM (Basil Dearden, 1961) | 16th June 2014 | Blu-ray only (£14.99)

Highly controversial in Britain and banned on its original theatrical release in the United States, this BAFTA-nominated story of deception, blackmail and revenge stars Dirk Bogarde in a brave, career-best performance as a prosperous young barrister with a dark secret.

The police are after Jack Barrett, who has stolen several thousand pounds and is now on the run. He tries desperately to get in touch with Melville Farr, a prosperous young barrister with a beautiful wife, but cornered and arrested by the police he commits suicide in his prison cell rather than answer their questions.

With powerful direction from Basil Dearden (Dead Of Night, Khartoum) and strong supporting performances from both Sylvia Syms (The Queen, Ice Cold In Alex) and Dennis Price (Tunes Of Glory, Twins Of Evil), Victim is featured here in a High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio, and is being released here for the first time on Blu-ray.

Special features will include:

  • Dirk Bogarde in Conversation – an extensive interview with Bogarde where he talks frankly about his career

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • Four image galleries, including extensive promotional and behind-the-scenes shots

  • Promotional material PDFs

  • Instant play facility

THE FOUR FEATHERS (Zoltan Korda, 1939) | 23rd June 2014 | Blu-ray and DVD (£14.99)

A classic tale of cowardice and bravery, this Oscar-nominated adaptation of A.E.W. Mason's iconic novel is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular of the early Technicolor films.

Harry Faversham, born into a distinguished military family, automatically joins the army with three close childhood friends – Durrance, Willoughby and Burroughs. Quickly feeling that he is unsuited to the army life, and newly-engaged to Ethne, he resigns his commission, only to be accused of cowardice by his friends. Each sends him the traditional white feather in contempt; the fourth is plucked from Ethne’s fan. Realising the disgrace he has brought to himself and his family, Harry sets out alone to the distant war to redeem himself.

With sweeping battle scenes and a tightly constructed script by Oscar-nominated R.C. Sherrif (Goodbye, Mr. Chips), Alexander and Zoltan Korda’s adaptation of The Four Feathers is a bold military epic featuring evocative locations and a pounding score by Miklós Rózsa. Showcasing outstanding performances from both John Clements (Gandhi, Ships With Wings) and Ralph Richardson (Doctor Zhivago, Time Bandits), The Four Feathers is featured here in a High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

Special features will include:

  • Original theatrical trailer

  • A Day at Denham newsreel film

  • Archive 1973 interview with Ralph Richardson

  • Image galleries

  • Instant play facility