Lion In Winter (50Th Anniversary) (1968)
Full of plots and schemes, this wordy costume drama, an Oscar winner from 1968, come to DVD with some fine results. While not without its faults, the 2.35:1 transfer, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions, is surprising strong on all accounts. Specks of grain and occasional scratches don't interrupt this top-quality presentation, one that highlights the limited use of colors while, at the same time, gives equal balance between dark and earthy tones which comprise the majority of the surroundings. The muddy feel of the 12th century is captured almost flawlessly. The two-channel mono soundtrack in Dolby Digital isn't going to impress anyone, nor was it meant to. At times a certain amount of echo is present, and auditory detail isn't its strong point, but for the most part, there are few complaints as dialogue is clear enough. Considering this is a dialogue-driven film, that is sufficient. While not necessarily going out of its way, MGM has supplied a couple of supplements. The exceedingly dated theatrical trailer is included, but far more noteworthy is an audio commentary recorded in 2000 by director Anthony Harvey. In a typically reserved British manner, Harvey discusses a number of points about his involvement in the production, but, unfortunately, the track is marred by significant gaps. Still, his memories of more than 30 years earlier have relevance.