Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Wonders of Region 2 DVDs

My all-region DVD player arrived a few days ago!

The first thing we watched was a Region 2 DVD of the 1980 Edinburgh Military Tattoo. My husband's college marching band performed in the Tattoo that summer, and he had coincidentally received the DVD as a gift the same week the player arrived. It was neat for our children to be able to watch something which was such a significant event during my husband's college years.

Today I received my package from Amazon UK containing the two items which tipped me into buying an all-region player: THE YOUNG VICTORIA (2009) and a beautiful collector's edition of Disney's SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959), which includes a hardcover 180-page collector's book.

The package shipped from the UK last Saturday -- THE YOUNG VICTORIA's official release date was Tuesday -- and arrived today.

My Dad sent me info on an Anna Neagle collection available from Amazon UK; click the title of this post for the link. I enjoyed Neagle in IRENE (1940). The titles in this set look great, including VICTORIA THE GREAT (1937) and SIXTY GLORIOUS YEARS (1938), both about Queen Victoria, and THE LADY WITH THE LAMP (1951), about Florence Nightingale. I LIVE IN GROSVENOR SQUARE (1945), costarring Rex Harrison and Dean Jagger, also sounds very interesting. The other titles are DERBY DAY (1952) and THE LADY IS A SQUARE (1959).

The Neagle set is definitely something I'll be looking at acquiring in the future.

If anyone has any suggestions about other American or British classic films which are only available on Region 2, please feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

Update: A couple people told me they have been able to play Region 2 DVDs on their computer; I gave it a try with THE YOUNG VICTORIA, and it did work fine for me.

The all-region player will provide more comfortable viewing for our family, on a larger screen, but especially given our widescreen computer monitor, it's great to know we have multiple viewing options for Region 2 DVDs.

Update: Here's another interesting possibility: a large Stewart Granger Collection. When I first looked at the box cover, I thought it had four titles, but on closer examination, there are a dozen! (The U.S. price is roughly $56 for the 12 films -- very reasonable.) I have videotaped three of the movies, but am curious about several of the titles including THE LAMP STILL BURNS, since I'm interested in British nursing; the costar is Rosamund John of GREEN FOR DANGER (1946).

Thanks to Ivan I have bookmarked Deanna Durbin's CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY (a 1944 noir also starring Gene Kelly!) and HERS TO HOLD (1943) also starring Joseph Cotten. Neither of these titles is available in the U.S.


Blogger Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Laura, these are just a few that I have ensconced in the dusty archives at Rancho Yesteryear:

Bigger Than Life
Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow
Christmas Holiday
Cry of the City
The List of Adrian Messenger
Ministry of Fear
Rancho Notorious
Wagon Master
Wild River

There are others, I just picked the ones with the most mass appeal.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Wow, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY?! My Dad has all but a couple of Durbin's movies, but not this one. Just went straight to Amazon.UK and bookmarked it. I also noticed that HERS TO HOLD with Durbin and Cotten, another one he doesn't have, is available there. This could get expensive (grin).

Thanks for this list! It gives me a place to start. I have CRY OF THE CITY taped from Fox Movie Ch. and just looked it up on Amazon too...the review there indicates the BFI DVD picture quality isn't very good; if that's the version you have, what did you think of it?

If anyone has good R2 resources other than Amazon.UK, with affordable shipping to the U.S., I'd love to know about that too...

So interesting learning about what's been released overseas yet not here in the U.S.

Thanks, Ivan!

Best wishes,

6:07 PM  
Blogger Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

I do have the BFI version of Cry of the City, and I didn't think it was too bad (I missed taping it from FMC so I had to settle for the Region 2 copy).

Another place you might want to check out Region 2 DVDs is I use both it and to comparison shop when I'm buying Britcoms on Region 2, and sometimes you can get a better deal with sendit (their shipping charges are a tad more reasonable, but I will warn you their packaging isn't as tight as

8:36 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

So, Region 2 DVD's will play on one's computer? Interesting. Do you know if there is a place one can purchase the Region 2 DVD's other than online? (as you may remember, we don't have or use credit cards)

9:06 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for all the print and website info, Ivan! I really appreciate you sharing your R2 knowledge. :) I'll bookmark that address.

Best wishes,

9:06 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Irene!

Apparently the Region 2s will play on the computer a lot of the time...I don't know if some computers need to have a code actually input, but mine played it automatically. Interesting, huh?! I was glad to learn this as it means our daughter can play Region 2s on her laptop when she's away at college.

Buying Region 2 here in the U.S. in a physical store is something I don't have an answer for, but if anyone is aware of a place you could buy them I hope they'll leave the info here!

Note to Mel -- click "Contact Me" on the left side of the page for my email. :) Thanks much!

Best wishes,

9:20 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I've heard that computers can change the region they play, but only 5 times. After that you might be locked into the last region played. You might be able to find out from your computer's manufacturer.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I've only see a few Anna Nagle movies. My favorite is THE YELLOW CANARY, but I don't know if that's available on DVD. I also saw part of one where she played a female flyer, but I didn't care for that one.


10:43 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for that info, Missy, we'll work on researching that.

Best wishes,

9:22 AM  

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