Gregory's Girl (1981)

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Released 11-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The Big Steal, Malcolm. A River Runs Through It, Bagdad Cafe
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1981
Running Time 87:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Bill Forsyth
Studio
Distributor
Nat. Film Trustee Co
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring John Gordon Sinclair
Dee Hepburn
Jake D'Arcy
Clare Grogan
Robert Buchanan
Billy Greenlees
Alan Love
Caroline Guthrie
Carol Macartney
Douglas Sannachan
Allison Forster
Chic Murray
Alex Norton
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Colin Tully


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    For a great many boys there is a period, usually only during adolescence (between childish innocence and adult stupidity), when they are idiots, especially about the opposite sex. How idiotic they are varies, but some reach awe-inspiring levels of idiocy. Bill Forsyth may have been one of those, or, more likely, he knew one. In Gregory's Girl he has managed capture this period with uncomfortable accuracy.

    Gregory (Gordon John Sinclair) is a gawky, clumsy, idiot, but it's easy to like him, probably because we can identify with his gauche behaviour. He and his friends live in a small town in Scotland (this film was shot on location in Cumbernauld, a small town in Scotland). They are frightfully naive about girls (even the younger boys seem to know more and act more confidently than they do).

    The high school soccer team is doing badly. Gregory is their (terrible) striker. The coach (Jake D'Arcy) decides to hold a tryout for a new striker, and puts Gregory in as goalie. The boys who show up for the tryout are terrible, but a girl shows up, and proves to be highly skilled. Gregory is instantly smitten with her. Her name is Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), and she's quite nice, but almost completely single-minded about her soccer (it's amusing that she gets kissed by both teams when she scores a goal). This doesn't stop Gregory worshiping from afar. Will he summon the courage to ask her out? Will she say yes? Will she rend his heart in twain and leave his rotting carcass on the soccer field? And most importantly, will the penguin ever find the right room?

    The main storyline of the film, although interesting, is not the most important part of this film. Watch the film the first time for the main story, but watch it again to see everything going on around the main actors. There is so much in the way of background action, much of it very funny, that you can enjoy. Marvellous stuff.

    I thought I'd seen Clare Grogan (who plays Susan) somewhere else. Turns out that she played Kochanski in Red Dwarf when Kochanski was an occasional character; she was replaced by Chloe Annett when Kochanski became a regular.

    This is one of those quirky British films that you have to own, because it requires repeated viewing. Strongly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. I think that's the original aspect ratio, but I haven't seen any confirmation of it.

    This film is over 20 years old now, but the only big giveaway is some of the hairstyles (especially on the boys — at least one of them looks like a Bay City Roller — if you're too young to remember that, be happy!).

    The image is frequently soft, and occasionally grainy (82:32 for example). Shadow detail is limited, but usually acceptable; see 7:22 and 38:33 for examples of an odd artefact where a black patch gets a dark blue effect over it. There's some minor low-level noise in the video at times (see 47:46).

    Colour is good, but not brilliant — the film looks like it was deliberately shot in dull Scottish sunlight to make everything seem a bit drab. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are plenty of film artefacts, but they're not too distracting after the opening few minutes. They are mostly small flecks and specks; but there are scratches and spots. Altogether there's nothing too egregious.

    There is only minor aliasing. There's no moiré of any note, no shimmer, and no MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English, but nothing else. I watched them, and they are mostly accurate (I picked up a few slips), well-timed, and easy to read.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. Thus there is no layer change, and the film is short enough that the single layer is ample.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in two "languages". They are "English", and "Scottish". Both are Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround-encoded. The "English" is 224 kbps, while the "Scottish" is 320 kbps.

    The "English" is a dub that was made for the American release, while the "Scottish" is the original soundtrack. If you have no problem with Scottish accents (they aren't too thick — easier to understand than Taggart, for example), I recommend listening to the "Scottish", because it's the original. The "English" is a decent dub, but there is still the occasional lapse in audio sync.

    Colin Tully gets the credit for the score. It's fine, but not particularly memorable.

    The surrounds and subwoofer get nothing from this soundtrack. If you have surround decoding switched on, the sound pretty much collapses into the centre channel, suggesting that this is more a 2.0 mono soundtrack than a true stereo mix.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static and silent.

Theatrical Trailer (2:28)

    The trailer has plenty of spoilers and is a classic example of the maxim "don't watch before the movie".

Umbrella Propaganda

    Trailers for other films from Umbrella. Each trailer is individually selectable (just like Madman Propaganda).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 disc was released over a year ago by MGM. It is very similar to this one (even down to the front cover photo), featuring a transfer that's just as soft and filled with film artefacts. And it has both soundtracks, albeit at lower bit-rates than the Region 4.

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    If you have the Region 1 already, there's no need to buy the Region 4 disc, but if you don't, you can support the local product (and get the higher bit rate soundtracks).

Summary

    A delightful quirky comedy, given an adequate (but unrestored) presentation on DVD.

    The video quality is good enough, but features plenty of film artefacts.

    The audio quality is good enough.

    The extras are negligible. Shame we couldn't get a commentary from Bill Forsyth.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Friday, April 02, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
Just avoid the awful sequel... - Malcolm Tent, UK