Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1975)

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Released 15-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Interviews-Cast-John Quested (Director)
Featurette-Interview With Edie Landau (Executive In Charge Of AFT)
Trailer-American Film Theatre Trailer Gallery (10)
Trailer-Ely Landau In Front Of The Camera: AFT Promotional Reel 1974
Notes-A Letter From Ely Landau
Notes-Article - AFT, A Brief History
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1975
Running Time 90:47 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By John Quested
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Donal McCann
Des Cave
Siobhan McKenna
Eamon A. Kelly
Fidelma Murphy
Liam Redmond
Mavis Villiers
Niall Toibin
Pat Layde
David Kelly
Niall Buggy
Eamon Morrissey
Donal Cox
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Brian Friel's play was adapted for the screen as part of the American Film Theatre series. Gareth O'Donnell - 'Gar' - plans to leave his small seaside town in Ireland to emigrate to America the following morning. But even though he has decided to leave, he has second thoughts. He reviews his life and his relationships, especially that with Kate, who married another, and with his emotionally withdrawn but dominant father. Gar's mother died three days after he was born, making his relationship with his father strained.

    The conceit of this play is that Gar is played by two actors. "Public Gar" is played by Donal McCann, and presents the Gar that the other characters see. In effect, how he really is. "Private Gar", played by Des Cave, is the Gar that he wants to be, or the Gar that his conscience dictates. While Public Gar interacts with the characters, Private Gar speaks as the voice of what he really wants, or what he really should want.

    I'm afraid I did not respond very well to this play. I found the casting of two actors as facets of the same character did not work for me, and the hectoring tone of Private Gar annoying. The film itself seems to be well-made, but I just found that I could not get involved in Gar's problems.

    The acting is quite good. Donal McCann is excellent, but Des Cave is not able to match him. The cast of mainly unfamiliar actors, apart from brief bits by Liam Redmond, David Kelly and expatriate American O. Z. Whitehead, acquit themselves well. The direction attempts to open up the play with some outdoor sequences, but is not entirely successful, as it ends up neither fully theatrical nor entirely cinematic. Worth a look for followers of this series.

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Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio was 1.85:1.

    The transfer is one of the better ones in this series. There is a reasonable level of detail and the transfer is sharp. Contrast is acceptable but shadow detail is not very good, with little detail in darker areas of the image. Not that this is a major problem overall, as most of the action occurs in good lighting levels. Colour is satisfactory, though again reds are overbright - witness the bright jumper that Private Gar wears, which threatens to leak out all over the screen.

    There is some slight edge enhancement, plus some slight Gibb Effect in most sequences. The frame is a little jumpy at times with a bit of flicker. There are white flecks and a few larger bits of damage, but generally it is in good condition.

    No subtitles are provided, a pity given the Irish accents which are often difficult to distinguish.

    The disc is dual-layered, but there does not appear to be a layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The sole audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    Dialogue is relatively clear, but I had some trouble understanding some of the Irish accents. This is a dialogue-driven play, so there is little in the way of effects. There is some hiss and a surprising amount of crackling, for example at the very start of the film when it sounds like a needle has just been placed on an old record, before the music starts (younger readers might not be familiar with this sound).

    There is some music by Marc Wilkinson, including a song. The score is used sparingly but effectively, and sounds very idiomatic (that is, very Irish and a little melancholy).

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Introduction

    The usual introduction featuring some projection equipment and a reel of film labelled with the movie's title.

Menu Animation & Audio

    Some scenes from the film play out in the background of the menu, with the generic theme music for the DVD releases.

Interviews-Cast-John Quested (Director) (20:54)

    The director discusses his work on the film and his enthusiasm for the play.

Featurette-Interview With Edie Landau (Executive In Charge Of AFT) (22:26)

    The same old interview that crops up on numerous discs in this series, in which Landau talks about the genesis and history of the AFT.

Trailer-American Film Theatre Trailer Gallery (26:46)

    Ten trailers for other releases in this series.

Trailer-Ely Landau In Front Of The Camera: AFT Promotional Reel 1974 (6:13)

    A promotional reel with Landau recapping the past season of films, and trying to raise interest in the next series.


    Three production stills.

Notes-A Letter From Ely Landau

    A letter from Landau promoting the AFT.

Notes-Article - AFT, A Brief History

    As the title states, some text notes outlining the history of the AFT.

Notes-"Brian Friel and Philadelphia, Here I Come!"

    Several pages of text by Michael Feingold about Friel's career and this play in particular.

R4 vs R1

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

    The disc seems to be identical to both the US Region 1 and the UK Region 2.


    A less interesting entry in this series. It may be of greater interest to Irish expatriates.

    The video quality is satisfactory.

    The audio quality is satisfactory.

    A couple of useful extras, and some repeated from other AFT releases.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Friday, August 12, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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