The Merchant Ivory Collection in September
Odyssey Quest have announced the UK DVD release of The Merchant Ivory Collection for 6th September 2004. This unique range of films, which includes a selection of 20 titles from the critically acclaimed Merchant Ivory movie library, features many of the best loved Merchant Ivory movies, along with lesser known, and in some cases, rarely seen works, many available for the very first time on UK DVD. All 20 films in the collection, which will be launched as individual units, in Digi-Stack 6-film selections and in a magnificent Collector's Box Set featuring all 20 titles, have been Digitally Remastered and include a host of compelling extras.
In addition to the DVD releases, special tribute will be paid to Merchant Ivory with a theatrical re-release of the E M Forster trilogy - Howards End, Maurice and A Room With A View which will be screened at the sumptuously refurbished Curzon Mayfair, the London cinema associated with screenings of Merchant Ivory films.
From Shakespeare Wallah, the bittersweet tale of a wandering theatrical company in India, which established the company's reputation in 1965, to Maurice in 1987, a controversial study of homosexuality in the Edwardian era, which launched the career of Hugh Grant, to the poignant Oscar winning film Howards End in 1992 which starred Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, the Merchant Ivory name is synonymous with beautifully crafted classic films.
Since forming Merchant Ivory in 1961 Director James Ivory and Producer and occasional Director Ismail Merchant have attracted some of the world's greatest acting talents to their award winning productions amongst whom are Sir Anthony Hopkins, Hugh Grant, Helena Bonham Carter, Greta Scacchi, Denholm Elliot, Emma Thompson, Simon Callow, Vanessa Redgrave, Pierce Brosnan and Felicity Kendal. Coupled with the screenwriting talents of long-time collaborator Ruth Prawar Jhabvala, the Oscar and multi-award winning trio have become renowned for their epic and visually stunning films.
In addition to the individual releases, Odyssey Quest is releasing 3 separately themed 6-film collections in Digi-Stack format - Merchant Ivory in India, Merchant Ivory in America, The Merchant Ivory Connoisseur Collection in addition to the Collector's Box Set with all 20 titles.
With re-mastered sound and vision and fantastic extras, the films included in the Merchant Ivory Collection are the best ever versions of these movie classics. Details follow on each release, with single volumes priced at £12.99 each, Digi-Stacks at £49.99 and the complete Collector's Box Set at £169.99...
The Householder (1963) - The story of a shy, young, underpaid Delhi schoolteacher who marries and then, little by little, gets to know his young wife during their first year together.
DVD Extras: Memories with Shashi Kapoor
Shakespeare Wallah (1965) - The story of a family troupe of English actors in India who travel around towns and villages performing Shakespeare - based on the travels of Geoffrey Kendal and his daughter Felicity Kendal.
DVD Extras: Insight into Shakespeare Wallah, Theatrical Trailer
Bombay Talkie (1971) - A sombre character study about best-selling English novelist Lucia Lane who comes to Bombay in search of creative inspiration.
DVD Extras: Insight into Bombay Talkie, Interview with Merchant Ivory Productions, Theatrical Trailer
Savages (1972) - In a rapid evolution from Stone Age to the Jazz Age, the "savages" exchange their ritual masks for the evening clothes of the 1920s and 30s.
DVD Extras: None
Autobiography of a Princess (1975) - A thoughtful character study and fascinating look at a nearly obsolete Indian lifestyle.
DVD Extras: Short film 'Sweet Sounds'
Roseland (1977) - Roseland is made up of three stories, sometimes connection, all set in the famed New York dance palace, and all having the same theme - finding the right dance partner.
DVD Extras: None
Hullaballoo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures (1979) - Dramatic story set in India amidst the wheelings and dealings of the art world.
DVD Extras: None
The Europeans (1979) - The Europeans takes place in 1840s New England where a cultured but nearly destitute sister and brother, raised in Europe, arrive at the doorstep of their rich but innocently isolated
DVD Extras: Interview with Merchant Ivory Productions, Theatrical Trailer
Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980) - Two Manhattan theatre companies compete to stage a lost play by Jane Austen. Modern-day events begin to mirror the play's themes of abduction and salvation as flamboyant egos collide.
DVD Extras: Introduction by Melvin Bragg from the South Bank Show, Insight into Jane Austen, Short film 'Helen Queech of the Nautch Girls'
Quartet (1981) - A brilliant film of desperate sadness and naivety in a French setting.
DVD Extras: Switchable subtitles over French dialogue, Insight into Quartet, Interview with Merchant Ivory Productions, Theatrical Trailer
Heat and Dust (1982) - A story of two English women and their fatal fascination for a continent where the lust for power, violence and passion overshadow the facade of British respectability.
DVD Extras: Commentary by Ismail Merchant, Greta Scacchi and Nickolas Grace, Interview with Merchant Ivory Productions, optional 5.1 track, Theatrical Trailer
Courtesans of Bombay (1983) - Roughly structured over 24 hours, we visit Pavan Pool, a compound in Bombay where poor women sing, dance and engage in prostitution.
DVD Extras: Short Film 'Street Musicians of Bombay'
The Bostonians (1984) - The story centres on the fight between an ardent feminist and a southern gentleman for a charismatic faith healer's daughter.
DVD Extras: Insight into The Bostonians, Interview with Merchant Ivory Productions, Theatrical Trailer
Maurice (1987) - In his first major starring role, Hugh Grant gives a compelling performance as a young Edwardian gentleman torn apart by a homosexual love affair.
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes with optional commentary by James Ivory, Optional 5.1 track, Interview with Merchant Ivory Productions, The Story of Maurice including interviews with James Wilby and Hugh Grant, Theatrical Trailer
The Perfect Murder (1988) - Based on the original novel by H.R.F. Keating. A secretary is murdered - who is responsible?
DVD Extras: None
The Deceivers (1988) - In 1825 India lives under fear. A mysterious religion's followers murder everyone that stands against their plans.
DVD Extras: Theatrical Trailer
Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991) - A tangled triangle. In the rural South of the early 20th century, Miss Amelia is the town eccentric.
DVD Extras: Director's commentary with Simon Callow and Behind-the-scenes with Simon Callow
Howards End (1992) - A dying woman's impulsive wish marks a turning point in the relationship between the controversial Schlegel sisters.
DVD Extras: Optional 5.1 track, Commentary on selected scenes by Helena Bonham Carter, The Look of Howards End, Theatrical Trailer
In Custody (1994) - Drama based on the novel by Anita Desai which follows Deven, a teacher at an Indian college and his attempt to interview a famous poet.
DVD Extras: Memories with Shashi Kapoor, Memories with Shabana Azmi and Om Puri, Ismail Merchant talks about In Custody, short film Mahatma and the Mad Boy, Theatrical Trailer in Hindu
The Proprietor (1996) - A story of changing times, constant relationships and reconciliation with the past.
DVD Extras: Switchable subtitles over French dialogue, The Proprietor EPK, Ismail Merchant talks about the Proprietor.
The Merchant Ivory in India Digi-Stack set includes: Bombay Talkie, The Courtesans of Bombay, The Deceivers, Heat and Dust, In Custody, and Shakespeare Wallah.
The Merchant Ivory in America Digi-Stack set includes: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, The Bostonians, The Europeans, Jane Austen in Manhattan, The Proprietor, and Roseland.
The The Merchant Ivory Connoisseur Collection Digi-Stack set includes: Autobiography of a Princess, Howards End, Hullaballoo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures, Maurice, Quartet, and Savages.