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Release Date: June 16th, 2020 Movie Release Year: 1996

Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1

Overview -

Just shy of celebrating the studio's 100th Anniversary, Sony Pictures' Columbia Classics Volume 1 begins the commemorations by bringing together a collection of some of the best films in cinema history -- Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonLawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove, Gandhi  -- while offering up a couple of recent favorites voted into the set by fans A League of Their Own and Jerry Maguire. The limited-edition UHD box set features all six films with improved native 4K transfers, excellent audio mixes and a robust treasure trove of bonus material that includes a glossy 80-page book. The entire package is a Must-Own collection for any true cinephile.

Columbia Classics 4K overview

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON

Synopsis:

Jean Arthur, James Stewart and Claude Rains star in Frank Capra’s MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON. This award-winning classic is about an idealistic, small-town American senator who heads to Washington, DC, and suddenly finds himself single-handedly battling ruthless politicians who are out to destroy him. Receiving a total of eleven 1939 Oscar® nominations (including Best Picture and Best Director), and winning one (Best Writing, Original Story), MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON is considered one of Capra’s, Stewart’s and Columbia’s finest films.

 

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON Disc Breakdown

§  4K Ultra HD Includes:

·         Feature presented in 4K resolution with HDR10

·         1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

§  Blu-ray Includes:

·         Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master

·         1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Features:

o   Audio Commentary with Frank Capra Jr.

o   Frank Capra Jr. Remembers... Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

o   Conversations with Frank Capra Jr.: The Golden Years

o   Conversations with Frank Capra Jr.: A Family History

o   Frank Capra: Collaboration

o   The Frank Capra I Knew

o   Frank Capra’s American Dream Feature-Length Documentary

o   Domestic & International Theatrical Trailers

 

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON has a run time of approximately 129 minutes and is not rated.

 

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

 

Synopsis:

Winner of 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture of 1962, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA stands as one of the most timeless and essential motion picture masterpieces. The greatest achievement of its legendary, Oscar®-winning director, David Lean (1962, Lawrence of Arabia; 1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai), the film stars Peter O’Toole — in his career-making performance — as T.E. Lawrence, the audacious World War I British army officer who heroically united rival Arab desert tribes and led them to war against the mighty Turkish Empire.

 

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1962, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography [Color], Best Art Direction-Set Decoration [Color], Best Film Editing, Best Music [Score] and Best Sound.

 

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA Disc Breakdown

§  4K Ultra HD Includes:

·         Feature presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, fully restored from the original camera negative

o   Feature split across two 4K Ultra HD discs for optimal bitrate

·         Dolby Atmos English audio

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Feature:

o   NEW: Unused International Prologue

§  Feature Blu-ray Includes:

·         Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Feature:

o   Secrets of Arabia: Feature-Length Picture-in-Graphics Track

§  Special Feature Blu-ray Includes:

·         Peter O’Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia

·         Making of Lawrence of Arabia Documentary

·         Deleted Balcony Scene with Introduction by Anne V. Coates

·         The Lure of the Desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia

·         A Conversation with Steven Spielberg

·         Wind, Sand and Star: The Making of a Classic (1963 & 1970 Versions)

·         Maan, Jordan: The Camels Are Cast

·         In Search of Lawrence

·         Romance of Arabia

·         King Hussein Visits Lawrence of Arabia Set

·         In Love with the Desert Documentary

·         Lawrence at 50: A Classic Restored

·         Archival Interviews

o   Steven Spielberg on Lawrence of Arabia

o   William Friedkin on Lawrence of Arabia

o   Sydney Pollack on Lawrence of Arabia

·         New York Premiere Footage

·         Advertising Campaigns

·         Vintage Trailers & TV Spots

 

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA has a run time of approximately 228 minutes and is rated PG.

 

DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB

 

Synopsis:

Nominated for four Academy Awards® including Best Picture (1964), Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about a group of paranoia-inspired, war-happy generals who manage to initiate an “accidental” nuclear apocalypse, is horribly frightening, delightfully funny and surprisingly relevant to this day. This is the saga of two psychotic generals: Joint Chief of Staff “Buck” Turgidson (George C. Scott) and Air Force Strategic Commander Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden), who orders a bomber squadron to attack the USSR, triggering a Soviet secret weapon, the “Doomsday Machine”, a diabolical retaliatory missile system. Peter Sellers portrays a trio of men who attempt to avert this catastrophe: British Captain Lionel Mandrake, the only person with access to paranoid Gen. Ripper; U.S. President Muffley, whose best attempt at diverting this disaster depends on convincing a boozed-up Soviet Premier it’s all a silly mistake; and the President’s advisor, Dr. Strangelove, a demented ex-Nazi scientist. Can any one of them possibly save the world?

 

DR. STRANGELOVE was nominated for four Academy Award nominations in 1964, including Best Picture.

 

DR. STRANGELOVE Disc Breakdown

§  4K Ultra HD Includes:

·         Feature presented in 4K resolution with HDR10

·         1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Features:

o   NEW: “Stanley Kubrick Considers the Bomb” Featurette

o   Mick Broderick Interview

o   Joe Dunton and Kelvin Pike Interview

o   Richard Daniels Interview

o   David George Interview

o   Rodney Hill Interview

o   Archival Stanley Kubrick Audio Interview

o   The Today Show Clips featuring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott

o   Exhibitor Trailer

o   Theatrical Trailer

§  Blu-ray Includes:

·         Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master

·         5.1 TrueHD audio

·         Special Features:

o   The Cold War Feature-Length Picture-in-Picture Track

o   Inside Dr. Strangelove

o   No Fighting in the War Room

o   An Interview with Robert McNamara

o   Best Sellers

o   The Art of Stanley Kubrick

o   Split-Screen Interviews with Peter Sellers and George C. Scott

 

DR. STRANGELOVE has a run time of approximately 95 minutes and rated PG for thematic elements, some violent content, sexual humor and mild language.

 

GANDHI

 

Synopsis:

Sir Ben Kingsley stars as Mohandas Gandhi in Lord Richard Attenborough’s riveting biography of the man who rose from simple lawyer to worldwide symbol of peace and understanding. A critical masterpiece, GANDHI is an intriguing story about activism, politics, religious tolerance and freedom. But at the center of it all is an extraordinary man who fought for a nonviolent, peaceful existence, and set an entire nation free. Winner of 8 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Attenborough) and Best Actor (Sir Ben Kingsley), GANDHI’s highly acclaimed cast also includes Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, Sir John Gielgud, Roshan Seth and Martin Sheen.

 

GANDHI Disc Breakdown

§  4K Ultra HD Includes:

·         Feature presented in 4K resolution with HDR10, fully restored from the original camera negative

o   Feature split across two 4K Ultra HD discs for optimal bitrate

·         Dolby Atmos English audio

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Features:

o   NEW: Theatrical Trailers

§  Feature Blu-ray Includes:

·         Feature presented in high definition

·         5.1 TrueHD audio

§  Special Features:

·         Introduction & Commentary with Director Richard Attenborough

·         Gandhi’s Legacy: Feature-Length Picture-in-Graphics Track

§  Special Feature Blu-ray Includes:

·         Sir Ben Kingsley Talks about Gandhi

·         Vintage Newsreel Footage

·         In Search of Gandhi

·         Reflections on Ben

·         Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad

·         The Funeral

·         Looking Back

·         Shooting an Epic in India

·         Designing Gandhi

·         From the Director’s Chair

·         The Words of Mahatma Gandhi

·         The Making of Gandhi Photo Montage

 

GANDHI has a run time of approximately 191 minutes and is rated PG.

 

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

 

Synopsis:

It’s a home run with this hilarious and beloved comedy, starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna. With baseball lineups and locker rooms left empty during World War II, the newly-founded All-American Girls Baseball League brought talented women to the big leagues—and brought fans to the stands. The indomitable Dottie Hinson (Davis) finds herself leading a rag tag group of players who end up winning over the heart of their has-been coach, Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). Lori Petty, Rosie O’Donnell and Jon Lovitz round out the all-star roster. Based on the true story of the pioneering women who blazed the trail for generations of athletes. Directed by Penny Marshall.

 

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN Disc Breakdown

§  4K Ultra HD Includes:

·         Feature presented in 4K resolution with HDR10, fully restored from the original camera negative

·         Dolby Atmos English audio

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Features:

o   Domestic Theatrical Trailer

o   NEW: 5 International Teasers & Trailers

§  Feature Blu-ray Includes:

·         Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Features:

o   NEW: 3 episodes from the 1993 TV series, “A League of Their Own”

o   Feature Commentary with Director Penny Marshall and Actresses Lori Petty, Tracy Reiner, and Megan Cavanagh

o   Nine Memorable Innings Documentary

o   Deleted Scenes

o   The Enduring Legacy of A League of Their Own

o   “This Used to Be My Playground” Music Video by Madonna

 

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN has a run time of approximately 128 minutes and is rated PG for language.

 

JERRY MAGUIRE

 

Synopsis:

Tom Cruise stars as JERRY MAGUIRE, a sports agent who’s enduring a crisis of conscience.  After he suddenly and unceremoniously loses his job and his girlfriend (Kelly Preston), both his personal and professional careers hit an all-time low. But when a single mother (Renée Zellweger) enters his life and his heart, he finds himself negotiating the biggest deal of his life…for the heart and the hand of the woman that he loves. Cuba Gooding, Jr. (in an Academy Award®- winning performance, 1996, Best Supporting Actor), Jay Mohr, Regina King, Jonathan Lipnicki and Bonnie Hunt co-star in this beloved blockbuster hit from writer/director Cameron Crowe. Nominated for five Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Actor - Tom Cruise.

 

JERRY MAGUIRE Disc Breakdown

§  4K Ultra HD Includes:

·         Feature presented in 4K resolution with HDR10, fully restored from the original camera negative and approved by writer/director Cameron Crowe

·         Dolby Atmos English audio

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Feature:

o   NEW: “The Fast Times and Long Career of Cameron Crowe” episode of the “Here’s The Thing” podcast, hosted by Alec Baldwin and produced by WNYC Studios

§  Feature Blu-ray Includes:

·         Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master

·         5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

·         Special Features:

o   Feature-Length Picture-in-Picture Commentary with Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger & Cuba Gooding, Jr.

o   Jerry Maguire: We Meet Again 3-Part Documentary

o   Nearly 1 Hour of Deleted & Extended Scenes

o   Behind the Scenes at the Video Commentary

o   The Making of Jerry Maguire

o   Photo Gallery

o   “My First Commercial” by Rod Tidwell

o   Drew Rosenhaus: “How to Be a Sports Agent”

o   Original Deleted & Alternate Scenes

o   Rehearsal Footage

o   “Secret Garden” Music Video by Bruce Springsteen

o   Theatrical Trailer

 

JERRY MAGUIRE has a run time of approximately 138 minutes and is rated R for language and sexuality.

 

EXCLUSIVE BONUS DISC INCLUDES:

·         Excerpts from the 1975 TV special celebrating the 50th anniversary of Columbia Pictures

·         “Mr. Attenborough and Mr. Gandhi” Vintage Behind the Scenes Documentary

OVERALL:
Must Own
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Region Free
Video Resolution/Codec:
HDR10
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Special Features:
Digital Copies
Release Date:
June 16th, 2020

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

"After eighty-years since its initial release, Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington remains a deeply inspiring drama that amazingly feels poignant and relevant no matter the period when it's being enjoyed. For me, personally, it endures as the greatest underdog story that still manages to bring tears to my eyes: first, when our naïve idealist and ordinary person Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) enthusiastically wants to respond to each donation letter and later, after hours of filibustering and holding a handful of telegrams, he gives a heartfelt speech of never giving up. And today, Capra's film feels all the more pertinent." 5/5

Read the full Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review 


Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

"If there exists an established, conventional "going-native" narrative, then David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia is the definitive masterwork. The spectacularly beautiful film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence (a memorably remarkable Peter O'Toole) is the standard by which all other such narratives should be estimated and measured. Working very closely with cinematographer F.A. Young (49th Parallel, Treasure IslandDoctor Zhivago), Lean's classic epic historical drama is magnificent in its scope, capturing every detail of the culture, and breathtakingly stunning in its scale, showing the majestic grandeur and splendor that seduced the British Colonel." 5/5

Read the full Lawrence of Arabia 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dr. Strangelove

"My first encounter with Stanley Kubrick's celebrated classic Dr. Strangelove was on television one Sunday afternoon when I was a kid. At the time, I was much too young to fully appreciate the satirical genius of this reinterpretation of Peter George's political thriller Red Alert. However, I remember enjoying the bizarre wacky behavior of the characters, the dark cartoonish zaniness of their conversations and the comical nightmarish scenario of government officials at the brink of WWIII and nuclear holocaust. Perhaps, it was that eerily uneasy subtext of the story which kept me engaged as a kid. But I was also greatly amused by George C. Scott's General Turgidson slowly descending into tantrum hysterics and Peter Sellers's eccentric but strangely funny former-Nazi scientist Dr. Strangelove." 4.5/5

Read the full Dr. Strangelove 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Gandhi

"It never ceases to amaze me how contemporary experiences or current events can shape our appreciation and understanding of any work of art, such as film. Richard Attenborough's historical epic Gandhi has always been a beloved favorite, but watching with the lens of our present sociopolitical climate, the classic biodrama now carries with it a renewed poignancy and gravitas. The story of Mahatma Gandhi (a still astonishing Ben Kingsley in his award-winning, career-defining role) and his remarkable campaign for India's independence feels all the more harrowing and moving today. His crusade, which matured into a national movement, can be understood not only as a fight for his country's freedom but also as a relatable battle demanding that his compatriots be respected as autonomous persons." 5/5

Read the full Gandhi 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


A League of Their Own

"Of the thousand stories from World War II about the many ways people contributed to the war effort, the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was rarely ever mentioned and went almost forgotten. That is until journalist, politician, filmmaker and professor Kelly Candaele wrote a story about the time his mother and aunt played for AAGPBL and was made into the now-classic sports dramedy A League of their Own. Today, this fictionalized telling of the league and their eventual inclusion to the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of the greatest underdog stories ever told. Directed by Laverne & Shirley's Penny Marshall, the plot doesn't follow the traditional sports narrative where an unlikely team or athlete inevitably faces off against the current sure-bet favorite or the top-dog champion." 4.5/5

Read the full A League of Their Own 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Jerry Maguire


"The world of sports and capitalist greed collide with romance and authentic human interaction in Cameron Crowe's beloved dramedy Jerry Maguire, a simple story of a man searching for meaning and purpose when the opportunity at a fulfilling life was right in front of him all along. Overlooking the trite use of the voiceover that ultimately goes nowhere or genuinely affect the plot in any way, I love nearly everything about this story, which Crowe also wrote and produced. From the opening moments, the film makes no qualms about what is at the heart and conflict in the titular character's journey to self-actualization." 
 4.5/5

Read the full Jerry Maguire 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review 

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings six iconic and highly-acclaimed films from the Columbia Pictures library to Ultra HD Blu-ray. Dubbed Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1, the sixteen-disc combo collection arrives in a beautiful dark-gray box with gold lettering, and it opens in gatefold style down the center and closes magnetically. Each film is housed in their own standalone black, eco-elite vortex case with individual glossy slipcovers.

The package contains a flyer with separate Digital Copy codes for each film, which can be redeemed via sonypictures.com and Movies Anywhere. When redeeming those codes, users are granted access to the 4K UHD versions of the movies in Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, but Mr. Smith and Dr. Strangelove come in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio. 

The limited-edition box set also includes an attractive 80-page hardbound book by film historian and writer Julie Kirgo. Along with a brief introduction and epilogue, it features essays on the history and impact of each film. Sprinkled throughout are various production notes on restoration efforts and quotes from the filmmakers. 

The entire collection carries three triple-layered UHD100 discs, five dual-layered UHD66 discs, six dual-layered BD50 discs and two single-layered BD25 discs. They are joined by a seventeenth single-layer DVD-5 bonus disc containing a pair of short documentaries exclusive to this set. At startup, each disc goes straight to a static main screen with the usual options along the bottom while music plays in the background.

Video Review

Ranking:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
"Awash in a fine layer of natural grain, the HDR10 presentation also features lush, velvetier blacks with impressive gradational differences in the various shades. Visibility in the darkest corners and shadows is superb, as in the scene when Saunders and Smith talk outside the Lincoln Memorial. Furthermore, contrast enjoys a welcomed boost. Admittedly, it's a major jump, but whites are a bit more brilliant and vivid. More notable, however, is the unexpected improvement in specular highlights providing the cinematography with a radiantly crisp sparkle in the metal-frame eyeglasses and an intense glow from lamps while revealing more details within the hottest areas." 4.5/5


Lawrance of Arabia 

Lawrence of Arabia

"F.A. Young's memorable cinematography also enjoys a brand-new lease on life thanks to Dolby Vision, supplying the action and drama with a more sumptuous and vibrant assortment of colors throughout. The HDR presentation makes the cerulean blue skies really pop, and the greens of some foliage bloom while the reds of various outfits and furnishings are much richer and dynamic. The varied array of browns, tans and sepias of the desert are more animated while explosions bursts with spirited, fiery oranges. Facial complexions reveal the smallest wrinkle, pore and stumble, but they also appear more lifelike and accurate to the blisteringly hot climate. Meanwhile, black levels come with an inkier, sootier appeal while nighttime sequences are bathed in silkier midnight shadows that maintain excellent visibility within the darkest corners." 5/5


Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove

"The more worthwhile and appreciable aspect of this HDR10 presentation is the improved contrast and brightness balance. Blacks are notably richer with excellent gradational differences in the shades and better visibility of the finer details within the darkest corners. Whites enjoy a significant boost, as well, looking more luminous and crisper than its HD SDR counterpart. Specular highlights are a bit more nuanced but nonetheless supply the 2160p video with a brilliant sparkle off metallic surfaces, a tighter bloom from the light fixtures and a narrower glow in the buttons of consoles, allowing for better clarity." 4/5 


Gandhi

"The award-winning cinematography of Billy Williams and Ronnie Taylor also benefits from the jump to UHD, as the HDR10 presentation shows a more opulent and sumptuous array of colors. Providing the classic film with a sensational new lease on life, the 4K video seems fresh and reinvigorated with brilliantly dynamic marigolds, oranges and yellows in the various Indian wrapped garments. Much of the palette consists of attractive earth-tones, showering the drama and action with lots of browns, tans and sepias, and flesh tones appear healthier and truer to the climate than its HD SDR counterpart. At the same time, primaries are far more dramatic and animated, especially the reds and greens while blues show excellent nuances between the different shades, making this UHD edition a marvelous feast for the eyes and earning it the extremely rare perfect score." 5/5


A League of Their Own

"With the improved contrast balance, we can better out the lettering of advertisements as well as the tiniest imperfections while the whites of uniforms and other clothing are crisper with a significantly punchier pop. Likewise, the specular highlights are most impressive, supplying every scene with a more intense and spirited energy, especially in the daylight sequences where we can appreciate a twinkle in the eyes, a vivid luminosity in the clouds and a beaming glow in the lights without washing over the finer details. On the other end of the spectrum, black levels are notably richer with luxurious-looking midnight shadows, giving the women's hair a realistic silky polish and providing the 2.39:1 image with a stunning cinematic quality." 4.5/5


Jerry Maguire

"The search for a fulfilling life brings the beloved sports dramedy to the cozy embrace of Ultra HD with an attractively charming HEVC H.265 encode, giving fans a welcomed step up over the previous 20th Anniversary Blu-ray edition. Coming from that same remaster of the OCN used for the aforementioned HD release, which was approved by director Cameron Crowe, the native 4K transfer enjoys a notable uptick in overall definition with fine lines and objects looking a tad sharper and cleaner. There still remains the occasional soft, blurry moments sprinkled throughout, which appears to be inherent to the original photography, but in general, the video shows better detailing in the clothing, the furniture and in the lettering while facial complexions are highly revealing with pleasing, lifelike textures." 4/5

Audio Review

Ranking:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
"Our idealistic but heroic average Joe chases bureaucratic windmills equipped with the same DTS-HD MA 1.0 monoaural soundtrack enjoyed on its Blu-ray counterpart. For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our review HERE." 4/5


Lawrence of Arabia 

Lawrence of Arabia

"Although still maintaining a very front-heavy presentation, the extra breathing room allows for various audio effects to better discretely travel into the surround channels. Granted, this object-based version is not the sort to battle with the current crop of war films, but the track feels broader and significantly fuller, exhibiting better warmth and superb clarity in the midrange. The upper ranges display the same level of exceptional distinction and separation in Maurice Jarre's iconic score as they do during the loudest moments of warfare. Speaking of which, the music is most effective in engaging the listener, extending into all the channels and generating an enveloping hemispheric soundfield. Action sequences come with background activity spreading evenly across the screen while also subtly bleeding into the top heights, such as an early scene with the echo of German airplanes filling the room." 4.5/5


Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove

"The brink of nuclear holocaust comes equipped with an identical DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack enjoyed on the 2016 Criterion Collection Blu-ray. Sony has also included a DTS-HD 1.0 monoaural track, but it does not reveal any significantly discernable differences from its LPCM mono counterpart. Fans can't go wrong with either version, as they both sound terrific. For a more in-depth take on the audio quality, you can read our reviews of the Criterion Collection linked above or the 2009 DigiBook HERE." 4/5 


Gandhi

"Attenborough's emotional journey to freedom arrives with a fantastic and highly satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtrack, supplying the stunning visuals with several appreciable enhancements over its Dolby TrueHD counterpart. However, given its original audio design and a dialogue-driven drama, the story remains a very front-heavy presentation. Only, the extra-breathing room allows for a wider sense of presence as the background activity moves more convincingly between the three fronts and very subtly into the top heights, generating a broad and expansive half-dome soundstage. The music of Ravi Shankar and George Fenton also lightly bleed into the overheads while exhibiting extraordinary warmth and definition in every musical piece and instrument. Occasionally, atmospherics sporadically but also discretely pan into the sides and rears, joined, from time to time, by the local wildlife randomly flying above the listening area, but such moments are far and few in between. Dialogue reproduction is superbly clean and well-prioritized while an adequate but also palpable low-end provides a weighty heft to certain scenes." 4.5/5


A League of Their Own

"The beloved classic comedy continues its winning streak with a fantastic and surprisingly immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which amazingly complements many conversations with the sounds of birds chirping in the distance or flying directly overhead. The cheering roars and applause of the stadium crowds also reverberate all around and encircle the listener while the announcer's voice echoes from above, generating an unexpectedly good and satisfying hemispheric soundfield. Meanwhile, imaging feels broad and spacious, continuously kept busy with a variety of background activity convincingly panning between the channels and into the off-screen space, such a people talking or cars driving in the distance. Hans Zimmer's score is highly engaging, effectively bleeding into the surrounds and top heights while exhibiting superb clarity and definition within the orchestration. Vocals are always precise and distinct with appreciable intonation in the performances and never drowned out by other activities in the background. Not surprisingly, the low-end is never really put to work here, but it is nonetheless adequate and sufficient to provide some weight and presence to the visuals and the music." 4.5/5


Jerry Maguire

"Crowe's film has never been one for testing a sound system's capabilities or ever left much of an impression in the audio department, not that it was ever expected to given it is a dialogue and character-driven romance. And things don't really improve much in this Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which remains a very front-heavy presentation and nonetheless makes for an excellent complement to the visuals. Granted, imaging feels a tad broader with background activity smoothly bouncing between the fronts while scarcely bleeding into the top heights. The mid-range also seems to exhibit slightly better fidelity and warmth, particularly in the music, but overall, it's not by much. Meanwhile, the surrounds are inconsistently and sporadically employed while the height channels remain largely silent. The track's real strength comes from the crisp, precise dialogue reproduction, displaying outstanding intonation in the performances. Likewise, the low-end provides a healthy palpable weight to the music, especially in the second half of the film." 4/5

Special Features

Ranking:

Each film in the Columbia Classics Vol. 1 set is given its own set of new and archival bonus features. There are hours upon hours of content available. See the individual reviews for full details, but the box set also includes an exclusive DVD with another pair of supplements.

  • The Making of Gandhi: Mr. Attenborough and Mr. Gandhi (SD, 51 min): The television documentary, which originally aired in February 1983, features various cast & crew interviews speaking on the production and the titular character, sprinkled with BTS footage. 
  • The Columbia Pictures 50th Anniversary Special (SD, 45 min): Excerpts from the television special that originally aired on 1 May 1975 celebrating the studio's first fifty years. It is narrated by Orson Welles and features various film clips interspersed with interviews.

As mentioned in the review for Lawrence of Arabia - there was a glitch in the set and not all of the bonus features were shipped. If you ended up with a set missing these bonus features, here is the information necessary to request a replacement. 

Due to a manufacturing error, the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection currently includes an incorrect LAWRENCE OF ARABIA special features disc, which does not include the full amount of intended content. This does not affect the 4K UHD presentation of the film itself. The correct special features disc will be available to consumers who purchase the set, whether as a pre-order or as part of a future order, pending the eventual availability of sets that already have the correct disc included. Consumers should receive communication from their retailer about this corrected disc soon, but may contact the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Customer Care team with any questions at consumer@SPHECustomerSupport.sony.com or 1-800-860-2878.

Final Thoughts

With only five years shy of celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment starts the commemoration with four iconic films and a pair of highly-acclaimed fan favorites collected in one beautiful package dubbed Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1. The set features beloved classics Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove and Gandhi, and they are joined by Penny Marshall's A League of Their Own and Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire, making for a memorable anthology that nicely captures the breadth of the studio's success. 

The attractively elegant limited edition box set is a collection of sixteen discs, an informative 80-page book and an exclusive DVD disc. Each Ultra HD disc features improved 4K HDR video presentations of the individual films, four of which are also accompanied by satisfying Dolby Atmos soundtracks, making them the best way to enjoy those films. With a treasure trove of archival bonuses and new, exclusive material, the entire package is, honestly, a must-own set that looks beautiful in the library of any true cinephile.