Made in Dagenham appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer looked good but not quite great.
Sharpness became the main – though minor – problem. While the majority of the flick displayed good clarity and accuracy, occasional shots appeared a bit on the soft side. Those weren’t a big concern, but I did think the movie tended to be a little less defined than expected.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. No signs of source flaws emerged. From start to finish, the movie provided a clean presentation.
Like virtually all period pieces, Dagenham went with a stylized palette. It was less golden than most, though, as it instead favored a kind of pea-green look. Within those parameters, the colors looked fine, as they still managed to manifest some reasonably full hues. Blacks appeared deep and dense, and low-light shots presented nice clarity. The occasional softness made this a “B” transfer, but it was still more than satisfactory.
Though I didn’t expect much from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it provided a pretty immersive affair. The film used different settings well; it created a nice sense of the din in the factory, and other elements like thunderstorms broadened the mix in a positive manner. These used the surrounds in a satisfying way, and music also demonstrated nice stereo information. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio created a better than anticipated surround track.
Sound quality was more than acceptable. Dialogue could be difficult to understand, but that stemmed more from thick accents than the recordings themselves; the lines seemed natural enough. Music was lively and warm, while effects demonstrated good accuracy and heft. Though nothing here truly impressed, the mix was pretty positive.
We get a few extras to fill out the set. First comes an audio commentary from director Nigel Cole. He offers a running, screen-specific look at research and facts behind the story, sets and locations, cast, characters and performances, music, period details and production design, camerawork and visuals effects, editing, and some other production notes.
My only complaint here relates to the amount of dead air, as Cole fades a little too often, especially during the film’s first half. Otherwise, he offers a good look at his film. Cole digs into a nice variety of elements and delivers a useful examination of the subjects.
The Making of Made in Dagenham runs 13 minutes, 21 seconds and includes notes from Cole, producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, and actors Sally Hawkins, Geraldine James, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike, Bob Hoskins, Andrea Riseborough, and Jaime Winstone. We learn about the film’s origins and development, story, historical background and characters, cast and performances, Cole’s impact on the production, and themes. We few decent notes emerge here, but most of the program concentrates on promotion, so it doesn’t give us much.
Eight Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 32 seconds. We get “Factory Floor” (0:49), “Rita After Work” (0:24), “Rita Buys a Magazine” (0:40), “George’s Medicine” (1:05), “Rita Talks It Over With Eddie” (2:11), “Hopkins and Tooley” (0:31), “Barbara Castle Rearranges Furniture” (0:43), and “Barbara Castle Brings News” (1:09). With only one clip that lasts more than 69 seconds, you shouldn’t expect much meat here. Of these short pieces, “Medicine” is probably the most valuable, just because it helps reinforce a minor plot line; the final film does little to develop the Connie/George subject, so this extra tidbit would’ve made it more effective.
Otherwise, the brief scenes tend to be pretty superfluous; they don’t add anything much to what we already know. “Talks” is a decent addition, as it helps show the potential strife between Rita and husband Eddie. It’s not crucial, but it does contribute a bit more to that thread, especially since it hints that Eddie’s support of Rita’s cause might not be especially deep.
Next comes a collection of Outtakes. It goes for two minutes, 17 seconds and provides a fairly standard package of goof-ups. We do get a few alternate lines for one scene, but otherwise it’s nothing unusual.
The disc opens with ads for Barney’s Version, The Illusionist, Another Year and Inside Job . These also appear under Previews. The trailer for Dagenham also shows up here.
With a strong historical tale behind it, Made in Dagenham provides a reasonably enjoyable film. It can be awfully predictable and one-dimensional, but the basic story keeps it going, and the actors deliver enough charm to abet it. The Blu-ray comes with pretty good picture and audio as well as some interesting supplements. Dagenham isn’t a classic civil rights drama, but it’s a likable enough one.