Posted 16 January 2009 - 03:22 PM
Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:00 PM
Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:53 AM
This classic Deborah Kerr film looks absolutely gorgeous on Blu-ray. The colors (so important in a Michel Powell film) are rich and glorious. The picture quality's high definition details are excellent. Well worth owning. The trailer is also in high definition.
Because this is a region free DVD from England, it plays on our Blu players here in America. The movie and the trailer are perfect. There is an extra featurette about the film but since it is recorded in PAL, it won't play here.
All in all, a definite item to have for your collection.
Posted 11 February 2007 - 02:44 PM
Starring: Dorothy McGuire, Richard Egan, Sandra Dee, Arthur Kennedy, Constance Ford and Troy Donahue.
Wow. I've been waiting FOREVER for this dvd to come out. When I heard WB was releasing it, I actually let out a yell of joy at my computer. Everyone who had seen it, had given it glowing reviews. My mother was even looking forward to this, since she had fond memories of it from when she was a child.
After watching it, she said: "What the hell was that?"
It's not a terrible movie at all, but we both found it melodramatic and over-the-top. The best parts were courtesy of Arthur Kennedy and Constance Ford, as the jilted husband and wife of Dororthy McGuire and Richard Egan (who I both found a little dull in comparison to their counterparts). Constance Ford is pure evil (the scene where she subjects poor Sandra Dee to a physical exam is incrediably uncomfortable to watch, even today) and Arthur Kennedy just blurts out the strangest sentences thanks to the fact that he lives on a steady diet of nothing but alcohol. However, he steals the entire movie with his final scene where he gives liquor fuled advice to Troy Donahue (possibly the most wooden actor I've ever seen. It's like he's reading his lines off cue cards!) and Sandra Dee (who's, as always, adorably cute and perfect for the role).
I was slightly disappointed with the dvd, since it contains nothing but the trailer. I guess I've come to expect really fantastic extras from Warner, so I was expecting to see something--a commentary, a documentary, a photo gallery (I've found some fantastic promo shots of Kennedy in his Navy uniform, a whisky glass glued to his hand), but all you get is the trailer. The picture quality is good, not many specks. But it has that weird, flat 1950's quality to it.
I'm not sure if I found this movie so "campy" because of the era I grew up in. Some of the ideas are totally outdated (Dorothy McGuire talking about her wedding night springs to mind) and I think I'm a little hardened by cynicism, but I'd recommend it for the dialogue and if you're a fan of any of the actors, but mostly for the fantastic acting of Constance Ford and Arthur Kennedy*. They're wonderful in this.
*I'm terribly biased because he's one of my favorites, so draw your own conclusions, I guess.
Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:59 PM
Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Edward G. Robinson, Bob Cummings and Yves Montand.
While it's billed as a comedy, it's really not. At least, I didn't find it to be a slapstick-type of comedy. The premise is simple: Yves Montand is Shirley MacLaine's director husband who always casts her and Bob Cummings in his movies. But for once, he wants to direct a a movie without Shirley as his lead. He wants to go to Japan and film Madame Butterfly with a real Japanese actress. Unfortunately, the studio will only give him half his normal budget if he doesn't use Shirley as his leading lady. Therefore, Shirley and Edward G. Robinson, as her agent, devise a plan together. This all happens in the first 20 minutes, so it's not a really big spoiler.
There's some humor here and there, mostly from Bob Cummings (as Shirley's lecherous, self absorbed co-star), but it's mostly a character driven comedy-drama about a husband and wife's relationship. It's very sweet and really not the kind of movie I was expecting. Also, as expected, Edward G. Robinson is wonderful, but then I've never met an Eddie G. movie I haven't liked. The movie is also very respectful of the Japanese culture and the scenes shot on location, are pretty breathtaking.
The movie itsel is presented in it's original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio with minimal flecks or scratches on the print. The sound is fanastic. The extras (as with the majority of classic Paramount releases) are limited to subtitles and scene selections. There is no trailer. It's a great movie though, is highly recommended since it hasn't been in rotation on cable in years, especially if you're a fan of the actors. Good stuff.
Posted 03 November 2006 - 12:31 PM
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Starring: Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, George Sanders, Reginald Gardiner, Harry Carey, Joseph Calleia (sp?)
This one took me by surprise...I rented it purely because I love Gene Tierney but I'm buying it because it's an exciting adventure picture about the English fighting to protect African territories from the Germans in WWII. I thought at first it was actually shot in Africa because the locations are very striking and unusual, but it appear to have been filmed in New Mexico. Hathaway is a terrific action director and the only weak points are the sometimes stiff dialogue scenes. However, Gene has never been more ravishing and the story is interesting.
And an added bonus is an episode (totally unrelated to the feature, by the way) of Ronald Colman's television series dramatizing Somerset Maugham stories. This one features Angela Lansbury and George Macready and was nicely produced (William Cameron Menzies designed it).
Definitely worth having if you are a fan of Tierney.
Posted 29 October 2006 - 02:24 AM
Posted 25 October 2006 - 09:31 AM
Thanks for the tip.....
Posted 24 October 2006 - 02:26 PM
Occasionally, I will find Costco has great prices, and am kicking myself because I was in there on the weekend and saw they had a set of 20th Century-Fox films (Gentlemen's Agreement, How Green Was My Valley, All About Eve, and the special DVD of Sunrise) at about $16.95. Kills me because I got the set through Amazon last week at $27.
Posted 24 October 2006 - 11:07 AM
Now I can't wait.
Posted 19 October 2006 - 02:29 PM
Buy the DVD...you won't regret the purchase.
Are you thinking, "what the hell kind of DVD review is that?"
Okay...I'll add some stuff. I received this by mail the day after the recent Private Screenings with Robert Osborne...child stars version. In case you missed the broadcast, one of Mr. Osborne's guests was the actor Darryl Hickman. During the Private Screenings, Hickman talks a bit about working on "Leave Her To Heaven". The DVD of the movie includes a commentary track and the commentary track includes two commentators--Darryl Hickman and a guy named Richard Schickel. Schickel reviews movies for some news magazine. Oh, I know...Schickel reviews movies for Time. Anyway, the commentary track is very interesting. I think Mr. Schickel and Mr. Hickman watched and recorded their comments at different times and the DVD production team spliced the commentary track together. Why do I think the commentary track is spliced together? A couple of reasons. First, no "give and take" between Schickel and Hickman. Second, the commentary divides up into three parts. The first part I will call, "pre-Hickman" (before Hickman's character makes an appearance). The first part is mostly Schickel commentary with Hickman making "odds and ends" comments. Hickman's comments are really not related to anything you are watching on your television screen. However, Hickman's comments are interesting and if you watched his appearance on Private Screenings will be familiar. For instance, Hickman talks about working with Elizabeth Taylor, going to studio school, etcetera. Okay...so the first third of the DVD commentary is a pretty uninteresting Schickel commentary interspersed with entertaining, but not relevant to the movie, Hickman comments. The second part Hickman's character is on screen and Schickel disappears from the commentary track. Hickman's comments include trivia about making the movie and (I am pretty sure he is watching the movie while recording his comments) talks about the movie's cinematography, costumes, sets and production personnel. If you watched the Private Screenings broadcast, you know Hickman is a raconteur and his comments for this DVD are not a disappointment. So, where did Schickel go? My opinion, based on Schickel's pre-Hickman comments...I don't think he really likes this movie. I bet, Schickel did record stuff during the Hickman-only part of the commentary, but were not included on the DVD because they were boring. The third part is "post-Hickman" (he has left the screen...so to speak) and, I am embarrassed to write this...I left the commentary track. I don't know what happens on the commentary track for the final third of the movie...maybe, another contributor knows?
A couple of other reasons to buy this DVD. It is cheap...I bought mine at Amazon for twelve dollars and fifty cents. Gene Tierney stars...by the way, one of her best roles. Another thread (this forum) is concerned with the best Technicolor movies. The consensus of the contributors to the Technicolor thread is the Powell-Pressburger productions (Red Shoes, Black Narcissus) are the best. Well, I will place "Leave Her To Heaven" in MY top ten Technicolor productions. The video is gorgeous. The audio is pretty good...too. Included with the extras is a side by side comparison of pre-restored and restored for DVD bits of film. This DVD started with a damn good print...Fox's pre-restored film is not significantly worse than the "restored for digital" material.
No other DVD extras are worth mentioning. So...buy this DVD for the price, the story, the beautiful Technicolor, the eccentric commentary track and...of course, Gene Tierney!
Posted 29 September 2006 - 08:24 AM
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:25 AM
"State of the Union" can probably be labeled as a comedy-drama, although I felt the drama elements were stronger. It's directed by Frank Capra and has an excellent all-star cast: Tracy, Hepburn, Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury (who steals the whole show by playing a precursor to her evil mother role in "The Manchurian Candidate") and Adolphe Menjou are the main players, but it's also supported by a great cast of character actors as well. It has all the traditional Capra elements--politics, good vs. evil, upstanding morals, etc.--but it's also fast paced and has plenty of witty dialogue and humorous one liners sprinked throughout.
The picture quality is excellent. I only saw one or two scenes throughout the entire movie that seemed to be "snipped". The sound is crisp and clear and it's presented in it's original full screen ratio.
There are no extras--no trailer, no commentary and not even a "scene selection" menu! However, the movie is divided into chapter breaks (just remember where you are, in case you have to stop it and accidently have to start it from the beginning).
I also found it odd that Universal didn't see fit to somehow fix the opening credits since Katharine Hepburn and Adolphe Menjou's names are spelled wrong. There's also a few seconds of black screen, while Leo the Lion roars in the background before the "Liberty Films" title card appears on the screen!
The bare bones disc is a real disappointment, but the film itself is excellent. It's worth it just to see one of the rarer entries in the Tracy/Hepburn filmography, especially since it never seems to be on tv anymore.
Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:03 AM
Post any dvd reviews, questions, comments pertaining to dramas here.
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