This is a non-musical revamp of Bogdanovich's (equally unsuccessful) At Long Last Love. On the positive side, it looks good and boasts Hepburn in a rare star part at this period of her career. She's one of two women being followed by a trio of private detectives in New York. One of them (Gazara) is after her and two more (Ritter, Novak) pursue a woman (Stratten) who is having an affair. Sadly, the film lacks the light touch it needs and the only (cynical) laugh to be had is the suggestion that Bogdanovich had La Ronde in mind.
The temptation to respond 'No, they didn't' is overwhelming, and unfortunately it's also accurate. Bogdanovich's romantic comedy (involving three operatives from a detective agency and the women they have been assigned to watch) crucially lacks wit, and gauche clumsiness proves no substitute. Ritter's totally graceless performance punctures more laughs than it raises, and Gazzara is still in his expressionless period. There are occasional glimmers of what might have been in the fresh performances of the actresses. But it plods where it should sparkle, like a celebration where the champagne's gone flat.
Theatrical Release: August 14th, 1981
DVD Review: HBO - Region 1, 4 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||HBO - Region 1, 4 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.39 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||French, Spanish, None|
with director Bogdanovich
A rare example where the DVD extras outweigh the film value. I'd probably be a little more emphatic about that statement but I wasn't bowled over by Bogdanovich's commentary. I usually immensely enjoy his input but he seemed a little bored by this, although he still imparted some interesting tidbits (this is a guy who has done it all so maybe I expected too much).
In the 30 minute conversation with director colleague Wes Anderson - Bogdanovich admits that this is his favorite film as he loved all the women in it. It is an interesting conversation but seems a shame to have been wasted on this lackluster movie. They discuss the stars and Bogdanovich reiterates what he says in the commentary that he wanted to make a film with limited dialogue - more non-verbal communication. Overall this supplement is worth watching.
The DVD image looks very good - sharp, bright, great colors. I don't know where this 1.70ish ratio comes in - but I doubt it was the theatrical - things look a little tight (chopped heads), but to be honest I really don't know. Audio is 2.0 channel and clear if unremarkable. There are optional French or Spanish subtitles.
The film is not much except for being notable as the last features of both Hepburn and Stratten (Dorothy was murdered a month after wrapping). Bogdanovich fans may get something out of the commentary and conversation. The price is acceptable for that alone.