An enchanting comedy which starts with Colbert, as an American chorine on the make, stranded in Paris in a gold lamé evening gown (what else?). She is befriended on the one hand by a poor taxi-driver who is really a Russian count (Ameche), and on the other by a wealthy socialite (Barrymore) who 'introduces' her to society so that she can oblige by luring a gigolo away from his wife. Uncanny coincidental parallels with La Règle du Jeu abound, and although the film echoes Renoir's bark more than his bite, it has a superbly malicious script by Brackett and Wilder, gorgeous sets and camerawork, and a matchless cast. All in all, probably Leisen's best film.
Theatrical Release: March 15th, 1939
DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC|
NOTE: Universal are releasing 4 vintage comedies on April 22nd:
Average Bitrate: 8.73 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)|
|Subtitles||English (SDH), French, None|
Osborne Introduction (2:06)
Wilder had a hand in the screenplay and this is another total gem of a film - possibly the best of the quartet being released simultaneously from Universal (although I truly loved The Major and the Minor). A fabulous example of primo vintage comedy from the late 30's. Even my today's standards a very well crafted, and performed, film.
Detail has some healthy moments and contrast is subtle but stable. Another dual-layered effort with a skyrocketing bitrate. I can't image on this looking too much better on standard-def unless some real dollars were put into restoration... but then it wouldn't be an $11 DVD then - would it. Noise seems fairly compacted occasionally inherent in the background(s) and, as an aside - I loved the fashions of the film (and the era, I supposes).
Audio seemed clean enough for its purposes (although shows the film age at close to 70 years) and there are optional English or Spanish subtitles if desired. Once again a brief Osborne intro and a short trailer. Typical comedy of the time with the female bedroom scene, dance party, posh breakfasts and backseat car-ride conversations. Something very comforting about that. This is a very good film in my limited opinion. We recommend a purchase at double the price.