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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Geisha Boy [Blu-ray]

 

(Frank Tashlin, 1958)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount / Hal Wallis Productions

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:59:24.198

Disc Size: 21,835,738,917 bytes

Feature Size: 21,537,527,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.91 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 14th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 941 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 941 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Jerry Lewis, plays a third-rate USO magician named Gilbert Woolley, working the Far East circuit with his pet rabbit... Harry. Nearly fired for accidentally humiliating haughty movie star Marie McDonald, Gilbert's career is salvaged by kindly Japanese aristocrat Sessue Hayakawa; it seems that Gilbert is the only person who is able to make Sessue's lonely, orphaned nephew Robert Hirano laugh. An international incident nearly develops when hero-worshipping Hirano tries to follow Gilbert back to the US, whereupon the poor prestidigitator is accused of being a kidnaper. Like most of the Jerry Lewis/Frank Tashlin collaborations, The Geisha Boy is highlighted by several eye-popping sight-gag sequences. The best bits include a ballpark scene featuring several members of the 1958 Los Angeles Dodgers (notably Gil Hodges) and a sledgehammer-subtle throwaway concerning Sessue Hayakawa's previous appearance in Bridge on the River Kwai. Less successful are the maudlin scenes between Jerry Lewis and little Robert Hirano, with both performers ladling on pathos with a trowel. Oh, yes: Geisha Boy served as the film debut of Suzanne Pleshette.

~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

 

The Film:

This movie is more poignant than most of his work and Jerry's character seems more like a believable person and not just the mugging, knock-kneed lunatic he usually played. He plays fifth rate magician Gilbert Wooley who joins a USO tour of the Orient because he can't get a gig Stateside. On the plane he meets Sgt. Pearson, a WAC played by Suzanne Pleshette in her movie debut, and also starlet Lola Livingstone who he proceeds to make the flight a living hell for. The antics on the plane always remind me a bit of the train scene in Some Like It Hot.

Excerpt from Three Movie Buffs located HERE

One of Jerry Lewis' first comedies away from former partner Dean Martin, this rather flaccid vehicle reveals the mawkish side that would arise more often in his solo efforts. Lewis plays an unsuccessful magician who takes a job entertaining the troops in the Far East. In Japan, a young orphan (as he's euphemistically labelled) becomes attached to this goofy surrogate father. Fortunately, Tashlin's direction supplies some great visual jokes, principally with a live rabbit that is made to seem more of an animated human character.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Geisha Boy looks decent on Blu-ray - certainly better than SD, but not visually overwhelming. This is 1080P but only single-layered. Contrast may be a shade on the heavy-side but the image is bright and colors look impressive. This Blu-ray is clean and gave me a decent HD presentation. It's no 'demo' but produced a enjoyable screening of a fun, family film I had never seen before.  By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

It's a fairly puny, but authentic DTS-HD Master 1.0 mono at 941 kbps. The original score by Walter Scharf supports the film predictably with some lightness. There is no real depth. I don't expect it sounded much different theatrically and there are no subtitles offered. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Typical of Olive Films - especially with their Paramount titles - there are no extras at all. It's another totally bare-bones package.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I have not seen many Jerry Lewis films but dove right in with these three Olive Film Blu-ray releases (Boeing, Boeing - The Geisha Boy, and Rock-a-Bye Baby). Actually although they are all comedies - he is quite different in each. Without Blu-ray I probably would have never seen these films. I was pleasantly surprised by my own positive reaction. In the correct mood - there is nothing wrong with The Geisha Boy. Some cross-culture stuff and not too heavy on the slapstick - there is more enjoyment here than many might think. 

Gary Tooze

February 10th, 2012

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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