S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'Once Is Not Enough')
Directed by Guy Green
Based on a Best Seller by Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls). January Wayne (Deborah Raffin), the adoring daughter of movie producer Mike Wayne (Kirk Douglas) returns home to New York, only to find her father married to Deidre Milford Granger (Alexis Smith), the fifth richest woman in the world. The marriage is one of the conveniences for Mike, who has lost his magic touch as a producer, and is in desperate need of money to continue his and his daughter’s lavish lifestyles. Jealous January bitterly resents her father and cannot accept the moral codes of this new world, finding only frustration. She gets a job with Gloss Magazine and falls in love with Pulitzer Price-winning novelist Tom Colt (David Janssen), whose virile prose and celebrated fistfights turn out to be a compensation for his physical inadequacies. Her Stepmother Dee wants her to marry David Milford (George Hamilton), Dee’s handsome young cousin and wolf-about-town, who’s having an affair with the reclusive retired movie star, Karla (Melina Mercouri), who in turn is carrying on a clandestine lesbian affair with Dee. Directed by Guy Green (55 Days at Peking), with original Music and Score by Henry Mancini (Victor/Victoria). Brenda Vaccaro won a Golden GlobeŽ award (and an Academy AwardŽ nomination) for her supporting performance as the man-crazy editor of a fashion magazine.
A film that has Kirk Douglas exclaim 'You just cut my balls off in front of my daughter,' that feels moved to rattle such skeletons in the cupboard as impotence and artificial insemination, that has its central character called January because (in the words of her father) 'she was born on New Year's Day and I swore I'd give her the world,' and that bothers to incorporate into the plot a minor-league astronaut with an 'aw shucks' attitude to his job. Once Is Not Enough brings Jacqueline Susann's's characteristically unshadowed world of wealth and deodorised amorality to the screen with all the ringing confidence of a sanitary towel commercial. Green's direction is highly professional, and the overall slickness is fascinatingly allowed to lie like the very thinnest of veneers over absolutely nothing.
Theatrical Release: June 18th, 1975
DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Olive Films is handling another older Paramount release. It will become available simultaneously with My Favorite Spy , Where Love Has Gone, Knock on Wood and Harlow. I was impressed with the three Noir films they released - Appointment With Danger, William Dieterle's Dark City and Rudolph Mate's Union Station as well as the enjoyable Hammer-esque sci-fi Crack in the World from the mid 60`s. Even Hannie Caulder had some minor merit....but Once is Not Enough is, at times, painful to watch. It's only viable achievement is as a relic of its time - archiving a bizarre renaissance of style, growth and a preface to the soapy stylings of the privileged. It comes across as distant, ineffectual and out of touch with its audience.
The characters are obvious fictionalized portraits of real individuals. Heiress Barbara Hutton (Deidre Milford Granger is played by Alexis Smith), "Cosmo" editor and author Helen Gurley Brown (Brenda Vaccaro -> Linda Riggs in the film), reclusive actress Greta Garbo (Melina Mercouri), and author Norman Mailer (David Janssen playing 'Tom Colt'). Kirk Douglas' character is less easy to establish, many claiming he was based on Howard W. Koch - Once is Not Enough's producer.
Like previous Olive Film DVDs this is both dual-layered, progressive and bare-bones. Once is Not Enough is not a bad looking film with a grand 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and star-studded cast wearing fashions (by Edith Head) that were in vogue for a cup of coffee as they say in baseball terminology. There is even depth prevalent that we don't usually see in this format. The image moves from tighter to looser focus but I expect this was the way it was shot looking impressive at times to softer in others. There aren't a lot of close-ups and medium shots work well. There is no damage - maybe a few speckles - but that is all. The appearance is fine - probably as good as the SD-DVD medium can relate.
The unremarkable 2.0 channel audio is, predictably, flat but everything is consistent and dialogue clear. As stated there are no extras - not even a trailer - nor subtitles offered.
Of all the Olive Film release to date - I probably had the least enjoyment with Once is Not Enough. I just couldn't buy into it BUT I found the whole milieu - clothes, interior designs, even the dialogue - oddly fascinating. It didn't suspend my disbelief and for one reason or another I wanted 'out'. So, that isn't an endorsement. Not this time.