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directed by Alfred E. Green
USA 1934

 

The pre-code tale of adultery that squeaked past the censors! Coming at the tail end of 1934, Housewife was released shortly before the imposition of the “Hays Code” would render its subject matter ‘verboten!’ This turgid melodrama finds modern bachelor girl Patricia Berkeley (Bette Davis) dueling it out with modern housewife Nan Reynolds (Ann Dvorak) for the affections and ministrations of Nan’s husband, William (George Brent). Ambitious office manager William finally succeeds in setting up shop for himself in the advertising biz thanks to help from copywriter Pat and ideas from housewife Nan. When his late nights working at the office with Pat turn into something else, Nan must decide if William is worth fighting for. That is, if Pat will let her. Davis is at her vamping, doe-eyed best as the jaded sophisticated Pat, a copywriter who knows how to spin the right line to lure a guy.

Poster

Theatrical Release: August 11th, 1934

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:08:45
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.24 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.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 29

 

Comments

Certainly dated, but still a hoot with home-wrecker women and obvious tomfoolery skirting by any finger-wagging censorship. Davis is her usual great self - and many of her early roles seemed marked by a voluminous bosom. This is slightly above-average for the era with many performance positives to enjoy.

It's standard single-layered but progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks very good. This is labeled under the Warner's new "Re-mastered Edition" marquee and the image is very impressive with speckles and only one prominent instance showing damage that I noted (see last capture). Black levels are strong and detail surprisingly good. The disc supports the film with a fine, very watchable, transfer.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles, nor supplements, offered.

Always enjoyable to step back in time with a pre-code and still be surprised by the adult content. Check out Dvorak's hat and Bette Davis' black outfit with the frills in front. Classic and lovable.  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menu
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 

 


 


Minor, frame-specific, damage

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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