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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Gypsy [Blu-ray]

 

(Mervyn Leroy, 1962)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner Archive

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:23:09.622

Disc Size: 38,487,076,822 bytes

Feature Size: 35,935,911,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1704 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1704 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Two extra Musical numbers:

• Together Wherever We Go

You'll Never Get Away From Me (Duet Version)

Trailer

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Ringing with the showbiz sass of its Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim score, the film version of the Broadway hit Gypsy takes you on a grand vaudeville tour. It sweeps you up in the roller-coaster relationship of Louise (Natalie Wood), the wallflower later to blossom into sophisticated stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, and her ambitious mother, Rose (Rosalind Russell who's performance won her a fifth Best Actress Golden Globe Award). Karl Malden scores as Herbie, the salesman who falls for Rose - to his exasperation. Full of terrific tunes (Everything's Coming Up Roses and Small World among them), Gypsy will certainly entertain you and definitely make you smile.

 

 

The Film:

Gypsy was based on the early career of Gypsy Rose Lee, the most famous stripper in burlesque history. Lee had become a superstar of the '30s and '40s thanks to columnists like Walter Winchell, who raved about her wit and intellectual aspirations. She won approval from critics when she published a mystery novel, The G-String Murders (filmed as Lady of Burlesque, with Barbara Stanwyck, in 1943) and hobnobbed with literary greats like Carson McCullers and W.H. Auden. She even managed to bring stripping to Broadway, despite an edict by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia banning burlesque in New York City. In 1957, Lee published her memoirs, a book focusing on her early years in vaudeville - she was on-stage from infancy - and Mama Rose, the stage mother who pushed her to the top.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

This Stephen Sondheim/Jules Styne/Arthur Laurents musical comedy Gypsy had been a Broadway smash with Ethel Merman in the lead. Based on the autobiography of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, it centers on the antics of Mama Rose (here played by Rosalind Russell), the Stage Mother from Hell who prods and pushes her daughters June and Louise into a vaudeville career. Rose pins most of her hopes for fame on older daughter June (billed as "Dainty June"), while little Louise reluctantly goes along for the ride. Karl Malden plays the girls' agent, who falls in love with Rose but is ultimately turned off by her ruthless ambition. When June escapes the act to get married, Rose puts the unwilling Louise in the star spot, but vaudeville is dying and soon the only booking they can get is in a cheap burlesque house. The strippers take Louise under their wing and advise her that "You've gotta have a gimmick" to survive on the bump-and-grind circuit. The nervous Louise rises to stardom as stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, whose "gimmick" is to adopt a self-mocking attitude and to put on pseudo-sophisticated airs. Rose resents Gypsy's rise to the top, but a bravura eight-minute musical soliloquy reveals that Rose had forced her daughters on the stage because she wanted to live out her own dreams of stardom. Louise--aka Gypsy--is played by Diane Pace as a girl and by Natalie Wood as an adult; June (better known as June Havoc) is portrayal by Suzanne Cupito (later billed as Morgan Brittany) as a little girl and Ann Jillian as an adolescent. Most of the best songs, including "Let Me Entertain You," "Small World," and "Everything's Coming Up Roses," remain intact from the original Broadway production.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Of all the releases from The Natalie Wood Collection Boxset DVD that was put out in 2009 - Gypsy looked the best of those 6 films.  It also looks fabulous on Blu-ray from The Warner Archive.  Colors remain rich and detail ratchets up a full notch.  This is dual-layered and with a high bitrate. Colors are tighter than SD could relate and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. This 2.35:1 Blu-ray has wonderful film-like quality with the colors being the standout. This 1080P transfer probably looks just like the film Gypsy and the digital presentation appearance is quite impressive.

 

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

 

Warner (Natalie Wood Collection boxset) DVD TOP vs. Warner Archive Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Warner (Natalie Wood Collection boxset) DVD TOP vs. Warner Archive Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Warner (Natalie Wood Collection boxset) DVD TOP vs. Warner Archive Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Warner (Natalie Wood Collection boxset) DVD TOP vs. Warner Archive Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

No boost going on here - Warner stick with the original lean track transferred in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1704 kbps.  The Sondheim score and musical numbers sound terrific in lossless. There is no range but a substantial impression of depth that buoys the singing to a new level well beyond the last DVD. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Not much in the way of extras - we get two additional musical numbers - Together Wherever We Go and the Duet Version of You'll Never Get Away From Me. There is also a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I wasn't particularly in the mood for Gypsy but the film's charm, exuberant video and lossless stereo sound soon won me over. Sure, it is plenty hokey - but the film's unnaturally grandiose manner fits in its own peculiar way and it is always a pleasure to see Natalie Wood in 1080P. The Blu-ray supplies a very solid presentation - that encourages repeat viewings. We recommend! 

Gary Tooze

December 8th, 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 5000 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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