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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Love Happy [Blu-ray]


(David Miller, 1949)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Artists Alliance

Video: Olive Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:35.490 

Disc Size: 20,173,156,219 bytes

Feature Size: 20,079,550,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.97 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 6th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 846 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 846 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None





Description: The Marx Brothers' final starring feature Love Happy began life as a solo vehicle for Harpo. The financiers wouldn't go for this, insisting that all three Marx boys appear on screen. Thus, Chico was hastily written into the proceedings, while Groucho made what amounted to a guest appearance as narrator and last-minute problem solver. The story concerns a group of aspiring actors who are putting together a musical review called "Love Happy." Harpo, the troupe's mascot, keeps the actors from starving by cleverly filching canned goods from a local grocer. On one such excursion, he accidentally gets hold of a sardine can containing a fortune in stolen diamonds. This makes Harpo the target of icy adventuress Madame Egilichi (Ilona Massey) and her henchmen (Melville Cooper, Raymond Burr, Bruce Gordon). When he isn't fending off the villains, Harpo is making life a little brighter for "Love Happy"'s leading lady Maggie (Vera-Ellen).



The Film:

Mary Pickford produced the last Marx Brothers feature (1949), which is far from their best, even though both Ben Hecht and Frank Tashlin worked on the script. Marilyn Monroe appears in a bit, and a good many product plugs figure in a climactic rooftop scene involving neon signs.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Love Happy (1950), sadly known in cinema history as the last Marx Brothers feature, actually began as an entirely different animal cracker. For those who participated in the production there would ultimately be little love and no happiness - all the more amazing as the movie contains a number of amusing and enjoyable vignettes, and, while it may be the least of the Brothers Marx, it is still preferable to the films of most other comedians.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

Love Happy has a typical, single-layered Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. The source is clean and the 1080P image looks solid. The black levels look excellent and the image shows some textured grain. This is another 'straight' transfer from Olive - no manipulation and a good representation of the source used. Detail has impressive moments and there was depth exported. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and I was pleased with the appearance on my system.















Audio :

Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master mono track at 846 kbps. The musical numbers (Vera-Ellen singing, Harpo on a harp, or Chico on piano) sound quite clean and strong. The track exported a few instances of surprising depth.  There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their Blu-ray releases.



Even if it seems forced at times - there is still humor and fun here. It does appear to be past its prime but I've always been sweet on Vera-Ellen and the brothers are up to some amusing shenanigans. How about Raymond Burr's 'do'? The, bare-bones, Olive Blu-ray gives an HD presentation of a middling comedy film. I'd like to see some of the Marx Brothers classics in 1080P. This was not a fabulous choice, IMO. Despite a few minutes of a young Marilyn (and old Groucho), and plenty of Harpo, I'd still recommend a 'pass'. 

Gary Tooze

April 27th, 2014

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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