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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Forever Female [Blu-ray]


(Irving Rapper, 1953)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:33:56.631 

Disc Size: 20,698,597,024 bytes

Feature Size: 20,601,114,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 22nd, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 856 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 856 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None





Description: After aspiring playwright Stanley Krown’s (William Holden) new play is optioned, his producer (Paul Douglas) insists he rewrites the script to allow his middle-aged ex-wife (Ginger Rogers) to play the lead role, that of a 19-year-old ingénue. But the role wasn’t meant for her, and despite constant changes, Krown’s play can’t seem to win over critics. Irving Rapper directs this charming update to J.M. Barrie’s play Rosalind. A sly showbiz satire, Forever Female also features Pat Crowley in her Golden Globe winning performance as Sally Carver, the young actress who wants nothing more than the lead part for herself.



The Film:

The reviews are in and a new play starring Beatrice Page and produced by Harry Phillips is a flop. Long divorced but still a team, they need a new project and meet playwright Stanley Krown, who has written one in which the lead roles are a mother and a 19-year-old daughter. Beatrice wants to play the daughter. She can't pass for 19 but believes she can for 29, so wants the play rewritten. She also displays a romantic interest in Stanley. A young actress first calling herself Sally Carver and then Peggy Pruitt wants an audition. Stanley has her do some typing on his rewrite, and a jealous Beatrice finds her an acting job out of town. Stanley's play previews in Washington, D.C., and flops. Sally, now calling herself Claudia Souvain, tries to persuade Stanley that the actress is too old for the role. Seeing the play in a small town with Sally in the lead, now under her real name of Clara Mootz, convinces Stanley that she is right. Beatrice finally concedes that it's time for her to act her age. She agrees to take the mother's part, and on Broadway the play is a huge success.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Sir James Barrie's whimsical play Rosalind was updated and urbanized as the 1953 film Forever Female. Ginger Rogers plays a veteran Broadway star who has optioned a play written by William Holden. Though on the less sunny side of 40, Rogers expects to play the leading role, that of a 19 year old girl. Producer Paul Douglas--who also happens to be Rogers' husband--insists that Holden alter the age of the main character. Meanwhile, iron-willed ingenue Patricia Crowley, who is far more suited to the part than Rogers, begins her own campaign to win the role. Far more enjoyable than the plot mechanics of Forever Female are the sly showbiz inside jokes, courtesy of screenwriters Julius and Philip Epstein. It's also fun to tick off the familiar faces in the supporting cast, including George Reeves as a stuffy suitor, future Mrs. Bing Crosby Katherine Grant as an auditioning actress, and Gunsmoke and Dragnet villain Vic Perrin as an effeminate set designer

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Forever Female arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but, for them, a little above-average transfer - with a higher bitrate and a strong image. Contrast supports the visuals and it is reasonably clean with few speckles. Detail has impressive moments and there is both grain visible and depth exported by the 1080P. It is very stable and a surprisingly strong image quality. The Blu-ray certainly improved the presentation over an SD rendering and most will be very pleased with the HD presentation.

















Audio :

Olive stay original with a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel track at 856 kbps. It is fairly unremarkable with few effects and a good score composed by Victor Young (Three Faces West, The Sun Shines Bright, Johnny Guitar, China Gate etc.) that adds to the brevity. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

No supplements - which seems standard fare for Olive.



I thought Forever Female was a smart comedy. I wasn't expecting much and had some smiles enjoying Holden, Ginger Rogers and the supporting cast (hey how about spotting Happy Day's mom Marion Ross!). Personally though, I am not that big on vintage comedies (I rarely revisit) although this was one of the better ones that I've seen in a while. The bare-bones Olive Blu-ray seems adept for an HD presentation but the price seems high in relation to value. There isn't enough here for me to endorse except to fans of the genre - who will, no doubt, appreciate the fun. 

Gary Tooze

July 10th, 2014


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