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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Tootsie [Blu-ray]


(Sydney Pollack, 1982)



Criterion is releasing this in the UK on Blu-ray in April of 2016:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #738



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

Runtime: 1:57:19.699 

Disc Size: 47,023,455,769 bytes

Feature Size: 26,141,865,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.72 Mbps

Chapters: 26

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: December 16th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps



English (SDH), none



• Audio commentary featuring director Sydney Pollack
New interviews with actor Dustin Hoffman (18:03) and comedy writer Phil Rosenthal (15:37)
Interview with Dorothy Michaels by film critic Gene Shalit (4:25)
Making of “Tootsie” (1982) (33:40) and A Better Man: The Making of “Tootsie” (2007) (1:08:55), two documentaries featuring interviews with cast and crew
Screen and wardrobe test footage (6:45)
Deleted scenes (10:21) and trailers (1:24 + 1:02 + 1:00)
PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Sragow






Description: In Tootsie, Michael Dorsey lands the role of a lifetime—as did the actor playing him, Dustin Hoffman. This multilayered comedy from Sydney Pollack follows the elaborate deception of a down-on-his-luck New York actor who poses as a woman to get a soap opera gig; while “Dorothy Michaels” skyrockets to fame, Michael finds himself learning to be a better man. Given support by a stellar cast that includes Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Teri Garr, George Gaynes, Bill Murray, and, in a breakthrough performance, Jessica Lange, Tootsie is a funny, cutting, and poignant film from an American moment defined by shifting social and sexual identities.



The Film:

Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman), a brilliant but troublesome New York actor, has managed to alienate every producer on both coasts. Michael's agent George Fields (Sydney Pollack) can't even get his client a commercial since Michael complained that the tomato he was playing wasn't properly motivated. "You were a tomato!" screams George in desperation, adding that Michael is so obnoxious that he will probably never work again. Dorsey thinks otherwise; when he hears of an opening on a popular soap opera, he applies for the job--even though the job is for a woman. Posing as "Miss Dorothy Michaels," Michael wins the part and becomes a widely-known actress. Yet complications ensue when Michael falls for his co-star Julie (Jessica Lange, in an Oscar-winning performance) but, as Dorothy, is courted by Julie's widowed father (Charles Durning). Michael ultimately finds that his disguise as a woman has made him a better man. One of the classic comedies of the 1980s, Tootsie's gender-bending premise boasts a screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal, and by a host of memorable supporting comic performances from Dabney Coleman, Teri Garr, George Gaynes, and Bill Murray. Future Oscar-winner Geena Davis makes her screen debut as a daytime drama queen, which indeed she had been before Tootsie came along.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Hoffman plays an actor, quite as temperamental and impossible as Hoffman himself evidently is in real life, who pretends to be a woman just to get a part in a daytime TV soap opera. Numerous writers came and went in production conditions that were apparently agonising, but for once little of this is apparent on the screen. The tone is quick-witted and appealing, with some of the smartest dialogue this side of Billy Wilder, and a wonderfully sure-footed performance from Jessica Lange (as her/his girlfriend). But the film never comes within a thousand miles of confronting its own implications: Hoffman's female impersonation is strictly on the level of Dame Edna Everage, and the script's assumption that 'she' would wow female audiences is at best ridiculous, at worst crassly insulting to women. Provided you ignore this central idiocy, Tootsie is certainly one of the most polished situation comedies in recent years. But then the field has hardly been over-crowded.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE


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

Tootsie looks very strong on Blu-ray from Criterion.  The image is bright and clean while many colors appear rich and deep - skin tones look authentic.  This is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate and we can guess that it is a solid representation of the film. There is impressive detail in close-ups - some texture and sporadic depth. It is in the original 2.4:1 aspect ratio and the visuals are smooth in-motion. I see no damage, speckles or any flaws. This Blu-ray video looks very impressive - representing the film's appearance better than I anticipated.

















Audio :

Not much in the way of aggression and the linear PCM mono track handles all the film exports, flatly, with casual ease. Dialogue is clean and clear.  Dave Grusin's (The Friends of Eddie Coyle, ...And Justice For All, 3 Days of the Condor) score sounds pleasing and crisp. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.


Extras :

Criterion have included their audio commentary featuring director Sydney Pollack from their old Laserdisc - circa 1991. It is still revealing and has merit. There are also new interviews with actor Dustin Hoffman - for 18-minutes and comedy writer Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond creator) for 15-minutes. There is also almost 5-minutes of unused footage from, Tootsie as Gene Shalit interviews with Southwest General star Dorothy Michaels about her newfound celebrity. Criterion add a 1982 Making of “Tootsie” documentary running 1/2 hour shot during the production by filmmaker Rocky Lang as well as A Better Man: The Making of “Tootsie” made in 2007 running over an hour featuring interviews with cast and crew (it incorporates footage from the 82' documentary). There are 6-minutes of screen and wardrobe test footage recorded in 1980 for Hal Ashby, who was initially asked by Dustin Hoffman to direct Tootsie. The first excerpt, from a screen test, shows Hoffman dressed as a nurse, the role his character Dorothy was to play on the soap opera. The second excerpt is silent footage of Hoffman from a wardrobe test and includes a brief appearance by Ashby. Plus there are 10-minutes worth of 9 deleted scenes, fully edited but not used in Tootsie, plus three trailers. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Michael Sragow.



Tootsie is still fun with great performances. It's not a film that has been given its due consideration through the years - presumably for the 'drag' aspects. I thoroughly enjoyed it - and it offers a lot if you are in the correct mood. The Criterion Blu-ray package is as good as we are ever likely to get for the film presentation, a/v and extras. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

December 14th, 2014


Criterion is releasing this in the UK on Blu-ray in April of 2016:


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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