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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Kiss Me, Stupid [Blu-ray]


(Billy Wilder, 1964)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: The Mirisch Corporation

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 2:04:49.523 

Disc Size: 24,038,112,341 bytes

Feature Size: 23,523,520,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 17th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1774 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1774 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)






• Trailer (2:35)





Description: Billy Wilder’s comic gem Kiss Me, Stupid stars Dean Martin (Some Came Running, Bells Are Ringing), Ray Walston (South Pacific, TV’s “My Favorite Martian”) and Kim Novak (Vertigo, Pal Joey).

When pop crooner Dino (Dean Martin), is detoured to Climax, NV on his way to Las Vegas, he stumbles on fame-hungry, would-be songwriters Orville (Ray Walston) and Barney (Cliff Osmond), the wheels are set in motion for a comedy that is pure Wilder. Collaborating with his longtime screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond (Some Like It Hot, The Apartment), Wilder weaves a comic tale of social mores, sexual gamesmanship and the price of fame.

Kiss Me, Stupid features Kim Novak’s performance as Polly The Pistol, a waitress, sometimes prostitute, and a woman who at first scorns, then finds herself eager for, domestic bliss. Felicia Farr (3:10 To Yuma, The Player) lends support as Zelda, Orville’s long-suffering wife.



The Film:

Dean Martin stars in this once-controversial comedy as Dino, a Las Vegas crooner, alcoholic, and celebrity playboy. Dino requires women like oxygen -- a companionless night leaves him with a headache. Ray Walston is Orville, a provincial piano teacher, aspiring songwriter, and jealous husband. Orville violently obsesses over his wife Zelda's (Felicia Farr) fidelity -- any man she encounters becomes his sworn enemy. When a chance detour brings Dino to Orville's hometown of Climax, NV, it is the perfect opportunity for the piano teacher and his songwriting partner, Barney (Cliff Osmond), to pitch their tunes. Yet, Orville predictably fears the possible combination of Dino's libido with Zelda's childhood crush on the singer. Before the two can meet, Orville deceitfully bullies Zelda out of their house and Barney hires local roadhouse prostitute Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak) to pose as Orville's wife. Zelda turns to drink for solace, ending up at the exact bar where Polly plies her trade and, eventually, in the call girl's empty trailer. By the next morning, Orville is with Polly and Dino (looking for a prostitute) finds his way to Zelda -- and husband, wife, hooker, and Barney will all reap the benefits of infidelity.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Some have called Kiss Me, Stupid ahead of its time. Actually, the movie's supposedly sophisticated vulgarity is firmly rooted in the smug ring-a-ding-ding of the Kennedy era. The extended opening credit sequence is a Rat Pack classic, with Dean Martin onstage at the Sands, surrounded by a deadpan harem of statuesque showgirls as he staggers through " 'S Wonderful." No less than Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, Martin gamely plays a comic version of himself as well as a generic star. Referred to as Dino, he's a randy boozer subject to migraines if he doesn't have a new woman every night.

Excerpt from J. Hoberman located HERE


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

Kiss Me, Stupid has another modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and the visuals can look a bit thin and frail at times. Actually the layered contrast is very appealing with decent, but not piercing, black levels. There is a touch of grain texture and some sneaking depth. Detail is adequate - as visible in a few close-ups. I would guess that this is quite a step beyond SD and probably about as good as the film will get on the Blu-ray format. There were no notable speckles or damage - it was quite clean.















Audio :

Olive use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track at 1774 kbps. It holds up well. The score by Andr Previn (Dial 1119, Cause For Alarm!, The Fastest Gun Alive, Elmer Gantry, Long Day's Journey Into Night) is augmented by Gershwin's 'S Wonderful and Sophia, performed by Dino, plus a number of other Gershwin tunes. It sounds solid enough via the lossless - perhaps a shade squeaky in the higher end. The piano is, at times, surprisingly crisp.  There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

The only supplement is a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.



Kiss Me, Stupid is a likable film even with all the sexist overhang, which is really a big part of the fun. Who can't like Novak's 'Polly the Pistol'? The Blu-ray is at Olive's usual standard - meaning a decent 1080P transfer in a bare-bones package. I liked it enough to endorse although the price seems high for the value. Wait for a sale. 

Gary Tooze

February 11th, 2015

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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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