(1966/Blu-ray/MGM/*both Warner Archive)/The
Golden Head (1965/Flicker
Alley Blu-ray w/DVD)
C/B/B & C+ Sound: C/B-/B & C+ Extras: D/C/B
DVD and Glass-Bottomed
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
three feature film comedies, one of which was lost until recently,
show the rise and fall of the comedy genre from the beginning of the
sound film era to the end of the large-frame, widescreen craze just
before TV sitcoms and more explicit comedies arrived.
Pickford was not only one of the first women to ever be dubbed
America's Sweetheart and was one of the biggest stars in world cinema
during the silent era, she was a queen of silent comedy and became
the first female movie mogul when she co-founded United Artists a
century ago. Many of her silent films have been beautifully restored
by The Mary Pickford Foundation (reviewed on Blu-ray and DVD
elsewhere on this site), but she continued her winning ways into the
sound era and Sam Taylor's Coquette
(1929) continued her winning ways.
immediate hit, she won the Best Actress Academy Award as the daughter
of a wealthy man who falls for a financially poor young man (John
Mack Brown) as a comedy that has its moments and is not bad for its
time considering how stilted so many early sound films (aka soundies)
turned out. Running a short 78 minutes, it does not have any
outright hilarious moments, but is consistent, if not predictable.
one irritating part if the stereotype of the 'mammy' black maid that
even when they try to be subversive with the role, fail. It also
plays like filler, which is odd considering sound was so new and more
expensive than silent filmmaking, so too bad they did not cut the
scenes or find something better to do with their money and our time.
are unfortunately no extras.
(1966) is a safe comedy with Doris Day as a MASA employee who becomes
unexpectedly involved with Rod Taylor, leading to her being suspected
of espionage, which is actually being conducted against NASA by
another, an unsuspected Dom DeLuise in an early role. Nothing is
very funny here either, though we get a great cast including Paul
Lynde (who infamously shows up here in drag), Arthur Godfrey (still
surviving after the on-air firing of a singer that gave his
reputation a permanent scar), John McGiver, Dick Martin, Eric Fleming
and Edward Andrews.
and the script don't ever try to be anywhere as dark, witty or daring
as he was with his two Jayne Mansfield films (Will
Success Spoil Rock Hunter?,
Girl Can't Help It;
both reviewed elsewhere on this site) but is consistent in its own
sitcom logic. Soon, Day would have her hit TV show while still
making big screen feature films. At least she went out on top before
she unexpectedly retired.
not much of this is memorable, even the theme song Day sings, but
this does look pretty good and some of the gadgets are funnier than
the intended jokes. However, this also gets off track and the 110
minutes might have been spent getting more out of the supporting
cast. Now you can see for yourself.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer, three featurettes intended to
promote the film at the time (NASA,
(in black and white here about Day's clothes in the film) and Chuck
Jones' Oscar-winning animated short The
Dot and the Line.
we have a feature film that has been mostly lost for the last 55
years and an animated short film considered totally lost. Richard
(1965) is a large-frame format heist comedy that takes place in
Europe with George Sanders as a 'clever' thief and Buddy Hackett as
his idiotic assistant. Douglas Wilmer is the British detective
taking his family on a boat-bound vacation while he addresses
representatives of the world and a crime wave (caused by Sanders) is
afoot. His family, especially his very young daughter, land up
getting entangled in the robbery of the title object made of solid
gold with other gems in it. It is also religious.
film looks great and the supporting cast is not bad, but like so many
comedies of the time, no better than a pre-All
In The Family
sitcom and this one has too much of an idiot plot (one reveal would
end everything early), so the makers where counting on the visuals to
make up for that and that was a big mistake. The resulting film is a
mixed bag that also wants to be It's
A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
(see our Criterion Blu-ray review elsewhere on this site) down to
some of the slapstick and hiring Hackett, but to little avail.
it is an uneven curio that looks better than most such films and
would be the last of such films in a few years as the studios needed
new comedy ideas as the hit TV sitcom was here to stay. Glad they
found the film, though.
(as explained by the press release in part) include a booklet
facsimile reproduction of the original premiere program in the disc
case, while both disc versions add Fortress
- A short film directed by John Fernhout, portraying the Swiss Army
fighting against an unnamed, unseen enemy which originally screened
theatrically in front of The
of Old Whiff
- Originally in Smell-O-Vision, a 70mm cartoon where a dog, named
"Old Whiff", searches for a dinosaur bone (turns out it was
made on 35mm film in the older CinemaScope format, so it is a blow-up
- A featurette narrated by David Strohmaier about the new restoration
of this Cinerama title, Restoration
of the animation, A
Tale of Old Whiff
- a featurette narrated by David Strohmaier about the restoration of
this animated classic, Image Gallery - featuring original production,
exhibition and promotional materials and a Trailer Gallery -
featuring restored Cinerama titles.
for playback quality. The 1.33 X 1 black & white digital image
transfer on Coquette
is definitely a good looking film because Pickford's box office
allowed for great sets, locales and clothes, but the print can show
the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to
all previous releases of the film and the transfer has some digitiis
that suggests an older standard-definition transfer. The
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound is also a generation down, but you
can make out most of what is being said. Hope
this gets restored at some point.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Boat
can also show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior
a transfer to all previous releases of the film because Warner has
spent the time and money to restore the film to look as good as it
can. I think the use of color is not bad, shot well by Director of
Photography Leon Shamroy, A.S.C., in anamorphic 35mm Panavision and
processed by MetroColor. Save some minor flaws, I cannot imagine
this looking much better and the sound is presented in as clear as
can be expected in a DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix that's good for its age.
leaves the 1080p 2.59 X 1 Smilebox digital High Definition Blu-ray
image transfer on Golden
looking the best of all the discs here, only rarely showing the age
of the materials used, but surviving well in the large-frame formats
it was shot in. For starters, it was primarily shot in the
Technirama format, known as Super Technirama 70 as the squeeze on the
VistaVision like 35mm film (shot horizontally, rare for any film
format) was being issued in 70mm prints for the second half of the
format's life and after 42 such productions since 1957, was the last
one for the great format, sadly. The cameras were becoming too heavy
and filming too expensive, to the point that two other great 70mm
cameras were also used to shoot this film: the Mitchell 65 and very
portable MCS-70 camera from Germany. Some would argue that
disqualifies it as a final Technirama film, but most of the film was
shot that way and then it was shown on ultra-large Cinerama screens.
anamorphically enhanced 2.59 X 1 image on the DVD is passable, but
absolutely no match for the Blu-ray edition.
who invented Technirama, again issued
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor 35mm print reduction versions
of the film and did the large-frame lab work. Despite fading, the
film's negative held up far better than expected and the DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix of the original 6-track magnetic
sound with traveling dialogue and sound effects is also not bad for
its age. The DVD's lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 cannot compete, but will
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