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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Publishing > Romance > Suburbs > Media > Adultery > TV Situation Comedy > School > Advertising > Re > The Ronnie Corbett Show In Australia (1987/Umbrella PAL Region Free DVD set)/The Tender Trap (1955/MGM/Blu-ray/*all Warner Archive)

Bachelor In Paradise (1961/MGM/Blu-ray*)/Breaking News In Yuba County (2020/AIP/Warner Blu-ray)/Head Of The Class: The Complete Second Season (1986/DVD*)/Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948/RKO/Blu-ray*)/The Ronnie Corbett Show In Australia (1987/Umbrella PAL Region Free DVD set)/The Tender Trap (1955/MGM/Blu-ray/*all Warner Archive)

Picture: B/B/B-/B/C+/B Sound: B-/B/B-/C+/C+/B- Extras: C-/D/D/C+/D/C Main Programs: C+/C-/C+/C/C+/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Ronnie Corbett Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on 4K, DVD and Blu-ray players that can handle the PAL DVD format, while the Head Of The Class DVDs and all Blu-rays (save Yuba) are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

Jack Arnold is usually known for B-movies, especially with various monsters, but he was a better filmmaker than just that and Bachelor In Paradise (1961) is one of the most interesting films he or lead star Bob Hope ever made. Not that it is any kind of comedy masterwork, but it has some laughs and then there are other moments that have aged well and may even be extraordinary to some.

Hope is a writer who is in tax trouble and cannot leave the country, a problem for a man whose series of hit books is about how people live in other countries. The solution? Make a book that will make money about how people live in the United States. The approach, move anonymously to a upscale suburb planned family housing community called Paradise and get to writing.

Since only families move there, he has to rent a house from one of the brokers there (Lana Turner) and get to work, but instead, he starts meeting all the married women here and starts hitting it off with all of them, no adultery involved. Well at least one of the women with a drinking problem has other ideas, but this also takes place in the San Fernando Valley of the time (no 'valley girls' here yet) and it manages to show without trying a huge center of wealth that was somewhat surprising then to some and seems exotic today (especially after the recent pandemic) with endless new homes that almost look surreal and a supermarket that makes any Super Wal-Mart look like it is on the verge of bankruptcy!

With a supporting cast that includes the amazing Paula Prentiss, Janis Paige, Virginia Grey, Jim Hutton, Agnes Moorehead and Don Porter, everyone should see this one once just to see all the amazing and amusing things that pop out of nowhere. It also shows how savvy Director Arnold could really be, so if you want a few good laughs, see it, especially restored so remarkably well as it is here.

A trailer is the only extra.

Tate Taylor's Breaking News In Yuba County (2020) proves that his overrated film The Help was a fluke indeed. Allison Janney plays to type as a working suburban wife whose husband disappears one day, finally giving her a chance to maybe make her life better. He was cheating on her (in a turn that stretches believability, like so much here) and she lands up finding her way into the mainstream media in its current (permanently?) tabloid mode. This is supposed to be a funny comedy, but tries so hard, that hardly anything is here.

This was apparently sold as funnier considering the supporting cast includes Wanda Sykes, Mila Kunis, Awkwafina, Regina Hall, Samria Wiley, Matthew Modine, Clifton Collins Jr., Ellen Barkin and Juliette Lewis. However, though not smug, the film just thinks anything it says or does is funny when it is not and even when the actors are trying, bad pacing, lack of energy and bad timing just never works out. The script ultimately is the culprit and I can see why it did not reach an audience. The breaking news is that no 'News' is good news. Skip it!

Digital Copy is included, but there are no extras.

Howard Hessman (WKRP In Cincinnati) stars in Head Of The Class: The Complete Second Season (1986), which is a fun sitcom about a teacher whose heading a class of very smart and talented young people through their own personal life struggles and growing pains. The show isn't too terribly dated and is a fun and easy watch and is more of a coming of age story than anything. Presented here over the course of three DVDs, Head of the Class is back for a new generation to enjoy.

The show also stars Robin Givens, Khyrstyne Haje, Dan Frischman, Leslie Bega, Brian Robbins, Dan Schneider, and Tony O' Dell to name a few.

22 Episodes span Season 2 and include Science Fair, Weather Friends, The Write Stuff, The Big Squeeze, Child of the Sixties, Trouble in Perfectville, Coach Charlie, That'll Be The Day, Poltergeist 3, Psyched Out at Fillmore, Revenge of the Liberal, Play it Again,Woody, Will the Real Arvid Engen Please Stand Up, On the Road Again, Fatal Distraction, Cello Fever, Parent's Day, Love is Debatable, For Better or Worse, We Love You, Mrs. Russell, Don't Play with Matches, The 21st Century News, Moore Than You Know, Radio Activity, and I Am The King.

We also covered the first season here


H.C. Potter's Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) is one of Cary Grant's early comedies where he would break or nearly break the fourth wall at some point. That was more surprising then, though he would only it very rarely until more, later in his career in more commercial comedies than even this one. At the title family man and advertising executive (an occupation that has made for some weird cinema) brings us to his fine city home.

There he has his children, maid and wife (Myrna Loy in a semi-deadpan performance purposely subdued throughout) in New York City, but his wife has considered a house and when the time comes to look at a property in somewhat nearby Connecticut, he is not amused. Despite this, thanks to prodding from a good friend (Melvyn Douglas) and his wife, they go.

Thus, the odyssey begins where the couple both has sudden ideas about what they would like to see built where a place that has seen better days is, the lot they will buy, then will they get to pay a fair price? Hmmm.

Though the film has some amusing moments, I was never a fan and must have been better then as may of the ideas here later landed up endlessly in TV sitcoms. Loy and Grant make a convincing couple and you believe they are the success their characters are here, but its more like a time capsule than anything else and yes, this did inspire the mixed Tom Hanks vehicle The Money Pit. That was even worse.

Extras include a reissue trailer, two abbreviated radio versions of the film (both with Grant!) and the hilarious Technicolor animated cartoon The House Of Tomorrow, directed by Tex Avery.

The Ronnie Corbett Show In Australia (1987) is one of many TV shows the famous comedian from Britain did so much TV over his 50+ years in the business that some of it is bound to be less remembered. This six-episode short run on Australia's Nine Network has a mix of good moments, a few funny ones, a few good jokes, some odd moments where local music artists cover more popular songs from the U.S. and maybe U.K. and at least one moments (blackface!) that is horrendous and shocking it could happen so late on TV in any country. Guess the Apartheid in South Africa issue had not been solved yet, either?

Of course, it is yet another time capsule of a show, the kind they do not make anymore, the variety show. Dead in the U.S. by then, even this was not a regular series, so this might have been the last gasp down under (give or take Don Lane or Graham Kennedy?) is one of the last shows off its kind and worth a look either way.

There are no extras.

That leaves us Charles Walter's The Tender Trap (1955) with Frank Sinatra as a bachelor who is juggling all kinds of women, based on a stage play. Things are going well for him when a young woman with more disciplined plans with her life (the great Debbie Reynolds) shows up. At first, she is just another gal on a long list, but soon, they start to get to know each other better, but there is no guarantee of anything working out, including her getting the stage role she is after.

In the meantime, he has an old friend (David Wayne in an extended role that works) stopping by and the parade of great actresses who appear throughout (all great fun here and looking like a million dollars) include Celeste Holm in some of her best form here, plus Carolyn Jones, Lola Albright and others. The script is a bit soft, but it is entertaining enough to give it a good look, especially now that it has been as restored as it likely ever will. Mark that as another Sinatra feature film finally saved and issued on Blu-ray!

Extras include an Original Theatrical Trailer, two clips from the MGM Parade series promoting the film with Debbie Reynolds & George Murphy and the decent Frank In The Fifties featurette.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Paradise looks really fine throughout, with nice clarity for an older CinemaScope film, whose lenses tend to distort the image somewhat, but the MetroColor looks very rich and accurate and this is an impressive restoration all around.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Yuba is the only digital shoot here and it is at least competent and consistent, but nothing special either. The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and another race of a restoration of an RKO film. I was impressed at the detail and depth, so it looks fine and and is always watchable, even if you do not land up liking the film.

The 1080p 2.55 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Tender Trap can also show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film, yet it is one of the earliest CinemaScope films and it has more softness and distortion, but that is the way it was produced. MGM's labs were switching from underrated Ansco Color to Kodak by this time and the color is what you would expect for a Eastman Color film of the time. Warner Archive has done their best to fix the film.

All four Blu-rays offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless sound, with Paradise offering 2.0 Stereo that might be a mixdown from its original 4-track magnetic stereo, the master of which may be missing. It sounds fine otherwise. Blandings is 2.0 Mono and really shows its age, but has been cleaned up and fixed as much as possible. The remaining films offer 5.1 mixes with Yuba dialogue/joke based and adequate, while Tender Trap expands its 4-track magnetic stereo soundmaster nicely enough, though it cannot hide the age of the soundmaster. For its age, though, it still sounds good and you get some traveling dialogue and sound effects too.

Both TV shows on DVD are presented in standard definition and their original 1.33 X 1 standard aspect ratio, with Class looking as good as the prior set and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix on each episode that is clear enough. The show is presented here commercial free and shows some compression issues which is native for the format. Analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, cross color, faded color and tape damage can be seen on both shows, but much more on the older Corbett set. With some outdoor footage shot on 16mm film (not retransferred either) and the majority on PAL video, it can have some color quality over the later NTSC U.S. TV show, but a few more flaws cannot be helped. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the show can sound older, yet slightly warmer at times.

To order the Corbett Umbrella import DVD, go to this link:


and to order either of the Warner Archive Class DVD or the rest of the Blu-rays, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Class)



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