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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Musical > Reaching For The Moon (Passport Collector’s Edition)

Reaching For The Moon (Passport Collector’s Edition)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C-     Film: C+



Joseph M. Schenck was a big and sometimes notorious producer of feature films in the early sound era who went on to big productions in Hollywood and Edmund Goulding’s Reaching For The Moon is an early success that features United Artists co-founder Douglas Fairbanks in one of their earliest sound films.  It was going to be a Musical by Irving Berlin running about 90 minutes, but was cut to as short as just over an hour with almost all the songs cut out.  This new DVD from Passport runs 72 minutes and gives one an idea of what almost was.


Made around the time the Production Code was kicking in, a young Bing Crosby still sings a song and Fairbanks is a big executive who loves to drink.  He is interested in a beautiful girl (Bebe Daniels) and has a valet (Edward Everett Horton) who knows it all just about.  It would be the same old clichéd film if it were not for the music that was originally there and the fact that the Code had not settled in.  That makes it worth a look and is amusing throughout.


The 1.33 X 1 image shows its age and considering this is an independent production from 1930, but this is far from how good it would look in a 35mm print.  William Cameron Menzies did the Art Deco production design and the film has two cinematographers credited.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age with original background audio flaws, hiss from being at least a few generations down and just the physical condition of the print the sound is coming from.  This sounds like old optical mono.  The only extra is an actual trailer for the film Passport somehow tracked down.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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