A Few Words About A few words about...™ Beloved Infidel -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One of the nice things about Twilight Time releases, is that many of them all us to own Blu-rays of productions that might not otherwise be available.

    Beloved Infidel (1959) is such a film. It has a terrific premise, which never really comes to fruition. Gregory Peck plays F. Scott Fitzgerald toward the end of his career, trying to write screenplays in Hollywood. Deborah Kerr, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, with whom he had a relationship.

    This is a nicely mounted film, that generally looks beautiful on Blu-ray. A bit of fade noticeable to the more trained eyes in a few sequences, but never anything off-putting or problematic. It is the major proportion of the film, however, that looks absolute gorgeous. Colors, especially greens, seem to pop off the screen.

    Densities, shadow detail, grain structure (with the exception of dupes) are all attributes that make this disc desirable to own.

    For those who enjoy the physical / technical side of film production, there are a number of quality sequences on sound stages, obviously 1959, dressed as mid-1930s. Come to think of it most sound stages today, appear to be dressed as mid-1930s.

    A worthwhile proposition, and an enjoyable film. Just not a great one. That said, it's a terrific job from the folks at Fox.

    Image - 4.5

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I watched this last night. I enjoyed it a lot but I'm a fan of big romantic melodramas. I think the ones produced by Jerry Wald at Fox had more substance than those produced at Universal by Ross Hunter for Douglas Sirk to direct. Jerry Wald and Douglas Sirk might have made a great team. I'm not well up on the details of the Fitzgerald/Graham relationship so I haven't a clue how true to life Beloved Infidel is. I treated it as pure fiction and for me that worked very well. I certainly agree that this is a good BRD.
     
  3. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Even though I went into this film with an open mind, I finished the movie feeling unsatisfied and somewhat sickened. It's really a depressing film with an ending that is edited in a way so obviously designed to jerk tears that it felt completely fake to me. I also did not like the way that the score was integrated with the film. In certain scenes it just felt awkwardly disjointed from the action on screen. at least in the first 40 minutes or so. Plus, I actually had to stop the film at about that point because the music was playing omnipresently to the point of irritation. This is something I find VERY annoying in any film. But, I think this would have been an issue to take up with the 20th Century Fox editing department an not the composer or filmmakers. The score as a whole was completely overblown for such an intimate love affair. This is part of why the ending was meaningless to me and why the beach scene where Sheila tells her story to Scott was also fake. Yes, I understand this is a 50's romantic soaper of a melodrama that's not supposed to be entirely believable but this is beyond my suspension of disbelief. However, that's not to say I don't like the score; I like it very much, but it should have been MUCH more subtle for the film like the score for An Affair to Remember was. The acting wasn't that bad, but I think that Gregory Peck was not ideal for the part (except for the drunk scenes, which I thought he was strangely convincing in) and Debbie Kerr was insufferable in scenes where she was required to be emotional. All of that said, I did like the part that Eddie Albert played and the scene of him filming the short on opening a can of spam was quite humorous. I did also like the nod to Darryl Zanuck, whom the studio head in the film was obviously based off of and the reenactment of filming the scene from In Old Chicago, a good film also directed by Henry King. Beloved Infidel is just not what it could have been, especially considering the talents involved in it's production. -Leon
     

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