Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein
    Hollywood Legend Jean Harlow Lights Up the Screen
    in the Classic Romantic Comedy
    From Academy Award®-Winning Director Frank Capra

    New to DVD on November 4

    * * * * Culver City, CA (August 25, 2003) - Hollywood's Golden Age screen siren Jean
    Harlow (Red-Headed Woman, Dinner at Eight) stars in PLATINUM BLONDE (1931), the must-
    see romantic comedy that made her a star from the one and only Academy Award®-winning
    director Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town), premiering on DVD
    November 4 from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.

    * * * * Harlow shines as wealthy but ditsy socialite Ann Schuyler, a junior-leaguing heiress
    willing to go head-to-head with grounded female reporter Gallagher (Best Actress Academy
    Award®-winner Loretta Young - The Farmer's Daughter) to win the attentions of hard-nosed
    tabloid hound "Stew" Smith (Robert Williams). *Schuyler schemes to lure the frustrated
    playwright into marriage, then "civilize" him from a ruffian newsman into a convincing
    gentleman so he can function in the social milieu she inhabits. *Knowing nothing of her
    Pygmalion purposes, Stew is soon installed in the east wing, but his street-smart roots don't mix
    well with high society. *And as the gilded cage is no place for this speakeasy bird, when
    midnight tolls for "Cinderella man" his best pal Gallagher is waiting stoically in the sidelines
    ready to trade in her press pass for romantic license to take on the PLATINUM BLONDE.

    * * * * Digitally Mastered Audio & Video
    * * * * Remastered in High Definition
    * * * * Full Screen Presentation
    * * * * Audio: *English
    * * * * Subtitles: English, French, Japanese
    * * * * Theatrical Trailers
    * * * * Interactive Menus
    * * * * Scene Selections

    Not Rated
    Black & White
    Closed Captioned
    Original Year of Release: 1931
    Running Time: 89 Minutes
    DVD Catalog # 03759
    UPC Code: 0-43396-03759-5
    Order Date: 10/02/03
    DVD SLP: $24.95
  2. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

    May 13, 2003
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    Now this kind of news is why I occasionally emerge from my "screening room" (cough) to check the internet! Magnificent, outstanding, phenomenal, tremendous, fantastic, exciting, energizing, electrifying ... very good news like this. [​IMG] The spec list doesn't reflect a Frank Capra, Jr. commentary, which will be much missed alongside his fine commentaries for several other Capra releases, but if Columbia does right by the transfer (and accomplishes it from either excellent preservation or, in their absence, quality restored elements), this will be one of the most exciting releases of the year. I've been waiting a very long time for Platinum Blonde.

    And yes, before anyone mentions it, I do know that Columbia has offered a few, er, mischievous classic transfers of late (I'd hope to see EE eliminated across the board, actually, classic titles and otherwise), but much of their early work on DVD is superlative -- Only Angels Have Wings and His Girl Friday are two of the finest B&W transfers you'll find, and their relatively recent Pennies From Heaven (all three of these are 30's films -- His Girl Friday was released in January of '40) is also excellent (though not quite as flawless).

    For Capra fans, their editions of Lost Horizon (there's a commentary, but not with his son, as well as other material on this fine restoration), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and It Happened One Night are all terrific. I don't specifically recall the quality of Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington (I believe it's taken from a restoration element, though), and I haven't seen what has been reported elsewhere (by Barrie Maxwell, specifically) as the weak transfer of You Can't Take It With You (though I believe Barrie mentioned something about a possible future restoration and re-master for DVD?).

    Platinum Blonde will be the first Jean Harlow film on DVD in Region 1, so far as I've found. [​IMG] For my money, her best films were made late in her career, and her very best, Wife vs. Secretary, with Clark Gable and Myrna Loy (what a team!), was released just over a year before her death in 1937. I'd love to see that one on disc -- it's a fantastic piece of filmmaking, and to my eye absolutely timeless.

    Another Harlow/Loy gem (and their only other teaming together, I believe?), Libeled Lady, released the same year as Wife vs. Secretary, is due out from WB in '04, if I recall correctly.

    At any rate, this Columbia announcement is terrific news, and I hope it bodes well for more of the peerless Hollywood output of the 20's and 30's on disc. [​IMG]

    P.S. Loretta Young is no less a cause for celebration. Harlow and Young and Capra ... is it any wonder I consider the 30's the finest decade in American filmmaking? Oh, I'm just beside myself with this news! November cannot arrive too quickly.
  3. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

    Apr 10, 2000
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    I've been looking forward to this one for a long time too.

    As I said in another thread, the real revelation here is the superb performance by Robert Williams as Stew Smith. Unfortunately, this was his last (and best) film. He died on the operating table during an appendectomy about two months after Platinum Blonde was released.

    Interesting piece of trivia: the original title was Gallagher after Loretta Young's character, but Harlow was bursting on the scene at the time, so the studio changed the title at the last minute to try and take advantage of her notoriety.

    As much as I love Jean Harlow, this is definitely not one of her better performances, but she was just getting started.

    "And I don't know yet whether your eyes are blue or violet."

  4. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

    Jan 13, 2003
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    AND what about "DINNER AT 8", that is MIA !!!!!!!

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