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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Nobody's Fool

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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted August 31 2003 - 02:07 PM

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Nobody's Fool

Studio: Paramount

Year: 1994

Rated: R

Length: 110 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Anamorphic

Audio: DD 5.1

Subtitles: English
Release Date: September 9, 2003

Nobody’s Fool is a character study. There is little here that resembles plot - it’s all about the characters... interesting characters, at that.

First, there’s Donald “Sully” Sullivan (Paul Newman), a gruff, but somehow likeable working stiff who has never made a good decision in his life. Sully, not a young man himself, rents a room from his elderly schoolteacher, Miss Beryl (Jessica Tandy). He works on-again, off-again as a sub-contractor for Carl Roebuck (Bruce Willis), a construction contractor with a thing for his secretary - to the dismay of his wife (Melanie Griffith).

The film opens with Sully in court, trying to win a judgement against Carl for a knee injury he got while on the job. Sully’s inept, one-legged lawyer is unable to produce documents that prove Sully’s injury was sustained while on the job (of course, the job was “off the books”), so the judgement goes to Roebuck.

Then, Sully’s estranged son Peter (Dylan Walsh) shows up in town with his wife and two sons, to spend the holiday’s with Sully’s ex-wife. Of course, they are in town only two days before we find out that Peter and his wife are having problems. Peter’s wife leaves town with their younger son, leaving behind unemployed Peter to care for the older son. Peter goes to work for Sully, setting the stage for them to get to know eachother again.

This is one of those films you don’t want to analyze... there is no plot. You’ll just want to sit back and watch these dysfunctional characters evolve.

Newman gives a genuinely affecting and funny performance, and he is backed by an outstanding cast - making this an unforgettable character piece.

The film is well directed by Robert Benton with a score by Howard Shore.

The Video
This is an anamorphic, 1.85:1 transfer. The picture is bright and clear, and reasonably sharp. There are a few moments when there is some very mild edge enhancement visible, but this is only infrequently an issue, and a mild one at that. There is fine grain throughout, as transferred from the original film elements. Rare instances of dust are visible on the transfer. This is a very nice transfer for a 10 year old catalog title.

The Audio
There is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track present, but the rear channels are virtually silent throughout, except for some music which has been mixed back. There are virtually no sound effects present in the surrounds. LFE is similarly unutilized. All dialog is emanated from the center channel. The subtle score emanates from the entire front soundstage, with the subdued rear emanations mentioned. The 5.1 soundtrack is nothing to write home about, but I imagine it is a fairly accurate representation of the original elements.

Final Thoughts
This is a bare-bones catalog release from Paramount.

Nobody’s Fool is an enjoyable slice-of-life character study with some strong performances all around. There is real-life drama, and some genuinely humorous moments. The film is dedicated to Jessica Tandy. It was released shortly after her death.

If you like character studies, you can’t go wrong with this one.

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted August 31 2003 - 02:38 PM

Great movie and one I'll be adding to my collection. Nice review Scott. Herb.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   P and SO

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Posted September 01 2003 - 02:03 AM

God, Newman is so good in this, and I love the score as well. It's a must-buy for me Posted Image

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Christian Preischl

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Posted September 01 2003 - 05:05 AM

I knew I could rely on Paramount to provide a fine transfer! Can't wait to finally own this wonderful film. Chris

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeff D Han

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Posted September 01 2003 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for the review Scott. Posted Image

This is one of my favorite movies so I'll
upgrade from my laserdisc for the anamorphic
transfer and DD 5.1. Posted Image
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#6 of 17 OFFLINE   TonyD


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Posted September 01 2003 - 12:37 PM

i'm looking forward to seeing this again. it's been awhile. been waiting forit to hit dvd.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Jason Perez

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Posted September 01 2003 - 05:39 PM

Thanks for the great review! Posted Image

This heinously overlooked title has been on my wishlist for a long while, and I can hardly wait to pick it up!
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#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted September 02 2003 - 02:19 AM

[quote] This is one of those films you don’t want to analyze... there is no plot. [quote]
I would disagree with this statement. There is a lot to analyze about this movie. The movie is all about relationships. Father and son, Mother and son, trust of friends and family. There is a lot to think about in this movie. Just because there this is not a murder to solve, doesn't mean there is no plot.
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#9 of 17 ONLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted September 10 2003 - 05:02 AM

Yikes, I don't know whether to buy this movie or not... I just read the novel and loved it. However it's about 600+ pages long and I can't possibly see how they crammed it into 2 hours. Anyone who read the book care to vouch for the movie? Thanks!

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#10 of 17 OFFLINE   RonR


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Posted September 28 2003 - 11:25 PM

Been waiting for this one, must buy for me.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Jack Fanning

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Posted September 29 2003 - 06:30 AM

I love this little film....I always recommend it to people, but usually no one has heard of it.

Great dialogue throughout and i love the shot of Melanie Griffith flashing her rack to old Sully Posted Image

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Frank@N



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Posted October 01 2003 - 07:48 AM

Kmart is selling Nobody's Fool for $8.99. I also picked up Leap of Faith for the same price.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeff D Han

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Posted October 01 2003 - 10:19 AM

Thanks for he tip Frank. I gues I'll be making a
trip to KMart now. Posted Image
Pretty please, with sugar on top,
clean the f**king car.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Roy Van Nostrand

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Posted October 01 2003 - 12:22 PM

Thanks for the review. Really enjoyed the disc!
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#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Lary Larson

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Posted October 02 2003 - 01:01 AM

Cross another one off my ever-shrinking "favorites not yet on DVD" list. FYI DDD has it for 9.36.
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#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Al B. C

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Posted October 02 2003 - 01:42 AM

[quote] Great dialogue throughout and i love the shot of Melanie Griffith flashing her rack to old Sully [quote]
Did I read somewhere that Paul didn't know that was coming.

By the reaction on his face, it just might be true.

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Jack Fanning

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Posted October 02 2003 - 04:00 AM

In honor of Melanie Griffith's rack, i believe this thread deserves an image of 'em.

LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN. (This is a coed site.)

My apologies, but jeez...I did describe the link as "Melanie Griffith's rack" pretty obvious what you'd get IF you clicked on it....not like I posted the image directly...oh well. Posted Image

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