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The I Don't Care Girl DVD Review

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#1 of 7 Matt Hough

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Posted May 05 2013 - 01:34 PM

The I Don't Care Girl DVD Review

Once Rashomon became a worldwide phenomenon, it shouldn’t have been surprising that other filmmakers would use its underlying motif of a single story told from multiple viewpoints to tell their own stories. The problem with using it with Lloyd Bacon’s The I Don’t Care Girl is that we aren’t allowed to ever get a clear picture of who the real-life subject of this biographical movie about Eva Tanguay is. With each teller offering his own view, we’re left in a muddle with only the song and dance numbers (many rather mediocre) as compensation.


Cover Art


Studio: Fox

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 480I/MPEG-2

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: English 2.0 DD

Subtitles: None

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 1 Hr. 18 Min.

Package Includes: DVD

Amray

Disc Type: DVD-R

Region: All

Release Date: 04/16/2013

MSRP: $19.99




The Production Rating: 2.5/5

Three different men in the life of vaudeville entertainer Eva Tanguay (Mitzi Gaynor) offer their own views of her as a person and as a performer to movie producer George Jessel (playing himself) who is planning a film about her. To her one-time partner Eddie McCoy (David Wayne), she was an innocent girl who learned everything she needed to know about show business from him. To quirky pianist Charles Bennett (Oscar Levant), she was a madcap imp with little self-control. To the love of her life Larry Woods (Bob Graham), she was a jealous woman but one filled with joy and much talent.

Walter Bullock’s script is a really trite exercise in backstage clichés (in the pre-credit sequence, Ziegfeld rings the curtain down on a faltering Tanguay in mid-song, a plot point to which we never return) and one that doesn’t let the facts of Tanguay’s rather unconventional life obscure the conventional story he wants to tell (not that movie biographies were or are ever very concerned with telling the true story of any show business celebrity). Truth be known, her life wouldn’t have passed muster with the MPAA Production Code in the early 1950s, but this Fox production basically goes its own way for much of the time reusing songs already owned by the company (including “This Is My Favorite City,” “Hello, Frisco, Hello,” and “Pretty Baby”) to round out a score of barely adequate tunes for the principals to perform. Though Mitzi Gaynor gets two attempts to sock across “I Don’t Care,” the song for which Tanguay was best known, neither version is very successful since Gaynor utilizes a braying kind of singing voice that’s most unattractive. In any case, the film emphasizes Gaynor’s dancing talent (a skill Tanguay herself was not particularly known for) in a series of elaborate, sexy costumes that are anything but period looking (most of the action is pre-World War I) rather than her singing (for which Tanguay was renowned), and offers her three male co-stars as much time in the spotlight as her. Oscar Levant in particular is given two lengthy turns at the piano pounding out hard-driving Liszt and Bach pieces while baritone Bob Graham gets the film’s lone love ballad “As Long as You Care” for himself. Choreographer Jack Cole staged the jazz-infused (and again non-period) finale “Beale Street Blues” impressively (look closely and you’ll see Gwen Verdon and Julie Newmar as part of the dance ensemble), but for good old-fashioned musical comedy know-how, David Wayne (who was the first actor to win a Tony Award for a musical performance in Finian’s Rainbow) takes the prize in a couple of early numbers, one a solo and the other a duet with Gaynor.

Mitzi Gaynor is miscast as Eva Tanguay. Though she might boast a passing facial resemblance to the star of turn of the century vaudeville, her style and musical comedy assets are on a completely different page from the raucous singing sensation of that era. Bob Graham offers a creamy baritone voice but little else for so large a role as a typical backstage lothario whom Eva can’t trust . Oscar Levant as usual repeats his patented movie persona seen in so many previous films while David Wayne as the song and dance man and Hazel Brooks as a musical rival for Eva offer solid if stereotypical support.



Video Rating: 3/5  3D Rating: NA

The film is framed at its theatrical 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Once again, Fox has color timed the transfer too darkly which sometimes affects color saturation levels and makes facial features especially look overbaked and disconcerting. There are dust specks throughout and reel change markers are evident in the second half of the film. The film has been divided into chapters every ten minutes so there are 8 chapters present on this disc.



Audio Rating: 2.5/5

The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound mix is decoded by Dolby Prologic into the center channel. Hiss is ever-present and is sometimes loud enough to be distracting in quieter moments of the movie. Dialogue has been nicely recorded although ADR is often noticeable when it occurs. As has been the case with almost all of the Fox MOD releases, the encode has been recorded at excessive volume levels which must be adjusted by the user to avoid distortion.



Special Features Rating: 0/5

The Fox MOD releases offer no bonus material, not even trailers.



Overall Rating: 2.5/5

A very average musical biography which wastes the talents of its star in a role she’s not really suited for, The I Don’t Care Girl has some fine dancing and a genial performance by pro David Wayne in its favor. As for the rest, it’s not up to the heights of other musical biographies from Fox made around the same time (especially With a Song in My Heart and Stars and Stripes Forever).


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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#2 of 7 Doug Bull

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Posted May 06 2013 - 03:07 PM

Oh dear, I've already got this one on it's way.

 

I'll probably store it away with the other Fox Archive stinkers.

 

Thanks for the review Matt, I'm very pleased that you call it as it is.

 

I get frustrated with others who say certain Fox archive titles look good when clearly they're not.


Edited by Doug Bull, May 06 2013 - 03:09 PM.


#3 of 7 Doug Bull

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Posted May 10 2013 - 10:37 PM

Had a sneak peek last night.

 

SORRY I DID.

 

This heads straight into the garbage can alongside other Fox Archive disasters.

What did Mitzi Gaynor ever do to deserve the putrid transfers of GOLDEN GIRL and now this horribly colored, black and blurry excuse for a DVD.

 

Yet another low point for Fox Archives.  :angry:

 

Doug.


Edited by Doug Bull, May 11 2013 - 06:10 PM.


#4 of 7 Robin9

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Posted May 12 2013 - 10:20 AM

Had a sneak peek last night.

 

SORRY I DID.

 

This heads straight into the garbage can alongside other Fox Archive disasters.

What did Mitzi Gaynor ever do to deserve the putrid transfers of GOLDEN GIRL and now this horribly colored, black and blurry excuse for a DVD.

 

Yet another low point for Fox Archives.  :angry:

 

Doug.

 

Thanks for the warning. I love Mitzi Gaynor and her sexy legs - just look at that DVD cover! - and I'd buy any half-decent DVD of her movies . . . . but not one as bad as this.

 

Fox: you've lost another sale. Don't you get tired of doing that?



#5 of 7 marcco00

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Posted May 13 2013 - 11:47 PM

this is disappointing!

 

i have a great fondness for all the dancers that were able to achieve top stardom during the classic hollywood era.... a very small group when you think about it.

 

i realized that i have really overlooked -have not seen!-mitzi gaynor's early work at fox..... not sure what to do about this now :(



#6 of 7 Doug Bull

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Posted May 14 2013 - 08:14 PM

Marc, I guess the answer depends on how much you really want to see something.

 

If viewing a rarely seen movie in less than perfect condition is acceptable, then go ahead, buy the movie and enjoy it for what it is.

After all we once watched horrible VHS and never complained.

 

The sad thing is, that other than the odd TV Transmission, there are no other ways to watch it.

Regrettably Fox has us all over a barrel.

 

Doug.



#7 of 7 marcco00

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Posted May 15 2013 - 12:44 AM

thanx doug! i really have been waiting on this particular title to be released, due to the cast and the dance numbers.

 

if the transfer is dark like the WABASH AVENUE transfer is, i might be able to salvage it with my tv's settings.







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