I'm really torn about this one. I've always wanted to love it, being a huge Bogdanovich fan and a musical buff besides, but it still doesn't really work for me on a multitude of levels, primarily in the rather turgid delivery of the songs by Cybill Shepherd. Her dancing isn't nearly as flat footed as the critics seemed to lambaste at the time of the film's release.
The atmosphere is all there. Bogdanovich has done an outstanding job resurrecting the 30s pastiche. But the Porter score, despite containing many gems, never comes to life except in fits and sparks and, well, this being a musical the focus ought to have been on making the musical sequences the best they could be. Regrettably, this doesn't happen. I'll concur with Doug Bull though. It does flow more readily now than it did back in 75 when the studio Ginsu-ed it into veritable gumbo.
It's still not a masterpiece or even a gem, however. It's just a very VERY fascinating misfire. I can see where Bogdanovich wanted to steer his ship. He just never gets to port as far as I'm concerned. As for the Blu-ray. The image is fabulous and that's a definite bonus, having seen some gawd awful bootlegs and rare TV broadcasts of this looking about as appealing as an Ansco print suffering from extreme vinegar syndrome. No, the Blu-ray sparkles. Regrettably, it hasn't improved the over-all stature of the performances.
I really have a double-edged appreciation for Fox in releasing this title. On the one hand, bravo - because movies (all movies) are meant to be seen, studied and appreciated (or not) on their own merit and in their own time. But Fox's back catalogue is such an embarrassment of riches that I wouldn't have rushed this release to the front of the line. Just my opinion, I suppose, but there it is and for what it's worth.
I'd like to see Fox go after some of its better known movies still MIA in hi-def. Would really love to see The House on Telegraph Hill, State Fair, The King And I, Carousel and Oklahoma! for instance. Star!, Road House, The Fox of Harrow, Forever Amber, Anastasia (1956), The Inn of the Six Happiness, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Two for the Road, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and, Can-Can would be others I would hope Fox has in line for some rapid release. But now, I've digressed.
Anyway, at long last we have At Long Last Love on home video. Let the chips fall where they may. I'm not a fan but that doesn't mean the movie shouldn't be out there for those who find it more than mildly amusing.