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Blu-ray Reviews

At Long Last Love Blu-ray Review

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32 replies to this topic

#21 of 33 OFFLINE   Eric Vedowski

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Posted June 10 2013 - 04:34 AM

According to Frank Capra's autobiography all the songs in "Riding High" (1950) with Bing Crosby were recorded live on set.



#22 of 33 OFFLINE   classicmovieguy

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Posted June 11 2013 - 01:34 PM

And as another person has already mentioned, for the film version of "My Fair Lady", Rex Harrison performed his songs live via a wireless microphone hidden inside his cravat.



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#23 of 33 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted June 12 2013 - 08:23 AM

Watched this last night and not nearly as bad as I remembered it. A very different type of film that maybe time has been good to it. The seven leads are all energetic and Mildred Natwick is the scene stealer as always. Good to see Liam Dunn playing newspaper seller. He is another that takes up the whole screen when he is on.

Watching Madeline Khan is infectious and allowed me to ponder what we missed by her untimely passing.

I think it misses its mark trying to recreate the Astaire/Rogers films since, to me, the dancing is just ok. But then the stars were not hired for their dancing. They weren't hired for their singing either, but they actually do a very decent job with it.

My list of movies not on DVD or Blu-ray is shrinking. By the way has there been any complaints that this is Blu-ray only?

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#24 of 33 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted June 12 2013 - 12:29 PM

For me, Kahn, Natwick, and Brennen are the film's most valuable players.


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#25 of 33 OFFLINE   usrunnr

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Posted June 19 2013 - 02:25 PM

Great Review.  Thank you.  What a thoroughly enjoyable film. I saw this when it came out and liked it very much and could not understand the critical derision.  And then --- it disappeared.  Over the years I had to settle for my LPs of the soundtrack.

 

We watched the new Blu-Ray last night and were thoroughly delighted and amused from start to finish. To see stars of this caliber, at the top of their form,  in this kind of material, would never happen today. Perfect? No. But it doesn't matter.

 

I understand the "dark, grainy" scene, although I don't see why it couldn't have been restored along with the rest of the film. And what happened to the Twentieth Century Fox logo and opening titles at the beginning? Looks terrible.  Just nit picking. The film was a lot of fun, and I'm grateful to have it on Blu-Ray.


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#26 of 33 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted June 19 2013 - 05:24 PM

Watched it last night.

I think this is either the 4th or 5th cut that I've seen and I have to say that, to me at least, it is the definitive version.

It seemed to flow better than ever.

 

What a joy this Blu-Ray is.

 

Picture quality and the mono sound ( even allowing for the stupid decision to record live) cannot be faulted.

It is head and shoulders above every other version I've seen on Film, TV or Video.

 

It's also wonderful to hear the Cole Porter background score complete and in Stereo.

 

This is now one of my favourite Blu-Ray discs and I fully recommend it to all those who love fun and good music.

 

 

Doug.


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#27 of 33 OFFLINE   Richard V

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Posted June 20 2013 - 02:23 PM

Saw it the original day it came out at Radio City Music Hall.  I assume that this was the Bogdonovich cut.  Thought it was OK, I did enjoy the Cole Porter songs, but Cybil Sheppard, almost single handedly ruined the movie for me.  To say she was a terrible actress, at least at this stage of her career, is a gross understatment.  Hated every scene she was in, but loved every scene Madeline Kahn was in.  She was such a great actress in EVERYTHING she ever did.  Hillerman and Brennan also excellent, and in many ways they carried the movie much better than Reynolds and Sheppard.  Movie was ok, but I didn't enjoy it enough to go for the BD and will pass, but I'm happy for the people who have waited a long time to get this.


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#28 of 33 OFFLINE   Nick*Z

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Posted June 20 2013 - 05:55 PM

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.


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#29 of 33 OFFLINE   theonemacduff

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Posted June 20 2013 - 10:23 PM

For the record, and speaking as one who has taught the novel, Daisy Miller, I have to disagree that it's a dud. Yes, I know (as Matt said) that it wasn't a box-office succes and yes, I know it was critically panned at the time. But the film is, I would say, practically note perfect as a rendition of the novel. Yes, it changes a few things, but it catches the spirit of the original, and particularly it catches the spirit of the two main characters, Daisy and Winterbourne, and really, that's the heart of the story. Cybil Shepard does a fantastic job with her role, and Barry Brown catches just the right note of wanting Daisy, and yet being cowed by his hoity-toity relatives into moderating his pursuit of the American Girl. Bogdanovitch uses his trademark long, choregraphed takes here, allowing the acting to breath, and letting the cast react to one another, rather than building a sort of fake mood through editing; which means of course, that the film allows the audience to watch and listen and discover. If this one isn't on blu ray yet, it certainly should be.


Edited by theonemacduff, June 20 2013 - 10:25 PM.


#30 of 33 OFFLINE   classicmovieguy

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Posted June 21 2013 - 12:24 AM

"Daisy Miller" (and Ms Shepherd's performance for that matter) are both note-perfect when you cross reference back to the original novel.  Bogdanovich was certainly ahead of his time, in a decade when the literary adaptation wasn't as abundant as it would be in the decades ahead, thanks largely to Merchant-Ivory, etc.



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#31 of 33 OFFLINE   classicmovieguy

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Posted June 21 2013 - 12:28 AM

I

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Nick, I believe that the Rodgers & Hammerstein Estate has grand plans for rest of their Fox titles on Blu-ray in the (hopefully) not too distant future.  "Forever Amber" has been released in France in BD (with other territories to follow - I sincerely hope).  The others are all ones I hunger for as well.



"When I get a little money, I buy movies.  If there is some left over I'll attend to utilities and groceries".
 
My DVD and Blu-ray collection - http://classic-movieguy.dvdaf.com/

 

 


#32 of 33 OFFLINE   bryan4999

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Posted June 21 2013 - 07:39 AM

I really enjoyed watching this blu-ray. I see the flaws but it has an exuberance that appeals to me. Especially "Friendship", which is positively giddy, especially Eileen Brennan. Burt Reynolds plays a rather different sort of character than I have seen him do (not that I am a fan; I haven't seen nearly all of his movies). It is also nice to see a story where the women are really friends. Yes, there are some hurt feelings, but without real rivalry. Madeline Kahn also plays a different sort of character from her norm. Yes, her character has a strong personality, but she is utterly real and likable, unlike, say, the over-the-top Eunice in "What's Up, Doc?".

 

I am also enjoying the music only track, but, speaking of "Friendship", has anyone noticed that the music doesn't match the picture until they are all in the car together? It seems like something went awry there.



#33 of 33 OFFLINE   Nick*Z

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Posted June 21 2013 - 08:11 AM

Dear classic movie guy - thanks for the heads up on Forever Amber and R&H. We'll keep our fingers crossed. I also know that Amazon is currently advertising a digital HD download of 1956's Anastasia. Hmmm? HD master. Why not a Blu-ray?  I'm hoping for this one to have an isolated score too when it comes out a la Twilight Time maybe because the Alfred Newman orchestrations are among his best and also because the current Varese Sarabande CD release is pathetic - omitting whole portions of score and having mislabeled just about all of the tracks they have included so as to really jumble the whole darn mess. Disappointing! 

 

But let's keep our spirits up and hope for the best on the Blu-ray front. Fox has proven they can do an amazing job when they want to. Let's just hope they want to!!!







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