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You Can't Have Everything DVD Review

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#1 of 14 Matt Hough

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Posted June 25 2014 - 01:39 PM

You Can't Have Everything DVD Review

Alice Faye’s gradual rise to the upper echelon of box-office stars took a major leap forward in 1937 by her appearing in five movies, all of them successes and all of them trading on the softening of her image from a hard-bitten chorus girl in her early films to a more girl next door, apple-cheeked singer whose warm voice and lovable, open-hearted personality was a strong lure for the many top male stars who had begun to appear in her orbit. In You Can’t Have Everything, the third of her five 1937 films, she’s top-billed above the co-star with whom she was destined to make quite a few future pictures: Don Ameche in a backstage show-biz musical that gives her ample opportunities to shine.


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. 39 Min.

Package Includes: DVD

Amray case

Disc Type: DVD-R

Region: All

Release Date: 12/03/2013

MSRP: $19.98




The Production Rating: 3.5/5

Judith Poe Wells (Alice Faye) is a struggling playwright determined to write serious dramas instead of the simpering musical comedies being churned out by George Macrae (Don Ameche). Macrae meets Judith in a restaurant where she’s eaten an enormous dinner she can’t pay for and is charmed by her warm personality and ample singing talent (which she refuses to use as a way into show business). He arranges to have her latest dreadful play optioned by his producer Sam Gordon (Charles Winninger) as a ruse to get her into the theater so she can replace a recalcitrant leading lady (Phyllis Brooks) whom everyone detests. Judith and George begin to fall in love as they work together, but that doesn’t sit well with George’s long-time girl friend Lulu (Gypsy Rose Lee acting under her real name Louise Hovick) who’s determined to put a stop to this growing romance.

The Harry Tugend-Jack Yellen-Karl Tunberg screenplay is typical fluff of its era (they don’t seem to consider how bad Judith ends up looking walking out on the show hours before opening night just because she’s heartbroken; it closes the show and puts dozens of people out of work just because she’s disappointed in her love life), and they twist and turn things so that everyone ends up with a happy ending even if, as with the grasping and conniving Lulu, they don’t deserve one (though she ends up with Harry Ritz; maybe she DOES deserve him). The show biz saga allows for a great deal of music, dance, and comedy, all of it wonderfully performed. Alice gets three solos: the toe-tapping title tune (how did it not score an Oscar nomination that year?), “Please Pardon Us – We’re in Love,” and the most entertaining “Danger – Love at Work” sung and performed with Louis Prima and his band. Don Ameche gets only a couple of late choruses of “Afraid to Dream,” possibly the least of the score’s songs, and Darryl F. Zanuck favorites the Ritz Brothers get “Long Underwear” (just exactly what you expect it to be with that title) and their own version of Alice’s “Danger – Love at Work.” Alice’s real-life husband Tony Martin appears as the show’s leading man singing “The Loveliness of You” in a piercingly high tenor. A couple of specialty acts also get a moment in the limelight: radio star Rubinoff does a number with his famous fiddle, and the less than spectacular finale brings out Tip, Tap, and Toe who do a slap happy tap number, the kind of the thing the Nicholas Brothers would claim mastery of a few years later at Fox.

Alice Faye is chipper and winning even with the script’s lapses in developing her character, and Don Ameche makes a more than acceptable leading man for her. As always, the Ritz Brothers overstay their welcome (if only their shtick were more variable; yes, they end up in drag again, this time as charwomen), and Charles Winninger has fewer opportunities to shine than in some of his other film appearances especially at MGM. It’s always great to see Arthur Treacher do his butler thing, and Clara Blandick has a showy scene in which she dresses down poor Judith when she returns home after leaving New York. Gypsy Rose Lee/Louise Hovick is a problem as Lulu. Her line readings are a bit affected, and she lacks presence and noticeable chic in attempting to play an ultra chic character. One can see why she didn’t have a very distinguished career as a film actress.



Video Rating: 3/5  3D Rating: NA

The film’s original 4:3 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully reproduced in this made-on-demand disc. Though there has been no clean up of the master used and there are dust specks, debris, damage, and reel change markers throughout, the film still does look more than acceptable. Sharpness is quite good, and the grayscale, while not possessing the deepest black levels possible, certainly isn’t bad, and contrast has been consistently applied. The film has been divided into chapters every ten minutes so there are 10 chapters here.



Audio Rating: 2.5/5

As with almost all of the Fox Cinema Archive releases, the volume level is way too high for enjoyment without distortion so one needs to attend to volume levels before playing the disc. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound mix seems to be one of Fox’s attempts to produce a stereo track by taking different directional audio stems produced during recording and mixing them. It isn’t half bad actually with voices mostly in the center channel (with some obvious spill into the other channels) and the accompaniment filling the front channels. As the film runs, there is an increase in noise on the track with some hiss, pops, and noticeable crackle in quieter moments of the film. Sound is sometimes shrill, and there’s a definite lack in the lower end of the sound spectrum, but the singing still comes across rather splendidly.



Special Features Rating: 0/5

There are no bonus features on this made-on-demand disc.



Overall Rating: 3/5

Alice Faye fans will be happy to add this disc of You Can’t Have Everything to their collections of entertaining musicals the star made on her rise to the apex of Fox’s top-tiered roster. While some of her more famous musicals of the 1930s have received much better handling on DVD than this release, at least it’s now available.


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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#2 of 14 JoelA

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Posted June 25 2014 - 03:05 PM

Thanks for the great review Matt. I own this, have watched it and can say your comments are spot on. While far from perfect, this release looks better than many of Fox's MOD titles and is acceptable. This movie is very enjoyable and any fan of Alice Faye, Don Ameche or 30's musicals in general will want to add it to their collection. I even found the Ritz Brothers more tolerable here than in other appearances, laughing out loud a couple of times. And it's fun to see a very young pre Keely Smith Louis Prima performing. 



#3 of 14 Doug Bull

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Posted June 25 2014 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for the review Matt.

 

I might have to add this one to my next order. (although I despise the Ritz Brothers)

 

Doug.



#4 of 14 Virgoan

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Posted June 26 2014 - 07:16 AM

Yes, those Ritz Brothers have been the low point of many Fox films...almost to the point of making the rest of each film seem unbearable.



#5 of 14 Doug Bull

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Posted June 26 2014 - 04:55 PM

Yes, those Ritz Brothers have been the low point of many Fox films...almost to the point of making the rest of each film seem unbearable.

 

The FUNNY thing is that I don't find them the least bit FUNNY.

 

Actually the only time I ever enjoyed a sequence with them in it was The Pussy Cat number from "Goldwyn Follies" and that was only because of George Gershwin's Music and a hundred or more cute cats.

 

Doug.


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#6 of 14 JoelA

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Posted June 26 2014 - 07:48 PM

The FUNNY thing is that I don't find them the least bit FUNNY.

 

Actually the only time I ever enjoyed a sequence with them in it was The Pussy Cat number from "Goldwyn Follies" and that was only because of George Gershwin's Music and a hundred or more cute cats.

 

Doug.

 

George Gershwin passed away before the score was finished, so The Pussy Cat number wasn't written by the Gershwins. The following is from the imdb (which I know is unreliable, however, this is not by the Gershwin brothers)-

 

Here Pussy Pussy
(Music and Lyrics by Sid Kuller and Ray Golden
Performed by The Ritz Brothers

 

I will say though that even though The Goldwyn Follies is a pretty awful movie, the standard def dvd looked great. Excellent example of late 30's Technicolor.



#7 of 14 Doug Bull

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Posted June 26 2014 - 08:28 PM

George Gershwin passed away before the score was finished, so The Pussy Cat number wasn't written by the Gershwins. The following is from the imdb (which I know is unreliable, however, this is not by the Gershwin brothers)-

 

Here Pussy Pussy
(Music and Lyrics by Sid Kuller and Ray Golden
Performed by The Ritz Brothers

 

I will say though that even though The Goldwyn Follies is a pretty awful movie, the standard def dvd looked great. Excellent example of late 30's Technicolor.

 

I hesitated before I posted.

Was I right? Sure, I thought.

 

Result: If you are not 100% positive always check first.

Thanks for the correction Joel.  :thumbs-up-smiley:

 

The old Laserdisc of "Goldwyn Follies" looks even better than the DVD.

 

Doug. 



#8 of 14 JoelA

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Posted June 27 2014 - 05:32 AM

I hesitated before I posted.

Was I right? Sure, I thought.

 

Result: If you are not 100% positive always check first.

Thanks for the correction Joel.  :thumbs-up-smiley:

 

The old Laserdisc of "Goldwyn Follies" looks even better than the DVD.

 

Doug. 

 

Hey Doug. Believe me, I'm far from perfect. :)

 

BTW, I really enjoy reading your posts and seeing all the wonderful film memorabilia you've collected over the years. Those 35mm clips are amazing. Please keep it up.


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#9 of 14 Virgoan

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Posted June 27 2014 - 10:01 AM

Matt:  I ordered this one and "Wake Up and Live".  Both were rated well on Amazon, as well.



#10 of 14 Matt Hough

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Posted June 27 2014 - 12:14 PM

Matt:  I ordered this one and "Wake Up and Live".  Both were rated well on Amazon, as well.

 

I believe I have Wake Up and Live here, but it's not next in the queue. I'll see if I can get to it next week.



#11 of 14 Rob_Ray

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Posted June 27 2014 - 12:36 PM

WAKE UP AND LIVE is a lot of unpretentious fun.  One of my favorites from this period.



#12 of 14 Doug Bull

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Posted June 27 2014 - 04:52 PM

I've always enjoyed "Wake Up and Live" surprisingly, mainly for the wonderful singing voice of Buddy Clark. (dubbing for Jack Haley)

Of course Alice Faye is always sensational.

I consider it a better film than "You Can't Have Everything".

 

Pity though that Fox Archives didn't have a Fox Logo lying about the place. :blink: (I can always give them one if they don't have any at Fox)

The cut logo they used on the DVD of  Wake Up and Live is shameful.

 

Doug.



#13 of 14 Matt Hough

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Posted June 27 2014 - 05:58 PM

I went through the box of Cinema Archive review copies, and sadly Wake Up and Live was not among them. Alice is in the George White Scandals of 1935 which I will do eventually.



#14 of 14 JoelA

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Posted June 28 2014 - 09:10 AM

I went through the box of Cinema Archive review copies, and sadly Wake Up and Live was not among them. Alice is in the George White Scandals of 1935 which I will do eventually.

I agree, Wake Up and Live is an entertaining movie as well. Matt, it's worth picking up. Alice Faye had a very good 1937.

 

George White's 1935 Scandals transfer-wise is another story. The Archives even added a disclaimer to this one stating that they used the best available materials for it. Ouch! Not pretty. I'll be interested to read your review if and when you get around to it.







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