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Blu-ray Reviews

Follow That Dream Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray MGM Twilight Time

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted August 16 2014 - 04:04 PM

Follow That Dream Blu-ray Review

After a string of million selling records and several highly publicized television appearances, rock and roll star Elvis Presley was signed for his first film appearance, a supporting role in the Fox Civil War-era melodrama Love Me Tender. For the next fifteen years, a steady string of Elvis films was cranked out for his eager public who with their support vaulted him seven times into the Quigley list of the top ten box-office stars (peaking at #4 in 1957). As time passed, the films became wickedly formulaic, and it became obvious that even Elvis’ heart wasn’t in them, but he certainly still cared about quality product when he made 1962’s Follow That Dream. The film is one of Elvis’ most appealing comedies and contains five top-notch songs for the King.


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Studio: MGM

Distributed By: Twilight Time

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HDMA (Mono)

Subtitles: English SDH

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 1 Hr. 49 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

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Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: All

Release Date: 08/12/2014

MSRP: $29.95




The Production Rating: 3.5/5

The eccentric father and son team of Pop and Toby Kwimper (Arthur O’Connell, Elvis Presley) along with young adult orphan Holly (Anne Helm) and three younger children decide they’re going to cease taking government assistance to live and instead pitch a homestead on some state owned land in Florida. When they get the best of government official H. Arthur King (Alan Hewitt), he moves heaven and earth to get the Kwimpers evicted from the land. They find further trouble when the mob led by Nick (Simon Oakland) and Carmine (Jack Kruschen) moves into the police-free area to begin their own gambling operation.

A sort of offhand second cousin to the award-winning You Can’t Take It With You which featured its own unconventional family whose very innocence and truth outwit more educated and calculating authority figures, Follow That Dream does give Elvis a naïve and total innocent to play in what is probably his best comic performance and certainly one of his most appealing. While there’s never a doubt as to how it will end and Charles Lederer’s script plays out the one joke premise of the piece long past its effectiveness (a courtroom scene goes on too long and the running gag with the hyper-pressurized toilet is overused and too notably telegraphed for real comic impact by director Gordon Douglas), there’s no denying that great sense of satisfaction when the stuffed shirts and criminal types get continually outwitted by the family’s sweetness and purity. The songs in the film don’t intrude too badly during the otherwise gently farcical proceedings, and Elvis’ voice is mellow and beguiling particularly with the swinging, toe-tapping title song, “I’m Not the Worrying Kind” (something of a watchword for the family), and “Angel” which brings the thwarted romance continuously pushed to the backburner right to the front for the film’s conclusion.

In addition to Elvis’ winning work in the movie, veteran Arthur O'Connell offers a thoroughly enjoyable, understated presence as the wise if unconventional father. Anne Helm doesn’t have a lot of sparkle as Elvis’ quasi-love interest, but Joanna Moore with her genuine Southern accent fits right in as the social worker all eager to help until Elvis ignores her advances. It’s a great pleasure seeing such wonderful veterans as Alan Hewitt, Jack Kruschen, Simon Oakland, Howard McNear (hilarious as a terrified bank loan officer), and Roland Winters (as a judge at the public hearing who sorts everything out once the film abruptly turns serious near the end) each get some spotlight moments where their talents rise to the surface.



Video Rating: 4/5  3D Rating: NA

The film’s 2.35:1 Panavision theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Though there are a few stray dust specks throughout and a shot or two that look a bit dated and soft, most of the transfer sports very good sharpness and fine color reproduction with believable skin tones. This is a major advance from the non-anamorphic DVD which preceded this Blu-ray release. The film has been divided into 12 chapters.



Audio Rating: 4/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 sound mix does not feature any age-related artifacts like hiss or crackle, but the reverberation during the vocal numbers (surely a part of the mix and rather typical of the era) does not match the rather quiet quality of the rest of the soundtrack. Dialogue is solid (including even Elvis’ often quietly mumbling way of speaking) and never is overpowered by sound effects or background score. In fact, some gunfire and an explosion late in the film sound rather anemic, again rather typical of a comedy sound mix from this era.



Special Features Rating: 2.5/5

Isolated Score Track: the background score and Elvis' vocal numbers are presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0.

Theatrical Trailer (2:25, HD)

MGM 90th Anniversary Trailer (2:06, HD)

Six-Page Booklet: contains color and black and white stills, poster art on the back cover, and film historian Julie Kirgo’s illuminating take on Elvis’ career and the film.



Overall Rating: 3.5/5

A film even Elvis Presley’s non-fans would find amusing and appealing, Follow That Dream combines tunes and comedy in a pleasing package, and the Blu-ray will be a delight for fans who were less than impressed with one of the film’s previous DVD releases. There are only 3,000 copies of this Blu-ray available. Those interested should go to www.screenarchives.com to see if product is still in stock. Information about the movie can also be found via Facebook at www.facebook.com/twilighttimemovies.


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Virgoan

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Posted August 16 2014 - 04:38 PM

I'm gonna follow that dream wherever that dream may lead...

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted August 17 2014 - 09:48 AM

I note your comment that this is a " film even Elvis presley non-fans would find amusing and appealing". That was what a friend of mine told me when the film first came out. He said it was a good film with a good part for any competent leading man and Elvis just got lucky. My friend was right. 

 

I'm looking forward to receiving my disc. I haven't seen this film for such a long time. When I first saw it, I found Anne Helm very attractive. I was in my teens! My taste in young women has probably changed!



#4 of 7 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted August 17 2014 - 12:06 PM

Well another non-anamorphic DVD will become a coaster.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#5 of 7 OFFLINE   John Hermes

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Posted August 17 2014 - 08:23 PM

I note your comment that this is a " film even Elvis presley non-fans would find amusing and appealing". That was what a friend of mine told me when the film first came out. He said it was a good film with a good part for any competent leading man and Elvis just got lucky. My friend was right. 

 

I'm looking forward to receiving my disc. I haven't seen this film for such a long time. When I first saw it, I found Anne Helm very attractive. I was in my teens! My taste in young women has probably changed!

My taste hasn't changed - I still think Anne Helm looks mighty fine in the movie.


  • JC Riesenbeck likes this

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted August 21 2014 - 02:36 PM

I've just watched this. A very good disc and I'm more than pleased. Many thanks Twilight Time.

 

Follow That Dream is a charming film, quite innocent and yet in some ways quite shrewd. I was very impressed by Elvis's performance as the less than intelligent hero. I think he judged it perfectly and his "choices" were spot on. Playing dumb is reputed to be exceptionally difficult and it is noticeable that only a few actors/actresses have mastered the art; Judy Holliday being a prime example. I think in this movie Elvis is on the same high level. I'm not, incidentally, a major Elvis fan and I have none of his recordings.  



#7 of 7 OFFLINE   JC Riesenbeck

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Posted August 21 2014 - 07:59 PM

My taste hasn't changed - I still think Anne Helm looks mighty fine in the movie.

I agree with this comment.  Anne Helm wasn't supposed to sparkle in the same way that Joanna Moore did.  

Helm was supposed to be the wholesome girl next door type, while at the same time play mother to the younger kids, and trying to find a way to get Elvis to notice her.    

I think she shined doing just that and looked dang good doing it.  I really think this is one of Elvis's better films, indicative of what he could have done if certain people hadn't been taking a huge percentage of his earnings and then placed him in some really awful movies to make a quick buck. Priscilla claims that by the end of his movie career, he really hated doing those films.

Thanks Twilight Time.  This purchase was a no brainer for me.







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