A Few Words About A few words about... On a Clear Day...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Paramount's release of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is something that has been awaited by Streisand fans.

    The short story here is that the release will not disappoint, as it has been carefully taken from film to DVD.

    This, however, is not a musical that fits into many of the norms of the genre.

    I saw the stage play on Broadway, and will always think of Barbara Harris in the lead. Ms. Streisand gives the piece a rather different spin. But what is really interesting here is the meeting of genres and eras. In her first venture on screen Ms. Streisand had the good fortune to be directed by William Wyler. Here again, her perfomance is structured by the incomparable Vincente Minnelli. The meeting of classical filmmaker and modern musical is an odd mixture. While modern scenes don't quite have the life that they might, the flashbacks to an earlier era involving "Melinda" hold up beautifully, as they have been photographed and honed in a much more classic style.

    On a Clear Day... came very, very late in the line-up of American musicals -- almost after the end, but there is an innocence here that cannot be replicated today.

    The colors and textures (especially of the flashbacks) of the transfer are breathtaking, and can almost take one back to the glory days of the M-G-M musicals. Almost. For Streisand and musical fans, this will be a welcome addition. Others may find it a bit of a stretch. Regardless, Paramount has given the film a top quality send-off.

    Harry Stradling's final four projects were all Barbra Streisand films, beginning with Funny Girl in 1968. His work here is as visually stunning as his earlier efforts in musicals. The whites evoke the luminous clarity one will find in the gowns in My Fair Lady. But it is his colors which will whisk you back to the classic Technicolor era and his work on films such as Easter Parade, In the Good Old Summertime, The Pirate and The Barclays of Broadway. He was a brilliant lighting cameraman, and his work shines in this DVD.

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Thanks for your comments Mr. Harris as I've been waiting for this gem for a long time and I'm very glad to hear that "the release will not disappoint".[​IMG]

    Paul
     
  3. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Bob harris,
    what about the new stereo soundtrack? How does it sound?
     
  4. TonyDale

    TonyDale Second Unit

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    Barbara Harris is my favorite Broadway performer of the 1960s, you are certainly blessed to have seen her at work! Any relation? [​IMG]
    Looking forward to CLEAR DAY since it's just a fun film. Love the decor of Daisy's bedroom. . .
     
  5. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    I was slightly worried that the transfer might not be great. Thanks for putting me at ease. I am counting the days. (And I too am very envious of you having seen Barbara Harris on stage. She's marvelous.)
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I've always felt that Ms. Harris was more realistic in the role, inclusive of her singing voice.

    To Joe Caps... The film sounds fine in 5.1, with a good stereo spread on the music. Sync for the musical numbers is always a bit off, but I recall it always being like this. Seems there was a bit of art lost over the decades with playbacks.
     

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