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Press Release Criterion Press Release: The Girl Can't Help It (1956) (Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

ThadK

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We watched the DVD this week and found the whole thing to look (and sound) off. And yet even without getting into color accuracy, the Blu-Ray is just so unreasonably dark, like so many things to come out of the responsible lab. Both can suck but one sucks a lot less, and this will just have to be filed as another in a long list of classic film disappointments.
 

Will Krupp

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Not taking any sides, just showing a comparison. If they found the stereo tracks I would have bought the Blu-ray.

Listen, I'm certainly not telling you whether or not you should buy it, I'm just saying I'm glad that I did.

I will, however, say this. I'm coming to the conclusion that the screencaps posted on the other forum seem to have been specifically chosen to further a narrative. I spoke about the album cover already. The second comparison is of a four-second establishing shot (how is that fair?) of the Rock n' Roll Jubilee at night (the DVD cap would have you believe it was the middle of the afternoon.) It's on the back end of an optical dissolve, which accounts for its less crisp look, and is hardly representative of the transfer. Having them include it as a screencap over there serves no purpose other than to say "see, look how BLUE it all is!" I can't help but smell an agenda. It's likely "day for night" and is obviously graded to match the deep blue night (shot with, you guessed it, blue gels!) of the sequence that follows shortly thereafter, complete with a blue cast to the snow and crisp white shirts on the men.

I don't dispute that there's a lot of blue in the transfer, I'm just having a hard time swallowing that there shouldn't be a lot of blue in the movie
 
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RolandL

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Listen, I'm certainly not telling you whether or not you should buy it, I'm just saying I'm glad that I did.

I will, however, say this. I'm coming to the conclusion that the screencaps posted on the other forum seem to have been specifically chosen to further a narrative. I spoke about the album cover already. The second comparison is of a four-second establishing shot (how is that fair?) of the Rock n' Roll Jubilee at night (the DVD cap would have you believe it was the middle of the afternoon.) It's on the back end of an optical dissolve, which accounts for its less crisp look, and is hardly representative of the transfer. Having them include it as a screencap over there serves no purpose other than to say "see, look how BLUE it all is!" I can't help but smell an agenda. It's likely "day for night" and is obviously graded to match the deep blue night (shot with, you guessed it, blue gels!) of the sequence that follows shortly thereafter, complete with a blue cast to the snow and crisp white shirts on the men.

I don't dispute that there's a lot of blue in the transfer, I'm just having a hard time swallowing that there shouldn't be a lot of blue in the movie found



I'm glad that you are enjoying the Blu-ray. For me to upgrade I need something more than just the PQ is a little better IMHO. I have found that some titles are now on TCMHD (The Tall Men and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter for example) and look like the Blu-ray so, why upgrade? The Blu-ray for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a big improvement over the DVD in PQ and more picture info so I bought the Blu-ray. TCMHD is still showing the same old transfer.
 

Bradley Newton

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I agree with Will. The film in motion is completely different than the screencaps making the rounds. And compare the colors in the Criterion transfer to the colors in the trailer, and also the DVD film clips included in the old (FANTASTIC!) John Waters interview. There are a lot of bold, cherry reds in this transfer. It actually looks fantastic. One of my favorite discs of the year.
 

Emcee

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I wish they'd done a proper commentary with John Waters. He's talked about this film for years.


Precisely. It was practically an annual ritual for Waters and his Dreamlanders to watch The Girl Can't Help It.
 

haineshisway

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I agree with Will. The film in motion is completely different than the screencaps making the rounds. And compare the colors in the Criterion transfer to the colors in the trailer, and also the DVD film clips included in the old (FANTASTIC!) John Waters interview. There are a lot of bold, cherry reds in this transfer. It actually looks fantastic. One of my favorite discs of the year.
Anyone on any site who would post a screencap taken from a dissolve should be forbidden from ever posting a screencap. All it means to me is that the person/site knows nothing about film and, as Will says, has an agenda. Tashlin's color choices ARE bold and the blues have always been part of the film, always. If people want overly-bright faded color transfers they can have 'em. It's not what Tashlin and his cameraman wanted, but who are they in the scheme of things - just the filmmakers.
 

Emcee

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I’ve never seen a Jayne Mansfield movie. I’m looking forward to buying this one though.

Her best film??
That is totally going to depend on your personal viewing preferences, but I don't mind telling you what I think.

For me, I've rotated back and forth as to whether I prefer The Girl Can't Help It or Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? as Mansfield's best film. For a long time, I preferred the latter, probably because I had seen it first and I liked Jayne's chemistry with Tony Randall. In my most recent viewing of the two films, I shifted towards the former, enjoying Jayne's on-screen romance with Tom Ewell and, as expected, all the good musical performances.

To be honest, these are both very good movies. You can't go wrong with either of them. Jayne is great in both, and these movies do a very good job of showing what she was good at --- playing satirical tongue-in-cheek comedy. It seems Frank Tashlin might've been the only filmmaker in Hollywood that knew how to utilize Jayne properly.

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Emcee

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One of the great might have beens-Walter Matthau in The Seven Year Itch.
Quite true. It is interesting to ponder how Matthau would've done playing Richard Sherman. In saying that, I like that Fox eventually decided to recruit Tom Ewell, especially considering he originated the role on the stage. There are too many instances where Broadway actors aren't called upon to immortalize their stage roles for the screen.
 

Thomas T

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Quite true. It is interesting to ponder how Matthau would've done playing Richard Sherman. In saying that, I like that Fox eventually decided to recruit Tom Ewell, especially considering he originated the role on the stage. There are too many instances where Broadway actors aren't called upon to immortalize their stage roles for the screen.
Sometimes that's actually a good thing. What works on stage doesn't necessarily work on screen. I'm grateful Zero "eat the audience" Mostel was passed over for the screen version of Fiddler On The Roof in favor of Topol's more subtle performance. Barbara Bel Geddes lacks the sensuality that Elizabeth Taylor brought to Maggie The Cat in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. I could go on and on but won't ;)
 

Emcee

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Sometimes that's actually a good thing.
True. But not in every case (and I know that's not what you are saying).

I think of Angela Lansbury and her tenure as Mame on Broadway in the late 1960s. She was a big success in the role, but the producers recruited Lucille Ball to do the movie version in 1974. The movie was a notorious box office flop.
 

Thomas T

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True. But not in every case (and I know that's not what you are saying).

I think of Angela Lansbury and her tenure as Mame on Broadway in the late 1960s. She was a big success in the role, but the producers recruited Lucille Ball to do the movie version in 1974. The movie was a notorious box office flop.
Mame was a terrible movie and it was more than just the casting of Lucy. If Angela had played it, she would have been better than Lucy but it would still have been a bad movie.
 

roxy1927

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I saw it at Radio City on a packed Sunday afternoon (we waited hours on line) and I have to admit the audience was crazy about it. Singing along with the title number and applauding after songs. What happened to the audiences after it left the Hall? The bad reviews did not keep the crowds away from Rockefeller Center.
I would have like it to have been directed by Cukor with Lansbury. And Kahn.
 

Matt Hough

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Wasn't Walter Matthau's screen test for The Seven Year Itch on one of its disc releases? (Or maybe it was on one of those discs of classic Fox outtakes and screen tests)? Anyway, I could see why he wasn't chosen over Tom Ewell (and I'm not a Ewell fan). Ewell won a Tony for his stage performance and was perfect for the part.
 

lark144

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Wasn't Walter Matthau's screen test for The Seven Year Itch on one of its disc releases? (Or maybe it was on one of those discs of classic Fox outtakes and screen tests)? Anyway, I could see why he wasn't chosen over Tom Ewell (and I'm not a Ewell fan). Ewell won a Tony for his stage performance and was perfect for the part.
Yes. It was on the DVD of Seven Year Itch but might have been dropped for the Blu. The DVD includes an extended take of the subway grate scene--also dropped from the Blu--that was deemed offense by the Production Code. A second train passes, and MM's skirt is briefly raised higher. "Oooooh," she says. "That was even better. Must have been an express."
 

Emcee

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Wasn't Walter Matthau's screen test for The Seven Year Itch on one of its disc releases? (Or maybe it was on one of those discs of classic Fox outtakes and screen tests)? Anyway, I could see why he wasn't chosen over Tom Ewell (and I'm not a Ewell fan). Ewell won a Tony for his stage performance and was perfect for the part.
Matthau's screen test was shown in the AMC Backstory episode profiling The Seven Year Itch.
 

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