DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Georgy Girl

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Aaron Silverman, Jul 1, 2005.

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  1. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    [​IMG]
    Georgy Girl[​IMG]

    US Theatrical Release: October 17, 1966 (Columbia Pictures)
    US DVD Release: July 5, 2005
    Running Time: 1:38:44 (12 chapter stops)
    Rating: None (Has a number of adult situations)
    Video: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Black & White (Extra Features: N/A)
    Audio: English DD2.0 Mono (Extra Features: N/A)
    Subtitles: English, Japanese (Extra Features: None)
    TV-Generated Closed Captions: English
    Menus: Not animated
    Packaging: Standard keepcase; no insert.
    MSRP: $24.96

    THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT IT: 3.5/5

    Return with me now to a time of swingin' mods and the first glimmers of free love -- a simpler time, when certain things were just not discussed in decent company. Of course, Georgy Girl is far from "decent company!" This mid-'60s comedy-drama helped to ring in the hippie era with its matter-of-fact depiction of some rather alternative (for its day) lifestyles.

    Shy and awkward Georgina Parkins (Lynn Redgrave) is the 22-year-old (going on 52) daughter of two servants of wealthy businessman James Leamington (James Mason). Despite her father's best efforts to encourage her, she shows little interest in her appearance or in social activity. She's content with the day care service she runs out of "Mr. James'" attic and her atrociously unstylish wardrobe.

    Or is she? Her roommate Meredith (an attractive yet creepy Charlotte Rampling) dates her way through a never-ending succession of boys as Georgy feigns disinterest. Yet Georgy can't help but feel a little jealous of the attentions lavished upon her friend. Although she isn't about to break out of her shell and find herself a man, she wishes that at least Meredith would stop acting as though she doesn't exist whenever a beau is about.

    Meredith's current fling is Jos (Alan Bates), a young man who hasn't quite grown up yet. He doesn't seem to take life very seriously, which makes it easier to handle Meredith's selfish and often callous behavior -- neither of them is interested in much beyond a little fun and a little sex. Of course, it only takes a little sex to create a very big complication.

    One day, out of the blue, Meredith suggests to Jos that they get married. It's quite clear that she's not so much interested in spending her life with him as she is bored and simply looking for something new to try. The fact that she's carrying his baby doesn't seem to affect her much at all. The shock of the news hits Jos like a thunderbolt, and he agrees to the proposition. But is he really ready for a family, or will he revert to his happy-go-lucky ways once the initial rush wears off?

    The matronly Georgy is thrilled at this development, and immediately jumps into action, helping Meredith prepare for the baby. Of course, that's not quite accurate, as Georgy ends up taking care of pretty much everything. Meanwhile, Meredith's temper degenerates nightmarishly, leaving Georgy and Jos to act the married couple, reading books and watching programs on pregnancy and childbirth. With Jos moved in. our young trio lives together in an arrangement closely resembling a ticking time bomb.

    Georgy Girl milks this tenuous situation for plenty of laughs and pathos. The three participants in this unusual menage-a-trois are all quite immature, each in his or her own way, and whether any of them will grow up as a result of impending parenthood is very much in question. There's plenty of entertainment along the way, with an ending that's at once absurd and somehow inevitable.

    While it's stylistically a bit dated, Georgy Girl's storyline will still resonate with modern audiences to whom the material will be familiar rather than shocking. There is that sense of mod nostalgia in the clothes, hair, and music, but the film still holds up on its own merits. The performances are top-caliber, especially that of Lynn Redgrave, around whom the film revolves, and James Mason's colorful turn as the feisty "old" (49!) patron who, more than anyone else, appreciates Georgy's unique charm.


    THE WAY I SEE IT: 3/5

    The black and white image is basically all right. There's some edge enhancement and just a little purple fringing, which is noticeable upon close inspection, but isn't too distracting. Blacks are OK, but could be a little deeper. The source print shows a bit of damage here and there.


    THE WAY I HEAR IT: 4/5

    The original mono soundtrack is pretty solid. There is occasional slight distortion, but for the most part everything is clear.


    THE SWAG: 0.5/5 (rating combines quality and quantity)

    Previews:

    Three trailers are included. They cannot be selected individually; selecting Play Previews from the menu plays them in sequence.
    • D. E. B. S. (1:56) (DD2.0; 1.78 anamorphic)
    • Hitch (2:26) (DD5.1; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • The Best of the '80s (2:52) (DD2.0; 1.33:1 non-anamorphic)
    SUMMING IT ALL UP

    The Way I Feel About It: 3.5/5
    The Way I See It: 3/5
    The Way I Hear It: 4/5
    The Swag: 0.5/5


    Georgy Girl is a minor classic of its day that still works today. What it's lost in shock value, it still has in strong characters and charismatic performances. Its decidedly British sense of humor -- sorry, humour -- may not appeal to everyone, but most viewers will be touched by its tale of young people facing (with varying levels of success) that last hurdle before adulthood. As is par for the course with Sony these days, the A/V quality is decent but nothing to write home about. Also, it's too bad that a fairly iconic film such as this has no extra features. One final note -- the back of the case contains a few spoilers in both image and text, and repeatedly refers to Jos as "Joe." Go figure!
     
  2. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    All I remember about this movie was the theme song that was catchy and popular and always on the radio at the time - "Hey there, it's Georgy Girl". The movie came out when I was 16 years old, but I never got the chance to see it. Now's maybe the time. [​IMG]

    Paul
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the review.

    I saw this on TV when I was a young adolescent and always wanted to see it again. Aaron, any idea how the picture would stack up on at wide-angle system?
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    It's not going to blow anyone away, but it's watchable. It was OK on my 55" RPTV.
     
  5. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    I will be adding this film to my DVD collection. It's one of my favorites. I do like how it was shot in b&w, although I can understand the reviewer's wish (specifically for the reasons stated) that it had been shot in color. The version of Georgy Girl that is included in the film is not identical to the released version that I own, which for me is a bonus. :)

    http://www.dvdtown.com/review/georgy-girl/dvd/3029/2
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Wow...a bump of a five-year old "classic" Aaron Silverman review!

    Nice job, Scott!
     
  7. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    The song was recorded by The Seekers for this movie and then again for commercial single and LP release. The two versions are somewhat different. Only the commercial release is available on CD.
     

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