DVD Review HTF REVIEW: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Feb 20, 2005.

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  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    On A Clear Day You Can See Forever



    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1970

    Rated: G

    Length: 129 Minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic

    Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English & French Mono

    English Subtitles

    Closed Captioned

    Special Features: None

    Estimated Street Price: $14.99, USD


    Release Date: February 22, 2005

    Barbra Streisand stars as Daisy Gamble in Vincente Minnelli’s nontraditional screen version of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Daisy is a psychically inclined chain-smoker who sees a shrink, Dr. Marc Chabot (Yves Montand) for help in kicking the habit. While under hypnosis, Chabot uncovers evidence (which he doesn’t want to believe) that Daisy is reincarnated - she was “Melinda” in an earlier life, a 19th century English coquette. Through regression, Chabot learns more about Melinda, and becomes enthralled with the woman.

    Word of the possible reincarnation gets out at the medical school Chabot teaches at, threatening his job - yet he is compelled to continue investigating the case.

    Bob Newhart appears as president of the medical school, and Jack Nicholson has a brief appearance as Daisy’s half brother.

    The setup and the modern day scenes lead into the meat of the story - the period sequences of Daisy’s past lives. It is here that the film excels, with lavish production design, wonderful color, texture and period detail.

    Streisand takes over the role of Daisy from Barbra Harris, who played the character on Broadway. Streisand makes the character her own. The unusual nature of the play, combined with Minnelli’s treatment on the film make for an unusual, entertaining musical outing.

    The Look
    The first thing you’ll notice about this film is how wonderfully saturated the color is, and how the rich textures of the production design are rendered. The lush look is a feast for the eyes... even if the opening titles may cause a fit of epilepsy - not due to any fault of the transfer, but rather the zooming, richly colored rectangles of the original title design. Ouch. What can you say, other than it’s a product of the early 70’s.

    The picture is acceptably sharp and detailed (though with frequent soft-focus photography), with excellent contrast. Detail is maintained in the deep, rich and accurate black levels. There are no compression artifacts of note.

    The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and the print is respectably clean for a film of 35 years - only occasional specks mar the picture.

    Paramount has delivered a quality transfer.

    The Sound
    The Dolby Digital 5.1 Track delivers a nice stereo separation on the musical numbers. Frequency response is good. The sound does have an obvious “looped” quality, most notably in the musical numbers. I’m fairly certain this quality was present in the original print, so it is not a fault of the 5.1 mix. Non-musical aspects are generally monaural, but with some occasional directional and surround cues. Some hiss can be heard in the left and right channels during dialog sequences. Once or twice, a subtle distortion can be heard during peak audio levels of Yves Montand’s vocals. Overall, this is a pleasing, if imperfect mix.

    The Mono Track delivers adequate frequency response and clarity in dialog and vocal music. Music is somewhat better expressed through the 5.1 track, however, with stronger low bass response and good use of the front soundfield.

    There is also a French Mono track available.

    Special Features
    There are no special features.

    Final Thoughts
    This is most likely a must-buy for Streisand fans. While fans of a more traditional musical experience may be thrown by the qualities bestowed on the film by director Vincente Minelli, I still recommend it for fans of the genre. It’s got pretty music and beautiful set design. Who could ask for more?
     
  2. Sergio A

    Sergio A Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice to know that the standard release looks and sounds this good as it's Minelli's last major film and there just aren;t enough of his films available yet (am truly looking forward to THE BANDWAGON of course).

    What a shame that Paramount couldn't find it in their interest to include any of the cut numbers as a bonus - apparently a lot of Jack Nicholson's scenes ended up on the cutting room floor as well.
     
  3. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    Well, numbers in all musicals have a "looped" quality, as they are prerecorded and people are lip-synching. Sometimes it's spot on, and sometimes it's a bit rubbery. Can't wait to get my copy which is on its way from amazon.
     
  4. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    When there was a project to do the uncut stereo On a Clear Day when I worked for Pioneer Laserdisc, several people in various departments of Paramount looked for cut footage from this film, but none was ever found.
     
  5. m.cellophane

    m.cellophane Agent

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    This is an anamorphic release. I don't see that referenced in the review.
     
  6. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I've updated the stats to indicate it is anamorphic... I missed the edit - I use the same template for each review, and the last review I wrote was a full screen release.

    I take it for granted since Paramount hasn't released a non-anamorphic widescreen title for well over a year and a half.

    -Scott
     
  7. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    It's nice to hear that the film is finally stereo, or is this another of Paramount's processed fake stereos? Whenever I see 5.1 and English Mono, it's always fake stereo. Scott, is this real stereo with complete left and right separation of the orchestra?
     
  8. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Scott, is this true stereo? Usually when Paramount says 5.1 AND includes a mono track, it's reprocessed fake stereo. Does this have actual left and right separation of the instruments during the musical numbers?
     
  9. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Paramount has been pretty good about stereo remixes using stereo music tracks - including Counterfeit Traitor, Carpetbazggers, Ten Commandments, and Tin sTar. The only mono spreads they did are funny Face and White Christmas as stereo msuic tracksno onger exist for those titles.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I've never seen this movie. May have to check it out...thanks for the review!
     
  11. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Got this disc today. picture is excellent - great colors and razor sharp. It reminds me of Paramounts dvd of Ten commandments - great saturated color and sharp. Neither transfer looks like any print of On a Clear Day or Ten Commandments I've ever seen.
    the songs in stereo are a little add having some, but not all of the reverb from the album master. listen to the voices in stereo with some reverb, then switch to the mono track, where there is NO reverb.
    A dead give a way is the song GO TO SLEEP. On the record, streisand sings with herself. Barbara is in the middle and her other world counterpart is stuck in the far left chanelth reverb added for the record. It's the same on the dvd, except in the film, the couterpart is also in the center of the screen and there is no need for her voice to be on the far left with reverb.
     
  12. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I really like this movie more and more as time goes on...and it beats the script of the stage version all to hell.

    Years ago, at Colony Records in NYC, i saw a gatefold version of the soundtrack album that was a pre-release demo....it included two musical numbers not found in the final film OR the final soundtrack album:

    Larry Blyden singing WAIT TIL WE"RE SIXTY FIVE
    and Jack Nicholson doing WHO IS THERE AMONG US WHO KNOWS
    with Barbra humming in the background.
     
  13. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    One of my biggest problems with the film, ironically, is Streisand -- not her acting, but her singing. Burton Lane's tunes are so beautiful and they just don't respond well to her fussy, pseudo-jazzy embellishments. Barbara Harris on the Broadway cast recording does much better with far less vocal equipment. Indeed the movie isn't as well-sung as this great score deserves (Montand is miscast, and most of the rest of the cast doesn't sing, at least in the cut version).

    Minnelli creates some gorgeous images, but he also does a lot more standardized shots than usual, with standard back-and-forth cutting, and a lot fewer of the glorious long takes and camera movements that were his trademark at MGM (look at how many scenes in The Band Wagon are all in one take). Not a bad directing job, but not grade-A for a Minnelli fan like myself.
     
  14. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    You know how much you could get for that soundtrack? If I were a rich man....yaba daba dibi...eh...sorry. Wrong musical.
     
  15. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Yes the script is different and maybe better than the stage version, but they killed alot of the songs, including my favorites which they completely took out. The orchestrations are also much better on the Broadway cast CD. Why did hollywood producers feel they knew more about stage musicals than their Broadway counterparts? The song SS Bernhard Cohn (and also Wait till We're 65) are two of the best songs, never even used in the film, or filmed and cut out before release.

    I agree with you Jaime, the Broadway CD is the way to go for this great score.
     
  16. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    "Wait Till We're 65" was filmed (with Larry Blyden and Streisand), but was cut when the movie was trimmed from three hours to two. I don't think "Bernard Cohn" was filmed, even though the song should, in theory, have been ideal for Streisand.
     
  17. TonyDale

    TonyDale Second Unit

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    "Bernard Cohn" did end up as underscore, as did "Cosy and Tush."
    The latter may be heard at the first arrival at Brighton, the former when Chabot takes Daisy out for a "short drink."
    I agree that Babs singing "Bernard Cohn" would not have been out of place at all, and quite memorable.
     
  18. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    I remember Yues Montand saying that Barbra Streisand cut alot of his part from the film, including songs. When he was on The Mike Douglas Show. Sad that the cut parts can't
    be found. Larry Blyden passed away not too long after this
    film. I remember reading he was on the verge of stardom by way of a game show that became a hit that he was to star on.
    Anyway the color on this film is great. First time I heard this in stereo since I had the LP. I wish they would at lease include the chapter stops on the back of the case for the musical numbers.
     
  19. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Yikes. the final Minnelli cut came in at 140 min - not three hours - Paramount cut itfrom 140 minutes to 129 - 11 minutes were cut. I had that demo On a Clear day soundtrack album. It had the two numbers already mentionede and also had Barbra siniging He Isn't You as in the film but immediatly followed by Montand singing She isn't you.
    In the finale - Streiand sings on a Clear Day - On the demo album she is joined by a chorus that is not in the film.
     
  20. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Also recorded (but I have no idea if it was filmed) was a song sung by Montand called ESP. I've heard a playback acetate of it. I can't say that I was impressed by what I heard, but then again, I think Montand was woefully miscast.

    I appreciate the care Paramount put into the lovely transfer, and that finally this film has a stereophonic soundtrack.

    Maybe when they get the HD-DVD release out in a few years, we may see those deleted sequences. (One can hope!)
     

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