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?