Designing Woman — in Blu-ray

Fun, not great, film, but charming, and always nice to see the leads in comedic action. 4 Stars

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

22 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review! I have been wanting this film on BLU since the format began. True it isnt a great film but I cant turn down any classic Lauren Bacall film. Love the dialolgue, sets and costumes.

    Cant wait to see the transfer, now if WB archive can get shipments of the title to amazon!

  2. I now know how to do the math. If the Warner DVD is pretty good, the Warner Archive Blu-Ray will be a treat. I've stopping thinking that they're picking titles at random, especially since "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers". They are making an impact with consistently excellent releases, which seems like a solid business plan to this movie nut.

  3. davidmatychuk

    I now know how to do the math. If the Warner DVD is pretty good, the Warner Archive Blu-Ray will be a treat. I've stopping thinking that they're picking titles at random, especially since "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers". They are making an impact with consistently excellent releases, which seems like a solid business plan to this movie nut.

    Warner Archive received my full respect, early on, when I panned a WB release, and was thanked for making them aware.

  4. Robert Harris

    Warner Archive received my full respect, early on, when I panned a WB release, and was thanked for making them aware.

    And that's a rare thing these days; be it in business or in life.
    Only the best and those who strive for excellence would welcome such a thing.
    Great share, Mr. Harris; and continued kudos to WAC.

  5. Thomas T

    Allow me to add one more word: Gray 🙂

    Yes, indeed. In my ungracious opinion, in a comedy Dolores was worth more than Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall together.

    I've never much liked Designing Woman and normally wouldn't be interested in adding it to my collection. However a Warner Archive Blu-ray disc praised by Robert Harris is always worth taking seriously, so I just might buy this disc.

  6. George Wells won the Oscar for his screenplay of "Designing Woman".

    Nominees included:
    [Story & Screenplay–written directly for the screen]
    "Funny Face", "Man of a Thousand Faces", "The Tin Star" and "I Vitelloni"

    Meanwhile, Michael Wilson, Carl Foreman and Pierre Boulle also won for their screenplay of "The Bridge on the River Kwai".

    Nominees included:
    [Screenplay based on material from another medium]
    "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison", "Peyton Place", "Sayonara" and "12 Angry Men"

    With such a year in writing, this strong single win for "Designing Woman" can only hasten my interests in discovering it for the very first time.

  7. Robin9

    Yes, indeed. In my ungracious opinion, in a comedy Dolores was worth more than Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall together.

    I've never much liked Designing Woman and normally wouldn't be interested in adding it to my collection. However a Warner Archive Blu-ray disc praised by Robert Harris is always worth taking seriously, so I just might buy this disc.

    I'm the opposite. I've been crazy about Designing Woman since the first time I saw it! As soon as it was announced as an upcoming WA blu ray, it was a no brainer that I would jump on it. I'll keep my opinion of Ms. Bacall to myself lest I offend her many fans but this is my favorite performance by her next to How To Marry A Millionaire. I'm a huge Peck fanboy and I think he's aces here.

    But we're on the same page with the fantastic Miss Gray.

  8. Thomas T

    I'm the opposite. I've been crazy about Designing Woman since the first time I saw it! As soon as it was announced as an upcoming WA blu ray, it was a no brainer that I would jump on it. I'll keep my opinion of Ms. Bacall to myself lest I offend her many fans but this is my favorite performance by her next to How To Marry A Millionaire. I'm a huge Peck fanboy and I think he's aces here.

    But we're on the same page with the fantastic Miss Gray.

    It seems we're on the same page with Lauren Bacall too! 🙂

  9. Honestly, I found the Peck/Bacall romance in this film to be a bore; I didn't really like either of the characters. But, I just LOVED Dolores Gray, and it is for her that I'll happily buy this release. Yep, Dolores makes any film better—I'm just sorry that she starred in only four features. So, let's see…. with this release, we have Designing Woman, Kismet, and It's Always Fair Weather available on blu-ray. Only The Opposite Sex remains, and I hope the Warner Archive will put that on blu soon, too.

  10. I agree about Dolores Gray being one of the bright spots in Designing Woman but have to emphatically disagree with hoping WAC puts out The Opposite Sex on Blu. Too many really good movies still in desperate need of resurrection on Blu from WAC and, at least by my thinking, The Opposite Sex is decidedly not one of them, but a colossal squandering of talent, time and money on a woeful remake of The Women (1939); already out on Blu and well worth the price of admission. If WAC can wrap up their ode to fifties 'scope' and VistaVision at Metro with restored/remastered editions in hi-def of High Society, The Reluctant Debutante, Tea and Sympathy, and, The Student Prince, I can die a happy man.

    As for Designing Woman…I don't think you'll find anyone here who thinks it is a top-tier product. It has the glossy appeal of an A-list MGM picture but lacks originality, charm and spunk to launch it memorably. That said, Peck and Bacall do their best, and, if the effort on the whole registers as inferior, neither performance is. So, what we are left with is a truly off-beat example of the classic screwball meets the rom/com with Dolores Gray thrown in for good measure. MGM was in free fall by this time. Designing Woman is an example of the studio attempting to look back on better pictures in the hopes some of it would rub off on this movie. Either valiantly, or misguidedly, it never happened. I still like Designing Woman, but more so as a cultural artifact and a completionist of the Peck, Bacall, Minnelli catalogs. Now, could we get WAC to consider giving us The Valley of Decision, The Yearling, Captain Horatio Hornblower, Young Man with a Horn, The Cobweb, The Clock, Madame Bovary, Some Came Running and Home From the Hill.

  11. Sometimes things just work out. I’ve actually never seen this film but after the review and comments time to get ahold of it for an evening of relaxation.

    I’m a Peck fan myself. The scene in the film Marooned where he sits down with David Jansen and the others to talk about the possibility of rescue is one of my favorite scenes in film. The “here’s the math” delivery is superb. So many others but that one always sticks in my mind.

  12. Nick*Z

    but have to emphatically disagree with hoping WAC puts out The Opposite Sex on Blu. Too many really good movies still in desperate need of resurrection on Blu from WAC and, at least by my thinking,

    Your distaste for The Opposite Sex is duly noted. However, if all the elements are in place or it would only take some minor tweaking to get The Opposite Sex presentable and out there on blu ray, why not? It has a fan base (small though it may be :)) I seriously doubt the Warners Archives would spend 7 Brides For 7 Brothers type attention and money for a full blown restoration on a minor title like TOS (I'm sure they're saving that for High Society). On the other hand, I can't see much of a market for a dusty old operetta starring Edmund Purdom on blu ray. But hey, that's just me! So let's hope the blu ray gods smile on us and both The Student Prince and The Opposite Sex get blu releases and we both can die happy men! 🙂

  13. PMF

    George Wells won the Oscar for his screenplay of "Designing Woman".

    Nominees included:
    [Story & Screenplay–written directly for the screen]
    "Funny Face", "Man of a Thousand Faces", "The Tin Star" and "I Vitelloni"

    With such a year in writing, this strong single win for "Designing Woman" can only hasten my interests in discovering it for the very first time.

    Well, among that lot, it is definitely the best screenplay.

  14. PMF

    Which says quite a lot, being it was also the year of "Kwai".:thumbs-up-smiley:

    Bridge On The River Kwai won the adapted screenplay Oscar while Designing Woman won the original screenplay Oscar.

  15. Thomas T

    Bridge On The River Kwai won the adapted screenplay Oscar while Designing Woman won the original screenplay Oscar.

    Exactly. And more to the point than my earlier post.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  16. Has anyone actually (other than the obvious review discs) seen a copy of this one yet? I had it preordered from Amazon and they apparently never got any copies, because it's had the old familiar "temporarily out of stock" tag since release date. I've had to approve order delays TWICE for it since then, which obviously means they really don't know when any will be available.

  17. The screenplay for the classic Fellini film I vitelloni inferior to a so-so screenplay for a second-tier comedy? Tastes differ but this leads me to ask: Have any of the above watched both films in order to compare them effectively?
    BTW, I enjoy DW, especially Dolores Gray.

  18. Thomas T

    Your distaste for The Opposite Sex is duly noted. However, if all the elements are in place or it would only take some minor tweaking to get The Opposite Sex presentable and out there on blu ray, why not? It has a fan base (small though it may be :)) I seriously doubt the Warners Archives would spend 7 Brides For 7 Brothers type attention and money for a full blown restoration on a minor title like TOS (I'm sure they're saving that for High Society). On the other hand, I can't see much of a market for a dusty old operetta starring Edmund Purdom on blu ray. But hey, that's just me! So let's hope the blu ray gods smile on us and both The Student Prince and The Opposite Sex get blu releases and we both can die happy men! 🙂

    The hi-def streaming version The Opposite Sex looks really good IMO. As you say, probably wouldn't take much to prep for blu.

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