Overall | River of No Return (1954) | Bus Stop (1956) | Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959) | Let's Make Love (1960)

Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection-Volume 3

Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection-Volume 3

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Released 23-Jul-2002

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Overall Package

    So we finally arrive at Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection - Volume 3, perhaps the most eclectic collection in the series. How so? Well, aside from Some Like It Hot, the films contained herein are hardly the stuff of legend. However, that one film remains the best in the filmography of Marilyn Monroe. Yes, there are those that will argue in favour of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Certainly it is a fine film, but at the end of the day not one of the films of the screen legend has held its stature like Some Like It Hot. Indeed, it is ranked by the American Film Institute as the best comedy of all time and I would certainly not like to mount an argument to offer a contrary view.

    Of course, with such a superb film in the collection, the other three films - River Of No Return from 1954, Bus Stop from 1956 and Let's Make Love from 1960 - are bound to be overlooked to a very large degree. This is of course a shame, for whilst they are certainly not in the same class as Some Like It Hot, they do have some charms in their own right. And whilst the celluloid melting is at its peak in Some Like It Hot, there is still some to be found in the other films. It is also fair to say that this collection is not quite as diverse as Volume 2, as the films here tend towards the comedy side of Marilyn Monroe's career. Whilst there is no doubt that she was a good comedic actor, and at times a very underrated one too, you could almost argue that this volume features too much of a good thing.

    Interesting too is the fact that Some Like It Hot is the only film out of the entire collection to yet gain an individual release. As such, it is a further deterrent to buying the entire Volume 3, as everyone should already have the film in their collection. Perhaps someone somewhere should have thought a bit more about how the film was to be included in the three volumes. It may have made more sense to put it into Volume 2 in place of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as the other films in Volume 2 would have still warranted the purchase of that volume. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with the other films in Volume 3 would perhaps have made a more sensible collection to encourage purchase.

    As long as you don't have Some Like It Hot there remains ample reason for indulging in Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection - Volume 3. However, you would need to be a rather heavy duty Marilyn Monroe fan to indulge in this volume otherwise.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, March 06, 2003
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DVD Net - Anthony Clarke

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Overall | River of No Return (1954) | Bus Stop (1956) | Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959) | Let's Make Love (1960)

River of No Return (1954)

River of No Return (1954)

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Released 24-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Theatrical Trailer-1.85:1, 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (2:49)
Featurette-Restoration Comparison (1:27)
Gallery
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1954
Running Time 87:14 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (41:17) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Otto Preminger
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Marilyn Monroe
Robert Mitchum
Rory Calhoun
Case ?
RPI Box Music Cyril J. Mockridge


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 4.0 L-C-R-S (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.55:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.55:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
French
German
Italian
Norwegian
Spanish
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    After a brief interlude, we return to the films of the legendary Marilyn Monroe, this time in the form of River Of No Return. Yes, the film where Robert Mitchum got to act out the less-than-R-rated fantasies of many a man by being paid to give the ultimate screen goddess back and leg rubs. Lets face it - millions of men would have cheerfully paid to be able to partake in this gig! This was also the film where they tried to present a more girl-next-door, outdoorsy-type Marilyn Monroe by dressing her in jeans and ordinary shirt. Does that mean the cold shower level is down in this film? Not on your life!

    Like quite a few Marilyn Monroe films, the story is nothing to write home about. This particular effort is set in the gold rush days. Kay Weston (Marilyn Monroe) is a saloon singer on the gold fields, trying to make some money to change her life forever. Her beau is a card hustler, Harry Weston (Rory Calhoun), of similar position - that is, trying to find his big break in the world. Kay is obviously very good at what she does as she draws large crowds at the saloon - which is actually a tent like most of the town - and this means quite a few dollars coming her way. Into her life wanders a young boy, Mark Calder (Tommy Rettig), who has been brought to the town for collection by his father, who is a little late, leaving the boy to his own devices. His father, Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum), finally arrives to collect him, meets Kay and promptly departs to his farm with Mark in tow. Meanwhile, Harry has returned to Kay with news of a big windfall - he has won a gold claim but has to get to Council City to register the claim before the clown he won it from starts complaining. The quickest way to Council City is by raft down the river - which the Indians call the River Of No Return - with "wife" Kay in tow. They get into trouble on the river right around Matt's farm, where they are rescued. Harry then does the unthinkable and steals Matt's horse and rifle, leaving Mark, Matt and Kay to the mercies of the Indians. Their only means of escape? Down the river on the raft. So they set off in hot pursuit of Harry. The back story is the history of Matt and the parallel it has in Mark's life. But of course, I shall reveal no more here.

    Like quite a few Marilyn Monroe films, Marilyn Monroe ends up in a collection of partially revealing costumes, as well as doing a fine job of filling a pair of jeans! In many ways, though, this is an atypical Marilyn Monroe film, for this is about as unglamorous as she gets - well, at least by her standards! With the emphasis on nature and not so much on Monroe, it gives her another shot at genuine acting, as well as singing. The result is actually quite a pleasant way to fill in ninety minutes. The film itself does not need much brain power, Marilyn Monroe does a good job in her role and Otto Preminger ensured that he took full advantage of the magnificent scenery of Canada, especially around the Rockies where the film was shot. Robert Mitchum is also more than up to his task and, aside from being lucky enough to get his hands on Marilyn Monroe, does the male hunk role more than adequately. Interestingly, both were asked to do their own stunts which did create some problems. Of course, they also both forgot the golden rule of acting - never act with a kid. Whilst Tommy Rettig's is not the best performance you will ever see, he does enough to warrant the golden rule.

    Whilst the film ends in an entirely expected manner, there is no denying that the journey is worthy of a watch. In the filmography of Marilyn Monroe this is one of those films that certainly is not in the upper echelon but equally is one that I can sit back and watch on a regular enough basis.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This release is pretty much in the same mold as Bus Stop, and as such does not show any further decline in the standard of the transfer. Indeed, all things considered, this may show just enough of a reversal of the decline to raise some optimism for the balance of the releases in the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection.

    This is another of those CinemaScope films again, so the theatrical aspect ratio was 2.55:1. The transfer we have here has a measured ratio of 2.54:1: pretty well right on the mark. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    Once again the restoration has done a pretty good job of bringing the transfer back to somewhere close to its original glory. In general this is a nice, decently sharp transfer that certainly looks a lot better than I have ever seen it before. The only trouble is that the sharpness of DVD highlights the use of edge enhancement during scenes on the river, as well as what is presumably effects work as the background at times gets a little dull looking. Shadow detail is excellent even during the somewhat over-lit night time scenes. Clarity would have been excellent but for the presence of some grain here and there. Whilst the restoration has certainly cleaned it up somewhat, there is enough grain present to draw attention to it: 17:10, 36:00 and 65:06 are examples of this. There appears to be no problems with low level noise in the transfer.

    The colour here is by Technicolor and tends towards the moderately saturated middle of the range. The opening few minutes has enough colour pulsation to create worries about what is to follow, but this soon settles down and ends up not being an issue. The colours are not exactly vibrant but have a natural, matte look to them that I find quite pleasing. It suits the film well as the attention is not drawn away from the story being told - as could so easily be the case in the magnificent scenery on display here. There are no obvious problems with oversaturation nor undersaturation.

    There are no significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There are no significant film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. Whilst the restoration has certainly cleaned up the transfer very well, there are still quite a few film artefacts floating around. An especially noticeable collection of speckles can be found at 16:40.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 41:17. This is during a black scene change and therefore is virtually unnoticeable and completely non-disruptive to the film.

    There are ten subtitle options on the DVD, although I just checked out the English for the Hearing Impaired efforts. These seem to be quite good and do not seem to miss as much dialogue as in the previous DVDs from the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection reviewed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are five soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks in French, German, Italian and Spanish. I listened only to the English soundtrack, which sounds as if it has a configuration of L-C-R-S.

    The audio transfer is good and presents the dialogue in a generally clear and easy to understand manner. There does not appear to be any problem with audio sync in the transfer.

    The original music once again comes from Cyril J. Mockridge. Not to be confused with something to be remembered, it does a decent job of supporting the film and providing the right sort of clichéd mood at the appropriate points.

    There is nothing else to report again with the soundtrack, with again nothing to be raised from my notes. The soundtrack is obviously lacking any LFE channel activity, and equally obviously lacking anything in the way of distortion or hiss. The configuration of the sound is not quite so frontal as other DVDs in the series, and at times the surround activity is much more obvious than hitherto the case.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Another slightly less than spectacular effort.

Menu

    Fairly basic efforts, although still looking pretty classy and they are 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer (2:49)

    Displaying grain problems way beyond that of the feature itself, it does give some inkling of how bad the film could have looked. In broad terms it is not a good effort: quite dark, with poor definition, and suffering from rather ropey Dolby Digital 2.0 sound which is distinctly tinny and definitely mono. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. Perhaps it should have been given something of a restoration itself on the evidence here.

Featurette - Restoration Comparison (1:27)

    Getting shorter all the time, this is broadly in the same form as the earlier DVDs reviewed with the self running notes about the extent of the restoration required followed by a split screen comparison. This compares the 1988 source for the laserdisc release with the 1995 source for the laserdisc release (which is somewhat better!), and then compares restored film elements with the restored film elements with video restoration.

Gallery - Stills

    Twenty one publicity type stills taken from the film and the production.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as we can ascertain the Region 4 release misses out on:

    The Region 1 version misses out on:

    In broad terms there is nothing significantly different between the two releases, so call this one even, too.

Summary

    A film that I consider a little underrated, even if the story is not exactly stellar stuff. It might not be the most obvious film to check out in the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection but it really is one that you should check out. It is well worthwhile having a look-see at this DVD, providing of course you can live with the six different copyright messages you have to suffer before getting to the main menu.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Anthony Clarke

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Overall | River of No Return (1954) | Bus Stop (1956) | Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959) | Let's Make Love (1960)

Bus Stop (1956)

Bus Stop (1956)

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Released 24-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer-2.35:1, 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (2:20)
Featurette-Restoration Comparison (2:26)
Gallery-Post Cards
Gallery-Lobby Cards
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1956
Running Time 90:35
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (33:16) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joshua Logan
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Marilyn Monroe
Don Murray
Arthur O'Connell
Betty Field
Hope Lange
Case ?
RPI Box Music Alfred Newman
Cyril J. Mockridge


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 4.0 L-C-R-S (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.55:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.55:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Italian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Turkish
German Titling
Italian Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Bus Stop is one of the slightly later films in the filmography of Marilyn Monroe, before she became too difficult to deal with and before her untimely death six years later. So why is that of importance? Well, by this stage of her career Marilyn Monroe was supposedly exercising "artistic control" over scripts, directors and the like, which draws an interesting observation as to why, in her desire to be taken as a serious actress, she undertook a role that involved heavy use of a rather (for the time) skimpy costume. Not that I am complaining, oh no! In fact, it almost seems that the more that she does wear the better she looks and by the end of this film every young woman should be rushing off to do something about their obsession with small size bodies. I think if you look up voluptuous in the dictionary, you will find a photograph of Marilyn Monroe taken from the scene in the bus stop after which this film is named. It's pelting down with rain outside, it is as cold as the Antarctic (well at least by Perth standards) and yet watching this film ensures that you feel none of it. Cold shower anyone?

    There is nothing especially difficult about this plot. Young cowboy Beauregard "Bo" Decker (Don Murray) has emerged from the wilds of Montana to participate in the World Championship of Rodeo in Phoenix, Arizona. On the bus ride down from Montana, in the company of his friend Virge (Arthur O'Connell), we get to see that this boy ain't been out in the world much! So when talk turns to "taking a woman", he is just Cro-Magnon-like enough to take the "take" part very literally. Suffice it to say that his entire experience with women at the ripe old age of twenty one is precisely zero, which makes "taking a woman" an interesting concept. Despite his lack of experience, his desires are modest enough - he wants an angel and when he sees her, he will know she is the one. So there we are in Phoenix, Arizona (in its less sophisticated days) with Bo looking for an angel. You would not expect to find one in the Blue Dragon bar but that is where Virge has headed and that is where a bar singer known as Cherie (Marilyn Monroe) can be found. The truth is that she is not that much of a singer but in her costume she is sure guaranteed to part the cowboys from their money, which she does quite successfully it seems, at least until Bo wanders in and finds his angel. Heading backstage after the singing interlude, bumbling, besotted Bo confesses his true love for Cherie and shortly thereafter returns to the bar to announce to Virge and the world that Cherie and he are to marry on the morrow, which of course is big news to Cherie. Next day dawns and what a packed one it is to be: Bo competing in the rodeo, Bo getting married and Virge and Cherie trying to avoid the latter. When things don't quite go his way, Bo resorts to his caveman origins to secure his girl.

    Apart from the fact that she spends a fair chunk of the film in a rather skimpy outfit, what Marilyn Monroe reveals in Bus Stop is the fact that she can actually act. Whereas she was not expected to do much else than look sensational in earlier films in her career, by this stage she was seeking recognition as a genuine actress and was doing plenty to suggest it was deserved recognition. Sure it is not likely to have earned an Oscar nomination, but there was certainly some decent acting going on here, all the more noticeable as there was not much from her co-star Don Murray, billed somewhat as a new "hunk" it would seem. Sure the role was supposed to be somewhat annoying but did it have to be this annoying? Far too over-the-top for his own good, it is no surprise that his career did not amount to very much at all. More thankful was the presence of Arthur O'Connell amongst others who added a decent dollop of solid acting talent to round out what might not be a classic film but certainly a better than solid film.

    Whilst the film ends in something of a tepid manner, it is a nicely enjoyable romp that showcases an acting side of Marilyn Monroe that many still tend to ignore. I cannot say in all honesty that it is one of my favourite Monroe films, but returning to it again after some time indicates that it is better than perhaps I have in the past given it credit for. Despite the acting side of Marilyn Monroe being on show, there is still plenty of the voluptuous, sexy Marilyn Monroe on display here too!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    We started out with a stunner, pulled back slightly with the next DVD on the review list and have worsened again with this release from the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection.

    Guess what? CinemaScope again, so the theatrical aspect ratio was again 2.55:1. The transfer we have here has a measured ratio of 2.57:1, which is pretty close to being accurate. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    Once again the restoration has done a pretty good job of bringing the transfer back to its original glory, although this time there is much more inherent grain than we have seen in the prior two releases reviewed. The definition is generally very good throughout - not super sharp, but no tendency towards softness either. Shadow detail is good, although at times it could have been better. Some of the scenes on the bus and at the bar are somewhat wanting in this regard, but the only issue really is that grain. It is obvious from the opening shots during the credits and continues throughout most of the film to varying degrees. At no time does it really get bad but equally at no time is it completely missing from the transfer. The clarity of the transfer as a result is somewhat diminished. There are no problems with low level noise in the transfer.

    The colour here is by Deluxe and tends towards the well-saturated end of the spectrum. The red opening credits are just a whisker short of rampant oversaturation but do display some obvious colour bleed as well as some ghosting. Thankfully, this is the only real evidence of these problems and whilst the tones are well-saturated in general, they rarely get close to oversaturation. The only exception is of course during the red spotlight scene around 23:10 where the transfer does struggle a little to keep everything in check. There is obviously no issue with undersaturation and the film itself seems free from colour bleed. One thing that will take some getting used to: the skin tones. Marilyn Monroe is made up in a very pale manner whilst Don Murray is very suntanned. The difference at times is almost like a pantomime.

    There are no real indications of significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although once or twice I was half tempted to suggest that the grain had descended into slight pixelization. I will, however, give the transfer the benefit of the doubt. The only real indication of film-to-video artefacts in the transfer was some moiré artefacting on the side of the bus at 2:52. As the restoration featurette suggests, plenty of effort has gone into cleaning up the transfer and the result is another effort with few noticeable film artefacts.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 33:16. It is in the middle of the scene but is nonetheless quite well placed since I had to watch the film twice in order to note where the change was located. It is virtually unnoticeable and completely non-disruptive to the flow of the film.

    There are twenty two subtitle options on the DVD, of which three relate to titling of the extras. I confined myself to the English for the Hearing Impaired efforts, which are yet again a little disappointing. They still seem to miss a fair bit of the dialogue at times, which impacts a bit upon the understanding of the film afforded those with hearing impairments. Annoyingly, the subtitles cannot be changed on the fly and have to be selected from the language selections menu.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are five soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I stuck with the English soundtrack, which sounds as if it has a configuration of L-C-R-S. You will note that the presentation reverts to that on How To Marry A Millionaire.

    The audio transfer is more than acceptable and does a good job of presenting the dialogue in a reasonably clear manner. There are some fluctuations in sound level though, and some of the ADR work is just a tad on the obvious side. There does not appear to be any problem with audio sync in the transfer.

    The original music once again comes from Alfred Newman, although this time in cahoots with Cyril J. Mockridge. Another decent if unspectacular effort that supports the film as well as it needs to.

    There is nothing else to report on with the soundtrack. It is obviously lacking any LFE channel activity, and equally obviously lacking anything in the way of distortion or hiss. The configuration of the sound indicates quite a frontal sound which is what we get and is altogether apt.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    A slightly less spectacular effort than The Seven Year Itch, which is a little regrettable.

Menu

    Fairly basic efforts, although still looking pretty classy and they are 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer (2:20)

    Displaying some of the grain problems of the main feature plus the film artefacts that you would expect in a trailer of this age, it is in all respects pretty much what we would expect. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. The sound is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Featurette - Restoration Comparison (2:26)

    Another moderately interesting look at the restoration of the film, concentrating on the opening sequence where a lot of restoration work was necessary. It is in the same form as the earlier DVDs reviewed with the self running notes about the extent of the restoration required followed by a split screen comparison. This compares the original film restoration plus the video restoration with the original film restoration alone. The extent of the improvement after restoration is fairly obvious.

Gallery - Postcards

    Blatantly false advertising! There is actually only one postcard... Not especially terrific but it is 16x9 enhanced.

Gallery - Lobby Cards

    Well, at least the plural is correct here since there are five of them. The usual stills taken from the film that you still occasionally see used around cinema lobbies today. They are 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as we can ascertain the Region 4 release misses out on:

    The Region 1 version misses out on:

    In broad terms there is nothing significantly different between the two releases, so call this one even.

Summary

    If you want to see Marilyn Monroe in genuine actress mode, then Bus Stop is not a bad film to indulge in. If you want to see Marilyn Monroe in ditzy blonde sex goddess mode, then Bus Stop is not a bad film to indulge in. Whilst that might make Bus Stop sound like the perfect Marilyn Monroe film, it is a long way short of that. It is, however, a film that is growing on me and I might just sit down and watch this one again real soon. One problem I do have, though, is the fact that we have to sit through six copyright notices before we even get to the main menu. Please Fox, we know the law so it does not have to be shoved in our face every time we fire up a DVD, especially six times and especially in languages that most of us cannot understand.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Monday, July 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Anthony Clarke
The DVD Bits - Lorraine A

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | River of No Return (1954) | Bus Stop (1956) | Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959) | Let's Make Love (1960)

Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959)

Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959)

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Released 30-Oct-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Nostalgic Look Back (31:14)
Featurette-Memories From The Sweet Sues (12:03)
Featurette-Virtual Hall Of Memories (21:03)
Theatrical Trailer-1.33:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (2:18)
Trailer-Avanti; Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes; The Fortune Cookie
Trailer-Kiss Me Stupid; Irma La Douce; The Apartment
Gallery-Original Press Book Gallery
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1959
Running Time 116:30
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (20:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Billy Wilder
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Tony Curtis
Jack Lemmon
Marilyn Monroe
George Raft
Pat O'Brien
Joe E. Brown
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Adolph Deutsch


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Swedish
Finnish
Norwegian
Danish
Portuguese
Polish
Greek
Hungarian
Hebrew
Turkish
Czech
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Okay, so they announce a Special Edition of one of the greatest comedies of all time - indeed the American Film Institute's greatest comedy of all time - and you have the immediate expectations: the same old DVD transfer recycled from the earlier release with a couple of boring extras added on to the package and voila - slap the Special Edition tag on the DVD. Well that was the sort of thing I was expecting too, but sometimes you have a rather large surprise. This Special Edition is no simple rehash of the previous release of the film on Region 4 DVD.

    Which is of course entirely fitting for a film of this distinction. Nominated for six Academy Awards in 1959 - Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Cinematography (Black and White), Best Art Direction (Black and White) and Best Costume Design (Black and White) - this is one of the best films in the legacy of the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Whilst the film only walked away with one Oscar, for Best Costume Design (Black and White), the passage of time has seen the film almost elevated to legendary status. It is an overused cliché for sure, but in this case a very apt one: they don't make films like this any more, and frankly the whole film experience is the poorer for it. Long before Dustin Hoffman strutted his stuff in Tootsie, both Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis strutted it in Some Like It Hot - and in the process almost upstaged the siren of the screen at that time. The simple fact is that this is a terrific film that still holds plenty of laughs and displays quite clearly not only the talents of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, but also proved that Marilyn Monroe was no slouch in the acting stakes. Certainly if she was any hotter on film than this, the celluloid would have melted. If you need a definition of voluptuous, just two names and one film - Marilyn Monroe, Some Like It Hot. They sure don't make women like this anymore and the current crop of devotees to anorexia should take a look at this to see what real sensuality is all about.

   Chicago, 1929, Prohibition. The era of the speak-easy, where booze was available and the jazz was hot. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), two financially bankrupt musicians, finally have a job in a speak-easy run by Spats Colombo (George Taft), the boss of the southside. The front for the club is a funeral parlour and everything looks rosy until Toothpick Charlie (George E. Stone) blabs to the police and a raid is on. Making a beeline for the exit as soon as possible the guys find themselves without a gig once again. To make matters worse, Joe has a sure thing at the dogs - which of course is no sure thing, and the coats off their backs are gone. Things could not get much bleaker. So when they call into a booking agent and find themselves with a gig in Urbana, things are just a little better - except they need transport. Borrowing the receptionist's car, they head to the garage to collect it only to inadvertently witness the St Valentine's Day massacre of seven rival gang members by Spats. They need to get out of town in a hurry and so become Josephine and Daphne, and join an all-girl band for a three week gig in Florida.

   The only real problem is that the vocalist for the band is Sugar Cane (Marilyn Monroe) and both "gentlemen" take a rather obvious fancy to the blonde bombshell. The train ride down to Florida proves to be a tough time, but the time in Florida proves tougher as Josephine really falls for Sugar (and vice versa when Joe/Josephine takes on the guise of a junior member of the Shell Oil family!), a playboy falls for Daphne and Spats turns up for a convention and still wants them both dead, especially when he discovers them in the same hotel. Lost the drift? Good, just get out and watch the film!

    The more often I watch the film, the more convinced I am that this does border on being legendary, and it remains an enjoyable romp even after forty years. The story is pretty well put together, as one would expect for an Oscar nominee for Best Screenplay Adaptation, but it is the performances that bring a story to life, and here you have three very fine ones from the main leads. The obvious standout here is Jack Lemmon as he carries off the role of a woman far far better than Dustin Hoffman ever did. Mind you, seeing Tony Curtis done up as a woman is certainly an eye opener! I have always believed that Marilyn Monroe was a pretty good comedy actress and this really proves it in my view. Rarely do films these days get three great performances from its three leads, but this one sure did. Superbly directed by Billy Wilder, with some fine cinematography to boot, the whole film is really a treasure from start to finish. This view seems to also be held by the voters at the Internet Movie Database, who currently have the film ranked at number 39 in the Top 250 of all time, rather well up on the ranking of 48 of ten months ago.

    I thought that the previous incarnation made this forty year old classic look pretty darn good. Well if anything this incarnation makes it look even better. The film continues to entertain and the transfer gives this every opportunity to be a frequent visitor to your player over the coming years.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer itself sort of comes with some good news and some bad news. The bad news is really minor stuff - the transfer is now presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, still very close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 as was used in the original DVD release. Believe me when I say the difference is so small that it is not of concern. However, the good news is that this transfer has got the 16x9 enhancement that was obviously lacking in the original release.

    Just like the original transfer, this is a nicely sharp and detailed image that is still fairly atypical for black and white films in Region 4. The only lapse from a high degree of sharpness is in the close ups of Marilyn Monroe, which employ the obligatory slightly soft focus common in films of the era. Shadow detail is still as good as I could have hoped for in a film of this age, even though this seems to be a very slightly darker transfer than the original release. I still don't believe that anyone would have any serious concerns in this area though. There remain the few odd bouts of minor grain that were present in the original release transfer, which would seem to suggest that it is inherent in the source material. Nonetheless, it never becomes a distraction and certainly is significantly better than at least one 1970s film I have seen recently. Even with the minor issue with grain, the general transfer is quite clear. There did not appear to be any significant problem with low level noise in the transfer.

    This transfer has some terrific looking grey scales that really make this a nicely vibrant black and white transfer. Despite the passage of ten months of reviewing DVDs of films from the 1920s to the 2000s, there are still few black and white films as good-looking as this. The whole transfer though is perhaps not quite as consistent as I remembered the original transfer, but perhaps I am being more critical here than I should. Certainly when I directly compared specific scenes, such as the arrival of the girls' bus at the hotel in Florida, the newer transfer looked noticeably better.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. One of the problems of the original release was some rather noticeable aliasing, and this was readily apparent when I did my direct scene comparisons. The new transfer certainly still has a few odd instances of aliasing, but they are far less pronounced here. A good comparison is the steps around the 72:15 mark: in the old transfer these aliased very badly, but in the new transfer it is far less obvious. Apart from the few instances of aliasing, there were no other really apparent film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. As far as film artefacts go, this is quite a reasonably clean transfer and there were very few blemishes that could be called distracting.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming very early at 20:44. Indeed, it was so early that I was not really expecting it, and thus it is perhaps a bit more obvious because of it. It is not especially disruptive to the film though.

    There is a reasonable selection of subtitle options on the DVD, and I checked out about the first twenty five minutes of the film with the English subtitles. They are pretty good but they do miss a fair bit of the dialogue even though it is not really essential stuff. The problem is that the story was so well written that the dialogue, even the minor stuff, had a specific point to it and thus missing anything out of the subtitles robs the dialogue of some of its bite.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    One of the big beefs with the original release was the fact that we did not get a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack as stated on the packaging. Well, the only option that we get as far as soundtracks go on the new release is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I have to say that even though I have now listened to the 5.1 soundtrack, I really do miss having the Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack. Whilst the 5.1 soundtrack adds a bit more bite to the music, the film is so heavily dialogue based that sometimes that bite is just a little distracting.

    The dialogue and vocals come up well in the transfer, and are very easy to understand. There are no problems with audio sync in the transfer.

    The music score comes from the pen of Adolph Deutsch and a suitably supportive effort it is too, although always overshadowed by the songs done by Marilyn Monroe. Running Wild might be nice but when she sings I Wanna Be Loved By You what male could possibly resist!

    The big plus of the 5.1 soundtrack is not so much the addition of the surround and bass channels, which I have to say are a tad restrained, but rather the added space that the full bit rate affords the transfer. It completely removes the slightly strident nature of the sound that slightly hobbled the original release and adds a much more natural feel to the whole film. The minor annoyance is the slightly heavy bass added to the double bass in the soundtrack, which creates a slightly unnatural balance in a couple of the songs - notably Running Wild. Since this is a heavily dialogue-driven film, the full benefits of the six channels are not really noticed, but is nonetheless welcomed. The soundtrack is free from any noticeable distortions.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Since the Special Edition banner has been applied to the DVD, obviously the extras package has to reflect a lot more than the theatrical trailer of the original release. It does, although it is a pity that they did not get Tony Curtis to do a commentary on the film.

Menu

    Whilst themed similarly to the original release, these are significantly improved with the main and scene selection menus getting audio and animation enhancements - as well as 16x9 enhancement. Nicely done.

Featurette - Nostalgic Look Back (31:14)

    This is an interview, filmed this year in the famed Formosa Cafe in Hollywood (just over the road from the Goldwyn Studios where the film was shot), with Leonard Maltin and Tony Curtis. Unfortunately, Tony Curtis is getting a little long in the tooth and might be suffering the effects of a lifetime of one too many parties, but still manages to come up with some nice background stuff about the movie, most especially regarding the impact of Marilyn Monroe on the film. Overall, this is a gem of an interview and the big complaint is why the heck did they not do a much longer one? This is a good example of the sort of stuff that they should be getting from a lot of the older actors on their big films before they depart this mortal coil. What would we have given to hear Jack Lemmon's thoughts on the film? Presented in a Full Frame format which is not 16x9 enhanced, it comes with nice clean Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Technically this is really good stuff too.

Featurette - Memories From The Sweet Sues (12:03)

    Again - too darn short! This is a collection of memories from four of the band members in the film - Marian Collier, Laurie Mitchell, Sandra Warner and Joan Nicholas - gathered together and recorded this year. Whilst Marian and Sandra are the main contributors, this is fascinating reminiscing from the ladies about a film that they obviously enjoyed making. Some of their female insights into the immortal Marilyn Monroe are wonderful. Between these two featurettes, you get a really nice feel about the making of the film that should have been a couple of hours longer in my view. Presented in a Full Frame format, which is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. This is also technically good stuff. Sandra Warner manages to blow some illusions about the advertising posters for the film!

Featurette - Virtual Hall Of Memories (21:03)

    A rather intriguing presentation style for what essentially are a whole bunch of behind the scenes photographs, publicity photos and excerpts form the film. It is all accompanied by some audio enhancement. Whilst I cannot say that this is really something that I would enjoy seeing repeated too often, it is different and it is effective. Presented in a Full Frame format which is not 16x9 enhanced, it comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Unfortunately, the mastering is not the best and there are some aliasing issues as well as some moiré artefacting in the transfer.

Theatrical Trailer (2:18)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. I think you can take it from the trailer that a certain Miss Monroe stars in this film. However, it is riddled with film artefacts as well as having a strident soundtrack that is blessed with some top end distortion. Technically not the best but at least it is something.

Other Trailers (6)

    Trailers for six other Billy Wilder films - Avanti (2:29), The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes (3:06), The Fortune Cookie (2:33), Kiss Me Stupid (2:31), Irma La Douce (3:43) and The Apartment (2:16) - of which no less than four starred Jack Lemmon. Apart from the fact that they highlight the obvious omission of at least Irma La Douce and The Apartment from Region 4 DVD, they are uniformly ropey in quality - and that is being rather polite. All are not 16x9 enhanced and come with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. They are generally presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, apart from The Fortune Cookie which appears to be 2.00:1 and Kiss Me Stupid which is 1.33:1. The Apartment might actually be 1.66:1 by the looks of it. Overall they are blessed with copious film artefacts, some poorish colour in the case of The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes and some very hissy sound in the case of Kiss Me Stupid. Interesting enough, but some restoration work might have been worthwhile here.

Gallery - Original Press Book Gallery

    Exactly what it says it is - the original press book presented in a gallery format so that you can read (if you have a large enough display) all the articles and adverts. This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 that is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as we can ascertain the only significant differences between the Region 4 release and the Region 1 release are the fact that the Region 1 release misses out on:

    The Region 4 release on the other hand misses out on:

    Region 4 all the way in my view!

    For our Region 2 readers, you should note that whilst this is a R2/R4 coded DVD, it would seem that the content of this release is marginally different to the Region 2 release. It would appear that the language choices are slightly more on the Region 2 release (having German and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks) but the subtitle options are slightly less (having only English, German, Spanish and German for the Hearing Impaired). It may also be that the Region 2 release misses out on the trailer for The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes.

Summary

    Some Like It Hot is a terrific film that boasts arguably the finest career performances from Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. With the addition of a good extras package, as well as the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and 16x9 enhancement, this DVD is certainly a good reason to replace your older plain Jane release in Region 4. This is a film that should be in every collection, and the package is certainly now worthier of the film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Saturday, October 06, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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Overall | River of No Return (1954) | Bus Stop (1956) | Some Like It Hot: Special Edition/Gold Edition (1959) | Let's Make Love (1960)

Let's Make Love (1960)

Let's Make Love (1960)

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Released 24-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer-1.85:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (3.:03)
Featurette-Restoration Comparison (0:56)
Gallery
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1960
Running Time 113:43 (Case: 118)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (53:21) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By George Cukor
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Marilyn Monroe
Yves Montand
Tony Randall
Frankie Vaughan
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Case ?
RPI Box Music Lionel Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 4.0 L-C-R-S (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
French Titling
German
Italian
Norwegian
Spanish
Swedish
French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Ah, the film that epitomises the secret wish of millions of men over the last fifty years - Let's Make Love. Her penultimate completed film also sees Marilyn Monroe doing more for woolly jumpers than any other person of the last century! Whilst the ravages of her tortured life were starting to show on the lady, she was still well capable of sizzling on celluloid and Let's Make Love is arguably the last time that she did this. Often parading around in little more than underwear, swimsuit and jumper, she remains as sensual here as she ever did, which is probably a good thing as it would be fair to say that much of this film is not of the highest quality. Whilst certainly enjoyable enough, it simply is not as taut as one would have expected; the story leaves something to be desired, and some of the casting is not exactly convincing. It is also fair to say that the musical numbers here are not exactly of the highest quality either, although the immortal Marilyn Monroe does attack them with gusto.

    The film begins with a little rundown, a quite humorous one, of the Jean-Marc Cléments of history. This is a little introduction as to the wealth of the current Jean-Marc Clément (Yves Montand), as well as an explanation of the predilection of the lineage for beautiful women. Jean-Marc, aside from being a very wealthy man, happens to have a very strong eye for the ladies, an eye that has in the past caused some problems. These problems have resulted in his mentor/assistant John Wales (Wilfrid Hyde-White) having appointed to the firm a public relations man in the form of Alexander Coffman (Tony Randall). It is his job to basically keep Jean-Marc out of the papers. So when a news item appears in the entertainment trade rag Variety about an off-Broadway show in rehearsal that will be ridiculing famous people, including Jean-Marc Clément, naturally Alexander thinks it should be brought to the attention of the boss. Equally naturally (I told you this was not a great story) it is decided that Jean-Marc and Alexander will go down to watch a rehearsal just to prove that Jean-Marc is not really worried by what the show might lampoon him over. Their introduction to the show is Amanda Dell (Marilyn Monroe) doing the steamy number My Heart Belongs To Daddy by the equally immortal Cole Porter. Of course, the moment that Jean-Marc claps eyes on Amanda, he is besotted. Now the fun really begins. Turns out that today is the audition day for the Jean-Marc Clément role, and naturally enough Jean-Marc Clément wins it. Naturally enough, Amanda Dell does not like the public perception of the wealthy man, plus she seems to have a thing for her current leading man, Tony Danton (Frankie Vaughan). So how exactly is Jean-Marc going to win the lovely Amanda's hand in marriage, as he claims to John Wales? That little journey is broadly what the bulk of the film is about as John Wales and Jean-Marc Clément try to sway the lovely Amanda towards Jean-Marc, without actually revealing he is Jean-Marc. Of course, you don't need a cheap compass to see what direction this film is taking, but what the heck.

    Whilst the film is billed as a musical comedy of sorts, it would be fair to say that it is not especially musical and not especially comedic. Indeed, the few places where this does get quite amusing is when Jean-Marc employs three greats of show business to teach him the ropes: Milton Berle (comedy obviously), Bing Crosby (singing obviously) and Gene Kelly (dancing we presume). Their cameos playing themselves are really some of the highlights of the film, especially that of the increasingly exasperated Milton Berle. Marilyn Monroe is not actually inspiring in the role, but that can be partially explained by the fact that this really was a contractual obligation film. Whilst not inspiring however, she still radiates that sensuality and tosses in the right sort of innocence and worldliness mix that makes the character believable enough. The main problem is that Yves Montand is not exactly convincing in any way. Whilst playing a Frenchman was obviously designed to cover the fact that his English pronunciation was not exactly the best, most of the time he seems to flounder around as if he has no idea what he is doing. That too may be deliberate in which case it was a seriously overstated, hammy performance that does not convince at all. If you look at the list of leading men who apparently turned down the role before he got it, you might get an inkling that the script was not being perceived with the highest regard. Thankfully Frankie Vaughan was somewhat more at home in his role, but then again all he was asked to do was play himself - a singer. Easy enough for a singer one guesses. The remaining two leading cast members are the highlights though, even with both roles being quite small. Tony Randall and Wilfrid Hyde-White are professionals and basically incapable of turning in rubbish performances, so we get good solid stuff from them that certainly balances out the weaker aspects of the casting.

    Director George Cukor is of course better known for some truly wonderful films, foremost amongst them being My Fair Lady and contributions to Gone With The Wind. When you look at the wonderful direction of My Fair Lady, which barely has a weak moment in it, you do wonder how he turned in this effort. Okay, the script is not the best but even he should have been able to do something with the occasionally languid pace the film takes.

    Overall, the film is not as bad as some critics have made out and it is a reasonably enjoyable way of whiling away a couple of hours. It is not exactly a high point in the career of Marilyn Monroe for sure, but the only way you could not get some enjoyment from this is by expecting something of the ilk of Laurence Olivier doing Hamlet. Whilst I would not be suggesting that this should be viewed before her really good films, there is certainly place in your viewing schedule for it. Besides, Marilyn is Marilyn after all, and she is always worthwhile watching.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Once again, the restoration job has been well done and there are broadly speaking few complaints here.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    So how few complaints are we talking about? Very few indeed, as my notes refer to only a couple of issues. In broad terms, this is a very nicely defined transfer with a high degree of sharpness, well in keeping with what we have come to expect from the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection. Definition could perhaps have been a little better here and there but that is a relatively minor quibble. Shadow detail is good and whilst grain is lightly evident here and there, the overall transfer is quite clear indeed. There is no low level noise in the transfer.

    The colours here are well handled, although in one or two places where source material damage must have been very great, we could perhaps have wished for a little more depth to the colours. Whilst tending towards the more saturated end of the scale, there is no hint of oversaturation at all, and at times the transfer is quite vibrant. Like most films in the collection, there is no indication of colour bleed. Utilizing the Deluxe colour process, this is a smooth looking film.

    There are no significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There are a few film-to-video artefacts, most notably aliasing - such as on the window sills at 5:12 and the shirt at 11:28. None of this is really that distracting. The restoration process has cleaned up the transfer very well and there are not really that many obvious film artefacts floating around the transfer. One noticeable example is at 51:21, but that is about the extent of the distracting efforts.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming mid-scene at 53:21. Whilst it is mid-scene, it is quite well handled and barely noticeable on my player (the only reason I noticed it was because my amp briefly switches from displaying Dolby Digital to Pro Logic as the sound format at a layer change).

    There are eleven subtitle or titling options on the DVD. The English efforts sampled are good with only relatively minor dialogue omissions in general.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are five soundtracks on the DVD, being the usual English Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack with a L-C-R-S configuration, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I of course stuck with the English soundtrack.

    The audio transfer is quite good and in general the vocals and dialogue come up well and are easy to understand. There does not appear to be any significant audio sync issues with the transfer.

    The original music comes from Lionel Newman. Decent enough, but still overshadowed by the musical numbers a little too much.

    Lacking any use of the low frequency channel, the overall soundscape, whilst quite frontal, is nonetheless quite a convincing effort. Certainly it has a bit more body and range to it than I was expecting.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    A fairly typical collection of extras, similar to most we have seen in the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection.

Menu

    Fairly basic efforts, although reasonably decent looking and they are 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer (3:03)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with reasonable Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The overriding impression is one of ever-present grain of a sizeable harvest.

Featurette - Restoration Comparison (0:56)

    After something like ten of these things, they do start to serve little purpose in the overall scheme of things, this one more so. Why? The comparisons here are firstly between the existing video master and the restored film elements (where the differences are obvious) and secondly between the restored film elements and the restored film elements. What? I can only presume that something was missed off the descriptions, because for the life of me I don't see why we need to compare restored film elements with restored film elements. The presentation starts out with the obligatory couple of pages of notes.

Gallery - Stills

    Twenty stills, a mixture of stills from the film and publicity shots.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as we can ascertain the Region 4 release misses out on:

    The Region 1 version misses out on:

    In broad terms there is again nothing significantly different between the two releases, so this is another comparison that ends up a draw on points.

Summary

    Whilst not a highlight in the filmography of Marilyn Monroe, Let's Make Love is a better film than some critics would have you believe. Well up to the technical standards of the Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection, there is little reason to avoid this film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, August 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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