Lover Come Back (1961)

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Released 20-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer-1.85:1, not 16x9 enhanced. Dolby Digital 2.0 (2:32)
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1961
Running Time 102:30
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Delbert Mann
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Rock Hudson
Doris Day
Tony Randall
Edie Adams
Case ?
RPI Box Music Frank De Vol


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Portuguese
Dutch
Swedish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Hebrew
Arabic
Russian
Turkish
Greek
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The middle of the three films, in chronological order, from the Doris Day Collection sees a variation on a theme. Lover Come Back is not a film I have seen often, but it certainly has always struck me as being not as snappy a film as Pillow Talk.

    Carol Templeton (Doris Day) is an advertising executive - hard working, straight as a die and ethical to a fault. Her approach is to get to know the client, and come up with a decently comprehensive campaign to aid the sales of the client's products. There is never any thought of anything but professionalism with Carol and the agency she works for. Which of course means that they often lose accounts to the agency for which Jerry Webster (Rock Hudson) works. Jerry's modus operandi is basic: sex sells and he does everything possible to use that fact. This includes getting clients boozed and womanised for the sake of landing the contract. An ad campaign is just about the furthest thing from his mind... Jerry works for an agency owned by the neurotic Peter Ramsey (Tony Randall), a rich bugger who took over the business from his father, so Jerry can pretty much do what he likes. However, after one especially galling loss of an account to the good time antics of Jerry Webster, Carol Templeton makes a complaint to the ad council - and has a disgruntled girlfriend as her star witness against Jerry. Through the miracle of sweet talk, Jerry dodges a bullet but the manure really hits the rotating device when Peter authorises the ad campaign for a product based upon some television ads Jerry had made as part of that sweet talk. The result is mayhem as the new product is spectacularly successful - albeit with one slight problem. As a result, Nobel Prize winning chemist Linus Tyler (Jack Kruschen) is engaged to do his stuff and Carol Templeton gets wind of a new ad account up for grabs - and determines to fight Jerry on his own terms. An obvious case of mistaken identity ensues...

    After you have seen Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back is hardly the most original film, for you know where this one is heading fairly quickly, and certainly typifies the sort of role that I will always associate with Doris Day (no matter how hard Meg Ryan tries). About the only nice thing you can say about the sweetness that is inherent in these Doris Day romantic comedies is that they are rarely in the same league as say the saccharine-sweet stuff that Disney produces. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends upon your predisposition to Disney films I guess. Mind you, this one does have something of an almost scandalous nature (for the era) that pushes the envelope for Doris Day sweetness just a tad.

    Whereas the previous Pillow Talk was blessed with a really snappy, tight screenplay, Lover Come Back is blessed with something a little looser that at times does drag just a tad - and this is the fundamental weakness of the film. Much of the Tony Randall role for instance really seems quite superfluous to the overall flow of the film and one of the jokes involving him is really pushed too long. Some judicial trimming of that role would have aided the film somewhat in my view. Certain aspects of Rock Hudson's role are also a little too hammy and he really was not that good an actor to carry it off all that well. Doris Day was as ever Doris Day and this is the sort of role that she played well. Nothing really challenging and nothing to push the persona that much. The direction of Delbert Mann was pedestrian at best and that failed to really capture whatever nuances there might have been in the script.

    Whilst I have not the seen the film often, it never has been one that I felt really took off. It just seems to float along with just enough variety to distinguish it from other films, but without really having anything to make it distinguished. Perhaps the highlight is in some of the stuff that was pretty toss off for 1961 but now has a bit more meaning (bearing in mind that Rock Hudson was gay). Again fans will rejoice that the film is now available on Region 4 DVD, but some of the rest of us will just wonder what the fuss was all about. At least the presentation is much improved over Pillow Talk.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Whilst an obviously unrestored transfer, this is a significantly better effort than Pillow Talk was blessed with.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer has a slightly soft look to it, compounded further with the soft gauze filter look every time Doris Day is in half close up. Once again I found this quite annoying and disturbing, which given that this has happened in the last two films through my player makes me wonder whether I am becoming less tolerant of this aspect of film making. Were it not for the obvious soft filter use, the transfer would certainly have otherwise been quite acceptable even given the slight softness - which I should point out is not consistent. There are times, such as in Peter Ramsey's office where the definition really is quite solid. Detail is quite good and this raises the overall impression of the transfer quite significantly. Whilst there is a consistent presence of grain throughout the transfer, it really is of a quite minor nature and most of the time does not create any problems. Clarity is much better here as a result and the whole transfer is a much better looking effort than that afforded Pillow Talk.

    The colour palette is a definite improvement with plenty of depth to the colours this time and a consistent, solid tone that is nicely saturated. Whilst the result is still not really vibrant, it is certainly a more natural looking and colourful transfer. There is just an odd hint of a touch of over saturation in reds here and there, but nothing that is really going to disturb the image. Colour bleed was not an issue. Blacks are quite well handled and skin tones very natural.

    There are no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although residual source material issues with respect of resolution in movement exist here and there. Film-to-video artefacts were pretty much confined to some aliasing, most of which is very minor stuff that barely intrudes into noticeable. Most of the aliasing is confined to the motor vehicles with 3:01 being one of the more obvious examples. The transfer is somewhat cleaner than the previous and film artefacts are not so much of an issue, although still there obviously. Mostly of the dirt specks nature, there is an obvious white spot in the opening credits at 2:02 presumably from a loss of emulsion and a rather obvious example of film damage at 87:43 on the right hand side of the picture.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD, but as usual I cannot detect where the layer change is located.

    There is the same plethora of subtitle options on the DVD as there were on Pillow Talk, with me once again sticking to the only language that makes any sense to me in subtitle terms: English. The presentation is again fairly annoying - the font is the same poor one seen on Pillow Talk and even more intrudes into the film. Whilst they are slightly more accurate on this occasion, they still seem to chop and change the dialogue a bit too much for my liking.

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

Audio

    There are four soundtracks on the DVD, with the Spanish soundtrack found on Pillow Talk disappearing. This seems to be an odd decision given the vast amount of space available on the DVD. We are left with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. As usual, I stubbornly stuck with the English soundtrack.

    A better sounding effort in most respects here, and everything is heard and understood easily enough. This time there also appears to be no lapses in the soundtrack itself either, the consistency also aiding the overall presentation. There are no real issues with audio sync in the transfer.

    The original music score again comes from Frank de Vol and it really is nothing much to write home about. This time there are even fewer songs too. Just like Pillow Talk, the overall effect remains rather flat and unexciting.

    In line with the general improvement of the transfer in comparison to the earlier Pillow Talk, there really is little to say about this effort. Functional, adequate, strongly centre channel sound that does all it needs to do to present the dialogue of the film. Whilst still not a really open sounding effort, it is by no means cramped. Perhaps a bit more definition might have helped, especially during the soft song contribution during the scene in Carol Templeton's apartment. The sound is quite clean with little evidence of background hiss or any noticeable blemishes.

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

Extras

    Once again we have an RSDL formatted DVD that has a truckload of unused space, and once again there has been little effort spent in putting together an extras package.

Menu

    Nothing to rave over and rather dreary looking, although having commonality with that given to Pillow Talk.

Theatrical Trailer (2:32)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, it is not 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Whilst being rather soft in definition at times (the curse of the soft gauze filter), it does have rather decent colour and is relatively clean in comparison to the equivalent trailer on Pillow Talk. The sound, however, does go a little wonky towards the end of the trailer, but otherwise is not too bad an effort even if somewhat dated (like the film in general).

R4 vs R1

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

    After much searching, I have not been able to find any reference to the film being available in Region 1 or Region 2 (or Region 3 if it comes to that).

Summary

    Lover Come Back is a rather clichéd variation on a theme that has a lot of similarity in story to Pillow Talk. Unfortunately, the similarities do not extend to as good a story or as good a collection of performances. In terms of the DVD however, the presentation is an improvement transfer-wise if not extras-wise. Strictly for fans only in my view, but again a sadly wasted opportunity to really make something special out of the collection within which you will find this film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. 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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