I'll Be Yours (1947)

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Released 7-Nov-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category RomCom w Music None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1947
Running Time 89:24
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By William A. Seiter
Studio
Distributor
Universal-Internatnl
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Deanna Durbin
Tom Drake
William Bendix
Adolphe Menjou
Walter Catlett
Franklin Pangborn
William Trenk
Case Custom Packaging
RPI Box Music Frank Skinner
Walter Schumann
Emmerich Kalman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, Social. Heroine always refuses.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

   

    Good news for those contemplating buying the nineteen disc set  Deanna Durbin : The Collection! Roadshow have announced an April price drop to $150 "for Mother's Day".

   

" In this town it don't matter who owns the dress, it's who wears it!"

     Writer and director Preston Sturges is an acknowledged genius of 1940s Hollywood. With huge successes such as The Miracle of Morgan's Creek and The Lady Eve to his credit, it is sad to see his name as writer of such an undistinguished piece as Deanna Durbin's 1947 release, her first under the new Universal-International logo, I'll Be Yours. Using a play by Molnar as inspiration, Sturges had tackled the subject matter previously in The Good Fairy in 1935. You feel that he should have left well enough alone.


     The plot concerns one Louise Ginglebusher (Miss Durbin) from smalltown Cobleskill, headed for New York, fame and fortune. Louise arrives at Grand Central Station, loses her hat in the street, has it returned by a bearded young man (Tom Drake) and settles down for a goulash lunch at a diner staffed by Wechsberg (William Bendix). The young man with the beard turns out to be George Prescott a struggling lawyer who is a regular customer at the same diner. Louise has a letter of introduction to Mr Buckingham (Walter Catlett), movie theatre owner, and lands a job as usherette. Leaving the theatre late at night Louise is pestered by a stage door wolf, and, seeing Wechsberg nearby, she pretends that he is her husband. In their friendly stroll to Louise's lodgings, Wechsberg invites Louise to crash a party where he is to be a waiter. At the party, after her phony invitation is exposed, Louise pretends to be an entertainer, leading her to be forced into singing. When the millionaire host, J. Conrad Nelson (Adolphe Menjou), hears her he whisks her up forty-six floors to his apartment, offering her fame, fortune and  undying affection. To escape the clutches of the rich old wolf, Louise pretends, once again, to be married, but this time to the impoverished, bearded lawyer. She tells Nelson that she couldn't possibly leave her destitute lawyer/husband, so the millionaire meatpacker  proposes that he employ the struggling Prescott as his lawyer. Once Prescott is established and successful, Louise will be able to "divorce"  her "husband" and marry Nelson. Louise accepts the "proposal", plunging herself into an ocean of deception.


    This is all frankly immoral nonsense and needs the delightful insanity of the screwball comedy, which it does not have. William A. Seiter's direction is capable enough, but there are opportunites for comedy in many scenes that the director doesn't seize. Deanna Durbin, though no Carole Lombard, proved in Lady on a Train that she had a real flare for comedy and here she alone brings some lightness to the procedsings. She is beaurtifully dark-haired and tries to bring some effervescence to her scenes. William Bendix also performs well, with material that does not make the best of his character or situations, while Walter Catlett gets every ounce of fun out of his duet with Deanna in their scene and The Cobleshill High Song. Not so much fun, though, from the other two males, who are distinctly dreary. Posturing Adolphe Menjou gives his usual performance and seems miscast as a meatpacker, no matter how wealthy a meatpacker, while poor Tom Drake is just that, POOR Tom Drake, looking and sounding miserable. Drake's boyish good looks graced many MGM movies, whether cuddling Lassie or boy-next-dooring Judy Garland in Meet Me In St Louis, but there is little charm here, just the occasional grimace of a smile. That dreadful beard does finally come off, but the damage has been done long before then. There is a list of actors who could have made something of this role, but Drake just seems to mouth the words, breathlessly.


    Thankfully Miss Durbin gets four opportunities to sing, and they are all well staged and flow fairly naturally from the script. First there's the bit of nonsense with Walter Catlett, then an exciting Grenada which so impresses Menjou, later Walter Schumann's  new song, It's Dream Time, sung during a romantic canoe ride in Central Park, and finally a very brief Love's Own Sweet Song. The Schumann song is particularly attractive, with only harmonica and choral backing. (Does anyone else remember The Voices of Walter Schumann?)


    This is a distinctly disappointing offering. Considering its origins, and a couple of the ingredients, more could have been expected. Deanna Durbin tries hard without much help and the result is barely  passable entertainment. Silliness without the screwball wit and style becomes just that, silliness.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a generally an extremely good transfer of  I'll Be Yours.
     
    The image is presented in a 4x3 transfer with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the original presentation having been 1.37:1.

    The print used appears to be undoctored, without any restoration, although there are no reel cues.
    There is an almost negligible amount of film damage.
    

    The image is steady and sharp, even the close ups looking very good, with almost undetectable grain.
    Shadow detail is  pleasing, notably in the scene with Durbin and Bendix walking through the "New York" streets, and the dialogue on her stoop (26:20).
    The transfer reproduces the original picture very nicely. Blacks are deep and solid and the whites do not flare.
    The grey scale is very good and makes for a most attractive black and white image.
     
    I was not aware of any film to video effects.
    

    Film artefacts are very few.
    There is the occasional white fleck, and  the rare scratch.
    One vertical full frame scratch lasts for a few seconds (25:25) while there are smaller instances later in the film (50:51).
    There is one large mark on Deanna Durbin's face very briefly (40:17).
    No film debris was noted at all.
    

    This appears to be an unrestored print of the film, with consistent quality from reel to reel.It is basically in good, clean condition and delivers a solid, reliable and enjoyable image.
    

    There are no subtitles and the disc is single layered.
    
     
    

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

Audio

    The audio on this unrestored print is very pleasing, with not one major problem.
    There is only one language, English, in a Dolby Digital 2.0 reproduction of the original mono Western Electric Noiseless Recording.
    There are no sync problems.
    Dialogue is loud, sharp and totally intelligible, with not one lost syllable.
    There is no distortion, even on the soprano vocals.
    
    
    There is virtually no background noise on the film. The sound stage is very quiet indeed.
    One "pop" was detected (23:03) which I suspect originated from a reel change.
    The sound level dropped at a point which I suspect was another reel change (50:22).

    The clarity of the sound on this film is extremely pleasing. The human voice is produced sharply and cleanly - in dialogue and song. Even the "choir" in It's Deam Time was very nicely reproduced, without any distortion.
    
    Frank Skinner's  background music, and the orchestrations by Walter Schumann  sound most attractive, full and detailed, with individual instruments clearly defined.
    
    There are no dropouts.

    

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

Extras

    The box set of nineteen movies on nineteen discs contains a Sixteen Page Souvenir Booklet.
    Apart from this booklet and the Stills Galleries on five of the titles - no gallery on I'll Be Yours - there are no extras on the entire nineteen discs, not even a trailer.
    The inside of the cover slick has small reproductions of seven stills from the film.
    The picture disc reproduces the title's cover.
    There are no subtitles.

Menu    
   

    
    All menu screens are 4x3.
    

    The main menu design is extremely basic. The screen comprises one portrait of Deanna Durbin, with orchestral audio.
    The options are :
        Play Film
       Scene Index: Selecting this option gives a new screen with another portrait and a list of ten scenes. No thumbnails, no sound.

R4 vs R1

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

    

    Region 1 has no current release of  I'll Be Yours.
    
    The nineteen titles box set is available in Region 2 where it is more than double the Australian price. I'll Be Yours  is also available separately.

Summary

     I'll Be Yours  is a disappointing romantic comedy. Where it should be light and zany, it is stodgy and dreary. Deanna Durbin is fine, but two of the men weigh it down. The songs, as would be expected, are welcome highlights. Generally very good picture and good sound.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo-SP500, using Component output
DisplayPhilips Plasma 42FD9954/69c. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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