Frankie and Johnny (1991)

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Released 4-Sep-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 112:58
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:46) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Garry Marshall

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Al Pacino
Michelle Pfeiffer
Hector Elizondo
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Peter Beckett
Marvin Hamlisch

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Frankie and Johnny is an example of a movie genre not often seen in cinema these days. It is a relationship drama in its purest form. There is no side plot to try and make the movie more interesting. In fact, there is really no denying that the story is entirely wrapped around the two main protagonists. This is by no means a bad thing - in fact this makes for an enjoyable and interesting movie. It receives bonus points, in my opinion, in not attempting to hide the main thrust of the plot within some other thinly veiled story aimed to attract more viewers at the box office.

    Johnny (Al Pacino) is released from prison and makes his way to New York City in search of a job. As it turns out, his stay in prison has transformed him into a great short-order cook, and helped him to become a well educated man. I suppose when in prison there is not much else to do, so why not read and cook... Johnny manages to find a job at the Apollo Cafe where Frankie (Michelle Pfeiffer) works as a waitress. There is an instant attraction between the two and Johnny is determined to make something of the relationship.

    Now, Frankie is not so keen on the idea. She carries a great deal of emotional baggage and she does not want to face up to her demons. Johnny's sheer persistence in his quest for love seem to be turning Frankie against him. Undaunted, Johnny must find his way through Frankie's multitude of emotional defences before their relationship can grow. He, in turn, must exorcise his own demons.

    As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Frankie and Johnny is a relationship drama, and a good one. It has some comedic moments and you really do get quite wrapped up in the characters. If this fits in with your idea of a relaxing night at home then I really have to recommend this title. Hey, I enjoyed it.

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Transfer Quality


    This is a very good video transfer with very few notable problems.

    This transfer presents the movie very close to its original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 - it is in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

    The movie begins a little soft but the sharpness does pick up as you progress through the movie. Shadow detail is very good and there was no low-level noise.

    Colours are well rendered but never remarkably vibrant. Nothing of concern.

    I did not notice any MPEG artefacts. There was, however, some telecine wobble noticeable around 89:00. There was a light spattering of film artefacts, particularly noticeable towards the beginning of the movie.

    The English subtitles seemed quite accurate to the spoken word over my 15 minute sample.

    This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring at 58:46. I cannot comment on the quality of the change as I did not notice it at all on a DVD-ROM.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio is also quite good for this disc, although it really didn't have a lot of work to do. There were a few annoying problems that I will have to mention.

    There is a total of 5 audio tracks on this disc, one of which was in English. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track (at 448Kbps) in its entirety.

    The dialogue quality is fine for the majority of the movie, except for a small segment around 60:30 where a bit of distortion creeps into the mix. It is not bad - just annoying. The dialogue is always understandable - a good thing given the dialogue-driven nature of the movie.

    Audio sync is fine throughout. Along with the minor distortion mentioned above there were also a couple of instances of an annoying whine at 60:30 and 71:30. These were relatively short lived and some people may not even notice them.

    The music is fairly run of the mill relationship drama fare. Nothing to get excited about. I actually found it to be somewhat "Elevator Muzak"-like in places. The odd contemporary song that made it into the soundtrack did get my foot tapping along happily.

    The surrounds were used minimally throughout but they did manage to open the soundscape somewhat. The subwoofer was used to occasionally support the music. That is all.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Hmm.. what extras were those?


    The menu is well themed.

Theatrical Trailer (2:21)

    This trailer is just as good, quality-wise, as the movie transfer. It is 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced with 224kbps Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    It would seem that the R1 version is identical to the local release extras wise, and very similar quality wise. The local release has some extra foreign language soundtracks but that is all. The local release is likely to be the version of choice based on price alone.


    Frankie and Johnny is an interesting relationship drama presented on a good quality DVD. I found it to be very enjoyable, although the genre is not everyone's cup-of-tea.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good with a few minor flaws.

    Extras - does a trailer count?

Ratings (out of 5)


© Cameron Rochester (read my bio)
Saturday, August 17, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer 106S DVD-ROM with PowerDVD 4.0 scaling to 864p, using RGB output
DisplayMitsubishi VS-1281E CRT front projector on custom 16x9 screen (270cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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