Barefoot in the Park (1967)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 11-Oct-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer-3:05
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1967
Running Time 101:40
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:42) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gene Saks
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Robert Redford
Jane Fonda
Charles Boyer
Mildred Natwick
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Neal Hefti


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

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

Plot Synopsis

    A lot of romantic comedies end when the couple get together and decide to get married (big kiss, roll credits, everyone goes home happy). This one starts with the couple kissing passionately in a horse drawn carriage on their way to the Plaza Hotel, New York, for their honeymoon. But then, no one ever accused Neil Simon of lacking originality.

    This is the tale of a young couple, newly married, setting up house together. He is Paul Bratter (Robert Redford), a young lawyer arguing his first case. She is Corie Bratter (Jane Fonda), a young wife, trying to make a home out of a small apartment up six long flights of stairs. There are elements to this story that make me think of the sitcom Dharma and Greg - I wonder if the sitcom creators were inspired by this film?

    It wouldn't be a Neil Simon play (he wrote the play, saw it produced on Broadway - starring Redford and Fonda - then turned it into a screenplay for this film) if there weren't some odd twists. Perhaps the oddest is their upstairs neighbour, Victor Velasco (Charles Boyer), a somewhat eccentric man, given to accessing his apartment by going through their apartment, out the bedroom window, and up the facade of the building. Such a character requires someone more conventional to play against, and that is Corie's mother, Ethel Banks (Mildred Natwick).

    This film was made in 1967, but people haven't changed enough to invalidate the story. There are one or two things that seem a little strange 35 years on - the idea of a Plaza Hotel room being $30 a day (and that's considered expensive!) is amusing. It's interesting that they haven't heard of ouzo (they pronounce it "oozoo", which sounds dreadful) - I guess we're a bit more cosmopolitan these days. There's a lot of drinking.

    Not an awful lot happens, but it's entertaining. It's a pleasant light romantic comedy - I liked it enough to order it from Region 1 when it was released. Now it's available in Region 4.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1, so this is close.

    The image is good for the age of the film - not razor sharp, but clear enough. Shadow detail is only fair, with some darker colours falling off into black. Overall, the picture seems a little dark. There's no low-level noise, but there's constant light film grain.

    Colour is affected by the age of the film, although it is hard to put a finger on exactly what's off. The colours aren't exactly faded (there are some nice bright colours, especially on some of Jane Fonda's clothes), but it's as though the whole film has darkened a little. It doesn't stop us enjoying the film, though.

    The film is 35 years old. For that age, the level of film artefacts is perfectly acceptable. In fact, the level of film artefacts is rather low for a film of this age, and the artefacts are almost all tiny (flecks and spots). There's a vertical line (probably a scratch) at 19:50, and a white blob at 20:34.

    There's some minor aliasing, but it's barely noticeable. More disturbing is the haloing of foreground images due to edge enhancement - it's not terribly ugly, but I found it a bit distracting. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are subtitles in eight languages, including English. The English subtitles are well-timed, accurate, and quite legible.

    The disc is single-sided, RSDL. The layer change is at 55:42. It's not the greatest layer change you've ever seen, but it's not awful, and it is placed at the end of a scene.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in four languages; English, Spanish, French, Italian. The English is in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono - that's what I listened to.

    The dialogue is comprehensible, although a few lines sound wrong - they lack ambience (poor ADR, I think). There are few audio sync problems, although there's some sloppy ADR at 36:39.

    The score from Neal Hefti is pleasant, and quite appropriate.

    As it's a mono soundtrack, your surrounds and subwoofer aren't called upon.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static and silent, and quite simple.

Trailer

    A long trailer (3:05) with a brash American voice-over. It's presented in wide-screen, but not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 disc was released in 1999. It has exactly the same features as our R4 disc, except for the languages, but the R1 is single layer, whereas our R4 is RSDL. You'd expect that to imply our transfer is less compressed, and better looking. Sad to say, even though our disc seems to have a higher average bitrate for the video, the two look very similar. Maybe that implies that the limiting factor is the source material, and our R4 just has more accurate reproduction of the flaws?

    Anyway, the two discs are very much similar in quality. You can readily be satisfied with either.

Summary

    A good romantic comedy on a decent DVD.

    The video quality is good enough.

    The audio quality is fine, for a mono soundtrack.

    The extra is as basic as they come.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, September 22, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE