Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 10th, 2005
Paul Newman is a womanizing lout of a journalist. After unknowingly seducing the wife ofhis boss, he is packed off to the Paris bureau of the newspaper (and he reacts as if this is somesort of punishment). Joanne Woodward is a fashion spy for a discount chain. She’s a toughcookie, as you can tell from the fact that her hair is short and she wears sunglasses in dark rooms.She and her boss head to Paris too on a reconnaissance mission. Woodward and Newman collide,hate each ot…er, and naturally fall in love.
Eeeee-yurrrgh. If ever there was a film that could make Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS looklike a work of radical feminism, this is it. You know you’re in trouble when the opening sceneis of a herd of women stampeding into a department store. I use the words “herd” and“stampeding” deliberately, as the sound effects are of lowing cattle. Things go downhill fromthere. Quite apart from the fact that neither main character is remotely likeable, and the jokesare dismally flat, the misogyny on display here is worse than that in the most shamelessgrindhouse epic, as this is the work of people who should know better.
All that mooing sounds pretty clean, however, on this mono track. There is no backgroundhiss, and no distortion or buzz. A perfectly serviceable audio. Other than that, not too much tosay, but a stereo track couldn’t have saved the film.
No complaints with the picture, either. The image is sharp, and the print is in excellentcondition — no grain or damage here. The colours are decent, and the blacks are very good. Noedge enhancement either. So it all looks pretty good, if only the movie itself were watchable.
This is a perfect example of what was going wrong with the major studios in the 1960s. Usethis as a coaster and watch Charade again instead.