After the death of his estranged wife, Cary Grant swoops back into his children’s lives,determined to be a proper father. He’s a bit rusty, and his kids aren’t exactly ecstatic about living with him. In over his head, he searches for a maid, and into their lives comes Sophia Loren, who is actually the daughter of a famous Italian conductor. They wind up living on a rickety houseboat, and romantic heat is gradually generated between Grant and Loren while Loren brings father and kids closer together. So basically, the plot is The Sound of Music with a sex bomb in the Julie Andrews role. The problem with this film, apart from its sluggish pace (we don’t reach the houseboat until 45 minutes in), is that it is missing the most vital ingredient for a successful romantic comedy: likable characters. This is a group of self-centred, selfish, oblivious whiners,and their company is well nigh insupportable. Grant does his best to make his inane dialogue sound urbane, but the script is beyond even his skills to salvage.
A mono soundtrack, so no bells and whistles to tell you about, though the sound is certainly clean enough. There is no distortion, and the same goes for static and hiss. Given how clean this sound is, and that the film is largely dialogue-driven, a stereo re-mix would have been both unnecessary and unwise.
The format, though anamorphic widescreen, looks like 1.78:1 to me, while the original ratio was 1.85:1. The print is in fine shape, with no grain at all, and only the very occasional speckle.The colours are vibrant and very solid, with excellent contrasts and flesh tones. The picture,however, is rather soft, and there is a bit of flicker going on.
The menu is basic, and the extras limited, though at least there are a few: a photo gallery(featuring lobby cards), the theatrical trailer, and the teaser.
Even screen legends stumble, and this has to rank as a misfire for both Grant and Loren.