Jimmy Durante and his family, penniless circus performers, move into a run-down rentalhome. Also living in the house is Rupert, a trained squirrel (brought to life primarily throughstop-motion animation). The miserly owner of the rental is stashing money in his walls, and asfast as he can do this, Rupert halls the money out and dumps it into the rental living room.Durante’s wife (Queenie Smith) sees money floating down from the ceiling, and thinks it is theanswer to her pra…ers. Life turns around for the family, and daughter Terry Moore begins aromance with the miser’s son. Harmless fluff, but not particularly memorable.
Most peculiar. The sound has been remixed in both Dolby and DTS 5.1. The original monotrack is available too. The surround effect is better than some remixes of older films (this onewas shot in 1949), but there are still a fair number of sounds that come out of the rear speakersbut have no business doing so. The strangest effect involves the songs. Though they sound prettygood, the vocals have an odd echo effect, and the quality of the sound is radically different fromthat of the rest of the movie that the result is very unnatural. My advice is to stick with themono.
The case trumpets that the film has been colourized, as if this is something to be proud of.If you want to watch the film in 5.1, you can only do so while watching the colourized print. Theprint flickers quite badly at times, and effect rendered worse by the colour, and there is still a fairbit of grain and print damage, despite apparent restoration. The black-and-white doesn’t havea lot of range in the gray, but still looks better than the colour. There have been many advancesin home video technology over the years, but colourization, setting aside for a moment thedisrespect it shows the original artists, still looks horrible. The colours are an unnatural, clashingmix of muddy browns and fluorescent greens.
Terry Moore never saw the film she starred in, and the commentary is also her first viewingof the movie. She and the colourization team watch both versions of the movie simultaneously.Moore is charming, and full of anecdotes. If I were the technical team, I wouldn’t be boastingabout having engaged in the colourization, however.
A very odd disc, with some serious misjudgments regarding its “restoration.” My predictionis that the movie is doomed to return to its obscurity.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary