In 1907, Ingrid Bergman arrives at the household of Warren Baxter and Fay Wray to lookafter their four sons. The happiness of the household is disrupted by the death of Wray and astock market crash. Baxter, fallen on hard times, has to let Bergman go, but when his fortunesimprove during WWI, he sends for her once again, even though his sons are now grown up. Oneof them has married Susan Hayward (the Slut to Bergman’s Saint), who proceeds to poison theatmosphere of th… home with her duplicity. Will Bergman be able to save the family she lovesso much?
This really is melodrama at its most unsubtle. Not too many shades of grey here, withBergman as a the ultimate paragon of saintly virtue, and Hayward doing everything but rotatingher head 360-degrees as the incarnation of all evil. The plot is full if wild implausibilities, andthough the film moves at a fair old clip, this is itself a bit of a weakness: 10 years compressed to80 minutes creates a Reader’s Digest feel to the proceedings.
A perfectly serviceable mono. The sound is crisp and clean, and there is no distortion ornoticeable background hiss. No too much to say about the sound then, but sometimes that’s agood thing: remixes usually do more harm than good.
The transfer itself is pretty good, with a clean, sharp image, very little grain and no edgeenhancement. The print itself is another matter. While not splicy, it does show considerabledamage. There are numerous scenes where the speckling is quite severe, but the most obviousdamage comes in the form of flickering and bright flares. Clearly, no restoration has beenattempted.
Trailers for All the King’s Men, Born Yesterday and On theWaterfront, but nothing about the feature itself. The menu is basic.
Though an interesting release for fans of older movies, this is far from being the best of itsgenre. For a first-class melodrama, check out Now, Voyager instead.
Special Features List