Love Nest is one of those films that has a great plot, but is unable to follow through on the script. The idea behind this film is simple; a man returns home from the war to find that his wife has purchased an apartment building, and they are now landlords. Every one of their tenants is crazy in their own way, and mad-cap adventures ensue.
After the first act, the story really settles in on one tenant in particular… a sneaky old Casanova who makes his money by pretending to fall in love with rich old…women. Unfortunately, his mannerisms and dialog are completely transparent, so while the characters in the film are fooled, his true nature is blatantly obvious to even the casual viewer. A much more interesting storyline deals with Marilyn Monroe’s role as an old Army buddy of the landlord. His wife is obviously quite jealous of this sexy young woman, and her suspicions about how well her husband knew her during the war are comedic fodder that could have carried this film much farther than it went otherwise.
This film does have the occasional funny bit, but for the most part, I was left smirking in painful shame. Marilyn went on to be a huge star in much better films, and lucky for us, those are available on DVD, too.
The audio presentation on this disc leaves much to be desired. I have said this about other films in this series, and I will say it about this one as well; if it wasn’t for the presence of Marilyn Monroe, this film would have never made it to DVD. This fact is proven by the sad state of the audio. Viewers may chose between Mono and Stereo, but each track sounds curiously the same. Both present all of the audio in one mass glob, with everything coming solely from the front-of-house. No sounds are split into the left or right speakers.
The quality of the source material itself is no better. The music is tinny, with no sonic range whatsoever. Dialog is also flat, complete with static and dust. Furthermore, the volume levels are not constant, with one scene being particularly bad. The dialog gets quieter and quieter, and then all of the sudden, it jumps back up to normal levels.
Worst of all, however, is the mysterious rumbling that shows up throughout the third act of the film. For a while, I actually thought someone was outside my home with a loud car stereo. Then I realized that the annoying bass frequencies were coming from my home theater! The sound is not excessively loud, but it is unquestionably discernable. This sort of thing is simply unacceptable, I don’t care how old the film is.
The good news is, the video is better than the audio. The bad news is, it’s not much better.
I have noticed that for some reason, the opening credits on older films seems to be the worst part, picture-wise. I have always assumed that this is because that strip of film is on the outside of the reel, and thus it would have greater exposure to the elements. This is just my theory, however. Whatever the reason may be, the problem seems to be a pretty standard occurrence.
The real problem here is, the picture never gets any better. Dirt, dust, scratches and grain persist throughout the film, start to finish. At one point, I actually thought that it might be snowing. This is a film that is in desperate need of restoration, if Fox intends to preserve it in a viewable format.
On a more artistic note, I was also displeased with the quality of the camera work. As this is a film that was shot in full frame, the cameraman often has difficulty fitting everything into the shot. As a result, the camera is forced to move in odd ways to fit in all of the focal points of the frame. The result is a film that feels amateurish and forced.
As with the other films in this series, this disc includes no fewer than 15 theatrical trailers; one for each title in the Diamond Collection. This is a gold mine for fans of classic film trailers, and they are almost more fun than the film itself. Also here is a commentary with Director Joseph M. Newman and Jack Allen.
Much like the recent Ben Stiller film Duplex, this is a film that swiftly ruins a good plot, due to its lame and contrived script. If you are a fan of classic film trailers, you can get the same set on other films in this series. I would recommend We’re Not Married. It is a much funnier film, and a great example of how to effectively manage an ensemble cast.
Special Features List
- 15 Theatrical Trailers