The setting is a top New York publishing house, and our central characters are three womenbeginning their careers at the bottom of the secretarial ladder. Hope Lange is the smart one witha will, who might make a first-class editor. Diane Baker is the naive innocent, doomed to bepreyed on. Suzy Parker wants to dump the office pool for acting, and she begins a difficultrelationship with theatre director Louis Jourdan. Meanwhile, there is tyrannical editor JoanCrawford (whose …ed hairdo makes for a grotesque contrast with those obsidian eyebrows), andshe is pretty thoroughly embittered.
And on it goes, a huge cast of characters and screwed up relationships. One might have athought or two about what the film is saying about women having careers, but let’s not dwell tooheavily on what is, when all is said and done, trash, but highly entertaining and handsomelyproduced trash at that.
The soundtrack is in 4.0, and the result is a bit forced. The wraparound voices that plagueso many stereo remixes aren’t a problem here. On the other hand, the surround effects are veryartificial: sounds of traffic or crowds kick in from the rear speakers, whether their presence isappropriate or not. Still, not bad for 1959.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer gets off to a slightly muddy start, and has littlebits of speckling now and then throughout. There is some visible edge enhancement, as well,along with some minor flickering here and there. The colours are solid, however, and the imageis sharp. Overall, the picture is perfectly acceptable.
Sylvia Stoddard, who provided the commentary on the similarly soapy Return to PeytonPlace, does the honours again here, along with (recorded separately) Rona Jaffe, on whosebook the film is based. Jaffe sounds very scripted (and you can here the rustling of her papers),and Stoddard is a bit dry, but very informative. There are trailers for the feature and five otherFox releases, and a newsreel of the film’s premiere. The menu is basic.
Not a lot of extras, but the movie is plenty of fun.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Movietone Newsreel
- Theatrical Trailers