Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Man's Favorite Sport / Strange Bedfellows|
Actors: Rock Hudson, Paula Prentiss, Gina Lollobrigida, Gig Young, Edward Judd
Directors: Howard Hawks, Melvin Frank
Not True Widescreen
Byron Kolln | 02/13/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I've only checked out the Strange Bedfellows DVD, but was quickly disappointed to see it's not a true widescreen presentation, but rather, in order to give that illusion, they chopped off the bottom of the picture. I have this movie on VHS, both store-bought and taped from TV, and they have more at the bottom of the picture than this DVD. If you have both compare the shot of the close-up of the newspaper that comes shortly after the opening credits. On the VHS you can see the newspaper's photograph of Rock Hudson all the way to his chin, but on this DVD you can't even see halfway down his nose. This isn't a quibble, it's just a clear example of one frame-to-frame comparison, and in a movie made to show-off the attributes of both Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida every inch of the original framing matters. The point is this movie, which may not have been all that "widescreen" to begin with, has been zoomed into to make the center of the picture larger, with the bottom chopped off to make the whole thing look as if it's been letterboxed, as if you're now getting "more" when you're really getting less. It's deceitful. It's bad for the DVD business which keeps confusing consumers with "widescreen" "letterboxed" "full frame" labels that never mean the same thing twice. I'm getting my money back and complaining to Universal. I thought they were finally getting smart enough to start releasing all their great retro pop-culture classics, but if this is the shoddy way they're going to do it I'll stick with my late show videos."
5 for Man's Favorite Sport / 3 for Strange Bedfellows
Gwyn Gwyrdd | USA | 03/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two packs are great. As long as you like both movies enough to buy them. That's not the case with this two pack of Rock Hudson movies, but at such a sweet price, it's hard to complain. Of these two films, Strange Bedfellows seems the weakest although, Gig Young makes the movie worthwile and Rock Hudson's character is likeable. The plot is a bit convoluted. It's basically an Opposites Attract film. This time the opposite lies in political opinions. The two charactes meet in Paris and within hours are married. Only after they marry to they realize their extreme differences and decide (somewhat loudly and violently) to call it quits. Seven years pass and Rock Hudson is a successful businessman who is looking for a promotion. However, he is told that he needs to clean up his image long enough to handle the press during the transition. The solution is to try to patch things up with his ex until his promotion is solid. Of course, sparks fly when they meet again and the ending is predictable. What is unclear, outside of the physical, is his attraction to Gina Lollabrigida. Other than being incredibly beautiful, her character's charm is not always evident. Instead of making her an intelligent activist - she's a wacky one who unfortunately does wacky things and gets involved in over the top protests and advocacy. This plays into the "climax" of the film. I found myself feeling sorry for Hudson and what he has to bear with this woman. Granted, his character isn't perfect either, but certainly more sympathetic. Some of the best scenes involve the Paris cab service and Hudson's efforts to communicate with Lollabrigida in another cab.Man's Favorite Sport was a delightful summer romance. Being a fisherman(woman) myself, I found the fishing scenes to be particularly hilarious - especially those involving hip waders. Paula Prentiss is adorable and a very different match for Rock Hudson. She steals every scene she's in. Rock Hudson is truly the most sympathetic character he's ever played in a comedy. He is the top fishing gear salesman at Abercrombie and Fitch. So successful, in fact, that he's written a book on the subject that amateurs use faithfully. The problem is that he's never been fishing in his life - in fact, he hates fish. So when his boss tells him he has to represent the company at a fishing tournament, he's horrified. Paula Prentiss is the Public Relations worker who sets the tournament up. When she learns he's a fraud, she's more concerned about the success of the tournament, so she forces him to take part anyway. Her solution - teach him how to fish in three days. This is where things get really funny. In the meantime, her attraction to him is growing and he wants to kill her. The ending again, is predictable - but enjoy the journey. I always liked Paula Prentiss and wish she had done more movies like this. She was great in Where the Boys Are. Granted, this isn't a Doris and Rock movie, but it is good enough to make you forget about Doris and just enjoy Paula. The other players do an equally good job at rounding things out, especially the fellow tournament entrants.Strange Bedfellows is not that great - but it's also not that bad. Man's Favorite Sport is pure cotton candy. So the combination and the price of these two films is worth it."
A great twofer
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 05/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful twofer from Universal bundles together two of Rock Hudson's best 60s comedies, MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT? and STRANGE BEDFELLOWS.MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT? recounts the adventures of angling 'expert' Roger Willoughby (Rock Hudson) who is invited to take part in a prestigious fishing tournament. However, Roger can't even throw a line, let alone catch a fish! When press agent Abigail Page (the delightful Paula Prentiss) finds out about Roger's problem, she decides to give him the ultimate crash course in fishing...The film features a delightful musical score by Henry Mancini as well as fine supporting performances from Maria Perschy and Charlene Holt. The DVD includes the trailer. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc).STRANGE BEDFELLOWS pairs Rock Hudson with sex-bomb Gina Lollobrigida (they also starred together in COME SEPTEMBER). Hudson plays Carter Harrison, a womanising company exec who marries Antonia (Lollobrigida), an Italian spitfire who is heavily into art and politics. When their marriage fails, Carter doesn't hear from Tony for many years, until his boss decides the Carter will get a promotion if he can prove that he is a respectable (and, more to the point, MARRIED) man. He decides to lead Tony on to get the promotion but finds himself falling in love with her all over again. The memorable supporting cast includes Terry-Thomas, Nancy Kulp, Gig Young, Arthur Haynes and Edward Judd. The DVD includes the trailer. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).This release is part of a new wave of classic releases from Universal. Also look out for "Send Me No Flowers", "A Countess from Hong Kong", "The Thrill of It All!" and "Pillow Talk" (sold separately)."
Hudson rocks the house - twice!
Edmond Gauthier | USA | 07/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Usually, if Rock's not seen getting his brains bashed in by Liz Taylor in Giant, he's being taken to the cleaners by Doris Day in the Doris/Rock trilogy.
But in these two films (Sport & Bedfellows), Rock Hudson finally shows he can actually STAR instead of just co-star in a movie.
It's a welcome change to see him carry the day (even if barely) while towing the leggy Paula and the chesty Gina along with him.
This time out he does some keen outdoor stuff (in Sport), and some good flashback work (in Bedfellows), many years before Tarantino started relying on flipping back and forth in time to a fault.
Yes, it was good to see the Rock avoid letting his roles crumble for a change!
Both DVDs here get 5 stars since they were decent transfers in their correct widescreen version, and contained the original trailers."