Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Nothing Sacred/A Star Is Born|
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Nothing Sacred: A young woman who aspires to be an actress arrives in Hollywood with a bucket full of dreams. Life is tough for young actresses and only after she meets famous star Norman Maine does she get a break in fil... more »
Let's get it right.
Norma Luce | California USA | 07/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The editorial comment is just a teensy off - the movie it's describing is "A Star Is Born," not "Nothing Sacred" as stated. That said, let me say that this double feature from Marengo is a happy little surprise. Criterion quality being a 10 and Madacy being, well, a 1, I'm giving Marengo a good solid 7 for overall quality.
Nowadays, everybody and their dog's company is offering old movies on DVD. With the results you'd expect. Having spent about a bazillion bucks on old movies, I learned the hard way that you generally get what you pay for. So, I wasn't expecting much when I ordered Marengo's double feature of "Nothing Sacred" and "A Star Is Born." Imagine my delight when it turned out to be a terrific bargain.
Both movies are Selznick productions made in 1937, both directed by William Wellman and both are technicolor starring vehicles for Frederick March. March's leading ladies are respectively Carole Lombard and Janet Gaynor.
"Nothing Sacred," co-starring Lombard, is a hilarious screwball comedy about fibbing, fraud and all the attendant tangle-ups. The ensemble cast plays it broadly and brilliantly. Hazel Flagg (Lombard) has been diagnosed with radium poisoning (fatal) by the local doc. But early on, Doc admits to her that she's OK after all - says he'd got so he was seeing radium poisoning everywhere. Hazel's a little disappointed. Not much excitement in a small New England burg and it was fun being the center of attention. Meanwhile, a reporter (March) from a big New York paper has arrived to do a human interest story on Flagg. He's so taken with her "bravery" in the face of impending death that he offers her a fabulous all-expenses-paid trip to New York to do it up right before the bitter end. They know it's wrong, but Hazel and Doc convince themselves that after all they've been through they're entitled. So, off they go, Hazel becoming the next New York flavor of the month. The movie's a great romp, skewering hypocrisy, affectation, sham and pretense, sparing "Nothing Sacred."
"A Star Is Born," co-starring Gaynor, is a well made drama that was rather overshadowed by the Judy Garland/James Mason remake of 1954. But this picture has merit because of the fine performances of the cast and Wellman's directorial touch. Janet Gaynor plays Esther Blodgett, an average kid who wants to be in the movies, so her loving granny subsidizes the trip out to Hollywood with her funeral money. Esther meets top actor Norman Maine (March) by accident while waitressing at a party and it's through him that she eventually gets her toehold in the industry. They fall in love, marry and live "happily" ever after. As Esther's star rises, Norman's becomes eclipsed and he succumbs to alchoholism. There's hypocrisy, affectation, sham and pretense in this movie, too, framed within the story of the movie industry itself. However, instead of fun and satire, we find tragedy and sorrow.
Gaynor had a meteoric rise in silents and in fact became the recipient of the first Oscar for best actress in 1929. She was at the top of her game in this piece, receiving the nomination again for best actress, but her career abruptly ended after just two more pictures, eerily echoing the theme of "A Star Is Born."
So, I recommend you get this DVD, kids. The price is right. The quality's surprisingly good and the stories are ideal vehicles for the stars and director. A jug of root beer, a tub of popcorn and thee...
Robert L. Edwards | New York, NY United States | 12/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing Sacred, one of the best screwball comedies ever, looks much better in this Marengo Films restoration than the version on Alpha films. This restoration has better contrast, finer detail and a smoother, more correct color. And, of course, you have the added benefit of the original A Star Is Born.
Do not be misled by the jacket that indicates Nothing Sacred is in B&W, it is not. Both are early Technicolor films. There is some image loss, but that is to be expected in films that are 70 years old. Neither film was given the Wizard of Oz treatment.
At this price, its a good buy."
Marengo print better than Alpha Video print
Paul Wilson | Modesto, CA United States | 11/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not going to discuss the movie (which I like). I just want to indicate that I have seen and compared two of the releases of Nothing Sacred on DVD and the Marengo version, despite having problems, is superior to the Alpha release in both picture and sound. I can't speak for other versions. The Alpha Video print seems to be the most popular version of this movie that is purchased here at Amazon but it is inferior to the Marengo DVD of Nothing Sacred/A Star is Born. I can only hope that perhaps a Criterion or Kino version will come out soon. There is still a lot of room for improvement."