Format: DVD - Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
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And Now...For An ACTUAL DVD Review!
Eric Vaughnes | Hollywood, California USA | 08/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an incredible surprise to open my mailbox yesterday to find advance copies of the forthcoming DVD sets for "Lady Sings The Blues" and "Mahogany"! Rightly considered among the "holy grail" of DVD's for Ross collectors, there has been speculation for years as to WHY? it has taken so long for Paramount to address these titles when most every other motion picture has seen not one but several reissues in the digital format. One must keep in mind, however, that these films represent Berry Gordy's last ties with his legendary label and the film industry; he OWNED these films, Paramount is simply the distributor. It wouldn't surprise me if their DVD release was held back until the public was clamoring for them. In the past couple years, demand for these films has built to a fever pitch, and at last here they are.
"Mahogany," in particular, holds a special place in my heart, as it was my introduction to the LEGEND of Miss Diana Ross when I first saw it in theaters in October '75. Storyline aside (and it is a wimpy one), Diane gave a dazzling performance and looked brilliant throughout this, her second motion picture. In its first two weeks, "Mahogany" grossed nearly $7M (good gross then), and the demand for it was so strong that the Loews State in New York was forced to stay open around the clock in order to accommodate the crowds. People in ticket lines were controlled by mounted police. Reviews were simply lukewarm, but I often wonder if that had to do more with the production/directorial values - this was Berry Gordy's first attempt at being the director of a major motion picture - than Diane's performance. Laughingly, I think reviewer Rex Reed said it best, when he observed that, "Mahogany exists as a hymn to the celebration of how glorious it is to be Diana Ross." One only has to remember Diane was one of the biggest stars in the WORLD when this film went into production in 1974.
If "Mahogany" has any drawbacks for me, the primary culprit would be the grainy washed-out film print. Seriously, it looks as though Berry used reusable film stock in an effort to cut down cost (a practice he was more than familiar with at Motown). Fans will be happy to know this new DVD transfer has been considerably cleaned-up and looks as good as other productions of that time (think Paramount's "The Godfather"). Moreover, the outer artwork/packaging has been spruced up and is quite vibrant in colour - a thousand times better than the basic white packaging on the old VHS version. Lastly, hats off to Paramount for taking the pains of releasing what is essentially a "B-film" in both widescreen and full-screen versions...they actually had the foresight to know that Diana fanatics will obviously buy both copies. (YES Scotty, this DVD IS the gay man's wet dream! LOL)
Should be a good fourth quarter for Paramount Home Video; the sales of this little classic (along with "Lady") are sure to take them by COMPLETE surprise. (Hear that Amazon.com? Better stock accordingly!) To quote an old Supremes song...FOREVER CAME TODAY!"