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WORKING GIRL ($25) is a charming screen comedy the turned out to be a favorite with audiences and the film put actress Melanie Griffith's career on the Hollywood radar system for a couple of brief blips. The plot of WORKING GIRL isn't particularly original, but the story of a scrappy working class girl making good certainly has its appeal for a broad demographic. Because of it's popularity, WORKING GIRL even managed to garner five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. However, Best Original Song was the only Oscar gold to come the film's way.


In WORKING GIRL, Griffith portrays Staten Islander Tess McGill, a middle class gal with a secretarial job on Wall Street, who knows that she is destined for bigger things. Unable to make any headway going through proper channels, Tess does an end run around the system, after her devious boss, Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), is sidelined by a skiing accident. Piecing together a corporate acquisition that no one else has thought of, Tess takes her idea to investment banker Jack Trainer (Harrison Ford), whose career is in serious need of a touchdown. Although Jack doesn't know he is dealing with a secretary, he is quickly comes see things as Tess does, and together, they put together a package that guarantees success for everyone involved.

WORKING GIRL gave Melanie Griffith the best role of her career- her performance lends total credibility to the story of a lower middle class woman striving to exceed the expectations of those around her. Harrison Ford brings the right level of charm to the table, showing why he's been one of Hollywood's top leading men for over twenty years. Finally, there's Sigourney Weaver, who sexy and funny as manages to steal every scene she is in. The cast of WORKING GIRL also includes Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Philip Bosco, Nora Dunn, Oliver Platt, James Lally and Kevin Spacey.


20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made WORKING GIRL available on DVD in a 1.85:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for 16:9 playback. The transfer itself is very nice, offering a relatively sharp and detailed image. WORKING GIRL isn't as crisp looking as a brand new movie, but overall, the picture is quite pleasing. In fact, I'd venture to say that Michael Ballhaus' fine cinematography has never looked better in the home venue. Colors never appear over-saturated, but are solid nonetheless, while flesh tones always appear natural. Neither chroma noise nor bleeding diminishes picture quality. Blacks are accurately rendered, although shadow detail is a bit less than what one would find in a brand new movie. Digital compression artifacts are tamed by solid dual layer authoring.

WORKING GIRL offers a new Dolby Digital 3.0 channel mix, which omits surround information. This is no great loss, considering that comedy mixes from the late eighties were rather lackluster- especially in regards to the surround channels. The forward soundstage has great definition, with the film's music reaping the largest rewards from the new mix. There is a great stereo presence and the music tends to leap out of the speakers. Carly Simon's Oscar winning song, Let The River's Run sounded especially good in this configuration. Dialogue reproduces cleanly, with excellent intelligibility. The original matrixed stereo surround mix is also present on the DVD, but I found myself preferring the new mix for its livelier presentation of the film's music. A French surround soundtrack can also be found on the DVD, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some modest extras. Two theatrical trailers for WORKING GIRL are present on the DVD, as are three TV spots. The disc also includes bonus trailers for other Fox titles that also feature a feminine theme.

WORKING GIRL is as enjoyable today, as it was when it was released in 1988. Fans of the film will find the presentation quite pleasant and the DVD worth adding to their personal collections.


Working Girl


DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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