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YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER

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Of all the dancing partners Fred Astaire had over his film career, Rita Hayworth was certainly the loveliest, not to mention being quite a good dancer in her own right. Astaire first danced with Hayworth on the delightful Columbia Pictures production YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH, which the studio quickly followed with the equally delightful YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER ($25). The plot of YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER is the merest of romantic comedy trifles, supported by frothy musical numbers, Fred Astaire’s fabulous footwork, plus appearances by Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra.

Set in Argentina, Astaire portrays (not surprisingly) a song and dance man named Bob Davis, who finds it virtually impossible to get booked into the posh hotel nightclub owned and managed by Eduardo Acuna (Adolphe Menjou). In addition to rebuffing the persistent dancer, Acuna has a problem with his second daughter Maria (Rita Hayworth), whose disinterest in romance is adversely affecting the love lives her two younger sisters. Of course, Acuna decides that he know’s what is best for everyone, so invents a secret admirer for Maria- a plot that blows up in the old man’s face, when Maria mistakes Bob Davis for her (nonexistent) secret admirer. The cast of YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER also includes Isobel Elsom, Leslie Brooks, Adele Mara, Gus Schilling, Barbara Brown and Douglas Leavitt.

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Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER available on DVD in a very fine looking full screen transfer that frames the movie in its proper 1.37:1 aspect ratio. Despite being over six decades old, the black and white film elements are in very good shape, thus display only modest blemishes and an occasional scratch. There is some noticeable film grain, but it is negligible, when one considers the crisp and rather nicely detailed image. Blacks are true, whites are clean and stable, plus the picture produces a varied grayscale and a nice sense of depth. Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.

YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER comes with a perfectly fine Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. Most instances of background hiss and surface noise have been cleaned up in the mastering process, which leaves the track with a more than respectable sonic quality. One will find that the track has all the expected limitations in fidelity, but fortunately, the sound is never comes across as thin, harsh or distorted. Voices are cleanly rendered and the dialogue is generally easy to understand. Although no other language tracks are included on the DVD, subtitles have been provided in English and Japanese. The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as theatrical trailers for A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, GILDA, THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI.

YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER is a fine musical comedy treat that has been given a very nice presentation on DVD by the folks at Columbia TriStar. If you are a fan of either Fred Astaire or Rita Hayworth, or a movie buff in general, you’ll want to add YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER to your DVD collection. Recommended.

 

YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER 


You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 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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