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While CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT ($15) may not be remembered as one of Bob Hopeís best films, Old Ski Noseís antics had this reviewer rolling on the floor with laughter. CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT places Bob Hope in a period setting, but maintains his usual persona of the cowardly schnook, who has bravely face up against impossible odds, all in the hopes of winning the girl and walking away with his hide in tact. In CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT, Bob Hope portrays tailorsí apprentice Pippo Popolino, who findís himself filling the shoes of the legendary lover/swordsman, after an impoverished Casanova ducks out on his creditors. The opportunity for a big fat payday lands Pippo waist deep in court intrigue, as Casanovaís services are called into play to test the virtue of a bride to be. Of course, Hope is hilarious, whether feigning the role of the great lover or pretending he knows one end of a sword from the other. The cast of CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT also features Joan Fontaine, Audrey Dalton, Basil Rathbone, Hugh Marlowe, Arnold Moss, John Carradine, John Hoyt, Hope Emerson, Robert Hutton, Lon Chaney Jr., Raymond Burr and uncredited Vincent Price.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT available on DVD in a nice looking transfer that frames the film in the 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratio. The image generally appears sharp and pretty nicely defined. Opticals can appear a little bit soft, as do certain longer passages, but its never too bad. Colors are somewhat variable, sometimes giving a good impression of what an actual Technicolor print might have looked like, ant other times being slightly askew, looking as though they were taken from "dupey" film elements. Blacks are deep and the whites are stable while the contrast remains pretty smooth. The film elements from which CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT has been transferred have some minor blemishes, but otherwise, the presentation doesnít betray the fact that the movie is over five decades old. There is some noticeable film grain throughout, but it is generally mild. Digital compression artifacts are well contained.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is solid and offers little to complain about. There are a couple of audible hiccups, but nothing worth complaining about. Most of the age related background hiss has been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the track with a respectable sonic quality. Fidelity has the expected limitations, but the musical component remains undistorted. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided, but English subtitles have been included. The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features. No supplemental content is provided on the DVD.

CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT may not be a Bob Hope classic, but the funnyman is in his usual fine form and as I stated above had this reviewer rolling with laughter. Paramountís presentation is a little uneven in regards the filmís color, but is otherwise smooth and free from problems. If you are a Bob Hope fan, then youíll definitely want to check out CASANOVA'S BIG NIGHT.



Casanova's Big Night (1954)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 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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