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Personally, I really like ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER ($15). Now despite my liking of the film, I recognized that ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER is not a wholly successful enterprise. Coming at the time when movie musicals were going out of fashion, some consider this film something of a white elephant. However, there remains plenty to admire about the production. Leading lady Barbra Streisand handles the story’s comedic aspects with aplomb, while director Vincente Minnelli’s deft touch can be felt all over the period section of the film. Of course, both the modern and period sections of the film benefit from Harry Stradling’s wonderful cinematography.

For those unfamiliar with ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, the plot concerns one Daisy Gamble (Barbra Streisand), a meticulously attired schlub from New Jersey with a small psychic gift, who seeks professional help from Dr. Marc Chabot (Yves Montand) to help cure Daisy of her chain smoking. Through hypnosis, Dr. Chabot tries to ease Daisy’s addiction to cigarettes, but also uncovers the enigmatic Melinda- one of Daisy’s past lives, with whom the good doctor quickly becomes fascinated and enamored. The cast of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER also features Bob Newhart, Larry Blyden, Simon Oakland, Jack Nicholson, John Richardson, Pamela Brown and Irene Handl.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The transfer is quite lovely, which really brings out the beauty of the film’s cinematography. Sharpness and image detail are quite good. Colors are richly saturated and evoke the look of an original IB Technicolor print. Blacks are inky, whites are clean and the picture boasts very smooth contrast. The film elements used for the transfer are in great shape, displaying very few blemishes or other signs of age.

ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER has had its soundtrack remixed to the Dolby Digital 5.1 channel format with some very nice results. The music has been given a good spread across the entire soundstage, which helps draw the viewer into the musical numbers. Fidelity is quite good for its age, but the music lacks the open quality of newer recordings. Also there are some very slight variations in the tonality, but it is never distracting. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. English and French monaural tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as have English subtitles.

The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, although no supplemental content has been provided.

Although not perfect, I remain quite fond of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. Paramount has done a truly fine job with the film’s presentation on DVD, which should please fans to no end. Recommended.



On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)


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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