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ADAM’S RIB ($25) is one of the great classic film "battle of the sexes", featuring one of the best casts of all time. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn star as a pair of married lawyers who find themselves on opposite sides of an attempted murder case. Tracy is the no nonsense prosecutor assigned to the case of a woman who shot her philandering husband. Hepburn is defending council who sees the case in another light and turns it into a fight for equal rights for women.

As the case heats up, tempers flare and the lawyer’s personal relationship begins to disintegrate. Both soon discover winning the case could be a moot point if their marriage is destroyed by it. The screenplay by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin is still quite amusing almost fifty years later. While the topic may have lost some of its timeliness, in a world that has vastly changed, certain absolutes about men and women remain funny. The performers in ADAM’S RIB come no better than those cast in this film. Lending support to Tracy and Hepburn are incomparable Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell, David Wayne and Jean Hagen. Every one of them adds a comic masterstroke to the film.

Since ADAM’S RIB was produced prior to the advent of wide screen film making, only one version is necessary for this single sided DVD release. The disc starts with the dreaded "This film has been modified from its original version" message, but nothing has been cropped from the image of this 1.33:1 film, except for the mild overscan that effects all video monitors. Unless this message has become standard for all non-wide screen films that have not been windowboxed, it is erroneous. The black and white transfer is terrific, and the film element is in great shape with only minor age related markings. The blacks are true blacks and the image has great contrast, displaying all subtle shades of gray, all the way through white. Digital artifacts were virtually absent from this DVD.

The Dolby Digital soundtrack is one channel monaural and sounds quite good for a film of this vintage. Other soundtrack options include a French language track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish. The interactive menus offer one access to a theatrical trailer, as well as the standard scene and language selections.


Adam's Rib (1949)


DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 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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