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NOTHING SACRED

While not perfect, Lumivision’s edition of NOTHING SACRED is as close as one will come to enjoying this classic screwball comedy in original condition. There are a few instances in this presentation where shrinkage has caused the three primary colors of the Technicolor element lose registration. Because of the shrinkage the colors strobe in the effected areas of the film. Still, this presentation is better than the colorless fourth generation slop prints of NOTHING SACRED that played late night television. Ben Hecht’s hilarious screenplay is bad taste at it best. The story takes swipes at the yellow journalistic techniques that were deployed to get the "big" story and guarantee newspaper sales.

The latest "big" story involves a small town girl believed to be dying of radium poisoning. The newspaper brings the girl to New York for a last fling, provided they have exclusive rights to her courageous story. Of course, it turns out she was misdiagnosed, but she decides to take the free trip to New York anyway. When she is openly embraced by all of New York City, the situation rapidly spins out of control and she soon finds she can’t escape a dying girl’s fate. Carole Lombard is sheer perfection as Hazel Flagg, the "dying" girl. Fredric March is wonderful as Wally Cook, the newspaperman who turns out to be too smart for his own good. The cast of NOTHING SACRED also features Charles Winninger, Walter Connolly, Sig Ruman, Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom, Margaret Hamilton and Hattie McDaniel.

As I stated above, Lumivision’s transfer has a few problems related to the film’s age and public domain status. Only a restoration could produce a better looking edition of the film, and make for a better film to tape transfer to DVD. In addition to the shrinkage problems, the film element has a few other age related anomalies. Despite its problems, NOTHING SACRED makes for enjoyable viewing. Digital compression artifacts seldom made their presence known.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is reasonably clear, but it does have some age related limitations. As a supplement, Lumivision has included two silent Mack Sennett, two color Technicolor short films featuring Carole Lombard. The Mack Sennett short films CAMPUS VAMP and MATCHMAKING MAMA are extremely well preserved. Also included are home movies of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.

NOTHING SACRED is a screwball classic and Lumivision’s release may be the best edition one will ever see on DVD.

 
NOTHING SACRED 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 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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