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This review originally appeared in issue 7 of THE CINEMA LASER.

 

NOTHING SACRED

For years, film buffs have been subjected to fourth and fifth generation slop prints of NOTHING SACRED that were barely in color. I don't know how many times I saw NOTHING SACRED on television and thought that it was a tinted black and white movie. Now thanks to Lumivision and Eden Productions, NOTHING SACRED ($40) can be appreciated in its full Technicolor glory.

Produced by Selznick International, NOTHING SACRED tells the story of the newspaper trade and how they would do anything for the "big" story. Carole Lombard and Frederic March star in this classic comedy. March is the ambitious newspaper man looking to redeem himself after his last big story turned out to be a fraud. Lombard is the woman believed to be dying of radium poising, whom his newspaper builds into a national institution. She isn't really dying, but why should she let a little thing like that stop her from enjoying a free trip to New York. As you might expect, the truth becomes know and complications ensue.

This edition of NOTHING SACRED is the best that Laserdisc collectors are ever likely to see, since the film has fallen into the public domain. The transfer is very, very good, and the colors are rich and vibrant. However, there are problems. Since Technicolor was a process that required three strips of film to produce the three primary colors, age takes its toll on three separate pieces of film at different rates. There are a couple of short passages in the film where the Technicolor matrices (three film elements) have shrunk at different rates, causing parts of the image to shift out of alignment. This causes the image to strobe a bit. While this is a bit distracting, this is the best that NOTHING SACRED will look without an expensive restoration. Since this film is in the public domain, it is doubtful that anyone will invest a million dollars or more, to restore NOTHING SACRED to pristine condition. As for the digital monaural soundtrack, there are a few pops and clicks but nothing too distracting. The Sony DADC pressing was fine, look for side two run just a shade over sixty minutes.

Also included on this release, are two Mack Sennett, two color Technicolor shorts featuring Ms. Lombard, and home movies of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. The Mack Sennett shorts are extremely well preserved and do manage to get a few chuckles.

 
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Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1996 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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