Friday, February 9, 2007

ROXIE HART (20th Century-Fox 1942) Fox Home Video

Never has a girl with so little class done so much damage. When a 1920s showgirl's husband shoots a ‘burglar’ in her apartment, Roxie Hart (1942) (Ginger Rogers) decides to take the wrap.

Why? Good business...and because, outside of fifteen minutes in the pen, Roxie becomes the biggest little murderess in old Chicago. Newspaper men court her, the tabloids report her every move and become her greatest sympathizers. What’s a girl to do but lap it all up in stride and bask in the glory of infamous notoriety?

Based on a true story, though played strictly for laughs, this bawdy, gaudy and luscious Roxy kicks up her high-stepping heels in one of the most publicized trials of the last century. There's much to admire, not the least of which is Rogers outstanding central performance that proves her talents are far more extensive than performing as one half of the most successful dance team in film history; Astaire & Rogers. Adolph Menjou costars as Roxy's ubiquitous attorney – a man so focused on winning that he really doesn’t much care whether Roxie’s innocent or guilty.

Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! This one's a winner. Despite a few scenes that lay claim to considerable film grain, the DVD from Fox Home Video is minted from a remarkably clean camera negative. The gray scale is wonderfully realized, with rich, deep, solid blacks and very clean whites.
Occasionally, contrast appears a tad low.

For the most part what you get is a genuinely impressive looking transfer that clearly has been the benefactor of some major digital restoration. The audio has been re-channeled to stereo with predictable dated characteristics. A couple of trailers illustrate just how awful this DVD might have looked if Fox had not worked some digital magic on this print. So get ready to shoot it out with Roxie Hart on DVD. Highly recommended.

FILM RATING (out of 5 - 5 being the best)



No comments: