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A Bill Of Divorcement Blu-ray Review

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“A Bill Of Divorcement” is a stagy melodrama.

In 1932’s “A Bill Of Divorcement,” a family goes through quite an ordeal. At the start of the film, the young Sidney is love with Kit and her mother (Margaret) is on the verge of marrying Gray and divorcing her husband (Hilary) who is in a mental institute. Unbeknownst to anyone, Hilary escapes the institute (in a better state) and comes home only to discover that things are not the same and never will be for him or anyone else in the family.

The George Cukor directed “A Bill Of Divorcement” isn’t a film that gets mentioned much these days, but it is known for being the big screen debut of Katharine Hepburn. As it turns out, Hepburn is the main talking point of this film as she makes quite an impression in her first role before her eventual superstardom. Her scenes with the legendary John Barrymore are particularly rewarding. Barrymore himself is also notable here as he has a lot to work with in terms of his complex and tragic character.

Outside of the two powerhouse performances, the movie itself is a rather old fashioned early talkie Hollywood melodrama. The acting (outside of Barrymore and Hepburn) is uneven, it’s overly dramatic and overly written, and the lack of locations and settings makes it feel extremely stagy. Sure, some of the drama (especially in the end) is effective, but getting there can be a bit laborious.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.33:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W film has some print defects but that’s to be expected considering the film’s age. Overall though, it is a fine print.

Audio Track: Unspecified. How does it sound? While a little scratchy at points, the audio track does the job.

Extras: Trailers for “The Young In Heart,” “Intermezzo,” “The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer,” and “Since You Went Away.”

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July 8, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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