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Gypsy Blu-ray Review

Gypsy.jpg

Rosalind Russell. That is all.

Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, “Gypsy” is a 1962 feature film adaptation of the hit Broadway show about a mother (Rose) determined to make her daughter (June) a vaudeville child star with the help of an agent/lover named Herbie. Rose’s other daughter (Louise) is essentially forced to back June up on the show as a supporting player along with a group of male dancers. The story jumps ahead to a point where June and company has outgrown the shown and are looking to forge their own path on their own. Rose decides to try and make Louise a star, but Louise ends up having her own career as a famed burlesque dancer with the stage name Gypsy Rose Lee.

At 143 minutes, “Gypsy” is a bit exhausting. Not only does the film have a lot of dialogue (which is at least snappy and well written), but it takes a good amount of time to start focusing on Natalie Wood’s Louise character. Moreover, it’s only in the last 25 minutes or so where Louise finally becomes Gypsy Rose Lee. I’m not sure why her rise to fame wasn’t a bigger part of the story, but it is what it is.

Flaws aside, there’s a lot to admire here. Even though Natalie Wood shines as the titular character (although she should have been given more screen time), it’s Rosalind Russell who steals the show. She owns the screen and her character by far has the most depth here. It’s really quite fascinating to trace her arc throughout the film as a loud mouth, determined mother exploiting her kids for her own dreams to a mother who loses so much in the process. There’s more going on there than just that, but I’m not here to spoil it. It should be noted that Karl Malden also gives a fine performance as the almost tragic Herbie. You really feel for this character in the end.

Given that this is a musical, it should be no surprise that there are some fantastic tunes here which are written by the legendary Stephen Sondheim. Among the best and arguably the most iconic from this show are “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You” which will undoubtedly get stuck in your head.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? An impressive transfer with colors that really pop.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A quality track all-around. When the songs play it really kick the track up a notch.

Extras: A “Gypsy” theatrical trailer and 2 outtake musical numbers titled “Together Wherever We Go” and “You’ll Never Get Away From Me.”

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September 15, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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