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Bachelor In Paradise Blu-ray Review

“Bachelor In Paradise” is a solid Bob Hope vehicle.

Directed by Jack Arnold, “Bachelor In Paradise” is a 1961 romantic comedy/50’s suburbia satire that revolves around the character of Arthur J. Niles. Arthur is a famed author of cultural lifestyle books who is currently “researching” his latest book until he is called back to America. It seems his business manager has robbed him blind and he owes a massive amount of money. Forced to stay in America until his debt is paid, Arthur decides to write a cultural book about American lifestyles. Going under an alias, he ends up doing research in a California suburban neighborhood called Paradise Village which is filled with families. Being a bachelor, Arthur’s presence not only shakes up the community, but Arthur soon discovers he is very much out of his element. However, Arthur soon begins to change his tune when he falls for a female bachelor/Paradise Village employee named Rosemary.

“Bachelor In Paradise” (no, not the reality show) starts off strong as it comes across as a playful satire, a Bob Hope comedy vehicle, a rom com, and a fish out of water story. Not only do you get to see comedic bits involving a character in the sarcastic Arthur who has been overseas for 14 years trying to adjust to American life again, but you also find the character upending a somewhat uptight community that is so set in its ways. Alas, that initial set-up eventually devolves into a standard predictable romantic comedy as Arthur changes and finds love with Rosemary. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good stuff in the second half (especially the babysitting sequence), but it never quite lives up to the promising set-up. It simply loses steam once the middle act rolls around and begins to drag a bit until its inevitable conclusion. 

One thing that is consistent all the way through though is Bob Hope himself. Yes, the comedic actor has no shortage of one-liners here, but more than that, the actor actually has a dimensional character to work with. He’s not just a comedic relief character but rather a character with an actual story arc. Lana Turner might not be in peak form here from an acting perspective, but she plays well off of Hope. Paula Prentiss (the neighbor Linda) and Agnes Moorehead (a Judge) stand out the most in terms of the supporting cast.

One thing that I found quite surprising about ‘Bachelor’ is just how beautiful the movie looks. Everything from the grocery store to Paradise Village has a really stylish look to it thanks to cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg, It does not look like the usual 50’s/60’s comedy.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? Viewers can expect a crisp MetroColor print.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A satisfactory 2.0 track.

The lone extra is a “Bachelor In Paradise” trailer.

May 13, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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