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Party Girl Blu-ray Review

“Party Girl” mixes genres in a unique way.

Directed by Nicholas Ray (who is perhaps best known for “Rebel Without A Cause”), 1958’s “Party Girl” is part gangster movie, part romance, part film noir and part musical. The story takes place in Chicago during the 1930’s and focuses on a lawyer (Tommy) who represents gangsters and a chorus girl (Vicki). The two become lovers, but their romance is disrupted by legal troubles and Tommy getting in trouble with the criminal underworld led by crime boss Rico Angelo.

Don’t be misled by the title or cover art. “Party Girl” is not a party movie nor is it something cheery. In fact, it’s rather edgy for 1958 as there are scenes containing blood (including a surprisingly graphic shot of the aftermath of a suicide). There’s even a threat of acid being thrown on a face! The dark tone combined with the above mentioned mixture of genres gives the film a highly unusual tone which blends well with the colorful cinematic visuals from Nicholas Ray, cinematographer Richard J. Bronner and the Cinemascope/Metrocolor presentation. It’s the type of movie that has a bit of everything with romance, violence, musical numbers, death, etc.

Where “Party Girl” falls a little short is with the script by George Wells. Despite the mixture of genres, the story feels like it’s missing something. Perhap there needed to be a plot twist or another plot element to heighten the danger a bit more. As is, it’s a little too much of a traditional gangster story albeit from another perspective.

There’s a trio of quality performances here from Cyd Charisse (Vicki), Robert Taylor (Tommy) and Lee J. Cobb (Rico). Although Vicki could have been developed a tad bit more as a character, Charisse does a fine job in the role. Robert Taylor brings the layered character of Tommy to life while Cobb seems to be having a blast chewing the scenery as Rico.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? The Cinemascope and Metrocolor movie shines bright in hi-def. The colors are especially vibrant.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a clean 2.0 track.

The lone extra is a “Party Girl” trailer.

November 26, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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