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Home Vision Entertainment presents
Plucking The Daisy (1956)

Agnes Dumont: "It's easy to find a dream man, but what's difficult is.."
Daniel Roy: "That he loves you."
Agnes: "To be sure he loves me."

- Brigitte Bardot, Daniel GÈlin

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: October 03, 2001

Stars: Brigitte Bardot, Daniel GÈlin, Robert Hirsch
Other Stars: Jacques Dumesnil, Darry Cowl, Jacques Bouillaud, Georges Chamarat, Jacques Fervil, Jacques Jouanneau, Mauricet, Yves-Marie Maurin, Madeleine BarbulÈe, Anne Collette, Gabrielle Fontan, Luciana Paluzzi, Nadine Tallier
Director: Marc AllÈgret

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (Nudity, language)
Run Time: 01h:41m:44s
Release Date: September 25, 2001
UPC: 037429160923
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- B-A-B- C-

DVD Review

Turning out six feature performances including her landmark role in her husband Roger Vadim's directorial debut, ...And God Created Woman in 1956, Brigitte Bardot established herself as the foremost French sex symbol, catching foreign audiences and (especially) censors off guard with her raw sexuality. These films, while not fully exposing their star, certainly contained enough peripheral nudity and suggestiveness to raise eyebrows in conservative America. The marketing campaigns did much to heighten the titillation; Plucking The Daisy (En effeuillant la marguerite) which Vadim co-wrote with director Marc AllÈgret, was alternately titled Mademoiselle Striptease, playing on a bad girl image that the same year's Naughty Girl had used in its title. Like Naughty Girl (also co-written by Vadim), Plucking The Daisy is a pretty light and harmless comedy, though it does rely on Bardot's appreciable assets to make it work, as much as her acting abilities. While a striptease becomes the center of attention in Plucking The Daisy, Bardot's bareness is carefully obscured, unlike some of her co-stars who casually bare all.

Agnes Dumont proves that less is more as her solution to the mess she has gotten into is to shed her threads for the prize money in a striptease contest. Leaving her hometown of Vichy and her crusty, scandal-fearing general of a father behind, Dumont heads for her brother's house in Paris, where she hopes to further her career as an author after her anonymous debut with the scandal ridden En effeuillant la marguerite becomes the talk of the town. Unfortunately, her plans are a bit short, and her lack of funds for the train ticket puts her in debt to a pair of newspaper reporters sharing the journey. While photographer Roger Vital (Robert Hirsch) falls for Dumont on first sight, his reporter colleague, Daniel Roy (Daniel GÈlin), whose ticket was given to Dumont, figures the young girl as an opportunistic scam artist, especially after the address she gives them for her stay in Paris turns out to be the Balzac Museum. However, her intentions are honorable, as her brother had supplied his work address under the guise that it was the house he had purchased from earnings as a poet, and Agnes doesn't realize what the residence actually is when she lets herself in and sets up house in her brother's absence. As her new reporter boyfriend tries to unravel the mysteries of this enchanting young woman, it is only when she discovers that the book she sold for living expenses is a rare collectible, that her predicament to raise cash fast points her attention to a local stripping contest. Her modesty inspires her to undress in disguise, which catches the attention of her new boyfriend, who also takes an interest in uncovering the masked woman, leaving Agnes playing a split personality that only compounds her problem, especially when she finds out where her adventure will be taking her next!

Plucking The Daisy makes the most of misunderstandings as it weaves its plot amidst the many cast members, always upping the ante just when things didn't look like they could get any worse. It is playful fun and misadventure, with Bardot's role both in and out of disguise creating the opportunity for her womanizing boyfriend to show his true colors, or so it seems. The first half of the film sets the circumstances up, and gives us a good overview of each character, with the flood gates opening on the comedy going into the last half now that we know who is who and what is what. While this certainly wouldn't compare to ...And God Created Woman as a classic, it does a good job of entertaining, and Bardot commands the screen in an innocent, yet equally sensual fashion. Her co-stars conspire to keep everything moving until the end, the timing is tight, and the staging effective. Marc AllÈgret manages to keep the mayhem under control, pulling everything together in the nick of time. If this didn't have Bardot as its centerpiece, I'm sure it would be lost to obscurity, despite being fairly whimsical and harmless entertainment. As a Bardot vehicle however, it serves to reinforce the legendary sex appeal of a 20-year-old girl, and offers yet another opportunity for audiences to ogle a goddess while she shakes and shimmys for the camera.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: For the most part the black & white image quality here is nothing short of stunning. Detail is held incredibly crisp and almost three dimensional, without annoying interference patterns in even the finest patterns. Gray levels are solid from the lightest to the darkest. Only a slight bit of racking, the occasional print defect and a few instances of aliasing detract from a perfect presentation.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoFrenchno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio leaves a bit to be desired, with few fairly rough edits causing pops and some crackling and hiss from the source, and frequency range is understandably limited. Overall though, the presentation is pretty good, with defects being fairly infrequent.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring ...And God Created Woman, The Night Heaven Fell
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Extras are fairly limited, comprised of a thorough Bardot filmography and trailers for ...And God Created Woman, The Night Heaven Fell, both presented in anamorphic widescreen and Plucking the Daisy in full-frame. While I appreciate the anamorphic presentation, it is somewhat annoying to have to switch viewing modes on a widescreen set to properly watch these three trailers.

The cover lists newly translated subtitles, though even my limited French could pick out fairly substantial differences between what was said and what was subtitled.

The insert contains an essay on Bardot and the film, though the inference that Bardot "bares all" in this film is, unless I am completely blindóand there are certain things one does pay attention to while reviewing a film like thisónot at all accurate, though her co-stars do provide some full frontal nudity. Also included are a set of four Bardot postcards featuring tinted photographs of the star against psychedelic backgrounds, which I thought was a nice touch.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Bardot fans have another stellar presentation from Home Vision with Plucking The Daisy. A fun little farce with Brigitte in the center of the mayhem, once again proving why she became one of the world's leading sex icons. The antics are humorous, the results unpredictable, and the complicity outragious. Considering its age, its casual nudity must have raised more than a few eyebrows in its time. Worthy of a look, though try not to stare.

 


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