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Image Entertainment presents
Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 1 (2000)

"In a town built on dreams, young men and women from around the world sought to fulfill a dream of their own... that elusive gift called stardom."
- Robert Culp (narrator)

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: July 26, 2002

Stars: Robert Culp, Marlon Brando, Candice Bergen, Mia Farrow, Ann-Margaret, Raquel Welch, Sharon Tate, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Plummer, Marni Nixon, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Mitzi Gaynor
Other Stars: Patty Duke, Albert Finney, Rich Little, Adam West, Burt Ward, Lyle Waggoner, Yvonne Craig, Daniel Massey, Angela Cartwright
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:30m:07s
Release Date: March 05, 2002
UPC: 014381096828
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 1 collects archival footage of screen tests and publicity materials of various well-known actors and actresses. Featured here are Candice Bergen, Mia Farrow, Patty Duke, Ann-Margaret, Raquel Welch, Sharon Tate, Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, Rich Little, Adam West and Burt Ward, Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyeli, Yvonne Craig and Daniel Massey. There are also The Sound of Music screen tests with Angela Cartwright, Christoper Plummer, Marni Nixon, Andy Williams, Mitzi Gaynor.

This is the kind of disc that might be more popular with school drama departments, libraries or hardcore film fans. The excellent aspect for its target audience is the way it is presented. Rather than creating a cheesy documentary and tiny clips from the material, the sequences are presented with the well narrated introductions and then the archive material is presented in full. Many times I have watched documentaries that contained too much ponderous and useless narration and only snippets of actual film. Here were have copious quantities of rare footage.

As might be expected with such a mixed bag of content, there are varying levels of interest. Mia Farrow appears in an audition for the part of Liesl in The Sound of Music, as well as a personality test for her starmaking role as Allison MacKenzie in TV's Peyton Place and costume tests for John and Mary, a film she ultimate starred in opposite Dustin Hoffman, who appears on this disc in a 20th Century Fox personality test and a stock test with another actor. One interesting sequence is to see vocalist Marni Nixon who had provided the singing voice for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Deborah Kerr in The King and I. The Sound of Music pops up a lot on this disc and Nixon is shown being tested by director Robert Wise for the role of Maria. Another amusing clip is singer Andy Williams testing a capella for a role in a remake of State Fair.

There is a stock test of a 28-year-old Sean Connery that captures the screen magic of that movie legend. Also includeded is a fascinating test of Connery trying for the role of a half Chinese, half English character in a war epic. Another legend, Marlon Brando, appears in a 1951 test for Viva Zapata! opposite Julie Harris. In the eventual film, Jean Peters would be cast opposite Brando. Beautiful Sharon Tate appears in a test for her most famous role as Jennifer North in Valley of the Dolls. Another sex symbol, Raquel Welch, shows up in a shower testing for Our Man Flint with James Coburn.

This disc is fun for movie fans and is perfect for that time when you want to put something on your player to show a guest something interesting but don't have time or the desire to watch a whole movie.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: There is a wide variety of quality in the source and a good job has been done to make the disc watchable.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: As in the video, there is a wide variety of sources involved with many different levels of audio quality. Although the original occasionally sounds tinny or muffled, a good job has been done to make the overall product decently listenable.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: In a way, this is a disc of extras, so it seems difficult to say there are none. At the right price, this is not a problem.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

A whole bunch of screen tests by a surprising variety of stars are found on Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 1. Definitely a fun "extra" disc for the cinephile.


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