11/28/2014  
American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered on DVD Dec 2Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec 9Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With 'Four'...
American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered on DVD Dec...
Derek Hough, Julianne Hough, Maria Menounos, Mark Balla...
"Dancing with the Stars" season 19 crowns a winner ...
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
NOTE BY NOTE: THE MAKING OF STEINWAY L1037...
VAMPIRE PARTY...
GIMME SHELTER (BLU-RAY)...
THE CREW...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Les Girls (1957)

"There's no doubt about it, I just love Les Girls."
- Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly)

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: May 11, 2003

Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, Tania Elg
Other Stars: Patrick Macnee, Leslie Phillips, Jacques Bergerac, Henry Daniell, Stephen Vercoe, Philip Tonge, Cyril Delevanti
Director: George Cukor

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:54m:12s
Release Date: April 22, 2003
UPC: 012569570924
Genre: musical


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

DVD Review

Les Girls is a notable film for two reasons: Save for his brief musical numbers with Fred Astaire in That's Entertainment II, this George Cukor-directed effort marked Gene Kelly's last full-length, big screen appearance for the studio that made him a star. For Cole Porter aficionados, the 1957 release was bittersweet as it would be the final project graced by original songs from the legendary composer.

Set in Europe, Les Girls spins the tale of cabaret dancer Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall), the focus of a libel suit instigated by former roomie/stage partner Angéle Ducross (Taina Elg), brought upon by revelations made in her memoirs. With American export Joy Henderson (Mitzi Gaynor), the threesome were part of a musical act produced by Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly), an "all work and no play" professional whose whole life revolved around the stage. Or at least, until fetching Angéle entered the picture.

After mixing business with pleasure, the twosome attempt to keep their mutual admiration society under wraps, failing miserably. Further complicating matters is Angéle's fiancé, Pierre (Jacques Bergerac), who pops in on a performance. Unnerved by his presence, the stage equivalent of a train wreck follows as she attempts to go incognito. Angered at the display, Barry gives Angéle her walking papers. Hours later, Sybil returns to their flat to find the heartbroken lover lying face down after a (thankfully) unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Angéle gets her turn in court with drastically different recollections, casting Sybil as a blithering drunk prone to frequent crying jags and impromptu opera singing. Anxious to keep the act going, Angéle concocts a fictitious story for Barry that Sylvia's chemical dependency is her way of dealing with intense feelings for him. Romance blossoms and all seems cheerio until the English tart's boyfriend surfaces. As the trial winds down to deliberation status, a surprise witness appears, offering yet a third version of events with an interesting twist.

Les Girls isn't held in the same regard as other entries on Kelly's resume, but this DVD may change all that. More plot-driven and sophisticated than your average songfest without sacrificing the charms of the classic musical, today's audience will likely appreciate its virtues more so than moviegoers did back in the day. Playing a harder edged yet toned down variation on his Don Lockwood role in Singin' In The Rain, Kelly is as smooth as ever in a performance that relies more on his gift for light comedy and less on song-and-dance showmanship (although that's not to say Kelly's left his dancing shoes at home).

The trio of lovely ladies compliment their co-star, and each other, beautifully: Kay Kendall's Golden Globe®-winning turn as Lady Sybil is delightful, Taina Elg offers appealing charm and Mitzi Gaynor is quiet sexiness personified (making one wonder why this talented dancer/singer never caught on with movie audiences). In the "before they were stars" department, Avengers fans will perk up to the sight of a pre-John Steed Patrick Macnee in a small role as one of the courtroom participants.

Given its low profile in movie musical history, I braced myself for disappointment as far as Cole Porter's score. Like most composers whose later works are unfairly compared to their golden years, the musical wunderkind proves he still had a knack for composing melodies that stick in your head, including Ladies in Waiting, the romantic Ca C'est L'Amour, You're Just Too, Too (which includes a sly Kendall reference to an "animated" moment from a vintage musical) and the show-stopping Why Am I So Gone (About That Gal)? that features Kelly (with wonderful support from Gaynor) at his very best, in a wicked parody of Marlon Brando's The Wild One.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Consistent mastering job preserving the film's rich Metro color that is very flattering to Orry-Kelly's Oscar®-winning costume designs and Richard Pefferle/Edwin B. Willis' evocative sets. Only some mild edge enhancement keeps this transfer out of the error-free column, but those instances are mercifully short.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
English, French (Mono)yes


Audio Transfer Review: Oui, oui, oui! From the crackle of the snare drum to the brightness of the brass, an amazing aural experience for a film nearly five decades old; at times the presence is so immediate during the musical numbers, you'll feel like you're in the orchestra pit by the conductor. As for dialogue, gimmicky and distracting effects prominent during this era of filmmaking are not as extreme here, thanks to an effective mix that doesn't completely isolate lines to a single audio channel. Bravo!

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 52 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual
Layers Switch: 00h:51m:40s

Extra Extras:
  1. Cole Porter In Hollywood: Ca C’est L’Amour (hosted by Taina Elg)
  2. Vintage Cartoon: Flea Circus (directed by Tex Avery)
Extras Review: Like other titles in Warner's Classic Musicals, extras are on the light side, but fun. Cole Porter In Hollywood: Ca C'est L'Amour is an 8-minute look back at the film hosted by co-star Taina Elg that includes tales of the studio's original choices for the leads (Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, Elg), co-star Gaynor's affinity for carrots and the sad story of Kendall's ultimately fatal bout with leukemia that would take her life just two years later.

On a happier note, the disc's other major bonus is a gem: Flea Circus, a 7-minute Paris-themed cartoon, directed by one of the masters of animation, the great Tex Avery. Centering on a lovesick clown flea who falls for the lead dancer of the troupe, the short is filled with laugh-out-loud sight gags and really whets our appetite for Warner's upcoming Looney Tunes collections.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Running a brisk 114 minutes with charm and melody to spare, Les Girls is a fun musical comedy that will surprise first time viewers and provide warm satisfaction to its supporters who knew of its greatness from its original release. Another winner from Warner's Classic Musicals line, hopefully marking the beginning of more razzle-dazzle goodies to come.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

biography, celebrity, dancewars, derek hough, julianne hough, maria menounos, mark ballas, sadie robertson, geronimo, shake it off, music, one direction, four, take me home, midnight memories, taylor swift, television, dancing with the stars, alfonso ribeiro, witney carson, janel parrish, val chmerkovskiy, horror, demi lavato, miley cyrus, the tj show, heart attack, sonny with a chance, disney channel stars, sports, katy perry, superbowl, half time, comedy, drama, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store