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Fox Home Entertainment presents
From the Terrace (1960)

"I rather like the view from the terrace. I saw you and suddenly liked the view even more."
- Alfred Eaton (Paul Newman)

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: June 17, 2003

Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ina Balin
Other Stars: Myrna Loy, Leon Ames, Felix Aylmer, Partick O'Neal, George Grizzard, Elizabeth Adams, Malcolm Atterbury, Dorothy Adams, Ted de Corsia, Raymond Greenleaf, Barbara Eden
Director: Mark Robson

Manufacturer: Panasonic MDMC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations)
Run Time: 02h:23m:55s
Release Date: June 03, 2003
UPC: 024543075493
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

From the Terrace is an overlong, occasionally tedious drama redeemed by the talents of Hollywood's most endearing couple both on screen and off, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. In their third film together, the blue-eyed legend portrays David Alfred Eaton, a young navy man returning home to Philadelphia following World War II. Most family reunions celebrating the safe return of a loved one from the battle lines are joyous occasions, but David's is bittersweet as he reunites with his fragile mother Martha (Myrna Loy), whose ongoing drinking problem has gotten to the point that she requires the services of a trained nurse 24/7. With her emotional state fueled by her uncaring, workaholic husband Samuel (Leon Ames), Martha has turned to another man for comfort, which doesn't exactly set up a warm-hearted reunion between father and son.

Already at odds with him over future directions and insistence that David follow in the old man's footsteps, younger Eaton meets with old friend Lex Porter (George Grizzard). Together they begin laying out plans to start up an aircraft business. In between brainstorming, the two take in a dinner party where beautiful blonde socialite Mary St. John (Woodward) catches David's eye. Already engaged to rich doctor Jim Roper (Patrick O'Neal), it doesn't dissuade him from cutting in to share a dance. Living up to Lex's description as a spoiled, conceited brat, Eaton is smitten while Mary doesn't want to have anything to do with him, but yet she can't help but be attracted to his rebellious nature. Accepting his invite to go yachting the next day, mutual feelings lead to passionate kisses and it's not long before one engagement is broken and another born, much to the disgust of Mary's parents, who don't want her to get involved with David's troubled brethren. Eventually, they are won over by his charm and wedding plans move forward.

Mere minutes before the nuptials commence, David learns that his father has passed away. More angst follows as high hopes for the aircraft venture dissolves into a sea of growing pains and conflicting ideas that force Eaton out of his partnership with Lex.

Fate steps in by way of a chance meeting with millionaire James MacHardie (Felix Aylmer), a Wall Street whiz who takes David under his wing by giving him a job. Long hours and lengthy business trips threaten the Eaton's already shaky marriage, with Mary giving in to temptation from old flame Roper. While on one such travel stop for MacHardie, David meets Ralph Benziger (Ted de Corsia), a coalmine owner whose classy demeanor and down-to-earth family exemplify the type of existence he's been searching for. Additionally, he falls hard for the couple's young daughter, Natalie, (Ina Balin). Eaton wonders if he's doomed to a variation of what closed up his father's feelings or if he will muster the courage to go his own way.

Although all the elements to make an involving cinematic soap opera are prevalent, From the Terrace falls a few steps shy of its goal due to Robson's leaden direction, its extreme length and a stifling screenplay courtesy of the usually more dependable Ernest Lehman, adapting from John O'Hara's best selling novel, which was much more frank and open than the film could be (owing to strictly enforced production codes). But good performances from Newman and Woodward help keep the film watchable, with ample support from Ina Balin (one of the screen's lost beauties who could hold her own with marquee-level talent) and the legendary Myrna Loy in a terrific, albeit brief role as David's alcoholic mother; a dramatically different change of pace from the confident women she normally portrayed.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Other than ghosting-type anomalies in some of the darker scenes and mild edge enhancement, this is another well done transfer from Fox, made more special since it's a budget release. Colors are slightly faded, but still rich; black and sharpness levels are good.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: This is where this disc truly shines. Although I've had problems with Fox's earlier stereophonic efforts in the late 1950s, by the release of Terrace, the studio's audiophiles had really gotten their act together as judged by this very wide, beautifully mixed and balanced 2.0 track that impresses. Commanding low end enhances Elmer Bernstein's lush scoring and even though I'm not wild about directional dialogue, at least the tonal quality remains consistent as voices shift across the soundstage.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 40 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, The Long, Hot Summer, Hombre, The Verdict, The Hustler
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual
Layers Switch: 01hr:12m:25s

Extra Extras:
  1. Movie Tone News: "From The Terrace Star Mobbed"
Extras Review: Other than another brief Movie Tone archival offering, extras are sparse, but Newman fans will appreciate the abundance of vintage trailers that span the years from 1958 to 1982.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

For those wishing to see some early Paul Newman, From The Terrace offers a chance to view (the other) "Ol' Blue Eyes" in an early collaboration with wife Joanne Woodward. But with the frustratingly slow pacing, inhibited storyline and meandering tendencies, one would be better to check out of the couple's more superior works currently available, including Winning, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge and The Long, Hot Summer. Still, a nicely done transfer from Fox makes it worthy of a rental for the devoted.


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