11/18/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

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

Docurama presents
Be Good, Smile Pretty (2003)

"The problem has been, even though I had this longing, even though I wanted to know about my father, even though I wanted to talk about him, I never brought him up because I knew that bringing him up would hurt the people that knew him."
- Tracy Droz Tragos

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: February 25, 2004

Stars: Tracy Droz Tragos, Judy Droz Keyes
Other Stars: John Kerry
Director: Tracy Droz Tragos

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 56m:02s
Release Date: January 27, 2004
UPC: 767685957639
Genre: documentary


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

DVD Review

Be Good, Smile Pretty is the emotionally hard-hitting directorial debut from documentary filmmaker Tracy Droz Tragos, and it is not only a very deeply personal film, but also one that seems to willingly invite the viewer along with her as she struggles to learn more about her dead father, a man that she never knew.

In 1969, Tragos' naval officer father, Lt. Donald Glenn Droz, was killed in Viet Nam when she was only four months old, and though her mother remarried not long after, there was apparently always some kind of percolating emptiness inside about who her father was. According to this film, that empty feeling inside Tragos only deepened through over 30 years of living with a family that chose to simply never talk about it.

That all changed in March of 2001, when Tragos was cruising the internet and, on a whim, decided to do a search on her father's name. The results revealed a graphic article detailing the events surrounding his death, which occurred during a brutal river ambush, and as she read things she had never been told, it opened some kind of repressed emotional floodgates. As this documentary unfolds, Tragos turns the camera on her mother and it becomes painfully clear that perhaps there was much that apparently wasn't discussed during the preceding 34 years, and in an often awkwardly voyeuristic way, we are given an up-close look at these personal revelations.

In Be Good, Smile Pretty, which takes its name from the way Lt. Droz used to sign his letters home, over the course of just 56 heart-rending minutes, Tragos pulls fragments of information from a variety of sources: her mother, her grandmother, and her uncle, as well as Sen. John Kerry (who was a friend of Lt. Droz) and the recollections of men who served alongside her father. As expected, these memories are tear-filled, but in the end they eventually blend together to finally paint a picture of the father that only saw Tracy Droz Tragos once, just two weeks before his death.

Far be it from me to know the right way for a parent to have handled such a tragic situation, but witnessing the things Tragos learned just from her mother, things that finally personalized and put a face to what had mostly been just a name, seem downright shameful to have been kept from her for so long. A box in the attic reveals a 32-year-old taped phone conversation, and we are led to believe this is the first time Tragos has ever heard her father's voice, and somehow it just didn't seem like the kind of thing a mother would have or should have kept from her daughter.

Wars do shatter lives, that is hardly a new revelation. But it is devastatingly compelling, and maybe a bit inspiring, to see such deep grief eventually replaced by a kind of peaceful understanding, and Tragos has made a very personal film that documents that experience.

And, yes, it will make you cry.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Be Good, Smile Pretty consists largely of video camera interviews, and the 1.85:1 nonanamorphic widescreen transfer is more than serviceable. Color levels do fluctuate depending on available lighting, and much of the film has a home movie feel to it, which only enhances the personal element.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is a basic and perfunctory 2.0 stereo mix that does just what it needs to, which is deliver snippets of spontaneous dialogue understandably. The presentation here is very simple, but that does little to detract from the emotional intensity of the material.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
12 Other Trailer(s) featuring Speaking in Strings, Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back, Paul Taylor: Dancemaker, Sound and Fury, Brother's Keeper, Go Tigers!, Keep The River On Your Right, Porn Star, The Smashing Machine, Sophie B. Hawkins: The Cream Will Rise, Todd McFarlane: The Devil You Know, See How They Run
2 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
Extras Review: The extras are listed as extended interviews, but I suppose you could also call them deleted scenes, but either way it amounts to over a half hour of additional tear-inducing footage. The first segment is called The Children (20m:26s), and features five interviews with other children who lost a father in Viet Nam. The second piece is entitled Viet Nam Veterans (15m:46s), and it also contains five separate interviews, this time with some of the vets featured in the documentary.

Also included are filmmaker background and bios, a brief photo gallery, and a batch of Docurama trailers. The disc is cut into 12 chapters.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Be Good, Smile Pretty is an incredibly moving and heartfelt journey of discovery that examines one woman's desire to learn about the father she never knew, a naval officer killed during a river ambush in Viet Nam when she was only four months old. This isn't a war film that takes sides, rather, it focuses on one man who died tragically and certainly before his time.

Tracy Droz Tragos' documentary about her search is unflinching in its revealing, raw emotion, and I defy you to watch this and not weep right alongside with her.

Yet another powerful winner from Docurama, this one is highly recommended.

 


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

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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