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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Georgy Girl (1966)

"If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to get you lot organized!"
- Georgy (Lynn Redgrave)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: July 04, 2005

Stars: Lynn Redgrave, Alan Bates, James Mason, Charlotte Rampling
Other Stars: Bill Owen, Clare Kelly, Rachel Kempson, Denise Coffey, Peggy Thorpe-Bates, Dandy Nichols, Dorothy Alison, Terence Soall, Jolyan Booth
Director: Silvio Narizzano

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mature themes, adult situations)
Run Time: 01h:38m:44s
Release Date: July 05, 2005
UPC: 043396049253
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-B+A- D+

DVD Review

"Hey there, Georgy Girl..."

Amidst swinging London, Lynn Redgrave plays Georgy, a somewhat dumpy wallflower living in the shadow of her beautiful and free-spirited roomate, Meredith (Charlotte Rampling). Georgy enjoys simple pleasures, goofing off with the students at her day care, or putting on outrageous spectacles, but love, and a traditional home life are elusive. Her parents serve the house of the wealthy James Leamington (James Mason), a married man who wants Georgy as his mistress, but Georgy has a secret crush on Jos (Alan Bates), Meredith's steady boyfriend. Although Jos also finds interest in Georgy, she is not the kind of girl he wants to be involved with, preferring the simple and detached carnal relationship he has with Meredith, despite her mood swings and overall flightiness.

After receiving an official offer to take up house with James, and increasingly disappointed in Meredith's careless attitudes, Georgy finds herself with Jos, only to have Meredith reveal that she is now pregnant with his child, which prompts Jos to want to marry her. With her dreams fulfilled vicariously through Meredith, Georgy is estatic, but Meredith finds the pregnancy a burden, becoming indifferent to the idea of a baby, which threatens her carefree lifestyle. Jos discovers he is really in love with Georgy; meanwhile, James' situation opens new possibilities with the death of his wife. Can Georgy find true happiness amid these turbulent circumstances?

When first released in 1966, the subject matter, such as Meredith's cavalier attitude towards abortion or her inferred promiscuity, would have been fairly shocking for audiences, an effect that has diminished with time. Despite its rather serious themes, the film is whimsical, driven by the childlike qualities of its three principles. Georgy won't take seriously her father's constant urgings to mature and present herself in a more appealing fashion, instead hiding behind her frumpiness as a way of insulating her longing to be wanted, to have purpose. Meredith is interested soley in her own amusement, living for the moment with little regard for how her behavior affects anyone else, especially Georgy, whose dedication is rewarded by constant denigration and abandonment. Jos can't take anything seriously either, and isn't ready for a relationship that is anything more than superficial. With a baby looming in the future, each finds their own way of dealing with it—Georgy immersing herself in the idea of vicarious motherhood, Jos trying to behave in a more reponsible manner, and Meredith dismissing the whole process as an abhorent inconvenience she wants no part of. The only one who truly recognizes Georgy's virtues is James, a mature man who could offer the comfort and security Georgy desires, but whose advances she routinely averts.

Georgy Girl became a hit, in large part because the central character was identifiable to a large, mostly female audience. While challenged by her less than spectacular looks, Georgy still manages to come out ahead due to her honest personality and convictions. She is a woman with ideals, integrity and compassion, standing in sharp contrast with her beautiful but emotionally shallow roomate. The men in her life both offer something she desires—the attractiveness and playfulness of Jos, the security the older James can offer.

Redgrave, who got the part after her sister Vanessa backed out, received an Oscar nomination for her performance, and does a marvelous job as Georgy, giving her a very warm and likeable quality, with plenty of quirks to keep her interesting. Rampling is superb as the callous and bitchy Meredith, who, despite her good looks, becomes increasingly unappealing as the film wears on. Bates does a good job in an obnoxious role, and Mason rounds out the main cast admirably, even if his character has a few moral issues to attend to.

Based on the novel by Margaret Forster (who co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Nichols) Georgy Girl would become Canadian director Silvio Narizzano's (Why Shoot the Teacher?, Die! Die! My Darling!), most celebrated work, earning four Oscar nominations, including one for its theme song by The Seekers, which bookends the film.

"... And, oh, what a change there'd be/The world would see/A new Georgy girl."

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The black-and-white image quality is generally pretty good, although there is room for improvement. Greyscale rendition is fairly even from mid to light tones, but things are a little less defined towards the darker end of the scale. Several scenes are overly dark, and shadow detail is iffy. The image is well defined and free of any cross-coloration, but is slightly on the soft side throughout. Source debris is relatively minor, and not overly distracting, but frequent.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The mono audio track is clean for the most part, suitable for the film, but nothing to write home about. The sound is reasonably full sounding, but there is some mild distortion in places. Dialogue is fairly easy to discern, although some is obscured by the accents.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Japanese with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring D.E.B.S., Hitch, Best of the '80s compilation
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Extras are limited to a trailer reel for D.E.B.S., Hitch and a Best of the '80s compilation (Ghostbusters, St. Elmo's Fire, Stripes, Stand by Me, The Big Chill).

I do need to comment on the sloppy packaging, which not only repeatedly gets the name of one of the principle characters wrong (Joe instead of Jos), it also misspells the director's name.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

While it may have lost some of its original impact over the years, Georgy Girl still delivers an enjoyable romp through the life of a plain young woman torn between two men vying for her affections, while dealing with the side effects of her attractive roommate's social indulgences. Aptly directed by Silvio Narizzano, with exceptional performances by its cast, the film continues to entertain. Sony has delivered an adequate, barebones release. Recommended.


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