07/31/2014  
Queen Margot: 20th Anniversary Director's Cut on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 26Homeland: The Complete Third Season on Digital HD Aug 19/DVD & Blu-ray Sep 9Revolution: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Aug 19Cuban Fury on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 29Draft Day on Digital HD Aug 19, VOD Aug 29, Blu-ray Combo Sep 2Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Top Shots (Week of July 28, 2014)...
Queen Margot: 20th Anniversary Director's Cut on Blu-ra...
Allison Williams Will Be Flying High as Peter Pan in NB...
An Unlikely Hero Blooms in Ibiza: Orlando Bloom Sort of...
Drew Barrymore's half-sister found dead ...

JB Joseph Burke

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

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

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

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

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

Paramount Home Video presents
My Friend Irma / My Friend Irma Goes West (1949-1950)

"It's just that Nature gave some girls talent and brians, and with you, it slipped you a mickey."
- Jane (Diana Lynn)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: October 26, 2005

Stars: John Lund, Marie Wilson, Diana Lynn, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis
Other Stars: Don De Fore, Hans Conreid, Corinne Calvet, Lloyd Corrigan, Percy Helton
Director: George Marshall, Hal Walker

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence)
Run Time: 03h:13m:14s
Release Date: October 25, 2005
UPC: 097360361643
Genre: musical comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ C+A-C+ D-

DVD Review

One of the popular radio comedies of the late 1940s was My Friend Irma, starring Marie Wilson as the supremely ditzy Irma, who has her friend Jane at wit's end with her stupidity. The motion picture adaptation probably would have disappeared without anyone but old time radio buffs remembering it if it weren't for one vital point: it marked the film debut and the rocketing to stardom of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This disc collects both the original 1949 film and its 1950 sequel, both prominently featuring Martin and Lewis.

Marie Wilson returns as Irma in the film adaptation, but Diana Lynn takes over the role of long-suffering Jane. Irma's fiancee Al (John Lund) is a Runyonesque character, chronically unemployed but always cooking a deal of some sort. When he realizes orange juice salesman Steve Laird (Martin) has a great singing voice, he muscles in to be Steve's manager, even though it means that Steve's buddy Seymour comes along with the deal. Meanwhile, Jane has a plan to get a job as the secretary to wealthy stockbroker Richard Rhinelander III (Don De Fore) and then convince him to marry her. But she starts to fall for Steve instead. Will she end up with either of them, once Irma gets done interfering?

No familiarity with the radio show is necessary; the plot and the characters quickly fall into readily-recognized archetypes from sitcoms of the last many decades. Wilson is pretty entertaining as Irma, though she doesn't have the inspired looniness of Gracie Allen. Many of the other characters have a distasteful edge to them; Al is constantly nasty to Irma, as is Jane, who's nakedly interested in gold digging for much of the picture (though things take a quite predictable turn at the end). Wilson's portrayal of Irma is so hopelessly vulnerable that being mean to her just seems cruel. Martin and Lewis do indeed make a big impression, with Dean coming off best. Lewis doesn't get a lot of screen time interacting with Martin here, with much of his comedy taking place in separate settings, though he does demonstrate his knack for physical comedy well. It's generally pretty forgettable fare other than their presence. Cagney fans will recognize a parody of a moment from The Public Enemy between Martin and Lewis that's pretty cute. The songs are fairly mediocre, but Martin certainly performs them well.

The sequel, helmed a year later, keeps the motion picture cast intact but seems to pretend that the ending of the prior film didn't happen. Things are back to the status quo for the most part, although Steve has moved up to television appearances. Unfortunately for him, he's paid in cans of spaghetti from the sponsor. But things seem to be looking up when a Hollywood producer C.Y. Sanford (Charles Evans) signs him to a picture contract and has the entire group head out to Hollywood. Unfortunately for them, Sanford was an escaped lunatic and there's no motion picture job waiting at all. Instead, Al gets mixed up with a bunch of crooked gamblers, Irma gets kidnaped, and Steve finds himself pursued by French actress Yvonne Yvonne (Corinne Calvet), while Seymour is convinced that he'll be the next Hopalong Cassidy.

The best part of the sequel is that it really lets Lewis go wild. There's a great bit with him interfering with Martin's performance of The Vagabond Song, taking over as conductor in a chaotic and anarchic sequence. He also gets off some surreal weirdness such as a wild imitation of Bette Davis in The Letter. There's more slapstick violence in this installment, making up for the relatively dull going in the first outing. The pacing is also better, keeping things moving at a more reasonable pace. Neither one is great art, but they're pleasant enough entertainments that certainly have historical importance.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The original full frame picture looks fine and is devoid of any serious defects. Both films are shot in black and white, and they exhibit a fine greyscale range; I suspect that this transfer has its origins in the original negative or interpositive since it has plenty of detail and crisp sharpness throughout. There are a few speckles at the title sequences, but really nothing objectionable at all.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The optical audio tracks unsurprisingly contain moderate levels of hiss and noise. Goes West also has a couple of loud crackles, but it's still reasonably good quality for the period. Dialogue is clear throughout and the songs sound fine if a bit undernourished.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There are no extras whatsoever. You'd think a release that has this significance might have at least a text essay, or even a couple bonus radio programs of the show, but it's just a missed opportunity.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

The essential beginnings of Martin and Lewis are here on a fun double feature disc that sports an attractive transfer.

 


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

celebrity, david schwimmer, zoe buckmanm sex with strangers, drama, television, peter pan live, nbc, allison williams, christopher walken, richard greenblatt, brian williams, girls, orlando bloom, justin bieber, cipriani restaurant, fight, drew barrymore, jessica barrymore, dead, national city, california, john drew barrymore, morning talk, live with kelly & michael, kelly ripa, mark consuelos, david burtka, neil patrick harris, adventure, movie, chelsea handler, whitney cummings, sandra bullock, million dollar cowboy bar in jackson hole, wyoming, diane mcmanus, southern soul all stars, kevin smith, ben affleck, jennifer garner, mallrats, chasing amy, dogma, jay and silent bob strike back, batman v superman: dawn of justice, comedy, box office, movies, horror, music, nick jonas, jonas brothers, jason evigan, r&b, chains, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact