Two Weeks in Another Town (Blu-ray)

July 12, 2018 6 Min Read

Review by: Jake Keet

Plot: What’s it about?

I sat down to watch the WB Archive Collection release of acclaimed director Vincente Minnelli’s Two Weeks in Another Town. While I had not heard of the film, my interest was piqued when I saw that Kirk Douglas was the star of the film. I love Paths of Glory and Ace in the Hole, so it is not that hard to convince me to watch a film with him in a leading role, Not knowing what to expect, I watched the film last night.

The plot of the film revolves around washed up actor Jack Andrus (Kirk Douglas.) As the film begins, Jack is finishing up a three year stay in a voluntary asylum after a nervous breakdown. When he receives a letter from a former director, Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson,) to come to Rome for a healthy salary to work on a picture, Jack decides to leave the asylum. Arriving at Cine Citta studios in Rome, Jack quickly realizes that he has been brought to Rome to simply do the dubbing for the film. As the filming continues, Jack sees an opportunity to prove himself again. At the same time, he meets a beautiful young woman named Veronica (Daliah Lavi) that is involved with the immature and troubled star of the picture David Drew (George Hamilton.) As Jack becomes involved in the film and with Veronica, his duplicitous former flame Carlotta (Cyd Charisse) that caused his crack-up begins to show him attention again.

The acting in the film is very enjoyable. Kirk Douglas and Edward G. Robinson are both good in their roles as the big names on the ticket, but the supporting cast do a solid job as well. The film is beautifully shot in CinemaScope by cinematographer Milton R. Krasner. Rome is a beautiful city and photographs well regardless of the decade, but photographing Cine Citta in the early Sixties is pretty special. The writing by Charles Schnee from Irwin Shaw’s novel is pretty competent, although the film doesn’t have the wow factor of some of the other dramas of that time. Luckily, the final ten minutes of the film are very well put together.

Overall, I found this little film to be pretty enjoyable. It is not the most memorable picture of all time, but the performances are on the money for the most part and the ending of the film is exceptional. This is one of those films that sort of breezes by and you could easily see yourself rewatching it if it was on TV one night, but you will probably forget most of what you saw by the next day.

Video: How’s it look?

Warner Archive Collection have provided a transfer in 1080p in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This transfer looks fantastic. The cinematography by Milton R. Krasner looks very beautiful. Sometimes timing is everything and I do not know that it would be possible to photograph Rome in the early Sixties in Cinemascope without capturing moments of beauty. It really is a great looking picture and the Blu-ray treatment for this release is stunning. Depth and detail are very good. It is crystal clear and the print was in good shape. Fans will be thrilled.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Unfortunately, the audio on this release is not up to the same quality as the video presentation. I noticed early in the film there was a little bit of hiss and some crackles and pops in the score by David Raksin. There are also some audio distortions throughout the film, and while they are few and far between, I noticed them while watching the film. This is a good but not great presentation, so have some reservations going into it.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

2 Weeks in Another Town is a good movie, but it is a little bit on the forgettable side. I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end, but I had basically forgotten it by the next morning. That said, it has a great ending that is as good an ending to a film as I am likely to watch this year. Fans of the film will be pleased to know that WB Archive has provided a truly stunning video presentation but might be dismayed to find the lack of supplements and the audio presentation is not without a few issues. Overall, I enjoyed the film and recommend a rental prior to a purchase.

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