Plot: What’s it about?
Pete (Michael Sarrazin) is a humble cab driver with some big time dreams, but there’s little chance he’ll ever be able to live those dreams. He tries his hardest to make ends meet and maybe a little more, but he often finds himself short, even after a hard week at work. But he does have his loving wife Henrietta (Barbara Streisand), who likes to be called Henry for short. Even when Pete is on the brink of surrender, Henry is there to keep his spirits up and do whatever it takes to cheer him up, even if that means outrageous antics galore. She wants to make sure Pete can finish his education, as he can then move on to better chances, which would make them both much happier. When Pete tells her of a hot stock tip he learns about, Henry runs out and borrows three thousand dollars from a loan shark, but tells Pete it was from a rich uncle. So when the stock doesn’t go up as planned, Henry finds herself in one pickle after another, but if anyone can survive this mess, it would be her.
This is one of those movies that defies all logic for me, as it doesn’t seem like a flick I would like, but I end up watching more often than I’d care to admit. I am not fond of Barbara Streisand by any means, but her antics and comedic sense here are terrific, much better than I ever would have expected in fact. The supporting cast is also better than average, with such names as Michael Sarrazin, Estelle Parsons, and William Redfield on board. I don’t think this is a good movie in the usual sense of the words, but I can’t help but laugh throughout the picture, as it just strikes the right nerves with me, I suppose. The movie never tries to be much more than a madcap romp however, so perhaps that element adds a lot to the film, although the slapstick nature also makes it easy to swallow. So this is not the kind of flick to change your life or anything like that, but it is a light, humorous piece that is more worth a look. Even if you’re not a fan of Streisand, give this one a rental and see what you think, unless you’re totally opposed to the film, of course.
I’m no devoted fan of hers, but even I have to admit, Barbara Streisand is a pleasure to watch in For Pete’s Sake. I’ve seen most of her dramatic work and little else, so perhaps the humorous nature of this film is what made her seem so much better. I do think Streisand is a more than capable performer, but I suppose her choice in roles is what made me dislike her work. But here, she takes on a silly, comedic role and that made me like her, as she really shines in this performance. Now this is by no means a typical example of terrific acting, but Streisand seems natural within the role and uses the comedy well, which is more than enough in this case. I still haven’t been won over by Streisand, but this is very much a step in the right direction. You can also see Streisand in such films as The Way We Were, The Prince of Tides, Funny Girl, The Mirror Has Two Faces, and Yentl. The cast here also includes Michael Sarrazin (They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, Captive Hearts), Molly Picon (The Naked City, The Cannonball Run), William Redfield (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Fantastic Voyage), and Estelle Parsons (Bonnie and Clyde, Boys On The Side).
Video: How does it look?
For Pete’s Sake is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. This film has a dated look to an extent, but this still a nice looking presentation and the best I’ve seen the movie look. There is some grain present, but not much and I can’t complain about the minimal source flaws that surface. The colors look good here, although a tad faded and as far as flesh tones, they seem natural and consistent also. No issues with the contrast either, as it is sometimes too light, but not to an extreme level and I was pleased with the detail level present. This is by no means a pristine presentation, but given the age and nature of the movie, I think fans will be pleased here.
Audio: How does it sound?
There’s not much to discuss on this front, as a simple, but effective mono track has been included here. This means that some limitations are present of course, but since the basics are well presented, I have no real complaints to lodge. Yes, some scenes would sound better with a full on surround mix, but I am pleased with the performance of this mono option, even if a little limited at times. The track never falters to an extreme degree, so I doubt anyone will be that let down here in the end. All the elements seem in more than decent form here, as the sound effects, music, and dialogue are all handled without much reason for concern. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, Thai, and Chinese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files and the film’s theatrical trailer, as well as an audio commentary track with director Peter Yates. I think Yates is a solid speaker and while some silent spaces do surface, I was pleased with the level of information offered by Yates here. I do think a second participant could have made this one a little better, I still think this track is more than worth a listen, if you like the picture.