January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Thanks in part to her mother’s pressure, Louise (Natalie Wood) has been working on her stage act, slowly climbing the ladder of success. Louise is very shy and introverted, but her mother keeps pushing her to do whatever it takes to make it and become a star. Over the course of events, Louise leaves her inner fears behind, and becomes Gypsy Rose Lee, a take no prisoners dancer, whose act leaves little to the imagination. Even as she becomes more and more popular, her mother continues to push her to do more, and be an even better performer. As the story unfolds, we meet a salesman, Herbie (Karl Malden), who is drawn to Gypsy from the start, and even finds himself in love with her. Though she started out as a shy little girl, Gypsy Rose Lee has become a star, but will her mother ever stop complaining?

Whenever I visit DVD news boards and such, people are always asking about certain movies, and when they will make it onto DVD. This movie was one that I saw mentioned often, as folks clamored to see it released on our beloved format. I had not seen the movie before its DVD release, so I was interested in seeing what all the fuss what about. I can now honestly say, I have no idea why this movie was so sought after to come to DVD. I do have a soft spot for musicals at times, so it’s not like I hate musicals, but this one left me feeling robbed of one hundred and forty-three minutes, plus the supplements. While no one thing comes to the surface that makes me dislike this movie, the whole vibe of the film leaves me unhappy. While I don’t like the movie, I can say the disc is excellent, so fans of the movie will be quite pleased. If you’re a musical maniac, this is one release you might be excited about, and Warner has delivered the goods, so parting with that cash is an easy decision. If you haven’t seen this before though, I highly suggest you give this a rent first.

The performances in this movie are not bad at all, but they just seem out of place for some reason. The delivery is good, the timing is on, something just doesn’t click with this cast. It’s certainly not lack of talent that curses this movie, with several big names on the bill. While I do own several of Natalie Wood’s movies (even on VHS…gasp!), I don’t think this one will have a permanent home on my shelves. Her work here is good, but falls very short of her potential. I still think Wood (The Searchers, Splendor in the Grass) has immense talent, she just wasn’t right for this role. Veteran screen talents Karl Malden (Patton, On The Waterfront) and Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday, Picnic) do their best given the limited parts they have, although Russell steals the show in my opinion. The supporting cast includes Paul Wallace (Tales From A Hard City), Harry Shannon (The Yellow Rose of Texas), and Betty Bruce (Island of Love). Mervyn Leroy directed this film, as well as The Bad Seed and Mr. Roberts, among others.

Video: How does it look?

Gypsy is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is how all catalog releases should be treated! The colors are so rich they almost bound off the screen, but remain free of oversaturation. The flesh tones are natural and distortion free, and no compression troubles surface. The contrast is even as well, with no visible detail loss and well defined shadows.

Audio: How does it sound?

This release sports a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but I couldn’t help but notice the surrounds were usually at rest. While the overall sound is good, I expected a fuller sound, but this track sticks to the front channels for the most part. The music sounds good, but a more active mix would have liven it up a bit, and dialogue is clear and consistent.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains production notes, talent files, the theatrical trailer, and two deleted sequences. Both of the deleted scenes are musical numbers, and are fun to watch.

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