Love is a Many Splendored Thing

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones) is a beautiful Eurasian doctor, who always happens to be a widow. Mark Elliot (William Holden) is an American journalist who works out of Hong Kong. Elliot is married, but is not that connected with his wife. Of course, these two meet, at a dinner party and are instantly drawn to each other. As the case says, she is “captivated by his tenderness and insight,” and he “finds her beauty and grace equally irrestible.” As with most intense attractions this this one, the two have a passionate affair, leading to them falling in love. But, since Elliot is an American, Suyin knows her culture will disapprove of this relationship. But her feelings are strong, and she can tell Elliot is the right man for her, without a doubt. With hundreds of years of social rules against them, can even love as strong as theirs keep them together?

As you can tell from the above plot synopsis, this is a romantic movie. if you’re looking for a movie to play with your woman around, this would be a fine choice. The chemistry between the leads is excellent, and you can tell how much effort went into making this movie happen. The plot is based on a true story, and man, it’s a good one. While some movies of the romance genre leave out details like costumes and sets and such, this one puts an emphasis on atmosphere, and it shows. In fact, the film won an Oscar for Best Costume Design, that’s how good they were. The movie also won Oscars for Best Song and Best Music, so you know the tunes are outstanding as well. While Fox has issued a rather hollow disc, this is by far the best presentaation of the film to date, so if you’re looking for a copy, this should be the one you choose.

As I mentioned above, the leads in this film have amazing chemistry, which is the main factor as to why this movie is so damn good. Jennifer Jones gives one of the most charming performances I’ve seen, really making the veiwer like her, and therefore, we can sympathize with her. Jones (The Towering Inferno, A Farewell To Arms) isn’t the typical model type lead either, which adds much to her character as well. William “Bill” Holden gives a strong turn as well, lighting up the screen with his compassionate and sensitive acting. Holden (Network, The Wild Bunch) proves here that he can play the nice guy as well as the tough guy. Torin Thatcher (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Instanbul) gives a nice performance here also. Rounding out the cast is Murray Matheson (Assault on a Queen), Virginia Gregg (Operation Petticoat), and Jorja Curtright (Whistle Stop).

Video: How does it look?

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing is presented in a 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This is a wonderful transfer, by far the very best this picture has ever looked. Even though this movie is over forty years old, this print shows very little wear signs, which is amazing. The colors are reproduced well, with no errors to speak of. Bright and rich, the hues paint a delightful visual style, and even the flesh tones remain natural. Contrast levels are correct as well, with nice shadow depth and very high visible detail. There is some minor shimmering, but that’s it for compression errors.

Audio: How does it sound?

While the stereo format certainly has serious limitations, this audio track does a very good job. The dialogue is the main focus, and it comes across perfect, with consistent volume and no separation issues. The award winning score also sounds great, and the minimal effects present no problems either. While this isn’t the most active track out there, for the stereo format, it’s a well done piece.

Supplements: What are the extras?

As far as extras, the disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer, some bonus trailers for other Fox classic films, and a small still photo gallery.

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