Plucking the Daisy

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Agnes Dumont (Brigitte Bardot) is a young woman who has penned a most scandalous book, one that is so hot and risque, it is sold under the table, so to speak. But you wouldn’t know by looking at her, as she is very beautiful, but she seems so innocent and as the daughter of the famous General Dumont (Jacques Dumesnil), she is thought to be most proper. But when her father learns his young daughter has authored this kind of book, he orders her to be sent to a convent, where she can learn the proper ways of life. But Agnes manages to escape to Paris, where she plans to live with her brother, who she believes is a wealthy artist. He is not a well known artists however, instead a petty guide at a museum and as such, she is in need of cash and a fresh start. She meets Daniel (Daniel Gelin) soon afterwards and the two begin to court, but Agnes still has to locate some funds, in any fashion possible. So she decides to enter a striptease contest to win the prize money, but since Daniel is in the crowd, she may need a unique approach…

This is not your usual romantic comedy by any means, but Plucking the Daisy is a lot of fun and of course, Brigitte Bardot is delightful as per usual. As a fan of Bardot’s work, I am pleased to see one of her lesser known films released, especially by a label like Home Vision, who distribute the well respected Criterion Collection. Also known as Mademoiselle Striptease, this is a charming and humorous film, loaded with effective scenes and characters. You’ll see some predictable romantic comedy themes here, so it won’t shock the systems of genre fans, but Plucking the Daisy is not like most modern pictures in the genre. This movie just packs more of a sensual punch, thanks to the smoldering Bardot, who shows off her ample physical gifts and in the process, makes this much hotter than most romance driven flicks. I know some will argue that lust is not romance, but even modern romance films usually focus on the sexual respect of things, even though big name actresses refuse to disrobe on camera. If you’re a fan of Bardot, then this is nothing less than a must own release, even if the disc has minimal extras.

Unlike the female stars of today, Brigitte Bardot was willing to channel her sexuality to draw in the crowds, as opposed to a tease approach. In this era, workers like Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lopez wear tight clothes and showcase their bodies, but then pretend like it would be a sin to expose themselves, since they are “actresses” after all. But Bardot never drew that line and she knew what her viewers wanted, so she gave it to them. I hold Bardot as a very talented performer in the traditional sense, with some terrific turns in her resume, but the fact that she dropped linen never compromises that. No, she isn’t the finest actress in the business and never was, but she knew what she was good at and usually took the right roles, such as this one. Other films with Bardot include The Night Heaven Fell, Love on a Pillow, Please Not Now, …And God Created Woman, and Naughty Girl. The cast also includes Daniel Gelin (Maid in Paris, Woman of Rome), Robert Hirsch (Cover Up, Doctor in the Nude), and Jacques Dumesnil (Love for Sale, Ulysses).

Video: How does it look?

Plucking the Daisy is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. Home Vision has issued a great treatment here, with a pristine source print and no real flaws to speak of. A few small issues arise, but none that impact the experience much and in truth, none worth a mention in this review. The print looks gorgeous, with minimal nicks and debris, as well as the absence of grain and other age related problems. The contrast is also impressive, with accurate black levels and no detail loss in the least. I knew this would be a good transfer since Home Vision was involved, but I had no idea the image would be this good, very impressive indeed.

Audio: How does it sound?

The original French soundtrack is included here, in a basic, but effective mono presentation. As this film was made in 1956, I didn’t expect too much from this audio option, but the included track is clean and crisp, much better than I had counted on. I heard no hiss, distortion, or other age related flaws, which means the rest of the audio is never hampered. The music is clear and well presented, while dialogue is sharp and never falters even for a moment. This disc also includes new and improved English subtitles, in case you don’t speak French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a talent file on Bardot, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.

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