Magnificent Doll

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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Magnificent Doll

#1 Post by Ribs » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:13 pm

Following her Best Actress Oscar win in 1940 for Kitty Foyle, Ginger Rogers was able to spend the next decade and beyond balancing dramatic roles with the lighter musical and comedy performances for which she had become known. The RKO films with Fred Astaire behind her, Rogers found herself in a position where she could appear in Tender Comrade, a black-and-white film about wives living on the home front, one year, and lavish Technicolor musical Lady in the Dark, the next. In 1946, she was cast by Frank Borzage (7th Heaven, Street Angel) as one of America’s most beloved First Ladies, Dolley Payne Madison, in Magnificent Doll.

Written by Irving Stone, whose popular biographical novels would inspire such films as Vincente Minnelli’s Lust for Life and Carol Reed’s The Agony and Ecstasy, Magnificent Doll traces Madison’s journey to the White House from her youth in Virginia at the end of the Revolutionary War to the famed episode in which, during the Battle of Bladensburg, she refused the leave her exalted residence without a portrait of George Washington. In between she is wooed by two great men of American politics, Senator Aaron Burr (David Niven) and his colleague, James Madison (Burgess Meredith).

Lavishly designed, Magnificent Doll boasts cinematography by five-time Academy Award nominee Joseph A. Valentine (Shadow of a Doubt), striking outfits by legendary costume designers Travis Banton (best known for his work on a number of Josef von Sternberg’s pictures with Marlene Dietrich) and Vera West (whose credits include Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula and other classic Universal horror pictures), and hats by the celebrated milliner and fashion designer Lilly Daché.


High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation
Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Brand new audio commentary by writers and film historians David Del Valle and Sloan De Forest
Brand new visual essay by film critic and novelist Farran Nehme on the dramatic roles of Ginger Rogers
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nathalie Morris


19 February

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domino harvey
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Re: Magnificent Doll

#2 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:58 pm

My write-up from the War List Project:
Magnificent Doll (Frank Borzage 1946) Every single review says variations of the same thing: This is a bad history and a bad film. But I love Hollywood, even when it fudges the facts to make for a better entertainment. Plus who cares enough about Dolly Madison to get worked up over it? But alas, the naysayers are right and the biggest sin here isn't that historical or biographical accuracy has been smudged, but that in doing so a better film still could not be produced. Ginger Rogers, in her fading years, is the titular Mrs Madison, and even usual charmers like David Niven and Burgess Meredith as the famous colonial politicos can't salvage a lifeless slog like this. A film with no possible audience.
How or why this got a lavish release from Arrow is a legit mystery

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Re: Magnificent Doll

#3 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:40 am

Arrow never saw a film d'auteur they didn't like?

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Re: Magnificent Doll

#4 Post by Banasa » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:34 am

The tens and tens of people at the Frank Borzage message board (or the "Frank Message Boardzage") will be ecstatic.

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Big Ben
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Re: Magnificent Doll

#5 Post by Big Ben » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:01 pm

It's all a part of a secret PsyOp to drive this forum crazy.

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What A Disgrace
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:34 pm

Re: Magnificent Doll

#6 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:14 pm

So the film noir boxed set really is just the beginning of a lot of "Olive Films" releases, isn't it?

The increase in productivity for the Academy line isn't necessarily hurting its output of really great discs of really fine films (The Apartment, in particular, and all the boxed sets), but it does seem to be mostly focused around the 'also rans' of great film artists and a diverse selection of (largely middle brow, not that there's anything wrong with that) contemporary titles.

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Your Future our Drucker
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Re: Magnificent Doll

#7 Post by Drucker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:44 pm

To be fair, a significant amount of MOC, Indicator, and Arrow output over the last 2-3 years have been UK editions of titles first released by TT, Kino, and Olive.

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