Quantcast

Inside Daisy Clover (Blu-ray Review)

Earlier this month, HBO premiered the documentary focused on legendary Hollywood icon Natalie Wood (Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind), whose story is one met with a tragic end. In a bit of a company aligning things together and timing them right, Warner Archive Collection is releasing Inside Daisy Clover, a film that gave Wood a real meaty, Oscar worthy role that was unfortunately maligned and unappreciated when it came out due to some dated politics of the era. However, it still nabbed Natalie Wood a Best Actress nomination at the Golden Globes and the film itself had 3 Academy Award nominations (Including Ruth Gordon for Best Supporting Actress). In the years since, it had found some steam and appreciation on VHS and television airing for being a film that had a positive representation (For its time) for the gay community in that of Robert Redford’s character. You can check out the film, which became available on May 12, by using the Amazon Associates paid link after the review.

Film

“You’re Gonna Hear from Me,” 15-year-old gamine Daisy Clover sings from the silver screen to an adoring public, although in the 1930s, “star treatment” can go all the way from being discovered to being discarded. Natalie Wood plays the title role with gusto in this blend of Hollywood stardust and melodrama from the producer/director team (Alan J. Pakula and Robert Mulligan) that had already sublimely showcased her in Love with the Proper Stranger.

Inside Daisy Clover is a film set to highlight the talents of its lead, and in this case this is a push for Natalie Wood. She doesn’t have to carry it, though, she’s surrounded by a powerhouse of talents in the likes of Ruth Gordon, Christopher Plummer and Robert Redford. Heck, even Roddy McDowall has a small part as a driver. Wood is pretty terrific here, showcasing a range of drama with a character plucked from rougher environments to a more classy one. She also gets to do plenty of song and dance numbers. The film also is notable for the theatrical breakout of Robert Redford who was only really on TV at the time.

The film plays a little bit of a spin on the My Fair Lady formula, but more Americanized and Hollywood-centric. Its less cute and more raw and emotional. Its particularly at its most fun and best when it focuses on Daisy Clover’s film work and her relationship with her hospitalized mother and her “discoverer” played by Christopher Plummer. While he’s charming and fun, the Robert Redford stuff is the least interesting of the film, but serves strong purpose. One of my favorite moments actually came with a lot of heartbreak culminating in a breakdown by Daisy during a looping session.

Natalie Wood’s turn in Inside Daisy Clover is something to check out and appreciate. The film has interesting ideas and good drama, but is a bit up and down and circles around some mediocre storytelling to make it anything more than just a casual browse when movie watching. Solid and enjoyable for its stars, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here in storytelling or technical prowess.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Inside Daisy Clover boasts a “brand new master” of the film. It has a nice, appropriate layer of grain, showcasing a bit more on the blue skies. The image is sharp and plenty well defined with plenty of texture and wonderful color saturation. The restoration here is probably 2K, but it looks top notch.

Depth:  The depth of field here is terrific and there features some great spacing on display in the film, especially during some of the more filled frames of Hollywood backlots and shooting locations. You can see good, clean distance between everything and a nice sense of scale and space. Movement is cinematic and smooth with no distortion issues.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and close to natural as the format can process. Details come through easily on dark surfaces like hair follicles, wood grains, fabric patterns and more. No crushing present.

Color Reproduction:  Colors have a nice, genuine touch to them. The film is made of some more basic elements, but there are fabrics like a blue dress, orange pants or other styles that may be on display that give a nice little natural pop to the frame on display. There is also a very luscious blue given off from the ocean during the beach and boating segments and at the pool.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent from star to finish of the film. Facial details and textures like wrinkles, glossy foreheads, lip texture, freckles, make-up and more can easily bee seen from any reasonable distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Inside Daisy Clover features a really nicely restored and put together mono track with minimal analog hiss protruding from its source. Effect, vocals and score as well as songs are all blended and balanced, never stepping on one another’s toes. There are also some good details, depth and layering that come through in the mix as well. Its a pleasurable experience, nonetheless and perfectly accompanies the film at hand.

Height: N/A

Low-Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Voices are clear, crisp and ever-present, feeling every bit a part of their respective environments. It does change a hair for the musical numbers being more blended into instrumentals, but that’s to be expected.

Extras

Classic Cartoon: War And Pieces (SD, 6:41) – A Road-Runner and Wiley E. Coyote cartoon!

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3:32)

Summary

Inside Daisy Clover is a solid character drama about rags to riches in Hollywood, more or less weighted on and riding on the strength of its performers. Warner Archive Collection gives it a terrific transfer, with some nice audio to accompany the presentation. Extras oddly include just a Looney Tunes classic, oddly, but its welcome. I’m not sure if this one is an instant pick up for people other than Wood, Redford or Plummer fans, but check it out before you buy it.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

Share

Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

  1. No Comments