Please, Not Now!

Please, Not Now! (1961)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Brigitte Bardot, Claude Brasseur
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Biography

Brigitte Bardot has been a sex symbol for a whole generation and even watching her today in the movies that made her the star she was, it is hard to escape her charisma and charm. But it wasn’t only her sex appeal and her voluptuous lips that made her a star. Brigitte Bardot had a boundless energy and presence on screen that immediately captures the viewer’s eyes no matter where she happens to be in the frame. Her innocent looks, and her comical timing made her perfect for light comedies at the time. "Please, Not Now!" was one such comedy that used Bardot’s talents and skill to the max. Anchor Bay has taken it upon themselves once again to make sure film lovers get to see the full version of the film and decided to release the original cut of the film on DVD in its original French version. It contains the entire nude dance sequence of the movie that had been cut in many countries.

Brigitte Bardot plays Sophie, a young and innocent looking woman from Paris who works as a photo model. She is desperately in love with Philippe (Jacques Riberolles), the owner of a small photo studio who regularly uses her as a model for advertising campaigns. Although the tow had been an item for some time, Sophie would like to see a more solid relationship and one day she accidentally finds out that Philippe is seeing another woman. Confronted by Sophie in the act, Philippe breaks up with her

She is devastated and desperate, but help is already on the way. Claude (Claude Brasseur), who witnessed the scene, supports Sophie and tells her not let herself being dragged down in humiliation. He suggests a plan to make Philippe jealous. Not that he really believes it would do any good, but it would give him a good excuse to be around Sophie himself. When he first lay his eyes on her, he fell in love with the radiant beauty and is decided to make her fall in love with him. Pretending to be lovers seems like a good first step to him, but as they play the game, Sophie never gives up, trying to win Philippe back. Somehow Claude has to find a way to convince her that he would be a much better choice.

"Please, Not Now!" is an enchanting comedy that captivates viewers from the first frame, seeing Bardot driving her Citroen 2CV recklessly through the streets of Paris. It is a blend of slapstick with witty humor that uses puns and sitcom elements to create a comedic serving that never lets off. Through the entire film you will find yourself giggling away, captured by the beauty of the film, the good-humored atmosphere and the radiant, mesmerizing gracefulness of Brigitte Bardot.

The movie is beautifully cast, creating characters that are slightly over-the-top but still remain palpable and real. The setting of Paris in the early 60s is beautiful and romantic to behold, skillfully captured by the movie’s great black and white photography. Director Jean Aurel also has some interesting tricks up his sleeve that greatly enhance the experience of the movie and underscore its overall tone. Using interesting and highly effective camera angles, sometimes turning the camera upside down in mid-shot, or literally fast-forwarding footage, he creates an ever-exciting tapestry of images. Framing them beautifully and using smooth camera moves, he gives the movie a steady flow that is as restless as Sophie herself. Combined with the movie’s well-written script and the superb delivery of the dialogue, the film is as furious as it is hilarious.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has prepared a gorgeous looking version of "Please, Not Now!" on DVD for fans of the light hearted comedy. Presented in its original 2.35:1 <$PS,widescreen> aspect ratio in an <$16x9,anamorphic> transfer, the source print used for the transfer is virtually devoid of any defects, scratches, dust or other blemishes. The black and white presentation looks incredibly sharp with great and naturally looking contrast. Blacks are deep and solid, but never losing any of their detail, while highlights are bright and clear. The grays in between a finely delineated without ever creating a harsh look. The film feels very organic and warm. The slightest signs of edge-enhancement are evident in the transfer, just enough to create a sharp looking image, but one that never appears unnaturally sharpened or puts too much emphasis on the edges. The compression of the transfer is meticulous without introducing any compression artifacts. Since compressing black and white material has its very own pitfalls compared to color encoding, it is always good to see that Anchor Bay manages these titles with the same ease and level of quality as their newer assets.

"Please, Not Now!" comes with its original French audio track in a monaural 2.0 channel <$DD,Dolby Digital> presentation. The track is very clean and without blips or distortions that may be a result of the track’s age. The noise floor of the track is also very low, which indicates that quite some clean-up has been done for this presentation. Despite this clean-up, the track is very clear with good high ends that show now signs of sibilance. Although there are no pronounced low ends in the audio, the track never feels harsh or unnatural. The disc contains optional English subtitles to complement the French language track.

The disc also contains the movie’s original trailer from its American release, presenting in <$PS,fullframe>, and interestingly the trailer actually contains footage that is not in the film. That footage is even more revealing than the nude dance scenes from the movie. A very well researched and comprehensive biography of Brigitte Bardot can also be found on the disc, that covers the entire career of the French actress, including a selected filmography.

"Please, Not Now!" is a very entertaining and funny movie that has a very unique – one might almost called it French – charm. With its innocent humor and the light-hearted theme, the movie perfectly reflects the lifestyle of France during the late 50s and early 60s. From the opening credits all the way to the film’s closing seconds, you will find yourself amused and entertained, wishing that today’s life could be just as easy-going and harmless as we get to see it in the movie. Anchor Bay is delivering a carefully prepared version of the movie on this DVD that is flawless and makes watching this movie more enjoyable than ever.