Designing Woman

Designing Woman (1957)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Gray, Chuck Connors, Jesse White
Extras: Mini-Documentry, Trailer, Awards, Filmographies

Vincente Minelli’s 1957 comedy ’Designing Woman’ has long been one of the most entertaining hybrids of musical, comedy and drama of Hollywood’s golden era. It is the story of sportswriter Mike (Gregory Peck) who falls in love with a fashion designer (Lauren Bacall) during a golf tournament in Los Angeles. They quickly get married and when they return to New York, reality hits them. They are both married to a partner they hardly know and as it turns out, they are worlds apart. Geroge Well’s ingenious screenplay then takes the two on a ride to find the destinations that is filled with hilarious moments.

Warner Home Video releases ’Designing Woman’ in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 television sets. The image looks gorgeous and is mostly free of defects or blemishes, aside from a few small speckles, creating a stark and sharp image without noise or grain. Colors are nicely reproduced with natural fleshtones and good saturation throughout. Contrast is immaculately rendering the blackest blacks and brightest whites without problems and allows the gray gradients to naturally fall off to produce an image that looks very natural and balanced.

The DVD features the original mono audio track of the movie in English as well as a French dub. Both are certainly giving away the movie’s age but are in fairly good condition nonetheless. Frequency is as expected limited with a sound field that is a bit harsh, but never distracting. Noise and hiss is held at a minimum, making for a presentation that is thoroughly enjoyable.

As extras the DVD also contains a 5-minute mini-documentary that features interview clips with costume designer Helen Rose on her work on the film. It was originally produced to promote the film and is a nice vintage addition to the release. The movie’s trailer and filmographies can also be found on the disc.

Great release of a classic comedy from Hollywood’s roaring 50s.