A Breath Of Scandal

A Breath Of Scandal (1960)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Sophia Loren, Maurice Chevalier, John Gavin, Angela Lansbury

If an actress ever oozed elegance, Sophia Loren, was the one. And their most elegant movie is, without a doubt, "A Breath Of Scandal." Cloaked in the lush splendor of Vienna at the turn of the century, with great, twirling ballrooms and lush costumes, "A Breath Of Scandal" is another one of director Michael Curtiz's charming romances.

Princess Olympia (Sophia Loren) is giving her parents headaches. The Austrian princess should be looking for a handsome prince to fall in love with but instead she's falling for an American industrialist. As a result she is banished form the family estate and sent to the countryside for her scandalous escapades. But her father is also taking a liking in the American and so the wheels begin to turn to bring this couple together, one slow step at a time.

Paramount Home Entertainment has prepared a great-looking transfer for this DVD in the movie's original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio in a presentation that is enhanced for 16×9 television sets. A wonderful Technicolor period piece, colors are extremely important to the lush look of the movie and the atmosphere it creates. I was glad to see that Paramount managed to have a perfect color balance in this transfer, that brings to life every little bit of the production design and most notable the colorful costumes without bleeding or noise. Skin tones are always natural and with deep solid black levels, the transfer has a lot of visual depth to offer, and shadows that never break up. No edge-enhancement is evident in the transfer and the compression is flawless, making "A Breath Of Scandal" a wonderful showcase for a somewhat aged, vintage movie.

The audio on the disc comes as the original mono language track in Dolby Digital. The track has been cleaned up but no remastered. As such the frequency response and the dynamic range of the audio are both audibly limited. Fortunately however, it is free of distortion or background noise and only the harsh-sounding dialogues and the limited fidelity of the music score is a give-away to the film's age.

No extras have been included in this release, but still, at $14.95, this DVD is simply a steal for everyone who wants to enjoy a wonderful classic romantic comedy that captures the ideals and notion of Hollywood at the time.