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Release date: Feb. 6, 2007
George Segal became somewhat typecast as the husband with a roving eye, but it was only because he landed that part in several exceptionally good films, one of which was Paul Mazursky’s 1973 romantic comedy, “Blume in Love,” available from Warner Home Video (retail $19.98). Segal’s character spends most of the 115-minute story trying to get back into his wife’s good graces after an indiscretion breaks them apart, and he even rapes her at one point, and yet he remains sympathetic throughout, more of a sad sack than a jerk. Susan Anspach, one of those actresses whose turn as a star was all too brief, plays the wife, with Kris Kristofferson and Marsha Mason (another such actress) in supporting parts. Set in Los Angeles and Venice (Italy), Mazursky’s assured hand posits the viewer in the atmosphere of each environment with small, deft touches, while seeming to watch the characters and listen to them omnisciently. His direction feels effortless, except that the humor and drama of every scene is always so emotionally precise it could never be replicated. Even Mazursky lost that precision eventually, but when he made “Blume,” he was a master at guiding actors and characters through the follies of romance, during a time when the age-old maps for such territories were being discarded and redrawn.
The picture is presented in letterboxed format only, with an aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 and an accommodation for enhanced 16:9 playback. The color transfer is excellent, despite the fragility of ’70s film stock, and fleshtones are superbly detailed. The film’s sound recording is an exceptional mix of live environmental noise and dialog, and the monophonic audio track replicates it effectively. There is an alternate French audio track, optional English, French and Spanish subtitles, and a trailer.
The complete database of Doug Pratt’s DVD-video reviews is available at dvdlaser.com. A sample copy of the DVD-Laser Disc Newsletter can be obtained by calling (516) 594-9304.
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