Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stop in the Name of Love: Baby It's You Redux

Baby It's You has arrived in a batch of new DVD releases from Legend Films, an outfit working off of a new license agreement with Paramount.  The news has already been around in various online forums for some time and, in fact, the titles have been available for several months directly from Legend, although the official release dates are only now upon us. Another favorite of mine, French Postcards, has also been released by Legend.  The good news is that both films appear in their original aspect ratios for the first time on home video.

Unfortunately, however, both Baby It's You and French Postcards retain the altered soundtracks that accompanied earlier home video releases of these films.  (French Postcards is missing several songs including a French version of "Do You Believe in Magic" that plays over the opening credits and Nicolette Larson's "Lotta Love." Baby It's You replaces several sixties-era songs with K-Tel versions including, IIRC, "Baby It's You").  This was confirmed to me in an e-mail I received from Legend VP Maria Mason in early April.  I passed this information onto DVD Savant, who included the message as a footnote to his review.  Contrary to the second reader's message, the Bruce Springsteen tunes have been present in all home video versions of Baby It's You and can be heard on the new DVD.  As disappointed as I am about the soundtrack issues on both films, I will probably eventually add both to my DVD library.  I remain hopeful that Baby It's You will someday appear in a more pure form via the Criterion Collection (per their own partnership with Paramount).  I hold out considerably less hope that French Postcards will appear again on DVD with original soundtrack intact.  

Marc Edward Heuck has told me on the Home Theater Forum that French Postcards first appeared on commercial VHS, most likely with its original soundtrack, on the old Fotomat label (who also released rarities such as American Hot Wax and Fraternity Row) through an agreement with Paramount in the late 1970s.

On a final note, if you look closely at the Legend DVD cover, you will notice that Valerie Quennessen's name has been misspelled "Quennessan."  This type of mistake has always been a pet peeve of mine especially because it can be so easily avoided.  Legend also inexplicably used a different version of the photo used in the original poster so that co-lead David Marshall Grant now appears with a rather dopey expression on his face.  In the future, I hope that Legend retains the original key art on their DVD covers, but they, like most studios, seem tied to second-rate Photoshopped "reimaginings" of the original poster artwork.  On an unrelated note, if you are so inclined, you can say hello to French Postcards co-lead Miles Chapin here. I'm told that he's quite an amiable fellow.

Go to Usarian's page for more information on Valerie.

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