Hi everyone, Bryan here…
In 1941, Columbia Pictures wanted to make a film that that was current, fun, and had A-List stars. Being the time of World War II and having the iconic actor/dancer Fred Astaire on board, it would seem like the studio had a big hit on their hands with You’ll Never Get Rich, which is a musical comedy that takes place during the war. Even though it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song, this film doesn’t seem to be thought out or well executed on any level.
That being said, this is the film that brought Rita Hayworth into the spotlight and made her the shining star she came to be. Astaire was already very popular and had gone through a slump, recently splitting with his famous co-star Ginger Rogers. When Hayworth came aboard with her legendary smile and amazing dance routines, she told the world she can move and keep up with the best of them and win their hearts for years to come. It’s just a shame, the movie isn’t really that good, minus a couple of dance routines with Astaire and Hayworth.
In fact, to call this movie a musical is odd, due to their only being a few numbers in the film, two of which have Astaire in it. That’s like paying money to see a Pee-Wee Herman movie where he shows up for five minutes in character. The film was shot on a very low budget where every set looks in fact like a fake set, along with characters and storylines that go nowhere. It was as if the filmmakers knew they had talent but no story and decided to wing it. The film centers around broadway guru Robert Curtis (Astaire), who loves his job, but must shield his boss Martin from his wife Julia on all his relationships with other women.
When Shelia (Hayworth) shows up as an actress on set, Martin asks Robert to pretend to date her. Well as you can imagine, both men fall for Shelia and causes tension, which has Robert enlist in the army to get away from it all. Although, there is no escape due to the fact that Martin brings Shelia to star in a show for the troops.
None of it makes any sense, but is instead a platform to show Astaire and Hayworth kill it on stage with their dance routines, however it’s very short lived. The dialogue isn’t that great and there isn’t a lot of singing in it, but rather instrumental songs with background dancers and smiles. Again, this seems thrown together at the last minute, and although it’s great to see these two stars perform, the movie still isn’t that good.
The Video: You’ll Never Get Rich comes with a new 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio from Twilight Time. This film is more than 75 years old, but looks great now with this new transfer. The previous release had tons of issues with it, making it almost impossible to watch, but with this new transfer, things look rather lovely. The detail is sharp and vivid for the most part with great closeups that reveal facial lines and marks nicely.
There is more depth in the wider shots too, even though the sets are mostly tiny. The black and white color scheme looks rich and well balanced with deep blacks and well saturated whites, giving this image a new, fresh look. Most of the debris, scratches, dirt, and other warps are gone here, but some still remain, but it’s barely noticeable. The grain is more stable here and never goes into heavy territory, but keeps the filmic look alive here. Solid video presentation overall.
The Audio: This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 1.0 Mono mix that sounds as good as it can now for being over 75 years old. Dialogue is crisp and easy to follow along with and free of any pops or cracks. There is some light tin can sounds here and there with some shrills, but that’s due to the source I imagine and this being a very old film, surviving the times.
The musical numbers sound great though and bring a great balance to the soundscape with good low ends with each instrument and piece of dialogue coming through nicely. Sound effects and ambient noises sound good too, but are never robust or realistic. Still, this is a good upgrade from previous releases.
Isolated Music and Effects Track – Listen to the music and effects only mix without dialogue.
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) – Trailer for the film.
Booklet – Twilight Time provides a booklet with an essay by Julie Kirgo about the film with photos from the movie.
THE ULTIMATE WORD
You’ll Never Get Rich brought Rita Hayworth into the spotlight and made her the bright shining star she always was. Her and Fred Astaire’s dance routines are legendary and it proved that Hayworth could hang with the top dogs in the business with her sweet, charming talent. That said, the movie is not that great from top to bottom, minus Hayworth and Astaire. It doesn’t hold up and never satisfies besides a couple of dance numbers. Still, if you’re a fan of these two iconic actors, this is one to pick up from Twilight Time, because the video and audio presentations are both great upgrades. However, there are no real bonus features.
Recommended for Fans!