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Cary Grant Collection: Ladies Should Listen (1934) - Blu-ray Review

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Cary Grant Collection: Ladies Should Listen (1934)

“How could it be hot when it’s Chile?”

Businessman Julian De Lussac (Cary Grant) is back in Paris and he doesn’t know what he’s doing.  At all.  Which makes this Grant-centered film, his 17th film, a fun jaunt down the romantic comedy aisle of a bygone era.  Ladies Should Listen, only one part of the NEW Cary Grant box set from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, is a damn fine breeze to sit through.  Grant could read from a phone book and make it entertaining and we all know it.  Which makes this character for him, so damn fun to play.

"Lighthearted and certainly forgettable, Ladies Should Listen is early Cary Grant showing just how capable of comedy that he is"


Julian has been away on a trip to Chile concerning a nitrate mine that he’s recently purchased.  Love: however, is in the air as his wealth - firmly established in a humorous routine involving his manservant, Albert (Charles Arnt), a steamed-up mirror, and wipers - has only led him to bachelor boredom . . . but it’s done with a smile!  

No one does style like Julian.  He even has his own rain machine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s good at managing money or even knowing how to maneuver in and out of relationships with women.  It’s a problem for him - especially when he addresses every woman he meets as “Dahling!” and remains so polite.  

Julian, firing guns into the air in an attempt to feign killing himself, has quite a lot of attention from the women in his life.  There’s switchboard operator Anna Mirelle (Frances Drake), the scheming Marguerite (Rosita Moreno), and the bespectacled Susie Flamberg (Nydia Westman), who literally swoons over him in front of her fiance, De Lussac's friend Paul Vernet (Edward Everett Horton, who turns in yet another GREAT character performance), and they all want something from him.Cary Grant Collection: Ladies Should Listen (1934)

Suffering from a major case of aloofness, Julian needs someone to watch his back.  Even he is not aware of how big of a target for scheming he is due to his supposed wealth.  While the script doesn’t exactly crackle with witty lines, there are enough zingers sprinkled throughout to make this recommended viewing.

And that’s where Ladies Should Listen, directed by Frank Tuttle (Island of Lost Women), gets most of its comedy from.  Exaggerated situations abound as Julian finds himself being swindled by a team of professionals who’d rather kill than kiss him and, being the sucker that he is, he falls right into their traps time and time again.

Lighthearted and certainly forgettable, Ladies Should Listen is early Cary Grant showing just how capable of comedy that he is.  Grant is extremely watchable as he rattles off his lines to all the ladies who are attaching themselves to him.  He hides them in his bedroom, in the bathroom, and beyond as he - with help from Frances Drake, who is also quite the charmer in her role as the only sane woman around him - tries to untangle himself from the very costly business of being deceived.  

Simple and quick, Ladies Should Listen makes for a fun opening chapter in the newly released Cary Grant Collection.  Offered from Kino Lorber, the three film set includes Wedding Present and Big Brown Eyes.  It should come as no surprise that quirky romantic comedies like these simply aren’t made anymore and that’s a shame.

4/5 stars 

 

Cary Grant Collection: Ladies Should Listen (1934)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- September 8, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; three-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Screen legend Cary Grant (The Eagle and the Hawk, Arsenic and Old Lace) stars in Ladies Should Listen, a romantic comedy about a frolicking bachelor’s complicated escapade in Paris. A meddling switchboard operator (Frances Drake, Mad Love) falls in love with Julian de Lussac (Grant), a tenant in her building who has a deceiving girlfriend. Armed with the truth, she decides to win over Julian’s love and affections by formulating a plan to interfere and expose her conniving scheme. Directed by Frank Tuttle (This Gun for Hire) and co-starring Edward Everett Horton (Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife), Ladies Should Listen, alongside Big Brown Eyes and Wedding Present, is a classic laugh-a-minute farce. 

Video:

With a crisp black-and-white transfer, Ladies Should Listen  lands on blu-ray thanks to the crackling efforts of Kino Lorber Studio Classics.  Shadows, while not too terribly detailed, are thick and atmospheric throughout. Black levels - of which there are a lot thanks to all the tuxedos and suits - are powerful and thick.  Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1, the film looks marvelous and easily beats the poor appearance on television and on home video DVD that has previously dogged it thanks to its 1080p handling.  The black-and-white photography here sizzles. The blacks and grays are handled expertly by the transfer.  

Audio:

You’ll be laughing over the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track which accompanies this film.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The sole supplemental item is a trailer for the film.

  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

Cary Grant Collection: Ladies Should Listen (1934)

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