SUSAN SLEPT HERE [1954 / 2016] [Warner Archive Collection] [Blu-ray]
Revisado en los Estados Unidos 🇺🇸 el 19 de mayo de 2016
SUSAN SLEPT HERE [1954 / 2016] [Warner Archive Collection] [Blu-ray] It’s All About A Man-About-Town and A Girl About 18! Debbie Reynolds and Dick Powell Share A Breezy May – December Romance!
Screenwriter Mark Christopher [Dick Powell] gets a Christmas present that isn’t on his Santa list: a 17-year-old delinquent named Susan Beauregard Landis [Debbie Reynolds], deposited in his bachelor pad by a cop pal who doesn’t want to see the kid spend Christmas behind bars. Touched by Susan Beauregard Landis’s plight, Mark Christopher decides there’s only one way to keep her out of juvenile delinquency: marry her in name only and get an annulment when she comes of age. But after a Las Vegas elopement, Susan Beaurgard Landis isn’t so sure she wants to be the ex-Mrs. Christopher. Dick Powell (in his last film role before devoting himself to a hugely successful TV career) and Debbie Reynolds plays the (maybe) mismatched couple in a big-hearted romantic comedy from animator-turned-director Frank Tashlin that makes merry use of its Yuletide setting. Oscar Narrator by Ken Carpenter.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nomination: Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Music, Original Song "Hold My Hand" (sung by Don Cornell). Nominated: Best Sound and Recording for John Aalberg. Debbie Reynolds later admitted having "a mad crush on" Dick Powell. "He taught me common courtesy and to treat my crew and colleagues with equal respect.
Cast: Dick Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Anne Francis, Glenda Farrell, Alvy Moore, Horace McMahon, Herb Vigran, Les Tremayne, Mara Lane, Rita Johnson, Maidie Norman, Lela Bliss (uncredited), Daws Butler (voice) (uncredited), Ken Carpenter (Oscar Narrator) (uncredited), Ellen Corby (uncredited), June Foray (voice) (uncredited), Art Gilmore (voice) (uncredited), Barry Norton (uncredited), Louella Parsons (voice) (uncredited), Red Skelton (uncredited) and Brick Sullivan (uncredited),
Director: Frank Tashlin
Producer: Harriet Parsons
Screenplay: Alex Gottlieb (screenplay/play) and Steve Fisher (play)
Composer: Leigh Harline and Richard Myers
Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio: English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 98 minutes
Region: All Regions
Studio: RKO Radio Pictures / Warner Archive Collection
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: This RKO Radio Pictures ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’  romantic comedy teaming of piquantly bouncy Debbie Reynolds and the more seasoned Dick Powell seems like a good idea, and the two stars are cavorting in this bantam-weight vehicle best described as totally harmless fun frolics.
On Christmas Eve screenwriter Dick Powell is visited by two Los Angeles policemen he knows and gets an unexpected gift in the form of delinquent Debbie Reynolds, leading to a May-December romance that's played out over the holiday season. RKO Radio Pictures ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’  has the distinction of being the only film in history narrated by an Academy Award, The OSCAR® statuette, won by the screenwriter, and fills us in on how a policeman delivers the rambunctious teenager to its owner's door because juvenile delinquency is the subject of his latest screenplay. The screenwriter's fiancée, played by Anne Francis, is not amused by the complications that ensue.
Twenty-two-year-old Debbie Reynolds and 50-year-old Dick Powell form an unlikely yet engaging couple in the satirical comedy, which takes aim at psychiatry, conspicuous consumption and the Hollywood establishment. The Isabella Alexander [Anne Francis] character's new romantic interest allows for an unbilled guest-star appearance, the surprise of which won't be spoiled here. It does seem safe, however, to note that the mother of producer Harriet Parsons, gossip maven acerbic Louella Parsons (also uncredited), provides a telephone voice. ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ won OSCAR® nominations for the Best Song, the Jack Lawrence and Richard Myers "Hold My Hand," and for John Aalberg's Sound Recording.
At any rate, one misunderstanding follows another, as Miss Debbie Reynolds, abetted by her husband's secretary, Maude Snodgrass [Glenda Farrell] (welcome back!), outwits a waspish handyman, Virgil – Mark's assistant [Alvy Moore], and a vicious ex-fiancée, Isabella Alexander [Anne Francis]. These broad, shrill incidents, which include one brief and assuredly limp ballet dream sequence, lead to the inevitable happy ending. On the whole, ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ remains as familiar as a summer breeze.
The RKO Radio Pictures film proved to be the swan song for an actor in feature films for Dick Powell, whose career had begun as a baby-faced crooner in such Warner Bros. musicals as ‘42nd Street’  and took a surprising turn when he switched to tough-guy roles beginning with hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe in ‘Murder, My Sweet’ . By the time of ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE,’ Dick Powell had already begun producing and directing feature films. Dick Powell remained active through the early 1960s in television, where, with his Four Star Productions, Dick Powell was considered a leader in the development of dramatic anthology series.
My favourite aspect of the film is the way it slyly plays with the censors in constructing some of the dialogue. For instance, when Susan Beauregard Landis notices a picture of Mark Christopher’s long-time lover, Isabella Alexander [Anne Francis], it leads to this hilarious exchange:
Susan Beaurgard Landis: “You know, I’d like to get a dye job and a facial like her.”
Mark Christopher: “Isabella is a natural blond.”
Susan Beaurgard Landis: “You sure?”
Mark Christopher: “We’re very good friends [pause] She told me.”
When I first heard this line, I practically gasped with laughter at the little hint of naughtiness in Dick Powell’s delivery of that last line. The meaning Dick Powell injects into that weighted pause is just one of the things that make’s Dick Powell a severely-underrated actor.
There are lots more films about Hollywood from around this time that are far more obnoxious than this one. There's a plot point in here that plays a little racier now then it would have back when the movie came out. It would probably be problematic now, but it's an innocent enough story for 1954. Though it still plays a little bit creepy, I find it to be quite endearing, and especially the beautiful Technicolor film has a pretty amazing dream sequence, which the director Frank Tashlin was prone to include it into some of his films from time to time and often seemed to take page out of the Busby Berkeley's playbook when he did put them in his films. The one in ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ is worthy of ‘SINGIN' IN THE RAIN’ and it is pretty fantastic, especially with this new Warner Archive Collection Blu-Ray looks stunning and shows off the Technicolor palette very nicely and again especially that beautiful romantic dream sequence, that looks absolutely stunning!
Blu-ray Video Quality – Warner Archive Collection ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ once again brings us another Hollywood fare, with another brilliant 1080p [Technicolor] image transfer, with also another equally impressive 1.66:1 aspect ratio that fills the TV screen so beautiful. Colour reproduction is, in a word, superb. The palette favours a lot of candy-floss hues, faithfully reproduced. Flesh tones are startlingly genuine. Few ‘Technicolor’ releases from this particular vintage have never looked this good for this Blu-ray release. Contrast is bang on and consistent. Prepare to be pleasantly startled by the amount of fine detail on display. This is a brilliant reference quality visual presentation of a just so-so fun frolic film. This is another peerless example of what deep catalogue mastering is all about or rather, should be; and Warner Archive Collection is raising the bar ever higher with a flawless 1080p rendering in the superb delicious Technicolor that always looks totally delicious in this vintage 3-strip Technicolor release.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Warner Archive Collection ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ once again brings us another Hollywood fare, with another brilliant audio experience 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo. The 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo is delicious and sonically rich in unexpected ways, particularly the bookended main and end titles; the chorus warbling the song, ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE;’ and it is all wonderful and bouncy, with hardly no substance to hurt the brain, and is a flavourful panache that like of candy floss, which of course is all fluffy and enjoyable fun that will tickle your fancy. It’s fun and if you like your fluff, you will positively adore this Blu-ray disc.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:15] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE.’ This is sadly the only extra, and has not been remastered in 1080p, because Warner Archive Collection library for RKO Radio Films library does not contain the original element. Sadly, compared to the beautiful Technicolor print of the film, it seems this was copied from a previous DVD release. But despite this, it is a great fun filled presentation trailer.
Finally, ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ is ultimately a charming little picture, despite the slightly “folksy” factor of the age gap in the characters. And though only the first half of the film involves around Christmas, it is still a nice little film to watch by the fire as you wait impatiently for Santa Claus to arrive with goodies. ‘SUSAN SLEPT HERE’ couldn't be made today. Even the greatest actress could not pull off Debbie Reynolds's combination of naïveté and incipient womanliness in a contemporary setting, and her "sham" marriage with a 35-year-old would immediately be denounced as inappropriate (or worse) at times. Frank Tashlin's comedy belongs to a more innocent times scenario, and it uses that innocence to transform what might otherwise be a sordid tale into a cheerful holiday picture suitable for the whole family. It might be a Christmas Day fare viewing, but it is ideal to be watched anytime of the year, so catch it if you can, especially on this brilliant Blu-ray disc! Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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