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Probably the worst DVD ever !
on 16 October 2000
What a travesty the DVD of 'His Girl Friday' release is - so much so that it must rank among the worst DVDs ever released onto the unsuspecting Region 2 market. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way criticising the film itself - simply the ineffective and downright lazy DVD transfer.
One only has to look at the likes of the recent releases of 'The Big Sleep' and 'Casablanca' to see what can be done with all-time classic movies. Ok, neither of these titles is packed with extras, which many would see as a crime in itself, but the picture and sound quality are superb considering the vintage of their original release and is a testament to those involved in the transfer to DVD. This is especially gratifying when one realises that although these titles are often cited as 'top 10 greats', they will have a limited audience among the 'Matrix' and 'Men In Black' fans and therefore will ultimately be monetarily less successful.
However, even an admittedly limited audience appeal cannot excuse the complete lack of effort put into this release. Not only does it have no extras ( which on a film of this age is perhaps excusable ) but the picture and sound are so terrible that an old VHS copy I have actually rivals it for quality - this is especially telling due to the fact that my VHS copy was recorded off-air on long-play on a very cheap tape ( in fact I think that this DVD must have been taken from a similar source ).
As a fan of classic films I purchased this DVD with great pleasure that a distribution company would have taken the trouble to release one of the greats - what I didn't bank on was the fact that I could only stand to watch this title for around 5 mins before I had to switch it off and resort to my VHS copy - where at least the hiss didn't drown out every bit of dialogue.
In short, my advice to anyone who is a fan of this film ( or DVD in general ) is to vote with your feet and avoid this DVD like the plague !