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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Warner Archive Collection New Releases of Ingenues & Debutantes

The Warner Archive Collection is releasing, among other films, two truly delightful comedies about love, attraction, and the the morals of beautiful, young women who maintain their "innocence" in the swinging era of the 1960s.

SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963): I am particularly found of this Jane Fonda/Rod Taylor/Cliff Robertson romantic comedy. It's a fine example of the kind of "sex romp" the older, conservative, studio heads wanted for their family oriented audiences. It suggests swinging sixties morality, but is painted with a classic Hollywood brush. The plot is even heavily laced with the tropes of the screwball comedy. And if you wanted to know what a screwball cast of the era looked like you would need to go no farther than this luminous cast. The scenario has Eileen Taylor (Fonda) visiting her swinger airline pilot brother (Robertson) in NYC after being dumped by her fiancé (Robert Culp) for being too chaste. Naturally, this is the perfect set up for second thoughts and temptation to mingle in the form of Rod Taylor (at the height of his charm).

As she entertains second thoughts about her virginity, her ex-fiancé arrives to create the ensuing (and funny) complications. It's the kind of light-hearted fun that will tickle you upon every watching. I can't help and stop to watch it every time it appears on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The combination of story, actors, and characters is just that compelling. The sights and sounds, colors and textures of early 1960s New York pop-off the screen thanks to this new high definition master. And Jim Backus and musician Peter Nero appear in minor roles! The new 2020 1080p HD 16x9 Widescreen master has bonuses that include the theatrical trailer.

THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE (1958): I remember seeing this film when I was too young to understand the plot, but enjoyed it any way. It's a comedy of manners centered on issues of class and identity (no wonder I didn't understand it). The plot revolves around a very English blue-blood father who attempts to make his estranged, American raised daughter fit into a very square British hole. Jane (Sandra Dee) has come of age, and travels to England to reconnect with daddy (Rex Harrison), and meet his new bride (Kay Kendall). She becomes thrust into the society spotlight thanks to a busy-body society matron (Angela Lansbury). Of course, complications arrive when Jane soon meets a hunky young drummer (John Saxon). But her stepmom becomes intent that she gets a match appropriate to her station, and so.... Directed by cinematic master Vincente Minnelli, the screen pops with his legendary control of color, context and composition. All shown with crystal clarity thanks to this luminous 1080p HD master presentation on Blu-ray Disc. And in its original 16x9 Letterbox format!


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