Love Nest

Love Nest

Director: Joseph Newman

Cast: Joseph Newman, June Haver, William Lundigan, Frank Fay

     
 
Joseph Newman's Love Nest (1951) is a charming romantic comedy that works beautifully on a multitude of levels, but is mostly remembered today for being an early Marilyn Monroe vehicle, which is why it's in Fox's Marilyn Monroe DVD collection. She is very good in the movie in a secondary lead, but she's just one of a multitude of virtues in the genial comedy.

Overview

Joseph Newman's Love Nest (1951) is a charming romantic comedy that works beautifully on a multitude of levels, but is mostly remembered today for being an early Marilyn Monroe vehicle, which is why it's in Fox's Marilyn Monroe DVD collection. She is very good in the movie in a secondary lead, but she's just one of a multitude of virtues in the genial comedy. However it's gotten to us on disc, Fox has done extremely well by this movie, the release of which -- by sheer happenstance -- follows closely on the heels of the death of one of its co-stars, Jack Paar (who is very funny here as a glib-tongued attorney friend of the two protagonists). The black-and-white movie has been impeccably transferred, with richer, deeper contrasts than this reviewer remembers from its late '90s showing on AMC. The 85-minute movie has been given a very generous 24 chapters, all well chosen, and the original trailer has been included, along with a promotional clip for the entire Marilyn Monroe collection, but the really important bonus feature isn't listed anywhere in the packaging. The makers have included a full-length commentary track by director Joseph Newman (who was 94 years old at the time of this release) and Marilyn Monroe biographer Jack Allen. The narrative track has its flaws: one heartily wishes that somebody could have prepped or coached Newman, or questioned him directly during the recording, as Martin Scorsese did with Michael Powell on The Criterion Collection's release of Black Narcissus. Newman's commentary is never shot-specific, and he tends to ramble a bit, to which he's entitled, but perhaps with another person to play off of, he would have developed some of his comments and recollections about his career, and his work at Fox, a little more fully. What he says is valuable, but not nearly as much as it could have been. As an example, he starts to talk about Frank Fay, who plays a key co-starring role in the film, but never gets to the fact that this was Fay's last screen appearance as well as his best screen performance. As for Allen, he is so wrapped up in Monroe's career, life, and persona, that he keeps making the same point over and over, and he's also almost never shot-specific in this movie. He obviously has more to say about aspects of her work than she has footage in this movie, and it's an awkward fit, and could have used some editing and focus. Not enough is said about Jack Paar and his career, and the movie also has other unmentioned resonances, such as being a very lighthearted look at the post-World War II era in filmmaking, and the post-WWII consciousness of filmmakers and audiences. The DVD is a full cinematic meal with all of these extras, but hardly a balanced one.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/2004
UPC:
0024543113782
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:24:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Original trailer ; Promotional clip for the Marilyn Monroe DVD collection; Full-length commentary track by director Joseph Newman and Marilyn Monroe biographer Jack Allen

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
June Haver Connie Scott
William Lundigan Jim Scott
Frank Fay Charley Patterson
Marilyn Monroe Roberta Stevens
Jack Paar Ed Forbes
Leatrice Joy Eadie Gaynor
Henry Kulky George Thompson
Marie Blake Mrs. Quigg
Patricia Miller Florence
Maude Wallace Mrs. Arnold
Joe Ploski Mr. Hansen
Martha Wentworth Mrs. Thompson
Faire Binney Mrs. Frazier
Caryl Lincoln Mrs. McNab
Michael Ross Mr. McNab
Bob Jellison Mr. Fain
John Costello Postman
Charles Calvert Mr. Knowland
Jack Daly Mr. Clark
Ray Montgomery Mr. Gray
Florence Auer Mrs. Braddock
Edna Holland Mrs. Engstrand
Alvin Hammer Glazier
Tony DeMario Wine Steward
Elizabeth Slifer Mrs. Healy
Clifton Young Meter Reader

Technical Credits
Joseph Newman Director
Lloyd Ahern Cinematographer
Jules Buck Producer
I.A.L. Diamond Screenwriter
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
George Patrick Art Director
J. Watson Webb Editor
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [:13]
2. Homecoming [1:12]
3. 337 Gramercy Place [4:09]
4. Perfect Tenant [1:38]
5. Mr. Fix-It [:14]
6. Rent Collection [4:34]
7. Smooth Talker [:27]
8. Chicken Soup [3:35]
9. Blooming Romance [2:39]
10. Charley's Charms [1:16]
11. Isn't That...? [3:00]
12. Jim's Army Buddy [1:11]
13. FBI Interview [1:25]
14. Champagne Toast [2:13]
15. An Eventful Night [1:51]
16. Bad News, Good News [1:37]
17. Operation Rathole [1:02]
18. In the Doghouse [3:25]
19. Headlines [2:03]
20. Charley's Ethics [3:21]
21. Foiled Escape [:33]
22. Martial Bliss [7:28]
23. Casanova's Memoirs [:07]
24. Lost Nest [7:03]

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