The Best of Everything

Overview

Jean Negulesco's glossy Manhattan soap opera has arrived on DVD with a good letterboxed (2.35-to-1) image, and a clean if unexceptional (and rather low-volume) audio transfer. The movie has been treated well in that regard, with a more-than-sufficient 32 chapter markers across its two hours-and-one-minute running time. The major bonus feature is a commentary track by Sylvia Stoddard and author Rona Jaffe, who wrote the novel from which the movie was adapted. Jaffe's observations are well worth hearing (more than ...
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Overview

Jean Negulesco's glossy Manhattan soap opera has arrived on DVD with a good letterboxed (2.35-to-1) image, and a clean if unexceptional (and rather low-volume) audio transfer. The movie has been treated well in that regard, with a more-than-sufficient 32 chapter markers across its two hours-and-one-minute running time. The major bonus feature is a commentary track by Sylvia Stoddard and author Rona Jaffe, who wrote the novel from which the movie was adapted. Jaffe's observations are well worth hearing (more than once), especially the way in which the novel and the screenplay evolved -- Stoddard, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have enough to say substantively about the movie and so loves to dwells on matters of decor and architecture, among other extraneous matters, about half of her commentary can be dispensed with. The other major bonus feature is a section of the contemporary Fox-Movietone newsreel covering the New York opening of the movie (which gives us a glimpse of Jaffe as she looked then, not to mention soon-to-be-former actor Robert Evans). We also get an original trailer (whose sound is mastered rather louder than that of the movie itself), and a selection of trailers from other Fox titles coming out on DVD at the time.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by author Rona Jaffe and historian Sylvia Stoddard; Movietone news footage (film premiere); Theatrical trailer; Widescreen format (aspect ratio 2.35:1); Audio: English stereo, English 4.0 surround, Spanish mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although there are a number of problems with The Best of Everything, the biggest is that the creators emphasized the "everything" over the "best." Even at 135 minutes, there simply is too much going on in this overblown, over-the-top soap opera look at career gals in 1950s Manhattan. No one expects an exploitive melodrama to really delve into its themes and characters the way a serious drama would, but the viewer does have the right to expect some realistic detail. This doesn't matter so much at first, as the high-gloss sheen of the production (director Jean Negulesco certainly knew the way this kind of movie should look) and the oh-so-1950s corporate atmosphere are a lot of fun -- and it doesn't hurt that the younger members of the cast are so incredibly attractive. But pretty soon the unrelenting unreality and the sappy dialogue start to wear on the viewer. Even Joan Crawford, in high-camp dudgeon and with some choice bitchy asides ("rabbit-faced wife," indeed!), can't keep the film from dragging as it nears the finish line. Contemporary audiences will find some of the goings-on so ridiculous as to be entertaining, which is probably the film's saving grace -- that and its oh-so-chic glamour outfits for these typical working girls.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/24/2005
  • UPC: 024543172345
  • Original Release: 1959
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 27,555

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hope Lange Caroline Bender
Stephen Boyd Mike
Suzy Parker Gregg
Martha Hyer Barbara
Diane Baker April
Brian Aherne Mr. Shalimar
Joan Crawford Amanda Farrow
Robert Evans Dexter Key
Brett Halsey Eddie
Donald Harron Sidney Carter
Sue Carson Mary Agnes
Linda Hutchings Jane
Lionel Kane Paul
Ted Otis Ronnie Wood
Louis Jourdan David Savage
Alena Murray Girl in Typing Pool
Rachel Stephens Girl in Typing Pool
Julie Payne Girls in Typing Pool
David Hoffman Joe
Theodora Davitt Margo Stewart
Technical Credits
Jean Negulesco Director
Sammy Cahn Songwriter
William C. Mellor Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer, Songwriter
Adele Palmer Costumes/Costume Designer
Mann Rubin Screenwriter
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Edith R. Sommer Screenwriter
Jerry Wald Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles
2. The Best of Everything
3. The Editors
4. Dreams of Eddie
5. Amanda Farrow
6. Lunch Break
7. The Editor-in-Chief
8. Shalimar's Seduction
9. The Actress
10. Looking for Experience
11. To Be in Love
12. One Small Corner
13. Bad News
14. Please Love Me
15. Barbara and Sidney
16. The New Reader
17. David Savage
18. The Company Picnic
19. Dexter Key
20. The Bridal Shower
21. Letting Go
22. April's Secret
23. Into the Fire
24. End of Play
25. April Grows Up
26. A Fellow Executive
27. Secrets in the Trash
28. The Old Flame
29. Amanda's Return
30. Goodbye, Eddie
31. The Last Act
32. Another Chance
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Language Selection
      English 4.0 Surround
      Spanish Mono
      Commentary by Rona Jaffe and Sylvia Stoddard
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary by Rona Jaffe and Sylvia Stoddard: On
      Commentary by Rona Jaffe and Sylvia Stoddard: Off
      Trailer
      Fox Movietone News
         "The Best of Everything" in Notable Premiere With Fashion Topper
      Fox Flix
         All About Eve
         An Affair to Remember
         The Grapes of Wrath
         How Green Was My Valley
         How to Steal a Million
         Laura
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