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“Gilda Live”
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Archives
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
11/17/09
Special Features:

Warner Archive Home Video (Online only at http://www.wbshop.com/Gilda-Live-+MOD/1000122838,default,pd.html?cgid=ARCHIVENEW)

Review:

Gilda was a rare individual in comedy. She could project vulnerability in small moments capturing the humanity of us all in the process. She was quite troubled at the time as well bounced around in her life by men some of whom used her some of whom competed with her and others who appreciated her talent, loved her and nurtured her. Sadly, she was taken from her husband Gene Wilder, her family and fans way too soon. A brilliant light in entertainment that if she had lived could have become a perfect performer from drama to comedy, her depth as a talent, person and her rich soul never received its due by a entertainment industry focused only on projecting her into “safe” entertainment. She managed to transcend it all. **

“Gild Live” remains her perfect work allowing this talented comedienne to present herself unadorned with only the clothes on her back and her talent to entertain, enlighten and bring us a little more in touch with our own humanity in her brilliant characters, performances and writing. Finally available online as part of Warner Archive’s burn-on-demand DVD, it’s tragic this hasn’t been released to retail but it’s great that at least Warner made this available at all. Sadly, outside of fans that grew up on “Saturday Night Live” during its vintage years Radner has been largely forgotten by the fickle public. Although this release doesn’t remedy that situation it does improve it by making one of her finest films available again. ---

Image & Sound:

“Gilda Live” looks pretty good. Colors are solid throughout and detail good although this isn’t a pristine presentation of the film. “Gilda Live” could stand a restoration and a bit better clean up by Warner but overall it’s pretty decent at least as good as what we would probably get if a company had licensed it from Warner. ***

Audio is solid throughout

Special Features:

The one area that Warner Archive has consistently fallen down has been in the special features area. I realize these are “burn-on-demand” budget priced releases designed for a specialty market but I’d like to see Warner Archive at least attempt one or two special features even vintage featurettes or, at the very least, a commentary track by someone like Gene Wilder or director Mike Nichols.

Final Words:

“Gilda Live” remains funny because Gilda Radner always touched on the essence of her characters. This terrific film is the only film that truly captured Radner’s talent outside of her sketches on “Saturday Night Live”. “Gilda Live” remains essential.

 

 
 
 
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