Love Story is the film that started it all. "Love means never having to say you're sorry" was the tagline that brings the house down on both occasions it's uttered in the film. Love Story is the tale of two college sweethearts. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal play classmates that fall for each other in a big way. No cinematic relationships are perfect and their situation is no different. Their problem is not one of compatibility or any of the normal squabble points love and life have to offer. Their problem is rooted in their totally separate backgrounds. He's a part of a very wealthy family whose linneage and family history is interwoven within the history of the town's elite. MacGraw's character comes from much simpler means and in the eyes of O'Neal's father, she's come from the wrong side of the tracks. Unwilling to allow their love to be governed by linneage or "breeding" the couple take their commitment to each other to the next and ultimate step of marriage. Needless to say, O'Neal's father is far from happy and the two (father and son) become estranged. Now together and happy the couple set out to make a life of their own. A great many Problems beset them and they are forced to look at life from a perspective neither one ever thought they'd ever have to. Yet through it all their love is the binding tie that holds them togehter and makes life worth living. Love Story is really several stories all wrapped up into one. Per Director Hiller's commentary track, the film's main focus is the all-powerful strength of love and that with the right person even, the highest mountains of life's trials can be conquered and bested. No matter how you look at it this is a 10,000-hanky film!
The film's audio is presented in a DD mono platform that forces all of the aural material though the center channel. The film is primarily dialogue driven and all of the dialogue is easily heard and understood. Given its mono presentation the resultant audio is flat and uninvolving. The Director's Commentary featuring Arthur Hiller is full of all the background and behind-the-scenes information you could ask for regarding Paramount Studios and its financial crisis during the late 60's and early 70's. Hiller makes note that while other films where coming in over budget and giving little return, Love Story came in under budget by $25,000.00 and in terms of returns for its day, Love Story was a blockbuster. The balance of his commentary is full of his reminiscence regarding the actors with whom he's worked and as well as the joys or lack thereof he's experienced in being a Director. Good commentary track. After all, any track that starts off with a Yiddish proverb, has to be great! The video for the most part is a cold, bland and uninviting pallette. The colors tend to be drab and lack definition. The interior shots however, bear better color levels however, as the film draws on, the poor color saturation levels and overall, dullness of the images become the predominant presentation. The transfer is full of scratches and nicks as well as all manner of flecking and hair. On the whole, this is a poor to fair widescreen transfer.
A fifteen-minute documentary on Love Story entitled " A Classic Remembered" is featured. It boasts an on-camera interview with The Director where he discusses his experiences with Paramount in the Making of the film. he further discusses his selections for both main and supporting cast members. While there are no interviews either past or current with the film's stars, this documentary is still very informative. Lastly the film's theatrical trailer rounds out the extras portion of the disc.
Love Story was always one of those films that I never wanted to see. Primarily because I don't care for overly weepy films that pull heavily on the heart strings That having been said, love Story is a classic in every sense of the word and truly a beautiful if not heart wrenching story to behold. I was right about the weepy level and the heart string tugging but really wrong about the quality of the film. Seriously, this is one that is a must-see for fans of this kind of cinematic fare. Recommended