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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Foxes Of Harrow, A Flea In Her Ear, Staircase (Fox Cinema Archives Triple Feature)
The Foxes Of Harrow, A Flea In Her Ear, Staircase (Fox Cinema Archives Triple Feature)
Fox Cinema Archives // Unrated // January 14, 2015
List Price: $37.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Paul Mavis | posted January 28, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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This one really ticked me off....

20th Century-Fox's Cinema Archives line of hard-to-find library and cult titles has started to package their previously released titles into triple features. This particular set, all featuring star Rex Harrison--The Foxes of Harrow, A Flea in Her Ear, Staircase--includes one pre-widescreen title: 1947's The Foxes of Harrow, with Harrison, Maureen O'Hara, Richard Haydn, and Victor McLaglen. 1969's Staircase, the brilliant, unfairly denigrated Stanley Donen gay comedy/drama with Harrison and Richard Burton, shot in Panavision, isn't anamorphic here...but it is presented in a flat, letterboxed 2.35 transfer that maintains the proper aspect ratio. And finally, 1968's period comedy, A Flea in Her Ear, with Harrison, Rosemary Harris, Louis Jourdan, and Rachel Roberts, also shot in Panavision, rolls its opening credits in a similarly-letterboxed 2.35 ratio...before it shrinks to a cropped, fullscreen transfer after the titles end. And that's a deal-breaker.

If you've read my previous Cinema Archives reviews, then you know my policy on widescreen movies released in altered/cropped/panned & scanned image ratios: an automatic "Skip it" and no review. There's no excuse for a fullscreen release of a widescreen movie in 2015...particularly from an exclusive, boutique, made-to-order releasing line that caters specifically to buyers who know the difference. Even worse, Fox had the opportunity with this triple-disc re-package to correct their original mistake, but instead, they just slapped on the same botched transfer of A Flea in Her Ear. Since all three titles are still available in single disc releases, there's no reason you can't individually pick up The Foxes of Harrow (which is deliciously overblown and entertaining) or Staircase (one of my all-time favorite titles, and one I was dying to write about here). Information on the web is sketchy about which Cinema Archives widescreen titles are altered. So, in an effort to help other fans like myself who want these movies presented correctly, and who don't want to waste their money on fatally compromised product...skip this 3-disc set of The Foxes of Harrow, A Flea in Her Ear, Staircase.


Paul Mavis is an internationally published movie and television historian, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, and the author of The Espionage Filmography.

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