April Love
Twilight Time // Unrated // $29.95 // April 14, 2015
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted April 27, 2015
Highly Recommended
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April Love (1957) is a sweet-natured romantic musical. The film features the beautiful title song (which was nominated for an Oscar) and it was directed by Henry Levin (Journey to the Center of the Earth). It stars Pat Boone and Shirley Jones. The musical should appeal to fans of beautifully mounted productions.

The story of the film focuses on Nick Conover (Pat Boone). He comes to live with relatives on a farm following terms made for him following his involvement in a car robbery with those he knew from his city-life. Now living in a small farm environment with Aunt Henrietta (Jeanette Nolan) and Uncle Jed (Arthur O'Connell) looking after him, Conover soon comes to learn about the nice qualities of a small-town life. 

Nick falls for a local girl named Liz Templeton (Shirley Jones) who is their next-door neighbor. Liz, a good girl, helps Nick to find a new passion as he starts to race a trotting horse. Can Nick and Liz's romance blossom and will Nick become a star racer in the horse races? 

The performances are enjoyable throughout. The performances by Jeanette Nolan and Arthur O'Connell add dramatic heft and comedic brilliance to these characters. Pat Boone is highly likeable as a performer and has a superb signing voice. Shirley Jones is charismatic, likeable, and engaging in her performance. Boone and Jones are excellent together in this production. The combination of the acting and the songs makes this a enjoyable musical.

On the production side of things, the cinematography by Wilfred M. Cline (The Big Valley, Calamity Jane) looks gorgeous. Shot in 35mm CinemaScope, April Love has a genuinely beautiful cinematography quality. The beautiful outdoors scenery and lighting makes it a absolutely stunning experience. 

The editing by William B. Murphy (Fantastic Voyage) is absolutely superb and seems perfectly cut. The rhythm is excellent throughout. The costume designs are by Renie (Cleopatra) and are well designed for the characters and performers. 

Director Henry Levin (The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Where the Boys Are) brings a good tone and style to the musical. Fans of classic movie musicals with a nice story, strong performances, and enjoyable songs will find April Love to be another strong and satisfactory effort in the genre. Levin brings it all together to form a satisfying effort. 

The Blu-ray:


This will go down as one of the best looking catalog discs of 2015. The MPEG-4 AVC 1080p high definition present looks marvelous. It is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen. The presentation stuns with a clean image that is free of dirt, specks of dust, and damage. The presentation of April Lovecontains no DNR or other deficiencies. The image is sharp and it has excellent color reproduction (with a nice filmic image). This is easily one of the best looking catalog titles to be released in 2015 so far and fans of the film will want to make this release a top priority given the excellent quality. The colors for this film's release look amazingly rich. The CinemaScope image is superb.


With a terrific DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound presentation (which seems to work as an expanded stereo audio mix) listeners will find this to be a satisfactory lossless audio mix. This audio presentation sounds remarkable. The audio is crisp, clean, and well-defined. Dialogue reproduction is excellent. The 24 bit quality is terrific sounding and provides the music with a definite clarity and depth that will be appreciable for enthusiasts.


This Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray release includes a booklet featuring essay by film critic Julie Kirgo.

The release includes an isolated score track presented in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo, an Audio Commentary track with actress Shirley Jones and film historian Nick Redman, and the Original Theatrical Trailer.

Final Thoughts:

April Love is a sweet and enjoyable Hollywood musical. Those who enjoy these types of musicals will be pleased with this effort. This is a nice experience that has a lot of quality production merits to it. 

Twilight Time has done a terrific job with the Limited Edition Blu-ray release. The image and sound quality are superb. This is going to be considered amongst the best catalog-title presentations of 2015.

Highly Recommended.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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