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Best Things In Life Are Free & 3 Brave Men (Fox Cinema Archives), The
Two wrongs don't make a right....
20th Century-Fox's Cinema Archives line of hard-to-find library and cult titles has started to package their previously released M.O.D.s into triple features (in this case: an Ernest Borgnine themed gathering). Curiously, this "3-Film Collection," as it's clearly labeled on the front cover, only contains two movies: 1956's The Best Things in Life Are Free, the Michael Curtiz directed color musical starring Gordan MacRae, Dan Dailey, Ernest Borgnine, and Sheree North, and 3 Brave Men, the 1956 black and white Commie drama from Philip Dunne, starring Ray Milland, Ernest Borgnine, and Frank Lovejoy. Unfortunately, both titles here are fatally compromised cropped and panned-and-scanned fullscreen transfers of originally anamorphic CinemaScope presentations (3 Brave Men is really screwy: it's a squeezed, unstretched fullscreen image that's then panned-and-scanned. Everyone is 8 feet tall and 1 foot wide...when the optical printer finds them).
Well...if you've read my previous Cinema Archives reviews, then you know my policy (and most of the reviewers here at DVD Talk) 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. 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 2-disc set of The Best Things in Life Are Free and 3 Brave Men.
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.