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Go West Young Man

Kino // Unrated // June 29, 2021
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted June 10, 2021 | E-mail the Author
Go West Young Man:

The ‘meta-text' was in full swing by 1936, and in fact probably came just after, or before the first tale was told around a campfire. But I digress right off the bat. Go West Young Man stars Mae West as sultry actress Mavis Arden, a superstar of the silver screen who finds the pressures of her career interfering with her wanton personality.

Opening with a lengthy sequence from one of Arden's movies, watched by a huge, enraptured audience, Go West Young Man soon finds Arden framed up with a politician by her publicist Morgan (Warren William), a stunt that has negligible effect on her publicity tour, save to point out that she's a hothouse flower contractually forbidden from marriage. When her fancy car breaks down en route to Harrisburg PA, Arden is forced to hunker down at a kooky country Boarding House, where she puts the moves on hunky farmhand Bud (Randolph Scott), and hilarity ensues.

Sub-plots abound; Bud hopes to strike it rich with a revolutionary invention for Motion Pictures, while Boarding House helper Gladys (Isabel Jewell) is starry-eyed for both Bud and Mavis, and publicist Morgan may have ideas of his own. However, this is all in service to a very light atmosphere, where men are either conniving or clueless, and the ladies are … pretty much the same. There's lots to laugh at, mainly in ‘city-mouse, country-mouse' form, especially when at one point the local yokels literally chase after Arden, mouths-agape.

Go West Young Man, notable as vehicle not originally intended for West, is light fare, with plot-threads tied up neatly by the end. It relies on West's comic chops and allure; she's in constant slow-motion, slinking about and setting hearts-ablaze with the quirk of an eyebrow. Kino Lorber does the movie justice with a glowing transfer and thoughtful commentary track. Old Movie buffs will find it Recommended.


The DVD

Video:
Arriving in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, Go West Young Man looks pretty dandy, all things considered. Original negatives for the movies in Kino Lorber's Mae West Studio Classics no longer exist, so this and others in the series have been sourced from ‘safety duplicates'. This black and white picture features a lush gray-scale presentation, with nice, appropriate film grain that varies in intensity. Scenes with more dim lighting tend to deliver heavier grain and a softer image. Black levels are all-around good, and though there is some wear-and tear evident, it's not distracting. Considering the less-than-perfect source, there's not much to complain about here.


Sound:
Audio is equal to video in terms of quality, for Go West Young Man. The Mono track is given the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 treatment and sounds just fine, without any real hiss or damage, and clean, clear dialog. The mix is appropriate, with musical numbers and soundtrack elements sharing space nicely.


Extras:
Kino Lorber supplies its Mae West Studio Classics (9 of them) with Trailers for most of those features, plus a couple others, and each gets a thoughtful Commentary Track, in this case by author and film historian Lee Gambin, which is as much about West and her career (as well as the other actors) as it is about the movie itself. This one is entertaining and educational if a tiny bit formal.


Final Thoughts:
Go West Young Man's tale of an easily irritated star stuck in the sticks, is notable as a vehicle not originally intended for West. It's light fare, with plot-threads tied up neatly by the end. It relies on West's comic chops and allure; she's in constant slow-motion, slinking about and setting hearts-ablaze with the quirk of an eyebrow. Kino Lorber does the movie justice with a glowing transfer and thoughtful commentary track. Old Movie buffs will find it Recommended.

www.kurtdahlke.com

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