• The Revolt Of Mamie Stover (Twilight Time Releasing) Blu-ray Review

    Released By: Twilight Time
    Released On: July 17, 2018.
    Director: Raoul Walsh
    Cast: Jane Russell, Richard Egan, Joan Leslie, Agnes Moorehead
    Year: 1956
    Purchase From Screen Archives

    The Revolt Of Mamie Stover - Movie Review:

    It's San Francisco, 1941, and bad apple Mamie Stover (Jane Russell) is being run out of town on a rail; or rather, a very large boat; by San Francisco's finest, who don't look kindly upon Mamie's prostitutin' ways. The former Mississippi beauty queen doesn't take long to draw the attentions of fellow passenger and author Jim Blair (Richard Egan), who is struck by Mamie's good looks and hard-as-nails attitude. As the ship steams slowly towards Honolulu, the two strike up first a curious friendship, then smouldering romance, made easy by the fact that they're the only two passengers. But Mamie wants a provider, a place in the elusive house on the hill, and cautious Jimmy is reluctant to be taken as a sucker.

    Jim has other reasons for turning down his saucy sea seductress, however, which become very apparent to Mamie when they dock in Hawaii to find Jimmy's live-in lady friend waiting to shower him with kisses and affection. Mamie brushes the sting off quickly, though, and heads to her destination; a room and employment at the Bungalow, a local house of ill repute. Guaranteed a place by an old friend, Mamie makes the acquaintances of the madame of the house, Bertha Parchman (Agnes Moorehead) and her enforcer, Harry (Michael Pate), and quickly settles down to the business of doing the business, or as much of the business as can be implied in a film from 1956.

    It isn't long before Jimmy decides to drop in on his recent flame, and the two continue their somewhat forbidden romance; taboo for Jimmy due to his woman, and completely out of bounds for Mamie, who has been forbidden seeing men outside of work; and they further work out an agreement in which Jim will take care of Mamie's growing earnings, occasionally sending cash back to Mamie's father. As Mamie's fortune grows larger, however, the differences between her and Jimmy are exacerbated, with Mamie trying desperately to explain to Jimmy how much money means when you come from nothing.

    The war complicates issues further, when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour, sending Jim off to active duty, and Mamie into town to capitalize on the sudden boom in empty real estate, but Jimmy takes a step toward what seems like a happy ending for the two when he offers her his loyalty...in exchange for her exclusivity. As Mamie's real estate holdings being to take off, she finds herself more immersed in the almighty dollar, and a shot at becoming the star earner of The Bungalow proves to be the ultimate temptation.

    Based on the book by William Bradford Huie, though toned down heavily for 50's movie audiences, there's a lot to like about The Revolt of Mamie Stover. Jane Russell shines in the lead role, even if hindsight has shown her to be a pretty stereotypical femme fatalish trope from that era, and Richard Egan is a solid enough Jimmy, even if he also suffers from the Jimmy Stewartisms that Hollywood leading men were required to possess at the time. Unfortunately, the chemistry between the two of them is awkward at best, leading the viewer to wonder why they're continuously drawn toward one another, but hey, love is like that sometimes. A wonderful supporting cast are on hand to prop the picture up, including Agnes Moorehead as the butchy entrepreneur in charge of the Bungalow, and Michael Pate, who is quietly menacing as the man who slaps the women back in line.

    And while the story presented is mid-grade romance, the film offers a few other chestnuts, with beautiful Hawaiian scenery, prior to the island's hostile takeover by beachside resorts, and a pleasing score by Hugo Friedhofer. Raoul Walsh isn't pushing any boundaries with the Direction of The Revolt of Mamie Stover, but overall, it's a satisfactory viewing experience (if you don't count that cheesy song-and-dance number) where the sum is greater than the individual parts.

    The Revolt Of Mamie Stover - Blu-Ray Review:

    Twilight Time brings The Revolt of Mamie Stover to blu-ray with an AVC-encoded 2.35:1 transfer that looks great, typical of the quality of Twilight Time's work. Grain structure is decent, colours impress throughout, and a lack of dirt and debris provides for an optimal watch.

    I sampled all three tracks on the disc while watching the film, and found the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track to be the most immersive, though the DTS-HD 2.0 track didn't grate on the ears as much during the Pearl Harbour scenes. Par for the course, Twilight Time has also included an Isolated Score track in DTS-HD MA 3.0, a nice way to check out Friedhofer's compositions. All three tracks do a fine job carrying the sound, again with the edge going to the 5.1.

    Extras for this release include the usual Twilight Time Interactive Catalogue, a booklet essay by Twilight Times' Julie Kirgo, and a very unrestored Theatrical Trailer.

    The Revolt Of Mamie Stover - The Final Word:

    It's not going to mess with my Top Ten list of classic films, but The Revolt of Mamie Stover is a fine way to kill 92 minutes, with Twilight Time's usual quality control guaranteeing a beautiful audio and video experience.

    Click on the images below for full sized The Revolt Of Mamie Stover Blu-ray screen caps!