DESIGNING WOMAN REVIEWED
“Designing Woman” is Woman of the Year. Peck is aping Tracy and Bacall is trying to hang with Hepburn. The film pulled a Oscar for the script, but let’s be honest. Hollywood romantic comedies had a mold that worked for 15 years. Sportswriter or manly academic falls in love with an independent woman. All the while, they banter with upper class attitude and the rest of America is left to rot.
What about the film? It’s a collection of tales about gangsters throwing horse races and guys dabbling in bigamy. There is some theatrical numbers, a slight musical tinge and 50s headliners just tripping the light fantastic. When you hear older film scholars talk about lady pictures, this film straddles that definition. Gregory Peck overdoses on machismo to give the guys something to watch, but it’s very forced.
So much of the film hangs on how Peck and Bacall got together while drunk. That might have been a fun way to start a marriage in the 1950s, but so much of this feels like a sitcom. It’s amazing to watch these time capsule films, but I wouldn’t call this essential by any stretch of the imagination.
- 2.35:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0 MONO