Love Story Blu Ray Review (Paramount)
Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama directed by Arthur Hiller (The Babe, The Out-Of-Towners, Author! Author!, Nightwing, The In-Laws, Silver Streak, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil). It was written by the author of the original book Erich Segal (Oliver’s Story, R.P.M., The Games, and Yellow Submarine). It was produced by David Golden (Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score!, and Lovin’ Molly). It was followed by the 1978 sequel “Oliver’s Story”. The budget was $2.2 million and it grossed $136.4 million at the box office!!!! Oliver Barrett IV (played by: Ryan O’Neal from Oliver’s Story, Bones, Barry Lyndon, and The Driver), the heir of an American upper-class East Coast family is attending Harvard College where he plays ice hockey. He meets Jennifer Cavilleri (played by: Ali MacGraw from The Getaway, Players, Convoy, and Dynasty), a quick-witted, working-class Radcliffe College student of classical music; they quickly fall in love despite their many differences. His friends which includes roommate Hank (played by: Tommy Lee Jones from No Country for Old Men, Men in Black franchise, The Fugitive/U.S. Marshals, and Natural Born Killers) are very surprised by this considering his past. When Jenny reveals her plans to study in Paris, Oliver is upset that he does not figure in those plans for her future. He proposes and she accepts it right away. They travel to the Barrett mansion so that she can meet Oliver’s parents (played by: Ray Milland from Dial M for Murder and Katharine Balfour from Dark Shadows), who are judgmental and unimpressed with her. Oliver’s father tells him that he will cut him off financially if he marries Jenny and he will be on his own from now on. After graduation Oliver and Jenny decide to follow their hearts. They get married and start a new life together. Without his father’s financial support, the couple struggle to pay Oliver’s way through Harvard Law School; Jenny works as a teacher. Oliver graduates third in his class and takes a position at a respectable New York City law firm. They are ready to start a family but they fail to conceive. After many tests Oliver is given some life changing news. The couple deal with their issues and try to make best with their time together. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” is a powerful and true saying that comes from this classic romantic drama on when opposites attract. This is a great love story that connects two people that are completely different from each other but they sacrifice everything to be together after falling in love. The script is top notch and it brings out of the best from the cast. Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw have such a realistic chemistry that you get caught up with them and almost forget that you are watching a movie. These two give their best performances in their entire career in Love Story. Jennifer Cavilleri gives up her dreams and Oliver Barrett walks away from his family money to be in this passionate relationship. I love the awkward encounters Oliver has with his opinionated father, they are both stubborn in this and it takes a lot to bring them back together. It has a solid small supporting cast which includes Tommy Lee Jones in his screen debut, Ray Milland, John Marley (The Godfather), and Andrew Duncan (Used Cars). The character development and build up for the couple is very impressive which makes it harder when things get tough for them. This is a very sad film but it really pulls you into their world. Someone that I love is going through some of the same stuff so it personally hit me hard and I really related to this so clearly this one still holds up after all these years. The production design, locations, and the Oscar winning music were all high quality in this. This is one of the best romantic dramas ever made, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Paramount Pictures! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K restoration and it blows away the previous 2012 Blu Ray release. Love Story looks way better than expected for a 70’s catalog title. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English: Dolby Digital Mono, German: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono, and Japanese: Dolby Digital Mono which adds a few more languages/tracks compared to the last home video release. This is not the type of feature to blow up your speakers or anything like that but it does sound good here. All of the dialogue is crystal clear and the music has a nice boost to it. It has English, English SDH, French, German, and Japanese subtitles.Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount Pictures! “Audio Commentary” with director Arthur Hiller. He chats about his experience, the script, cast, characters, and the production of Love Story here. He talks about some stuff that was removed here but it was kept in the book. He tells a few stories how he recruited some of the cast and crew for this movie. He says Paramount was struggling at the time so everything was really tight here. He brings up his hesitation about doing this at first and that he was actually the third option for it. He goes over it’s success and it’s release. He drops all kinds of information about the feature and goes over the scenes. It’s a solid track that you learn a decent amount about this one. It has a little over 3 minute “Introduction” with TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz. “Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on Love Story” is a brand new exclusive little over 6 minute interview with the famous critic on this production and director. He goes over the history of the film. He chats about some of the previous work of the directors and lead actors. He talks about it’s success and how it still holds up to this day. “Love Story: A Classic Remembered” is an almost 15 minute archive feature from the previous home video release. It’s an interview with director Arthur Hiller. He chats about the story, characters, cast, studio, and it’s release. He said he was actually offered The Godfather at one point. He names a few actors that turned down the lead role and brings up that Christopher Walken almost got it. He goes the additional scenes that he shot after he originally finished the film. He mentions his original cut and how it drastically changed. It has a “Theatrical Trailer”. It also includes a really cool slipcover that folds out to the original poster & a clear case with additional photos. I really dig the unique packaging for this blu ray. This is from the newer Paramount Presents line. It actually has a digital code which is rare for this line so far. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!