The anamorphically enhanced 2.20:1 DVD appears to be the same as the previously released DVD, with an image that will suffice until MGM decides to strive for a brand new restoration of this beloved musical. The picture certainly has a dated appearance, with some scenes appearing quite soft or smeared. Yet, most of the movie is very nicely rendered, with bold, nicely balanced colors. The source element is revealing of some dirt and grain, and the image can be slightly jumpy. Edge enhancement isn
The Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is a new remastering effort and sounds smoother in midrange tonal resolution than the corresponding audio for the previous DVD release. There also seems to be a slight refinement in terms of spatial articulation, and background hiss is a little more subdued. Fidelity is noticeably dated, but the restoration of the audio is very impressive. The music score is fabulous and enchanting, and projects a palpably dimensional soundstage. The dialogue is a bit strident and its sonic character is indicative of the original, dated production. Like the original theatrical version, it is directional. The surrounds serve to fill in the ambience from the music of Leonard Bernstein, albeit being limited in stereo separation. The low-end provides for a nice deep bass foundation to the music, with LFE channel engagement. Considering that this is a 1961 musical, there is plenty of unforgettable enjoyment. (perry Sun/Gary Reber)
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