The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom arrives on Blu-ray after being remastered in HD by Paramount Pictures from a 4K scan of the original negative.
I generally like both Shirley MacLaine and Richard Attenborough as actors. Given the subject of the film, I feel that I would do better by watching with an audience. When watching at home, the laughs can be hit and miss. Laughter is contagious and the biggest thing that gets lost when watching alone. In any event, the film is a serviceable marital/extramarital comedy about a bra manufacturer, his wife, and his wife’s lover living in their attic. That’s really the basic gist of it.
Robert Blossom (Richard Attenborough) is a music-obsessed workaholic bra manufacturer. He sends Ambrose Tuttle (James Booth) to repair Harriet’s (Shirley MacLaine) broken sewing machine. Shortly thereafter, Harriet seduces him and the rest is history. It does reach hysterics that definitely work better with an audience. It is not only that Ambrose ends up missing and the police pursuing the case but he actually provides stock tips to Robert himself. This comes as mysterious noises lead Robert to having a breakdown! Furthermore, Robert later divorces Harriet so that she can marry Ambrose. If you didn’t think the situation could become more absurd, he gives them the factory and it only gets more ridiculous from there on out.
The ending is even more ridiculous than the rest of the film. We, as an audience, never see it coming at all. Suffice it to say, it’s a happier (I guess) ending than the real-life events that inspired the play and film. It’s one of those endings that make viewers drop their jaws and go WTF just happened! It’s also rather quick with an hour and a half run time. Some comedies like to run nearly two hours but this one is short and two the point even if the laughter would be better with an audience. Maybe the film’s release on Blu-ray will inspire future repertory screenings?
The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom is fine but is a comedy that works much better with an audience than solo viewing at home.
- Audio Commentary by Film Historian/Filmmaker Daniel Kremer
DIRECTOR: Joseph McGrath
SCREENWRITERS: Alec Coppel and Denis Norden
CAST: Shirley MacLaine, Richard Attenborough, James Booth, with Freddie Jones, William Rushton, Bob Monkhouse, Patricia Routledge, John Bluthal, Harry Tomb, Sandra Caron, Sheila Staefel, Frank Thornton, Barry Humphries, John Cleese, Clive Dunn, Geraldine Sherman, Julian Chagrin
Paramount released The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom in theaters on September 11, 1968. Grade: 3/5
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