Love Nest Review
Soldier Jim Scott (William Lundigan) returns after the war to find that his wife Connie (June Haver) has bought a run-down New York brownstone apartment block. Jim had ambitions to be a writer when he returned, but he finds that the constant troubles with looking after the building and the needs of their tenants is preventing him from writing his novel. The whole building needs rewired and the couple are unable to find the funds to keep up the building maintained to legal requirements. One of the tenants Mr Patterson (Frank Fay) who has suddenly got engaged with the widow Edie Gaynor (Leatrice Joy) is behaving very suspiciously, and when Jim’s old army buddy Roberta ‘Bobby’ Stevens (Marilyn Monroe) takes a room, it makes waves in a marriage that is going through a rocky time.
Love Nest is a gentle little comedy that gently charms in the style of the suave lothario Charley Patterson, the smooth-talking gentleman lady-charmer, but there’s little here to inspire any real surprises or even laughs. Indeed it’s Frank Fay’s character who provides the only interesting plot device that keeps this film going and its the only storyline that reaches any real conclusion. Otherwise this is pretty harmless and inoffensive material, the I.A.L. Diamond script never really rising above the level of a TV sitcom. The mishaps and adventures of the Scotts are like the weekly adventures that beset the similarly wholesome married couple of Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Love Nest however is not as consistent or as sharply witty as The Dick van Dyke Show. Featuring an early appearance from Marilyn Monroe before she became a major star, this is not a notable Monroe vehicle. She’s hardly in the film and her character makes little impact, although that’s not to say she goes unnoticed. As if. Monroe is a sparkling presence on the screen, even if her acting ability at this stage in her career leaves still something to be desired.
Love Nest is included in Volume One of the Marilyn Monroe Classic Collection and doesn’t appear to be available separately. The PAL DVD is encoded for Regions 2 and 4. A commentary track with director Joseph Newman and Marilyn Monroe biographer Jack Allen included on the corresponding Region 1 DVD release appears to have been dropped here in favour of an Italian dub.
This early Monroe film however has at least been transferred well at the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio with good black & white tones, detailed blacks, fine brightness and contrast levels. The image is sharp and clear with only a slight level of grain, but it’s an acceptable level considering the age of the film. There is the odd brightness flicker in the occasional frame and a mild smattering of dustspots, but little that constitutes serious damage. An Italian dub is included on this release, at the cost of a commentary track that is present on the Region 1.
The audio soundtrack quality is average. Dialogue is reasonably clear, but it’s a little harsh at louder volumes and shows signs of crackle in the voices. There is one instance of the sound dipping sharply early in the film, but otherwise it’s stable with no troublesome background noise.
English hard of hearing subtitles are included, as are subtitles in a number of other European languages – see sidebar for details.
There are no extra features on this DVD.
Love Nest is not a notable Marilyn Monroe film by any means, but it’s harmlessly entertaining and rarely enough seen to be worth including in the Marilyn Monroe Classic Collection. The film is well transferred to DVD and although it lacks the extra features that are present on the Region 1, they are hardly essential for such a film.