Blu-ray, DVD Release: Perfect Understanding

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 4, 2013
Price: DVD $24.99, Blu-ray $34.99
Studio: Cohen Film Collection/Entertainment One

Perfect Understanding movie scene

Gloria Swanson and Laurence Olivier test out the viability of their marriage vows in Perfect Understanding.

Cinema icons Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard) and Laurence Olivier (Richard III) star in the 1933 romantic comedy Perfect Understanding, the only film the pair made together.

Judy (Swanson) and Nicholas (Olivier) are a young society couple who marry based on the “perfect understanding” that they will be allowed to enjoy extramarital adventures and never let jealousy come between them.

That arrangement is soon put to the test when a drunk Nicholas sleeps with a former lover (Nora Swinburne, TV’s The Forsythe Saga). When he returns to Judy, he is guilt-ridden and confesses his indiscretion. Judy forgives him, but Nicholas is soon battling his own feelings of jealousy when he comes to believe that Judy has slept with an old friend of hers (John Halliday, The Philadelphia Story). Uh-oh…

Directed by Cyril Gardner and written by a young Michael Powell (The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus), this Cohen Film Collection release represents the British movie’s official debut on DVD and Blu-ray.

As bonus features, the Blu-ray and DVD include two short films from 1933: Husband’s Reunion and Dream Stuff, both produced by Mack Sennett.

Not quite a classic but certainly a notable curio, Perfect Understanding warrants a look-see by fans of the stars and followers of the British cinema of yesteryear.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.