Nothing Sacred isn’t even necessarily a media satire primarily, although it’s as prescient as more traditional examples of the form, like Network. It’s nearly impossible not to think of the film’s anticipation of modern morbid curiosities like Laci Peterson, Casey Anthony or Amanda Knox — all grist for the mill in the public grief machine. Rather, it follows the great screwball tradition of unlikely romance, as Wally discovers he has feelings for Hazel that extend beyond the reporter-source connection. Even here, Hecht and Wellman’s approach feels fresh, and a climactic fistfight wraps their relationship up in a nice, cockeyed bow.
The Blu-ray Disc
Long relegated to public domain hell, Nothing Sacred hasn’t had much luck in the home video market. This 1080p high definition transfer, mastered from a George Eastman House-preserved 35mm nitrate print, certainly rectifies many of those problems, presenting solid image clarity and sharpness. Colors tend to be pretty faded — sometimes looking quite lovely and other times looking afflicted with a sickly greenish pallor. There’s some debate as to the intended look of this early three-strip Technicolor, and it doesn’t seem conclusive as to whether more vibrant tones would’ve been seen originally. As it stands, the digital transfer looks pretty nice, and this is an obvious upgrade over current discs on the market.
The 2.0 mono track can be a little uneven, with music occasionally mixed a lot louder than the dialogue, but despite intermittent bouts of background fuzziness, clarity is still more than adequate.
Only a handful of trailers for other Kino releases, including the trailer for another upcoming Wellman Blu-ray, 1937’s A Star is Born, which is out in early February.
The Bottom Line
This is perhaps not a perfect Blu-ray, but it’s a vast upgrade over the current market, and an excellent way to get acquainted with the film.