Two Shades of Diane Keaton: Baby Boom (1987) + The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

April 20, 2017 | By

I thought I’d examine two films that present Diane Keaton in very different genres with varying levels of success.

As a comedienne, she’s flawless in Charles Shyer and Nancy Myers’ romantic comedy Baby Boom (1987), selling the premise of a tough career woman who accepts the sudden challenge of motherhood by leaving a high-pressure job and ultimately having it all by the finale. The first hour is more memorable and striking primarily because the focus is on the events that lead her to move from NYC to Vermont – a wealth of scenes which in 2017 would’ve been compressed to a fast 20 minute first act.

There are many notable surprises in this 1980s romcom which Twilight Time presents on Blu, and it’s one of the better genre efforts lacking the classic packaging of studios wanting to sell soundtrack albums (although a short-lived TV series did ensue).

Keaton may be the de facto star, but in Europe, es gibt buhr Kinski !

To the other end is John Le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl (1984), a political thriller that’s badly in need of a proper Blu-ray special edition. Part time capsule of a still unresolved conflict shot on many real locations, LDL has a wobbly start, but once Klaus Kinski pops onscreen, the film gets its motor and things move fast.

Director George Roy Hill managed two miracles: Kinski and co-star Yorgo Voyagis are 100% solid in their roles – a surprise when one considers the crap in which the former appeared, and the lesser roles which pretty much exploited Voyagis’ tough persona.

Warner Archives’ DVD ain’t great, but it’s the best we’ve got until maybe a label like Shout Select steps in and forces a proper HD transfer and contextual extras.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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