By no stretch is Gypsy a great movie musical. Rosalind Russell grates as Mama Rose, Natalie Wood underplays the star-stripper daughter, Louise, and it all unfolds in stodgy, long-shot plateaus. But Gypsy could have made a fine laserdisc, letting you speed-search to Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim standards like ”Let Me Entertain You.” Instead, the chapter stops on this blurred, dim-colored disc mark the starts of scenes, not songs. Warner also hasn’t bothered to include the punchy stereo version of the soundtrack, nor a key song cut after the movie opened.
Certainly Gypsy deserves at least the care lavished on 1776, a minor yet endearing Founding Father chorale expanded by a half hour on disc to its director’s original three-hour cut. Almost all the additions enrich the story, especially ”To the Right,” a ditty tweaking conservatism. With its sharp picture and remixed-from-scratch surround audio, it makes Warner’s no-frills Gypsy look naked.