In his well-written distributor-by-distributor summation of the great DVD year that was 2005, New York Times columnist Dave Kehr includes a very curious judgment. He calls Daryl F. Zanuck and Nunnally Johnson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, the 1956 Gregory Peck-Jennifer Jones drama that Fox Home Video recently released as a “Studio Classics” DVD, “nearly unwatchable” and then double-slams it by equating it with Song of Bernadette. Please…this film is entirely watchable for various reasons (an intriguing 1950s time-machine aura, sturdy performances, handsome photography, solid dialogue) and more than respectable if you accept it for what it is: a somber and somewhat stodgy big-studio movie about An Important 1956 Subject, or the struggle of middle-class breadwinners to get along and get ahead while holding on to some vestige of passion about what their lives actually amounted to. Directed and adapted by Johnson (and based on the Sloan Wilson best-seller), this is the sort of overly serious, conservatively-staged and yet persistently probing drama that disappeared a long time ago from the culture, let alone from the Hollywood landscape. Nobody would be dumb enough to attempt a revival of the aesthetic behind it (except, maybe, as a one-shot irony piece like Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven) but if you take this richly colored widescreen film for what it was during its time and where its makers were coming from (and study its depictions of mid ’50s Manhattan and West- port, Connecticut), The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is an oddly haunting thing. And Fox Home Video has done a better-than- average job of restoring it, although I don’t believe their claim of having presented a 2.55 to 1 image (the Scope ratio that Fox used in the mid ’50s) — it looks more like 2.35 or 2.4 to 1.