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Alexander's Ragtime Band
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Top Customer Reviews
Another huge disappointment from Fox Home Video. "Alexander's Ragtime Band" was 20th Century-Fox's most prestigious production of 1938, featuring three of the studio's biggest box office draws (Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, and Don Ameche); a marvelous supporting cast led by Ethel Merman, Jean Hersholt, and John Carradine; outstanding direction by veteran Henry King; and a slight but entertaining script that showcased more than two dozen of prolific songwriter Irving Berlin's most beloved melodies. The prototype for the big budget musicals that Fox would perfect in the 1940's, the film was a huge hit with the public and critics alike, garnering six Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) and winning the statuette for Best Music Scoring.
One might think that Fox would take special care in mastering such a revered film for its DVD release - especially when releasing it under the Fox "Studio Classics" banner - but one would be wrong. Although the film's soundtrack has been painstakingly preserved, the visuals are inexcusably shoddy. Specifically, there is a visual noise line that appears in the midst of Chapter 8 (during the song "Now It Can Be Told") and continues to disrupt the picture for the remaining hour or so of the film. This distortion never appeared on the various prints shown on pay cable stations during the past 20 years, and should not appear in a home video release that purports to be "restored".
This major and obnoxious glitch is especially upsetting because the rest of the DVD is so appealing.Read more ›
Tyrone Power has the lead role of Nob Hill raised Roger Grant ne: Alexander, an earnest young conductor in 1911 San Francisco committed to the elevation of swing as a musical force in its own right. The story covers over 3 decades as we see his rise and fall and rise again as his fortunes change with each passing decade. In particular the focus is on his love/hate, on again/off again relationship with the band's lead singer Stella Kirby (Alice Faye)a brassy saloon singer from the Barbary Coast with no refinement but alot of energy and a great talent. Their's is a tumultous relationship which sees them unwillingly thrown together in their work, through a veiled attraction to each other, to separation by war, to Stella developing refinement and then finding fame in New York as a solo singer through to her unhappy marriage to a member of the Band Charlie Dwyer (Dom Ameche in another underrated performance) Of course the resolution at the conclusion is a happy one with the pair being finally reunited in a rousing rendition at Carnegie Hall of, you guessed it "Alexander's Ragtime Band"!Read more ›
Unfortunately, this release has a blatant WHITE STRACTCH down the left side of the image for most of the film. It's so distracting it makes it hard to enjoy the film. How could Fox do this, with their prestigious STUDIO CLASSIC series, which also by the way, could use a fresh coat of packaging paint. Their covers are awful.
The commentary by Ray Faiola is fun, the outtakes are fun, and the trailer looks TEN TIMES better than the movie.
C'mon Fox, pay attention and do a better job. This was a Best Picture nominee!
The action begins in the early 1900s in San Francisco. A young man from a wealthy society family named Roger Grant (Tyrone Power) just can't stand playing classical music even though he's very good at it. Instead, to the dismay of his family, he forms a ragtime early swing era band and calls it Alexander's Ragtime Band. He even changes his name to Alexander! That's when Alexander and his buddies Charlie Dwyer (Don Ameche) and drummer Davey Lane (Jack Haley) meet up with tough talking Stella Kirby (Alice Faye); but soon Stella is singing with the band.
Romance inevitably blossoms. Eventually, after a few misunderstandings, Stella and Alexander are in love. However, when Stella gets her big break to leave the band and go to New York to star in big Broadway shows, Alexander is furious that she would leave the band behind. Only Charlie sticks up for Stella; and in a fit of rage Alexander tells Charlie that he should also go to New York with Stella.
World War One sets in and Alexander tries to forget about Stella. After the war Alexander returns--only to find that Stella, who he still loves, married Charlie back home during the war. Alexander is depressed but Davey introduces him to Jerry Allen (Ethel Merman). Jerry replaces Stella in their band act and Alexander tries to see if he can find romance with Jerry instead of Stella.
The plot can go in many different directions from here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great cast- good songs, too. Loved to see Etgel merman and Jack Haley perform. A little too much arguing in the plot, but worth watching!Published 11 days ago by Patty L.
This is one of the best musicals of the 30's. Alice Faye is a singer , Tyrone Power getting a new band started. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Stephen E. Lightell
There was a bit of the film missing on this DVD, perhaps because of the length of a DVD. Don't know why.lPublished 10 months ago by linda justice
I'm a huge fan of Tyrone Power. This is definitely one of my favorite films he made. Years ago, I had this on VHS and had been looking for it on DVD for a while. Read morePublished 10 months ago by BellaK
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