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American Masters: Marvin Hamlisch - What He Did

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 Aug. 6, 2012) earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death. Hit after hit The Way We Were, Nobody Does It Better and scores for The Sting, Sophie s Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan, and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch s personal archival treasure trove and complete cooperation from his family, this film explores his prolific life and career.

Review

3.5 out of 4 stars
...this biographical portrait serves up a fine appreciation of the prodigy who left us all too soon...Highly recommended. --Video Librarian

Product Details

  • Actors: Marvin Hamlisch, Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Christopher Walken, Carly Simon
  • Directors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GMM19X2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,142 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The story of Marvin's life is told with love!
Marvin's own words tell much of the story-from his first hit
"Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows" to the overwhelming success of "A Chorus Line"
to "The Sweet Smell of Success" which didn't make it on Broadway.
Marvin's story is told by his writing collaborators,and stars like Barbra Streisand, and warm, loving thoughts from his
beautiful wife Terre.
Everyone talks about his big heart, generosity, and talent!
Marvin truly was a musical genius and his rise to fame is documented with insight and honesty by his friend and movie producer Dori Berinstein.
It is well worth watching!
Truly Marvin Hamlisch was ONE SINGULAR SENSATION!
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This review is based on the PBS TV show as the DVD will not be shipped until Jan 14. I was in ecstasy, tears of joy running down my face, for the one and half hour show and had to order the DVD so my wife could experience it also. Fabulous depiction of the man, his music and his relationship to American show business. Done with great love and insight! I pity his wife (he married late) because he was really married to music as expressed in theater and movies. Everything they played in this show brought back memories for me. The depiction of Marvin's difficulties in writing for "A Chorus Line" and how his mental block was resolved was marvelous! I did not know that this show was a major factor in the decision to clean up the theater district in New York. They said in this show that the audience for the premier of A Chorus Line stood and cheered and refused to leave the theater!! I never saw the stage show. I think it must have been much better than the movie version.
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I watched the PBS show on public television and await release of the DVD with its bonus material and unaired clips about the making of A Chorus Line.

The outstanding PBS American Masters documentary on the People’s Composer, Marvin Hamlisch, lovingly celebrates the extraordinary life and talent of a magnificent mensch. Through his unforgettable music and the video clips of Hamlisch himself and the many artists and performers who were his friends (among them, Barbra Streisand, Lucie Arnaz, Carly Simon, Quincy Jones, John Lithgow, and Idina Menzel), PBS paints a sensitive portrait of the triumphs and travails of an irrepressible world class composer and entertainer who left us far too soon. Particularly poignant are the backstory about the creation of A Chorus Line -- a Broadway musical that broke all molds and records of its time -- and Hamlisch’s telephonic courtship with the love of his life and future wife, Terre Blair Hamlisch. Although he is gone, his music – and his passion for people – will endure.
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These American Masters programs originally shown on PBS are surprisingly informative and even enlightening (and of course highly-entertaining) This fascinating documentary by Dori Berinstein places the spotlight directly on the uncannily gifted Music-maker extraordinaire: Marvin Hamlisch who made the process of creating indelible melodies seem effortless!

One of the key insights presented here was that Marvin Hamlisch's creative motivations seemed optimistically & authentically American in nature = being a genuine prodigy fully-educated in the European Classical-Music tradition (accepted into Julliard before reaching the age of seven) but quickly developing a free-spirited boundlessly creative penchant for experimenting with those hallowed tunes (i.e. putting his own distinctive 'spin' on the pieces and freely/spontaneously reshaping the Music to match the ecstatic joy potentially inherent)

Although fully versed in the glories of Beethoven, Hamlisch chose to intently-focus his extensive compositional gifts towards the direction of Broadway and Theatrical/Film Music & Songs. Before reaching 20 he was the rehearsal pianist for Barbra Streisand and by 23 had composed the Score for the Burt Lancaster film 'The Swimmer' (followed soon by the Music for Woody Allen's first two films as director = the second Score for "Bananas" exhibits 100% pure zany-brilliance!)

Of course the years 1973/1974 made Marvin Hamlisch a Legendary composer with the Film Scores for both "The Way we Were" (with its perfectly constructed-conceptualized-composed, superlatively arranged title Song) and "the Sting" (which brought the brilliant African-American composer Scott Joplin's Music back into favor after 50-years!
Read more ›
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It is a stirring and nostalgic experience to review the achievements and challenges in the live of Marvin Hamlisch. I saw it on PBS and decided to get a copy for myself and my brother.
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If you enjoy the man and his music, you will enjoy this tribute.

The bonus material is a special gift.
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Hamlisch was a gifted and terrifically talented musician and composer. His skills and his ability to play anything, in any key at will made him the hit of everything from fraternity get-togethers to concert performances. I loved this tape.
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I really enjoyed this story. Never knew he did so much music I really like. Watch it please.
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