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Astaire & Rogers Collection, Vol. 1 (Top Hat / Swing Time / Follow the Fleet / Shall We Dance / The Barkleys of Broadway)
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Follow the Fleet
With a score by Irving Berlin, Top Hat is most famous for two numbers, Astaire's definitive tuxedo setting "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails" and the feathery duet "Cheek to Cheek." But other joys include Astaire's "Fancy Free" declaration, "Isn't It a Lovely Day," and the grand finale "The Piccolino." Favorite musical moments in Swing Time include the set-piece "Pick Yourself Up," in which Rogers "teaches" Astaire to dance before they break into a spectacular number; the farewell ode "Never Gonna Dance," and the Oscar-winning "Just the Way You Look Tonight," from the team of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields.
Top Customer Reviews
Here, in this wonderful boxed set, are some of their finest films. It is a bit of heaven you can slide into your vcr any time you need a lift, and never be let down. The best of the three films the couple were in together before they became the main attraction, "Follow the Fleet," is included in this set. It is an early glimpse of their magic, and while the film itself is not on a par with the others, its inclusion here is nice. Also found in this set is "The Barkley's of Broadway."
Fred and Ginger fans will be glad their final film together is here to enjoy also. It was made as a "reunion" picture, ten years after the couple had said goodbye. It is an enjoyable film on its own, a bit of nostalgia for their fans, but a notch below "Swing Time," "Shall We Dance," and "Top Hat.". Nevertheless, every fan of Fred and Ginger needs to own that one also.
Here is an overview of this lovely collection of fun and romantic films we all took to our hearts long ago------
"Isn't This a Lovely Day to Get Caught In the Rain?Read more ›
Secondly, there was a solid effort at providing special features that I highly appreciated, since most classic films that are released to DVD fail to include any. It would have been preferable to have audio commentary on all 5 of the films, but 3 is better than none. "Swing Time" by far has the most interesting and astute audio commentary. "Top Hat" has the worst. The inclusion of Astaire's daughter as a commentator makes sense, but probably wasn't the wisest choice. She admits early on in the commentary that she doesn't know all that much about her father's films and, indeed, her comments offer nothing new or insightful.Read more ›
A pal who works at a famous film restoration lab in L.A. told me that WB has been working on these wonderful movies for nearly two years, in many cases, using the original negative (when available) as their source material.
This means they're gonna look great..and it was worth the wait.
Each great film has been given a new documentary, some have commentaries, and most (all?) have shorts or cartoons.
No one lavishes as much love & intelligence on their classic releases as Warner does. I'm sure these will not disappoint!
The success of Fred and Ginger was both unlikely and unanticipated. In the early 1930s, as advances in recording technology made the production of musicals more possible, studios that had not previously been in the business of producing musicals tried their hand at it. RKO was rather late in attempting to make musicals, and worked hard in 1932-1933 to acquire musical talent. Two of their first acquisitions were Astaire and Rogers. Fred Astaire was a famous stage performer, but unfortunately as the "straight" man of a brilliant comic dance team consisting of Adele and Fred Astaire. The center of the act was Adele, and many wonder how second fiddle Fred would fare following Adele's retirement to marry into British royalty. Happily, Fred found success on Broadway in the Cole Porter musical THE GAY DIVORCE (when it became a film the title was changed to THE GAY DIVORCEE when the Hays Office declared that divorcees could be gay, but divorces were always tragic), and it led to his signing by RKO (his famous screen test results--"Can't sing, can't act, balding, can dance a little"--are unfortunately mythical). RKO lent him out briefly to MGM for THE DANCING LADY (with a leaden footed Joan Crawford as his partner) while they were assembling the crew to make FLYING DOWN TO RIO, into which they threw him along with their other new musical talent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The digial if it is digital transfer is very flawed. At least that is what I received. The film-movie is great and deserves more than this sloppy tranfer.Published 1 month ago by david schulter
I am not a fan of Ginger and wish that Louise Brooks, who was absolutely beautiful, svelte, and could dance had partnered with Astaire. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Roberto
One star less because packaged with styrofoam pieces - I question if recyclable. LOVE movie CDs.Published 10 months ago by Gloria
Not much to say beyond what everyone else lists. A great set of movies with incredible music. Follow the Fleet and the Barkleys probably sit below the other three a little but as... Read morePublished 15 months ago by R. Ginocchio
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Vol. !! of Astaire/Rogers films||
I am really looking forward to the release of the second volume of the Astaire & Rogers Collection on DVD. I contacted Warner Home Video and they have told me it is scheduled for release in late summer or the fall of 2006, but no definitive date has been set.
Jun 20, 2006 by Mr. Nostalgia | See all 4 posts
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