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Bloomer Girl (1956)

Barbara Cook , Keith Andes  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Cook, Keith Andes
  • Writers: Harold Arlen, E.Y Harburg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Video Artists Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2012
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,989 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
This is the latest in the recent series of musicals that were adapted for television in the 1950s being released by VAI Video. The productions are "condensed" versions - which include the "hits" - squeezing a two-hour show into 60-70 minutes PLUS commercials. Musically, this is my favorite so far.

If you found this review by searching Amazon you probably know something about the musical so I won't go into too much detail about it but will concentrate on the DVD release. Briefly, the 1944 musical takes place in a "hoop skirt factory" on the eve of the Civil War. It's about women's rights, slavery and racism - topics that composers Harold Arlen and "Yip" Harburg turn into wonderful songs. The big hit here is "The Eagle and Me" sung beautifully by Rawn Spearman. Spearman gets to sing again, along with two fellow African Americans (including actor Brock Peters - here listed as "Broc" in the credits) for "I Got A Song", a song new to me but beautifully performed. Barbara Cook and Keith Anders are the romantic leads and in great voice. Another reason that this broadcast is important is that the dances choreographed by Agnes De Mille for the Broadway production are re-staged for television by De Mille utilizing some of the principal dances from the Broadway production 15 years earlier.

This is a BLACK& WHITE kinescope of the show that aired on "Producers Showcase" in 1956. Because a kinescope is a film of a TV image it is never as sharp as a direct film. In this case the image is clean (no dust marks or scratches) but the contrast is not as high as you might hope for. I do not have an HD TV so can't tell what it'll look like on that. (My TV is 33-year-old 27 inch Sony). But the sound is great!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Archeology February 16, 2013
Placing this video in context is a little like trying to reconstruct a vanished
civilization from artefacts. It brings us back to a time when Broadway musicals
were central in American life. Everyone knew about them, went to them, played the
records...and saw them revived almost every week on television. The showings were
cut way down from the original Broadway running time, but they featured the kind of
performers who were working prominently on Broadway in this era--Barbara Cook was
about to go into Plain and Fancy and then The Music Man, and Keith Andes was in
between replacing Alfred Drake in Kiss Me, Kate and playing opposite Lucille Ball
in Wildcat. And Agnes de Mille was recreating two of her Bloomer Girl dances, the
one following "It Was Good Enough For Grandma" and the famous Civil War Ballet.
So this tape brings us back to a longlost time. The cutdown script is not so
great, but what's left of the score is wonderful, and everyone plays with authentic
style. The CD might be a better bet because the songs are so good. And there are
quite a lot of them, too--the original 78 set was one of the longest of the 1940s.
But most customers will probably want a full-scale performance, albeit cut way
back from the original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Broadway oldie with a great score July 9, 2013
Verified Purchase
Harold Arlen's score is a knockout with one great song after another. And the young Barbara Cook is a joy (she thinks she looks awful in this--hairdo issues--I think she looks almost as delicious as she sounds). The book creaks (North South civil war stuff), and the whole affair wobbles between operetta and musical comedy, but oh that wonderful score and oh Barbara Cook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Max Liebman spectacular February 16, 2014
Verified Purchase
Ever since I saw a production of Bloomer Girl in 1981, this has been one musical I've longed to see again. Thanks to VAI, I finally did, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The songs are great, as is the story, and the acting in this production is superb. A terrific addition to my collection. As a side note, the review I did for A Connecticut Yankee mentioned it includes the original commercials. Forget that, I was a bit feeble minded when I wrote that part, this DVD has the commercials.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theater History April 6, 2013
By PeterA
Verified Purchase
Shows it age--both in the show itself and the production--but historically signficant for preserving a visual of a classic score/show. And how wodnerful to see a young Barbara Cook in action.

Peter A.
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