on November 4, 2006
Oh, what a beautiful collection! These 6 films from the most successful writing team in the American musical theater have been available on DVD for years--but not like this! All 6 have now been fully remastered to meet the demands of the latest TV and computer equipment. They have always been great, but they've truly never looked and sounded better than they do now.
But wait--there's more! This package includes a generous bunch of extras: documentaries, deleted material, alternate versions, interviews, running commentaries, soundtrack albums, performances by stars from the original stage productions, even a remake of STATE FAIR from 1962. The extras alone are a good reason to upgrade your copies--or to get them for the first time.
If you're looking for colorful, romantic stories with brilliant performances and a virtual catalogue of nearly 100 of the very best show tunes in history, you couldn't make a better purchase. These are, quite simply, the finest films of their kind. No serious DVD collection is complete without them. Watch. Listen. Enjoy!
PS: You'll also want to add FLOWER DRUM SONG to your collection. It's now (finally) available on DVD, and it's every bit as lovely as these films.
on November 25, 2006
This is one of the finest DVD collections ever produced. Fox has added the same three anniversary editions from last year--"Oklahoma," "State Fair," and "The Sound Of Music"--to a thin-pack set with this year's bonanzas: "Carousel," "The King And I," and for good measure, although it's not an anniversary, "South Pacific." Extras abound here with such delight that it should take the dedicated viewer many nights to fully appreciate all the contents. For example, the 1934 "Liliom," the French film based on Ferenc Molnar's play, that establishes the story of "Carousel" as a drama, is a special gift from Fox. The 55mm and Todd- AO versions of several films are now fully available and the Road Show version of "South Pacific" is presented. Richard Barrios, one of our major experts in film musicals provides the commentary (with others) for "State Fair," "The King And I," and "South Pacific." There are excerpts from TV and Broadway versions of songs and numerous other bonuses that are exhilarating.
Remember, too, that "South Pacific" had what was in 1958 considered by many in the industry to be the finest example of sound design and engineering to that time, and it won the Oscar for Best Sound.
The compact set, which is apparently the new industry standard, also features a short but very useful booklet. If you love Richard Rodgers and his second partner, Oscar Hammerstein II, this box set should be number one on your list right now.
on April 5, 2002
This review is about the DVD presentation only. The movies are ALL CLASSICS and worth the price of admission. But I must caution the investor of the this Box Set.
THE GOOD NEWS: These are the greatest Rodgers & Hammerstien II musicals now in a Box set. They have all been digitally remastered both picture & sound. The colors, picture quality excellent and the sound crystal clear. THE BAD NEWS: All this work but "State Fair" is lost in the WideScreen aspect ratio presentation.
Qualifying Statement: I am a Home Theatre, HDTV - 55" x 16:9 WidesScreen, Progressive Scan DVD, Dolby Prologic Sound System owner. I have over 400 DVD movies ,mostly remastered, WideScreen (preserved in the original theatrical aspect ratio), Anamorphic or enhanced for 16:9 TV's.
NOTE: Full Screen - 4:3 (1:33 to 1 ratio) made for TV or film before 1953. WideScreen - 4:3 letterbox (horizontal top & bottom black bars adjusted for any aspect ratio 165/185/225 to 1 etc. It is still letterbox) are movies made after 1953. (to compete with the popularity of Television) ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN IS THE ONLY TRUE HDTV 16:9 PRESENTATION. This format automatically adjusts to the Television being used. To get the High Definition picture the DVD MUST BE ANAMORPHIC & ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS!!!!!!
Now in SUMMARY: STATE FAIR Full Screen Technicolor is the best presentation and the movie. Oklahoma, Carousal, The King & I and South Pacific are WideScreen (4:3 Letterbox - small picture horizontal & vertical black bars) great color, music but small picture very disappointing. Finally the Sound of Music was adjusted to an Anamorphic WideScreen but was not enhanced for the HDTV 16:9 format. The results is a very grainy picture.
Bottomline - Now that the Home Theatre environment is becoming more common it is time to sort the GOOD from the BAD DVD's. This is only from a dedicated videophile of old classic movies who enjoys the total viewing & listening Home Theatre experience. The movies themselves are the main ingredient but unfortunately Film Studios don't always give us what we think we are getting. (Quality vs Quantity) Another words they are already re-releasing DVD movies with these mentioned enhancements & special features for WideScreen TV's etc SO WE NEED TO BUY RIGHT THE FIRST TIME & not repeat buying on the same movie as we upgrade our Televisions & Home Theatres. REMEMBER - ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN & ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS adjusts automatically to any size aspect ratio television!!!!! ENJOY.
on June 15, 2000
The films in this collection are truly some of the most memorable films of the American musical genre. These are movies with great stories set to music, song and dance which have lived on in our culture for many years. Who can forget the images of Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr dancing around the palace in The King and I? Or Gordon MacRae and Rod Steiger lamented the death of poor ol' Jud Fry while contesting for the attention Shirley Jones' Laurey? Or how about Rossano Brazzi serenading Mitzi Gaynor on one enchanted evening? Certainly everyone remembers Julie Andrews singing her way into the heart of Christopher Plummer and the von Trapp children as her voice soared above the Austrian Alps. The travels of the farm-raised Frake to the Iowa State Fair are accompanied my much fun and romance. And MacRae and Jones team up again in the beautifully-filmed and heartfelt Carousel.
These films, as much as the songs that made them famous, are a legacy from Rogers and Hammerstein to all of us. Born originally from theatrical stage productions, each has an individual beauty and identity that makes them impossible to ignore. Those who have been fortunate enough to see these works performed on the stage know well what I mean and can share the joy and wonder that I first felt hearing my mother play recordings of these musicals when I was growing up. As much as any other, I highly recommend this collection of films. If you ever saw these films, you will appreciate making them part of your collection!
on April 29, 2007
This is an amazing collection - the movies never looked better, the sound is wonderful and the extras are bountiful, to say the least. State Fair was never a favorite but they included the 1962 version as well -- now I really LIKE the original -- and they call that an Extra? Same for Carousel - they include the 1934 Liliom. You may think you're only getting six movies but it's far much more than that. I won't go into the sing-along format, but the kitchen sink is included as well.
For me a little R & H goes a long way - this is just perfect for those days when I need a shot of beautiful music, basic morals, great sets and yes, I'll admit watching Anna and the King dance the polka makes me cry for joy.
on January 14, 2002
The collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd was for the 20th century what the genius of William Shakespeare was in the Bard's time. As the two songwriters moved from other collaborators to create what became "Oklahoma!" they took theater to a new height, by turning the musical play into the most effective, persuasive form of entertainment conceivable. (That is until the death of Hammerstein, and the inability of today's craftsmen of musicals to really understand the revolutionary nature of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the evolution of song styles, and the inability of the musical of today to associate itself with the popular music of our time.) These are the film versions of their major plays, and the 1945 version of "State Fair." For the most part, these are very good adaptations of the stage works, finally presented in their widescreen format so the viewer can see what it was that awed the audience of the 1950s. "Oklahoma!" is the Todd-AO version which, until now, had never been presented outside its initial 1955 theatrical release in specially-equipped theaters. "South Pacific," which like "Oklahoma!" Rodgers and Hammerstein produced themselves, finally gives the viewer the spectacular view of the Hawaiian scenery that supports the film. And, perhaps because it is widescreen (or perhaps because the 2001 remake stunk so bad), the film really seems finally to work for the home viewer, colored filters and all. In fact, the widescreen ratio of the film seems to make the colored filters of "South Pacific" less jarring. Some of the DVD's in this collection contain the original theatrical trailers, while others do not. "The Sound of Music" is a two-disc set which has more than enough supplemental material to please anyone. The problem is, "The Sound of Music," with all its niceness, has given Rodgers and Hammerstein a bad rap. All of their major works deal with political strife, murder,racism, war, death, or culture clashes. When Hammerstein's book and lyrics are coupled with Rodgers' music, they're able to present the most-effective indictments of whatever cause they're taking on. Rodgers and Hammerstein is not all bright copper kettles. The plays are about the dark side of humanity, and about that dark side eventually losing because of the basic human spirit. Characters in these plays and films are transformed much the way Prince Hal is transformed into King Henry. Any student of drama, music, literature, theater, or political science would be well-advised to study these films, learn from them, and then master their craft.
This brand-new 50th Anniversary edition of CAROUSEL is definitely a must for all fans of the uplifting and inspiring Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. Considered by Rodgers as the personal favourite of all his works, and based on the play "Liliom" by Ferenc Molnar; the story concerns innocent factory-girl Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones) and jaded carnival barker Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae). Despite coming from the opposite sides of the track, the two fall in love, but their relationship is tempered by Billy's violent outbursts and inability to find an honest job. When Julie becomes pregnant, he is talked into committing a robbery, but the plan backfires when he falls on his own knife and dies while trying to escape the police. Now in Heaven, Billy is given one last chance to redeem himself and to reconcile his now-teenaged daughter. Filled with haunting songs like "If I Loved You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone", CAROUSEL remains a very moving film experience.
This DVD has been available for a while in the UK and Australia, and will finally get a US release this November. Extra features will include audio commentary from Shirley Jones and Nick Redman; an all-new featurette "Turns on the Carousel", vintage performances from the "General Foods" Rodgers & Hammerstein TV tribute (original Broadway leads John Raitt and Jan Clayton performing the complete Bench Scene/"If I Loved You"). Also included are several rare MovieTone news segments, and the deleted numbers "Blow High Blow Low" and "You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan".
on February 27, 2005
In an age where a science fiction thriller can approach 3 hours, it's interesting that back in 1956 20th Century Fox decided that a movie running two and one half hours was long enough for a musical. So what did they do? Oh, just merely edit out two movie sequences containing the songs "You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan" and "Blow High, Blow Low". Hello? And how long was the classic 1939 "Gone With the Wind"? Over three hours? What a pity, because Rodgers & Hammerstein's wonderful "Carousel" (their personal favorite musical) deserved to be seen complete, no matter how long it may have been!! The deleted scenes added to the story and the songs were great. Luckily the two deleted songs can be heard on the VERY COMPLETE movie CD soundtrack (see my review of it). Since so many DVDs these days are coming out with Director's Cut versions of more recent movies, perhaps "Carousel" may one day be re-released in it's glorious entirety, that is unless the Hollywood morons of 1956 threw away the deleted film!! For the time being, let's be thankful for the "Carousel" of which I'm writing. Highly Recommended.
On the recently reissued 2-CD set of "Carousel" is the 1934 french film "Liliom", in which "Carousel" is based upon. While an interesting bonus feature, it's ruined by subtitles that are flashed so quickly that they require speed reading skills. At other times there are extended moments in the film where subtitles don't even appear. A very erratic presentation, to say the least.
on October 22, 2004
Overall, an excellent movie that I would highly recommend. It really makes an emotional connection with the viewer. From the Golden Age of the Rogers & Hammerstein musicals; this one, however,is not a comedy. In fact, it is pretty much a downer-- a tragic story that stands in contrast to the sunny, optimistic tone of most musicals of the 1950's. The development of the characters is excellent. Well-produced, visually appealing, with emotionally charged music and dance sequences. I have only one complaint. Shirley Jones certainly has a great voice and lots of screen presence, but I find her unconvincing in the death scene and therafter in the story--just too sweet and smily-face for such grim, dramatic material.
I did not interpret this movie as condoning wife-beating. Billy Bigelow (played superbly by Gordon MacRae) is portrayed as a human being with the full range of human feelings, good and bad, capable of both love and anger. I think the problem with some of your reviewers is that such a portrayal does not fit in with the anti-male political corecness that is prevalent on this issue today.
on January 11, 2001
This is a wonderful collection of classics!! This boxed setincludes: Oklahoma, State Fair, The King and I, The Sound of Music,Carousel and South Pacific. My three and a half year old loves towatch The King and I and The Sound of Music ( I edit the scaryparts). She loves to sings along with Julie Andrews !! I watch themovies while I am exercising, It makes the time go byquickly. ... This set is certainly worth the money.