Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Volume 2 (The Pirate / Words and Music / That's Dancing / The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding / That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans)
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From the Back Cover
The Pirate (1948): Cole Porter's tunes, Gene Kelly and Judy Garland's star power, and the astonishing Kelly/Nicholas Brothers' "Be a Clown" number spark an uproarious tale of a would-be seafaring scoundrel. Words and Music (1948): The glossy biopic of songwriting sophisticates Rodgers and Hart. With Gene Kelly's famed "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" ballet, irresistible Judy Garland, and fireball Mickey Rooney. That's Dancing! (1985): "No shortage of showstoppers" (Entertainment Weekly). Gene Kelly hosts the spirit-lifting celebration of decades of dance and fun--including a Ray Bolger dazzler cut from The Wizard of Oz. That Midnight Kiss/The Toast of New Orleans (1949, 1950): Starring Mario Lanza and Kathryn Grayson! A singing truck driver (Lanza in his film debut) travels the road to success. Next, the big voices conquer the Big Easy in a tale of a diva and Cajun Caruso. Royal Wedding/The Belle of New York (1951, 1952): Two from Fred Astaire! Love can make you dance on the ceiling... if you're Fred Astaire! The legend shines in a tale of royal--and other--romance, co-starring Jane Powell. Playboy Fred says "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man" but prim Vera-Ellen wants a fellow with his feet on the ground.
Top Customer Reviews
So....what can I say? The DVD is less then $10, and the film is great fun. Fred and Jane play a brother-sister vaudeville act, probably based on the real-life Fred and Astele Astaire act of the 1920s. They go to England for their new show and find new love, all during the time of Queen Elizabeth's wedding (hence the title). Along the way, we get those wonderful dances and songs (Jane Powell's "Too Late Now" won the Oscar for best song, I believe).
However....the DVD transfer is, to be polite, poor. The color looks faded in some spots and there is horrible pixelation or blockiness in other spots (especially at night). The sound quality isn't that great either, (but at least it sounds better than my TV recording). That's not saying too much, though, given the potential for DVDs. This film looks like a straight transfer from a poor VHS copy to DVD with no attempt at clean-up or restoration. This trait, however, is common to all Madacy DVDs, so I wasn't expecting any surprises there. One reviewer mentioned a widescreen version - I don't think this film was made in widescreen but rather in full-frame, so what you see on the screen is all there is to the film, I believe.
At any rate, bottom line...the movie itself gets 5 stars but due to a rather lazy DVD transfer, I can only give the DVD 2 stars. However, it *is* less than $10, so decide for yourself if it is still worth purchasing.
*Note: Thanks to another reviewer, I found out that the best version of this movie was released by GOODTIMES DVD as it was digitally remastered. It is also sold by amazon, but be careful when ordering because there are quite a few different dvd releases of this movie. The picture in the Goodtimes version is much better than the other releases (and believe me I practically bought all of them before finding the best one, lol).*
The Pirate (1948) Starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. Features music by Cole Porter. A swashbuckling tale is largely just a framework for the music and dancing, which is excellent. Judy Garland plays a girl obsessed with a legendary pirate. Gene Kelly pretends to be that pirate in order to get the girl. This film actually lost money for MGM in its initial release. Today it is interesting because it showcases the talents of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland so well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can you say about Fred Asta ire that hasn't been said already!Published 2 days ago by Joseph P. Haggerty
I first saw Royal Wedding when I was a teenager. I loved the dancing and marveled at the dancing on the ceiling. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Victoria F Cooke
Disc badly scratched both sides and film not sharp. Looks like copy from vhs tape despite bring digitally remastered.Published 16 days ago by Wendy Rademacher
Always enjoy this movie. Seeing the great dancing always lifts my spirit. It also gives a slice of life in post war Briton.Published 19 days ago by Stephen J. Meyer III
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