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George Gershwin Remembered (An American Masters Program) [VHS] (1987)

Harold Arlen , Fred Astaire  |  NR |  VHS Tape
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

George Gershwin Remembered  (An American Masters Program) [VHS] + Rhapsody in Blue [VHS]
Price for both: $26.99

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  • Rhapsody in Blue [VHS] $21.99

Product Details

  • Actors: Harold Arlen, Fred Astaire, Leonard Bernstein, Anne Brown, Irving Caesar
  • Producers: John H. Williams, Kirk D'Amico, Peter Adam
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 23, 1996
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302653053
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In the Roaring Twenties, all of America hummed the tunes of one man. Born in a humble Brooklyn neighborhood in 1898, George Gershwin quickly rose to dazzling heights in the entertainment world. Before his life was tragically cut short at the age of 38, the young composer had reshaped popular music into a uniquely American sound. He fused the exuberant refrains of Tin Pan Alley with the lush orchestrations of classical music and the complex rhythms of jazz in compositions like Funny Face, Porgy and Bess and Rhapsody in Blue. Featuring performances of Gershwin classics by the renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and interviews with celebrities, family members and friends, this award-winning documentary offers an intimate look at the troubled life of an incomparable American artist.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The maximum on George Gershwin in minimum time! September 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
If you are a student needing to do a research paper on Gershwin, present a report in class, or just a fan who wants to know more about the composer of masterpieces such as "American in Paris," "Porgy and Bess," and, of course, "Rhapsody in Blue," then George Gershwin Remembered is an excellent resource for you.
Presented occasionally on the A&E network, "George Gershwin Remembered" takes on George's life from the start of his days as Jacob Gershwitz to his tragic death at an early age.
Interviews with numerous Gershwin authorities are presented along with stirring remembrances of his work. A simple "must-have" for any Gershwin lover.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerswhin Truly Remembered January 7, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
George Gershwin Remembered is a great resource for anyone who wants an overview of the composer's life and work. Gershwin is one of the most accomplished American composers, famous for his concert, stage, and film works. A biography of Gershwin, this documentary tells the life of the composer beginning with his parents' emigration to the United States in the late 19th Century. They fled the Russian pogroms by boat to arrive in New York City. This video goes on to tell the story of an American who grew up to bridge the gap between serious and popular music.

An interesting feature included in this documentary are the interviews by people such as Gershwin's sister Francess Godovsky, his girlfriend Kay Swift, his contemporary Leonard Bernstein, and many others who knew him. Performances and explanations of Gershwin's works by musicians such as conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and performer Michael Feinstein shed light on Gershwin's music. His first published song "When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em" is played by Michael Feinstein, who also worked as Ira Gershwin's secretary. Linda Ronstadt explains how singing a Gershwin song can be difficult, yet they contain the perfect architecture.

Also included is Gershin's first hit, "Swanee," performed by Al Jolson. Gershwin's first attempt at opera music, a work titled "Blue Monday," is also chronicled.

Gershwin Remembered chronicles both the concert hall works ("Rhapsody in Blue," "Second Rhapsody," "Concerto in F")and popular works of Gershwin ("I Got Rhythm," "Lady Be Good," "Could You Use Me," "The Man I Love," "But Not For Me," "Someone To Watch Over Me," and "Love Is Here To Stay").

Gershwin Rememberd also tells of George's life when not playing music, exploring his love for painting and socializing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinatin' February 16, 2009
Format:VHS Tape
In the PBS "American Masters" special GEORGE GERSHWIN REMEMBERED, we learn that compositional perfection and brilliance are not necessarily byproducts of long hours of work.

Gershwin's first songwriting partner, Irving Caesar claims that their enormous 1920 hit "Swanee" took all of ten minutes from conception to completion. Caesar gave George the first line of the lyric's intro ("I've been away from you a long time") and the rest just appeared like magic. This isn't the only cited case of inspiration spawning instant creation. Choreographer Hermes Pan recalls how during the filming of SHALL WE DANCE (1937) (VHS) (DVD) some incidental music was needed for a scene where leashed pets and owners stroll on ship deck; Gershwin immediately wrote the perfect thing: a piece now known as "Walking the Dog."

Cinematic highlights of this 90-minute documentary include "Blah, Blah, Blah" from DELICIOUS (1931), Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly's duet on "The Babbitt and the Bromide" from ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (VHS) (DVD), Al Jolson's blackface rendition of "Swanee" and pianist Oscar Levant with Paul Whiteman's orchestra doing RHAPSODY IN BLUE (1945) (VHS) (
... Read more ›
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