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Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Kathryn Grayson , James A. FitzPatrick , George Sidney , James H. Smith  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathryn Grayson, James A. FitzPatrick, Mrs. Frank A. Vanderlip, Mrs. Nicholas M. Schenck, Ann Miller
  • Directors: George Sidney, James H. Smith
  • Writers: Bella Spewack, Dorothy Kingsley, Sam Spewack, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: James A. FitzPatrick, Jack Cummings
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008AOWI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,667 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kiss Me Kate" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All-new digital transfer
  • Ann Miller hosts Cole Porter in Hollywood: Too Darn Hot
  • Music-only track
  • Vintage documentary short "Mighty Manhattan, New York's Wonder City"
  • Behind-the-scenes notes

Editorial Reviews

Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great deal like the characters they play. A fight on the opening night threatens the production, as well as two thugs who have the mistaken idea that Fred owes their boss money and insist on staying next to him all night.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of MGM's Best ! February 17, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
After seeing this movie for the first time since its 3D release in 1953, it makes one wonder why MGM insists on holding up "Singin' in the Rain" (a great treat in itself) as its best musical. KISS ME KATE is simply amazing -- tight, funny, fast, colorful, full of the dry wit and wisdom of Cole Porter, and gloriously "musical". To the crew's credit, many lines are straight from Shakespeare's original and the cast's readings are as adroit as any from Old Vic, anywhere, any time. Hermes Pan's and Bob Fosse's dance numbers are so sizzling good you can't take your eyes off the performance. It's a must-have for dance fans. For comedy fans, the offstage antics that mirror the onstage situations are a fiendishly clever conceit. Only one regret: the original 3D photography was terrific, with perhaps the most brilliant color work of 50's vintage. It's a bit subdued in modern prints. But don't let that deter you from enjoying this lively, literate, nearly perfect gem. Others have mentioned some of the more famous musical bits, but pay attention to Howard Keel's brilliant comedic reading of "The Life That Once I Led" (which drew gleeful applause when I saw it in a New York cinema recently), and Miss Grayson's rendition of "I Hate Men", copied by every lady who's tried it since 1953. Ann Miller's dance numbers are easily her very best work, by far -- and her "Too Darn Hot" was, at the time, almost too darn hot. Add veteran George Sindey's directorial expertise (The Harvey Girls, Scaramouche, etc.) and Shakespeare's own genius, and this becomes *THE* show for people who say they don't like musicals!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DULL LOOKING TRANSFER NEEDS SOME TAMING April 22, 2003
By Nix Pix
"Kiss Me Kate" is Cole Porter's charming update of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew". It stars Kathryn Grayson as Lily Vanessi, a hyper-sensative diva of the stage who stars opposite her ex-husband (Howard Keel) and his new lover (Ann Miller). On their way to a hit show, the three repeatedly bump heads and egos, ultimately finding true love. Porter's score for this musical is perhaps his finest, with such standards as "From This Moment On", "Wunderbar" and the title track. "A" list performances throughout make "Kiss Me Kate" a real show stopper.
Unfortunately the same can't be said for Warner Home Video's dull looking transfer. Colors are muted, at time appearing bleached or, at the very least, weak. The same is true of the picture's contrast and black levels. There is a haze that plagues the picture quality throughout and adds to its overly soft characteristic.
Now, about that - the visual characteristic is generally soft looking throughout (most likely the result of over use of noise reduction equipment used to master the DVD). On a 32 inch television screen the picture will merely appear generally soft. On a 65 inch monitor it looks down right blurry and at times incredibly out of focus.
I am really at a loss to explain why this movie looks this bad. Owning the laserdisc and, doing a side by side comparison, I can report that the laserdisc actually surpasses this DVD in all of the above mentioned catagories. Of course, no laserdisc can hold a candle to DVD, in its superior resolution capabilities, and this DVD is no exception. There is no edge enhancement, aliasing or fine detail shimmering to speak of. This movie has been remixed to 5.1 surround.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rollicking Production From MGM's "B" Unit July 20, 2005
So popular were MGM's musicals during the "golden" decade that ran from 1944 to 1954 that one production unit was not enough to satisfy the demand for this genre. Modern viewers may find this hullabaloo a little hard to understand, but in an era where the overwhelming majority of films were still shot in black and white, MGM's glorious Technicolor productions were always considered a bit of a visual treat for audiences jaded by more typical "film noire" fare. Perhaps the waning popularity of musicals beginning in the late 1950's had something to do with the upsurge of colour in other film genres, as well as a decline in the colour quality of film musicals themselves (of which Kiss Me Kate is a good example) as studios cut costs by abandoning glorious three step Technicolor for the much duller one step colour processes such as Ansco.
Kiss Me Kate, a Broadway stage hit, was turned over to the studio's so called "B" Unit; a lower budget knock off of the "A" Unit headed by Arthur Freed and headed by such stellars of the film musical world as director Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, etc. Minnelli's search for perfection was legendary so it comes as no surprise that he would run up production costs, which became more of an issue in the problematic years of the early 1950's.
So MGM increasingly relied on the "B" Unit to keep up with the demand for musicals while at the same time not breaking the bank.
George Sidney was one of the favourite directors of the "B" Unit with a reputation for getting excellent results with sparser resources, such as time and money. Sidney achieved his results by fostering an "esprit de corps" atmosphere amongst his crew and cast.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars unforgettable classic musical film of all time!
The Edition is impeccable and the quality of image and sound also. He would have loved watching this film in its 3D version. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JUAN J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Taming Of The Shrew Set To Music!
Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew set to music! Highly recommend! Iconic performances, great music and dance. Wonderful feel good movie!
Published 1 month ago by Anthony Dickerson
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Fosse
The Fosse book was extremely long, but the material was riveting and insightful. Fosse was an insecure genius . His work is preserved on film for the ages.
Published 2 months ago by John Terence Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars William Shakespeare and Let It Smile !
Yes, "WONDERFUL" as singing Kathryn and Howard. I love every part of Kathryn and Howard and Ann together
and also when personally each of them is starring... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BOGDAN MACIEJ PRUSZAK
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful way to see Shakespeare
The movies would rate 5, or even 6 stars...the only draw back is the cheap case it comes in. But if you know your Shakespeare, even if you don't, this is wonderful way to enjoy a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Carol P Galaty
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare
Students love to see Shakespeare put onto the stage in a really fun way. I personally love it as well.
Published 3 months ago by Linda K. Corbett
5.0 out of 5 stars When is the BluRay 3D Coming???
I've had this on DVD from the moment it was on DVD. Loved it. I agree it is one of the best musicals ever, not being able to pick any one. Read more
Published 3 months ago by RKA
2.0 out of 5 stars Singing and Dancing
Lots of singing and dancing, if you're into that. Some good humor as well. Good movie from that good ol' era.
Published 3 months ago by Adam Stoneman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy crisp and new
Just like new fast delivery. sooner than I expected. I have the VHS version and I compared it to the DVD length of time run on the movie. It had not been altered or cut. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Maria Flesher
5.0 out of 5 stars One of MGM's Best Musicals
Kiss Me Kate was one of the best musicals made by MGM. Great stars and wonderful music by Cole Porter. Picture and sound was excellent.
Published 6 months ago by Filmman 5
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Topic From this Discussion
bring back 3.d KISS ME KATE
Please, whoever owns the rights join the 3D bandwagon and put this wonderful movie out on Bluray 3D. If WB is putting out "House of Wax" in 3D for Halloween 2013, why can't we have this gorgeous musical in 3D for Christmas?
Aug 10, 2013 by Philip Chase |  See all 4 posts
It was not <WS> but it WAS shot (and exhibited in theaters) in 3D.
Sep 17, 2006 by R. Forsythe |  See all 4 posts
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