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The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band
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When Grandpa and the Bower Family Band are invited to the 1888 convention in order to perform their anthem for Grover Cleveland's re-election campaign, things take another turn altogether when oldest daughter Alice's (Lesley Ann Warren) pen-pal/fiancée Joe Carder (John Davidson), a dedicated Republican, makes a visit and sings the praises of the Dakota territory where he lives. The Bowers' relocation to Dakota soon causes immense family friction, with Grandpa's Democratic rants getting him into hot water with Dakota's mostly Republican population.
There-in hangs the rather slender plot of this Disney musical, which was sadly one of the last live action projects to be green-lit by Walt Disney before his death. At the time of it's production, the Disney Studio was heavily into big, Roadshow-style musicals thanks to the successes of "Mary Poppins" and "The Happiest Millionaire". With another chirpy score by the Sherman Brothers and reuniting "Happiest Millionaire"'s young leads Lesley Ann Warren and John Davidson, THE ONE AND ONLY GENUINE ORIGINAL FAMILY BAND sadly doesn't quite measure up to the overall quality or repeat value of "Poppins" or "Millionaire".
The film's main failing, especially during it's international engagements was the plot. Unless you are American you probably won't fully appreciate or understand the plot which relies on an established knowledge of American politics. This is what sadly limits FAMILY BAND's entertainment value.Read more ›
But I finally got the chance to see it in its entirety and found out that it's a pretty darn good film. I've heard the Sherman Brothers songs for this movie dismissed as "forgettable" by notable critics but, while this film isn't loaded with Academy Award winning songs, there are still some good tunes sprinkled throughout, most notably a duet between John Davidson and Lesley Ann Warren entitled "Bout Time". The film has a lot of good choreography too and the dance sequences are thouroughly engaging without being over the top.
Walter Brennan and Buddy Ebsen are perfect for their roles here and both do a fantastic job. (Although I'm not sure that Brennan was really old enough to be Ebsen's father.)
The film is in full screen but in the documentary that's included here as a bonus feature, there's a mention of this being a made for TV film. The bonus features are nice and a commentary track with Davidson, Warren and one of the Sherman brothers is included too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is true to Disney Classics. You learn a little bit of history while watching this one. Family values, fun songs, and a cast of great performers.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of my favorite old Disney movies. So excited to have it in DVD form!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love musicals and because this is about a family that is very musically talented, I think it's totally fantastic.Published 7 months ago by Kathy Barkley
What a peculiar topic for a musical, feuding Democrats and Republicans fighting over statehood for the Dakota Territory and the reelection campaign of Grover Cleveland in 1888. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Einsatz
Movie from my childhood that I am happy to share with my grandchildren.Published 9 months ago by P. Klein
Not a good movie for this era of children, nor anyone who knows anything about instrumental music.Published 10 months ago by Note Teacher