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Stars & Stripes Forever [Blu-ray + DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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(Dec 13, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Marine bandmaster John Philip Sousa becomes famous for his marches and inspires the sousaphone.

Special Features

Disc 1: Theatrical Feature Blu-ray

From Our National March To The Silver Screen
John Philip Sousa's Contribution To American Music
Pressbook, Advertising and Still Galleries
Original Theatrical Trailer

Disc 2: DVD

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Wagner, Clifton Webb, Debra Paget
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005QIOK70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,988 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
I REALLY LOVED THIS MOVIE A LOT. I AM INTO HISTORICAL MOVIES VERY MUCH. I ENJOYED THE SONGS VERY MUCH IN THE MOVIE.
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If you love John Phillip Sousa marches, you won't go wrong with this movie! If the story isn't 199% accurate, it follows most of John Phillip Sousa's own anecdotes is life and stirs the blood constantly with his marches throughout! Clifton Webb gives a wonderful performance as The March King and a young Robert Wagner is amusing as Sousa's protege, first in the Marine Band then in John Phillip Sousa's own band. You just can't watch this movie and not feel good and invigorated!
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It was beautiful in blu-ray and everything in the movie brought back memories of how movies were made in the fifties with the star quality of Clifton Webb and Ruth Hussey. It was great to see a young Robert Wagner at the start of the fabulous career he has had and he was so handsome. Debra Paget did a great job and her solo dance number with the Sousa Band was great. It came with a sleeve to protect the disc and case and we enjoyed it immensely since I waited so long for it to be released on a disc. Colors were beautiful and the marches were magnificent. Kudos to everybody and thanks to Amazon for making it affordable. Thanks.
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The fifties was the last great era for movie musicals, movies that featured some of the best music made for movies as well as adapting music to fit the film. Musicals seem to fall out of favor as times changed leaving a few classics in the sixties and the rare occasional film later on, but the fifties featured the best.

One film that fell into this category but not quite was STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER. While featuring some great music, it wasn't the song and dance style seen in most films. Instead this movie was a biographical picture about the life and times of composer John Phillips Sousa, a man whose marches everyone had heard even if they don't recognize the name. Sure you hear it mention every Fourth of July but would you really know the name otherwise?

The film doesn't go back to his birth but to the birth of his music. It opens with Sousa about to retire from the Marines in the hope of beginning his own band in order to make more money. As played by Clifton Webb, Sousa seems pretty stiff but we soon see him open up and become more accessible. Between trying to sing a ballad for his wife he's written hoping to steer clear of marches, she knows he can't sing well and speeds it up showing how this song will be a march as well.

He also opens up when a young protégé named Willie Little (Robert Wagner) invites him to hear his songs played in public. What he doesn't tell Sousa is that it's at a music hall where the crowd is more interested in hearing and seeing the dancing girls. Once he sees the girl Little has brought him to see he stays as well. She later performs a number for Sousa and his wife in their home and while he offers her criticism he takes her on to learn more about performing.
Read more ›
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Verified Purchase
This was an outstanding performance by Clifton Webb. He exhibited a standard of excellence beyond that which could have been portrayed by any other actor, and which probably described the character of John Philip Sousa. The movie had a certain historical significance in that it showed the level of patriotism once held by the American public.
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Verified Purchase
It was worth waiting for this Blu ray release. The colors were wonderful and the sound excellent. The movie itself is light but nicely done. I remember seeing it on VHS tape but this current blu ray is magnificent. There are a number of very nice extras on the place of Sousa in American Music and the development of the movie.
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Verified Purchase
I had seen this movie before and enjoyed it. I have been waiting for years for its public release and now it is here. Althoug the Robert Wagner characture never happened in reality it is a fun story. Because it is released on both DVD and Blueray I can share watching this great all time film with friends and loved ones.
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This movie is a terrific tribute to the great John Philip Sousa. It begins with Sousa's march, "Semper Fidelis," which is played over the Fox Searchlight logo (in lieu of the usual 20th Century-Fox fanfare) and opening credits, and closes with the title track, "Stars And Stripes Forever." Clifton Webb does a marvelous job as Sousa, veteran actress Ruth Hussey plays his wife Jennie, a young Robert Wagner plays Willie Little, who plays the Sousaphone in the band, and Debra Paget plays burlesque performer Lily Becker, who falls in love with and later marries Willie, but they keep the marriage a secret from Sousa, who does not like band members touring with their wives. Later, we find out that Sousa's wife knew about it from the beginning, and so did Sousa himself, though to save face, he pretended not to know.

There are several Sousa marches in the film, along with one non-Sousa number, "Springtime In New York," which gives Debra Paget a chance to show off her considerable singing and dancing talents.

Bonus features, aside from the usual Spanish and English audio tracks, and Spanish, English, and French subtitles, include a brief history of 20th Century-Fox musicals, leading up to STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER; a mini-documentary about Sousa's musical contributions; original U.S. and U.K. trailers, and the alternate U.K. title sequence, where the film was issued, for unknown reasons, under the title Marching Along, the Sousa autobiography on which the film was based. In addition, there are also galleries of press clippings, promotional materials from the film, and still photos. The packaging is somewhat misleading; the bonus features are listed as being exclusive to the Blu-ray disc, but are on the DVD as well. The DVD has the film in Standard Definition; the Blu-ray in High Definition.

An excellent five-star movie.
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Stars & Stripes Forever  [Blu-ray + DVD]
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