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  • You're the Top: Cole Porter Story [VHS]
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You're the Top: Cole Porter Story [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Bobby Short, Richard Adler, Fred Astaire, Kitty Carlisle, Saul Chaplin
  • Directors: Allan Albert
  • Writers: Allan Albert
  • Producers: Diane Dufault, Elizabeth Cotnoir, Harlene Freezer, Kirk D'Amico, Margaret Reid
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Winstar
  • VHS Release Date: March 24, 1998
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1572522283
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,366 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Hosted and narrated by renowned entertainer and Cole Porter devotee Bobby Short, You're the Top: The Cole Porter Story probes the many facets of Porter's persona. One of the most skillful composers ever, Porter created such Broadway and Hollywood hits as Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes, Silk Stockings and Can Can. His wit and sophisticated style are still the standards to which today's composers and lyricists aspire. The documentary is an informative and lively celebration of the man who embraced an elite lifestyle and chronicled the world of high society with his music. Highlights include performances of Porter's songs by Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Chevalier, Gertrude Lawrence, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby, as well as rare photographs and archival footage.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
55%
4 star
27%
3 star
18%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 11 customer reviews
My only regret is that it is only 56 minutes long.
Classic Debut
If you have never heard of Cole (or know very little about him), you will probably be a fan after viewing this.
Jaime
No punches are pulled, nothing glossed over for the sake of image or box-office receipts.
Jack Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Jack Rice on October 10, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you want to know Cole Porter, this is a better introduction than the recent film effort, "De-Lovely," and far better than the old Cary Grant fiction. Both movies fudge on Cole's character, with "De-Lovely" trying to depict Porter as a guy working out his gay issues through marriage, which is total nonsense.

Cole Porter was arguably the greatest of all the composers of American Standards, for reasons explained in "You're the Top". And to explain this, as well as to outline one of the most colorful celebrity lives of the 20th century, are people who actually knew Porter, knew him socially, worked with him and performed his music - people like Bobby Short, Kitty Carlisle (Mrs. Moss Hart), Brendan Gill, Linda Ronstadt, Harry Connick, Jr., Porter's family from his childhood, etc. Especially insightful are the observations of Porter's childhood and his marriage. They go far in explaining both the people and the era that nurtured his talent and later provided the milieu from which he drew his "delightful, de-lovely" themes.

No punches are pulled, nothing glossed over for the sake of image or box-office receipts. And of course the Porter music, complimenting the narrative, is a chronicle itself, for it captures the zeitgeist brilliantly, performed by the headliners of the times, from early sound to TV's Golden Age, when the audience was more up to Porter's level of elegance, style and wit than today's dressed-down, dumbed-down generation.

I suggest that if you have seen or are going to see either of the bio-flicks, that you treat yourself to this "wonderful, marvelous" look at a life and its era - alas, as intimate a look as we'll ever get. They truly broke the mold...
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R. Henderson on July 16, 2000
Format: DVD
`You're the Top' is a short, but worthwhile trip through the turbulent life of a 20th Century Icon. A great deal of depth and insight is communicated by sharp editing and carefully selected film clips. Originally this was an hour long Television special. Don't let that put you off, the word `special' is very appropriate here. Why should you buy this Documentary? To appreciate and enjoy his musical talent chiefly by a bewildering number of rare excerpts from films and TV shows (notably a Kinescope of the original cast of `Kiss Me Kate') and see the ironies of someone who lived a private life very different from his public persona. Even today, the classy image of Porter as generated by his timeless songs and music hide a veil of a tragic and melancholy man, who was born into success, but died unhappy. His story is not just of music, but of a struggle against life itself. What makes this a special event is that the combination of good interviews with contemporaries, the relaxed and adult approach make for repeated viewing and a thirst for more. Whether you are a Porter fan, or have never heard of him, you will gain something special from this documentary, and perhaps learn a little in the moral sense of the pitfalls and unhappiness that can come, even with great wealth. What lives on is his music, which history will never erase. Watching this Documentary will leave you feeling better for the experience.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jaime on January 17, 2003
Format: DVD
This is really a wonderful treat for fans of Cole Porter or those who know little about him. It has a nice mix of rare and familiar songs mixed with thoughts and recollections about Cole by various friends, musicians, and performers. You get a nice sense of what his life was like along with a decent overview of his music.
If you have never heard of Cole (or know very little about him), you will probably be a fan after viewing this. Even if you are very familiar with Cole, you still will find some interesting tidbits in the DVD. My only complaints with this are the length (only an hour) the lack of additional material. It would seem that so much additional material could have been placed easily on this DVD; but the only additional material is a listing of the songs on the DVD (without any information about them) and quick list of his musicals. How about fleshing out some of that information?
Definitely recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 2, 2006
Format: DVD
What a strange combination of information and frustration is this 56 minute television documentary on the life and works of Cole Porter. On the one hand, we have an abbreviated but honest look at one of America's greatest Broadway songwriters. On the other hand, the examples given us of Porter's songs are more often than not drawn from terrible TV kinescopes and excerpts from some of the lead-foot Hollywood musicals made from his Broadway shows. The result is informative but irritating.

Bobby Short introduces us to Porter at the start of the program: "Song writing is a complicated craft and Cole Porter was one of its masters, and one of the few who wrote both the words and the music. What's more, Cole created a world we hadn't seen before in quite this way. It is the world he lived in, a world of penthouses, chiffon and champagne, the world where Ginger fell in love with Fred for the very first time."

Porter inherited millions. When he married his wife, Linda, she brought to the marriage even more money than he had. He was an enthusiastic homosexual, a social creature and a terrible snob. He just might have become, without her, an aging musical dilettante writing amusing and condescending songs for his social set. She was a woman uninterested in the physical aspects of married life, who took Porter as he was and who believed in his talent. The two of them had a marriage of understanding and commitment that lasted until her death. After years of living in Venetian palaces and the most socially acceptable Parisian apartments, a combination of his talent and desire for success, her pushing him to keep working at his writing, and the contacts of Irving Berlin, who believed in Porter, Cole Porter returned to America and began his trajectory of huge success on Broadway.
Read more ›
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