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High Society
High Society
9 used & new from $1.06

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable German release of MGM classic soundtrack, February 14, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: High Society (Audio CD)
Note: This review is for the German release of this album on the Back Biter label (BB 61032).

The soundtrack from the 1956 MGM film HIGH SOCIETY with its Cole Porter score has been a favorite for nearly fifty years. The picture stars Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra--its just a treat to watch.

This German release of the soundtrack is probably the easiest version to come across in CD format. The entire contents of the original 1956 Capitol Records LP are featured here--all 10 cuts. The sound is in stereo. The sound quality, though, leaves a bit to be desired. There is quite a bit of distortion and tape hiss in many places and the fidelity varies. The cover has a little sticker claiming that the recording was remastered for this. My guess is that, if it were remastered at all, it was done from the original LP masters, and NOT from the original recording session masters. If you're able to get over that, though, this disc is a very worthwhile purchase if you're fortunate enough to come across it. The cover art from the 1956 LP has not been reproduced for this release. As I said, this release is rather difficult to find and when it does surface, it can get rather pricey. You might even be further ahead to locate a nice copy of the LP on Ebay.

We would like to see a restored edition of the HIGH SOCIETY soundtrack from Capitol Records released in this country in the near future--maybe an expanded edition? Capitol/EMI should be closed down for allowing this recording to become so scarce in the US market. Rhino could do wonders for this--as they have with other MGM musicals--except that HIGH SOCIETY is one of the few MGM musicals to which they do not control soundtrack album rights. The BELLS ARE RINGING soundtrack album, which is also controlled by Capitol, has been on CD for years... why not this as well? Is anyone at Capitol Records reading this? I guess we'll just have to wait. In the meanwhile, enjoy this if you get a chance.


Blue Skies / Rhythm on the River
Blue Skies / Rhythm on the River
5 used & new from $12.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well conceived, but could be better, January 14, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This album is the most complete soundtrack album available of Irving Berlin's BLUE SKIES. On the whole, it is pretty good. Sound quality is OK, but is showing its age in some spots. Listen to the Main Title to hear what I'm talking about. The only major downfall of this disc is the very sloppy editing. As these tracks were all lifted directly from a print of the film, fade-ins and -outs are utilized for each cut to make the best transition into a song from the dialogue that surrounds it. Most of these are done correctly, but some pieces fade in half way though the number as seen in the film proper, most notably in A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY. The choral verse we hear as the ladies are descending the stair is completely missing. And I don't understand why it was necessary to have a fade-in to the Main Title and a fade-out at the end of the FINALE. Those pieces could have been presented complete. Minor gripes though. I would love to have seen what Turner/Rhino could do with this if they had the chance. The score here is one of the biggest and best collections of Irving Berlin tunes, all extremely well performed, in a single motion picture.

A worthwhile disc--recommended.


Going My Way/Holiday Inn
Going My Way/Holiday Inn
DVD ~ Bing Crosby
Offered by galaxyentertainment
Price: $12.95
41 used & new from $2.87

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding transfers, December 16, 2004
This review is from: Going My Way/Holiday Inn (DVD)
This DVD release of GOING MY WAY and HOLIDAY INN is purely OUTSTANDING! As both of these films have been perennial favorites for sixty years, I need not comment on their merits. I will say that these are some of the best DVD transfers of older films I have ever seen. The pictures for both films (in black and white) are crisp and clear, black levels are solid and well defined, and there is no graininess to speak of. Age-related artifacts are virtually non existent. The soundtracks of both films are beginning to show their age, but still sound beautiful and clear. Other than theatrical trailers for both films, there are no other extras, but we get two great films in outstanding transfers for less than the price of one, so we have absolutely no right to gripe.
In my opinion, these two films aren't the obvious choices to pair together (Holiday Inn paired with White Christmas, and Going My Way put on the same disc as The Bells of St. Mary's would have been the most obvious choice), but I digress. Hats off to Universal Home Video for this EXCELLENT release. The DVD is a MUST HAVE in any collection. RUN to buy a copy.

NOTE: The cover art shown is not the same as the current, most recent DVD release from Universal Home Video, the one which you see at most retailers during the holidays.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2011 4:16 PM PST


In the Good Old Summertime
In the Good Old Summertime
DVD ~ Judy Garland
24 used & new from $7.02

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD debut of MGM classic, December 16, 2004
This review is from: In the Good Old Summertime (DVD)
This year 2004 marks the first appearance of this great Judy Garland film (one of her last for MGM) on DVD. This film is based upon an earlier James Stewart film THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER and was recently remade as YOU'VE GOT MAIL. This new restored print is an improvement over the previous VHS release. The picture has been cleaned up and colors look brighter and bolder than ever before, as we expect with 3-strip Technicolor, though there are still a FEW age related artifacts present, but I am forgiving enough to look beyond this. In general, the new transfer is beautiful. The soundtrack sounds equally as impressive and has been cleaned up very nicely for this release.

Included on the disc are trailers for this film, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, and YOU'VE GOT MAIL. I really don't know why the latter was included here, it lends nothing whatsoever to this release, and practically everyone in the country has seen it by now. There are no other "extras" to speak of. We wish that the deleted musical number, "Last Night When We Were Young," sung by Judy Garland, had been included as a bonus on this disc. Both the footage and soundtrack for this number survive, and it was included in the Outtakes section of the fourth disc of the new That's Entertainment 4-disc boxed set, released this past October. Why wasn't it included here?

On the whole, this is a very commendable release from Warner Home Video, but if you still have the VHS tape there's no real special reason to run out and buy the DVD.

Look for an 18 month old Liza Minnelli during the closing scenes, making her film debut.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2009 11:49 AM PST


Selections From Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Selections From Irving Berlin's White Christmas
6 used & new from $23.98

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the "original soundtrack", December 16, 2004
Although this album is advertised as the "original soundtrack" of Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS, it is not so. It is merely a STUDIO RECORDING of the songs from the film. The two male leads are heard on this album but the leading ladies are not. Rosemary Clooney was not allowed to appear on this album as she was under contract to Columbia, and the soundtrack rights were controlled by Decca. Her numbers are done by Peggy Lee, who does a commendable job with them. Trudy Stevens steps in for Vera-Ellen. Incidently, Vera-Ellen's voice is not heard in the film anyway, as her singing was dubbed in all her musical pictures.

The arrangements and performances on the album are super, but as I stated they are not the actual soundtrack recordings. Sound quality isn't bad, but its not great, and we'll forgive that shortcoming, considering these recordings are over 50 years old. Those who bemoan that this album is out of print and rare and always has many "buyers waiting" -- THIS ALBUM HAS BEEN RERELEASED, in its entirety, on MCA as a 2-on-1 disc, paired with songs from another Irving Berlin film, HOLIDAY INN. I repeat--it contains the exact same WHITE CHRISTMAS album you are reading about here. It is currently in print and, lo and behold, Amazon does carry it!

Those who are awaiting an "original soundtrack" release will be waiting indefinately as there is no original soundtrack album and never has been, and it will likely remain that way for some time. The HOLIDAY INN/WHITE CHRISTMAS album from MCA will suffice for now.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2012 9:24 AM PST


Meet Me In St. Louis (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Meet Me In St. Louis (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Judy Garland
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $14.33
40 used & new from $2.70

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the way it was meant to be seen!, December 15, 2004
The all-new 2004 60th Anniversary Special Edition DVD set of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS was very highly anticipated prior to its release this past spring, and its not hard to see why. This is the DVD medium used to the fullest. The new ultra high resolution transfer is simply glorious in every sense of the word. The picture is so crisp and clear with beautiful bold colors, you'd swear the picture was made yesterday. Even with the modern filming technology we have today, you still can't beat the old 3-strip Technicolor process in the quality and depth of the color. The monaural soundtrack has been very beautifully cleaned up for this release -- no distortion whatsoever (a problem that the most recent VHS release--at least my copy of it--was plagued with). There are many extras in this set, something for everyone. Let's hope the EASTER PARADE DVD set, due out sometime in 2005, is just as glorious.

It is a SIN to not have this in your collection. RUN to buy a copy now.


Songs From White Christmas And Other Yuletide Favorites
Songs From White Christmas And Other Yuletide Favorites
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $9.31
49 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosemary can do no wrong, December 15, 2004
This album makes it feel like its 1953 all over again, when there was an innocense to Christmas that no longer exists. The recordings on this disc date from 1950-1956, there are so many goodies here and Rosemary's singing is so special you feel like a kid with your mother sitting at your side singing these songs to you. There isn't a clinker in the bunch. All have been beautifully remastered for this release. Rosemary's image and fan base have aged very well over the years, and even in the last years of her life was as well loved as she had been fifty years prior.

A must in your holiday collection! And at a great price too.


The Secret Garden [VHS]
The Secret Garden [VHS]
VHS
Offered by Bookstorium
Price: $17.97
27 used & new from $2.84

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film - restoration needed, December 14, 2004
This review is from: The Secret Garden [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I had only seen this film I think once before the 1993 remake was released, and the latter was the version I grew up with. I never realized how great a film the 1949 original really was until I rediscovered it when it aired on TCM on Christmas Eve two or three years ago. What a beautiful and extraordinary film! Although its obviously confined to soundstages at MGM Studios, the film more than makes up for that in its cast and cinematography. The majority of this film is shot in Black and White, but note well the use of Technicolor in some of the garden sequences. Apparently MGM wanted to keep these Technicolor scenes a secret, as the Technicolor credits do not appear until the end of the film, although it is advertised in the theatrical trailer (which can be seen on the Warner Bros. DVD release of the 1993 remake).

Also note the beautiful score by Bronislau Kaper--especially the garden theme. Although this was certainly not a major entry in the annals of movie music, a suite from this score should be put together and recorded, taking advantage of the fact that Andre Previn, who conducted the soundtrack performance in 1949, is still working today. Few film moments touch me more than in the last shot when Craven, Colin, and Mary embrace in the garden as the music blares and the scene fades to the end titles.

This film definately needs a restoration from original elements where they still exist. Especially the 3-strip Technicolor segments--although the colors are still rich and vibrant, they are not as sharp as they could be. With a proper restoration, hopefully we will see the 3-strip Technicolor scenes presented with the vibrance and clarity they deserve.

This title is now unfortunately out of print on VHS. Copies of this film, even used, can be pricey both here and elsewhere. I acquired my copy of the tape at a second-hand video store a couple months ago, and in like-new condition. Best $5 investment I ever made! I am ever so pleased with it! If you come across it for a good price, GRAB IT!!!

Here's to a restored DVD release, and soon!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2013 10:08 AM PDT


How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 TV Movie) / Horton Hears A Who (1970 TV Movie)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 TV Movie) / Horton Hears A Who (1970 TV Movie)
33 used & new from $0.01

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't love it, but didn't hate it either, December 13, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Let me start off by saying that I love the Grinch - it's simply not Christmas without him. But this soundtrack of the classic TV special is not what I had expected it to be. All the dialogue and songs are here exactly as heard on the TV program, but really if we wanted to hear the exact TV special, we could just as well pop in the tape or the DVD. Boris Karloff's dialog and Grinch are divine - no gripes here. When you're listening to the songs as interspersed throught the dialog as originally intended that's OK too. I like the idea of reprising the songs complete with no dialoge, except during "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" there are some large gaps in the song where dialogue exists. The songs in tracks 11-14 could stand better editing for better continutity.

What blows my mind though is that Turner (which now controls the film) has stooped so low as to package this delightful soundtrack in such moronic packaging as this. How cheap! I can honestly say that this is the poorest excuse for a CD case I have ever seen in a Turner/Warner product. The Grinch deserves better than this.

The Jim Carey movie notwithstanding, there are 2 soundtrack versions of the 1966 TV special: this one from Turner and the other version with the white cover from (I think) MCA. The other version is not taken directly from the soundtrack as this one IS, but is more of a studio recording. While you can't surpass the performances as seen on TV, I do prefer the MCA version of the album. The performances by Boris Karloff (on both albums) are essentially identical, and the Grinch's lines on the MCA disc are taken directly from the soundtrack. Thurl Ravenscroft's singing of "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is only slightly different between the two albums, but on the MCA disc is done with better continuity (and more clarity) and that is the rendition of the song you usually hear on the radio at Christmas time.


Holiday Inn & White Christmas - O.S.T.
Holiday Inn & White Christmas - O.S.T.
13 used & new from $23.56

82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love the films, you'll love this disc, December 9, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Having read some of the negative reviews of this CD, I have decided to revise my review in response...

This disc contains recordings of songs from two of Irving Berlin's most loved film scores: HOLIDAY INN (1942) and WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954). I will concur with a previous reviewer who states that sound quality is not great, but what can you expect, considering these recordings are 62 and 50 years old, respectively, and I am forgiving enough to accept this in older recordings.

Concerning the WHITE CHRISTMAS selections:
I advise you that THIS IS NOT THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK ALBUM. THERE IS NO ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK ALBUM. THERE NEVER HAS BEEN. Both albums presented on this disc are STUDIO RECORDINGS of songs from the films that were released in conjunction with the films' original theatrical releases, as was the custom in the days before original soundtrack recordings became popular. For WHITE CHRISTMAS the male leads, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, are here, but Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen are noticably absent, for different reasons. You see, the album rights were controlled by Decca, who released this album. Clooney, on the other hand, who was one of the most popular recording artists of the time, was under contract to Columbia Records which understandably would not allow her to appear on a competing label. Clooney did record her own WHITE CHRISTMAS album for Columbia Records... I discuss this later on. Clooney's lines are sung by Peggy Lee, and Vera-Ellen's vocals are done by Trudy Stevens (who dubbed her singing voice in the picture). Both ladies do commendable work.

Those who are expecting an "Original Soundtrack Recording" featuring all four stars singing the songs exactly as heard in the film will be sadly disappointed. No "original soundtrack album" exists for this film. None ever has. Of course I would love to see a genuine soundtrack album released, but I'm sure it isn't in the cards. In order to have a real music-only soundtrack album without sound effects or dialogue mixed in, original recording session masters would likely have to be used (because in this case there are no soundtrack album masters available, which is what record companies generally utilize for soundtrack releases). I'm sure that if any of these session master tapes have survived AT ALL, they would likely be in very poor condition, thus making a genuine original soundtrack CD highly unlikely (although I'm sure not impossible). Of course they could do what some others have done and just lift tracks directly from a print of the film, but then you have all the extra sound effects and dialogue that come with it, which really defeats the purpose of having a soundtrack album.

On a side note, Rosemary Clooney did record her own White Christmas album in 1954. It is currently available on the Collectables label (by arrangement with Columbia) paired with the soundtrack album of another Clooney film, RED GARTERS, both on the same disc. ASIN: B00005JIXP. Check that disc out as well, it's fabulous. Amazon does carry it.

If you can, I recommend getting this Holiday Inn/White Christmas album AND Clooney's White Christmas/Red Garters disc. You will then have all the WHITE CHRISTMAS songs you need!

I also encourage everyone to READ the reviews of a product before you buy it--see what those who have the product think about it, what they like, what they dislike, etc. Some of the disappointed reviewers of this disc would have known what to expect had they read all of the reviews by those of us who have experience with the product. It never hurts to do a little research--it may save you some big disappointments in the long run.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2008 8:59 PM PST


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