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The Classic Musicals Collection: Broadway to Hollywood (Easter Parade Two Disc Special Edition / The Band Wagon Two Disc Special Edition / Bells Are Ringing / Finian's Rainbow / Brigadoon)
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Bells Are Ringing is a charmingly dated Vincente Minnelli film starring Judy Holliday, in a reprise of her Tony-winning Broadway role as an employee at an answering service who finds herself falling for a client (Dean Martin). Favorite songs include "Just in Time" and "The Party's Over." Finian's Rainbow is a bloated oddity directed by a young Francis Ford Coppola and starring Astaire as a leprechaun and '60s pop icon Petula Clark as his daughter. It does have some great songs, however, including "How Are Things in Glocca Mora," "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love," and "Old Devil Moon." Brigadoon has been out on DVD twice before, but appears now in its best version yet, remastered, anamorphically enhanced, and with musical outtakes. It stars Gene Kelly and Van Johnson as Americans who stumble across a Scottish village that only appears on Earth one day every 100 years, which is a problem when Kelly falls in love with one of its residents (Cyd Charisse). Favorite songs include "Almost Like Being in Love," "The Heather on the Hill," and "I'll Go Home with Bonnie Jean."
While none of the films in the Broadway to Hollywood collection are absolutely top-tier MGM (and Astaire, Garland, and Kelly all made better films in their careers), all have their charms and are welcome additions to the DVD catalog. Trivia note: The title of the set isn't 100% correct. Easter Parade did not originate as a Broadway musical, but Tommy Tune made an unsuccessful attempt to adapt the movie into a Broadway show in the late 1990s. --David Horiuchi
Top Customer Reviews
If you saw what WB did with GWTW, MEET ME IN ST LOUIS or SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, you know we're in for a treat!
But it doesn't stop there...
THE BAND WAGON has a commentary by the director's daughter...this girl named Liza, and a new documentary about the making of the film, and a documentary about her amazing father, and a Vitaphone short with Jack Buchanan, AND the deleted song TWO-FACED WOMAN. Add to this a new 5.1 stereo soundtrack, and you're in BAND WAGON heaven!
Then we get to EASTER PARADE, the quintessential Hollywood favorite with Judy Garland at her best teaming up with the amazing Astaire. The extras here include Fred's daughter on commentary along with the foremost Garland author John Fricke, a gallery of Astaire trailers, a docu on the making of EASTER PARADE and best of all, the amazing PBS Biographical epic that was created by American Masters last year, JUDY GARLAND: BY MYSELF (it won a boatload of Emmy Awards).
OK. So if that was all WB was giving us in this box, I'd be going nuts, but they don't stop there.
We also get a brand spankin' new 16x9 transfer of BELLS ARE RINGING with Judy Holliday re-creating her stage triumph, along with Dean Martin, a 5.1 soundtrack, outtakes, a new docu, and more...
..and then Francis Ford Coppola personally guides us through one of his earliest works, as Astaire stars with Pet Clark in FINIAN'S RAINBOW, for the first time on DVD, with a 16x9 transfer, and 5.1 audio and director commentary, and premiere footage...Read more ›
The Band Wagon (which itself is a two DVD special edition) stars Fred Astaire as an older entertainer trying to be successful again in show business. Things do not go well: he doesn't like the director; there aren't fancy dance scenes that he prefers to perform and he has to dance with a ballerina! The show is unpopular and Fred's character Tony Hunter saves the day using his superior technique and know-how. The extras are wonderful! Liza Minnelli (whose Dad, Vincente Minnelli, did an excellent job as director of the picture) and Michael Feinstein provide an engaging commentary. There are also two documentaries: "Get Aboard! The Band Wagon" about the making of the movie and an older expose entitled "The Men Who Made the Movies: Vincente Minnelli." You won't regret these-they are excellent and very informative! SMILE There's also the outtake musical number of Two Faced Women. Very good! For Astaire fans there's an Astaire trailer collection and even a musical short of Jack Buchanan with the Glee Quartet. I was particularly pleased with the fine commentary Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein give here.
The other two disc special edition is of the MGM classic Easter Parade. Wow! This has always been one of my very favorite musicals.Read more ›
What can you say about the films themselves that hasn't already been said? THE BAND WAGON is the crown jewel here, of course, but the others are excellent. EASTER PARADE is terrific. BELLS ARE RINGING, though not the strongest story or score around, has B'way legend (and Oscar-winner) Judy Holliday in her final star vehicle. And BRIGADOON has all that dancing in the heather, not to mention the stunning score of Lerner & Loewe.
For me, the most pleasant surprise in the box is FINIAN'S RAINBOW. I'm familiar with all the other titles here, but I'd never really looked at this one all the way through before, and it's visually impressive and surprisingly charming. Astaire, Petula Clark, Tommy Steele, Don Francks, and an energetic supporting cast of singer/dancers do wonders with the dated story and timeless score. And young Francis Ford Coppola had some fresh and interesting visual ideas (montage, cross-cutting, swooping aerial shots, etc.) to keep it all humming along. Coppola is unnecessarily self-effacing throughout his commentary track--he has no reason to apologize. With its restored widescreen picture and 5.1 stereo soundtrack, this film is really quite beautiful.
All in all, this is yet another must-have collection for all serious film buffs. Thanks again, Warner Home Video!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for my dad (who has everything) - but he absolutely loves the old musicals!Published 23 days ago by Cynthia Hunter
Came in right on time with no issues, love it. If you like classic movies I would say this one is greatPublished 5 months ago by Chris
Some good films and since you get so many in the collection it is a real bargain. If you like the old hollywood musicals you will no doubt find something to like in this box set. Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. Carey
This is great. I replaced two laser discs and two VHS tapes with this nice little box. Brigadoon is my favorite of all this collection. All discs worked as expected. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jesse Ritz
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