Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Volume 2 (The Pirate / Words and Music / That's Dancing / The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding / That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans)
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Classic Musicals Collection:Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol. 2 (DVD)]]>
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Judy. Fred. Gene. Songs. Dance. Romance. Let the musical magic move you. Extra razzle dazzle! New Mario Lanza tribute documentary and Stanley Donen interview. New featurettes, musical number outtakes, expert commentaries, classic cartoons, vintage shorts, and more.
The Pirate (1948): Cole Porter's tunes, Gene Kelly and Judy Garland's star power, and the astonishing Kelly/Nicholas Brothers' "Be a Clown" number spark an uproarious tale of a would-be seafaring scoundrel. Words and Music (1948): The glossy biopic of songwriting sophisticates Rodgers and Hart. With Gene Kelly's famed "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" ballet, irresistible Judy Garland, and fireball Mickey Rooney. That's Dancing! (1985): "No shortage of showstoppers" (Entertainment Weekly). Gene Kelly hosts the spirit-lifting celebration of decades of dance and fun--including a Ray Bolger dazzler cut from The Wizard of Oz. That Midnight Kiss/The Toast of New Orleans (1949, 1950): Starring Mario Lanza and Kathryn Grayson! A singing truck driver (Lanza in his film debut) travels the road to success. Next, the big voices conquer the Big Easy in a tale of a diva and Cajun Caruso. Royal Wedding/The Belle of New York (1951, 1952): Two from Fred Astaire! Love can make you dance on the ceiling... if you're Fred Astaire! The legend shines in a tale of royal--and other--romance, co-starring Jane Powell. Playboy Fred says "I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man" but prim Vera-Ellen wants a fellow with his feet on the ground.
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PS. all the movies have great extra features!!!
I was anxiously expecting to see and hear Kathryn Grayson's opera arias outing but rather disappointed, expecially, in 'That Midnight Kiss'; because, every time she sings she is hampered by some emotional conflict restricted by the plot. Fortunately, I get to hear at least three arias unimpeded by the meddlesome story line in 'The Toast of new Orleans', talking about story line, there isn't much in both films. The three arias from 'Linda di Chamounix', 'Mignon', and 'La Traviata' if somewhat truncated are beautifully sung, but I'm surprised that she didn't end the first two arias in high C's, maybe higher than C's, anyway, thay always call a high note a high C. I always thought Kathryn Grayson is a very high coloratura, this is rather odd that she didn't hit the hell out of it, I mean the high C's. Mario Lanza? What can I say, everyone says he is a legend, one of the great. I have to admit that besides opera, he sings other kinds of music very well too, that is quite unusual. The only other opera singer that is also very good in pop tunes is soprano Eileen Farrell who is widely recognized as a great American soprano, but I have not yet heard her in popular music. Well, between 'That Midnight Kiss' and 'The Toast of New Orleans', I like the latter better. Not only there are more opera arias, the story is more colorful and interesting too. However, one complaint have to be made, the duet from 'Madama Butterfly' is again dictated by the plot that the fisherman finally realizes that he has been overdoing the high society etiquette that causes reverse effect, so that he decides to make amend in this duet by throwing the cigartte defiedly and grabs the arms of Butterfly and tries to kiss her and Butterfly is alarmed and tries to resist him. This is totally opposed to the plot of the opera, whereas Butterfly would melt into the arms of Pinkerton. Otherwise, it would have been a wonderful performance from both of them and again it is only the last half of the duet that is performed, well, what do you expect from musicals. I can tell that the MGM had been trying very hard to make popular the high art of opera. It's not an easy task I suppose.
'Words and Music', I can only say, mediocre. 'That's Dancing' is Okay, as for 'Royal Wedding' and 'The Belle of New York' both are disappointing.
Now I'm waiting for my interest income to be deposited in my bank account the end of this month to buy the the first volume of Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory. See you.
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