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Gypsy (1962) [DVD]
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Ringing with the show-biz sass of its Jule Styne/ Stephen Sondheim score, the film version of the Broadway hit Gypsy takes you on a grand vaudeville tour. It sweeps you up in the roller-coaster relationship of Louise (Natalie Wood), the wallflower later to blossom into sophisticated stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, and her ambitious mother Rose (Rosalind Russell, whose performance won her a fifth Best Actress Golden Globe Award). Karl Malden scores as Herbie, the salesman who falls for Rose -- to his exasperation. Full of terrific tunes (Everything's Coming Up Roses, Small World and Some People Among Them), Gypsy will certainly entertain you and definitely make you smile.
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Top Customer Reviews
Maybe Warner Bros. Home Video will finally get smart and release other classics they own the rights to on Blu-ray, but to date, have all but ignored releasing them for some strange reason.
So if you're a Rosalind Russell or Natalie Wood fan this great musical film is a MUST HAVE Blu-ray!
Next, they need to release "Auntie Mame" (both the Rosalind Russell and Lucille Ball versions) and "The Pajama Game" in Blu-ray....just for starters. They appear to also own the DVD rights to the MGM classic "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". WHAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR??? They also need to finally get out a Blu-ray of the "new" SECOND RESTORATION of "Giant". The first one was released on regular DVD and the picture, while okay, was nothing to write home about and the sound was a total disgrace. I guess they already figured out that many people will buy the regular DVD first and STILL BUY the Blu-ray, and are milking it for all its worth (of course they're not the ONLY COMPANY doing this).
Finally, let me just take this opportunity to say that wile Warner's didn't release the horribly defective Blu-ray of "My Fair Lady" (CBS is responsible), they should tell CBS that the LOUSY Blu-ray reflects on "their" name that is on the titles. This would have never happened if Jack Warner was still alive and in control of the company.
Ringing with the showbiz success of its Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim score the film version of the Broadway hit “GYPSY” takes you on a grand vaudeville tour. It sweeps you up in the roller-coaster relationship of Louise [Natalie Wood] the wallflower later to blossom into sophisticated stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her ambitious mother Rose [Rosalind Russell] who's performance won her a fifth Best Actress Golden Globe® Awards. Karl Malden scores as Herbie the salesman who falls for Rose, to his exasperation. Full of terrific classic songs, such as "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Small World" among them. ‘GYPSY’ will certainly entertain you and definitely make you smile.
FILM FACT: The film was nominated for 3 Academy Awards® which were: Harry Stradling for Best Cinematography (Color). Orry-Kelly for Best Costume Design (Color). Frank Perkins for Best Music Adaptation or Treatment. Rosalind Russell won the Golden Globe® Awards for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Cast: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Paul Wallace, Betty Bruce, Parley Baer, Harry Shannon, Morgan Brittany (“Baby” June), Ann Jillian (“Dainty” June), Diane Pace (“Baby” Louise), Faith Dane (Mazeppa), Roxanne Arlen (Electra), Jean Willes, George Petrie, Ben Lessy, Guy Raymond, Louis Quinn, Jack Benny (uncredited), Harvey Korman (uncredited), Jule Styne (Conductor uncredited) and Herb Vigran (Announcer at Minsky's (voice) uncredited)
Director: Marvyn LeRoy
Producer: Mervyn LeRoy
Screenplay: Leonard Spigelgass
Composers: Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics)
Cinematography: Harry Stradling
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 [Technirama]
Audio: English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 143 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Archive Collection
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: ‘GYPSY’ is based upon the successful Broadway musical that was directed and choreographed by the brilliant Jerome Robbins ‘West Side Story,’ and as a film it takes some of the same strides that were taken in making the Broadway version. In staying true to the Broadway roots, this cinematic version creates another success; one of the most compelling musicals released in cinemas throughout the entire 1960's. The musical in both play and film form, is partly a dramatization based upon the real-life memoir of strip-tease performer Gypsy Rose Lee. Natalie Wood was the only choice to play Gypsy, though her slender figure wasn't quite suitable for the statuesque burlesque queen. And since her character's songs weren't as demanding, she got to do most of her own singing. Only the high notes were dubbed. As had happened with West Side Story the year before, Marni Nixon was used to match Natalie Wood's vocal quality.
The story focuses on Rose Hovick [Rosalind Russell]; a mother who is determined to find the success she never had in her life for her daughters. She trains and manages her daughters in working vaudeville tours. The path to success seems to be working for them for a while. It doesn't last forever, of course. The kid-friendly and sweetly-natured shows put on by her two children and some boys who became recruited for these performances become significantly less fashionable, and as they became older it became more difficult to get stage-presence approval for childish roles in vaudeville in the first place. Things began to crumble apart in the show-biz world that the characters lived and breathed. Rose Hovick was always determined to have the stage success last, however, and is not willing to forfeit her quest to find fame for her daughters.
Her younger daughter June leaves the family behind and marries one of the older boys who performed in the vaudeville shows with her, and she leaves only one single note to express feelings of sadness and love to her mother Rose Hovick. She wanted to branch out and leave all of Rose's managed vaudeville acts behind and become a "real" actress. Rose Hovick is heartbroken. Rose Hovick doesn't give up on the vaudeville act. She still has the help of her partner Herbie Sommers [Karl Malden], whom she still hopes to marry one day. She also has her older daughter to turn to. Rose Hovick's daughter Louise Hovick [Natalie Wood] can carry the show on and make the "dream" stay.
The dream has fallen. Only Rose Hovick wants for the act to continue on and both Louise and Herbie seem to want a normal life outside of performance arts. Herbie Sommers has a candy business that has better odds of continuing as far as being a financial success for the three of them, and mainly because vaudeville is no longer the popular act it once was for them to carry on. Yet Rose Hovick is determined to not let things end this way.
It isn't long before almost no options are left. Louise Hovick becomes the star of a "Hollywood Blondes" show Rose thought up and that is supposed to be a light-hearted show but it turns out that the last place they could find to hire them was a burlesque. Rose Hovick initially rejects the prospect of any of them being there and wants them to imminently leave. Herbie Sommers agrees. Yet Louise decides that there are few options left for them to earn some money and she agrees to stay. They perform with the burlesque and eventually Louise Hovick becomes "Gypsy Rose Lee," a star of strip-tease.
The film offers a complicated and fascinating glimpse into what a relationship can be between mother and daughter. It's a complex relationship that Rose Hovick and Louise Hovick have. On the one hand, Rose clearly wanted success and fame for herself and as a part of her life-story. However, she clearly also wanted great things for her children. Rose wanted them to succeed and to find an impressive life that Rose Hovick felt she never had. Delving further, one might say the events are the result of Rose Hovick feeling as though she never had the care or attention of her own mother and it really boils down to her wanting to be there for her children in a way she may have felt was missing from her own relationship with her mother. The irony is that she ultimately begins distancing herself from her daughters and from understanding and recognising true needs.
Characterisations in ‘GYPSY’ are absolutely authentic and touch on real human issues with magnificent gusto but the setting and flow of the story is traditional Hollywood fare. The dramatization of this story isn't really concerned, or so it seems, with focusing on telling audiences Gypsy Rose Lee's story in a way that is fully authentic. Instead, the film plays somewhat similar to one of its key songs by saying, "Let Me Entertain You!" C'est la vie.
Broadway found a huge success with “GYPSY” and the film version by Mervyn LeRoy was certainly no slouch either in terms of acclaim and memorability. The music for the film is undeniably great, and the lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, who also worked with the original choreographer Jerome Robbins on `West Side Story,' are some of the best in his career and somehow they manage to remain just a glimpse of the perfection in `West Side Story.' This ultimately served as a triumphant signal of what would come from the famed lyricist. It's amazing to see how much talent was on display in this classic musical. So much talent is displayed in this film's creation.
I was slightly let-down by noticing some out-of-synch dubbing on the singing, which was how `GYPSY’ was ultimately made and has always looked. It's something you can find with many musicals. Some parts of the performances were dubbed over by different singers. This was especially noticeable during some scenes with Rosalind Russell. However, her undeniably significant performance still shines through and ultimately steals the show. As beautiful, talented, and charming as Natalie Wood is it is most certainly Russell who makes this a genuinely classic musical that focuses on the ups and downs of attempting to find truly "glamorous" success in show business and the sad illusion of the quest for fame as any meaningful thing at the end of the day.
Filmed with great effort needed to stay true to Jerome Robbins vision while allowing for a new version to flourish from the director Mervyn LeRoy of the film, ‘GYPSY’ remains a satisfying blend of the highly theatrical and the cinematic wonderment found in musicals. The film has some elements that truly stand out as genuinely terrific from start to finish: the performances from all three leads are exceptional, of course, and the staging by the director feels like it's a blend between the cinematic and theatrical. I sometimes find that works best for the films.
To me, ‘GYPSY’ is to my mind the totally perfect film, and the film is beautifully shot, features excellent music, and contains an assortment of quality performances. The story that is told remains both compelling and character driven to the point where any qualms with the film don't over-shine how good everything ultimately remains as a classic example of a well-done Hollywood musical. It's glamorous and totally entertaining.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘GYPSY’ looks totally remarkable in 1080p encoded High Definition. The 2.40:1 aspect ratio transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio. The film was released with beautiful 35mm prints and this transfer is undoubtedly the best that ‘GYPSY’ has looked since its original release in cinema. Colours pop everywhere in this transfer. The print is clean and almost entirely free of any distractions. I wasn't expecting perfection from this transfer, but what I found was almost exactly that. It absolutely seems to be one of the best transfers for any classic film release on the Blu-ray format for a very long time.
Blu-ray Video Quality – The 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track sounds much better than I expected it to, but it isn't a total winner or an example of perfection. It absolutely works wonders with the beautiful transfer, but there are some downsides. The dialogue is not as loud as the score music and as a whole this is definitely a sound mix that shows some age and is less refined in terms of the technology used today. The sound materials could have probably used a good overhaul. However, the film still sounds good on Blu-ray and it certainly sounds like a perfect mix.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Features: 2 Outtake Musical Numbers: According to IMDb, these two songs were deleted shortly after the film's initial release. Long thought lost, they were restored from an early release print provided by a private collector; hence the substantially weaker quality, which are as follows:
Wherever We Go [2:39] The inherent staginess of this number, which has physical comedy routines spelled out in the lyrics, probably brought the film to a dead stop. This is a duet number.
You Couldn't Get Away From Me [3:37] This is the complete version of the song, including both the portion retained in the film and the part that was cut out. The change in aspect ratio as well as audio and visual quality clearly marks the edit.
Theatrical Trailer  [3:36] The Original Theatrical Trailer focuses heavily on Natalie Wood and the character of Gypsy Rose Lee. Of course, like the Gypsy's dances, it's mostly a tease.
Finally, this is one of the first Warner Archive Collection Blu-ray releases and if it's any indication of what film fans can expect, the quality of these releases is the only way forward, and everyone who considers themselves a big film fan, especially like me, is in for a real treat with these presentations. The transfer is stunning to behold and the audio quality is good overall. Any fans out there of ‘GYPSY’ looking for the best way to own this musical will be thrilled with the significant upgrade. Over half a century ago, the creators of ‘GYPSY’ etched an indelible portrait of the corrosive effects of a lifelong addiction, especially when the desired fame never arrives. The concluding song of ‘GYPSY’ entitled "Rose's Turn," is a real tour de force of bitterness, as Rose contemplates the star she could have been, or so she imagines. The scene can be very moving, infuriating, horrifying and grotesque indeed, all of the above at once when played by a great actress like Rosalind Russell, who is a firm favourite actress for mine. The Warner Archive Collection may turn out to be an essential line-up to look forward to over the next year. This is an exciting turn of events for fans of the many great films that are currently unavailable from Warner Bros. on Blu-ray. All in all this has always been a massive hit for me and cannot get tired of watching, as it has all the magical ingredients that on Hollywood can produce and so it is now a great honour to add this to my Blu-ray Collection. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
Le Cinema Paradiso
Her sense of timing, her brashness, her cleverness shown just the right way for Mama Rose.....all like the books. My husband and myself played in the pit orchestra for several performances of a very well-done production of Gypsy in Fort Wayne, Indiana, under the direction of Dick Casey. I am just now getting around to having bought and viewed this film. Very accurate in every aspect.
While there is some discussion about how much Louise (Gypsy Rose Lee) "doctored" her mother's behavior, telling her sister June, that no one would be interested if all her mother did was ordinary, it caused a ten-year rift in their relationship....all of these things are important to know. The mother was a real "piece of work," in any case, it becomes evident and absolutely was driven to have one of her children become the theatre person she had craved to be, all of her life.
Enjoy and think about this film, then, watch it again!