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Kiss Me Kate [Blu-ray]
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When two squabbling ex-marrieds are cast as squabbling Renaissance romantics in a musical The Taming of the Shrew, life imitates art and art imitates life and it all proves no musical comedy imitates Kiss Me Kate, the backstage/onstage delight from the 1948 Broadway smash, featuring 14 peerless Cole Porter songs. Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson are the tangled twosome So in Love despite her I Hate Men flash points. Ann Miller adds heat, razzle-tap-dazzling in Too Darn Hot and wowing Tom, Dick and Harry (Bob Fosse, Tommy Rall and Bobby Van). Fosse and Hermes Pan provide zesty choreography under George Sidney's nimble direction. So Brush Up Your Shakespeare and enjoy. Kate won't just kiss you. She'll floor you.
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 5.92 Ounces
- Director : George Sidney
- Media Format : NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 50 minutes
- Release date : September 10, 2019
- Actors : Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel
- Studio : Warner Archives
- ASIN : B07X3QG5CB
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
#44,377 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #237 in Musicals (Movies & TV)
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Top reviews from the United States
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M-G-M was the most important Hollywood studio in terms of musicals. They had stupendous arrangers, composers, and innovators in the art of recording sound. And Kiss Me Kate shows not only that but also that the studio no longer wished to shoot academy (1.33:1) ratio pictures but rather widescreen, in this case a flat 1.75:1 aspect ratio film.
The Blu-Ray release contains the restored 3D/2D versions. The 3D is clearly the best choice, since it gives meaning to all those camera effects. There is a lot of photographic grain in the 3D version that is not visible in the 2D version, but the latter is less sharp and "flatter", comparatively. Colour is overall quite good, and the sound is simply spectacular.
This may not be M-G-M's best, but otherwise highly recommended to film fans and students.
When two squabbling ex-marrieds are cast as squabbling Renaissance romantics in a musical entitled “The Taming of the Shrew,” where life imitates art, art imitates life and it all proves no musical comedy imitates ‘Kiss Me Kate’ which was adapted from the 1948 Broadway smash that features 14 peerless Cole Porter songs. Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson are the two tangled twosome who are “So in Love” despite her saying “I Hate Men” flashpoints. Ann Miller adds heat, razzle-tap-dazzling in “Too Darn Hot” and wowing “Tom, Dick and Harry” [Bob Fosse, Tommy Rall and Bobby Van]. Bob Fosse and Hermes Pan provide zesty choreography under George Sidney’s nimble direction. So “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” and enjoy. Kate won’t just kiss you. She’ll floor you.
FILM FACT: Dorothy Kingsley's screenplay, which was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award, was adapted from the musical's book by Samuel and Bella Spewack. The songs were by Cole Porter, with musical underscoring by Saul Chaplin and André Previn, who were nominated for an Academy Award®. Hermes Pan choreographed the dance routines. The movie was filmed in 3D using the most advanced methods of that technique then available. Devotees of the stereoscopic 3-D medium usually cite this film as one of the best examples of a Hollywood release in polarized 3D. The movie had a mostly positive reception. Although ‘Kiss Me Kate’ is often referred to as the first 3D musical,
Cast: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ron Randell, Ann Miller, Tommy Rall, Keenan Wynn, James Whitmore, Willard Parker, Bobby Van, Kurt Kasznar, Bob Fosse, Michael Dugan, Carol Haney (Specialty dancer) and Jeanne Coyne (Specialty dancer)
Director: George Sidney
Producer: Jack Cummings
Screenplay: Dorothy Kingsley
Composers: Cole Porter (songs), Saul Chaplin (score), André Previn and Conrad Salinger
Cinematography: Charles Rosher
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Spanish [Castilian]: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish [Castilian], Korean and Spanish [Latin]
Running Time: 110 minutes
Region: Region A/1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘Kiss Me Kate’ is a cinematic adaptation of the hit Cole Porter Broadway musical of the same name. Its "play within a film" structure follows the efforts of Director/Star Fred Graham [Howard Keel] to stage a theatrical musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” with himself in the role of Petruchio and his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi [Kathryn Grayson] as Katherine. Fred Graham’s efforts to woo back his ex-wife using the pretence of the play are complicated by Lilli’s recent engagement to cattle baron Tex Callaway [Willard Parker], his ill advised promising of the role of Bianca to nightclub dancer Lois Lane [Ann Miller], and the unwelcome backstage presence of a couple of gangsters [Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore] intent on collecting a gambling debt incurred by Bill Calhoun [Tommy Rall], Lois’ sometime beau who is cast as Lucentio.
Here is the classic M-G-M musical and another outstanding restoration in 4K from the 35mm Ansco Color camera negatives by Ned Price and his team at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. In fact, it’s their best restoration work on a 3D film to date. The vertical alignment and left/right panel matching is spot on.
A musical extravaganza featuring the witty tunes of Cole Porter’s ‘Kiss Me Kate’  is a remake of Shakespeare's “The Taming of the Shrew.” Set behind the scenes of a spectacular Broadway production of “Kiss Me Kate,” this fetching musical concerns the tensions that erupt between former husband and wife Fred Graham [Howard Keel] and Lilli Vanessi [Kathryn Grayson] while performing together as Petruchio and Katherine. The combative relationship between Lilli and Fred often carries over onto the stage where they bicker and feud as enthusiastically as their fictional counterparts, Petruchio, the hunk intent on wooing, and Katherine, the maiden adamantly opposed to being wooed. Things become even more complicated when a pair of mildly bumbling, stage-struck crooks Lippy [Keenan Wynn] and Slug [James Whitmore] arrive backstage to collect on a gambling debt and vow not to leave Lilli or Fred's side until Fred pays up.
George Sidney had a great understanding of stereoscopic composition and the excellent cinematography by Charles Rosher and properly matted for widescreen, has never looked better. My only quibble is that some of the medium shots are a wee bit tight and it would have benefited from remastering in M-G-M’s recommended aspect ratio of 1.75:1. This was the only “Golden Age” 3D feature to have a sequence with gimmick shots physically cut into the Technicolor prints for 3-D bookings in 1953. That rare footage has now been properly restored at the beginning of “The Taming of the Shrew.” And kudos to Warner Bros. for leaving the original Intermission card in place. Many people saw ‘Kiss Me Kate’ in 3D and widescreen over sixty years ago and now is your chance to have the same experience in superb quality at home. This wonderful 3D Blu-ray belongs in every collection!
At the time in 1953, director Sidney reimagined the play for Hollywood with the 1950s novelty of 3D. Unfortunately, though ‘Kiss Me Kate’ was shot in both flat and 3D versions, the rapid decline of the fad meant the film was never released in its 3D version. So viewers were never able to experience the peculiar thrill of Lois Lane (Fred's new love interest, played by Ann Miller) kicking her gams out at the audience or Lilli Vanessi in a shrewish temper pitching bouquets and vases at the audience, or the final close-up embrace with Katherine and Petruchio popping out at their audience, all gimmicks used to show off the 3D techniques. But now we get to see it in its true cinema presentation with this spectacular 3D Blu-ray disc and from the title ‘Kiss Me Kate’ shooting towards the audience, you get to finally see it in glorious Technicolor 3D and well worth the wait. But one of the better gimmicks in Kiss Me Kate is surely Cole Porter's songs, like a smoky rendition of "Too Darn Hot" performed by a madly tap-dancing Lois [Ann Miller] in the compact Manhattan living room of her boyfriend [Fred Graham], or the uproarious, cleverly phrased number "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," performed by gangsters Lippy [Keenan Wynn] and Slug [James Whitmore].
"From This Moment On" was inserted in ‘Kiss Me Kate’ to accommodate three dancing couples in a final number, which featured Carol Haney and Bob Fosse as one of the couples. That brief but unforgettably sultry two-minute dance number turned out to be responsible for launching three showbiz careers. Bob Fosse choreographed the brief ‘Kiss Me Kate’ dance between Carol Haney and Bob Fosse himself, showing off the sharp, quirky dance style that would be seen by film audience’s decades later in the semi-autobiographical film version of his life, ‘All That Jazz’ . Note Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore as a couple of gangland thugs, too. Their clowning as backstage interlopers gives the right touch of low comedy, and their singing of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" is done with stridence and skill.
But, of course, it is really Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel tossing off the Cole Porter songs that make for the best things in the film. Together they're smooth and melodious in the romantic "So in Love" and deliciously arch and sprightly in the rolicking "Wunderbar." Miss Grayson's shrewish squawking of "I Hate Men" is the darling, and Mr. Keel's singing of several solos is in a top-notch style. Twelve of the original song numbers of Cole Porter are in the film, and a new one is in for a bright ballet. It is called "From This Moment On." Under George Sidney's direction, the whole thing moves with zest and grace. Don't wait to be invited. Accept the offer of this 3D Blu-ray title post-haste, you will not be disappointed.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Kiss Me Kate,’ as I have already informed you that according to director George Sidney, was meant for the 1.75:1 aspect ratio, despite many original theatrical presentations using other Academy ratio. The Technicolor’s print (from Ansocolor sources) needed space on the stock for sound, but the Blu-ray properly masters the film for George Sidney’s preference, is a stunning beautiful presentation. The Colours is intense and it is unmistakably vintage, but despite this, it absolutely glowing with primaries. Stage costumes are a total glorious mixture of ridiculously bright reds, purples, yellows, and blues. Grayson’s lipstick is strongly accentuated. There is no dilution of hues due to age, nor any apparent digital amplification. The Technicolor colours are as they should be and the restoration work is of high resolution. All of that is fine, but ‘Kiss Me Kate’ Blu-ray highlight is the 3D work of art and it is totally brilliant. Depth is outstanding from the mammoth opening title. Separation between foreground and back is intense and this modern 3D presentation so rarely tries to be this extensive, but here ‘Kiss Me Kate’ has no such fears, it totally triumphs.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Originally sent to cinemas in stereo and mono, neither of those tracks is offered here. Instead, a full stunning 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio remaster is used. Much is made of the stereos, including vocals which slip off screen and into either side channel. It’s seamless when separating from the centre. Surrounds fills in ambient orchestration. Most impressive is fidelity. Opening notes spill through the speakers with spectacular clarity. Any signs of hiss or fading are gone. Cliché as it may be, it sounds like it was recorded yesterday. Rarely has that statement been so true. The only faults are in the highest of notes. A few of the highs in “Wunderbar” are the slightest bit unstable. Those audible quirks comprise mere seconds.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Vintage Feature: Ann Miller Hosts Cole Porter in Hollywood: Too Darn Hot  [480i] [4:3] [9:40] Ann Miller hosts this documentary short on the making of the M-G-M Cole Porter hot musical ‘Kiss Me Kate.’ This short about Cole Porter is included as a special feature for ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ a play whose score was written by Porter. It's narrated by Ann Miller and has interviews with Katherine Grayson, Howard Keel, Tommy Rall and James Whitmore. It's a very nice special feature to watch if you get the DVD for ‘Kiss Me Kate.’ Unfortunately it really is NOT specifically about Cole Porter despite the title! Instead, it's about the play and more about the film ‘Kiss Me Kate with surviving cast members giving their recollections about making the movie. I like this sort of thing, but it's again not a film about Cole Porter and he's only mentioned at the beginning! It's a case of a film with a very, very poor title. It's a shame, though, as I did want to learn more about this composer! The people contributing to this short special are Ann Miller, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Tommy Rall and James Whitmore. Director and Screenplay: Peter Fitzgerald.
Vintage Documentary Short: Mighty Manhattan, New York's Wonder City  [480i] [4:3] [5:06] Although not officially an entry in the Traveltalks series, the same production crew was used for this two-realer, and the opening credits have the same appearance. The film visits many of the neighbourhoods and landmarks on Manhattan Island and occasionally includes a history lesson. The neighbourhoods include the Bowery, Chinatown, Herald Square, and Times Square. Some of the architectural highlights are the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, Temple Emanuel, the Central Park Zoo, and the Rockefeller Center complex. The film ends in with a visit to a dining room in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where the Xavier Cugat Orchestra entertains. Narrated by James A. FitzPatrick. Director: James H. Smith.
Warner Bros. Cartoon: Barney's Hungry Cousin  [480i] [4:3] [6:40] Barney Bear heads to a national park for a vacation while another bear, native to the park, notices Barney's picnic lunch and makes various attempts to steal Barney's food while Barney tries to eat. Barney notices the bear and tries to escape the moocher but wherever Barney goes, the omnipresent bear is always there too. Finally, Barney gives up and offers the bear some food at which point the bear informs the park rangers that Barney is feeding the animals and the rangers take Barney off in their wagon. Directors: Dick Lundy, George Gordon, Michael Lah, Preston Blair and Rudolf Ising. Producer: Fred Quimby and Rudolf Ising. Composer: Scott Bradley.
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [4:3] [3:22] This is the epic original spectacular trailer, and is proof positive that MGM was promoting Kiss Me Kate as a prestige release in 1953. Sadly it is not in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio or in 3D. The makes no mention of the 3D process.
Finally, fans of vintage 3D will have reason to celebrate with this outstanding 3D Blu-ray presentation of ‘Kiss Me Kate,’ as it is one of the most prestigious productions of the 1950s 3D boom. Vintage musical fans who are not 3D equipped will be treated to a high definition ‘Kiss Me Kate’ that corrects framing errors from the prior inferior NTSC DVD release. 'Kiss Me Kate' stands on its own as one of Hollywood's most delightful musicals, but seeing it in its original 3D splendour and the way its creators meant it to be seen. Every Hollywood music classic fan should pick up this superior disc, which earns a very high and very hearty praise and everybody wins, and especially again if you are a massive fan of musicals, this is the disc that may convert you to 3D! Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
Even if you're not into musicals, I think this is a good one. It's a lot of fun, if you give it a change. The 3D is great and the choreography of the dance numbers is great along with an amusing story of a jealous ex-wife and her ex-husband who really still cares about her... kind of. You get the drift. Just get this 3D Blu-Ray and enjoy it. It's definitely worth the watch!
Suddenly, I'm in the apartment with faux Cole Porter and Howard Keel watching Ann Miller sizzle out her dance on and off tables as only she can. My youth is suddenly restored! Or I'm wincing while Kathryn Grayson sings to me how she hates men, or I'm standing around while the boys soft-shoe and advise me to reread my Shakespeare. I wander among the actors absorbing the color, costumes, sets, find my way backstage for the hijinks there and back again to watch three other boys and girls including Ann miller (and including a first screen appearance by Bob Fosse in his own self- choreographed section) fly through "From This Moment On". Porter's songs are American classics, and the intertwining plots of this light-hearted off-the-wall take on "Taming of the Shrew" did what the best musical comedy films do (well, some of them): it took me in, cheered me up, made me dance and sing and then gave me leave to go humming a tune.
This is one of the best 3DBD's I've ever bought. If you like musicals and have a 3-D player and TV, don't hesitate. The package also includes the 2-D version. You'll win either way.
Top reviews from other countries
The singing of Katherine Grayson and Howard Keel, is out of this world.
The dancing of Ann Miller and Tommy Rall surpasses anything of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, plus the contributions by Bob Fosse and Bobby Van, two very talented dancers themselves, make the dance routines really come to life.
I am now hoping that more of the 50's 3D films are to be released in the 3D format they were filmed in.
Thank you Warner Brothers for this fantastic film.
3 D efects made with persons or monsters more near or far from the public but each model in flat appearence not with volume. It is the same effect made with the children toy mini theatres where all sets and actors are retired from a page of paper, without of course the volumetric dimension. If we need a good example of 3D today we can refer the Blu Ray edition of the modern Journey to the Center of the Earthor and the last century production of Wings of Courage made with 70mm IMAX film, not the hard disc digital one. Congratulations for this super restoration of the 3D version of Kiss Me Kate. And let's go to the theatre, in good stall in the center of the room.
João Pereira Bastos Lisboa, Portugal