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The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band

4.4 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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(Jul 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

There's magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy in THE ONE AND ONLY, GENUINE, ORIGINAL FAMILY BAND -- a large slice of Americana set to music and dance. This is the captivating saga of a musical family that homesteads in the Dakota Territory of the 1880s and becomes embroiled in the presidential battle between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. A robust, song-filled movie for those who enjoy a good love story, admire a family that sticks together through thick and thin, or respond to rousing, Broadway-style music ... composed by the Academy Award(R) winning Sherman Brothers (1964 Best Score, Best Original Song, MARY POPPINS).|Goldie "Jean" Hawn plays a bit part in this 1968 film, which also features her future significant other, Kurt Russell.

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"All I know is, the Democrats elected a president, and the Republicans cheated 'em out of it!" No, this is not a Michael Moore documentary, but a 1968 Disney musical. The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band is probably the best musical comedy set against the 1888 presidential campaign between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. The family band, a bit like American prairie Von Trapps, settles in the Dakota territory. Problem is, Grandpappy Walter Brennan is a diehard Democrat, and Dakota is rife with Republicans, including the suitor (John Davidson at his dimpledest) to his granddaughter (Lesley Ann Warren). The score by the Sherman brothers is not their best, and the "family fare" approach almost killed Disney films during this era. Nice to see old hoofer Buddy Ebsen get to dance a bit, and trivia buffs should note that Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are first linked here--he's one of the kids, she's a featured dancer. --Robert Horton

Special Features

Feature Commentary With Lesley Ann Warren, John Davidson, And Richard Sherman|The Family Band Album

Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Brennan, Buddy Ebsen, Lesley Ann Warren, John Davidson, Janet Blair
  • Directors: Michael O'Herlihy
  • Writers: Lowell S. Hawley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55QU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,997 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on March 10, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Who invented music? Because, whoever they were, the Bower family wants to personally shake their hand. Despite being a staunch Republican, Calvin Bower (Buddy Ebsen) still sings the pro-Democratic anthem composed by his father (Walter Brennan), because, he reasons, why let politics get in the way of a good song?

When Grandpa and the Bower Family Band are invited to the 1888 convention in order to perform their anthem for Grover Cleveland's re-election campaign, things take another turn altogether when oldest daughter Alice's (Lesley Ann Warren) pen-pal/fiancée Joe Carder (John Davidson), a dedicated Republican, makes a visit and sings the praises of the Dakota territory where he lives. The Bowers' relocation to Dakota soon causes immense family friction, with Grandpa's Democratic rants getting him into hot water with Dakota's mostly Republican population.

There-in hangs the rather slender plot of this Disney musical, which was sadly one of the last live action projects to be green-lit by Walt Disney before his death. At the time of it's production, the Disney Studio was heavily into big, Roadshow-style musicals thanks to the successes of "Mary Poppins" and "The Happiest Millionaire". With another chirpy score by the Sherman Brothers and reuniting "Happiest Millionaire"'s young leads Lesley Ann Warren and John Davidson, THE ONE AND ONLY GENUINE ORIGINAL FAMILY BAND sadly doesn't quite measure up to the overall quality or repeat value of "Poppins" or "Millionaire".

The film's main failing, especially during it's international engagements was the plot. Unless you are American you probably won't fully appreciate or understand the plot which relies on an established knowledge of American politics. This is what sadly limits FAMILY BAND's entertainment value.
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I didn't expect to like this film. The title was too corny for one thing. Also, I'd seen Disney's trailers for the film and noticed how they always focused on a scene featuring Goldie Hawn even though she's only in the movie for a few minutes toward the end. If they have to try to sell it with shots of Goldie Hawn, how good can it be?

But I finally got the chance to see it in its entirety and found out that it's a pretty darn good film. I've heard the Sherman Brothers songs for this movie dismissed as "forgettable" by notable critics but, while this film isn't loaded with Academy Award winning songs, there are still some good tunes sprinkled throughout, most notably a duet between John Davidson and Lesley Ann Warren entitled "Bout Time". The film has a lot of good choreography too and the dance sequences are thouroughly engaging without being over the top.

Walter Brennan and Buddy Ebsen are perfect for their roles here and both do a fantastic job. (Although I'm not sure that Brennan was really old enough to be Ebsen's father.)

The film is in full screen but in the documentary that's included here as a bonus feature, there's a mention of this being a made for TV film. The bonus features are nice and a commentary track with Davidson, Warren and one of the Sherman brothers is included too.
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This is my favorite movie in the entire world!!! My mom rented it when I was a little girl, and I just adored it. However, as I grew older I was devastated when I was no longer able to find it out on video. I have been surfing the web for months trying to find a copy, but to no avail. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found out it was coming out on DVD!! I truly believe this is the best movie ever made. I mean, think about it, it's got your history, politics, family life, and what better love story than Leslie Ann Warren and John Davidson? Not to mentiont he completely adorable Kurt Russell, the energetic dancer and singer Buddy Ebsen, and of course the lovable grandfather Walter Brennan! I absolutely love this movie! Thank you Disney for finally releasing it! You have made my year!
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A disappointing release from Disney Home Video of a charming film with great stars and wonderful Sherman Brothers' music. The extras are nice: a short "making of" documentary and optional audio commentary. Why the one star? A poor pan-and-scan release with below par video quality are truly unacceptable in today's DVD market. It would be better for the Disney Company to slow down its release sechedule and take the time to create quality releases of these older title that appeal to "grown up" Disney fans and film students.
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For some reason, most people don't know too much or have never heard about this Disney movie. And I don't quite understand why, since it rates in some of my TOP Disney movies. First off, it carries a cast of today's well known actors in some of their earliest roles ever. Kurt Russell as a kid (singing, dancing and playing a musical instrument at that!). Goldie "Jeanne" Hawn as a bit part. Not to mention Leslie Ann Warren, before she started playing loopy characters. Buddy Ebsen, John Davidson (very pre-Hollywood Squares). Walter Brennan. The story is about a musically talented family in which Grandpa organizes the family band to play at the democratic convention. But his grandaughter Alice's love interest, Joe Carder, a Republican, convinces the family of which most are Republican to head out to the Dakotas (at that point still just one state). The movie revolves gently around the politics of the Grover Cleveland re-election campaign against Benjamin Harrison with a focus on the comedy, the love quarrels and a ton of kids having fun. The climactic end takes place at the Republican primary if I remember correctly, where jsut about everything goes haywaire and unexpected. (Even as it did at the real election at that time.) It's nice getting the history lesson in without even realizing it! The songs are upbeat and memorable, aside from one lousy Leslie Ann Warren song early on, and are still fun to sing and dance along with many years later. My VHS of this movie has just about gone caput, so I'm very pleased that the DVD version is coming out.
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