The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection The Sound of Music / The King and I / Oklahoma! / South Pacific / State Fair / Carousel
Special Edition, Remastered
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Disc 1: Carousel Special Edition Disc 2: Carousel Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 3: King and I Special Edition Disc 4: King and I Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 5: South Pacific Special Edition Disc 6: South Pacific Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 7: Sound of Music Special Edition Disc 8: Sound of Music Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 9: State Fair Special Edition Disc 10: State Fair Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 11: Oklahoma Special Edition Disc 12: Oklahoma Special Edition-Bonus Disc
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection contains film versions of the five major works by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who helped define the American musical landscape and rewrite the direction of musical theater. After enjoying extremely successful careers working with others, Rodgers and Hammerstein first teamed up in 1943 for the prairie tale Oklahoma!, with songs including "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're in Love." The subsequent 1955 film starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, who teamed up again for 1956's Carousel. While that film's dark nature made it less popular than its predecessor, the score ("If I Loved You," "You'll Never Walk Alone") was Rodgers's favorite. The King and I (also 1956) featured stage star Yul Brynner as the King of Siam and Deborah Kerr as schoolteacher Anna Leonowens, who must learn Asian customs even as she tries to instill some of her Western ones. The somewhat bloated version of South Pacific (1958) follows two couples during World War II and features standards such as "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" and "Some Enchanted Evening" from stars Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi. The last film, The Sound of Music (1965), proved to be the most popular, with Julie Andrews winning the hearts of seven children and their father with her blissful songs. And if the perhaps saccharine music and plot may test the patience of some, there's no doubt that songs such as "My Favorite Things" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" have charmed audiences around the world for decades. Accompanying the Big 5 in this set is the relatively minor State Fair from 1945 (though it does have "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "It's a Grand Night for Singing"). Some may expect and prefer other entries in the R&H canon such as Flower Drum Song or the television production Cinderella, but those were produced by different studios.
This 12-disc set from 2006 includes the two-disc special editions of each film, remastered and anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs (except State Fair, which was shot in traditional 1.33:1 aspect ratio). Bonus features include the Todd-AO version of Oklahoma! (which should look better than the CinemaScope version but doesn't); 40th-anniversary bonus material for The Sound of Music, including a commentary track by Julie Andrews; Lilliom, the 1934 film based on the same story as Carousel; and the 1962 version of State Fair starring Pat Boone and Ann-Margaret. --David Horiuchi
- Fully Restored and Remastered
- Six Discs of Bonus Features
- Alternate Versions
- Stage Performances
- Two Alternate Films
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The Carousel title is inclusive of the American version of the movie, from the 1950s, plus Liliom, the French language, English subtitled, 1934, B&W version, upon which the American version of Carousel was based. Prior to seeing this, we were not aware of the 1934 video.
The State Fair title includes the 1945 version, with Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes, Vivian Blaine and Jeanne Crain in the lead roles, as well as the 1962 version, with Pat Boone, Bobby Darin, Pamela Tiffen and Ann Margaret in the lead roles. Those familiar with the title will remember that there was an earlier, B&W version, from around 1933, with Will Rogers, as the family patriarch but I don’t recall the other players. That 1933 version was not included in this DVD set. While the 1933 and 1945 versions retained the venue of State Fair in Iowa, the 1962 version chose to change the venue, to Texas, for no discernable reason. Each of the three versions has its strengths and weaknesses and each kept to the basic plan of the story but with wide variations, in the details and side issues.
The South Pacific DVDs includes the Broadway version, at 157 minutes in length, as well as the road show version, which ran for 172 minutes.
The first of the two Sound of Music DVDs contains the video, while the 2nd DVD contains a special introduction, by Julie Andrews, as well as additional background info, about the show, the characters, the von Trapp family and, for some reason, a Mia Farrow screen test.
The Oklahoma DVDs contain the Broadway version of the video, on disk one, plus the slightly longer and full screen/wide screen, Todd-AO version, on disk two.
The King and I also provides 2 DVDs, with disk one being the play and disk 2 providing interviews with the players, plus background info, about the show and performances.
For me, they're OK,I'm not a big traditional movie fan. I saw most of them as a child in the theatre, and especially remember enjoying "the Sound of Music" and (to me the far superior "The King and I"....which was the first movie at which I cried at the ending!)
I must add I bought the boxed set used. I've never had a problem with buying used CD's or DVD's via Amazon third party sellers. The boxed set was shrink-wrapped, and every DVD is in perfect condition. And FAR less expensive!
Someone had an issue with the "letter box" format of the "The King and I". If you think about it, that is the way you see movies in a theatre: rectangular shape. When they "reformat for your TV" as they say, you get a square shape that leaves out part of the original picture to fit the traditional TV shape.
The sound quality is good, of course that depends more on your home speakers but even with my mother's tube TV, older model, the singing and the music sound great. She is VERY happy with the set, and replays them often, especially...."The Sound of Music"!!
We all sat and enjoyed Oklahoma...yes I agree with other reviewers the transfer from the 35 mm cinemascope version is superior to that taken from the Todd AO print. We then sat through the Sound of music....and after a week my grand-nieces returned....and I've been enjoying selected songs from the King and I, and South Pacific. Sound and picture's are "superb". The many times I'd gone along to the movies even seeing original 70 mm versions on screen in Australia....the DVD's absolutely "sparkle". I had several "letter-box" R and H musicals and despite the 5:1 sound, this latest compilation even in NTSC looks great on our LCD Samsung.
Unless you move really close to the screen it is hard to determine if the pictures are standard definition. Computer restoration has meant that there's not a hint that the original medium was film.
"Happy Talk" (and her we only have seen some of the songs of South Pacific's road show version) to me is better than ever......computer restorers have excelled themselves in revealing more "shadow" details than the 70 mm print contained.
I could go on and on.....however anyone who has this latest R and H collection will not be sorry.....this is a true collector's item not only for us oldies, but for a whole new generation to enjoy!
Stephen J Fleay
former correspondent for CBS / BBC
West Java Indonesia
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein are the Verdi's, Puccini's, and Mozart's of our century!
I don't mean to diminish the fine work done by Sondheim, Lloyd-Weber, and their contemporaries, but the contrast of achievement is just too great to put the latter group in the same category (my opinion).
Few can put the best possible words and music together to so EXACTLY capture a moment or emotion.
The acting in all is also top notch!
For those who know these great creative masterpieces and for those who don't, I HEARTILY RECOMMEND this compendium of PURE AWESOMNESS!
Most recent customer reviews
The quality of the films & fabulous music is as good as being in the big theater.