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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Musicals


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29 replies to this topic

#1 johnm001

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:13 PM

I bought the R&H set due to the low price on AMAZON.

OKLAHOMA! The roadshow version looked gorgeous. One of the best Blu Ray's I have ever seen. As for the volume all I did was turn it up a bit. I know nothing about the scene after the Entra act. THE KING AND I is far from perfect. Sometimes the scenes look a bit muddy and other scenes look quite beautiful. I think this is the best we are going to get. Could THE KING AND I possibly have looked this way when originally released? I think STATE FAIR has some of the same problems. Night scenes look a bit muddy. I have yet to watch CAROUSEL. I do think FOX should have included the 1962 version of STATE FAIR even though its not a very good musical.

I wasn't referring to the volume.  Yes, turning it up fixes the volume, I was referring to the dynamics of the soundtrack.  Not great.  How can you not know about the scene following the Ent'acte?  At the end of Act I, Laurey has had a dream and it is dusk.  Judd wakes her to tell her it's time to go to the social.  After Intermission is the exact same evening.  They are heading to the social.  Except, on the Blu-ray, it has, magically, become high noon, and no longer dusk.  I got a copy of a Blu-ray, using the same image, with the dusk scene fixed, and the PCM (and superior) laserdisc soundtrack added as an option.  Something Fox should have done!



#2 EdgeCliffe

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 02:39 PM

I bought the R&H set due to the low price on AMAZON.

OKLAHOMA! The roadshow version looked gorgeous. One of the best Blu Ray's I have ever seen. As for the volume all I did was turn it up a bit. I know nothing about the scene after the Entra act. THE KING AND I is far from perfect. Sometimes the scenes look a bit muddy and other scenes look quite beautiful. I think this is the best we are going to get. Could THE KING AND I possibly have looked this way when originally released? I think STATE FAIR has some of the same problems. Night scenes look a bit muddy. I have yet to watch CAROUSEL. I do think FOX should have included the 1962 version of STATE FAIR even though its not a very good musical.

#3 johnm001

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 07:49 AM

So happy I did not buy the Rodgers and Hammerstein Blu-ray box set.  My neighbor has it, and I checked out some of the films.  STATE FAIR looks just fine, and the Todd-AO version of OKLAHOMA! looks incredible.  THE KING AND I is a disgrace, and should have never been released in such an awful state.  The color is completely wrong.  CAROUSEL has better color, but the image is far too dim.  The soundtrack to the Todd-AO OKLAHOMA! is lousy and there is a scene, immediately following the Entr'acte, that is supposed to be dusk, and is presented on the Blu as broad daylight.  It's just disgraceful that these companies allow people with no idea or inclination to know how something should look, to do these transfers.  Why no '62 STATE FAIR?  For the price they are charging, it should be included, and everything should look magnificent.  Both THE SOUND OF MUSIC and SOUTH PACIFIC are the same as their previously released content, except the second disc of extras for TSOM is not included with this box.  I wouldn't take one for free, let alone buy it.    Hopefully, they'll release the films, solo and corrected!  They need to go back to the uncompressed and un-denoised soundtracks that accompanied the laserdiscs.  Beautiful, room-filling sound!



#4 filmlover

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:21 PM


*Hello, Dolly! (Blu-ray)*

The story of a matchmaker who is trying to make a match of a rich man for herself has been told in several versions, but certainly the most famous is the stage and film musical. I will throw in the obligatory "Streisand was too young for the part" but it is her personality and the part of the character she is portraying that keeps the movie together from beginning to end. This is possibly the last of the golden age of musicals.


I've done a comparison of the DVD and the Blu-ray and the video and audio differences are incredible. The Blu-ray picture and sound are many steps above the DVD. Colors are spectacular.


The extras (a brief but tantalizing look at the making of the "Before the Parade Passes By" musical number and some trailers) have been carried over from the DVD and upgraded to high definition, which is very satisyfying. There is also a new featurette for the Blu on Gene Kelly direction the film.


Highly recommended.



#5 filmlover

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:30 AM


For WB's first Archive release on Blu-ray (well, actually tied with Deathtrap), the studio has done an admirable job on Gypsy, the fun musical biopic of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Rosalind Russell stars as the irrepressible stage mother of all time, Rose, who dominates her cute daughter, Baby June, and then when June leaves, her awkward daughter, Louise (Natalie Wood). (In real life, there wasn't such a happy ending for Rose, and you might like to check it out through the internet.)


Video is excellent, and I only detected a very minor haloing in one scene. Unlike the regular WarnerArchives being on DVD-Rs, this is a regular Blu-ray.


Audio is good, with voices mostly through the center speaker. During musical numbers, side speakers do get used.


The only extras are two carried over from the DVD, but this time in HD (though rough footage), of one musical number cut from the film ("Together Wherever We Go") and another number that was trimmed in half for the final film ("You'll Never Get Away Fom Me"). There is also a trailer in HD (but not restored).


This was a major musical, very important in Stephen Sondheim's early career. And though Rosalind Russell's singing voice is dubbed mostly by Lisa Kirk, Russell's acting makes the film very enjoyable. (By the way, be sure to look for the drawing of Ethel Merman, the original Rose on Broadway, on the wall near the full-length mirror in the stripper's dressing room. A nice touch.)


Very much recommended.



#6 filmlover

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 11:40 AM

Posted Image

*Bye Bye Birdie - Blu-ray (limited to 3,000 copies)*

Bye Bye Birdie is 50 years old and still a joyous celebration of teenage youth during the Elvis days. While the Broadway version differs in that Kim is a supporting character, with the super presence of Ann-Margret, the story was changed to focus on her. It was a smart deciision because this is definitely the film when Ann-Margret became a star. She is soft, sultry, outrageous and funny. She will raise any male's body temperature right from the opening pre-credit sequence.












Songs are a delight, with nary a clunker among them. Paul Lynde even gets the utterly delightful "Hymm for A Sunday Evening," the song which is an homage to Ed Sullivan. Bobby Rydell is a little-less-than-adequate as Hugo, Kim's boyfriend, but then who could match up to A-M without being Elvis himself. Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh are fun, and get the best lines and a few nice songs. But make no mistake, this is Ann-Margret's film from beginning to end. Those who see this movie for the first time will recognize the opening as something the ad team on "Mad Men" tried to imitate for a commercial, but the commercial was a failure and it was summed up that the reason was "It's not Ann-Margret."












The video is exceptional, vibrant colors, probably as good as we will ever get from the film (though it did look like there was a tiny bit of ghosting in the sequence where Birdie makes his motorcycle entrance into the town square). It is a major improvement over the DVD.












Audio is also a great improvement over the DVD. But while everything is clear on the 5.1 DTS-MA track, very little comes from the side speakers. However, the isolated 2.0 score fills the room when played on its own.












Extras are the isolated score mentioned above, as well as a trailer and a teaser. There is also a good 8-page booklet with Twilight Time's release.












Very highly recommended.

NOTE: This is currently only available from Screen Archives Entertainment: http://www.screenarc...1963-PRE-ORDER/

#7 filmlover

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:59 PM

Hi. It seemed to be a good time to ressurect the individual threads that were set up when I helped get this Forum created. We are getting so many threads being started for so many things that could all be in one place that it makes it hard to find anything.

Keeping within a theme thread makes the Classic Film DVD Reviews Forum a much neater place and better organized.. Thanks.

#8 filmlover

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:23 AM

*The Music Man (Blu-ray)*

I got this today, the first day of release and was looking forward to seeing it in high definition with great anticipation...and it didn't disappoint at all. The picture quality and sound are miles ahead of the standard DVD.

The introduction by Shirley Jones is here, as is the featurette on the making of the movie, plus there is a trailer. Regrettably, the items are all in standard definition.

This movie on Blu-ray is a treat!!! A must buy!!

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#9 filmlover

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

*The Harvey Girls* (DVD)

I?m not going to comment on the picture and audio quality (except to say they are both excellent) because the reason I wanted to post this review is the audio commentary by director George Sidney.

His commentary, without a doubt, is one of the greatest I have heard. It was recorded for the laserdisc version, I believe, and the man was bright and clear about the filming even though it was something like forty years later. He fills the commentary track with so much enthusiasm amd so many insights almost nonstop while he watches the film that one wishes every film had his input. Though not listed among the usual gang of world?s greatest directors, he was a remarkable creative force. Look at the list of titles he directed: Thousands Cheer, Bathing Beauty, Anchors Aweigh, Ziegfeld Follies, The Harvey Girls, Till the Clouds Roll By, The Three Musketeers (1948), Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat (1951), Scaramouche, Young Bess, Kiss Me Kate, Jupiter?s Darling, The Eddy Duchin Story, Pal Joey, Bye Bye Birdie, and Viva Las Vegas?to name a few.

There are many remarkable stories he tells about the making of The Harvey Girls that I want you to get it and listen to them yourself. Here are just a couple: Clark Gable was the person they wanted for the John Hodiak role but it seemed to weird to cast him as the romantic interest of Judy Garland after she sang that love song to him as a child a few years earlier; the lengthy Judy Garland opening part of the ?Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe? number was done in one shot and in only one take; Virginia O?Brien started to show a bulge during the filming and was subsequently out of most of the film because she was pregnant; he said he heard people razzing about how Marjorie Main was making all this money but not spending anything, but Sidney tells how she was using it to support a school, and so many more insights.

Highly recommended!

filmlover

#10 HollywoodGolightly

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 01:05 PM

*Fiesta* (DVD - released as part of Esther Williams Vol. 2 boxset)

I'm probably going to buy the Esther Williams Vol. 2 DVD boxset eventually - perhaps if they put it on sale during the holiday season, or at the Deep Discount sale next month. In the meantime, I had a free rental to use and the thought of getting a bit of a sneak peak proved to be to tempting to pass.

So, I picked up *Fiesta* and watch it this week. I'm very happy that this relatively rare MGM musical has been finally released on a proper DVD (as opposed to WAC) and I couldn't have been happier to once again find myself watching a new WHV title with a few extra features - even if they aren't anything spectacular.

Those who've already watched the whole set say that this may be the weakest transfer of the set, and I don't doubt it. The source material is far from pristine, although not in a way that would seriously detract from the pleasure of watching this colorful movie, filmed in Mexico with a great cast - Williams, Cyd Charisse, Ricardo Montalban, and Mary Astor.

I'm going to assume that the colors are reasonably faithful to the original, and that what we're seeing in terms of "dark-skinned" make-up is more or less what audiences saw originally - in this regard, Cyd definitely looks the best, looking absolutely beautiful, only even more so.

And while the movie stars Esther Williams, there's plenty of stuff for the supporting players to do, especially a couple of colorful dance numbers with Cyd and Ricardo (my favorite was the one set to "La Bamba"). Having said that, many people wouldn't consider this to be a musical in the strictest sense of the word, since nearly all music is just incidental, unlike most of the old-fashioned MGM musicals.

In addition to a cartoon and a short, the DVD also includes the original theatrical trailer. The movie's English subtitles are generally accurate, although one may notice the odd typo - such as "La Scala" instead of "Tlaxcala".

All in all, it's great to have a 2nd volume of Esther Williams musicals and I can't help but wish that there's still enough movies left for a 3rd one.

#11 filmlover

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 10:48 AM

*The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors Edition (Blu-ray)*

I got my Blu-ray Ultimate Collectors Edition box set from Wbshop.com and I must say, this is a very attractive package. After I carefully removed the plastic wrap, I could feel the excitement pouring out of the box as I opened the lid (the inside of which is decorated with a color photo of Dorothy , the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, The Lion, and the Wizard).

The first thing you see inside the box is the book, ?The Wizard of Oz: Behind the Curtain of Production 1060.? The book is slender (only 52 pages) but LAVISH in photos. This is truly a nice item to appreciate for the on-set photos, script excerpts, and more.

Another item in this box set is a tin case holding the watch, which is actually quite nice looking (but I won?t be wearing it any time soon). (I did check and it does work fine.)

You will also find a very nice reproduction of the Campaign Book, filled with exploitation ideas and advertising from 1939. (Ah, so many great posters and standees that would be wonderful to own today.)

There is also a one-page budget sheet, which strikes me as an odd item to include.

There is also a digital copy disc, as well as some advertising sheets; one of which is for the upcoming Gone with the Wind Ultimate Collectors Edition set.

(Note: this Oz UCE does not include postcards or photos that are in exclusive packages issued by places like Amazon and Best Buy, but is otherwise the same.)

Then there is the heart of the whole thing, the case containing the lovely silver foldout containing the two Blu-ray discs and a double-sided DVD.

Now on to the movie itself. If you have been reading the reviews about how amazing, glorious, spectacular, etc. the restoration is?you don?t know the half of it until you see it. Warner Bros. has done a MAGNIFICENT restoration of the film. The Blu-ray release is sharply detailed, the colors are so beautiful that it makes every other motion picture look pale by comparison, and you can see jus the right amount of grain in the image to show all the fine details. I can barely tell you what a joy it is to watch this on Blu-ray, as my words fail me. The audio is available in its original mono or a new Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. For the latter, the audio separations come into play mostly with the music only sequences, but it is still a sound treat. There is also a ?Sing Along? feature available through the menu (according to the package insert, you will need a Blu-ray player that has BonusView or BD-Live capability?in other words, if you have a Blu-ray player that is only Profile 1.0, it will not play the sing-along feature).

And you?ll be glad to know that it looks like all of the extras available on the 2005 DVD set have been brought over and they are on both of the 2 Blu-ray discs (but in standard definition).

Disc 2 has the new documentary on ?Victor Fleming: Master Craftsman? and it is an interesting overview of the director?s career. Also new to the set is ?Hollywood Celebrates Its Biggest Little Stars!?, a featurette about the unveiling of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for the Munckins. A few of those actors who played the Munchkins attend the ceremony and offer their thoughts on the making of the movie and its afterlife.

Another new addition to this set not on the 2005 set is a 1990 TV-movie starring John Ritter as L. Frank Baum. ?The Dreamer of Oz,? is, if you have read the reviews elsewhere of this set , is quite poor in video quality. It looks like they wanted to add in everything they could that was Oz related for this 70th anniversary, and despite the picture quality it is watchable (with a screenplay by Richard Matheson). It begins and ends at the premiere of The Wizard of Oz at Graumann?s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood with the stars being cheered on by the fans, but the arrival of Mrs. Baum (played by the lovely Annette O?Toole) is only recognized by one reporter who proceeds to interview her about their life together, leading into the longest flashback before the start of a movie premiere that I can recall.

Also on disc 2, they have carried over from the 2005 release silent versions of The Wizard of Oz stories, plus one new addition for this set??The Patchwork Girl of Oz? from 1914, a 51-minute movie.

The double-side DVD in the set contains the wonderful 6-hour documentary, ?MGM: When the Lion Roars.? This is a must-see.

You will find there are a number of versions of the 70th anniversary release in the stores, but not all contain all of the items, so my advice is to get one of the Ultimate Collectors Edition. But whatever you do, get some version where you get to see the movie in glorious high definition on Blu-ray.

This could go down as the Blu-ray release of the year (though we still have Snow White and GWTW still to go.)

#12 HollywoodGolightly

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:54 AM

Chess: in concert (DVD)

With the exception of Jesus Christ Superstar, nearly every musical that Tim Rice has worked on either took an awfully long time to get to the big screen, or simply didn't make it at all. Evita wasn't made into a movie until the mid-90s, and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat was never made into a movie, although an official video was released of the 90s theatrical production.

Now comes along a DVD of Chess: in concert, which was filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in London and features some great performers, in what may come to be the most widely-seen version of this cult musical. The DVD presents the material in a 1.85:1 screen ration, with optional surround sound. There are no bonus features except a trailer for the musical.

Although fans of this musical might wish it were also released on blu-ray, prospects for such a release would seem iffy at best.

#13 HollywoodGolightly

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 12:08 AM

Gigi (blu-ray)

I'm delighted with the new blu-ray of Gigi from WHV. There's simply no adequate way that this movie could have been fully appreciated before an HD version was available. Due to the aspect ratio of the movie, and the fact that director Vincente Minnelli shot nearly everything with long shots, with characters usually shown from the feet up, nearly every previous video incarnation suffered due to the inability to really see the expressions on the faces of the actors, both because they were so small and also due to the lack of detail.

In blu-ray, Gigi comes alive as I'd never seen it before - and it's a lovely musical, with some great performances and great Lerner-Lowe songs. Although it is not my favorite musical, it is nonetheless a pleasure to watch, and also an important milestone for musical fans, since it pretty much marked the end of the Arthur Freed era.

Aside from the great picture and sound, there are a few neat bonus features, including a documentary that is about 30 minutes, and the original 1949 French-language version of Gigi, which served as inspiration for the stage musical and the MGM screen adaptation. The original theatrical trailer is also included.

#14 HollywoodGolightly

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 03:33 AM

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music (blu-ray)

This is a terrific blu-ray, and will likely be the definitive home video presentation of Woodstock for the foreseeable future. Great video and audio, although the picture may not benefit as much from the HD presentation since it appears the documentary was originally filmed in 16mm.

The video transfer adequately maintains the movie's variable aspect ratios, which also include frequent use of split screens. The surround sound is very good. Although it doesn't appear to be labeled "director's cut" on-screen, this is the longer 3 hour-43 minute version of the movie that was restored some years after the theatrical release (which reportedly was closer to 3 hours).

It's hard to think of any other documentary that could so effectively hold one's attention during almost 4 hours and remain so entertaining throughout.

#15 filmlover

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:40 PM

*South Pacific (Blu-ray)*

I have never been a great fan of this Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, but I have to admit it is a stunner in high definition Blu-ray. Even the dreaded color-filter sequences work better than I have seen them before on TV and on the big screen.

There are a lot of extras on these two discs, including an excellent new hour-and-a-half-documentary for the Blu release on the history of South Pacific, including the stage musical and the movie. The second disc also has the road show, extended version of the movie (in standard definition).

Worth getting.

#16 filmlover

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:24 AM

*Bugsy Malone (Blu-ray) (UK import)*

This was a popular film when it first came out, featuring a young Jodie Foster around the time of Taxi Driver and Scott Baio from the TV series Happy Days. Alan Parker, an excellent director, did pick an offbeat way of handinling this film...tell a gangster story similar to old WB movies, but with musical numbers (by Paul Williams) and kids in all the adult roles.

It was amusing to see it again, but a lot of the charm has worn off, and Parker in his comentary said he was seeing it again for the first time in about 20 years and that he considers it basically absurd.

The UK Blu import plays the feature perfectly but none of the extras, which are recorded in PAL.

The picture quality isn't much for this Blu release, lacking sharpness, but then the original wasn;t any greatr shakes to begin with. The sound quality is good.

I'd recommend passing on ordering this title.

#17 GOS

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:13 AM

Okay, thanks for the confirmation.

#18 filmlover

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:44 AM

Unfortunately, like many MGM DVD releases, it is not.

#19 GOS

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:26 AM

Can anyone tell me if the DVD of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (1967) is in Anamorphic widescreen?

#20 edgeciff

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

HDNET again this year will be running SCROOGE in HD. I watched it last year on this station and the print is quite beautiful.




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