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filmlover

Musicals

30 posts in this topic

 

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.

 

 

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*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.

 

 

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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!

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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.

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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!

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