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The Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection (Carousel / The King and I / South Pacific / The Sound of Music / State Fair / Oklahoma)
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
The music is splendid ("Carousel Waltz" in particular), the story compelling. There's even a bit of philosophy (the blossoms fell because it was their time). And Carousel isn't padded out with interminable dance scenes -- just one, six minutes of dancing on rooftops. The other big dance scene, Louise's Ballet, is the only dance I can think of that kept keep me not just away from the fast-forward, but glued to the screen! Susan Luckey, as Louise, is the star of the show (for her fifteen minutes).
One real problem with movie musicals is the opening up of the stage. We don't want to lose the stage, since this is, after all, a fantasy; but neither do we want just a filmed play. Some go too far into location (e.g., South Pacific) and others go nowhere at all (Oklahoma). Even Music Man is a bit too stagey. But Carousel has found just the right mix between the stage and location. The transitions from one to another are particularly well-done.
BUT... Somewhere between the play and the movie, we lost at least two songs, and whole verses of other songs! If I hadn't listened to that cast recording in my youth, I would never have known. But I did, and the missing music sorta spoils an otherwise superb movie.
I'm not so keen on the movie, though. As much as I adore Shirley Jones in "The Music Man", she's rather shrill here and seems to talk in a falsetto voice, which is just plain weird. She sings beautifully, though. Gordon MacRae looks like he's not enjoying making the movie at all. I love the ballet scene with their daughter, but the switch between real beach shots and soundstage shots is almost funny -- yeah, we KNOW those rocks are made of foam. And Shirley Jones seems to wear different versions of the same dress throughout the whole movie. I mean, I know it's small town Maine, but come on -- there must have been more than one dress pattern in the general store.
There is a certain cheesy charm in the movie, and the ending scene does make me tear up every time, but that's more due to the glorious music than to the actual movie. It's a jewel of a musical play, and, as much as I hate movie remakes, I'd love to see a contemporary director take a crack at it. We need to have a "Carousel" that does justice to the score.
Billy of course and he falls on his knife. No matter what kind of person he was, I think he has changed in all the time he was waiting to get into heaven. He almost spoils it by slapping his daughter. Louise seems to be just like he was at the age of fifteen. She is young and impressionable and thinks alot of people are conceited. Her schoolmate, the elder son of the Snow's isn't convinced of her actions. His mother, Julie's friend Carrie isn't too happy to be the mother of the many children and says so to her husband. Although, you know that she wanted to be "Mrs. Snow" as earlier in the play. But, the main focus is on Julie, Billy and their young daughter. The song "If I Loved You" seems to be the main theme of the star-crossed lovers. Does he love her? Does she love him?Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Need more space than 400 characters to express my views over Carousel DVDPublished 2 months ago by Ronald Hartley
If you love Musicals and musicals of the past you should see these they are wonderful and they do not make enough musicals like these anymorePublished 3 months ago by Vicki Rigsby
If you are an old movie buff, and not into crime and violence movies, you would love these old classics. Read morePublished 13 months ago by HABBY
I love all these musicals as do my three daughters who grew up with watching them. I especially love Julie Andrews.Published 20 months ago by gail tesorio
only half the CD's advertised. it is false advertising. you present a package, then you present a clearing house package for less, but you don't tell us it's not the same package.Published 22 months ago by gilles mousseau
Love it for the songs. Love it for the story. Love it for the acting. I just love it. Great movies in a nice collection.Published 23 months ago by E. A. Schattschneider