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The Betty Grable Collection: Vol. 1 (My Blue Heaven / The Dolly Sisters / Moon Over Miami / Down Argentine Way)

Betty Grable , John Payne , Henry Koster , Irving Cummings    NR (Not Rated)   DVD

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  70 reviews
75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Fox is releasing the Betty Grable Collection!!! March 16 2006
By John Malanga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This Collection of Betty Grable musicals is outstanding.
Down Argentine Way (with Carmen Miranda & Don Ameche), Moon Over Miami (with Don Ameche & Robert Cummings), The Dolly Sisters (with John Payne & June Haver) are three of her best Technicolor hits of the forties. My Blue Heaven (with Dan Dailey) is not in the same league with the others, but it is not bad - it just suffers by comparison. After the huge success of Mother Wore Tights, Fox paired Grable and Dailey several times but they never quite duplicated the magic. Even so, this collection will be enjoyed by lovers of colorful, tuneful, classic movie musicals. Hopefully we will see other Grable Collections with Tin Pan Alley, Footlight Serenade, Song Of The Islands, Coney Island, Diamond Horseshoe, Sweet Rosie O'Grady, Springtime In The Rockies, Mother Wore Tights, Shocking Miss Pilgrim & Wabash Avenue.

note: Since this review was written in 2006, Sweet Rosie O'Grady has been released on dvd.
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating, colorful entertainment July 29 2006
By Karine Philippot - Published on Amazon.com
Thank you to Fox for releasing these fun-filled, lavish and colorful musicals. Even if you are not actually a Grable fan (I am not), you will find all these films wholly entertaining.

If you enjoy musicals and escapist fare, it's hard to to do better. Don't look for plots, just look for exceptional entertainment values. The Fox musicals may not have been the summum of art (like MGM's for instance), but at the time, they were even more popular and exemplified escapist fun more than any other films around. And they hold up wonderfully (for this 33 year old at any rate!)

DOWN ARGENTINE WAY (1940) is resplendant with Latin-flavored (reproduced) locales, flashy costumes, verve, romance and a remarkable cast. That was the film that made Grable a household name, it's the US debut of Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda (singing some of her biggest hits). The Nicholas Brothers do an amazing dance number and the songs are all very memorable and blend in it the festive atmosphere. Almost a paid vacation in great company :-)

MOON OVER MIAMI (1941) is perhaps one of the most entertaining of all Fox musicals. The serviceable storyline of fortune-hunters passing off as heiresses helped to produce three hits for the studio, a straight comedy in 1938, this musical in 1941 and another musical in 1946. Exteriors were actually shot on location and it adds a lot to the vacation feel of the film. Hummable songs, snappy dances, breezy fun, the personable and affable Bob Cummings and the beautiful Carole Landis all add to create a really amusing, tuneful musicomedy. Technicolor at its zenith.

THE DOLLY SISTERS (1945) Grable is paired with the lovely June Haver. The fanciful and fictional story built around the (actually brunette) sisters is a fabulous showcase for the two blondes and features some of Fox's imaginative (garish) production numbers. The best songs are those performed more simply by the girls and by John Payne. Fox always did great with this kind of nostalgic musicals and this one is a richly evocative example.

MY BLUE HEAVEN (1950) provided a change of pace role for Grable. Paired with one of her best screen partners, Dan Dailey, her character here is not the usual brassy, sassy kind - this musical is much more sentimental than any other she ever did and it works very well although it's been oddly neglected for years. Newcomer Mitzi Gaynor has some terrific moments too. Just a wonderful, warm-hearted movie.

All 4 films are so good that the set seems a must and to me, they are the best Grable ever starred in. Looking forward to seeing even more Fox musicals on DVD in the future!!!!!
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A RED LETTER DAY FOR OUR BETTY!!! March 24 2006
By Richard Dodge - Published on Amazon.com
"The Betty Grable Collection Vol. I"....I am already atingle.

Betty helped us through the darkest days of World War II...so

perhaps she can rekindle some of her magic now. We certainly

do need it. Anyway: FOUR wonderful films with Betty singing,

dancing and entertaining as only she can. It has been a long

time coming...and the title Vol. I...well...I have ordered Vol.I

and I am already ready for Vol. II. Betty's films are not like the films of today....everyone had to sidestep "THE CODE"...NO

NAVELS....just like "I Dream of Jeannie"!! But Betty was a

complete professional...and always come through. I love all

the films in this collection. "The Dolly Sisters" probably has

the most glitter...it also has an amazing sequence that is

politically incorrect and politically adventurous at the same time. "The Dark Town Strutters Ball" has always fascinated me.

Fox uses a line of absolutely gorgeous black show girls to

model a series of black and white costumes...IN COLOR...and then adds Betty Grable and June Haver in black face. It does look strange to us today. I suspect it was "on the edge" back

in 1947. Anyway....Betty will steal your heart away...she will sing you a song...and divert you with a figure and a pair of

legs that are still legendary. Don't expect too much from the

plots...they are there because these are movies...today they

would probably be Variety Shows on TV...but they are lovely entertainment...and you will enjoy them.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grable shines, Technicolor rules Aug. 30 2006
By Ralph Paulsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was a boy when I saw Betty Grable (on film) we had radio and we had Movies, when a Grable film was in town, it was a family outing, we knew that all Betty Grable films had one thing in common, they made your spirits sour, you never left one of her films without a warm happy feeling, and the production numbers were always a treat, glittering costumes, and songs that raced through your head for days after, and more often than not inspired you to sing songs, like Down Argentine Way, I Can't Begin to Tell You, and Im Always Chasing Rainbows, then there was Betty Grable her self, Beautiful, great smile, fine dancer (although seldom given the chance to really shine) and always the fantastic costumes, and all in Glorious Technicolor, although critics hated Technicolor because it exagerated the colors in an almost cartoonish manner, but audiences loved it, I did & still do too. which brings me to the DVD's, Down Argentine Way, and My Blue Heaven were Mastered by Delux Digital, and they did a very good job of it, the other two discs are just a little less well transferred from film, but not as bad as at least one review I read here, there is absolutely no film grain in any of these discs, the picture has depth (amazing for films this old) and the reds,yellows, blues, golds & silvers just pop out of the screen, one look at Carmen Miranda in her red skirt leaves ones jaw dropping, indeed all the colors in Down Argentine Way are just as bright and eye popping as I remember them from so long ago, are the transfers perfect then, NO they are not, dark scenes and shadows are not as detailed as they should be, some times the skin colors are off and look artificial (they looked that way on the screen, but the equipment they have today could have been used to correct it) but never on Grable herself, only flawless peaches and cream complexion and silvery blond hair, my only real complaint is the sound track on Moon over Miami, very much as if it were comming through a telephone, and the Dolly Sisters isn't much better, I know the studios did a better job with sound then you hear in any of these discs, however the other two are passable, I have these on Laser Disc as well, and the Audio is much better then the DVD's, don't understand why, but never the less these are fun films and well worth seeing over and over again, I can hardly wait for the next batch, and the one after that, hopefully Delux will do all of the future mastering, by the way the Ladies featured in the Dark Town Strutters Ball sequence, are not really black, that is dark makeup, my reviewing equipment consists of a 73711 (73") Mitsubishi HI-DEF Monitor, Denon 5900 DVD player (with the latest factory upgrades), Denon 5803 7.1 channel receiver, and 7 Ess amt 1a floor standing speakers.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Betty at her best May 5 2007
By David Sale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Oh boy, when Betty was firing she was certainly something. When? In every one of her movies, that's when! Here we see her at her sassy, talented best from the breakthrough ingenue in "Down Argentine Way" to the more mature role in "My Blue Heaven". And though this is the weakest of the four movies in this collection, just watch how she handles the dressing room scene where she walks in and finds Dan pashing Mitzi. Instead of exploding, she is the epitome of cool. She was cool in 1950 when nobody had coined the word. The scene was well written,true, but she delivered it with great panache. An underrated actress. Just watch the facial expressions in every number - she's alive. It's a pity her movie career wasn't extended and revitalised by the part of Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls". I even fantasize that she should have played "Sweet Sue" in "Some Like It Hot" - Joan Shawlee even LOOKED like a beefed-up Betty. Has this occurred to anyone else? But to get back to the collection - great value. A trip back to the carefree movie days when everyone looked fabulous, burst into song at the drop of a cliche, and had a happy ending. More, please.

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