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Bells of St. Marys,the
Bells of St. Marys,the
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 46.51
14 used & new from CDN$ 11.26

5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL in ANY collection, April 14 2004
This review is from: Bells of St. Marys,the (DVD)
The first time I saw Leo McCarey's THE BELLS OF ST MARY'S was on Christmas Day of 2002 when it aired on TCM. I was blown away from the moment the Main Title rolled across the screen. I've always been a sucker for sentimental movies of the 40s (like MGM's MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, both Judy Garland vehicles... btw, both have recently received beautiful DVD transfers; check them out), and ST MARY'S fits the bill to the "t". I picked up a copy of the DVD this past holiday season. I've seen the movie complete a number of times and never tire of watching it. This is the epitome of 40's motion picture entertainment.
An excellent cast turn in very praiseworthy performances. Bing Crosby is Father O'Malley. Crosby is the only actor ever to have been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar twice for the same role, having also played Father O'Malley in GOING MY WAY the previous year. Ingrid Bergman plays Sister Benedict, the Sister Superior of St. Mary's. Mr. Bogardus is played by Henry Travers... more famliarly known as Clarence from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
The film earned eight Oscar nominations and won for Best Sound Recording.
Nominated for...
Best Actor (Crosby)
Best Acress (Bergman)
Direction (Leo McCarey)
Editing
Score of a dramatic/comedy picture (Robert Emmett Dolan)
Song (Aren't You Glad You're You)
Sound Recording
Best Picture
It's a shame ST MARY'S didn't walk away with more Oscars, this truly is a beautiful film and is necessary in any collection. Good for watching anytime, especailly when your spirit needs a lift.
The DVD transfer is outstanding. Picture is stable and clear throughout. Sound is crisp, with little distortion whatsoever. There is a theatrical trailer included, but no other extras. My only complaint about the DVD transfer... what is up with the gray bar at the bottom of the screen that appears at about the 2nd or 3rd page of the Main Title? It looks like it was digitally superimposed over the film to cover something up, but what and why?
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in any collection. A classic.

Hello Dolly
Hello Dolly
DVD ~ Gene Kelly
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 20.73
34 used & new from CDN$ 4.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow wow wow, fellas... look at the old girl now, fellas, Sept. 3 2003
This review is from: Hello Dolly (DVD)
It took long enough for 20th Century-Fox to give us a DVD release of HELLO DOLLY, but boy it was worth the wait. At last, DOLLY the way it was meant to be seen, in Widescreen and Stereo. This movie is one of the best DVD transfers of an older film that I have ever seen. The beautifully restored picture is heads above the previous VHS releases. The crystal clear stereo soundtrack is equally as impressive. Additionally, the Intermission/Entr'acte music and the Exit Music, which I believe were not on the VHS versions, are here as well. The only thing that this DVD comes up short on is the extra features. As usual, we have a theatrical trailer. There is also a short 1969 featurette, which is nice, but we would like to have perhaps seen a "making of" documentary with surviving cast members (Streisand and Crawford, as well as Tommy Tune and others), or something to that effect. Oh well... This DVD is still top-notch. The restoration efforts alone make this DVD a necessary addition to your musicals collection. Now we just need a restored and expanded relese of the original soundtrack album.

Finian's Rainbow
Finian's Rainbow
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 22.95
15 used & new from CDN$ 1.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent STEREO recording of Lane - Harburg triumph, Feb. 19 2003
This review is from: Finian's Rainbow (Audio CD)
This CD is the recording of the 1960 Broadway revival of FINIAN'S RAINBOW, with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg (of WIZARD OF OZ fame). This production is exceptionally well cast, well sung, and well recorded. While the 1947 Original Cast Recording will always be the album of choice, this one is better in that the sound is fuller and cleaner than on the Original Cast CD (and is in STEREO too). But whichever album you choose, FINIAN'S RAINBOW cannot disappoint. So unless your finances dictate otherwise, there's no reason not to have BOTH in your collection. Now if we only had the movie soundtrack on CD... (Hint Hint, Warner Bros.)

Music Man
Music Man
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 72.95
6 used & new from CDN$ 67.75

4.0 out of 5 stars It holds its own, but it doesn't top the '62 version, Feb. 16 2003
This review is from: Music Man (Audio CD)
Of course this TV production of THE MUSIC MAN, which aired tonight on ABC Television Network, cannot hold a candle to the productions and recordings that have gone before it. That said, though, this production is praiseworthy in several areas. The score is beautifully sung (although I don't care for the new orchestral arrangements). This remake is also adequately cast (but the woman playing Marion really stands out as fabulous). I know there is no Robert Preston. I know there is no Shirley Jones or Barbara Cook. And I know there is no Paul Ford, Pert Kelton, or Hermione Gingold. But we have to give this cast credit. They pull it off very well. A very praiseworthy production.
Even though this new remake is very good, the 1962 film, starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones, is still the definitive version. If you haven't done so, DO take advantage of its beautiful transfer to DVD, which contains several extras as well.
As far as the recording of this remake goes... I'd still have to say that the Movie Soundtrack and the 1957 Original Cast Album should still be the albums of choice, although this one would be a good alternative.
Overall, Disney has done right by this remake. Lets be glad it didn't suffer at the mercy of Disney as did the behemoth 1997 remake of R&H's Cinderella. Talk about destroying a classic! If you want Cinderella, stick with the '65 version.

Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly!
Price: CDN$ 14.86
30 used & new from CDN$ 8.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Movies of the Late 60's, Jan. 10 2003
This review is from: Hello, Dolly! (Audio CD)
Hello Dolly is one of my favorite films. It's one of those movies that I have seen time and time again and never tire of watching. The score is beautifully sung by all involved (yes, even Michael Crawford with his nasal, but pleasant, singing voice). Streisand steals the show as Dolly, of course. And no, she does not seem too young for the role ... The film would be at a loss without her beautiful, flawless singing voice. I also have the Carol Channing 1964 original cast album. Sorry to say it, die-hard-Carol-Channing-fans, but I have a hard time visualizing her as Dolly in the film (although she is great on the album). Her voice is unique and charming, but the score is really better done by someone who can sing!
I have to hold back from giving 5 stars, though, due to the sound quality of the disc and incompleteness of this recording. The sound quality on several parts of the disc has much to be desired. The sound is somewhat distorted and tinny during the louder sequences. The disc is also incomplete. While the music contained herein would have been quite sufficient for the limited playing time of vinyl records, an effort should be made to expand the CD to include additional material. Missing from the disc are the "Call on Dolly" chants which open the film, the wonderful OVERTURE, additional material in DANCING and BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY, the entire Waiters' Dance in the Harmonia Garden sequence, as well as the chase music which closes that sequence. Wasn't there Exit Music too? There is also a lot of underscoring that accompanies the Harmonia sequence that we would like to see released. Perhaps 20th Century-Fox will put out a RESTORED and EXPANDED soundtrack album when this film comes out on DVD (whenever that happens; hopefully soon!).
Even with its FEW flaws, I highly recommend this soundtrack. And see the movie if you get a chance, too. The VHS is out of print and not yet released on DVD. It airs on the Fox Movie Channel from time to time. Oh to see this spectacle in the movie house, in W I D E S C R E E N and 6 track STEREO! When it comes out on DVD I'll be the first in line to get a copy!

Kiss Me Kate (1953 Film Soundtrack)
Kiss Me Kate (1953 Film Soundtrack)
Price: CDN$ 23.65
7 used & new from CDN$ 19.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous STEREO recording of classic Cole Porter score, Jan. 6 2003
The MGM film version of Cole Porter's KISS ME KATE was released in 1953. It was filmed in 3D but was not widely released in that format as it required special projection equipment and required the audience to wear eye-straining glasses. It was successful both in the 3D version, as well as the conventional "flat" version that was more widely released. It was also one of the very first films released in stereo. The cast included some of the greatest musical talents in Hollywood at the time: Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, and Ann Miller. All are in top vocal form.
This soundtrack unquestionably surpasses any other recordings of the score, although the two original cast recordings come close. All tracks are taken directly from the original recording session masters and have been remixed for stereo (the original soundtrack album of 1953 contained only a handful of songs - compared to this - and was heard only in monaural). Not only are all cuts from the original vinyl release included here (you wouldn't expect the CD to not include them, would you?), but a HUGE amount of instrumental underscoring and additional material is here as well. The sound quality (in glorious STEREO) is fabulous. The BEST recording of the score, hands down. I also recommend, though, the 1959 stereo recording with the original cast. Fabulous.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Nipper's Greatest Hits: The '20s, Vol. 1
Nipper's Greatest Hits: The '20s, Vol. 1
Offered by @ ALLBRIGHT SALES @
Price: CDN$ 40.37
4 used & new from CDN$ 21.11

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 STARS: WE NEED MORE LIKE THIS!!!, Jan. 6 2003
I was so glad when this CD came in the mail today. I love it! To be able to hear the **actual** recordings people were listening to 80 years ago is phenomenal. Sure the sound quality is not the greatest and the recordings abound with surface noise of all sorts. But that only adds to the pleasure of listening to this CD. Its just as if we were listening to the old victrola itself! (Remember, the 78's that we are familiar with hadn't even been perfected yet). Consider further that many of the recordings on this disc were made without the use of any electricity. They are all a lot nicer to listen to than most of the garbage that has come out of the record companies in the last 20-30 years.
Hats off to RCA for releasing a collection like this. Its so wonderful to hear what popular music was like so many years ago. We need more collections like this! Maybe some with even earlier recordings!?!

Brigadoon (Widescreen)
Brigadoon (Widescreen)
DVD ~ DVD
Offered by eplayplay
Price: CDN$ 34.21
11 used & new from CDN$ 19.26

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies, Dec 30 2002
This review is from: Brigadoon (Widescreen) (DVD)
When I first rented BRIGADOON from the public library last spring, I immediately fell in love with it. Just added the DVD to my collection yesterday. It is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. It is a 1954 film adaptation of the 1947 Broadway musical. The Lerner and Loewe score is one of the greatest ever written for the stage (or screen). The great cast includes Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse. Although certainly not the greatest singers in the world, Kelly's and Johnson's singing is more than adequate and is really quite lovely. Charisse's singing voice is dubbed for this film, and she works great as well.
When Brigadoon made the transition from Broadway to Hollywood, a good chunk of its score was dispensed with in order to make room to highlight the dancing abilities of its stars. This is, in fact, where many people find fault with this film; the lack of the rest of the Broadway score. To these people, I have this to say... ---This movie is not the Broadway play. It is a **film adaptation.**--- This is also the common complaint about MGM's "Show Boat" from 3 years earlier. Another common complaint about "Brigadoon" is that it was obviously shot in soundstages on the MGM lot in Culver City instead of the highlands of Scotland. This was due to the fact that producers were working with smaller budgets than they had been just 3 or 4 years earlier. This, coupled with the unpredictable weather in the British Isles, necesitated that the film be shot at the studio. This is also evident in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" from the same year. Although the sets are obviously painted backdrops, they are nicely done and work well. IMO, they do not demerit the film.
Brigadoon more than makes up for the missing songs by adding some spectacular dance numbers. "Heather on the Hill" is one of the most sweeping dance numbers I have ever seen in any film. Kelly's and Charisse's gracefulness really hits the spot.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the DVD, with its lush color, clear picture, and stereo sound. If you haven't seen "Brigadoon," you should see it. At the very least for some of the greatest dance numbers you will ever see.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
Price: CDN$ 4.99
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL in ANY collection, Dec 23 2002
This review is from: Merry Christmas (Audio CD)
All I can say is WOW!!!! Hearing Bing sing these songs sure does put one in the Christmas mood. "White Christmas" - the version heard on this recording - is one of the most popular songs of all time. There's a song for everyone here! From favorites like "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Jingle Bells" for the kids, to sacred classics like "Adeste Fidelis" and "Silent Night" to fun songs like "Christmas In Killarney" and Mele Kelikimaka," there's something for all Christmas tastes. Bing was one of the greatest singers of all time and his songs will always live on.
The sound on the CD is very good. Even though most of the songs on this disc do indeed sound like they were recorded in the 40's for 78-RPM discs, they all sound magical. I'm a sucker for that old sound when it comes to CD's.
Essential listening at Christmas and great for anytime of the year for that little bit of Christmas spirit you need every so often.
Personal Note: While celebrating Christmas with the family yesterday, we played the 78 RPM record of Bing's "Adeste Fidelis" (the same recording heard on this disc). Listening to Bing sing that beautiful song while watching the record spin at close to 80 times a minute almost brought tears to my eyes (and I'm a 19 yr old guy!). With all the clicks and pops on the record (along with the crack that runs from rim to label; the record didn't skip at all!), it was very uplifting to listen to. Bing's "Silent Night, Holy Night" is on the flip side of the record, but I haven't yet given it a listen.
Have this album on tape and CD, and may buy another before the day is over!!! (and what a great price!)
HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!

Girl Crazy
Girl Crazy
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 32.83
11 used & new from CDN$ 21.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Isn't this great!!!!, Nov. 20 2002
This review is from: Girl Crazy (Audio CD)
This CD just came in the mail today. Just popped it in the player and I love it already! Judy's major numbers on this disc are featured on several of her Decca studio recordings, which is where I heard them first. But the original soundtrack performances, as heard here, are the best yet! This is, without a doubt, the best recording of the fabulous Gershwin score (although the 1952 Mary Martin cast album, now the only version in print, is good too). Garland and Rooney always worked so well together. The sound on the disc is wonderful - you'd never know it was made in 1943! All selections are in STEREO (except the Main Title, in monaural), thanks to the (as always) wonderful remastering and remixing job by Rhino/Turner. Unfortunately this disc is out of print, and its a shame that it is (I got my copy via Ebay). Keep an eye open for it, though. No faults with this one; it's great! As another reviewer states, these are quite possibly some of the greatest numbers ever put on film and disc!

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