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Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Volume 2: The Pirate / Words and Music / That's Dancing / The Belle of New York & Royal Wedding / That Midnight Kiss & The Toast of New Orleans (Sous-titres français)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: July 24 2007
  • Run Time: 695 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B000PAAK5K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,711 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Classic Musicals Collection:Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory Vol.2 (DVD)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa7a5fd68) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7e06354) out of 5 stars Royal Wedding is finally rescued from the public domain April 25 2007
By calvinnme - Published on
Format: DVD
This is the second volume of MGM Dream Factory musicals. Only "That's Dancing" and "Royal Wedding" are on DVD already, and those are generally poor public domain copies. The other five features have only been on VHS up to now. I'd put all of these movies except "Belle of New York" at between four and five stars if you are a fan of the MGM musicals of the 40's and 50's. "Belle of New York" I'd put at between three and four stars mainly because the campiness of the entire production gets in the way most of the time. Considering you expect some gimmicks in MGM musicals of this era, that is saying a lot. The extra features, which I got from a press release from Warner Home Video, do look good. This package probably rates 4.5 stars taken as a whole, and I round it up to five. The following are brief descriptions of the films and the special features for each one.

The Pirate (1948) Starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. Features music by Cole Porter. A swashbuckling tale is largely just a framework for the music and dancing, which is excellent. Judy Garland plays a girl obsessed with a legendary pirate. Gene Kelly pretends to be that pirate in order to get the girl. This film actually lost money for MGM in its initial release. Today it is interesting because it showcases the talents of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland so well.
Commentary by historian John Fricke
New featurette The Pirate: A Musical Treasure Chest
Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty 1948 MGM comedy short You Can't Win
1947 MGM classic cartoon Cat Fishing
Mack the Black stereo remix version
Audio-outtakes: Love of My Life and Mack the Black
Roger Edens' guide tracks of Be a Clown, Manuela, Nina, and You Can Do No Wrong
Promotional radio interviews with Gene Kelly for On the Town and Judy Garland for The Pirate
Theatrical trailer

That's Dancing! (1985) is a documentary along the same lines as "That's Entertainment" narrated by Gene Kelly along with co-hosts Ray Bolger, Sammy Davis Jr., Mikhail Baryshnikov and Liza Minnelli. The clips of dancing in motion pictures from the 30's to the 80's are very good, but the presentation was lacking somewhat. The narration seems deadpan, and when the narration cuts into the actual dancing numbers it is distracting more than informative.
Introduction by Gene Kelly and Jack Haley, Jr.
Invitation to Dance
The Search
The Cameras Roll
The Gathering
Theatrical trailer

Words and Music (1948) features lots of stars as themselves performing to the music of Rodgers and Hart. This is a totally fictional account of the lives and careers of Rodgers and Hart. In 1948 the true story would have never made it past the censors, but then the commentary is supposed to clear all of that up.
Commentary by historian Richard Barrios focusing on Rodgers and Hart
New featurette A Life in Words and Music
Oscar-nominated Theatre of Life 1948 MGM short Going to Blazes!
1948 MGM classic cartoon The Cat That Hated People
Lover and You're Nearer Outtakes featuring Perry Como
Audio-only bonuses: Outtakes of Falling in Love with Love, I Feel at Home with You, Manhattan (alternate version), My Funny Valentine, My Heart Stood Still, On Your Toes (alternate version) and Way Out West on West End Avenue
Theatrical trailer

That Midnight Kiss (1949) Starring Kathryn Grayson and Mario Lanza. This is another MGM musical with a great supporting cast that largely exists for the sake of the music, not the plot. There are some great operatic performances by Lanza who is starring in what turns out to be a pseudo-autobiography.
Pete Smith Specialty 1949 MGM comedy short Sports Oddities
1949 MGM classic cartoon Droopy
One Love of Mine outtake sequence with Lanza and Grayson
Theatrical trailer

Toast Of New Orleans (1950) Starring Kathryn Grayson and Mario Lanza. This time Lanza is a fisherman when his talent as a singer is discovered, and he and Grayson are in New Orleans, thus the title. This is a light breezy film with touches of comedy, delivered somewhat surprisingly by Lanza.
2006 BBC documentary on Mario Lanza
Vintage Fitzpatrick Traveltalk 1940 MGM shorts Modern New Orleans and Old New Orleans
Theatrical trailer

Royal Wedding (1951) Starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell. My favorite film of the group. A brother and sister act perform in England at the time of then Princess Elizabeth's wedding. They both fall in love, thus breaking up the act. This has Astaire's famous performance in which he dances on the walls and ceiling of his London hotel room.
Private Screenings with Stanley Donen [2006 TCM special]
Royal Wedding: June, Judy and Jane-A New Featurette
Car of Tomorrow 1951 MGM cartoon
Droopy's Double Trouble 1951 MGM cartoon
Every Night at Seven outtake with Peter Lawford and Jane Powell
Fred Astaire and Jane Powell MGM Promotional Radio Interview for Royal Wedding [audio only]
Theatrical trailer

The Belle of New York (1952) Starring Fred Astaire and Vera-Ellen. This is actually a disappointing film considering Astaire is in it. Although Astaire dances more in this film than in most of the others he made, it is just hard to get past the campiness of it all - literally dancing on air, dancing on a horse's back, etc. There is some great music from Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer, though.
Musiquiz 1952 MGM Pete Smithshort
Magical Maestro 1952 MGM Tex Avery cartoon
I Wanna Be a Dancin' Man-Unused alternate take
Theatrical trailer
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa798f5dc) out of 5 stars the good and the not so good Sept. 6 2007
By Thomas C. Hines - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another fine product from Warners, this time including material considered excellent examples of MGM at its peak and some not so excellent. Although Words and Music may not be a true representation of Rodgers and Hart's life, the musical numbers are top notch and the movie is entertaining. The Pirate, with its stigma for being a failure upon initial release, is a pleasure to watch and to hear as well. The stars are excellent, although Judy Garland looks a bit nervous in several scenes. Royal Wedding is very entertaining and while not a great film is an example of movie-making that makes you feel good. The Belle of New York is difficult to watch. It has to be the worst of the Fred Astaire films, and the problems include the story, the musical numbers, and,unfortunately, his co-star. I had never seen That's Dancing and was surprised at how few clips from musical films were used and how dated the movie itself was. The That's Entertainment films hold up much better and seem to be more professionaly produced. All said, the packaging and the extras are nice, as with most of the wonderful products from Warners. Actually it's difficult to be negative about the level of craftsmanship from MGM and its stars back in the day, but some musicals are just better than others.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8a8a048) out of 5 stars At long last, Judy and Gene in THE PIRATE Sept. 14 2007
By Steven M. Mascaro - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If for no other reason, THE PIRATE is reason enough to buy this classic set of musicals. Nothing else in the collection measures up to the brilliance of this Cole Porter gem. The direction by Vincent Minnelli is witty. Both Judy Garland and Gene Kelly are at their most sophisticated and charming. Judy was never better on sceen than when she co-starred with Gene, and this magical film is proof of that. When it was released it wasn't the hit it should have been, but now contemporary audiences can enjoy the film in all its brilliance.
The other movies in the collection aren't up to THE PIRATE, but they all have moments of great MGM magic. Anyone who loves musicals from the Golden Age should get this collection. THAT'S DANCING is a nice bonus to highlight the importance of dance in MGM musicals.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8a88ef4) out of 5 stars Pleasent Dreams Aug. 15 2007
By Elmira Gulch - Published on
Format: DVD
Setting aside That's Dancing this is once again a superb set from the golden age of MGM. All films are of the high standard we have come to expect of these remastered greats from a period in cinemaa history when entertainment was exactly that. You don't need to sit and think,just sit and enjoy. The extras as usual are quite good and the short subjects/cartoons as enjoyable as ever. Whilst That's Dancing is not strictly from the golden age it does contain many items that are and therefore can rightly be included.I was just a little suprised that Two Lanza films were included as surely this geat star deserves a set all of his own. I only hope that they will continue with this series format and give us even more even some of the old black and white movies with stars such as Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy or Jane Powell and how about rounding out the Broadway Melody series with a set containing B'Way Melody of 1936 & 1938. Warner/TCM might also like to consider a Biog set with The Helen Morgan Story/I'll Cry Tomorrow/Deep In My Heart/Rhapsody In Blue/Shine On Harvest Moon/Look For The Silver Lining/The Eddie Cantor Story/So This Is Love to name but a few. As long as they prodeuce them on DVD I will certainly keep on buying them. They are Hollywood History at it's entertaining best.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7772b10) out of 5 stars MGM MUSICALS Sept. 14 2007
By Sung-chao Cheng - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Pirate turns out to be the best of the bunch. I can't understand why it failed at the box office. Garland and kelly are both delightfully entertaining; not only that their song and dance numbers are great fun to watch their acting skills are first rate too! Gene Kelly's swashbuckling character is superbly agile; if he's not a better dancer than Fred Astaire, more athletic aside, he definitely is more colorful. Judy Garland's song number under spell reminds me of her in the Fiegfeld Follies where she is also under a different kind of spell, someone drunk by (or in) her own legendary status, which she was so good in it, if I'm not wrong, she was even nominated for an oscar, am I right? No? And last but not least the sight and sound are fantastic, especially, the picture clean and clear, brilliant!

I was anxiously expecting to see and hear Kathryn Grayson's opera arias outing but rather disappointed, expecially, in 'That Midnight Kiss'; because, every time she sings she is hampered by some emotional conflict restricted by the plot. Fortunately, I get to hear at least three arias unimpeded by the meddlesome story line in 'The Toast of new Orleans', talking about story line, there isn't much in both films. The three arias from 'Linda di Chamounix', 'Mignon', and 'La Traviata' if somewhat truncated are beautifully sung, but I'm surprised that she didn't end the first two arias in high C's, maybe higher than C's, anyway, thay always call a high note a high C. I always thought Kathryn Grayson is a very high coloratura, this is rather odd that she didn't hit the hell out of it, I mean the high C's. Mario Lanza? What can I say, everyone says he is a legend, one of the great. I have to admit that besides opera, he sings other kinds of music very well too, that is quite unusual. The only other opera singer that is also very good in pop tunes is soprano Eileen Farrell who is widely recognized as a great American soprano, but I have not yet heard her in popular music. Well, between 'That Midnight Kiss' and 'The Toast of New Orleans', I like the latter better. Not only there are more opera arias, the story is more colorful and interesting too. However, one complaint have to be made, the duet from 'Madama Butterfly' is again dictated by the plot that the fisherman finally realizes that he has been overdoing the high society etiquette that causes reverse effect, so that he decides to make amend in this duet by throwing the cigartte defiedly and grabs the arms of Butterfly and tries to kiss her and Butterfly is alarmed and tries to resist him. This is totally opposed to the plot of the opera, whereas Butterfly would melt into the arms of Pinkerton. Otherwise, it would have been a wonderful performance from both of them and again it is only the last half of the duet that is performed, well, what do you expect from musicals. I can tell that the MGM had been trying very hard to make popular the high art of opera. It's not an easy task I suppose.

'Words and Music', I can only say, mediocre. 'That's Dancing' is Okay, as for 'Royal Wedding' and 'The Belle of New York' both are disappointing.

Now I'm waiting for my interest income to be deposited in my bank account the end of this month to buy the the first volume of Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory. See you.