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Reviews Written by
A. Andersen (Bellows Falls, VT USA)

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Carousel (1956 Film Soundtrack)
Carousel (1956 Film Soundtrack)
Price: CDN$ 18.38
29 used & new from CDN$ 7.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Response to David Pabian's review below, June 29 2004
Response to David Pabian's review:
My review was not in error, as Mr. Pabian expects. The review was for the original CD release, not this expanded version. Amazon lifted it out of that spot and dropped it here, which of course makes it anachronistic. Why they did it without reading it is certainly an inept decision.

All This, and Heaven Too
All This, and Heaven Too
by Rachel Field
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 12.08

3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first half; disappointing second, June 14 2004
This 600 page volume neatly divides exactly in two. The first half covers steps leading up to and away from the Praslin murder in Paris of the late 1840s. The second half follows Henriette as she settles in New York and becomes a happily married woman and the center of a prominent social circle of literati.
The first half is a very good read, although historically one would have liked to know the fate of the children. The second half was only mildly interesting and occasionally became plodding.
The famous Warner Bros. film of 1940 was based solely on the first half of the book, the meat of a classically tragic romance. Happy endings for heroines did not sell as well in those days as unrequited or forbidden love stories. The film earned three Academy Award nominations including one for Best Production.
Field is a good writer, but not an outstanding one. We are given insight into Henriette's character but none into that of any of the others. This is a novel that is half good, half mediocre.

The James Dean Era
The James Dean Era
Price: CDN$ 21.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 18.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Dean tv performances - a must-own, March 31 2004
This review is from: The James Dean Era (DVD)
Three of Dean's half hour tv dramas are presented here with lots of extras. I AM A FOOL and THE UNLIGHTED ROAD are well known but SOMETHING FOR AN EMPTY BRIEFCASE is a find- thought lost and not seen for half a century.
Dean is brilliant in these three very different performances, giving us a kaleidoscope of what he was capable of. He is vulnerable and yearning in I AM A FOOL, confident but sensitive in THE UNLIGHTED ROAD, and macho/sexy in BRIEFCASE. In fact, his performance in the latter makes one wish he had played Liliom or Billy Bigelow (LILIOM/CAROUSEL) - it's a case study for the perfect interpretation of that role.
Dean was incredibly sexy and incredibly talented - his talent as displayed in the dozens of tv dramas he appeared in showcase his abilities far more than the three released Hollywood films. Any fan of Dean's must collect these performances - there are a number of them out there on DVD and VHS: HARVEST, THE BELLS OF COCKAIGNE, HILL NUMBER ONE; I AM A FOOL; THE UNLIGHTED ROAD; SOMETHING FOR AN EMPTY BRIEFCASE; LONG TIME TILL DAWN; ABRAHAM LINCOLN, etc.
This is a must-own rarity DVD for every Dean fan.

Gypsy (1962 Film Soundtrack)
Gypsy (1962 Film Soundtrack)
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 160.02
7 used & new from CDN$ 95.77

5.0 out of 5 stars LISA KIRK VOCALLY THE FINEST OF ALL ROSES, Jan. 27 2004
I have always found Lisa Kirk's dramatic and vocal peformance on the GYPSY soundtrack to be the best of all Roses and I've seen and heard them all. Her dramatic sense and the quality of her acting infuse each number with power and poignance.
That said, I also find the soundtrack recording to the best of all recordings. The orchestra is full bodied, brassy, with tight and powerful tempos. The remastering on this CD is exceptional. The creators go back to the film itself for the expanded DAINTY JUNE number. It gives us a complete record of the film's musical numbers.
The five Roz cuts vary. Her singing voice was very poor on SOME PEOPLE and SMALL WORLD. Yet she does a decent job on EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSES, YOU'LL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME and TOGETHER. Only a small piece of Lisa Kirk's performance was edited into ROSE'S TURN in the film itself, yet Kirk's complete performance was released on the lp. It's far superior to Russell's and should in my opinion have been used in the film in its entirety.
In the supplmental material we hear the complete numbers as recorded in the original cast album of YOU'LL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME and TOGETHER as they were first rehearsed and recorded by respectively, Russell and Malden, and Russell, Malden and Wood, which is a treat, as the lp versions were cut down Lisa Kirk renditions.
This is a GREAT soundtrack album from a GREAT movie musical. It's a crime it's been out of the CD catalogue until now but we're sure glad to have it back. The OVERTURE is magnificent in and of itself.
RUN TO ADD IT TO YOUR COLLECTION and buy the film on DVD with two cut filmed songs added as supplemental footage.

Price: CDN$ 137.99
5 used & new from CDN$ 55.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Oscar-nominated Soundtrack score., June 19 2003
This review is from: Anastasia (Audio CD)
This is one of Alfred Newman's most beautiful and haunting scores and is sadly out of print. Released in 1956 on a DECCA lp, it was out of print within five years. Released on CD to coincide with the film's release on video a few years back, it quickly disappeared, perhaps due to an inflated price. It is one of the most beautiful scores ever written for film and was justly Oscar nommed (Ingrid Bergman won the Best Actress Oscar as the film's only other nominee). This needs to be brought back to CD at an affordable cost.

Offered by langton_distribution
Price: CDN$ 33.87
10 used & new from CDN$ 5.79

2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided revamp somewhat saved by Randall Duk Kim, Feb. 3 2003
This misguided attempt to modernize FLOWER DRUM SONG fails on almost every level. Totally miscast is Lea Salonga - whose modern, American (too precise) pronounciation makes her totally unbelievable as a native Chinese woman coming to these shores for the first time. There is no character or characterization in her voice - she sings blandly and at times flatly. The new orchestrations are tinny and cheap.
SUNDAY and YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL become predictions of feeling, rather than expressing the feeling itself. Keeping the original intro to DON'T MARRY ME is ludicrous - a middle aged woman singing to a middle aged man "You are young and beautiful, fresh as the breath of May." Give me a break!
I ENJOY BEING A GIRL, rather than revealing Linda Low's intentions of grabbing a husband, a piece of character revelation in the original show, is now just a nightclub number. CHOP SUEY, rather than being the expression of joy in the new life of America becomes another nightclub number with almost all of the lyrics expurgated. Indeed, even A HUNDRED MILLION MIRACLES is shorn of most of its descriptive lyrics. LOVE LOOK AWAY is sung loudly and badly by Ms. Salonga. The song is completely ruined.
The only saving grace is the charm, acting ability and pleasant tenor voice of young Randall Duk Kim as Ta. In his three numbers, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, SUNDAY and LIKE A GOD, we hear what the show might have been had the others in the cast been of his calibre. Sadly they are not.
This is at the bottom of the list of available recordings. Stick with the superb soundtrack, just released on CD last September.

Price: CDN$ 11.51
35 used & new from CDN$ 5.37

3.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable performances but the film is not about the music, Sept. 17 2002
This review is from: Cabaret (Audio CD)
Bob Fosse's film of CABARET trashed the original show,
but in re-interpreting the material, he made a classic film-
one that works as drama and only secondarily as a musical.
Consider - he jettisoned the supporting plot of the musical play
which contained all of the political points of the Nazi threat -
he kept only five of the fifteen songs (with two more as back-
ground music), added three new songs and dealt them out to only two singers (Joel Grey
and Liza Minnelli each get three solos and one duet). The only
real joy here is the new song MONEY MONEY. If the film were not
so good, the treatment of its music would have been unforgivable,
but Fosse displayed his genius here, winning one of the film's
eight oscars as Best Director. Only Minnelli fans and fans of
the film need bother - the CD to get is the London cast recording
with Judi Dench as Sally Bowles and Barry Dennen as the Emcee.
Magnificent acting from all concerned.

Subways Are for Sleeping / O.B.C.R.
Subways Are for Sleeping / O.B.C.R.
Offered by KELINDO²
Price: CDN$ 86.90
5 used & new from CDN$ 76.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant score impeccably sung and played., Sept. 13 2002
Yes, believe it or not - this is an exceptionally good show score
and although the production closed after only half a year on Broadway due to a weak book, the performers (some of Broadway's best), the music, the lyrics, the orchestrations and the sound recording are state of the art. Lawrence appeared in only a few shows (WEST SIDE STORY, SARATOGA and this) but was a brilliant talent - a fine singer and a fine singing actress. Chaplin couldn't sing a note but appeared in quite a few hit musicals as the male lead (BELLS ARE RINGING, FUNNY GIRL and this). Supporting players Orson Bean and Phyllis Newman (who won a Tony for this performance and the hand of lyricist Adolph Green) are youngsters bursting with style. Goddard Lieberson never topped himself sound-wise - this is his masterpiece - the taps in I SAID IT AND I'M GLAD and their moves between speakers, the bells in BE A SANTA - are as resonant and full-sounding as Solti's famous Donner hammer blow in DAS RHEINGOLD. The orchestrations range from touching (the plaintive high violin supporting HOW CAN YOU DESCRIBE A FACE) to softly romantic the light bongo drum rhythms in WHO KNOWS WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN?). This is one of the great Broadway musical scores and this album is magnificent.

Monsters, Inc. (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Monsters, Inc. (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Billy Crystal
Offered by AAGoods LLC
Price: CDN$ 50.89
67 used & new from CDN$ 4.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, original story - stunning digital animation, Sept. 3 2002
This DVD release is well worth the price - you get two discs,
full of information, interviews and in depth studies of how
the film was designed, computer animated and finished. Although
the film is only 92 minutes, the material that accompanies it is
four and a half hours long.
The film is a delight, very original in concept and beautifully
designed. There is plenty of action and thrills without a great
deal of evil, which is a relief. The colors are crisp and the
lighting is luscious. The characterizations by John Goodman and
Billy Crystal as the lead montsers are full of nuance, especially
The film earned a number of Oscar noms including Best Animated
Feature and won the Oscar for Best Song - deservedly.
A great addition to the family video library and great fun for the whole family.
Highly recommended!

Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly!
Price: CDN$ 15.97
24 used & new from CDN$ 6.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elephantine film soundtrack of popular stage musical comedy, June 6 2002
This review is from: Hello, Dolly! (Audio CD)
Onstage HELLO DOLLY! was an intimate, fast and fun show. Blown up out proportion for the TODD-AO screen, the film version lumbered across the screen and though gaining in its three production numbers (PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY CLOTHES, BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY, HELLO, DOLLY!), it lost all of the required intimacy. Discussing the orchestrations themselves, they lacked punch and the pacing was rather slow, sometimes almost snail-like. Marianne McAndrew's rendition of RIBBONS DOWN MY BACK is deadly - by the way she gets no credit on the CD, either for this solo nor for her shared IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT - with Michael Crawford. Crawford himself is the skinny, gawky clown he was in his youth - with a squeaky singing voice - nothing like the melifluous tenor/baritone he has become with added age and weight. All of the singing cast is forgettable with the exception of Streisand, although the attempt to add pizzazz to the score misfires in her too fast renditions of JUST LEAVE EVERYTHING TO ME and SO LONG DEARIE. The anachronistic presence of Louis Armstrong as himself in a film dated eleven years before his actual birth - just to take advantage of the fact that he made a singles hit with the title tune - gives you an idea of how serious the makers took the film.
The original sound was muffled and tinny on the 20th Century Fox records and cassette releases. It has been remixed and brightened for this CD release although it still cannot be called rich or balanced. In ELEGANCE Ms. Peaker sounds like she is singing from behind a curtain and the chorus often sounds as if it's out on the street singing through a window. Although the orchestrations won one of the film's three Oscars, it was not a stellar hour for the musical film world.
This recording and the film "just miss" - there is the feeling that all involved are just too tired to carry the weight of it all. It lags when it should sparkle, it trips when it should glide.
Ms. Streisand valiantly carries on and is the sole reason for buying the soundtrack.
Note: The original show had only eleven songs - very few for a Broadway musical of its time. Two were dropped (I PUT MY HAND IN and MOTHERHOOD) and two new songs were added - JUST LEAVE EVERYTHING TO ME - which replaced I PUT MY HAND IN - and LOVE IS ONLY LOVE, a rather dull love song dropped from the original score of MAME.

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