**Warner Home Video** has announced an April 8th release date for Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory, Vol. 3. The 9 disc DVD set will include Hit the Deck (1955), Deep In My Heart (1954), Kismet (1955), Nancy Goes To Rio (1950), Two Weeks With Love (1950), Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935), Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), Born to Dance (1936) and Lady Be Good (1941). Just some of the stars include: Jane Powell, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Miller, Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Monty Woolley, Ann Sothern, Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor, Jack Benny, Robert Young, Lionel Barrymore, and Red Skelton. The set will retail for $69.92, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $49.99. The titles will also be available as single and double features for
Hit the Deck (1955, 112 min)
Hit the Deck hits all the right notes as three sailors (Tony Martin, Vic Damone, Russ Tamblyn) and three cuties (Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Miller) flirt, squabble, run afoul of shore patrol and, of course, fall in love, all to the infectious melodies of the great Vincent Youmans. The film combines many songs from the 1927 stage original, with other Youmans classics providing a non-stop cavalcade of musical delights, neatly choreographed by the legendary Hermes Pan. A rare ensemble musical, Hit The Deck gives each of its stars a chance to shine both together and alone. Highlights include Ann Miller as the seductive Lady From The Bayou, Jane Powell and Vic Damone’s romantic duet I Know That You Know, a rollicking fun-house sequence showing off the acrobatic dexterity of Debbie Reynolds and Russ Tamblyn, and Tony Martin’s heartfelt rendition of More Than You Know. The festivities are capped off by a blockbuster finale of Hallelujah which gained later renown as one of the memorable highlights of MGM’s 1974 compilation classic That’s Entertainment. Music, romance, and fun are all on deck.
The life and career of celebrated composer Sigmund Romberg served as the basis for Deep in My Heart, the last of M-G-M’s all-star musical ‘bio-pics’. The irrepressible Jose Ferrer (then at the height of his success after acclaimed performances in Moulin Rouge and Cyrano de Bergerac) gives a winning performance as the legendary Romberg, supported by lovely Merle Oberon and the charming Metropolitan Opera legend Helen Traubel (making her film debut). Directed by Stanley Donen (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers), the film’s real drawing card is a dazzling array of Metro musical talents performing more than 20 Romberg melodies drawn from the prolific composer’s catalog of over 2000 songs. Highlights include Gene Kelly’s only on-screen appearance with his younger brother Fred, who happily hoof and romp in the I Love to Go Swimmin’ with Wimmen number; Jane Powell and Vic Damone’s enchanting duet from Maytime; Ann Miller’s jazz-age Charleston send-up of Elinor Glyn called “It”; and Ferrer’s on-screen duet with his then-wife, the beguiling Rosemary Clooney, who appropriately sing “Mr. and Mrs.”. However, the film’s most arresting and unforgettable sequence is a breath-taking pas-de-deux called One Alone, which features a dance sequence between Cyd Charisse and James Mitchell that somehow flew over the heads of the screen censors of the era. The dance between these two masterful artists brims with a subtle-but-unmistakable eroticism (all through implication) that continues to surprise audiences, even by today’s standards. This DVD release marks the first home-video presentation of Deep In My Heart in its original widescreen aspect ratio.
Edward Knoblock’s play Kismet had already been the basis of four different films (the earliest being from 1914), M-G-M producer Arthur Freed dusted off the chestnut once more when the studio bought the rights to the 1953 smash Broadway musical version. Songwriters George Wright and Chet Forrest built a gorgeous score around the themes and melodies of Alexander Borodin, and snared three hit records in the process. The songs Stranger in Paradise, Baubles, Bangles and Beads, as well as And This is My Beloved, all became huge popular hits. Kismet turned the Broadway stage into a glittering, gleaming Arabian Nights’ dream. It was ideal material, in fact, for the dream factory and director Vincente Minnelli. This lavish musical follows one fateful, fabulous day as a beggar-poet (Howard Keel) and his daughter (Ann Blyth) cross paths with a wicked wazir (played with wit by Sebastian “Mr. French” Cabot) a sly temptress (the amazing Dolores Grey), and a handsome prince (sung with beguiling style by Vic Damone). Kismet is a magical journey, filled with opulent sets and exotic adventure.
Nancy Goes to Rio – and fun comes along! A colorful backlot Rio is the setting for a comic tale of personal and professional mix-ups as aspiring actress Nancy (Jane Powell) and her Broadway-veteran mother (Ann Sothern) seek the same stage role. Adding to the Brazilian flair is Carmen Miranda in her zany-hatted performance glory.
Powell’s sunny charm and bright soprano are again on display when she and Debbie Reynolds turn a 1900s Catskills vacation into Two Weeks with Love. Powell hopes to catch the eye of suave Ricardo Montalban by wearing a form-fitting corset undergarment. Reynolds reels in affable Carleton Carpenter for a legendary Aba Daba Honeymoon showstopper. Speaking of legends, Busby Berkeley provides the musical stagings.
Nancy Goes To Rio
Two Weeks With Love
When young Eleanor Powell stepped in front of the movie camera for a little star turn in George White Scandals of 1935, no one could have accurately predicted she’d soon become a huge star, whose incomparable dancing skills made her an audience darling all over the world. Broadway Melody of 1936 instantly established Powell as a big-screen star. Here, she taps the spangled ebullience of Broadway Rhythm, while 15-year-old Judy Garland sings a smitten Dear Mr. Gable to a portrait of Hollywood’s King in Broadway Melody of 1938 and both actresses achieve career breakthroughs.
In the Oscar®-winning 1936 romp, Powell plays an Albany girl-next-door who poses as France’s and Broadway’s exotic La Belle Arlette. The 1938 tale has her portraying a horse trainer who’s just as much at ease in taps and tuxedo as she is in riding boots and jodhpurs. Judy steps lively, too, joining Buddy Ebsen for Everybody Sing. These star-making Melodies are merry musicals for every classic fan’s collection.
Broadway Melody of 1936
Broadway Melody of 1938
Eleanor Powell’s the girl, James Stewart’s the guy and Cole Porter’s the tunesmith in Born to Dance, a break-a-leg tale of an understudy turned Broadway star that includes Powell taking command of a battleship for Swingin’ the Jinx Away.
Her radiant appeal and astonishing tap-dancing skills energize the screen again when she plays friend and matchmaker to two struggling songwriters (Robert Young, Ann Sothern) in Lady Be Good. Highlights include Powell’s astonishing Fascinating Rhythm hoofing and Sothern’s poignant rendition of the World War II evergreen and Oscar®-winning Best Song The Last Time I Saw Paris.
Born to Dance
Lady Be Good
Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory, Vol. 3 in April
Posted by David K. at 12/17/2007 07:04:00 PM