TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: American Musicals (The Band Wagon / Meet Me in St. Louis / Singin' in the Rain / Easter Parade)
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46 of 50 found the following review helpful:
The best of the MGM musicals at a great price Feb 08, 2009
This is one of several DVD sets that TCM/WHV is producing over the next year or so that brings the classic films to the masses at affordable prices. All of these films are available in more deluxe editions, so this is mainly for those who are not interested in extra features. Every one of these is a five star film for musical lovers.
Singin in the Rain is my favorite movie musical and perhaps the best movie musical ever made. Thrown together quickly after the success of "An American in Paris" I love it for its comedy, its timing, and its wonderful plag iarism of just about every song written for MGM movies between 1929 and 1940. If you are interested in extras this film is available as Singin' in the Rain (Two-Disc Special Edition). The two disc edition has some wonderful extras about the transition from silent film to sound.
The Band Wagon is one of Fred Astaire's best MGM musicals. Fred plays an aging song and dance man whose friends are writing a new Broadway show and want Fred to star. They enlist a Broadway headliner to help them get financial backing, but the show the veteran describes is a musical version of Faust, not the fun romp that was originally planned. This one is available in a more deluxe version as The Band Wagon (Two-Disc Special Edition).
The Easter Parade stars Fred Astaire again. After being rejected by his girlfriend/star, on a lark he offers Judy Garland a job as his partner, claiming he could make her as big a star as his ex-girlfriend. The next day he regrets his offer, but he has to go through with it when Judy shows up for rehearsal after having already quit her current job. Again, if you like extra features it is available as Easter Parade (Two-Disc Special Edition).
Meet Me in St. Louis stars Judy Garland and is about - absolutely nothing. However, this musical which has no big events and no real dramatic climax will grow on you. It is about a year in the life of an extended St. Louis family. The father has accepted a job offer in New York City, and nobody in the family is happy about it. This midwestern group does not want to give up their easy-going way of life and all of their friends for the big treeless city. Worse yet, the move is scheduled to take place at Christmas. This is available in the deluxe Meet Me In St. Louis (Two-Disc Special Edition). The best thing about this 2-disc edition is the inclusion of the 1930 Vitaphone short "Bubbles". Besides being one of the strangest little musical shorts ever, it stars Judy Garland back when she was still one of the Gumm Sisters.
15 of 17 found the following review helpful:
four all-time classic movies for an unmissable price! Jun 23, 2009
By Byron Kolln
A great space-saving alternative for those whose DVD collections are getting slightly out of hand, or an ideal gift for that special someone you know who just can't get enough classic movies! This set focuses on four of the greatest MGM musicals.
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN: Arguably regarded as the greatest musical ever made, this breezy delight stars Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in a story about the pandemonium that ensued when the "Talkies" first took over Hollywood. Special Features: audio commentary hosted by Debbie Reynolds, and the trailer.
EASTER PARADE: Fred Astaire came out of retirement to star opposite Judy Garland in this all-time easter favourite built around the Irving Berlin song catalogue. Ann Miller steals the whole show with her energetic "Shakin' the Blues Away"--which she performed while still nursing a broken back! Special Features: audio commentary by Ava Astaire McKenzie and John Fricke, and a Judy Garland trailer gallery.
THE BAND WAGON: Get aboard with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse for the rollicking story of the creation of a new Broadway musical! Special Features: audio commentary by Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein, and a Fred Astaire trailer gallery.
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS: Judy Garland was never more appealing than when she played lovestruck Esther Smith in this nostalgic turn-of-the-century delight, which also boasts a winning performance from young Margaret O'Brien. Special Features: all-new introduction from Liza Minnelli, audio commentary by John Fricke, and a Vincente Minnelli trailer gallery.
9 of 10 found the following review helpful:
The Pinnacle of MGM Musicals... Jan 31, 2009
Without even knowing if "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: American Musicals (The Band Wagon / Meet Me in St. Louis / Singin' in the Rain / Easter Parade)" is offering anything in the way of Special Features, I still can wholeheartedly recommend this collection for two reasons; first, these are, arguably, the four finest examples of the Classic MGM musical (acknowledging that "An American in Paris" and "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" are equally deserving); second, that these are being 'sponsored' by Turner Classic Movies, the premiere cable film site, and Ted Turner's Valentine to Classic films, and all of us that love them.
Each film is magnificent; "Meet Me in St. Louis" stands, with "The Wizard of Oz" and "A Star Is Born", as the 'definitive' Judy Garland films, and "Meet Me..." is the most down-to-earth and totally charming, a slice of Americana at it's most irresistable; "Easter Parade" teams Judy with Fred Astaire, making a comeback from a brief 'retirement' to replace injured Gene Kelly in the lead, in a sweet, nostalgic tale flavored with Irving Berlin tunes; Fred is in top form in the autobiographical "The Band Wagon", as a fading movie star returning to Broadway (in a hilarious send-up of the 'New Wave' stage shows of the era), capped by a slam-bang multiple climax finale and the fabulous "That's Entertainment" capper; and the greatest of all MGM musicals, "Singin' in the Rain", the Gene Kelly/Stanley Donen masterpiece of Hollywood at the dawn of sound pictures. As Frank Sinatra once said, "They don't get better than this!"
So, if you've been waiting to build your musical DVD collection, here's a great starting point!
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
just right - but hard to read labels Sep 15, 2010
By Jay J. Nemeth-johannes
These are well set up and good transfers. They contain disc 1 of each title's 2 disc release. The price is great, making it the perfect placeholder to replace my laserdiscs while I wait for the eventual BluRay release.
My only nit is that the 4 movies come on 2 discs. Since they are 2 sided discs, the printing is small, making it impossible to read in low light conditions. Given that these probably appeal to an older audience, the buyer may find it difficult to select the correct movie.
6 of 7 found the following review helpful:
great old classic musicals Aug 24, 2010
By p. g.
Though I'm not much of a musicals fan, I loved each of these classics even though the plot lines are not terribly exciting, or nearly non-existent in the case of Meet Me in St. Louis. As 3 of the 4 movies are about performers, the music was not just people breaking into song in awkward places. The 4th, St. Louis, the music also seemed natural in the family setting. I found myself enjoying the characters.
They are wholesome films, and in my opinion, entertaining, and relaxing.
If you're looking for excitement or adventure in your movie or a complex plot, these may not be for you.
The only drawback for me was packaging, the 2 - 2 sided disks. I fear scratching the top side, thus one of the movies, as I deal with the disk.
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