Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New on DVD: Classic Musicals From the Dream Factory, Vol. 2

The exciting new set of MGM musicals hits the shelves today!


More details on extras can be found described here in my post from last April.

The movies can be also be bought as single title releases or, in some cases, on "double feature" DVDs. The two Fred Astaire movies are paired for release, as are the Mario Lanza-Kathryn Grayson titles.

I feel a trip to Costco coming on -- hope they have the boxed set!

Wednesday Update: Here's the review from The Shelf. It's a great writeup, though I personally would have rated some of the films a little higher -- i.e., WORDS AND MUSIC's plot has its hokey moments, but too many great musical scenes to rate a "C" in my book (grin). MGM musicals were my first great movie love.

I'm very excited to hear about the great prints and looking forward to the "making of" featurettes and outtakes! I really enjoy TravelTalk shorts -- I've been painstakingly recording them from TCM -- and the inclusion of two New Orleans TravelTalks with THE TOAST OF NEW ORLEANS is inspired.

I listed some of my "MGM wish list" in the April link above; along with TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR and YOLANDA AND THE THIEF, which are mentioned on J.C. Loophole's wish list, I'm particularly anxious to see releases of LOVELY TO LOOK AT, THE GLASS SLIPPER, LILI, and TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE. A DATE WITH JUDY is another title I'd like to see. A Jane Powell set would be most welcome, including films like TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE, DATE WITH JUDY, HOLIDAY IN MEXICO, LUXURY LINER, and ATHENA. (I'd love a featurette describing how Dore Schary stole the idea for ATHENA from Esther Williams and Chuck Walters...)


Blogger Terri said...

That boxed set looks like fun! I'll have to look around and see if I can find one.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you enjoy it, Terri! I know I will. :) :)

Best wishes,

6:34 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

Re: the grading- I would perhaps upgrade Words and Music to a B- on further review, at least for the music, but I gave it a C because of the very loose story compared to such stronger efforts in the biopic musical efforts from MGM. I've just seen better from them and from the director. From all accounts even Dick Rogers wasn't really pleased with the film although he wired Alfred Freed otherwise. What a sad story about Larry Hart, and these men were so important to American culture, I would love to see their story taken up again. I guess it was a wee bit personal, as some of my favorite songs weren't included in the film.
Also, I think The Pirate and Mario Lanza films were great also! I was knew to all three films and enjoyed them greatly. I guess I was coming off of Royal Wedding (not to mention Esther Williams from last week) so I was a bit more critical than usual. It's also hard (and perhaps unfair) when you are looking a films from a studio that had so many "A" pictures in there catalog that stand tall as "standard measures". But that's the great fun about reviewing classic films- we all get to put our 2 cents in. Take it for what's its worth. You'll love the prints!

BTW- I would love a Jane Powell set, and I think if Vol.II of this set does well, we will see a Vol.III next year or so!

9:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

J.C., I know what you mean, it's interesting trying to grade films when there are different contexts for ranking them -- for instance, they might rate one way in context compared to the other films from the studio or the era, or be rated completely differently if you were to compare the entertainment value to, say, most modern movies, even if a title wasn't the best that MGM had to offer. Being such a fan of MGM, I tend to focus on the half-full glass when it comes to their movies (grin), even when they're not tip-top of the line. It's fun to compare notes and perspectives!

I would be really thrilled if there is a Volume 3!

I wonder if WB sees a market for a Jane Powell set. It could include her PRIVATE SCREENINGS. I've probably shared in the past, my parents attended a film class taught by Charles Walters in the '80-81 time frame. I was able to attend the class where Jane Powell came and spoke, and she was so entertaining and personable! I wish some of the musical stars who are still with us could do commentaries or at least more interviews.

Please keep us posted on the future musical DVDs as you hear news!

Best wishes,

10:17 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

PS I understand a Fred Astaire set is due in the next year. Any word from your source(s) on what might be in it? I wondered if it might include YOLANDA AND THE THIEF. That film is so remarkable visually, especially the "Coffee Time" number. It seems as though most of Astaire's musicals are now out on DVD -- YOLANDA being the biggest exception -- so I'm not sure what it would include unless they put in some of the previous releases.

Best wishes,

10:22 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

RE: Fred Astaire set-
I have not heard which titles are included. As far as I know that is still being worked out. I would be surprised if YOLANDA wasn't included because so much of Fred's filmography is out on DVD. Unless YOLANDA would be saved for a Classic Musicals III. One can only hope for both.
I would actually love to see Blue Skies, a film he did with Bing,to be restored and given the proper treatment a la Royal Wedding, for a Fred set.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the Astaire input, J.C.!

I agree re BLUE SKIES. It's not a favorite of mine but I'd like to see it done right.

Best wishes,

8:35 AM  

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