Friday, June 20, 2008

Coming to DVD: An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958)

Director Vincente Minnelli's two Best Picture winners have had previous "plain vanilla" DVD releases, but MGM musical fans are in for a treat when 2-Disc Special Editions of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and GIGI are released on September 16, 2008.

DVD Times reports that AN AMERICAN IN PARIS will have a spectacular new print using the "Ultra-Resolution" process, a "making of" documentary, and the documentary GENE KELLY: ANATOMY OF A DANCER.

GIGI will have a commentary by Leslie Caron and Jeanine Basinger, a "making of" documentary, and the French dramatic version of the story, originally released in 1949.

Fans of these films may be interested in two fine books detailing the filming of the movies: THE MAGIC FACTORY: HOW MGM MADE AN AMERICAN IN PARIS by Donald Knox, and THE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT: HOLLYWOOD'S GREATEST MUSICALS by Hugh Fordin, which is also available in a newer edition. THE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT is about the Freed Unit at MGM and details the making of all of the unit's musicals, from THE WIZARD OF OZ to BELLS ARE RINGING. These are two of my all-time favorite books on film.

Finally, did you know that Leslie Caron runs a bed and breakfast in France? Check out her official website.

Update: DVD Times now notes in its post that there is some confusion about whether or not the commentary and original dramatic film will be part of the GIGI set, as Warner Bros. has released contradictory information on the extras. Further Update: Not to worry, DVD Times has updated again and these extras are included.


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