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Warner presents "Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory" in April - Artwork added

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory for 25th April 2006. This collection of five newly-remastered favourites from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Golden Era are all making their debut on DVD, and include It’s Always Fair Weather, Summer Stock, Three Little Words, Till the Clouds Roll By, and Ziegfeld Follies and contain some of the most memorable numbers by the greatest stars of the genre, specifically the Hollywood musical’s golden trio of immortal legends –- Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

The famous M-G-M slogan “More Stars Than There are in Heaven” was never truer than in this spectacular collection of the fabled studio’s vintage musicals which features some of the most eye-popping numbers in the history of the film musical. In addition to Judy, Fred and Gene, the studio piles on Lena Horne, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, June Allyson, Frank Sinatra, Van Johnson, Kathryn Grayson, Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, William Powell, and too many to name them all!

Each feature film in this collection has been meticulously restored and remastered from its original elements by Warner Home Video and complimented with new featurettes, rare outtake musical numbers, audio only bonus outtakes and vintage cartoons. The titles will be available individually for $19.97 SRP and the five-disc collection will sell for $59.92 SRP.

Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory Collection

It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
Originally conceived as somewhat of a follow up to the wildly successful On the Town, It’s Always Fair Weather didn’t reunite the original cast of that landmark 1949 MGM musical, which starred Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin, six years earlier. By 1955, Sinatra was unavailable and Munshin was blacklisted, so the project needed to have a fresh approach while still remaining very much a Gene Kelly vehicle. “…Fair Weather” teamed Kelly for the third and final time with the top creative talents including Stanley Donen as co-director and co-choreographer, producer Arthur Freed and writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green. This impressive group had revolutionized the movie musical, first with On The Town (1949) and then the masterpiece Singin’ in the Rain (1952). This final collaboration was a highly original film, and was the Kelly/Donen directorial partnership’s first project in Cinemascope. 25-year-old “wunderkind” Andre Previn, who was already an MGM veteran of almost a decade, was hired to write all the songs for the film’s original score (with lyricists Comden and Green) and also served as musical arranger and conductor.

Sparkling with satiric wit and exuberant production numbers, It’s Always Fair Weather centres on three World War II buddies (Kelly, Dan Dailey and Michael Kidd) who vow to reunite for old time’s sake in 10 years. When they do, they discover that their lives have moved in different directions. But romance, the fight game, the ad biz and a new medium called TV combine to restore their bond. Highlights include the buddies’ high-spirited romp using trash-can lids as dancing shoes, elegant Cyd Charisse’s k.o. of a routine with broken-nosed pugilists, and Kelly’s joyful, astonishing roller skating tap dance. Previn’s music was nominated for an Academy Award® as was Comden and Green’s writing.

DVD Special Features:
  • New 16x 9 widescreen transfer in 2.55:1 aspect ratio with soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1
  • New featurette It’s Always Fair Weather: Going Out on a High Note
  • 3 outtake musical numbers:
    • The Binge/Trashcan Dance (alternate takes)
    • Jack and the Space Giants (with Michael Kidd)
    • Love Is Nothing but a Racket (with Gene Kelly & Cyd Charisse)
  • Two segments from The MGM Parade featuring Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly
  • 2 classic MGM cartoons:
    • Deputy Droopy
    • Good Will to Men [16x9 2.4:1]
  • Audio-only bonus: I Thought They’d Never Leave outtake featuring Dolores Grey’s unused vocal<.li>Theatrical trailer
  • Languages: English & Français
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Summer Stock (1950)
Summer Stock was Judy Garland’s last picture under her long-term MGM contract, but she went out on a high note with one of the most spectacular production numbers of her stellar career, the joyous “Get Happy.” Performed in a man’s fedora, suit jacket and black tights (eventually a signature look), with a chorus of men behind her, it’s just plain vintage Judy.

Gene Kelly performs some great numbers, including the shuffle-and-squeak You, Wonderful You dance solo making use of loose boards and newspaper on the floor. Also featured is Heavenly Music, a Kelly-Phil Silvers duet as country-bumpkins backed by woofing canines.

The picture, a throwback to the early Judy-Mickey Rooney films (Babes in Arms, for one) with their ‘putting-on-a-show-in-the-barn’ back story, also represents the third and last on-screen pairing of Garland and Gene Kelly (the others being For Me and My Gal and The Pirate). Garland plays Jane Falbury, a farm owner more than a bit riled when her aspiring-actress sister (Gloria DeHaven) shows up with a theatrical troupe wanting to stage a musical. Any guess who becomes the show’s sudden star after its lead runs off with a Broadway actor?

With sharp direction by Charles Walters, and great new songs by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, the film has become a beloved audience favourite over the years.

DVD Special Features:
  • New featurette Summer Stock: Get Happy!
  • Classic MGM cartoon The Cuckoo Clock
  • Vintage Pete Smith Specialty Short Did’ja Know?
  • Audio-only bonus: outtake song Fall in Love
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Languages: English & Français
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Three Little Words (1950)
Unlike most composer biopics proliferating in the late ‘40s, Three Little Words is actually a very accurate depiction of the lives of tunesmiths Bert Kalmar (Fred Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton). Kalmar always wanted to be a magician but all it takes is a disastrous opening night to make his dream go poof! So Kalmar moves on…and finds songwriting magic with collaborator Ruby.

Highlights include Astaire tap-dancing as only he can, including a lovely duet with Vera-Ellen (the first time they danced together); Gloria DeHaven recreating her mother’s original performance of Who’s Sorry Now and Debbie Reynolds, in her third screen appearance, portraying Boop-Boop-a-Doop girl Helen Kane (resulting in a Most Promising Newcomer Golden Globe nomination). It’s movie magic as only MGM could create.

DVD Special Features:
  • New featurette Three Little Words: It’s All True
  • Vintage Fitzpatrick Traveltalk short Roaming Through Michigan
  • Classic MGM Tex Avery cartoon Ventriloquist Cat
  • Audio-only bonus: Paula Stone’s Hollywood USA radio promo featuring Fred Astaire & Harry Ruby
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Languages: English & Français
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
Till the Clouds Roll By finally receives the deluxe presentation it deserves with its first legitimate DVD release, with this stunning new transfer directly from the original studio Technicolor camera negatives. The epic film begins with a glorious, musical-within-a-musical recreation of the 1927 opening of Jerome Kern’s Show Boat and ends with a spectacular musical cavalcade of Kern classic melodies, climaxing with Frank Sinatra singing Ol’ Man River, a number Ol’ Blue Eyes would reprise throughout his career. From start to finish, the glittery biopic about renowned stage-and-screen composer Kern (Robert Walker) features 25 stars and a nearly equal number of Kern tunes. Highlights include Judy Garland as Marilyn Miller asking Who? to a bevy of top-hatted admirers; Dinah Shore hauntingly recalling The Last Time I Saw Paris; and Lena Horne’s just Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man.

DVD Special Features:
  • New featurette Till the Clouds Roll By: Real to Reel
  • Vintage Fitzpartick Traveltalk short Glimpses of California
  • Classic MGM Tex Avery cartoon Henpecked Hoboes
  • Two musical outtake sequences: Judy Garland performing D’Ya Love Me? and Music in the Air (I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star/The Song is You) performed by Kathryn Grayson and Johnny Johnston
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Languages: English & Français
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Ziegfeld Follies
Two years in the making, Ziegfeld Follies was a distinct departure from musicals that preceded it. Presented in a revue format with no storyline, Ziegfeld Follies allowed the stars to shine in a musical extravaganza without that pesky plot getting in the way.

With the “crème de la crème” of credited and uncredited Hollywood creative talent, this all-star revue is heaven to fans of movie musicals. Fred Astaire dazzles not once, not twice…but four times, including The Babbitt and the Bromide with Gene Kelly, the first time the two greatest dancers in musical history dueted. Red Skelton reprises his funny Guzzler’s Gin skit. Esther Williams swims, Lena Horne sings and Judy Garland spoofs snobbery. Add to this a Verdi opera and the legendary Fanny Brice (who rose to stardom under the Ziegfeld touch) enacting one of her inimitable comic numbers and the result is the musical form at its purest.

DVD Special Features:
  • New featurette Ziegfeld Follies: An Embarrassment of Riches
  • Vintage MGM Crime Does Not Pay short The Luckiest Guy in the World
  • 2 classic MGM cartoons:
    • The Hick Chick
    • Solid Serenade
  • Audio-only bonus: outtake songs If Swing Goes, I Go Too, This Heart of Mine and We Will Meet Again in Honolulu
  • Ziegfeld movies trailer gallery
  • Both remixed Dolby Surround Stereo and original Mono English Audio
  • Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)

Last updated: 19/04/2018 06:38:01

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