A Few Words About A few words about...™ Kismet -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Ah Reiko Sato - yes - another lovely dancer.
     
  2. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    She gets the best song in FLOWER DRUM SONG ("Love Look Away") and the ballet is well done (though somewhat superfluous in the show as she is such a minor character and the movie is overlong). In the C.Y. Lee novel it was based on-which was more racier- there is no doubt that she and the James Shigeta character have had a brief affair. Also, this character suicides, a plot point R+H chose to leave out of their light-hearted show.
     
  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    She's dubbed in the movie, of course, by Marilyn Horne.
     
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  4. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info, Matt ... I love Marilyn Horne's voice; have most of her records including the wonderful duets with Joan Sutherland, so I'll grab my copy of 'Flower Drum' and have a listen.
    You can understand why I was so excited when Fox brought out 'Carmen Jones' recently!
     
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  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yes, indeed I can.

    "Love, Look Away" has always been my favorite song from the show, and that dream ballet in the film is one of the most unusual things I've ever seen. I always enjoy watching it.
     
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  6. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Marilyn Horne also sang as part of the ladies' chorus in the film version of "The King and I". She 'completed the circle' of her R&H journey when she sang the role of Lady Thiang on the 1992 Julie Andrews/Ben Kingsley studio album of the score.
     
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  7. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Lovely Reiko Sato and her magical musical "Flower Drum Song" role...

    images.jpg
     
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  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I'm glad she didn't commit suicide in the movie, but she does sort of get forgotten before the film ends. You don't suppose...?
     
  9. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    James Shigeta's character had a choice: young and innocent, spicy and sexy, or loyal and competent.

    I would have chosen the Helen myself. But I wasn't in the movie. Also not the plot was set up to work.
     
  10. Virgoan

    Virgoan Second Unit

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    Yes, a series of MGM Musicals was distributed by Polydor (if I'm remembering correctly) on very good vinyl in the UK in the 1970s and had a series of colorful covers.

    Here is the original MGM LP soundtrack cover. One of the finest of all, IMO!

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yep, that's what I've got. Glorious in every way. Thanks for posting it.
     
  12. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    How many members loved it when these early soundtrack 78s, 45s and LPs contained snippets of Dialogue.
    I know that I was thrilled whenever that occurred.
    On this album (we also had that beautiful cover) Howard Keel's introduction to "The Olive Tree" was one instance that I remember stood out.

    Other dialogue snippets featured on older Soundtrack Recordings included,
    "Good News" ( Dialogue is featured over different background music than in the film)
    "Till the Clouds Roll By" (Showboat - Make Believe)
    "Calamity Jane" (I can do without you number)
    "The Band Wagon" (several songs)
    "Silk Stockings" (several songs)
    "Happy Go Lovely" ( David Niven & Vera-Ellen on a British 78)
    "Pinocchio" (Old British 78s)
    "Deep in my Heart" (several songs and final speech)
    "Kiss me Kate" (Final sequence, etc)

    and probably lots more, which I'm sure will be now be brought up by others.

    Today of course this means nothing except pure happy memories pre the Video era.

    Doug.
     
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  13. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yep, soundtrack albums were the way we relived the films in our minds after coming home since there was no home video of any kind then (well, except the movie nights on the three major networks). That soundtrack release of The Wizard of Oz which contained dramatic highlights along with the songs was a way to relive the movie between yearly airings of the movie on TV. Couldn't have lived without it.
     
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  14. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    As a kid, I used to 'prophetically fantasize' about the invention of records which would contain movies on them, thinking "wouldn't that be great!". At the time in the '60's, I'm sure I thought it would never happen.
    Buying LP soundtracks was the beginning of my 'movie collecting mindset'(an incurable mental condition from what I can gather).I had grown up wearing out my parents' 78s and EP/LPs of stage shows and soundtracks.A watershed moment was seeing THE KING AND I on its first Melbourne TV broadcast on Channel 9 in 1970. (Anyone else out there in Australia can recall this screening? It was later broadcast in 1975 on the first night of color broadcasting.Another channel (7) played MGM musicals in color all that week, egs BRIGADOON and LILI. Not having a color set was a major endurance for me that year). Panned and scanned and black+white, but the next weekend I got my dad to take me into the city to buy the mono LP soundtrack of KING.(It became sadly truncated in its stereo incarnation, as did Capitol's soundtrack LP of CAROUSEL). The '70's was a good decade for re-issues of soundtrack LPs. The Silver Screen Soundtrack series of MGM titles came out in the UK and Australia, then the gate-fold, double LPs from the US (eg. 7 BRIDES + ROSE MARIE).The success of THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! in '74/'75 no doubt contributed to these albums being re-released. (Oddly, no THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT film contained any songs from KISMET. In fact, CinemaScope musicals did not get much of a look-in in that series of movies)
    I became aware of the loss of picture information when 'Scope films were broadcast on TV when I saw CAROUSEL at the Hoyts Malvern cinema (with STAR! in July 1972) after having seen it twice on TV. In my high school years I began campaigning for theatrical revivals of musicals and was invited to program festivals at the Dendy Malvern cinema in 1976 and at the Trak cinema in 1979. These festivals were quite popular and featured the last cinema screenings in Melbourne-to my knowledge- of movies such as THE MUSIC MAN, 1776, FLOWER DRUM SONG, THE JOLSON STORY (in re-formatted Wide Screen),GYPSY and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. In '76, the former Metro cinema in Collins St (then called the Mayfair), played every 35mm print of an MGM movie available on Sundays, inc KISMET (somewhat faded, but great to see it in 'Scope for the first time).
    Like others here-I'm assuming- I went from renting 16mm movies (even buying one+ some trailer reels) to show friends on a curved screen, to renting and recording movies on VHS, to collecting Laserdiscs and playing them on the first wave of 16:9 TVs in the mid-'90's and- now- adding to the fortunes of the studios releasing dvds and blu-rays. Each phase has had its unique collecting/viewing joys. Now the issue is that I am not likely to live long enough to view the (daily) expanding collection. Friends ask me "How many movies do you have?" My answer "I don't know, it changes every day!"
     
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  15. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Yep I would come home after school, put one on the Glorious MGM Musical records and listen to them as I did my Homework. I actually meet Russ Tamblyn during that time and had him autograph the HIT THE DECK LP. Ah memories.
     
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  16. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    The first soundtrack recording that I actually bought was a 78rpm. "Aba Daba Honeymoon"/ "Row, Row, Row" from "Two Weeks With Love"

    Other 78s that belonged to my Brother, but we shared, were "Easter Parade", "Annie Get Your Gun", "An American In Paris", "Belle Of New York" and "Showboat" all in Soundtrack Record Albums.
    My first original score album on a 78rpm was Miklos Rosza's "QUO VADIS"
    78.jpg
    The old yellow MGM label

    Lili/ Everything I have is Yours and The Merry Widow were amongst my first LPs.
    lp3.jpg
    MGM did ultra plain covers back then.

    My first EP was "Living It Up" with Martin & Lewis.
    lp2.jpg

    Of course there were many more LPs before "Kismet" arrived.

    We were very excited and extremely grateful for what we got back then.

    Doug.
     
  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    You know, it's so great at this late stage of my life to know there WERE people just like me out there doing what I was doing growing up. I didn't know ANYONE like me in my own group of friends who lived for musicals like I did, and I didn't really care that I was alone in this, but it's very comforting to know that others were having many of the same experiences that I was having as a youngster.
     
  18. GlennF

    GlennF Second Unit

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    Well, here is someone else who was obsessed with these old musicals as a kid. I used to set up an old reel to reel tape recorder and when one of these films came on (usually very late at night or Sunday afternoon) I would place the mic near the speaker and hit the record button whenever a song came on so I could play them back later.My Christmas list usually consisted of soundtrack or Broadway musical albums I wanted (which I still have).I remember convincing a friend's family in 1972 (I think that was the year) when The King and I was being broadcast for the first time, that they had to watch it (and of course invite me over) since they were the only people who had a colour television and this was a film that had to be seen in colour! Not the norm for a kid in elementary school. (This could open up a whole can of worms about the current Blu-ray...but I will stay away from that.There are many other stories I could share...but let's just say y obsession continues to this day. Still haven't met anyone who shares it where I live here in Toronto...but that's the way it goes. I will continue to "geek out" on my own. Time to go pop something into the Blu-ray!
     
  19. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Same story here. For me it was movie soundtracks of all kinds, whether musical or dramatic. In addition to all the great musicals, I collected scores by Max Steiner, Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rozsa, Dimitri Tiomkin and many others.

    But getting back to the musicals, I remember one Christmas in particular when, as an eight year old in 1964, I asked for the soundtrack album to The Music Man, which we had just seen in a theatre. When, on Christmas morning, I unwrapped the Broadway cast album, inwardly my heart sank though I didn’t let on. Who the heck is Barbara Cook?! She’s not in the movie! Where’s Shirley Jones? Of course I came to love the album – I still have it of course – and I managed to get the soundtrack album many, many years later.

    Coming of age in the early sixties, absorbing all these widescreen extravaganzas sort of warped me for life. There was an embarrassment of riches with West Side Story, Gypsy, The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. And on TV we had Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and all the glorious 50s musicals hitting prime time. And then there was A Hard Day's Night which was unlike anything I had ever seen. My head still reels.
     
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  20. Edward Weinman

    Edward Weinman Stunt Coordinator

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    ...my first recolection of seeing an MGM musical was when my parents took me to the Radio City Music Hall for "On The Town."

    ...my lifelong obsession for the MGM musical came very early...even before this theater event. My dad took me to the Music Hall one sunny afternoon to see "The Band Wagon" which affected me in so many ways (being a New Yorker) that, till this day, I adore this film. It doesn't seem to age (except for dialog which mentions 1953). The orchestrations are remarkable; Fred and Cyd are remarkable; Dancing in the Dark and the Girl Hunt are remarkable...I don't know why it has effected me like it has but...there you have it.

    ...in my view, that MGM studio orchestra, its musicians, the orchestrators (Conrad Salinger etal.), the conductors (Johnny Green, etal.) MADE my early life...when the 50's came and I saw less MGM musicals being released, I knew inside that there was a decline in this art form...it was sad to see it end, but...

    ...the BBC Proms concerts beginning in 2009 revealed to me the enormus talent of orchestrater, conductor and remarkable musical talents of John Wilson who established his John Wilson Orchestra prior to that date. It was with his 2009 "Tribute to the MGM Musical" which, evidently, brought him into the limelight and, as a result of the BBC's being inundated with requests, finally had them release the televised event on DVD (which is now available here). His orchestra is nothing short of remarkable. He fathfully reconstucted the MGM scores (either from just listening or from "conductor's scores" which do not contain the full orchestrations) and the results are as if someone cleaned the original peformances and now made them shine.

    ...the art form of the MGM musical is something that I hope does not die out for future generations.
     
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