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A Few Words About A few words about...™ There's No Business Like Show Business -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What a gorgeous Blu-ray!

    Proves that early Eastman Color, properly handled can give Technicolor a challenge.

    Everything about this product is top quality. A stable, rich scan. Color that some might think impossible for the stock. Shadow detail, grain structure, true blacks and whites. Just beautiful.

    Likewise, the uncompressed 5.1, as well as the DD 4.0 tracks, which sound as if they were made yesterday. Difficult to believe this film is 56 years old.

    The storyline follows a vaudeville troupe, The Five Donahues, from the late teens to WWII, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. A tad corny at times, but the film still packs a wallop when it comes to singing and dancing, especially Ms. Merman, who belts out songs in her unique style.

    TNBLSB is a terrific piece of entertainment, and a brilliant Blu-ray. If a plan is afoot to purchase just one of the new Monroe Blu-ray titles, this would be at the top of the tech list.

    Image - 4.5

    Audio - 5

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's good to hear. I like this film a lot. Not because I'm a big Monroe fan - I'm not - but because of those four high powered, massively talented, super professionals: Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor and Mitzi Gaynor. They hold the movie together and make it work. Marilyn, bless her, is the icing on the cake.
    There was also a boy singer, wasn't there?
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Johnnie Ray? Popular singer in the '50s. Not much of a film career.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Merman around 1952 or so. She stayed at the same hotel as my family in Miami. My mother had been a huge Broadway musical fan, and I grew up with 78s of the shows, including Annie Get Your Gun. Somehow we ended up in a very crowded elevator, and at age 6-7 or whatever, I was separated from my mother and pushed back into the woman behind me.

    Who protected me from those in front pushing by putting her arms around me. I recall to this day my mother asking if I was alright, and that voice in all its glory saying "He's fine. I've got him!"

    When we got out, I got to chat with her for a few moments. She seemed shocked that I knew who she was. What a set of vocal chords.

    RAH
     
  4. PODER

    PODER Well-Known Member

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    Just a little bit about Johnny Ray. You're right about "not much of a film career", Robert. THERE'S NO BUSINESS ..." was his only film. A closeted gay performer who was arrested two times for soliciting sex, and brought to trial once, he was found "not guilty" by a jury composed entirely of elderly women.
    His biggest hit was CRY, which he did a lot when performing, earning him the nickname "The Prince of Wails". A friend tells me that, during the 1970s, he'd throw a big party any time THERE'S NO BUSINESS ... was on television. Everyone had to shut up, of course, during his big IF YOU BELIEVE number. Also, I think that there's a certain amount of irony in the fact that his role in the film was that of Ethel and Dan's priest son, Father Steve.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    That has always been something in the film that simply didn't work for me. Closeted performers had a very rough time of it, obviously even far bigger names. I have no memory of that particular part of American culture as a child. I only recall my confusion regarding "White only" signs in the south.
     
  6. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    In Johnnie Ray's autobiography, he claimed that Darryl Zanuck was once very high on him having a film career, but that when Zanuck left the studio, Ray's movie career never gained momentum. I also remember Mitzi Gaynor giving an interview years ago saying how much trouble Ray had with the choreography they had to do. If you look closely, you can see he's barely keeping up with everyone else. He simply wasn't a dancer (and seems to be pigeon-toed, too), but I suspect Mitzi, who is beside him in those moments, likely helped pull him through.
     
  7. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    My local Walmart did not have this title or River of No Return. I called other Walmarts and they all said they didn't have any of the MM titles. I was out grocery shopping and stopped at one of the Walmarts I had called to double check. They had them all at $9.96 each.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And that surprises you, Roland (that Wal-Mart employees were clueless about their media stock situation and/or didn't even bother to check)?

    I don't mean to sound harsh. And I've got no anti-Walmart axe to grind. It's just that most big box store employees aren't vested in knowing the particulars of the huge volume of product that comes pushing across their floor.

    That's one of the reasons forums like these are so valuable. People who care (us consumers) actually report about product/pricing that we see in the stores (and on-line). The Bargains/Deals forum is rampant with great information along these lines.
     
  9. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    I worked at a retail store as a comissioned salesman. If someone called to ask if we had an item I would check our store stock and others if we didn't. If we did, I would tell them to ask for me when they come in so I would get the sale. Most stores do not have commissioned salesman so they don't care as they get there same salary whether they make the sale or not.
     
  10. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Well-Known Member

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    I like this movie a great deal, yes, a bit corny at times but alot of heart. I always have tears at the end when the family reunites. I really like Johnny Ray in this film, very charismatic IMO, and unique. I was dazzled by how good this blu-ray looks and sounds. This is another movie that I only saw panned and scanned on television and I always thought it was rather poorly photographed - until the widescreen home video era. Somehow, I never saw this at any of the revival houses I frequented back in the late 1970s, early 1980s. I finally saw it widescreen as a laserdisc rental from Dave's in Studio City, but just couldn't quite pony up the $70 to buy the laserdisc - and now I have it in stellar quality for $8!
    I bought this at Walmart because of the great price, along with a few of the other Marilyn titles that they had in stock. I had to search for them - they were mixed in with other titles at ankle level, and none of the shelf tags matched what was on the shelf. Anyone lacking a bit of determination would not have found them.
     
  11. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Picked up Millionaire and Show Business at Costco today. No River, or I would have gotten that one, too. The other two (Itch and Blondes), heck with 'em. Based on the damned with faint praise (or worse) reviews, I'll just keep the DVDs for now.
     
  12. John Hermes

    John Hermes Well-Known Member

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    Blondes looks pretty darn good to me.
     
  13. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    It was also the widescreen Laserdisc that hooked me on THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS. So much of the time they used the full aspect ratio that the pan-scan TV versions I saw growing up just could not tell the story.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That's exactly right. And people should care...even if it doesn't directly impact their pay. For one, that's what they are being paid to do--serve the customers. For two, it's a good thing to help people.

    But that's probably enough on what is an off-topic discussion.

    I'm glad you went looking for yourself and found the discs (at such a good price).
     
  15. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Well-Known Member

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    I have always felt that going above and beyond to help customers is good for the company itself - which, in a sense, does impact their pay because the more people enjoy shopping there the stronger the company and the more secure the job.
    I watched TNBLSB again last night and I am really pleased, and especially for the very nice price I paid for it. Hopefully I am not looking at the world through rose colored glasses but, for the most part, it seems a good time to be a movie afficionado and home theater enthusiast.
     
  16. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    caps-a-holic comparison to DVD. Don't know why the Blu-ray is cropped on both sides especially on the left.
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I believe that it's cropped on the left because the DVD was formatted with an incorrect aspect ratio. The film is 2.55, not 2.66.

    RAH
     
  18. RolandL

    RolandL Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the same as The Great Escape first letterbox release on laserdisc?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I believe you're correct. Wrong aspect ratio.

    RAH
     

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