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Busby Berkeley Set Dancing to DVD

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29 replies to this topic

#1 of 30 OFFLINE   TimJS


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Posted December 02 2005 - 10:42 AM

Did not see a thread on this so wanted to make sure that fans saw the Home Media Retailing story on HTF's front page...

#2 of 30 OFFLINE   dave wright

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Posted December 02 2005 - 01:53 PM

Great news!! Thanks for the heads up.

#3 of 30 OFFLINE   Richard M S

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Posted December 02 2005 - 04:03 PM

Actually that is great news tinged with sadness, lol now I know why my laser disc of Dames has not been selling on Ebay. Anyway, I am excited about this release, and I am really eager to hear the details of the films, I hope that George also includes what ever footage and audio remains from the first, early-talkie GoldDiggers film.

#4 of 30 OFFLINE   Garysb



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Posted December 03 2005 - 01:06 AM

Gold Diggers of 1933 was shown on TCM yesterday. It certainly looked to me as if it had been restored. I didn't catch the whole movie and there was some print damage but the image was as sharp as I have ever seen this film.

#5 of 30 OFFLINE   Drew Salzan

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Posted December 03 2005 - 01:51 AM

The previous release of 42nd Street seemed fine to me. Again, I have to double dip to get the box set. Posted Image .

#6 of 30 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted December 03 2005 - 02:36 AM

Well, knowing Warner, the box set will average out to about $8 a disc, so it's not that bad of a double dip. Besides, you can probably sell that extra copy of 42nd Street for at least $5, making you essentially break even.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932

#7 of 30 OFFLINE   Paul Borges

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Posted December 03 2005 - 06:51 AM

Any date?

#8 of 30 OFFLINE   TimJS


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Posted December 03 2005 - 07:52 AM

Holly J. Wagner's complete story can be found at Home Media Retailing 's news page (the story no longer appears on HTF's front page).


#9 of 30 OFFLINE   Charles H

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Posted December 03 2005 - 07:56 AM

Any chance of Warners releasing THE PHYNX (1970) with Busby Berkeley, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler? I love Warners and they treat their product with respect and dignity but I wish they'd think "outside the box" collections if only as a barnes-&-noble promotion. Would love to have seen them bring out ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE as part of the Steve McQueen collection or THE STORY OF MANKIND with the Marx Brothers boxset. They have access to these rarities and oddities that would tell us more about the subject than the obvious successes.
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#10 of 30 OFFLINE   Paul Borges

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Posted December 03 2005 - 10:32 AM

Thanks for the link Tim. This line I found interesting:

#11 of 30 OFFLINE   Doug Bull

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Posted December 03 2005 - 10:38 AM

While this announcement is great news,sadly there are a number of Busby Berkeley Warner titles that didn't appear on Laserdisc. Those of us with all these titles on Laserdisc will probably invest in the better quality and convenience of DVD, but where are, WONDER BAR ( was on the Al Jolson LD ) FASHIONS OF 1934 THE SINGING MARINE VARSITY SHOW (The original long version please) HOLLYWOOD HOTEL GOLDIGGERS IN PARIS GARDEN OF THE MOON GOLDIGGERS OF 1937 IN CALIENTE STARS OVER BROADWAY ( with a rare appearence from Jane Froman) BUSBY BERKLELEY BOX SET NUMBER TWO??

#12 of 30 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray



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Posted December 08 2005 - 02:42 AM

Hollywood Hotel is especially missing in action. It's one of the greats that's never been given its due on video. This is the film that gave us "Hooray for Hollywood" and contains incredible footage of Benny Goodman's band at its height. And it's also hilariously funny with some great numbers in the Berkeley tradition.

#13 of 30 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted December 08 2005 - 05:55 AM

I wonder if the existing footage from the 1929 Gold Diggers will be included in the set along with the TCM documentary Busby Berkeley Going Through The Roof. I can only hope that Ann Miller's legendary I've Gotta Hear That Beat number from Small Town Girl is included with those extra musical performances in the bonus disc- simply the best thing Ms. Miller ever did.

As for some of Mr. Berkeley's other efforts on DVD- Wonder Bar is problematic. Perhaps it can be part of a pre-Code set, but Al Jolson's Goin' To Heaven On A Mule production number is one only a member of the KKK could love. Without a doubt it's the most tasteless musical number ever made in Hollywood history, and I'm sure George Feltenstein is only too aware of this problem.
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#14 of 30 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted December 08 2005 - 07:03 PM

DVD Times has the full specs:

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Busby Berkeley Collection for 21st March 2006. The collection includes five remastered Warner Bros. classics from one of the greatest motion picture choreographers of all time. Titles include Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Dames and Gold Diggers of 1935 (all new to DVD); 42nd Street (repackaged in Amaray “keepcase” packaging ) and The Busby Berkeley Disc, a nearly three-hour compendium of the unique musical extravaganzas created by Berkeley during his Warner Bros. years.

As with WHV’s original DVD release of 42nd Street several years ago, each feature film in this collection has been meticulously restored and remastered from its original nitrate camera negatives and optical soundtracks. The six-disc collection, with extensive bonus materials including five informative and entertaining new featurettes illustrating Berkeley’s talent, style and technique, will sell for $59.92 SRP. While 42nd Street remains available individually for $19.97 SRP, all other content is exclusive to this boxed set.

The Busby Berkeley Collection

42nd Street (1933)

This unforgettable musical classic represents Berkeley’s first major cinematic masterpiece. Warner Baxter stars as stage director Julian Marsh, pressured by the threat of an impending early demise, to create one last great Broadway hit. The quintessential ‘put-on-a-show’ plot spins merrily, full of snappy banter with then-newcomers Ruby Keeler (her film debut), Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. Shuffle off to Buffalo, You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me and the title tune still dazzle. This is the film where Baxter uttered the immortal line to understudy Keeler, (stepping in at the last minute for star Bebe Daniels, who has just broken her leg)…“You’re going out there a youngster…but you’ve got to come back a star!”

DVD Special Features
3 Vintage Featurettes:
Harry Warren: America’s Foremost Composer
Hollywood Newsreel
A Trip Through a Hollywood Studio
Notes on Busby Berkeley
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (New to DVD!)
Soon after 42nd Street, Warner Bros. released this sensational Depression-lifting production. Mervyn Le Roy directs the non-musical portions involving three wonderfully silly love matches (including Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler). Berkeley brings his peerless magic to the production numbers, including the pre-production code, sexually suggestive Pettin’ in the Park, the stunning spectacle of The Shadow Waltz and the remarkably provocative and frank Remember My Forgotten Man. The film is probably best-known for opening up with a close-up of lovely Ginger Rogers and her leggy dancing chorus girls in giant coins singing We’re in the Money.

DVD Special Features:
New Featurette Good Diggers: FDR’s New Deal…Broadway Bound
2 Vintage Featurettes:
Rambling ’Round Radio Row #2
Seasoned Greetings
3 Vintage Cartoons:
I’ve Got to Sing a Torch Song
Pettin’ in the Park
We’re in the Money
New Featurette 42nd Street: From Book to Stage to Screen
Vintage Featurette The 42nd Street Special
Busby Berkeley Musicals Trailer Gallery
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

Footlight Parade (1933-New to DVD!)
One of Berkeley’s greatest extravaganzas, the frequent Berkeley cast of stars including Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell have to take less of the spotlight due to the bravura performance of triple-threat James Cagney, making his musical film debut. Cagney was one of the hottest actors of the era, known for his portrayal of fast-talking, hard-boiled gangsters and tough guys. However, Cagney got his start in vaudeville years earlier, not only singing, but dancing in a way that was surely his own. It’s that same song-and-dance style that led him to winning the Academy Award ® for Best Actor in 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy. As with all the films in this collection a bevy of hit tunes are provided by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin, including the racy Honeymoon Hotel, the fascinating Shanghai Lil featuring Cagney’s unforgettable tap-dance duet with Keeler, and the utterly sensational By a Waterfall, a show-stopping, imagination-bending production number that includes a revolving wedding cake fountain, an elaborate aquacade of 100 bathing-suited girls and a 20,000-gallon-per-minute waterfall.

DVD Special Features:
New Featurette Footlight Parade: Music for the Decades
2 Vintage Featurettes:
Rambling ’Round Radio Row #8
Vaudeville Reel #1
2 Vintage Cartoons:
Honeymoon Hotel
Young and Healthy
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

Dames (1934-New to DVD!)
Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler again star in this tale of stage hopefuls who run up against a disapproving decency group. Berkeley reinvents filmmaking with a subway dream (I Only Have Eyes for You), a staggeringly kaleidoscopic arrangement of showgirls in black tights (Dames), and other bravura imaginings. Reviewers labeled this blissful musical “Gold Diggers of 1934” because of its stars from the prior Gold Diggers movie, its showbiz story and its glorious Berkeley razzmatazz.

DVD Special Features
New Featurette Busby Berkeley’s Kaleidoscopic Eyes
3 Vintage Featurettes:
And She Learned About Dames
Good Morning, Eve
Melody Master: Don Redman and His Orchestra
2 Vintage Cartoons:
I Only Have Eyes for You
Those Beautiful Dames
Audio-Only Bonus: Direct from Hollywood Radio Promo
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

Gold Diggers of 1935 (New to DVD!)
Dick Powell stars as a desk clerk who agrees to be a gentlemanly escort for the sheltered daughter (Gloria Stuart) of a wealthy widow. Considered a sequel of sorts to Gold Diggers of 1933, this film contains some of Berkeley’s most unusual and accomplished musical sequences ever -- “The Words Are in my Heart” featuring rows of twirling baby grand pianos and, what is likely Berkeley’s greatest masterpiece, literally a 16 minute film-within-a film, the unforgettable LULLABY OF BROADWAY, which features vocals by Powell and Wini Shaw, and is highlighted by a heart-stopping sequence of more than 150 dancers tapping their way into musical legend.

DVD Special Features:
New Featurette (buz’be bur’kle) n. A Study in Style
Vintage Featurette:
Double Exposure
2 Vintage Cartoons:
Gold Diggers of ’49
Shuffle Off to Buffalo
Direct from Hollywood Radio promo
Gold Diggers Trailer Gallery
Subtitles: English, Français & Español (Feature Film Only)

The Busby Berkeley Disc
One man. One camera. Unlimited magic. This critically-acclaimed compilation, originally conceived as a laserdisc release in 1992, now arrives on DVD as an exclusive to the set. It contains more than 20 complete musical numbers from nine Warner Bros. films of the 1930s -- numbers that established forever the genius of Busby Berkeley, and showed that ‘simple’ was not a word in his lexicon. Some of the rarities included here are “The Lady in Red” from IN CALIENTE (1935), and “All is Fair in Love and War,” the amazing flag-waving finale from GOLD DIGGERS OF 1937.

So many films, so little time...
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#15 of 30 OFFLINE   JiM T


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Posted December 08 2005 - 07:35 PM

Too bad there are no commentaries, but I'm still in. Finally, this set will be a reality!

#16 of 30 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted December 09 2005 - 12:36 AM

OK, but still no Going Through The Roof (BIG mistake!), and you'd think someone would've been smart to have the very-much alive Gloria Stuart do commentary or an on-screen interview for Gold Diggers of 1935. Also, Toby Wing (a frequently featured Berkeley regular- she's the girl Dick Powell sings "I'm Young & Healthy" to in 42nd Street) did some filmed interviews for Warner Home Video/TCM a few years before her death recalling her days in the Berkeley musicals. Why weren't they also included? And what about some of his MGM musical numbers for the bonus disc? I only hope that ghastly Jolson bit I mentioned before isn't on the disc.
Bring "The continuing story of PEYTON PLACE" home on DVD: the one that started it all- from Dallas and Dynasty to Desperate Housewives and Gossip Girl!!! Starting this May, see the legendary saga starring Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, and Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone on DVD thru...

#17 of 30 OFFLINE   BrianRi


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Posted December 09 2005 - 09:24 AM

Well, I for one think that blackface musical number of Jolson's is fascinating, and I turned in my Klan membership card a good three months ago. But it's nice to know that members of the PC Gestapo are out there keeping watch.

#18 of 30 OFFLINE   Derek Estes

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Posted December 10 2005 - 10:17 AM

This is truly great news! I'm looking foward to all of the great Warners sets coming in '06. I hope John Ford is next, perfect for father's day!
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#19 of 30 OFFLINE   Derek Estes

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Posted December 10 2005 - 10:20 AM

I wonder if there were plans to make 42nd street a SE, because there are so many 42nd street extras included with the GD of '33 disc. The disc is already pretty terrific, so I'm sure it was just cheaper to add the extras to the other disc.
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#20 of 30 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted December 10 2005 - 10:24 AM

This looks interesting... by the way, I think the reason the '29 Golddiggers footage isn't being used has to do with it being non-Berkely and being pretty bad in quality.
Yeah, and Birth of a Nation is the same. Only nazis would want to see Triumph of the Will. I doubt GF even cares about the PC fiends... all they want is to control what people watch.

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