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A few words about...™ Easter Parade -- in Blu-ray

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#1 of 48 Robert Harris

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Posted February 14 2013 - 10:14 AM

Interesting the way that things work out.


Vincente Minnelli's Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, became Charles Walters' Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller.


The 1948 three-strip Technicolor M-G-M musical was to be a follow-up to The Pirate, but came in at a lower budget, and with the majority of original talent replaced.


Apparently Mr. Kelly was an extremely fierce athletic competitor, and was so frustrated, finding himself losing a volleyball game at his home, he broke an ankle shortly before production was to begin.


Mr. Walters had, who had done his time as dance director at M-G-M, and who was given the directorial reigns of Good News in 1947, was given the director's chair by Arthur Freed, and went on to direct for another two decades.


Mr. Astaire was then in retirement, and receiving a call from Mr. Kelly came out of said retirement, and never went back in.


Ms. Charisse supposedly also hurt herself in some way (I don't recall the details) and also had to be replaced at the very last moment, with Ms Miller, who had just arrived at M-G-M from Columbia.


A beautiful little film, Warner Bros. new Blu-ray is a delightful, if imperfect affair.


Part of the problem is extant elements.


The final reel, 7A/B was lost in the GEH fire, and comes from master fine grains.  As dupes were already dupes, cut into original, we lose two generations, and slight contrast rings, not to be confused with "ringing," are part of the image.  There's nothing to be done about it.


A bit of occasional mis-registration, but nothing either untoward or troublesome.


Color, which is generally gorgeous, seems at time, a bit heavy.


Other than that, this is a beautiful Blu-ray, and yet another wonderful example of what Technicolor looked like in the late 1940s and early '50s.


Image - 4


Audio - 5


Highly Recommended.


RAH
 


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 48 Matt Hough

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Posted February 14 2013 - 10:17 AM

Cyd Charisse had gotten pregnant and couldn't do the film. Ann Miller auditioned with several other dancing ladies and won the role and an MGM contract.



#3 of 48 ahollis

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Posted February 14 2013 - 10:32 AM

Cyd Charisse had gotten pregnant and couldn't do the film. Ann Miller auditioned with several other dancing ladies and won the role and an MGM contract.

Ann Miller could do no wrong in my book. Thank you Mr Harrris for informing us of the imperfection and the reasons so there will be little complaining. As this is one of my favorite MGM musicals I look forward to its release on Tuesday.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#4 of 48 JoeDoakes

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Posted February 14 2013 - 11:12 AM

Interesting the way that things work out. Vincente Minnelli's Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, became Charles Walters' Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller. The 1948 three-strip Technicolor M-G-M musical was to be a follow-up to The Pirate, but came in at a lower budget, and with the majority of original talent replaced. Apparently Mr. Kelly was an extremely fierce athletic competitor, and was so frustrated, finding himself losing a volleyball game at his home, he broke an ankle shortly before production was to begin. Mr. Walters had, who had done his time as dance director at M-G-M, and who was given the directorial reigns of Good News in 1947, was given the director's chair by Arthur Freed, and went on to direct for another two decades. Mr. Astaire was then in retirement, and receiving a call from Mr. Kelly came out of said retirement, and never went back in. Ms. Charisse supposedly also hurt herself in some way (I don't recall the details) and also had to be replaced at the very last moment, with Ms Miller, who had just arrived at M-G-M from Columbia. A beautiful little film, Warner Bros. new Blu-ray is a delightful, if imperfect affair. Part of the problem is extant elements. The final reel, 7A/B was lost in the GEH fire, and comes from master fine grains.  As dupes were already dupes, cut into original, we lose two generations, and slight contrast rings, not to be confused with "ringing," are part of the image.  There's nothing to be done about it. A bit of occasional mis-registration, but nothing either untoward or troublesome. Color, which is generally gorgeous, seems at time, a bit heavy. Other than that, this is a beautiful Blu-ray, and yet another wonderful example of what Technicolor looked like in the late 1940s and early '50s. Image - 4 Audio - 5 Highly Recommended. RAH

GEH fire? Is that the big MGM fire in the late 1960s.

#5 of 48 Brianruns10

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Posted February 14 2013 - 11:23 AM

Man that big MGM fire is the burn that keeps on burning. Seems everything we miss now, the last surviving print was lost in THAT fire!

#6 of 48 David Weicker

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Posted February 14 2013 - 11:53 AM

First domestic Fred Astaire musical. I am so happy. I'm hoping this opens the doors for many more to come. I am puzzled over the mis-registration comment. I know that for the DVD, this underwent the Ultra-Resolution process which was designed to eliminate mis-registration errors. David Edit: having read through the DVD review, it appears that also showed some signs of mis-registration errors - possibly in the missing original reel scenes.

#7 of 48 Andrew Budgell

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Posted February 14 2013 - 03:45 PM

Watching this film is one of my Easter traditions. Thank you for your review. I look forward to adding it to my collection.

#8 of 48 Guest__*

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Posted February 14 2013 - 04:07 PM

GEH fire? Is that the big MGM fire in the late 1960s.

1978. The George Eastman House lost the original camera negatives for 329 films, while the National Archives lost 12.6 million feet of newsreel footage.

#9 of 48 theonemacduff

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Posted February 15 2013 - 04:31 AM

Holy s***!! I had no idea that so much newsreel footage had gone up in smoke. An unbelieveable historic loss. I suppose dupes of most of the newsreel stuff survives, but not to have the original footage – the mind simply staggers under the blow. Damn.

#10 of 48 benbess

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Posted February 15 2013 - 05:50 AM

Holy s***!! I had no idea that so much newsreel footage had gone up in smoke. An unbelieveable historic loss. I suppose dupes of most of the newsreel stuff survives, but not to have the original footage – the mind simply staggers under the blow. Damn.

I don't think dupes exists. Most of it is just gone.

#11 of 48 JoeDoakes

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Posted February 15 2013 - 07:08 AM

Fires are to film what plane crashes are to music performers. It's remarkable that there have been so many.

#12 of 48 Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 17 2013 - 06:33 AM

Just finished watching this film for the very first time...on
Blu-ray no less...


I enjoyed the film, though I wouldn't rank it as one of my

all-time favorite musicals.


Noticed many of the things that Robert Harris talked about.

Color did seem a bit heavy now and then, but even more
troublesome than that was the constant color changes in
flesh tones and backgrounds.   The restaurant sequence

where the waiter is pretending to make a salad is the perfect

example of how colors go from a pink to greenish tone and

then back again. As Robert stated, nothing overly troublesome,

but just something you notice.


Another tidbit I noticed was how the higher resolution that

Blu-ray provides brings out the seams in the back screen

effect used during Astaire's slow-motion moves against a

fast-moving dance number.


On the more positive side, there isn't a blemish to be seen

anywhere.  In all, this film looks absolutely pristine.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#13 of 48 RetroGuy

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Posted February 19 2013 - 03:36 PM

My copy arrived from Amazon today. I'm guessing I received the Canadian disc in my case, as it's missing the American Masters Judy Garland documentary. It is listed as one of the special features on the back of the case. I read a review that the US version contains the documentary, but the Canadian and UK versions do not. Did anyone else get the US version yet who can confirm that documentary is there? "I ordered Easter Parade through an American video distributor so I am blessed to report that this disc contains the American Masters documentary on Judy Garland ‘By Myself’. U.K. and Canadian discs do not, presumably because PBS has denied the rights for distribution outside of the United States.". http://nixpixdvdmovi...948-warner.html

#14 of 48 Guest__*

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Posted February 19 2013 - 09:26 PM

Received my copy today. I popped it in to check out a few scenes. Wow! Now this is Technicolor! The pinks were electric!



#15 of 48 Will Krupp

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Posted February 20 2013 - 02:48 AM

Originally Posted by RetroGuy 

My copy arrived from Amazon today. I'm guessing I received the Canadian disc in my case, as it's missing the American Masters Judy Garland documentary. It is listed as one of the special features on the back of the case. I read a review that the US version contains the documentary, but the Canadian and UK versions do not. Did anyone else get the US version yet who can confirm that documentary is there?

"I ordered Easter Parade through an American video distributor so I am blessed to report that this disc contains the American Masters documentary on Judy Garland ‘By Myself’. U.K. and Canadian discs do not, presumably because PBS has denied the rights for distribution outside of the United States.". http://nixpixdvdmovi...948-warner.html

Everything I've read claims the documentary is not actually present on ANY version of the blu-ray.  I'm wondering if the reviewer you referenced got confused by the fact that is LISTED on the back of the blu-ray as being included even though it isn't.  My copy was waiting for me when I got home (late) last night and, truth be told, I was more interested (like Eric) in popping it in to spot check what the movie looked like and I never thought to even check the special features.



#16 of 48 Rob_Ray

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Posted February 20 2013 - 03:53 AM

I received my US copy yesterday and though the documentary is listed on the back, it is nowhere to be found on the disc. Better hang onto your DVD. The transfer is lovely, with more information on the sides. The opening credit background is no longer cropped on the sides.

#17 of 48 ahollis

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Posted February 20 2013 - 05:18 AM

Received mine also yesterday and no documyary on Blu, though it is listed on the back.cover. Great piece of entertainment and very enjoyable transfer even if the source elements are not perfect.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#18 of 48 Matt Hough

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Posted February 20 2013 - 08:16 AM

After I read last week that the "By Myself" American Masters special was not going to be included on the Blu, I took out my DVD and watched it. No wonder it won Emmys! It's a superb overview of her life and career. I had seen it before, but I hadn't watched it in a couple of years and had forgotten how well done it was.

#19 of 48 ahollis

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Posted February 20 2013 - 03:53 PM

Damn Ann Miller never looked so good. "Shakin' The Blues Away" number blew me away.
"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#20 of 48 Ethan Riley

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Posted February 20 2013 - 04:50 PM

I received my US copy yesterday and though the documentary is listed on the back, it is nowhere to be found on the disc. Better hang onto your DVD. The transfer is lovely, with more information on the sides. The opening credit background is no longer cropped on the sides.

Okay, who do we sue. That's false advertising! Seriously--I'm gonna wait and find out what's going on before I buy it.
 

 






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