April Is Musical Month - More

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joe Caps, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

    Dec 10, 2000
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    The studios seem to have declared April musical month.
    Warners has five Judy Garland films and Sweeney Todd.
    MGM/UA has Garlands I Could Go On Singing and Man of La Mancha.
    Paramount is giving us Half a Sixpence and The Little Prince
    This morning, DVDfile announces that Fox is giving us Star (Julie Andrews), the long unseen Call Me Madam with Ethel Merman (great film) and Roxie Hart - the straight comedy version of Chicago and infinitely more fun.
    the only studios not contributing to this unofficial musical month is Columbia (where is You Are Lovelier) and Universal, which really needs to give us Flower Drum Song. Image was suppposed to come through with the Julie Andrews Cinderella, but no official announcement yet.
  2. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

    May 7, 2001
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    Joe... here is the WB press release.



    25 Years Later Great Sondheim Musical Is Still a Cut Above

    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

    Debuts on DVD April 20

    Acclaimed Video Presentation of Multi-Award Winning Broadway Smash Starring Angela Lansbury and George Hearn Joined by First-Time DVD Release of "The Last of Sheila"

    "This production of 'Sweeney Todd' beautifully captures the complete show and ranks as a landmark in the history of preserving musical theatre..."

    Ken Mandelbaum, Broadway.com

    Burbank, Calif., January 27, 2004 - On April 20, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince's acclaimed Tony®-Award winning Broadway musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Warner Home Video (WHV) will introduce to DVD the groundbreaking 1982 television version, which starred Angela Lansbury and George Hearn and won three Emmys® and three Cable Ace Awards®.

    Long noted as the first TV production to accurately translate the Broadway musical theatre-going experience onto the small screen, Sweeney Todd's original videotape and audio masters have now been restored and remixed and the DVD will be presented in widescreen with Dolby® 5.1 audio. George Feltenstein, WHV's Senior Vice President Classic Catalog, notes, "It was the multiple camera work and direction in this TV version that created the ground-breaking sense of intimacy and fluid movement. The genius of Sondheim's score, Harold Prince's phenomenal stage direction, and the amazing performances of Angela Lansbury and George Hearn are beautifully preserved in this outstanding production."

    Also making its DVD debut on April 20 is The Last of Sheila -- a complex Hollywood thriller written by Sondheim and actor Anthony Perkins (Psycho). It includes commentary from stars Richard Benjamin, Dyan Cannon and Raquel Welch. Sweeney Todd will sell for $24.98 SRP and The Last of Sheila will be available for $19.97 SRP.

    Stephen Sondheim has earned national acclaim during his five-decade career. Not only has he won seven Tony Awards® for his songwriting, he's been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Sunday in the Park with George and received both Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts. Known for skewed harmonies and densely literate lyrics, he's considered one of the most versatile artists of the theatre. Sondheim hit his stride in the '70s, forming an artistic partnership with producer/director Hal Prince (Company, Follies, A Little Night Music); together they were credited with reinventing the Broadway musical. Continued Feltenstein, "When it comes to musical theater of the last 40 years, there's Sondheim and then there's everyone else. His scores are true masterworks and Sweeney Todd...may well be his greatest achievement. While sadly, some original productions of his other hits -- like Company, Follies, and A Little Night Music -- are lost to the memories of those lucky enough to have seen them, we're fortunate that the producers of Sweeney Todd... had the foresight to preserve it for the ages. The WHV restoration from the original antiquated videotape masters makes Sweeney Todd...look and sound better than ever. Even people familiar with this production from earlier VHS and broadcast incarnations will be awed by the great improvement in picture and sound."

    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

    Starring Ms. Lansbury (Manchurian Candidate, Murder She Wrote), who won one of the original's eight Tony Awards®, and Mr. Hearn (Broadway's La Cage Aux Folles, Sunset Boulevard), this production was taped before a live audience at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in 1982 and was later shown on SHOWTIME and PBS. The original was the sensation of the 1979 Broadway season, winning its Tony® for Best Musical, Score, Book, Direction, Actor, Actress, Scenic Design and Costumes, along with nine New York Drama Critics Circle Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards.


    This macabre tale tells the story of Sweeney Todd (Hearn), a man unjustly imprisoned, who returns to London in 1846, determined to seek revenge on those who have destroyed his life. He acquires an ally in Nellie Lovett (Lansbury), a lusty woman who bakes some unexpected ingredients into the meat pies she sells.

    The Last Of Sheila

    A Hollywood "who dunnit" in the style of Agatha Christie, The Last Of Sheila was a collaboration of Mr. Sondheim and actor Anthony Perkins, winning them the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Mystery Film the year of its release. Directed by Herbert Ross (Steel Magnolias, The Goodbye Girl), the movie stars James Coburn (Magnificent Seven, Our Man Flint), James Mason (A Star is Born, The Verdict), Raquel Welch (Legally Blonde, Tortilla Soup), Dyan Cannon (Drop-Dead, Out to Sea, TV's Ally McBeal) and Richard Benjamin (My Favorite Year, Portnoy's Complaint, Goodbye Columbus). This witty complex thriller is an elaborate murder game which takes place on a Mediterranean cruise. What unfolds is a cleverly plotted mystery, where even the title is a clue!


    A year after his wife Sheila was killed by a hit-and-run driver, Hollywood kingpin Clinton Green (Coburn) hosts a cruise aboard his yacht for a group of friends who may know more about Sheila's death than they're letting on. He stages an elaborate murder mystery game with clues planted at each port-of-call along the way.

    Special Features include:

    Commentary by Richard Benjamin, Dyan Cannon and Raquel Welch
    Theatrical trailer
    Subtitles in English, French and Spanish

    DVD Details

    Street Date: April 20, 2004

    The Last of Sheila

    $19.97 SRP

    Rating: PG

    Run Time: 119 Minutes

    Sweeney Todd:

    The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

    $24.98 SRP

    Rating: n/a

    Run Time: 139 Minutes
  3. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter

    Nov 14, 2000
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    AAAIIGGGHHH!!! SWEENEY TODD was shot for television in 1980! It is, was, and ever shall be meant to be seen in a 1.33:1 ratio. Sigh.

    I'll have to buy it since it's one of my favorites, but doggone it, it ticks me off!
  4. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

    Jun 13, 1999
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    I really wish that Fox had included Peter Bogdanovich's 1975 musical flop-turned-cult-classic At Long Last Love in this release line-up. It seems like they are releasing other titles that were aligned at the time. I am dying to see this in widescreen. I taped a P&S version off of the Fox Movie channel last year, but the film has never even been released on VHS.

    Bogdanovich has been doing a lot of commentary tracks for his films on DVD, and most of his infamous movies are now out with the exception of this and "They All Laughed".

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