DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Anything Goes

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    May 8, 2000
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    Anything Goes

    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1956

    Rated: NR

    Length: 106 minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 (approximate), anamorphically enhanced

    Audio: Mono, Dolby Digital 5.1

    Closed Captioned and subtitled in English

    Special Features: None

    Suggested Retail Price: $14.99 USD

    Release Date: September 27, 2005

    Bing Crosby’s 23 year run with Paramount ended with this Cole Porter musical comedy. Crosby and Donald O’Connor are two Broadway stars - old school and new - who are on the lookout for a talented leading lady for their new show. Of course, they both find the perfect star in Europe. Unfortunately, they each choose someone different. One chooses a graceful French dancer (Jeanmaire), and the other finds a talented American performer (Mitzi Gaynor). Of course, each is offered the role.

    On a cruise ship back to the states, all the characters come together. What ever will they do?

    Anything Goes pours in talented performers (Bing Crosby, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Jeanmaire, Phil Harris) and some great selections from the Cole Porter songbook (Anything Goes, I Get a Kick Out of You, You’re the Top, It’s De-lovely...), and other songs by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen... yet the resulting whole is less than the sum of its parts. The script is flat, the characters see little development... it all goes by-the-numbers. It goes to show you that the script is the glue that holds a film together.

    Crosby and O’Connor deliver good performances, with energetic song and dance numbers from start to finish. The musical numbers are some of the most memorable Cole Porter songs. This musical is worth your time for the song and dance numbers, but nothing more.

    The Transfer
    Presented in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1, this transfer is anamorphically enhanced.

    The source print is nice and clean, given its age. The transfer is bright and shows good contrast. Black levels are strong, and there is good detail in the shadows. Colors are bright, true and well saturated.

    Other than a very slight touch of softness and some very mild ringing, this is a beautiful transfer.

    The audio is presented in both mono and Dolby Digital 5.1. Both offer nice frequency response, while the 5.1 track opens up the music across the front soundstage, while making little use of the surrounds.

    Special Features
    There are no special features.

    Final Thoughts
    I love the Cole Porter tunes, and watching Crosby and O’Connor sing and dance is always worthwhile. But that’s all that’s worthwhile in this so-so musical.
  2. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

    Apr 23, 2002
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    It should be noted that this film version has absolutely zero to do with the Broadway show of the same name, except for the handful of Porter songs retained from the original.
    The other Porter tunes are interpolated from different shows, along with the new songs you mentioned.

    Marginally pleasant,I dont think this was ever on anyone's list of alltime faves.
    Again, i'm curious as to how certain titles make it to
    dvd, while others languish in the vault.
  3. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

    Jul 30, 2000
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    I can think of DOZENS of more worthy musicals not yet available going back even to 1929(!) that would be of far more value and interest to musical fans. To me the only redeeming part of this movie is Mitzi Gaynor, but it's still a very ho-hum kind of film--and perfect ammo for those who say they can't stand musicals! With this kind of selection I can rather sympathize.

  4. ChrisPearson

    ChrisPearson Second Unit

    Nov 19, 2004
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    Me too, but in fairness to Paramount, they are only able to release what little they own, having unwisely sold off most of their pre-1950s library years ago. On a Clear Day and L'il Abner both came out this year courtesy of Paramount, and they are both fairly well-regarded musicals.

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