DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Busby Berkeley Collection (VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).

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  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    The Busby Berkeley Collection
    Footlight Parade / Gold Diggers Of 1933 / Dames / Gold Diggers Of 1935 / 42nd Street





    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1933 - 1935
    Rated: Not Rated
    Film Length: Various
    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Standard
    Audio: DD Monaural
    Color/B&W: B&W
    Languages: English
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish
    MSRP: $59.92 - Collection / $19.97 - 42nd Street
    Package: 6 individual discs/Keepcases





    The Feature:
    There's no secret that today's musical is all but dead (if one seeks reinforcement, look no further than the recent theatrical release of Rent). Sure, there have been a few exceptions along the way but for the most part, the golden days of the movie musical are long gone. One of the motion picture musical's most imaginative and prominent heroes was Busby Berkeley, a choreographer who knew a thing or two when it came to the genre. Warner Brothers is about to release a collection dedicated to the legendary choreographer, The Busby Berkeley Collection. The collection contains five films; Gold Diggers Of 1933, Dames (1934), Footlight Parade (1933), Gold Diggers Of 1935 (all new to DVD) and 42nd Street (1933), now housed in the preferred Keepcase. Also exclusive to the set is the three hour Busby Berkeley Disc. While 42nd Street will remain available individually listing at $19.97, the other content is exclusive to the boxed set which lists for $59.92.


    Footlight Parade (Lloyd Bacon - 1933)

    Chester Kent (played by James Cagney), is a stage musical director who turns into a prologue director when silent pictures go all talkie. Prologues are lavish musical numbers put on before and in between films, and Kent is the best in the business at them. After a chance purchase of Aspirin, Kent has an opportunity to sign a multi-theater deal and must rush out three ace prologues in three days. Keep in mind; this is all while dealing with his contemptible fiancée, Vivian (played by Carole Dodd), his loyal, loving assistant, Nan (played by Joan Blondell), two business partners who are ripping him off, and a spy in his dance company that is stealing his ideas. And then there are the two main leads that are falling for each other (played by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler).

    Footlight Parade is comprised of three main prologues that must win over the owner of the 40 theaters. All three are choreographed with precision by Busby Berkeley. In “Honeymoon Hotel,” he shamelessly hints at the (gasp) amorous happenings on one's wedding night, and in “Shanghai Lil,” you can see his deviant smile behind Cagney choosing the Navy over the woman he’s been looking high and low for. Most shocking is “By the Waterfall,” which casts a man’s dream of love and marriage as a group of lovely women, flirting and swimming near a magnificent waterfall. Cinematographer George Barnes and editor George Amy are consistently inventive in the way they shoot the musical numbers. In “By the Waterfall,” their dazzling ability with space is effective at distracting us from the fact that none of these could ever be put on any sort of stage. The film contains plenty of laughs, from start to finish. Director Lloyd Bacon and Berkeley collaborated on three other films, Wonder Bar, Gold Diggers of 1937 and 42nd Street.


    Dames (Ray Enright - 1934)

    Millionaire moral crusader Hugh Herbert wants to rid the world of filthy Broadway musicals. His sister and her husband (played by Zasu Pitts and the inevitable Guy Kibbee) hope to inherit the moralist's wealth, but their daughter (played by Ruby Keeler) is secretly dancing in a show and going out with a disreputable songwriter (played by Dick Powell) who is also a distant (and disowned) relation of the millionaire. So of course the crusader needs to be fooled somehow so that the lovebirds can sing and the show can go on. Meanwhile the show's star (played by Joan Blondell) puts Kibbee in a compromising position in order to blackmail him into backing the production.

    Whenever the saucy Blondell is on screen, the picture brightens up and fortunately, there's plenty of Powell and Keeler as well. And, when we finally get to the show, Berkeley manages to top anything he's done before. First there's a very interesting number called "The Girl at the Ironing Board" with Blondell as a laundress singing while ironing clothes, and the underwear and pajamas start to swing and move about to the music. In contrast to the usual glamour-girl approach, this production emphasizes ordinariness, and the combination of this is quite striking. Another number, "I Only Have Eyes For You", a beautiful song and an incredibly elaborate sequence in which chorus girls wear Ruby Keeler masks and at one point combine with signs to create a huge likeness of Keeler's face. The finale is "Dames," and here the routine, with girls creating geometric designs and kaleidoscope-type movements for Berkeley's trademark overhead camera, comes close to pure visual abstraction.


    42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon - 1933)

    Producer Abner Dillon (played by Guy Kibbee) is funding a new Broadway musical, "Pretty Lady." The star is Dorothy Brock (played by Bebe Daniels), who happens to be the sugar of sugar daddy Dillon. Dorothy's true love is Pat Denning (played by George Brent), as she tries to ward off the lecherous Dillon and keep Pat interested in her. Veteran Broadway notable Julian Marsh (played by Warner Baxter) is recruited to direct, despite chronic health and mental problems over depression and a reputation for being a tyrant. World-weary showgirls Lorraine (played by Una Merkel) and Annie (played by Ginger Rogers) are cast for the show, as well as starry-eyed newcomer Peggy Sawyer (played by Ruby Keeler) as a chorus girl. The leading man is Billy Lawlor (played by Dick Powell). The rather clichéd story has the temperamental Dorothy, twist her ankle the night before the opening, which forces Marsh to put in understudy Peggy. Marsh gives the anxious gal a Knute Rockne-like pep talk to succeed stating, "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" Peggy takes advantage of the break to go on to stardom. On the way to Peggy saving the show, there are some romantic entanglements, as Brent seeks out Keeler when he's more suited for Daniels and is not as well-suited for her as is the interested Powell.

    42nd Street is a delightfully energetic showbiz musical from Hollywood, that takes us backstage to witness the travails and glories of those in the acting business. It's directed by Lloyd Bacon and written by Rian James from Bradford Ropes' novel. Busby created numbers tailored-made for this film that exceeded the previous conventional limits. Through a spectacular mise-en-scéne and lively songs carried out by the superb cast, such numbers become unforgettable: "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me," "Shuffle off to Buffalo," "It Must Be June," and "Young and Healthy." Aside from the obvious (the music), the witty dialogue is the thing here. The Busby Berkeley splashy musical touches also add to the wonderful showbiz feel of the film.


    Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn Le Roy – 1933)

    Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon and Ruby Keeler play a trio of unemployed showgirls who are thrilled when producer Barney Hopkins (played by Ned Sparks) informs them he's about to start a new show. The problem is that he doesn't have a penny, but Brad Roberts (played by Dick Powell), a songwriter who is mad for Polly (Keeler) does, and lends Sparks $15,000 to get "Forgotten Melody" off the ground. The show goes into rehearsal, with Brad taking one of the roles, but the girls wonder if his money is clean, except for Polly, who just knows he's legit. In fact, he's the scion of a wealthy Beacon Hill family; however, his brother, J. Lawrence (played by Warren William), and a lawyer, Faneuil Hall Peabody (played by Guy Kibbee), arrive from Boston to put an end to Brad's frivolousness.

    Coming in between Lloyd Bacon's 42nd Street and Footlight Parade, Mervyn LeRoy's Gold Diggers of 1933 is the second in a trio of hugely successful Warner Bros. backstage musicals. Released by the studio within the same year, all three are perceived to be part of a return to box-office form for the reputedly ailing song-and-dance genre. While the celebrated Berkeleyesque vision of multi-populated, kaleidoscopic-like-set pieces links the three movies (along with slangy, street-wise dialogue, and the playfully vivid tunes by Al Dubin and Harry Warren), what distinguishes the narrative of Gold Diggers of 1933, in relation to the two Bacon-helmed works, is the absence of a strong, energetically charged central male figure – in the form of a Baxter or a Cagney.


    Gold Diggers of 1935 (Busby Berkeley - 1935)

    The 1935 sequel of sorts, features Busby Berkeley's debut as solo director (he previously only directed the dance numbers) and is for the most part a smashing spectacle consisting of screwball comedy, a satisfying love story, lavish sets, and elaborate song and dance numbers, "The Words are in My Heart," featuring rows of twirling white baby grand pianos, and the Oscar-winning showstopper sung by Wini Shaw and Dick Powell, "The Lullaby of Broadway". The comedy was a bit heavy-handed at times but it's excellent lighthearted escapist fare for a Depression audience, as they can laugh with delight upon seeing the wealthy being taken advantage of by their social inferiors.

    The film opens as the summer season begins for the elite at the seaside resort, Hotel Wentworth. It is quickly learned that everyone on the staff hopes to milk the rich guests for as much as they can. Hotel manager Louis Lamson (played by Grant Mitchell) explains to the staff that the hotel bends over backwards to serve their wealthy pampered guests and there are no wages; but, workers depend on tips which it's understood they'll split with their supervisors. Dick Curtis (played by Dick Powell) is the nice guy medical student earning money to pay for his education by being a desk clerk. His fiancée is the hostess, who won't marry him till he graduates and can provide for her. The plot centers around a tightwad multi-millionaire widow, Mrs. Mathilda Prentiss (played by Alice Brady) and her two grown children, the four times divorced Humboldt (played by Frank McHugh) and the bored and single Ann (played by Gloria Stuart), who are guests for the summer. Mathilda is interested in having her daughter marry the even richer eccentric T. Mosely Thorpe (played by Hugh Herbert).

    Ann tells her haughty and stingy mom that she wants to have fun this summer and buy a snazzy new wardrobe. Mom makes a deal that she can have fun this summer if she agrees to marry the scatterbrained Thorpe in the fall. After Ann agrees, mom takes a shine to Dick because he's a gentleman and seems honest. She talks him into taking the extra job for the summer of being Ann's chaperone and protector for $500. After talking it over with Arlene, he agrees and immediately goes on a shopping spree with Ann where he sings "I'm Going Shopping With You." She buys to her heart's content and tops it off by buying a $12,000 diamond bracelet, which causes mom to faint when she gets the bill. Soon they fall in love and surprisingly, Arlene has no problem with that, as she soon winds up finding love for herself.

    The Feature:
    Footlight Parade – 4.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Dames – 3.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    42nd Street – 4.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Gold Diggers Of 1933 – 4/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Gold Diggers Of 1935 – 3.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Video:
    Overall, the entire Collection looks good - very good. All of the titles are presented in their standard OAR of 1.33:1 and left this reviewer more than impressed and satisfied considering the age of these films. Starting with 42nd Street, (unfortunately I am unable to offer up a comparison to the previous version), I would presume this is the identical transfer. Still, it is very good. The image is, for the most part, well defined only appearing slightly soft occasionally. Black levels are better than average, given the vintage and contrast is fine. There is a moderate amount film grain present and the image is mostly stable with infrequent bouts of shimmer and jitter. Gold Diggers Of 1935 is similar in appearance only the image is slightly grainier. Marks and blemishes are slightly more noticeable here than other titles but still, this is a solid transfer.

    The nicest looking title among the collection is easily Gold Diggers Of 1933 which boasts stronger image definition than the two previously mentioned films. Grain is less apparent and the image sports fewer marks and blemishes. Dames and Footlight Parade run a close second in terms of the presentation with a slightly more coarse look and image detail that isn't quite as sharp. All of the titles suffer somewhat from a little bit of shimmer not surprisingly, given the age of the material.

    Overall, this is a great effort from the folks at Warner. It's doubtful we'll see these true classics ever look any better...!!

    Video:
    Footlight Parade - 4/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Dames - 4/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    42nd Street – 3.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Gold Diggers Of 1933 – 4.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Gold Diggers Of 1935 – 3.5/5 [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Audio:
    As I watched (well, listened) to this collection of films, I found each and every note relating to the audio to all be very similar - almost identical in fact, so rather than being repetitive, I'll sum up the audio portion of the review as a whole. All of the films are presented here encoded in their original monaural soundtracks. All of the tracks were basically clean and free of major noise or distracting pops. A very slight amount of hiss was sporadically evident throughout the entire collection however, given the age of the material, these are all on par with what we might and should expect. Never - during any of the films - was hiss a distraction.

    Dialogue was usually bold and clear and only occasionally was slightly on the thin side. Music sounded very good - and there's plenty of it. Don't expect much in terms of depth or dynamics considering the obvious limitations of the period.

    Given the period in which these were recorded, all of these tracks sounded fine with very little cause for concern.

    Audio: 3.5/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Special Features:
    WOW…! The special features located here are entertaining, highly informative and quite plentiful. The Collection looks like this:


    Footlight Parade
    [*] Footlight Parade: Music For The Decades is an informative little documentary which includes several film historians, directors, choreographers and authors (the same participants appear throughout various documentaries in the collection) who offer up a sizeable amount of information relating to musical writers Dubin & Warren. Also discussed is a brief history of utilizing Warner "tough guy", Cagney in a song and dance film, something the American public hadn't yet seen. Duration: 15:02 minutes.
    [*] Vintage Shorts feature is comprised of two Vitaphone shorts entitled Rambling 'Round Radio Row #8 - which showcases several musical numbers (9:50 mins) and Vaudeville Reel #1 which features several circus-like acts with various musical interludes, the highlight of which is a rather humorous piano solo - or attempt thereof. The latter is in excellent condition with terrific definition while the former is soft and somewhat rough, presentation wise (11:03 mins).
    [*] Two Vintage Cartoons cartoons have been included, they are: Young and Healthy and Honeymoon Hotel the first is a B&W short directed by Rudolf Isling (7:27), while the second is a colored short, directed by Earl Duvall about bugs who stay at the infamous, Honeymoon Hotel (7:21). It also marks the first Warner Brothers cartoon in color, a Merrie Melody produced in Cinecolor and looks very good if not just slightly washed out from a color perspective.
    [*] The Theatrical Trailer is also included and is in good condition however, much grainier than the film itself. Duration: 3:17 minutes.


    Dames
    [*] Busby Berkeley's Kaleidoscope Eyes feature the usual suspects who appear on documentaries elsewhere throughout the collection. This feature comes off as a biography as a number or directors, writers and historians go over Berkeley's history with Warner Brothers, Dames - the film itself as well as the numbers that appear in the film. Also discussed is Berkeley's departure at Warner and his new home studio at MGM afterwards. Duration: 11:49 minutes.
    [*] And She Learned About Dames is yet another vintage short (a promo-like piece) in which students at New York's Rovina Finishing School for Girls send their photographs to the makers of Claybury's Beauty Soap, in the hope of being chosen as "Miss Complexion of 1934." Martha Howson wins the contest, which includes a trip to Hollywood and a tour of the Warner Brothers lot with Lyle Talbot. When she gets to the studio, all she wants to do is meet 'Dick Powell' , star of the new Warner Brothers film, Dames. During her search for Powell, she (and the audience) get to see several scenes from that movie including a brief interview with Busby Berkeley himself. The short is in very good shape albeit heavy on grain. Duration: 8:52 minutes.
    [*] Two Vintage Shorts have been included here; Good Morning Eve and Melody Master: Don Redman and His Orchestra. In GME, Adam (Leon Errol) and Eve (June MacCloy) leave the Garden of Eden and stroll through history, stopping for production numbers in Rome with Nero and in England with King Arthur and include some nice vaudeville touches, like the hillbilly band in Rome. MMDRaHO (one of a series of Melody Master shorts), starts in a nightclub setting, where Don Redman and His Orchestra perform three songs, and one number is performed by singers/tap dancers 'Red' and Struggie. Both of these shorts look and sound terrific particularly GME, one of the first Three-strip Technicolor films ever produced. Duration: 18:58 and 10:09 minutes.
    [*] Also included here, two Vintage Cartoons; Those Beautiful Dames (Freleng) and I Only Have Eyes For You (Avery). Two interesting inclusions particularly the first Merrie Melody which plays out to a Warren and Dubin musical number, while I Only Have Eyes For You features the "Dames" number. Both of these shorts are in very shape, especially the latter. Duration: 6:53 and 8:04 minutes.
    [*] Up next is Direct From Hollywood Radio Promo which is a brief audio promo accompanied with various musical clips as well as Dick Powell who appears, to sing and promote the film. The audio is mostly clear with occasional pops. Duration: 11:30 minutes.
    [*] Any finally, the Theatrical Trailer has been included which is in great shape. Duration: 3:19 minutes.


    42nd Street
    [*] First up is a pair of text pages entitled, Cast & Crew and Coda which are self explanatory.
    [*] Harry Warren: America's Foremost Composer is a B&W Vitaphone short which feature songwriter Harry Warren who performs several of his own compositions, including "I Found a Million Dollar Baby" and "Shadow Waltz." Duration: 9:09 minutes.
    [*] Trip Through a Hollywood Studio is perhaps this reviewers favorite short among the collection which takes us on a virtual tour of the various Hollywood studios and a showcases a few of the studio stars. Duration: 10:06 minutes.
    [*] Next up is a Hollywood Newsreel and includes a potpourri of appearances involving Hollywood celebrities. The Columbia University football team, winner of the 1934 Rose Bowl game, visits the Warner Bros. Studios and is greeted by several stars; Margaret Lindsay, Guy Kibbee, and Dick Powell work at a gold mine; Joan Blondell, recovered from a recent illness, thanks her fans; songs from the movie Harold Teen (1934) are performed by the songwriters and the film's stars. The short is in excellent shape. Duration: 8:57 minutes.
    [*] Finally, the Theatrical Trailer is included and is in nice shape. Duration: 2:21 minutes.


    Gold Diggers Of 1933
    [*] 42nd Street: From Book to Screen to Stage discusses the screenplay and the concept that eventually made it way to the big screen. Also discussed is the studio's style and how Warner dealt with the musical genre. Considering the short mostly deals with 42nd Street, it would have been better suited on that disc, however, its inclusion - anywhere in the package - is appreciated. Duration: 18:01 minutes.
    [*] Gold Diggers: F.D.R.'s New Deal - Broadway Bound is another documentary relating to the feature film headed by film historian, Rick Jewell. The focus of this documentary deals with the time period in which the film was produced and the state of affairs in which the country was in during that time period. An interesting little feature putting much of the film, and its contents, in proper perspective. Duration: 15:35 minutes.
    [*] Next up, The 42nd Street Special is included which was a part of a publicity campaign for the film 42nd Street[/b] (1933), with the assistance of the General Electric Company, assembled a 7-car train they called "The 42nd. Street Special". With numerous Warner Bros. contract stars as passengers, the train made a tour across the USA. It was scheduled to make stops in more than 100 cities, ending in Washington, DC for the March 1933 inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This short film records the send-off for this trip in Los Angeles. Using a microphone set up on the rear platform of the last car, many celebrities addressed the crowd attending the event. Those making remarks include various performers, studio executives, and the mayor of Los Angeles. Duration: 5:44 minutes.
    [*] Two Vintage Shorts are included here entitled, Rambling 'Round Radio #2 and Seasoned Greetings in which the owner of an unsuccessful greeting-card store attempts to sell 'talking' greeting cards in the form of records - the feature includes stars Robert Cummins and a very young Sammy Davis Jr. Both Vitaphone shorts are in nice shape with the latter in slightly better condition. Duration: 9:10 and 19:46 minutes.
    [*] This segment includes three Merrie Melody Vintage Cartoons entitled, We're In The Money, I've Got To Go Sing a Torch Song and Pettin' in the Park. All three are in excellent condition with the latter being a bit heavy on hiss but it’s fabulous to see some early Bob Clampett animation. Duration: 6:43, 6:33 and 6:59 minutes.
    [*] The final segment includes a number of Theatrical Trailers including: 42nd Street (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933, Fashions of 1934, Wonder Bar (1934), In Caliente (1935) and finally Gold Diggers of 1937. Total Duration: 18:36 minutes.


    Gold Diggers Of 1935
    [*] The first feature is entitled, (buz'be bur'kle) n. A Study In Style is another documentary - similar in style to the other features on the set, that were created for this collection. There is a ton of information discussed here including Berkeley's imaginative style and the innovative kaleidoscope-type shots he made famous as well as props he used, costumes, use of space, camera angles and crane shots. A few shooting secrets are also revealed here. A very interesting and informative piece. Duration: 19:01 minutes.
    [*] Double Exposure is a terrific little short in which a very young paparazzi-like Bob Hope shows up in a funny performance. The short is in excellent condition. Duration: 19:33 minutes.
    [*] Two B&W Merrie Melody Vintage Cartoons have been included and upon selecting the segment, WB has interestingly included a warning reminding us that these shorts were a "product of their time". The shorts are Shuffle Off To Buffalo (Freleng) and Gold Diggers of '49 (Avery). While they certainly pushed the racial envelope (particularly the latter), I am absolutely ecstatic that these are presented here and offered up to WB animation aficionados who are interested in collecting these rarities, such as myself. Bravo, Warner Brothers...! Here's hoping for more of these buried treasures - perhaps even a collection of the other "controversial shorts". And on top of everything else, these look and sound terrific. WB animation fans are going to be delighted. Duration: 6:48 and 8:13 minutes
    [*] Up next is Direct From Hollywood Radio Promo which is another brief audio promo accompanied with music in which Dick Powell shows up to promote the film. The audio is mostly clear with occasional pops. Duration: 10:52 minutes.
    [*] And finally three Theatrical Trailers show up including Gold Diggers of 1935 (Domestic Trailer) as well as Gold Diggers of 1935 (Special Trailer - beauty contest) and finally Gold Diggers in Paris (1939). All of these look very good. Duration: 3:36, 3:15 and 2:28 minutes.


    The Busby Berkeley Disc
    [*] "One man. One Camera. Unlimited Magic." As if the special features that have been included aren’t enough, the collection comes with an exclusive disc showcasing the choreographer’s career highlights. This feature, originally produced for laserdisc in 1992, is an exclusive to The Busby Berkeley Collection. It contains almost two dozen complete musical numbers from nine Warner Brother's musicals of the 1930's. Some of the rarities included among the compilation are, "The Lady In Red" from In Caliente (1935) and "All is Fair In Love and War" from Gold Diggers of 1937. Needless to say an absolute must for fans of Busby and early musicals. Duration: 162:52 minutes.

    Simply, put - full marks. There is much more supplemental material here than this reviewer ever imagined and the inclusion of the exclusive Berkeley bio disc seals the deal. Outstanding.

    Special Features: 5+/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    **Special Features rated for the quality of supplements, not the quantity**



    Final Thoughts:
    After the advent of talkies, studios began churning out these plot-bare films with little or no creativity. But the genre no sooner took off, when it was almost dead again. Busby Berkeley changed that. With unparalleled talent and creativity, Berkeley would go on to revive the motion picture musical, kickstarting a genre that would stay strong for the next two decades. The legendary choreographer would work on virtually all of the great ‘30’s Warner musicals and receive three Oscar nominations for Best Dance Direction. While many studios tried to copy Berkeley’s style, none succeeded. Today, he remains an icon within American cinema and considered the ultimate motion picture musical choreographer.

    Given the success of the films – particularly in the context of their importance to Warner as a studio (similar are the Warner gangster films), this tribute to Busby Berkeley has been a long time coming, but like pretty much everything in life, good things come to those who wait. Given the age of these films, this collection looks and sounds amazing. As if the presentations weren’t enough to entice us, the discs are trimmed with a nice assortment of special features. Although we may only have entered March, one might be wise to consider this an early contender as one of the boxed sets of the year.

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5 (not an average)
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Very Highly Recommended...!!





    Release Date: March 21st, 2006
     
  2. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    i already knew this set was going to get rave reviews. i just pre-ordered it off amazon, so i shall get it by the end of next week. i can't wait![​IMG]
     
  3. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    Sounds great but, sadly, I don't see any mention of the promised surviving elements of GOLD DIGGERS OF BRAODWAY in Tehcnicolor. Ah well...looking forward to it anyway (but still kind of sad [​IMG]
     
  4. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    I think this was addresssed in the Warner chat (or perhaps somewhere else?). To my knowledge, Warner NEVER promised an inclusion of surviving excerpts from GOLD DIGGERS OF BROADWAY. It was fan-based wishful thinking that got printed and eventually turned into supposed fact.

    It didn't belong with these films anyway, as there is no Berkeley connection to the early picture, and the two films have hardly anything in common, except GOLD DIGGERS OF '33 is ever-so-loosely based on the same novel on which the '29 film was based.

    I just read a rave of this in the New Yorker, now more raves from Herb Kane and Robert Harris....How am I supposed to live without this set for the next 6 days?:wink:
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I pre-ordered this based on Crawdaddy's thread posting Warners Announcement, and this review just made me want to watch this even more! I love the old Vitaphone shorts, the ones on "Broadway Melody" from last year where great!

    Thanks for the fantastic review! I have to wait till the end of the month to get this, but fortunately I had Warners equally praised "Controversial Classics Vol. 2" arrive today to keep me occupied once I watch the last film in Warners equally enjoyable "Sam Peckinpaw Westerns Collection".

    Shouldn't I get shares in Warners by now?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Can't wait until mine arrives.

    The only title that I've seen is 42nd street and that was about 3-4 years ago, but I'm still singing "Shuffle Off To Buffalo" all the damn time!
     
  7. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    I can't believe they included the Busby Berkeley Disc!

    I had it on laser before I sold it when unemployed[​IMG]

    I'd pay the whole amount just for that one disc. It's great[​IMG]
     
  8. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    Nice.
    These movies are a lot of fun.
    Youth of America: Keep these classics alive.
     
  9. Pete York

    Pete York Supporting Actor
    Supporter

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    Boy, the HTF reviewers do a great job. Much appreciated.

    Anybody in the Manhattan area interested in owning this sooner rather than later might be pleasantly surprised if they happen to be browsing in the midtown BBY.
     
  10. Richard Matich

    Richard Matich Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the great review job as allways Herb Kane! It gets me exited about getting this set. That bonus disc will get some playing from me first thing. Another fantastic job by Mr Feltensien and the people at Warners. [​IMG]
     
  11. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Thank you Herb; much appreciated.

    There was a time several years ago when I wouldn't go within 10 miles of a musical. However I took a chance on "MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS" and "SINGING IN THE RAIN" and I instantly knew that I was short changing myself.

    Warners has made a convert of me with their excellently produced sets and since this release (and the DREAM FACTORY) release are essentially blind purchases, I look forward to experiencing these films for the first time.

    Thanks also to Warners for continuing to include the bonus cartoons, shorts, etc.

    Steve
     
  12. James D S

    James D S Screenwriter

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    I'm all over this set. Thanks for the review!
     
  13. Marc^H

    Marc^H Agent

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    According to DVD Savant, looks like the bonus "Busby Berkeley Disc" is missing "Goin To Heaven on a Mule" from WONDER BAR (it was on the laser disc compilation). Too bad--it's racist, yes, but its also a pretty spectacular musical number. The PC police strike again.
     
  14. Nick Eden

    Nick Eden Stunt Coordinator

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    Never seen Wonder Bar. But with the segment removal from the bonus disc, do people think it is now most unlikely that we will ever see Wonder Bar on DVD?
     
  15. Marc^H

    Marc^H Agent

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    Who knows if a DVD will ever surface--but it did come out on VHS long ago. Turner Classic Movies does show Wonder Bar, complete and intact, from time to time. Definitely seek it out--it's a wild movie, much more sinister in tone than the films in this boxed set.

    Hopefully the OTHER big number from that film, "Dont Say Goodnight", filmed inside a giant ocatgon of mirrors, is still on the Busby Berkeley Disc DVD (can anyone confirm?)

    So excited about this set. Cant wait to finally hear Footlight Parade without the god-awful audio that plagued the laserdisc.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Does anyone know if these titles are going to be sold individually?

    Amazon, Best Buy & Circuit City and DeepDiscountDVD all show the new 42nd Street with a 3-21 release date.

    However, while Amazon has the other four titles listed with release dates of 3-21, they also have no artwork which is unusual for Amazon at this late date. Also DDD, BB & CC have no listing at all for the other four titles.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Mike,
    I checked with three other etailers, DVDEmpire, Lasersedge and DigitalEyes and none of them have any of those titles listed for preorder except 42nd Street. Maybe, it's because 42nd Street has a prior dvd release with a snapper case that it's getting another individual release.

    So either it's a mistake on Amazon's part for listing them individually or the other etailers made a mistake by not listing them. The only other possibility is that it's an Amazon exclusive which is entirely possible.




    Crawdaddy
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks, Robert!

    I guess we'll find out soon enough.
     
  19. alistairKerr

    alistairKerr Stunt Coordinator

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    "Don't Say Goodnight" is indeed there - all 10 minutes 26 seconds of it!

    This is a "must-have" set for any self-respecting film buff - heaps of extras, including "making-of" featurettes, short subjects, vintage cartoons - another Warners triumph (thanks Mr Feltenstein!)

    Alistair
     
  20. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    you can only buy 42nd street separetley. george feltenstein at WB said they weren't selling the other titles separately because they want people to buy the whole set, just like the thin man collection.
     

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