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My Fair Lady 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 17, 2014.

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  1. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    Sometimes I hate living in West Virginia. The closest showing is HOURS away. This is a film I've always wanted to see on a big screen. Oh well.
     
  2. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    Re Deborah Kerr's vocals in THE KING AND I:

    The score to The King And I was fashioned for the limited vocal abilities of Gertrude Lawrence (portrayed by the more vocally talented Julie Andrews in STAR!). It was the only show written by these men in response to a request from a star, who arranged a special screening of ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM for R&H. Many years ago I read a biography of Deborah Kerr which quoted her many times. I recall her stating that the songs were a mixture of her and Marni Nixon and that at times even she couldn't tell when the voices switched. (Rita Moreno was dubbed in the same manner by Leona Gordon). As I recall, she felt that most of 'Whistle a Happy Tune' was mostly her (although she could have been wrong). I am looking for a copy of this book at present.

    One can clearly hear Kerr's voice speaking "It's a very ancient saying.....by your pupils you'll be taught" at the beginning of 'Getting To Know You' and then saying the song's title. (The main melody was originally written for SOUTH PACIFIC with the title 'Suddenly Lucky'- it was replaced with 'Younger Than Springtime' at the request of a dissatisfied Joshua Logan). Kerr also has much input into the deleted song (which was filmed, as was 'I Have Dreamed' which was filmed twice) 'Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?' (egs. 'Your servant! Your servant! Indeed I'm not your servant......). Indeed she does the majority of the number in a 'speaking/singing' manner not unlike Rex Harrison in MY FAIR LADY. Certain words/lines go back and forth between her and Marni Nixon. It was a great pity that this song was cut and the footage undiscovered (though I am sure someone out there has it). I believe if you listen carefully you can hear her in parts of all of her songs- less so in numbers like 'Hello, Young Lovers' but I think it's her singing 'I've been in love like you'. I will report further when I locate a copy of the biography by Eric Braun. THE KING AND I is my (equal) favourite film musical with CAROUSEL and I am a film buff largely due to watching its first Melbourne TV screening (in black and white) in 1970 at age 11. (It was the first movie broadcast in colour on Channel 9 in 1975, on the day colour broadcasting commenced) I tend to trust my memory re facts I have read about these particular musicals.

    Re the MY FAIR LADY screenings, I am hoping a cinema such as The Astor in Melbourne acquires a 4K edition of the restored version and screens it soon. They were the only cinema in Melbourne to play the 70mm restoration in the '90's (and kept playing it in later years when-sadly- most of 'Just You Wait' was missing). I still wish Betty Wand had been called upon to dub (most of) Audrey's vocals in MFL. It would have sounded more believable. Kerr's dubbing by Nixon is one of the best in movie history as their voices have a similar timbre to them. With the late Carlos Rivas also being dubbed, KING is right behind SOUTH PACIFIC and WEST SIDE STORY as one of the most dubbed musicals on film. I believe every one in CAROUSEL and OKLAHOMA! does their own singing (even Rod Steiger, who was up against Gordon MacRae. Gloria Grahame's songs had to pieced together from many takes but sound fine nonetheless).

    By the way, do the R&H fans know that Anna May Wong was originally cast as Madame Liang in FLOWER DRUM SONG but couldn't do the role due to health issues? What a great final comeback film that would have been for her (I don't think she ever got over not being cast in THE GOOD EARTH, for reasons which I think were more racist than box-office- as Paul Muni was European there were perceived problems re portraying them as husband and wife on screen!). I don't know if she could sing or would have needed a voice double. Juanita Hall was great and practically sole the movie, but if Wong had been cast it REALLY would have been the first all-Asian film shot in Hollywood (apart from the bit part of the mugger). Not in the same class with the top 5 R&H's, it nevertheless has a good score and was nicely shot in Panavision by Russell Metty and should be released on Blu Ray (along with the somewhat more flawed but enjoyable 1962 STATE FAIR)
     
  3. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Yes, Anna May Wong had health problems that prevented her from committing to "Flower Drum Song" - she actually passed away before the film was released. Her last major movie role was in 1960's "Portrait in Black" with Lana Turner.
     
  4. Roger Grodsky

    Roger Grodsky Stunt Coordinator

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    "The score to The King And I was fashioned for the limited vocal abilities of Gertrude Lawrence (portrayed by the more vocally talented Julie Andrews in STAR!). It was the only show written by these men in response to a request from a star, who arranged a special screening of ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM for R&H."


    I slightly disagree with Lionel. Other than the fact that the score contains several "talk/sing" numbers that were coming into vogue at the time, I would say that Anna's songs soar as much as the usual R&H numbers. I would say that the boys were depending on Lawrence's charisma and charm to carry the day (if not the tune) and they were proven correct.


    I guess the performer is not the most reliable source as far as dubbing goes (as Rosalind Russell said in her autobiography regarding "Gypsy," "Believe me, it's all Roz!"). In spite of a lot of the discussion here, I think that Marni Nixon did a pretty amazing job of imitating these gals.


    Also, wasn't it Mary Martin who brought them the idea for "The Sound of Music?"
     
  5. marknyc

    marknyc Agent

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    "Many years ago I read a biography of Deborah Kerr which quoted her many times. I recall her stating that the songs were a mixture of her and Marni Nixon and that at times even she couldn't tell when the voices switched. (Rita Moreno was dubbed in the same manner by Leona Gordon). As I recall, she felt that most of 'Whistle a Happy Tune' was mostly her (although she could have been wrong)."

    As someone who has made the research of dubbing my second job for the past few years, I can say that this is absolutely not true. Christopher Plummer makes the same false claim about TSOM in his autobiography.

    Deborah does not sing a note in the film. She speaks the opening lines of "Getting To Know You" and speaks much of "Shall I Tell You" but never sings - never. She certainly sings none of "Whistle". Not a note.


    Rita Moreno had at most only a couple of notes dubbed in the film.
     
  6. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Supporting Actor

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    Will show this on my big screen next summer!
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    They did let him record the vocals for "Edelweiss" but decided Bill Lee sounded better. He did, however, do his own singing in An American Tail.
     
  8. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Anna in "The King and I" is an adaptable role. Gertie Lawrence, for whom the show was originally tailored, had an average voice, but her final Broadway replacement Patricia Morison, was a truly spectacular musical theatre soprano. It's a role that can easily be played by any number of actresses because the songs can, in a pinch, be ACTED instead of sung. In the 90's, Hayley Mills played Anna, and like Ms Lawrence, carried off the role through sheer charisma rather than musical ability.
     
  9. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    "All of the first four stage musicals Oscar and I wrote together began with a story idea, which then suggested certain performers suitable for various parts. THE KING AND I completely reversed the process. For the first time in our career, a project was submitted by someone who wanted to play the leading role......What also bothered us was that while we both admired Gertrude (Lawrence) tremendously, we felt that her vocal range was minimal and that she had never overcome an unfortunate tendency to sing flat" (p. 270, MUSICAL STAGES by Richard Rodgers)

    "Though I had known all along her singing would be a problem, I also knew..Gertrude Lawrence had a radiance which could light up an entire stage. ....Taking no chances though, I was careful to write songs for her that were of relatively limited range...while saving the more demanding arias and duets -'We Kiss in A Shadow','Something Wonderful'- for those singers whose voices could handle them" (p.273, MUSICAL STAGES by Richard Rodgers)

    "The plum part of the indomitable governess in THE KING AND I then fell into (Deborah Kerr's) lap and those who had seen the late Gertrude Lawrence create the part on Broadway did not feel too cheated (though Kerr's singing voice was part-dubbed)" (p. 307, THE GREAT MOVIE STARS-THE INTERNATIONAL YEARS by David Shipman)

    "Mary Martin ...had just seen a German-language film THE TRAPP FAMILY SINGERS,and (she and her husband and Leland Hayward) were all agog over its stage potential. But initially they envisioned it as essentially a dramatic play, featuring authentic Trapp family songs with one new number by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Oscar and I saw the picture...but we disagreed with their concept" (p.299, MUSICAL STAGES by Richard Rodgers)

    "...(Rosalind) Russell had to carry the weight of the musical score (of GYPSY) and it was painfully obvious that she could not cut it. Several voice doubles were considered ,including Rose Marie (THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW) before Broadway performer..Lisa Kirk was brought in. .... Kirk... had to limit her own significant vocal abilities to create a voice that would be believable as Russell's. One song in the finished film, 'Rose's Turn', is a combination of Kirk and Russell's voices, whereas another song, 'Mr Goldstone', is completely Russell herself" (Liner notes, George Feltenstein, Rhino CD soundtrack for GYPSY)

    Rosalind Russell told a 'half-truth' in her autobiography. She recorded the songs (available on the RHINO CD with the completely Kirk version of 'Rose's Turn' ,released on the LP soundtrack) but much of her work was replaced. Going by the out-take of 'Together', this was also all Roz. Interestingly, Marni Nixon aided Natalie Wood with some of her notes in 'Little Lamb'. Otherwise, all of Wood's numbers were sung by Wood herself.
     
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  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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  11. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Yes that's a good sign. I'm sure the release date won't be far off from being added to the product page.
     
  12. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    That's great news, Mike! Even with our lousy rate of exchange, that $27.99 might be just affordable for me, provided our Canadian $ doesn't keep dropping! :)


    Still listed as currently unavailable on Canadian Amazon, silly beggars! :rolleyes:


    CHEERS! :)
     
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  13. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Some of Audrey's rehearsal vocals do sound better than what was released on the DVD esp "Loverly".


    Audrey filmed "Loverly" to her own track - so there was a master track used for this song. It may be lost or it may still exist.


    Marni Nixon also says that Audrey filmed more of the score with her own voice. "Show Me" was a combination of both and that Hepburn came back and re-recorded it after it was filmed. In the end Audrey was told her voice would be replaced on many of the numbers she already filmed. The movie was filmed in order so by the time "Show Me" was completed the only song left was "Without You" which may have been filmed with Hepburn's vocals


    With some help from auto tune type programs and a little dubbing Audrey's singing could successfully be added to an alernate track of the film.


    Kerr did not sing a note in "The King and I" and Roz did record all of "Gypsy" but in the end was dubbed on many of the songs. Natalie's voice wasn't dubbed by Marni Nixon in "Gypsy' Those few notes belong to another dubber's voice
     
  14. Allansfirebird

    Allansfirebird Supporting Actor

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    Does this mean that those who've already preordered will get that as the price, and not the $39.99 price previously offered?
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes, the $39.99 is the MSRP so the final sale price was bound to drop before its release date.
     
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  16. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    While I adore Deborah Kerr as Miss Anna...Maureen O'Hara, who had a lovely soprano singing voice, longed to play her in the film. But Richard Rodgers apparently objected to her casting because he thought she was only good for swashbucklers! What might have been....!


     
  17. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Cinematographer

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    That current $27.99 is the lowest it's been ... it's the price I bought at more than a year ago. So anyone prevaricating .. jump right in now!
     
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  18. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I'm still hoping that Amazon Canada moves it's bloomin' arse, and sets up a pre-order soon, hopefully, at a decent price point, so I don't have to worry about our CAN/U.S. exchange rate! :rolleyes:


    CHEERS! :)
     
  19. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    Except that this time last year our $$ was "blooming" and now it's falling through the floor!
     
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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Prevaricating, Anthony? Ain't no prevaricating going on here.. :D
     
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