Opinions Wanted: Show Boat; Calamity Jane; Annie Get Your Gun

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_Scott, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    also The Pajama Game -
    looking for all around opinions on these.
    never seen any of them before.
    i'm not a huge musical fan, but i can enjoy a good one and would like to have some more in my collection.
    i really wish the Rodgers & Hammerstein Fox titles were getting remastered but they aren't so i'm casting my net elsewhere.
    a/v quality is just as important as entertainment value.

    also feel free to offer any other suggestions for pre-1970 musicals on disc.
     
  2. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Uggh, don't buy Show Boat. The 51 MGM remake is just dull as a musical can be, even with Ava Gardner. Actually, I'm not a big fan of Kathryn Grayson -- she had a pretty upper body and a pretty voice, and nothing else.

    I don't know what you have in your collection, but you can't go wrong with The Harvey Girls, Annie Get Your Gun, On The Town, American In Paris, Gigi, all the MGMs. The Pajama Game is pretty fun, too.

    Calamity Jane isn't really very good, but it does have that unusual twist (read: lesbian) for 1953.
     
  3. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    If you like Rodgers and Hammerstein you will like "Annie Get Your Gun" they produced the original stage version.
    The DVD looks incrediable - beautifully restored for this release.

    "The Pajama Game" is also very well made and a lot of fun also a very good looking DVD.

    The 1936 version of "Show Boat" directed by James Whales (Frankenstein) is the best of the Show Boat films, the MGM remake has some nice things in it, but I'd wait for the 36' version (Though it is in Black and White)

    Most MGM 50's musicals were pretty good "Gigi" "Kiss Me Kate" (Coming in April) "Singing in the Rain" and "An American in Paris" also "on The Town" (Though many of the shows song were cut from the film)

    I'd start with "Annie Get Your Gun" if you like it try "Pajama Game" both DVD have deleted songs in the supplements.

    I've never seen "Calamity Jane" but do know it was made due to the success of "Annie Get Your Gun" Most of these titles are available for under $15.00
     
  4. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    TCM has occasionally shown James Whale's version
    of Show Boat and it is fantastic!

    Wish it was on DVD....


    Mark
     
  5. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Try the Rodgers and Hammerstein dVDs - I thought they were prety good. Since I dont have anamorphic tv, it doesn't matter to me whether they are anamorphic or not.
    All the R and H musicals never looked or sounded so good as they do on the DVDs. There are complaints, righly so about some flicker in some shots in Oklahoma. When the THZ people worked on this for laser (same master as DVD) they worked to get some of this out. The problem was that one of the Todd AO cameras had a shutter problem and the flicker is built into the picture.
    Fox doesn't want to remaster these titles because it cost thema fortune to do carousel and King and I from 55mm and South Pacific and Oklahoma from 70mm.
    I would like to see South Pacific done from the UNCUT version. (the film is missing about 17 minutes of footage, much of which I found backin 1991.)
     
  6. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i may have to pick up carosuel or Oklahoma from Columbia House just to satisy my curiosity.
    unfortunately i have a pj, and like to blow up widescreen movies so i don't see the bars.
    hard to get a large image that isn't filled with artifacts and digital grit from a non anamorphic 2.35 disc.
    i had to turn around and sell MGMs The Great Escape and Force 10 From Navarone right after i bought them because they were totally unwatchable on my set-up.
    what hurts is that i saw a PBS special on one of the composers last year and it was in 16:9 format so i'm asuming it was created for hi-def broadcasts.
    they showed the opening to Oklahoma and it looked absolutely stunning.
    like it had been filmed last week.
    i had been hoping that Fox had remastered the film in HD and was going to be putting out remastered anamorphic discs.
    oh well.

    maybe Chicago will be enough of a success on disc to make them reasses these.
     
  7. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    I echo Joe Caps--the 51 SHOW BOAT is completely inauthentic and should be passed over for the 1936 version which was based directly on the Broadway original and has a cast full of classic performances.

    Pajama Game is also quite authentic--with the entire Broadway company with the exception of Doris Day at the height of her talents and abilities.

    Calamity Jane I consider a better movie than Annie Get Your Gun mainly due to my preference for Miss Day over the terminally over-the-top Betty Hutton-although I'm told the Technicolor in the current Annie release is worth looking at.
     
  8. Kenneth_C

    Kenneth_C Second Unit

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  9. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Show boat is missing the stereo track created for the LD.

    Calamity Jane has color registration issues.

    Pajama Game is very good.

    Warning: The quality of the R&H musicals S**K, Non-anamorphic, which doesn't mean anything of itself, but you will need Zoom Player or TheaterTek with ffdshow to get a presentable picture out of any of them.

    South Pacific: Soft, with combing artifacts.
    Carousel: Very Soft.
    Oklahoma: Focus problems, image goes in and out of focus, looks the original 65mm element was warped.
    King and I: Soft.
    Sound of Music: Bad EE.

    Ted
     
  10. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  11. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I truly think that if you arent a musicals person,
    you should try PAJAMA GAME.
    It is less corny than SHOWBOAT for one thing. (I love it, even this 51 version, but...it is very romantic and not for everyone's taste)
    ANNIE GET YOUR GUN has a very broad perormance by Betty Hutton that some find overthetop.
    CALAMITY JANE is a fave, though.
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Why do I love you?
    Why do you love me?


    Out of the titles you list, Show Boat is the clear standout. As has already been suggested, the 1936 version is the standard. It is worth searching for the LD (or even getting the tape) to listen to Paul Robeson sing Ol’ Man River

    Here we all work on the Mississippi,
    Here we all work while the white man plays
     
  13. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I have always enjoyed the 1951 "Showboat", as I believe it has a much more believable ending than the earlier sound version.
    (But where on earth did Kathryn Grayson get that hideous New Years Eve Dress from?)

    From a highly critical point of view it is probably not as good as the 36 version, but if I had a choice of viewing one, I would always choose the 51 version first.

    The Movie urgently requires a new DVD make over.
    The present Warner DVD is only a repackaged version of the very early MGM DVD release, full of ugly artifacts and missing the wonderful Magnetic Stereo soundtrack that was featured on the ShowBoat Laserdisc Box Set.

    I would like to see Warners re visit it sometime soon.

    Annie Get your Gun (along with 51's Showboat) is in my all time top 10 Musicals list, regardless of Betty Hutton's usual over the top performance ( if only Doris Day had been available, or had Judy Garland been in good shape)

    The Pajama Game and Calamity Jane are both very enjoyable Musicals.
    The Calamity Jane DVD has a lot of Technicolor registration problems and tends to be a bit inconsistant quality wise, while The Pajama Game has a truly gorgeous Anamorphic transfer and other than missing the rare Stereo tracks that I believe did exist at some point, the overall disc is spendid.

    All of the Widescreen Rodgers and Hammerstein Fox Musicals urgently need new Anamorphic transfers and should not be considered in their present form.

    Let's hope that Universal considers The Flower Drum Song shortly.
     
  14. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    wow,
    well thanks for all the info- especially the specifics.
    i bought three of the titles over the weekend, but never opened them and will probably take them all back.
    for some reason i had the music from AGYG in my head and couldn't get it out, but now i remember seeing a scene with Hutton, and if she plays the the whole movie at that pitch, i think i'd rather avoid it. ( i remember Thats Entertainment 3 had the outtakes with Garland which looked charming, maybe i'll just wait for that).
    still intrigued by Show Boat, but i may just wait for a remaster (propably not anytime soon i realize), or maybe tape it off tcm first and see if i like it.

    still may keep Calamity Jane, since i picked it up cheaper than the others. i can probably live with the reg. problems.

    sounds like Pajama Game may be one try.
    i think Columbia house carries it, so i'll probably order it there.
    still a real shame about the R&H's...
     
  15. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Before you take Annie Get Your Gun back, I'm reminding you that there are two scenes in the features starring Judy Garland, who was fired immediately after filming the two scenes.

    I actually like Betty Hutton, she has a kind of wild energy that no one else in show business possessed. The songs with her are not as good as her acting in the scenes.

    Betty is actually the lead in my particular favorite comedy, "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek," which will be on DVD later this year.

    Show Boat is a glorious show, and I hope I didn't deter you from it. The 1936 movie does feature some of the original Broadway cast from 1927 (though by no means all) and it is a fine version. The 1951 MGM version has lovely color, and it is sung well. But the DVD for this version isn't the best, and the 1936 version doesn't exist on DVD yet. Best to wait for Show Boat.

    As to Calamity Jane, I adore Doris Day overall (particularly for her comedies about 10 years later) but I don't love this movie -- in particular I think the score is second rate, and the DVD isn't the best, either.

    By the way, I work in musical theater.
     
  16. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I work in musical theater too.
    And i love CALAMITY JANE. I love Doris Day.
    She is one of my all time faves

    This is a highly subjective apples and oranges thing.

    Oh, and DeeF, i agree, MIRACLE OF MORGANS CREEK,
    is a fantastic comedy. I can't wait for a release.
     
  17. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Paul,

    before you take back "ANNIE GET YOUR GUN" - Doris Day was passed over for "Annie Get Your Gun" (which is why she made Calamity Jane) After viewing the Garland scenes on the DVD it's clear she wasn't up to the role. Betty Hutton steals the film.

    I would suggest you keep "Annie" the songs are great, the film has lots of horse/gun shooting acts that are done with a vast amount of skill, and the film is quite funny. Hutton was playing a loud backwoods girl which may explain why she seemed over the top, (She has her quiet moments too "They say it's Wonderful," "The Girl That I Marry" which are effective) I think "Annie" is one of the best MGM films to come out of MGM during the 50's.
     

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