The Jolson Story (1946) coming on Oct 21st !

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Derek_McL, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Derek_McL

    Derek_McL Second Unit

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    This year is going to bankrupt me ! Columbia have three classic musicals coming on 21st October including The Jolson Story (1946), its sequel and an alright Fred Astaire/Rita Hayworth movie You'll Never Get Rich (1941). These appear to be bare bones but I'm not complaining when I can at last retire my worn out VHS copies of the Jolson biographies which I believe are among the very best musical biographies ever made.

    Here is a link to all the info : http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/index.cgi?page=News&id=4963
     
  2. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Jolson Story had a stereo track on all previous video released but it is only mono here. Columbia created this in 1954 when they still had seperate voice and orchestra tracks to work with. Too bad it wount be on the dvd.
    Columbia is still not giving us the good Astaire- Hayworth musical - YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER.
     
  3. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Like GONE WITH THE WIND, this film was blown up to 70MM proportions for a limited re-release in the early 1970's--which didn't much help the compositions--don't recall the resulting sound as seeming particularly stereophonic.
     
  4. Derek_McL

    Derek_McL Second Unit

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    Strange that all my soundtrack CDs from The Jolson Story appear to be mono and there is no indication on the VHS I have that its in stereo. A minor point for me really because I'm a big Jolson fan. Hopefully You Were Never Lovelier will be released soon.
     
  5. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    The laserdisc had both the stereo and mono tracks. And it wasn't fake stereo in the literal sense. Morris Stoloff (the original conductor) went in and recorded new orchestral tracks to lay under Jolson's original vocals.
    This was indeed done for the 1954 reissue, and later expanded upon for the British 70mm reissue that ended up playing the U.S. in the '70s.

    On the laserdisc, the stereo track sounds great, and I fear Columbia isn't including it only out of ignorance that it was somewhat genuine and not 're-channelled fake stereo'.

    Seems like the same studio-based ignorance that precluded Fox from issuing the widescreen version of THE BIG TRAIL.[​IMG]
     
  6. John KB

    John KB Second Unit

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    I got the dvd yesterday. Had a quick look and it seemed to me that there is a lot of speckles of dirt on the print.
    Anyone see any reviews for it yet?
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I'm working on my review for this on digitallyobsessed.com and it should be live in a couple days. But I'm pleased to report that although the case states that it's mono, it's definitely not. There is pronounced directionality throughout.
     
  8. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    How about "My Sister Eileen"???? Based on the musical play "Wonderful Town" now getting it's first Broadway revival.
     
  9. BruceKimmel

    BruceKimmel Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, the film "My Sister Eileen" has nothing to do with Wonderful Town, other than they're both musicals based on the play and book, My Sister Eileen. Wonderful Town has a score by Leonard Bernstein and Comden and Green, and the film of Eileen has a score and script by totally different folks (sorry, can't remember who).
     
  10. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a beautiful print and a great transfer. Eye-popping Technicolor and the rare stereo version.

    Columbia can be very hit and miss with their vintage releases but this one is a solid hit all the way.

    Yes, My Sister Eileen has a very complex history. First it was a book and then a Broadway play and then a 1942 movie with Rosalind Russell and Janet Blair. And then it was turned into a 1953 Broadway musical called "Wonderful Town" also starring Rosalind Russell. There was also a TV special of "Wonderful Town". Then, as Bruce has pointed out, there was an entirely new movie musical version with the original title released in 1955 that starred Janet Leigh and Jack Lemmon. Jule Styne wrote the music for this one and it was not one of his greatest scores. And then there was a short-lived TV series in 1960 which starred Elaine Stritch.

    And, as a sad footnote to all of this, is what happened to the real Eileen. The original book was a collection of stories written by Ruth McKenney based on real life adventures with her sister, Eileen. But on December 22, 1940 the real Eileen McKenney was killed in a car accident along with her husband, the famous novelist, Nathanael West. This accident occurred just 4 days before the original Broadway play opened. Ruth McKenney passed away in 1972, so she was able to see the long life of her original work unlike her sister Eileen.
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The sequel, Jolson Sings Again, unfortunately doesn't live up to the PQ of the original. Color is both faded and unstable, with skin tones flickering between pink and green. Also, this is indeed mono as the keepcase says.
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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