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We Need More Musicals !!! (1 Viewer)

BarryR

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L'IL ABNER is perfect for widescreen DVD glory; I have to make do with the P & S video. A good handful of the cast is still with us (including the incredible Julie Newmar); what a fascinating SE it could be. Future TV star Valerie Harper is even among the dancers!
 

Derek M Germano

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I think L'IL ABNER was going to be a pan and scan Laserdisc, when Paramount realized that they couldn't sell it pan and scan, it got cancelled.
 

Greg_M

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"Li'l Abner" is on top of my wish list. I saw a restored print in New York in the early 90's and the film looked brand new. Besides Valarie Harper, Beth Holland who was Vera on the tv show "Alice" plays one of the the wifes.

Doug,
The rights to "Porgy and Bess" were up for sale. MGM/UA was going to release the film but their rights to certain Goldwyn titles would expired this year. They didn't want to put out the money to restore the film for such a short release window. A few people around town were even approached to work on it. I heard the rights to P&B are to expire this year so the film may be picked up by one of the studios.

"Call Me Madam" was apparently offered to FOX but the guys at FOX hadn't heard of the film and assumed no one else had either, = low sales.

VHS rights to "A Chorus Line" are owned by MGM/UA but I heard they didn't own the DVD rights.

Since "Kiss Me Kate," "Bells are Ringing" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie' were recently brought to Broadway, one who think there would be enough demand for DVD releases, but apparentely not.
 

BarryR

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I alway thought that each studio should have their equivalent of a "Classic Hollywood" line so that it can be marketed on its own terms. This way alot of dubiously commercial (except to us) titles could at least be released with a profitable niche audience in mind. Inevitably maybe this will happen, and the vaults will be happily looted. :)
 

Doug Bull

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Any chance MGM could revisit "GUYS AND DOLLS" and "HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS" and give them new Anamorphic Transfers?

These are two titles that I didn't purchase, because I refuse to buy non 16x9 Discs of Widescreen Movies.

Does a Stereo track exist for "Business"?

Also it must be just about time that Fox did some restorations on the Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals.
If they could do it for Marilyn, then surely those ever popular, money making, blockbuster Musicals are deserving of a facelift and a decent release.
 

Rain

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I completely forgot to mention the flat version of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS in my post up above. Hopefully Warner will do right by SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS and release a collector's edition of the film with both versions in 16:9 enhanced wide screen...
Based on the documentary that's on the current disc, I believe the flat version was composed for 1.37:1. (Was it not?)
Funny, I was just thinking this very thing the other day--why not release both as a SE?
However...given the fact that (I don't think) the flat version was ever used, I'm not sure it is even still in existence.
The existing DVD could definitely be improved upon and I'd upgrade in a heartbeat.
As for Meet Me in St. Louis, I was under the impression that Warner(?) was working on this title for release later in the year or early next...I'm sure I saw something about this at The Digital Bits.
 

PatrickL

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As for Meet Me in St. Louis, I was under the impression that Warner(?) was working on this title
Thanks; that's encouraging. I just looked at the digitalbits archive and found the mention.

I'm also remembering that someone (in the theatre biz) had told me that Bells Are Ringing was forthcoming.
 

Doug Bull

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Rain,
"Seven Brides" was made at a time when not all theatres were fitted for Anamorphic Cinemascope projection.
To get the most out of the box office numbers and for insurance, just in case Cinemascope was a failure, some studios shot both flat and scope versions of the same movie.

Widescreen had become all the rage at this time and a lot of theatres installed Widescreens, but not Cinemascope equipment, so those movies shot flat were usually projected with the Projector's gate plate masked at about 1.85:1.

I would imagine that although the flat versions of both Seven Brides and Brigadoon were most likely shot at 1.37:1, the Director/Cinematographer would have made allowances on top and bottom of the image for any probable masked widescreen projection.
Sometimes larger frame bars were printed on the film itself for Widescreen exhibition.

It's my guess that the flat Seven Brides was possibly printed and released with large frame bars at around 1.66:1 to 1.85:1, because the Laserdisc's flat version looks to be perfectly framed at about 1.85:1.

Maybe some one else knows the answers.

It is interesting to look at both versions of 7Bf7B and see the differences.
eg. The "Bless your Beautiful Hide" number was shot at different times of the day, because one version was obviously filmed around noon, with short shadows and the other version late in the afternoon, because of the late afternoon coloring and the longer shadows.
There are differences in Jane Powell's arm movements and facial expressions during "Wonderful Wonderful Day" and some of the of the "Spring Spring Spring" shots are a lot different.
Other numbers, including the big dance number appear to have been shot with both Cameras side by side.
Some of the background visuals during the main titles are reversed on each edition for some mysterious reason.

Until an Anamorphic DVD is released, the Original Flat Version which was released (along with the scope version) very late in the life of Laserdiscs, is in my opinion, by far the visually prefered version.
 

Greg_M

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PatrickL

It would be great to see "Bells are Ringing" on DVD. The film is in need of major restoration but it seems highly doubtful it would get it. The letterboxed laserdisc had hardly any color.
 

Brandon Gantt

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MAME
I know it isn't very highly regarded but it does have it's fans. It would be great to finally see it in widescreen.
 

BarryR

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The movie version of MAME would set back the cause of musicals on DVD, I'm afraid. :D
 

Joe Caps

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In reply to Doug bull - Guys and Dolls needs a new master period - check out the thx laserdisc - great color and okay sound - the dvd looks and sounds terrible.
How to Succeed had ONE stereo print made for the opening in New York - that print had one extra number - the Coffee Break - early in the run the number was cut (to make more time for the rockettes!) and the film went out to the rest of the country cut and in mono. NOthing exists from this version- have to say that the color and sound on How to Succeed is better thatn the laser and well worth getting.
 

Jefferson

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Joe, the cut version of Darling Lili (Paramount?)that is playing on cable was cut by Blake Edwards himself and rumor has it that the original will never again be made available, as he does not like it......(rats! I love the original).

From MGM:
I vote for the 3D (or even the flat)version of Kiss Me Kate....
also Meet Me in St Louis, and The Pirate,
and the musical version of Goodbye Mr. Chips

From Fox:
A special edition of Fox's 1967 Doctor Dolittle with the missing numbers, "Something In Your Smile" and "Where Are the Words".
The ToddAO version of Hello,Dolly (which is supposed to have the ToddAO credit over the shot of the train engine and bell clanging).

And "thank you very much' the 1970 musical, Scrooge.

And finally, from Paramount, yes, to Half a Sixpence.....as noted in other posts, very underrated, charming, one of a kind, and my favorite song title, "Flash Bang Wallop".
 

Kelly V

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A Big second for "Lil' Abner" on DVD. I just listened to the remastered OCR the other day, a it is great - any possibility that the previously unreleased musical numbers were filmed, then cut? The backstory on that film is like a Soap Opera, from what I've gathered. I'd love to hear some documentary or commentary there. How about a Bio of Stubby Kay?
But here's the biggie - I would absolutely kill for a great remastered, commentaried version of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" on DVD. AMC did a fabulous backstory on this production, which features some of the greatest choreography in cinematic history! Let's get the Discs done while some of the participants are still around!
We need more musicals! And until Hollywood is bold enough to follow in the giant footsteps of Baz Luhrmann, DVD is our only hope! I'll take anything - throw me a bone!
 

Doug Bull

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Joe,
The Coffee break number is featured on the original Soundtrack LP of "How to Succeed in Business"

The LP is Stereo, so is it possible that the Film's original Stereo recordings still exist somewhere?
or are the edited tapes done for the LP all that we have left.
Have the vaults of United Artists Records, inc (If they still exist) been searched?

I still think that I will keep my Laserdisc of the movie, as it is not too bad quality wise and as I said on a previous post, on principle, I will not purchase non Anamorphic Versions of Widescreen DVDs.

If I just want to hear the songs in Stereo, I can always listen to the LP.

But a remastered Anamorphic DVD in Stereo? would be a real blessing.
 

Greg_M

Screenwriter
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Musicals rumored for DVD release:

Footloose - August 2002
Flashdance - August 2002
All That Jazz - 2002
Hello, Dolly - 2002
Grease - 2002
Song of Norway (Widescreen from the cinerama print)Anchor Bay first half of 2003
Meet Me in St Louis - late 2002
Chicago - The Musical - May 2003 (this may change)
Darling Lili - 2003

Plus re-releases:
West Side Story - Special Edition 2002
Singing in the Rain - Special edition September 2002
An American in Paris - Special Edition September 2002
 

Joe Caps

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to Doug Bull - as far as I know, the stereo tapes for the album of How to succeed are all that exist.
 

Brook K

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Looks like I was a victim of misinformation. I thought I remembered Robert Harris or someone else saying that Lil Abner was basically a lost film, the elements beyond repair, but I'm happy to see this isn't the case.
In addition to Meet Me in St. Louis, Warner is also supposed to be working on Top Hat and more Astaire.
In addition to those I'd like to see:
Footlight Parade
Broadway Melody films
Goldiggers films
Remastered R&H and Guys and Dolls.
But the musical I want the most and that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet is:
Yankee Doodle Dandy
My wife would be interested in Easter Parade & Mame
 

NeilEdwards

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I would fall off my chair if I ever saw the release of Footlight Parade, the Golddigger films or the Broadway Melody films. I wonder how 42nd Street did in sales. If it did well, then these above mentioned films would fall right in line.

Of course, Yankee Doodle Dandy (being one of the top 100 AFI films) should be released, and is probably in the works now.
 

Doug Bull

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Brook and Neil,
I know it's not as good as owning the Movie, but a new CD of the "Yankee Doodle Dandy" Soundtrack is about to be released by Rhino Records.
It will contain remastered recordings of all the songs plus outtakes and rehersal tracks.

No doubt it has been put together by the Savior of Musicals on Laser and CD, George Feltenstein.

It certainly might fill a gap until the real thing comes along.

ps.
I mustn't forget our own Joe Caps, as a savior of Musicals on Laser as well.
 

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