Search - Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 3 (Hit the Deck/Deep in My Heart/Kismet/Nancy Goes to Rio/Two Weeks with Love/Broadway Melody of 1936/Broadway Melody of 1938/Born to Dance/Lady Be Good) on DVD

Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 3 (Hit the Deck/Deep in My Heart/Kismet/Nancy Goes to Rio/Two Weeks with Love/Broadway Melody of 1936/Broadway Melody of 1938/Born to Dance/Lady Be Good)
Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory Vol 3
Hit the Deck/Deep in My Heart/Kismet/Nancy Goes to Rio/Two Weeks with Love/Broadway Melody of 1936/Broadway Melody of 1938/Born to Dance/Lady Be Good
Actors: Jane Powell, Eleanor Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
UR     2008

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Movie Details

Actors: Jane Powell, Eleanor Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Musicals
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 04/08/2008
Release Year: 2008
Number of Discs: 9
SwapaDVD Credits: 9
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Odd mixture of MGM musicals
Douglas M | 12/27/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a rather odd combination of MGM musicals, possible the result of the scraping together some of the titles which had not yet appeared on DVD. They are certainly a variable lot falling into 3 subgroups - 4 with Eleanor Powell, 2 starring Jane Powell and 3 second rate titles from the fifties.

In the late thirties, Eleanor Powell became the dancing queen of MGM with her spectacular tap. She only made at most 2 films per annum and each had large, superb supporting casts and great songs to showcase her. If you have not seen Powell's dancing, you are in for a treat. The production numbers have a glitter and excitement with the shiny black and white photography and dynamic orchestrations and fortunately, the prints have been restored and are in excellent condition.
- "Broadway Melody of 1936", released in 1935, was Powell's first MGM film and it is masterfully made to disguise her acting limitations. The film has a great score including "Broadway Rhythm" and "You are my Lucky Star", both appearing later in "Singing in the Rain". With Frances Langford to belt out the songs, Robert Taylor as an impossibly handsome leading man, Jack Benny playing a Walter Winchell like reporter, Buddy Ebsen with his sister Vilma for goofy dancing and Una Merkel for the wiscracks, the film was a great success and spawned a series of films with "Broadway Melody" in the title.
- The next in the series, released in 1936, was "Born to Dance", using the familiar plot of 3 sailors and their girls. Ebsen, Langford and Una Merkel were back with Taylor replaced by James Stewart who introduces the classic Col Porter "Easy to Love" in an uneasy vocal. The other great song is "I've got you under my Skin" presented by Virginia Bruce.
- For 1937, the "Broadway Melody" title returned with Robert Taylor once again as a harried producer. Sophie Tucker and a very young Judy Garland are added to the formula. Tucker performs her signature "Some of These Days", and Garland, in her MGM feature debut, has 2 stand out songs; "Everybody Sing" and the specially interpolated "Dear Mr Gable", a version of "You made me Love You". George Murphy dances with Powell and they make a delightful team. This one has a subplot concerning a horse race and the plot becomes tiresome. Also, the editing is faulty with some poor matching of shots.
- In "Lady be Good", released in 1941, Powell had been demoted from the lead. She supports Ann Sothern and Robert Young in a really boring and overlong story of a song writing team. Busby Berkeley staged the finale, George Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythmn", with Powell in great form. The other highlight is the touching "The Last Time I saw Paris", poignantly delivered by Ann Sothern and the winner of the Oscar for best song that year. It is ironical that Powell was relegated to the second lead here because she is much more relaxed and attractive than in the earlier films.

In the late forties, Joe Pasternak produced a series of light "family" musical comedies starring Jane Powell. These films date badly although the two titles here are probably the best in the series. The films are well made in glorious technicolour and Jane Powell's work always improved.
- the title, "Nancy goes to Rio", says it all. Ugh! This is a film in the mould of Gidget and is fairly nauseating, to say the least. It certainly benefits from the presence of Ann Sothern as Powell's mother and there are a few pleasant songs, but otherwise, the cringe meter will score high. Carmen Miranda is on hand too but by this time, she had become a parody. Her musical numbers are OK but the sexy insinuation in her best Fox films is replaced by MGM family values and that kills Miranda stone dead!
- "Two weeks with Love" is a better film. It has an amusing screenplay, an excellent supporting cast and Powell is quite funny although Debbie Reynolds, with a naturalness that was soon to disappear, steals the film as her younger sister. Her duet with Carleton Carpenter of "Aba daba Honeymoon" is famous.

The last 3 films are a real mixed bag. MGM continued to make the grandest musicals of all the studios but by the mid fifties, the films were becoming increasingly heavy handed.
- "Deep in my Heart" is an all star biopic of Sigmund Romberg with a charmless Jose Ferrer showcased in the title role and a dreary screenplay. The biographic film allowed guest appearances by the studio roster and Ann Miller steals the show, closely followed by Gene Kelly, dancing with his brother.
- "Hit the Deck" is another version of the cliched yarn about sailors on shore leave and the musicals numbers, often dynamic, save the viewer from complete boredom, the best being "Hallelujah". The cast are competent and energetic but generally second rate when compared to "On the Town" to which it has many similarities.
- "Kismet" is a technicolour Arabian Nights yarn which was a great Broadway hit but is another boring and overproduced dinosaur. Howard Keel was always good and how he managed to keep a straight face with some of the material he was handed is a credit to him. Dolores Gray jumps off the screen but Ann Blyth and the others are awful. Films such as these killed the musical genre stone dead.

The Set contains the usual assortment of outtakes (some good, some awful), cartoons, trailers etc. The best extra is the interview with a charming Jane Powell and it is great to see an ex-movie star who both looks good and has happy memories. The prints of the films are generally good.

So there you have it. If you like musicals, you may like all these titles. Personally, I would prefer a disk which just contained the musical numbers. Incidentally, that's the cast of "Lady be Good" displayed on Amazon."
More like "MGM Musicals not yet on DVD Volume 1"
calvinnme | 01/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This package, as others have mentioned, appears to be a mixed bag of musicals not yet on DVD. The good news is that some of the Eleanor Powell films I've been waiting for are among them - Broadway Melodies of 1936 and 1938, Born To Dance, and Lady Be Good. I'm less crazy about the 1950's era musicals in this package. Personally I'd say that the Broadway Melodies and Born to Dance are 5/5, Lady Be Good is 4/5, and the 1950's era films are between 3 and 4 out of 5. It's not that I don't like Jane Powell, the star of many of the later entries, it's just that the stories in some of these films seems to be more of a hindrance than a help. Nobody else has listed the extra features, which are essential when judging a package like this. So I have included those next, along with the rating for each film as given by a popular Internet film database:

Hit the Deck (1955) (6.4/10)
Special Features:
· Soundtrack remastered in both a new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and 5.0 presentation of the original 4-track theatrical mix
· Classic M-G-M Pete Smith Specialty comedy short: The Fall Guy
· Classic M-G-M Tex Avery cartoon: Field and Stream
· Audio-only bonuses: Dolby 5.1 music-only track for song sequences
· Audio-only outtake song Sometimes I'm Happy (Powell/Damone reprise)
· Original Theatrical trailer
· Languages & subtitles: English & Français (main feature)

Deep in my Heart (1954) (6.5/10)
· Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, as well as original theatrical Mono
· Oscar-nominated musical short: The Strauss Fantasy
· Classic cartoon Farm of Tomorrow
· Outtake musical numbers: Dance, My Darlings (Traubel) and Girlies of the Cabaret (George Murphy and Esther Williams)
· Theatrical trailer
· Languages & subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)

Kismet (1955) (6.1/10)
· Soundtrack remastered in both a new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and 5.0 presentation of the original 4-track theatrical mix
· Oscar-nominated CInemaScope short: The Battle of Gettysburg
· Classic cartoon: The First Bad Man
· 2 excerpts from The MGM Parade TV Series
· Complete version of partially-censored musical number Rahadlakum
· Audio-only bonus: Outtake Song Rhymes Have I
· Theatrical trailers of both the 1944 and 1955 Kismet
· Subtitles: English , Français & Portuguêse (main feature only)

Nancy Goes To Rio (1950)/Two Weeks With Love (1950)
Disc 1
Nancy Goes To Rio (6.5/10)
· Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short: Wrong Way Butch
· Classic cartoon: The Peachy Cobbler
· Theatrical trailer
· Languages & subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)

Disc 2
Two Weeks With Love (6.7/10)
· TCM special Reel Memories with Jane Powell, hosted by Robert Osborne
· Vintage short: Screen Actors
· Classic cartoon: Garden Gopher
· Theatrical trailer
· Subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)

Broadway Melody of 1936/Broadway Melody of 1938

Broadway Melody of 1936 (7/10)
· Vintage short: Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs
· Classic cartoon: To Spring
· Audio-only bonus: Leo Is on the Air radio promo
· Theatrical trailer
· Subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)

Broadway Melody of 1938 (6.7/10)
· Oscar-winning short: That Mothers Might Live
· Classic cartoon: Pipe Dreams
· Audio-only bonuses: Outtake Songs Yours and Mine, Your Broadway and My Broadway, and Sun Showers
· Feelin' like a Million test recording
· Good News of 1938 radio program and Leo Is on the Air radio promo
· Theatrical trailer
· Languages & subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)

Born to Dance (1936)/Lady Be Good (1941)
Born to Dance (6.5/10)
· Vintage short Hollywood: The Second Step
· Oscar-nominated cartoon: The Old Mill Pond
· Audio-only bonus: Hollywood Hotel Radio program
· Theatrical trailer
· Languages & subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)

Lady Be Good (6.6/10)
· Vintage FitzPatrick TravelTalks short: Glimpses of Florida
· Oscar-nominated cartoon: The Rookie Bear
· Audio-only bonuses: outtake song I Love to Dance and Leo Is on the Air radio promo
· Theatrical trailer
· Subtitles: English & Français (main feature only)"
Kismet is a treasure!
Barbara | Irvine, US, Canada | 04/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I haven't finished watching all of the set yet. MOSTLY because I can't stop playing Kismet.

Some people seem to pooh-pooh this film, but I am thoroughly enjoying the music (slices of Borodin from his various works turned into wonderful songs), the beautiful baritones of Howard Keel and Dolores Gray (heh, I'd argue for calling her range baritone - but I'm not try to bend any gender lines here - she's pure high-class vamp seducing Keel's character), the excellent voices of the juvenile pair (Vic Damone and Ann Blyth), and the incredible colors of Vincente Minnelli and the Technicolor system (Minnelli directed, but you can see his visual sense in every moment if you've studied his work a little, as I guess I have). The plotline is hysterically funny if you pay attention (the twists of "fate" - they even give us a song to point this out early in the program).

My favorite melody is "Night of My Nights" which is incredibly short (less than 2.5 minutes), so I tend to repeat the chapter (#20, fyi) before going to the next scene.

I'd have loved a commentary track (that's how I learned about Minnelli - from other DVD's), but I do enjoy the extras provided. Most interesting: the deleted (censored! Ha!) Rahadlakum prelude, and the television program (MGM Parade) segments promoting the film. (It's funny to hear Jane Powell, on another disk, telling us that MGM wouldn't allow stars to be photographed next to a television set, but here's a TV program created by MGM specifically to promote their movies; perhaps she was referring to an earlier time).

For people who don't want to invest in the entire box set, I've seen rumors that individual disks might be released in July.

Also, if you'd like a deeper appreciation of "Hit the Deck", I'd suggest you read what's been written on the soundtrack album page. Hit the Deck: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Re-release of 1955 Film)"
Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 3
C. C. Adams III | Hollywood, California | 06/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This collection contains several musicals I have always wanted to see. A lot of attention has been paid to sensitive restoration, providing outstanding quality of picture and sound. Like most fans of classic musicals, I have owned a good DVD of "The Broadway Melody" and "Broadway Melody of 1940" for several years. From various collections, such as the "That's Entertainment" series I knew there are marvelous scenes in the other 2 Broadway Melodies (1936 and 1938).
Well, let me tell you, to me those turned out to be very special. In "Broadway Melody of 1936" Buddy Epsen dances with his talented sister (who only made this one movie). In "Broadway Melody of 1938" he also dances up a storm. Judy Garland sings her famous song about Clark Gable.
I knew nothing about "Nancy Goes to Rio" and "Two Weeks with Love" before viewing the collection. They are both so entertaining they need to be seen. The same can be said for all the other musicals in the collection.
This collection is an outstanding value."