Finally! Fox is releasing the Betty Grable Collection!!!
John Malanga | Pacifica, CA United States | 03/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Collection of Betty Grable musicals is outstanding. Down Argentine Way (with Carmen Miranda & Don Ameche), Moon Over Miami (with Don Ameche & Robert Cummings), The Dolly Sisters (with John Payne & June Haver) are three of her best Technicolor hits of the forties. My Blue Heaven (with Dan Dailey) is not in the same league with the others, but it is not bad - it just suffers by comparison. After the huge success of Mother Wore Tights, Fox paired Grable and Dailey several times but they never quite duplicated the magic. Even so, this collection will be enjoyed by lovers of colorful, tuneful, classic movie musicals. Hopefully we will see other Grable Collections with Tin Pan Alley, Footlight Serenade, Song Of The Islands, Coney Island, Diamond Horseshoe, Sweet Rosie O'Grady, Springtime In The Rockies, Mother Wore Tights, Shocking Miss Pilgrim & Wabash Avenue."
"Thank you to Fox for releasing these fun-filled, lavish and colorful musicals. Even if you are not actually a Grable fan (I am not), you will find all these films wholly entertaining. If you enjoy musicals and escapist fare, it's hard to to do better. Don't look for plots, just look for exceptional entertainment values. The Fox musicals may not have been the summum of art (like MGM's for instance), but at the time, they were even more popular and exemplified escapist fun more than any other films around. And they hold up wonderfully (for this 33 year old at any rate!)
DOWN ARGENTINE WAY (1940) is resplendant with Latin-flavored (reproduced) locales, flashy costumes, verve, romance and a remarkable cast. That was the film that made Grable a household name, it's the US debut of Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda (singing some of her biggest hits). The Nicholas Brothers do an amazing dance number and the songs are all very memorable and blend in it the festive atmosphere. Almost a paid vacation in great company :-)
MOON OVER MIAMI (1941) is perhaps one of the most entertaining of all Fox musicals. The serviceable storyline of fortune-hunters passing off as heiresses helped to produce three hits for the studio, a straight comedy in 1938, this musical in 1941 and another musical in 1946. Exteriors were actually shot on location and it adds a lot to the vacation feel of the film. Hummable songs, snappy dances, breezy fun, the personable and affable Bob Cummings and the beautiful Carole Landis all add to create a really amusing, tuneful musicomedy. Technicolor at its zenith.
THE DOLLY SISTERS (1945) Grable is paired with the lovely June Haver. The fanciful and fictional story built around the (actually brunette) sisters is a fabulous showcase for the two blondes and features some of Fox's imaginative (garish) production numbers. The best songs are those performed more simply by the girls and by John Payne. Fox always did great with this kind of nostalgic musicals and this one is a richly evocative example.
MY BLUE HEAVEN (1950) provided a change of pace role for Grable. Paired with one of her best screen partners, Dan Dailey, her character here is not the usual brassy, sassy kind - this musical is much more sentimental than any other she ever did and it works very well although it's been oddly neglected for years. Newcomer Mitzi Gaynor has some terrific moments too. Just a wonderful, warm-hearted movie.
All 4 films are so good that the set seems a must and to me, they are the best Grable ever starred in. Looking forward to seeing even more Fox musicals on DVD in the future!!!!!"
A RED LETTER DAY FOR OUR BETTY!!!
Richard Dodge | San Diego, CA USA | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Betty Grable Collection Vol. I"....I am already atingle. Betty helped us through the darkest days of World War II...so perhaps she can rekindle some of her magic now. We certainly do need it. Anyway: FOUR wonderful films with Betty singing, dancing and entertaining as only she can. It has been a long time coming...and the title Vol. I...well...I have ordered Vol.I and I am already ready for Vol. II. Betty's films are not like the films of today....everyone had to sidestep "THE CODE"...NO NAVELS....just like "I Dream of Jeannie"!! But Betty was a complete professional...and always come through. I love all the films in this collection. "The Dolly Sisters" probably has the most glitter...it also has an amazing sequence that is politically incorrect and politically adventurous at the same time. "The Dark Town Strutters Ball" has always fascinated me. Fox uses a line of absolutely gorgeous black show girls to model a series of black and white costumes...IN COLOR...and then adds Betty Grable and June Haver in black face. It does look strange to us today. I suspect it was "on the edge" back in 1947. Anyway....Betty will steal your heart away...she will sing you a song...and divert you with a figure and a pair of legs that are still legendary. Don't expect too much from the plots...they are there because these are movies...today they would probably be Variety Shows on TV...but they are lovely entertainment...and you will enjoy them."
Grable and Dailey make a terrific movie pair
P. Mitchell | Scotland | 07/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the disc in my recently arrived Betty Grable Collection set I was initially least interested in, however when I watched it over the weekend I really enjoyed it. Betty's movies turn up regularly on tv here in the UK, but I'd never seen My Blue Heaven before. By the end of the movie I was completely won over by the pairing of Betty and Dan Dailey - they make a terrific movie team and the chemistry between them is warm and believable.
The DVD print is gorgeous; check out the colours! This movie has a more subdued look to it than the Fox musicals from the early '40s and its a joy to the eye how everthing comes together in each scene with colour, lighting and costumes. Interesting to compare Betty's look and style in this movie too with her earlier appearance in Down Argentine Way. In the 1940 movie she is fresh and lovely and comes over like a breath of fresh air, full of energy. In this later movie, she is every inch the long-established glamour star, her make up immaculate, her hair almost white-blonde, her wardrobe stylish and sophisticated (though she gets the chance to wear some very sexy outfits too). She's lost none of her appeal over the decade between the two movies. In My Blue Heaven her style is less brassy, much warmer, her famous legs are still highlighted and she's in terrific shape.
Can't emphasise enough how appealing Betty and Dan Dailey are together, now I understand why they were so popular together at the box office and I hope in Volume 2 of the Betty Grable collection another of their movies is included. In My Blue Heaven they look great together in their musical numbers and come across as very believable in their dramatic moments.
After watching the movie, I watched it again with the commentary with Drew Casper and I would recommend it. It is lively and informative and you won't believe how much info he manages to get across as the movie plays. All of it relevant and never dull.
I still have The Dolly Sisters and Moon Over Miami to watch from the Betty Grable Collection Vol 1, and already I'm looking forward to Volume 2."
Betty at her best
David Sale | Sydney, Australia | 05/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh boy, when Betty was firing she was certainly something. When? In every one of her movies, that's when! Here we see her at her sassy, talented best from the breakthrough ingenue in "Down Argentine Way" to the more mature role in "My Blue Heaven". And though this is the weakest of the four movies in this collection, just watch how she handles the dressing room scene where she walks in and finds Dan pashing Mitzi. Instead of exploding, she is the epitome of cool. She was cool in 1950 when nobody had coined the word. The scene was well written,true, but she delivered it with great panache. An underrated actress. Just watch the facial expressions in every number - she's alive. It's a pity her movie career wasn't extended and revitalised by the part of Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls". I even fantasize that she should have played "Sweet Sue" in "Some Like It Hot" - Joan Shawlee even LOOKED like a beefed-up Betty. Has this occurred to anyone else? But to get back to the collection - great value. A trip back to the carefree movie days when everyone looked fabulous, burst into song at the drop of a cliche, and had a happy ending. More, please."