Great idea...the execution is not good though
Bubbles | Minneapolis, MN USA | 06/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD looks back at the musicals of the 1940s, through movie clips and trailers and while it is a wonderful way to retrospect on the time period, it is nearly unwatchable. The clips shown are faded, washed out or really dark. It is very distracting and the narration is not very good either. If I dare say it, it seems this DVD was compiled as some art school project that managed to find a distributor. There are three of these DVDs in a series: Musicals from the 40s, 50s and 60s. None of them is really any better than the other is. On a positive note, I saw trailers that I never thought I would see, and for that reason I rated this title higher, however, if you are hoping for a really great retrospective on musicals, this falls short simply because the execution seem so after-thought."
Only for the Movie Maven
S. Mitchell | Tyler, TX United States | 10/10/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for an hour or so of entertainment (like the video series That's Entertainment) don't buy this DVD. I agree with the other reviewer. It looked like a High School project that made it to some publisher.Because I am really into exploring all of the goldie oldie movies the DVD presented some previews unseen in my movie quest. A rather tedious DVD to watch for those few goodies.I don't understand why there was such terrible fidelity in the film shorts. They were recorded in really bad EP mode when I know many are available in better quality film mode. Like this was made with someone with very limited equipment.Anyway, worth a few (very few) $$$ to the student of movies. For the casual viewer....don't."
Poor Quality -- Poor Attempt at Reminiscing
Meg | Seattle, WA | 08/09/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Worst DVD compilation I've seen and a big waste of time. It's basically a series of movie previews and trailers strung together with narrative. The quality is very poor. This DVD cover and label shows a pic of The Barkleys of Broadway, which was a favorite of mine. There was nothing on the DVD about Barkleys. I do think this was a rip-off and I wouldn't consider looking at the rest of the series of their musicals of the 50s and 60s."
It's a terrible play--but it makes for a starter rehearsal..
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 03/31/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Hollywood Musicals of the 40's is one DVD I won't be recommending anytime soon. I couldn't agree more with the other reviewers on this page. What you get is a series of rather short clips of song and dance numbers thrown at you haphazardly without any sense of order. What's worse, there are the most annoying printed ads from the trailers imposed upon many of the clips rendering them mostly unwatchable. The narration was also distracting from the footage; I could have written the narrative better while sleeping.
And that's so unfortunate, because this could have been another "That's Entertainment" style of retrospective. Instead too much is covered in too little time. Although the movie is advertised as lasting two hours, it really only lasts about 90 minutes.
The one thing I did appreciate was the interview time they gave to Betty Garrett and Margaret O'Brien. These two ladies reminisced--and Margaret O'Brien especially had some nice stories to tell. Ann Miller also tells some stories that are interesting.
The quality of the footage isn't always the best--the clips from the movie entitled Lillian Russell, for example, are very dark and poorly displayed. Other clips that were too dark even include the small bits of footage from Broadway Melody of 1940 with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing together. Now THAT'S a shame!
There is one bonus feature entitled Hollywood Victory Caravan. This is a fine example of what was mostly likely a one reel short that would have been shown in movie theaters during WWII to raise money for war bonds. However, this is a bonus and not the actual retrospective--it saves the DVD somewhat but it doesn't make up for the poor presentation of the major feature.
I give this DVD two stars. It had such potential and it flunked every test. I am very disappointed with this DVD retrospective of Hollywood musicals from the 1940s. Don't waste your time!