A LOPSIDED PRESENTATION
Harold Jacobs | North Hollywood, CA USA | 09/01/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"We watched HOLLYWOOD SINGING AND DANCING - The 1930s - and thoroughly enjoyed it. The presentation is very interesting, and they even included rare footage of a talented but sadly-neglected JANE WITHERS, who was a top box-office star in the late thirties. So, we thought, let's get HOLLYWOOD SINGING AND DANCING - the 1940s. How can we go wrong with so many top musical stars and TECHNICOLOR to boot? Our high hopes were soon dashed upon viewing it. They should have entitled it JUDY GARLAND AND THE MGM MUSICALS. I lived through the decade of the forties, and Judy Garland did NOT dominate the Hollywood musical the way it is presented here. ALICE FAYE, DEANNA DURBIN, BETTY GRABLE, RITA HAYWORTH, CARMEN MIRANDA and others are dismally represented here. JANE POWELL, who has been quoted as saying "there were other musical stars at MGM besides Judy Garland and Gene Kelly," is barely mentioned; and DOROTHY LAMOUR is totally ignored, although Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and the ROAD pictures are discussed.
It's ironic that 20th Century-Fox, known for its superior color and sound, is represented here with footage of such poor quality and color. The Fox clips used would undoubtedly scare away a potential customer who would buy their films on DVD. Carmen Miranda in black and white? Betty Grable in a lesser performance in black and white? Alice Faye in a brief scene from "That Night in Rio" with such faded color that it's hard to recognize her? The producers of this package evidently had good access to the MGM library, but it's my guess that Fox would not cooperate - thus this inferior representation of its films and stars. Consequently, faded trailer footage was probably used.
The forties had such a wonderful array of beautiful, talented musical stars, and all of the ones I mentioned above, plus many more, were box-office favorites.
After viewing this lopsided presentation, a younger person would not get an accurate impression of what the Hollywood musical was really like during the decade of the forties."
Couldn't be better!
markness | Southern California | 02/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Featuring selections from:
SECOND CHORUS (1940)
"(I Ain't Hep To That Step But I'll) Dig It" danced
by Fred Astaire and Paulette Goddard
BABES ON BROADWAY (1941)
"Hoe Down" - Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
"The Yankee Doodle Boy" - James Cagney
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)
"The Trolley Song" - Judy Garland
"Meet Me in St. Louis" - Judy Garland and Lucille
COVER GIRL (1944)
"Alter-Ego Dance" - Gene Kelly
THE ALL-STAR BOND RALLY (1945)
"I'll Be Marching to a Love Song" - Betty Grable
and Her Bombardiers
"Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night of the
Week" - Frank Sinatra
TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (1946)
"Long Ago (and Far Away)" - Kathryn Grayson
"Ol' Man River" - Frank Sinatra
"Look for the Silver Lining" - Judy Garland
"Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" - Lena Horne
"How'd You Like to Spoon With Me?" - Angela
THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946)
"Train Montage (The Train Must Be Fed)" Sung by
Selena Royle, Marjorie Main
DOLL FACE (1946)
"Chico Chico" - Carmen Miranda
"Dig You Later (A-Hubba Hubba Hubba)" - Perry
Como and Martha Stewart
ON THE TOWN (1949)
"New York, New York" - Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra
and Jules Munshin
... and many more!"
A Little Disappointed
D. S. Wymore | Catskill Mountains, NY | 09/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely love musicals from the 1930s and 1940s so I bought this DVD on faith that there would be something on it that I either hadn't seen before or something that was a clip of a film that wasn't available on VHS or DVD. This is basically a collection of clips from films that have fallen in to public domain and a variety of public domain trailers. It is billed as "A Musical History" so you would think that there would be a documentary style structure when, in fact, it is a hodge-podge of clips we (who like this type of film) have seen before. At one point I was considering buying the other volumes but now I doubt it. This would be an okay addition to a public library collection as reference but, if you are a devotee to musicals of this era, I would skip it."