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Bill Mack | Fort Worth, TX United States | 11/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been in the business of country music broadcasting for 50 years. However, The Mills Brothers have been my favorite musical act since I was a youngster in high school. Their blend, their unmatchable talent and stage presence held me in awe every time I heard one of their recordings or saw them on stage, as I did back in the 70s at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. As a matter of fact, I saw them three times within a week and lifted one of their posters which is still attached to a wall in my office. Most important to me, I had the pleasure of meeting Donald Mills and when he passed away recently (the last of the brothers), I attempted to find any and all movies or television bits available on them. Luckily, I found this video! I can't really put into words how this great presentation satisfied my every wish of seeing The Mills Brothers in action with truly outstanding sound and spoken information that I categorize as the best bio study of a musical group I have ever seen. Certainly, I may be a bit overwhelmed because of the subject matter. However, if you are a fan of The Mills Brothers, you will love every minute of almost an hour of entertainment in this well edited, super produced video by a group that will never be matched."
The Mills Brothers Story
tom heiman | san diego | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"16023 · The Mills Brothers Story
This is a film document dissimilar to most of the sort due to the fact that here we get uninterrupted tunes most of the time. This film will be of interest far beyond jazz circles. The Mills Brothers, originally consisting of 4 Mills Brothers, created a style based on so-called Barbershop crooning (dark and well harmonized singing), and they were unique in this field. Big brother John jr. (bass vocal and guitar) died much too early but was replaced by father John sr. who made an excellent job until his death. Then The Mills Brothers became a trio which still was extremely popular. "Run for it"."
Mark Glubke | New York, NY | 12/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say that I was so blown away by this film that I watched it twice through in one sitting. The Mills Brothers are surely the greatest, most influential jazz vocal group of all time - that much I knew. However, I had never seen interview footage of them until yesterday - and, wow, it was a revelation! They were such articulate, intelligent and likable men, and they really share from the heart about their remarkable 56-year career. The brother I was most curious about was Herbert, the "shy" one who, as far as I know, never sang a lead solo on record. Here not only do we see Herbert speak at length on camera, but we get to see him sing a lead solo - and a terrific one at that! Besides the interviews and the terrific archival footage, the 1981 concert footage is just plain inspiring. Filmed in Copenhagen, this turned out to be their next-to-last concert (Harry would be gone in less than a year). And, here in the twilight of their career, the Mills Brothers were still AMAZING, particularly on rockin versions of You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You and Bye Bye Blackbird - backed by a full big band. It makes me wish they would release this whole concert on DVD. The only downside is that the greatest Mills Brothers song of all time - Lazy River - is not included. But if you love the Mills Brothers, you must check out this very reasonably priced documentary film - you won't be disappointed. "
This is a film I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Paul Tognetti | Cranston, RI USA | 11/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The one and only time I had seen "The Mills Brothers Story" was around 8 or 9 years ago. An elderly friend of the family had taped the program off over-the-air television and given a copy to my mother-in-law. The quality of the tape was very poor given the fact that this gentlemen had very spotty TV reception at his home. In spite of all of the flaws my wife and I enjoyed "The Mills Brothers Story" immensely. We had not seen it since. A few days ago, quite by accident, I discovered that "The Mills Brothers Story" was now available on DVD. I placed my order immediately. Whoever came up with the idea of making a documentary film about the Mills Brothers in 1981 was very wise indeed. In spite of the fact that the act had been together for more than 50 years it appears that there was precious little footage of the group. Seems that the Mills Brothers spent the vast majority of their time appearing on network radio programs, making records and performing in venues small and large all over the country. "The Mills Brothers Story" features an extensive interview with the three surviving Mills Brothers Harry, Donald and Herbert as well as clips from their next-to-last "live" performance in Copenhagen in the fall of 1981. Despite the fact that Harry was legally blind and Donald and Herbert were getting on in years that unmistakable sound was still there. Seems like the audience at Tivoli Gardens that night was enjoying each and every note! Sadly, Harry Mills would pass away just a few months after this performance. Viewing "The Mills Brothers Story" will give you the opportunity to enjoy once again some of the all-time Mills Brothers favorite tunes including "Nevertheless", "You Always Hurt The One You Love", their swinging rendition of "Opus One" as well as their Top Ten smash from 1952 "Be My Life's Companion" which remains one of my personal favorites. Now there are a few pieces of vintage footage included in this film that will simply blow you away. The first clip from 1932 features the boys singing their hit record of the day "Dinah". There were four Mills Brothers in those days (John Mills died in 1936). As Donald Mills points out during the course of the film "No one could believe we weren't an orchestra". In addition to spendid four-part harmonies the boys imitated what sounded like an entire band. Being able to see this remarkable performance alone is well worth the price of the disc. The second memorable clip features the Mills Brothers performing their 1943 smash "Paper Doll" which topped the charts for a remarkable total of 12 weeks! In this ground-breaking "video" the doll, played by actress Dorothy Dandridge actually comes to life and ends up dancing to the tune. Finally, there is a classic black and white cartoon from the 1930's with the boys providing the soundtrack. Simply amazing! Although I am only 57 years old I have counted myself a huge fan of the Mills Brothers since I first laid ears on the group's 1968 comeback hit "Cab Driver". Yes, while my teenage friends were enjoying tunes like "Purple Haze" and "Stairway To Heaven" I was quickly becoming hooked on the music of this legendary group. In fact, in my opinion the Mills Brothers were the greatest recording act of the 20th century! Now you might wonder why I only give "The Mills Brothers Story" a four star rating. The problem with this film is that the sound quality is very poor in a few places. It would appear that the film was made with an extremely low budget. Having said that, I am extremely grateful that this film was made at all. "The Mills Brothers Story" is without a doubt an extremely important piece of American musical history. The amazing group harmony sound created by early African-American vocal groups like The Mills Brothers, The Ink Spots, The Cats and The Fiddle, The Delta River Boys, The Four Tunes and the Four Vagabonds to name but a few would exert tremendous influence on American popular music for decades to come. "The Mills Brothers Story" will give you a glimpse into that long ago world and perhaps you will come to understand why I enjoy this music so very much. Highly recommended!"
The Melody Lingers On
Girvan Paterson | Melbourne,Vic. Australia | 04/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'The Mills Brothers Story' is a long overdue look at the greatest male singing group of all time! For over 50 years they entertained the world with faultless harmonies, that never failed to enthrall and delight their audience. Whether singing alone, or teamed with other greats like Bing Crosby, they made it look so easy, yet no one has come within a bull's roar of emulating their unique sound. This DVD has much footage of them towards the end of their great career, but the famous 'sound' is still in tact, even though their health was not good during these final years. Quite a bit of early footage also, of which I probably would have liked to see a bit more of, but still a gallant effort of giving us a look at the overall saga of these 20th. Century pioneers of 'group' 'Pop' singing. A must for anyone interested in true rhythm & melody."