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Brigadoon

Balletic, stylized and rather aloof, MGM’s biggest musical for 1954 still has what musical lovers crave — good dancing, beautiful melodies and unabashed romantic sentiments. Savant has a bad tendency to fixate on the inconsistencies of its fantasy concept — in which God places an ideal Scottish village outside the limits of Time itself.

Brigadoon

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1954 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 108 min. / Street Date September 26, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse, Elaine Stewart, Barry Jones, Albert Sharpe, Virginia Bosler, Jimmy Thompson.

Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg

Art Direction: Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons

Film Editor: Albert Akst

Original Music: Frederick Loewe

Screenplay, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Produced by Arthur Freed

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

MGM underwent some severe cutbacks in 1953; most of its contract players were dropped including the majority of its proud roster of stars. The studio would have to survive in a new kind of Hollywood,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Silk Stockings

It's in glorious Technicolor Metrocolor, CinemaScope and StereoPhonic Sound! Fred Astaire's final MGM musical gives him Cyd Charisse and a Cole Porter score, plus some nice Hermes Pan choreography. The script and Rouben Mamoulian's direction aren't the best, but the combined magic of the musical and dancing talent saves the day. Silk Stockings Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1957 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 117 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, George Tobias, Jules Munshin, Joseph Buloff, Wim Sonneveld Cinematography Robert Bronner Art Direction Randall Duell, William A. Horning Film Editor Harold F. Kress Original Music Cole Porter Written by Abe Burrows, Leonard Gershe, George S. Kaufman, Leueen MacGrath, and Leonard Spigelgass Produced by Arthur Freed Directed by Rouben Mamoulian

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

On the Town?  The Pajama Game?  Damn Yankees?   The Warner Archive Collection's next musical up for the
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Tom And Jerry Music—Performed Live!

Many symphony orchestras now play music from Hollywood’s golden age, but none that I’m aware of has attempted to perform Scott Bradley’s breakneck-paced scores for Tom and Jerry cartoons—until now. I’m indebted to Rob Paquin for sending me the YouTube link to this remarkable performance by the John Wilson Orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall, as part of the BBC Proms concert series. In his e-mail Rob writes, “As you can hear from the full house audience, it was a great success and long overdue. John Wilson has been painstakingly trying to restore the original arrangements for classic scores. He is a big fan of MGM's distinctive musical sound when Conrad Salinger and Johnny...

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See full article at Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy »

'Funny Face' 55th Anniversary: 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Beloved Audrey Hepburn Musical

"Funny Face" shouldn't have worked. It was a musical with a borrowed score, based on a stage play its author had failed to sell, with a leading man past his prime and a leading lady, 30 years younger, who had a thin singing voice. Indeed, the film, released 55 years ago today (on February 13, 1957), was not a hit. Yet today, it's regarded as a visually sumptuous classic, with Fred Astaire dancing with impossible grace at 58 and Audrey Hepburn in one of her most stylish, iconic performances. Still, as beloved as "Funny Face" is, many viewers may not know of the real-life love story that inspired the movie, or about the film's ties to such far-flung projects as the "Eloise" novels and the counterculture drama "Five Easy Pieces." Here, then, are 25 little-known facts about "Funny Face." 1. The movie's title and four of its songs came from George Gershwin's 1927 Broadway musical "Funny Face.
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Prom 59: Hooray for Hollywood/John Wilson orchestra – review

Royal Albert Hall, London

For those of us who know our musicals from DVDs and Christmas TV, John Wilson's Hollywood Prom delivered a pleasurable shock. His orchestra, with its nine-piece percussion section and full-blown jazz big band, blasted out a surround-sound version of music that is usually squeezed through the tiny speakers of a telly.

Without the tap dances, chorus girls and (often flimsy) plots, the music had to stand up for itself. Wilson, who has brought a passion for authentic performance to movie soundtracks, shone a glittering spotlight on arrangers such as Ray Heindorf, Conrad Salinger and Lloyd "Skip" Martin. They were Hollywood's invisible men, who toiled behind the tinsel to stretch three-minute ditties into extended suites (This Heart of Mine) or craft subtle tone poems that became huge hits (Secret Love, sung beautifully by Clare Teal).

A tag team of vocalists interpreted familiar songs from movies made between
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Hugh Martin obituary

A composer of classic musicals, he wrote Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Among the perennial Christmas songs, one of the most performed and popular is Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with words and music by Hugh Martin, who has died aged 96. Since it was first sung by Judy Garland in the film Meet Me in St Louis (1944), this bittersweet yuletide ditty has been performed by hundreds of artists from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Bing Crosby to rock bands including Coldplay and Twisted Sister.

The song has featured in several other films, notably The Victors (1963), in which the Sinatra version is used ironically during the execution of an American soldier for treason; The Godfather (1972); When Harry Met Sally (1989); Home Alone (1990); Miracle On 34th Street (1994); and Donnie Brasco (1997). In 1989, the song received the award for most-performed feature-film standard from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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