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The Fred And Ginger Collection Vols. 1 & 2 [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ralph Bellamy, Luella Gear, Randolph Scott, Harriet Hilliard, Fred Astaire
  • Directors: H.C. Potter, Thornton Freeland, George Stevens, Mark Sandrich
  • Producers: Pandro S. Berman, Lou Brock, Gordon Haight
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Feb 2006
  • Run Time: 786 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CQ986Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,041 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Collection of eight classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films. In 'Top Hat' (1935), Jerry Travers (Astaire) receives an inexplicably haughty response from Dale Tremont (Rogers) when he attempts to woo her, but that's because she has mistaken him for her friend's husband. Love's eventual triumph is charted through a number of classic song and dance routines, including 'Cheek to Cheek' and 'Top Hat, White Tie and Tails'. In 'Follow the Fleet' (1936), Astaire plays Bake Baker, a new recruit in the Navy who comes to the rescue of sisters, Sherry (Rogers) and Harriet Hillard (Connie Martin). Lucille Ball, Betty Grable and Tony Martin appear in minor roles, while the lyrics are supplied by Irving Berlin. Songs include 'Let's Face the Music and Dance', 'Get Thee Behind Me' and 'Let Yourself Go'. In 'Shall We Dance?' (1937), Petrov (Astaire), a Russian ballet dancer, and musical comedy star Linda Keene (Rogers) are thrust into a marriage of convenience - she wants the shotgun wedding to be followed by an even quicker divorce, so that she can marry the man she really loves and retire from the stage. Not surprisingly, though, the path to true love takes a few unplanned diversions. In 'Carefree' (1938), Astaire and Rogers team up in the story of a psychiatrist who falls in love with one of his patients. A light musical with lyrics from Irving Berlin such as 'Change Partners' and 'I Used To Be Colour Blind'. In 'The Gay Divorcee' (1934), would-be divorcee Mimi Glossop (Rogers) mistakes love-sick Guy Holden (Astaire) for a professional co-respondent hired by her aunt. She therefore treats him with disdain, but romance proves inevitable. In 'Swing Time' (1936), John 'Lucky' Garnett (Astaire) is due to be married, but his father-in-law to be says he has to earn $25,000 to prove that he is worthy. So he goes off to take some dance lessons, only to fall for his instructor, Penny Carrol (Rogers). The score won Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields an Oscar. In 'Flying Down to Rio' (1933), the first of the Astaire/Rogers collaborations, a love triangle is set up when heiress Belinha de Rezende (Dolores Del Rio), herself the object of crooner Julio Rubeiro's (Raul Roulien) affections, sets her cap at American Roger Bond (Gene Raymond). Famous for its finale, in which girls dance on the wings of moving airplanes. Finally, in 'The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle' (1939), is a nostalgic review of the lives of Vernon and Irene Castle. The internationally successful ballroom dancers wooed the hearts of America during World War One, before their careers were tragically cut short by an air crash. Classic numbers include 'Ron, Ron, Ron', 'Take Me Back to New York Town' and 'Little Brown Jug'.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By ADAM on 9 Feb 2010
Firstly,

Box 1 includes;
Top Hat
Follow the Fleet
Shall We Dance
Carefree

Box 2 includes;
The Gay Divorcee
Swing Time
Flying Down to Rio
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

This is an excellent box set, contains the essential Fred and Ginger films, plus a nice set of postcards.. The songs, by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, the Gershwins, etc, are just amazing, and Fred and Ginger sing them beautifully. And of course the dance sequences will, and have, gone down in history as a sort of peak of the genre. These are amongst the first great wave of musicals, black and white, the stories are sort of 'stock' plots, with a couple of the same supporting actors reappearing again and again, but none of that really matters.. to be honest you could edit all of the films together into one really long and amazing film, it's difficult as it is to remember which sequence belongs to which film. But then, don't most great directors make pretty much the same film throughout their careers? Ozu, Mizoguchi, Hitchcock, Hawks, Bergman, so it's not so much a flaw..

But, saying that, if you do want a guide as to the most acclaimed ones, then Top Hat, Swing Time and Shall We Dance, would probably be the ones to go for first. And apart from the odd shock of a 'blacked up' Fred Astaire, they're absolutely timeless.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cottontail on 16 Oct 2010
SOMEDAY the San Andreas fault will eventually slip and H'wood (or what's left of it) will drift north on what then will be an island into the Pacific, as will Oakwood Memorial Park, where Fred and Ginger (or what's left of them) are interred. By that time we all will be gone, our offspring won't be around to remember us either. And who knows if there'll be amenable audiences left to appreciate our resplendent cultural heritage. Who can tell?

But ONCE Ginger was 25, gorgeous and had fluffy shampoo in her hair. ONCE Fred was sitting at the piano, serenading her with a brand-new song, ONCE written by none others than Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Once Ginger & Fred floated cheek to cheek over the dance floor and the "charm about them carried us through to heaven, and all the cares and worries we had through the week seemed to vanish".
We were bitten by the dance bug and fell under its spell forever. Europe had Verdi, Mozart and Beethoven, our geniuses were Kern, Porter, Gershwin, Rodgers or Berlin. Shakespeare had written immortal sonnets, we memorized and recited poems like Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale" at the tender age of 11. But it were the lyrics of Lorenz Hart, Dorothy Fields, Cole P. and Ira G. we LOVED more than anything else and we whispered and whistled these gems while dancing with our sweethearts. Debonair hoofers in our delusion, we gawky amateurs actually turned into quite lithe beings in the end. And we if we ever acquired elegance and poise, we didn't owe it to anyone but Fred & Ginger, who showed the world that dancing is more than mere acrobatics or slinky twirling, their art just oozing grace, sophistication and spirit.

But that was once upon a time, very long ago. Gone are the likes of the great songwriters, the halcyon days of Americana - passé.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gary Cooper on 18 Dec 2009
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Great to see these old films, restored to pristine condition, with the two Greatest dances of all time. Every one of them is a pleasure to watch. Great value for money, Highly Recommended. Five Star+ for this collection
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. Davies on 26 July 2009
EXTREMELY GOOD BOX SET CONTAINING THE BEST DANCE DUO AND DANCE STEPS IN THE HISOTY OF MOTION PICTURES, A GREAT BUY WHICH WILL GIVE YOU YEARS OF ENJOYMENT. Recommended as fred astaire is at his best, amazing dancing. a five star rating.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Doug Reid on 27 July 2009
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This is the perfect collection of Fred's & Ginger's most famous films. My two boys think they're terrific too. Great music is guaranteed from scores by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter plus others.

Production in these DVDs is also good, so all in all and for the price, I doubt you'll do better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. M. Ferguson on 21 Feb 2011
This product is superb and was in the very good condition the seller described. Fred and Ginger are magic and I am glad to have been able to buy these discs. Fantastic!
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