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Derek Vernon-morris (Greater Manchester UK)
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Ladies Of The Chorus [DVD]
Ladies Of The Chorus [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marilyn Monroe

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies of the Chorus(dvd) 1948-9, 28 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Ladies Of The Chorus [DVD] (DVD)
Because her iconic image has become timeless,it is always hard to believe that Marilyn Monroe is an actress of the nineteen fifties.This is her second film released in 1948, featuring her singing "Can't you see I love you", dancing gracefully and blithely in shimmering silver and white. A second solo number sees her slinky and seductive in a long sequined black dress belting out "Every Baby Needs a Daddy". At the end of this number she is joined by the Chorus cleverly operating walking dolls.
Marilyn plays Chorus girl Peggy Martin, and Adele Jergens plays her beautifull Mother,'Mae Martin' also in the chorus, and in a flashback to younger days perfoms "Crazy For You" another slinky big band number. After emerging as a soloist 'Peggy Queen of Burlesque' is wooded every day with orchids by wealthy Randy Carrol (Rand Brooks) and accepts his proposal of marriage. It is set in the days when Ladies of the Chorus were not welcomed in wealthy social circles, but at the engagement party Randy's elderly Mother (Nana Bryant) sings "You are Never Too Old-to do what you did", pretending to be a former Burlesque Queen herself to put the record straight, and everyone at their ease.
This is a completely enjoyable romantic comedy, aided by Eddie Carr, Stephen Gray, and The Bobby True Trio. Produced by Harry A Romm, and directed by Phil Carlson, this film is a 'must have'; to see a young and radiant Marilyn Monroe.


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes/The Seven Year Itch/How To Marry A M... [DVD]
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes/The Seven Year Itch/How To Marry A M... [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marilyn Monroe

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Marilyn Collection DVD, 20 July 2010
This restored compilation of 2005 is excellent with everything one expects.In "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" Marilyn joins Rosalind Russell, for a blonde/brunette team on holiday and performing cabaret in Paris.They perform "Two little Girls from Little Rock","Bye Bye Baby," and Marilyn features "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend" in shimmering pink; a routine that has subsequently possibly inspired many artists such as Madonna. Rosalind Russell performs "Aint there Anybody Here for Love" in a long black leotard and heels, with a group of guys in pink/beige swim costumes training like an Olympic team around a pool.They are aided by Charles Coburn as a bogus aristocrat and diamond king. A Movietone News from 1953 shows the two girls in identical dresses autographing and imprinting their hands in cement at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
All the 4 discs have authentic footage, and "The Seven Year Itch" directed by Billy Wilder shows Marilyn with co-star Tom Ewell, standing above the subway vent at 40 Lexington Avenue at 1am September 15, 1954, delightedly and humorously filming her dress blowing up to keep cool.They shot 40 takes and 'stopped the traffic' with an appreciative audience. This was in the days of strict film censorship by The Catholic League of Decency and The Hayes Office, some people were shocked, and unfortunately amongst them was Marilyn's husband of 8 months, Joe DiMaggio, the Baseball Ace. He had flown from Los Angeles unexpectedly, was filled with disgust and filed for divorce.Incidentally they had to make a studio set, and re-film the sequence. Shooting was completed in November 1954,and opened on Marilyns 29th Birthday 01/06/1955, when a 52ft high replica of this iconic image was erected on the front of the theatre.
In "How to Marry a Millionaire" Marilyn co-stars with fellow screen icons Bette Grable and Lauren Bacall, for a light hearted husband search with David Wayne, Rory Calhune, Cameron Mitchell and William Powell.This 1953 film was the first Romantic Comedy to be filmed in Cinemascope and Stereophonic Sound. There are location shots of the Ski Slopes of Maine, and Marilyn does a great job as the near-sighted model.
A real bonus in this set is the reconstruced last film "Somethings Got to Give" with Cyd Cherise and Dean Martin, and Phil Silvers (title song by Sinatra).The nude pool scene is featured, which gave her the front cover of 'Life' magazine-she was competeing with fellow Universal star Elizabeth Taylor, filming Cleopatra at the time. Director George Cuckor, lost patience with Marilyn's lateness, illness, trip to New York to sing "Happy Birthday Mr President" at J F Kennedy's Ball, and inability to remember lines, and so fired her. These were the last days. Recently divorced from writer Arthur Millar, and aged 36, she was reinstated with a new contract on 01/08/1962, but only 3 days later, after a celebration she was found to have died in her sleep after her housekeeper Eunice Murray raised the alarm about 3.30am on 4th August.Her body contained substances that her physician Hyman Engleburgh had not prescribed. Disowned by her Father and after a childhood in foster homes; whether on screen or off screen there was a charisma that set her apart, with a shrewdness and vulnerabilty both seductive and innocent. As Joe Coburn narrates; Marilyn Monroe was the most famous, the most glamorous, the most tragic of all actresses.


The Essential Classics Collection
The Essential Classics Collection
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Classics Collection, 5 July 2010
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This set is an excellent introduction to the various facets of Classical Music, or as a collection of old favourites easily accessable. Each of the 6 CDs are arranged according to mood.(1) Meditation; featuring Albinoni, Bach, Faure, Rodrigo, Mahler, and Elgar. (2)Orchestral Fireworks; featuring a rousing excerpt from Tchaikovsky's 1812, Gershwins's Rhapsody In Blue, and the complete Ravel's Bolero.(3)Invitation to the Dance; with Weber, Handel, and Borodin.(4)Nocturne; featuring Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy-Clair de Lune.(5)Pomp and Circumstance; with Elgar, Holst, and Sibelius. (6)Grand Opera; with Puccini-One Fine Day, Bizet-Carmen, Verdi-Il Travatore, and Wagner-Liebestod. Each disc has between 10 and 15 tracks playing for approx 70 minutes. They are compiled by Deutsche Grammophon 1990, usually an indication of excellent artistic and recording quality. The number of well known orchestras and musicians are too many to list in this space, and for quality it is unfair to ignore any, but as a guide- Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Pierre Fournier(cello), Goran Sallischer(guitar), Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra of La Scala, Boston Symphony orchestra, Orchestra of the Bastille, Daniel Barenboim(piano), Simon Preston(organ), and The English Concert Orchestra with Simon Standage(violin)-are included.
This collection is also very good value for money, and very pleasently presented in magnolia and black with various images from a painting by Martin Mooney inspired by classical Corinthian Architecture.


35th Anniversary Great American Songbook [DVD] [2008] [US Import]
35th Anniversary Great American Songbook [DVD] [2008] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Manhattan Transfer

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Manhattan Transfer; 35th Anniversary DVD, 16 Jun 2010
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This DVD is must for anyone interested in Jazz orientated vocals, and an excellent introduction for those who have a wide interest in popular music, in this case the Great American Song Book.As usual the group have presented an original angle on their 35th Anniversary by simplyfing.The packaging by Red Herring shows Tim Hauser, Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Cheryl Bentine in characteristic black and white Evening Dress, like their Art Deco symbol,which is presented like a Dinner,or First Night Invitation. Each of the 5 songs are introduced by the four seated on chrome Art Deco Bar stools, chatting informally about various experiences such as winning a Grammy for "Route 66" in the film 'Sharky's Machine' which also featured Sarah Vaughan. Another anecdote about performing for President Regan at his White House concerts,where again Sarah Vaughan sang "Embraceable You" and a breakdown in communications led to them singing the same song as part of a trbute to Gershwin. "On the Sunny side of the Street" finds the group recalling the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the wonderfull Clarke Sisters whom they saw perform in their 70's;this was featured in the Gena Davies film 'A League of Their Own'
All the songs were recorded on May 13,2008 at the Henson Studios LA, with Yaron Gershovsky at the piano playing with a 1930's roll, and the four immaculate, in casual suits with Oakley spectacles and tailored dresses and sparkling teeth, standing like a semi-pro, or amateur group might do for an impromptu session in a utilitarian room with an overhead mike. They are consummately professional of course, but they have fans around the world who emmulate their style. After a Do-Wap version of "Someone To Watch Over Me" this Classic set is rounded off with another Grammy awarded arrangement of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square".


The Quintissential Peggy Lee [DVD] [2008]
The Quintissential Peggy Lee [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Peggy Lee

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Peggy Lee, 7 Jun 2010
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The title says it all.Standing resplendent in vermillion red-with shoulder pads that are back in fashion today-Peggy creates a timeless statuesque image, and performs most of her hits which were classics by 1984.She always seemed to avoid her age being printed, but here at round about 64 years old with a classic Grecian hair style, she could be much younger.Peggy makes the song "Johnny Guitar" which she wrote with Victor Young, a dramatic flamenco highlight.Also she sings a song in Japanese, which delighted audiences there. What Peggy Lee show would be complete without "The Folks who live on the Hill, Lover,I'm a Woman,and Fever"-well, here they are all presented live with that consummate warm/cool witty artistry, and that strong/soft voice not like any other.The innate Jazz feeling is evident in every song even in the Latin version of "Heart" and "Manana".
Although she performed with name suggested by Benny Goodman, her Swedish ancestry was never submerged,and a slight accent here, a deliberate turn of phrase there, made Peggy Lee all the more enchanting.
On this DVD her 'handsome Italian' pianist and director is Michael Renzi, the 'sensitive' guitarist is John Chiodini, bass is Jay Leonhart, drums by Vinnie Johnson, and vibes/percussion by Mark Sherman, plus the String section of The New Jersey Orchestra.I do not think there are enough superlatives available to describe a performing artist of such beauty and charm as Peggy Lee.


Brasil
Brasil
Price: 8.18

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brasil by The Manhattan Transfer, 7 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Brasil (Audio CD)
For a CD produced round about 1987, the sound is still fresh and contemporary Brazillian music.The group as usual present an intense, witty, nostalgic, and highly professional perfomance.The highlight of this album is when they are joined by Stan Getz with his beautifully toned "Bossa" Sax and singer/composer Djavan on his song "Capim";with his deep flat intonation.Paulinho Da Cotsa plays percussion on this and other tracks, with members of the group Uakti.In the song "Notes from the Underground" by Brock Walsh/Ivan Lins/Vitor Martins; they make reference to the troubled Soweto across a blue /green ocean, and this is a link also with the African 'Sowetto' Market in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Very pertinent to Worldwide politics, this not just a musical fantasy. Most of the songs carry a social comment,and it is interesting that the song "Metropolis" might refer to busy Rio, or Brasillia at 6am, but also recalls the classic Silent Film of the same name.This song has a 'time warp' percussion effect.
Janis Siegel and Alan Paul arrange most of the vocals and Cheryl Bentine's high register harmonising is always present, but a lot of the records success is due to Tim Hauser's brilliant production, and his amazing ability to bring elements and musicians together, and create something new and authentic in whichever musical genre Man Tran chooses to work.


Double Time Jazz Collection 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Double Time Jazz Collection 1 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Carmen Mcrae

5.0 out of 5 stars The Manhattan Transfer "Vocalese"/Carmen McRea live, 17 May 2010
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In this live 1986 concert recorded in Tokyo during their fourth tour of Japan, the Man Tran recreate the 'Vocalese' style of Lambert-Heindricks-Ross.Their cover of 'Airegin' from 1959 composed by Sonny Rollins in 1954 with words by John Heindricks is absolutely scintillating.The opening track 'Four Brothers' inspired by the 1947 Woody Herman Band was already a Man Tran classic;Janis Siegel sings the Zoot Simms sax solo,Tim Hauser sings Serge Chaloff,Alan Paul sings Herbie Steward and Cheryl Bentine sings the Stan Getz solo.And thats 'Vocalese'-anyone not familiar with this jazz form should definitely check this out.In addition to excellent vocal skills the group are known for their theatrical visual approach,and the performance of 'That's Killer Joe' is so nostalgic and amusing against the back street loading bay scenery. Versions of 'Gloria'and 'Hearts Desire' are featured in Do-Wap Accapello style with just a drum or guitar accompaniment.Every song is exceptional but a more recent take of Weather Report's 1971 'Birdland' has the audience cheering and a rousing 'Rays Rock House' based on a Ray Charles instrumental of 1956 brings the audience to their feet during the finale. On the 19 songs featured they are accompanied by 'the best band in the world' director Yaron Gershovsky keyboards,guitars Wayne Johnson,reeds Don Roberts,bass Alex Blake, drums Buddy Williams.
Who does not remember Carmen McRea dressed in lovely furs and feathers and singing 'Beat the Rhythm on The Drum' in 'Porgy and Bess'? Well,in this second 1986 concert on the disc, she is the serious R&B Jazz artist playing piano, performing standards like 'That old Black Magic' and 'Thou Swell', Brazillian songs like 'Dindi'and a Nat Cole tribute 'Beautiful Moons Ago'.Carmen performs 21 songs in all, dignified in a heavy black shift dress and muted on stage lighting.


The Prince And The Showgirl [DVD] [1957]
The Prince And The Showgirl [DVD] [1957]
Dvd ~ Marilyn Monroe
Offered by HallBankMedia
Price: 5.50

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prince and the Showgirl, 10 May 2010
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Marylin produced this with Laurence Olivier, for her own very short lived company in 1957.Marylin goes classic, with a Kathryn Grayson type of song when she woos the Prince of Carpathia (Oivier)after a cold supper in his suite in London.It is the time of the Coronation of George 5th and Queen Mary just a few years before World War One.He is a diplomatic guest and she is an American Showgirl. After an 'oops broken dress strap' moment he is attracted to her during his visit back stage to meet the cast of a show.Richard Wattis plays the government Aid trying to keep diplomatic relations sweet (and funny),and Sybill Thorndike plays a typical Dowager Queen.Annie (Marylin)is treated like a charming little chattle at first, but turns the tables later in a smart cookie way, and becomes the peacemaker between the Prince and his Son, the comming of age Heir to the Carpathian (fictional) Throne. Wonderfull scences of Westminster Abbey, horse drawn carriages, stately music, and marble interiors with Olivier's formal drama and subtle humour, make a classic framework through which Marylin parades like a rare jewel.A Queenly vision in white.


The Complete James Dean Collection : East Of Eden / Rebel Without A Cause / Giant [DVD]
The Complete James Dean Collection : East Of Eden / Rebel Without A Cause / Giant [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Dean
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: 34.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete James Dean Collection, 10 May 2010
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I always wondered why James Dean is an Icon, having never seen his films at the Cinema or properly on TV. After watching this set I certainly know why.Some of his reputation has been handed down as the Bad Boy, but inspite of his adulation of Marlon Brando, his charismatic and committed performances have a lot in common with Kirk Douglas.His first film directed by Elia Kazan from a novel by John Seinbeck-EAST of EDEN- is outstanding, and portays a youth willing to go to extreme lengths to win his father's love (Raymond Massey)and to be reunited with his mother (Jo Van Fleet).Besides the anguish and sometimes violence there is humour in his performance, and his talent was such that he was allowed the freedom to be creative with the script. It is impressive now, but imagine the impact in 1954.Julie Harris plays the girl torn between Cal (james Dean)and his brother Aron (Richard Davalos).There is excellent footage on the second disc with each of the three films in this set.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE-catapulted Dean into teenage idol status and marked Natalie Wood's transition from child to adult star.Here the famous "chicken race" towards a cliff edge echoes Dean's real life as a Circuit Racing enthusiast and Trophy winner.It established Sal Mineo as a young star also.Dean was on his way to race at Salinas in his new lightweight Porche, when on an otherwise empty dual track road a large heavy old Ford saloon turned from a layby on the right very slowly across the road to enter a junction on the left.Driving at 85mph Dean was killed instantly, but his mechanic, and the other young driver escaped with relatively minor injuries.On the footage during a TV interview he had cautioned young drivers to take care on the highways for(very cryptically)"the life you save could be mine".Director George Stevens banned Dean from driving untill the shooting of GIANT-with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson-was completed.This is a three and a half hour Epic based on a novel about the emergence of Texas Oil Barons before World War Two, and the conflict with the traditional wealthy Cattle Ranchers, and also a comment on racial intolerance over a period of thirty years.I think that the Dean character (Jet)degenerated into an alchoholic 50yr old Billionaire, would have rallied himself for a last defiant speech at a dinner celebrating his achievements, instead of sprauling drunkenly in self pity, but I do not have the mind of Geogre Stephens or Edna Ferber.24yr old James Dean was dead the day after his part was shot so I join the other mourners who wonder what greater heights he may have achieved.He vowed to "show them an Actor" and he certainly did.


Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking
Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking
by Delia Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delia's How To Cheat at Cooking, 7 April 2010
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I bought this book for my Daughter who is a busy Professional,and a Vegetarian, to assist with ideas for a large party of non-vegetarians.It is very artistically presented and gives shortened versions of many classic recipes from around the world, some of which are Vegetarian.It is like a text book full of ideas for easy refference, and a usefull addition to any Kitchen.


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