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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, great restoration
Presented in clear and crisp mono this Blu-ray allows you to see this great film as it originally looked back in 1948 - possibly better than it originally looked! A very good restoration of the only Garland & Astaire musical, flicker and scratch free. Originating in three strip Technicolor the film is inherently a little grainy. I'm glad to report the Blu-ray does not...
Published 16 months ago by Musical Fan

versus
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont buy it.
The film is spoilt by constant clips of stills images from the original film,they last quite a while too! They spoil it so much and I simply dont know why they did it! it ruins it and bizarrely has the script still running so you hear the film but cant see it! It drove the family mad and I gave up watching it. Dont dont dont buy it!
Published 15 months ago by Messyhouse


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, great restoration, 20 Mar 2013
By 
Musical Fan (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Presented in clear and crisp mono this Blu-ray allows you to see this great film as it originally looked back in 1948 - possibly better than it originally looked! A very good restoration of the only Garland & Astaire musical, flicker and scratch free. Originating in three strip Technicolor the film is inherently a little grainy. I'm glad to report the Blu-ray does not attempt to hide this and faithfully reproduces the film as accurately as possible.

A great addition to any collection, well worth getting.
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a treat worth waiting for, 20 July 2005
By 
B. Obrien (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Easter Parade [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
This DVD has restored a film from the MGM period of great musicals to its original state.Ive seen this film on many occaisions but never with such outstanding colour sound and clarity.Full marks!!!!
Also included is a commentary by John Fricke who gives you tons of information in a casual and not preaching manner.A must buy for all who apreciate the musicals of the Golden Age
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only pairing of Judy and Fred, 6 Jun 2005
By 
Miguel M. Santos "miguelmsantos" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Easter Parade [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
"Easter Parade" is one of the most famous of the MGM musicals from the 1940s, combining for the only time the talents of two of the biggest stars in the genre: Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Astaire is Don Hewes, a ballroom dancer abandoned by his parter (Ann Miller), who decides to make a chorus girl (Garland) into his new partner. What follows is a funny and romantic musical with some very good Irving Berlin songs.
This is definitely one of Garland's best films, and shows how good a comedienne and a singer she was - her timing during the scene where she dances with Astaire imitating Miller is a gem. I am not a very big fan of Astaire or his style of musical, but his numbers are quite good.
The DVD presents the newly restored copy along with an audio commentary, a making-of which is focused mostly in the songs, a Judy Garland trailer collection and outtakes for a deleted number, similar to Judy did later with "Get Happy" in "Summer stock".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastically feel-good film, acted and danced with style., 14 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Easter Parade [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Easter parade is an excellent film of its era. The plot is constructed cleverly to ensure that your interest is maintained throughout, no doubt to keep you guessing! The dance scenes are choreographed with skill and executed with the brilliance one has come to expect of a Fred Astaire performance. Judy Garland has a role which demands both a cheerful and sombre acting ability and this film is successful in displaying this talent. There is a wonderful moment with the restaurant waiter which creates a lovely humour to the film and gives it an overall well balanced approach to effecting your emotions and ultimately succeeds in leaving you feeling uplifted. I would highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class, 5 Mar 2013
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My favourite Judy Garland film. What a great entertainer she was and you will never see the like of her again ever!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fred and Judy - who could ask for anything more?, 8 April 2008
By 
still searching (MK UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Easter Parade [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
This film is a joy from start to finish and, as has been mentioned elsewhere, the colour and sound reproduction on the DVD are excellent. On this `special edition' there is also an interesting extra in the making of documentary - Easter Parade: On the Avenue - in which you get to learn interesting little snippets such as the fact that Anne Miller had to dance her numbers in a surgical corset due to the fact that, shortly prior to shooting the film, her husband had pushed her down the stairs and broken her back! Also, some might not have known that, but for a similar, though not quite so severe injury, Gene Kelly might have been playing the lead. The aspect ratio also means that you get the full screen image rather than it being cut down.

There is so much to enjoy in this, yet another variation on a theme of pygmalion: not least, of course, We're a Couple of Swells, in which Judy had to persuade Fred to `dust on' and go very much against the normally suave, sophisticated and elegant grain! It is in this number that she seems almost always to be teetering on the edge of going overboard but just, somehow manages the restraint necessary to achieve a superb piece of vaudevillian pastiche. And then there is Fred's `Steppin' Out With My Baby', in which he ends the number by dancing in slow motion against a backdrop chorus dancing in real time: sheer brilliance.

In an era in which we are often served up garbage and expected to accord it the status of entertainment; of reality TV and Hello magazine and, seemingly, commonplace `mega stars' it isn't often that we get to witness and appreciate true and sublime genius on show.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming musical!, 11 Sep 2002
By 
Irena "Say something about yourself!" (Rishon LeZion, Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a charming musical, one of the best Fred Astaire's
films with delightful songs written by Irving Berling.
Fred Astaire plays a famous dancer(as usually) who is betrayed by
his beloved partner.He decides to make the first chorus
girl he sees(Gudy Garland) his next partner - an act of revenge.
This is of course only beginning of the story.
Astaire and Garland perform many unforgettable dances and songs,
the story is funny and just enough complicated and psychological for musical,supporting actors are also great.
An interesting fact is that Fred Astaire played this part instead of Gene Kelly
because Kelly injured his leg a few days before beginning of the production.
Actually this film was Astaire's comeback after his retirement in 1946.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easter Parade [1948] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 16 July 2014
Easter Parade [1948] [Blu-ray] [US Import] ONE OF MGM’S BRIGHTEST, CHEERIEST MUSICALS! PLUS THE UPLIFTING IRVIN BERLIN SCORE IS FIRST RATE!

Strolling along 5th Avenue or going with a couple of bums with A Couple of Swells. Judy Garland and Fred Astaire lead a parade of music [17 Irvin Berlin tunes and an Academy Award® winning adaption score arranged by Johnny Green and Roger Edens] and gotta-dance fun [including Fred Astaire’s Drum Crazy] in this never-ending delight and co-starring Ann Miller [performing a knockout Shakin’ the Blues Away] and Peter Lawford [gamely crooning The Fella with the Umbrella] with Judy garland. Don’t let this colourful Easter parade pass you by!

FILM FACTS: The film won the 1948 Academy Award® for Best Original Music Score. The writers of the film also received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical.

Cast: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Clinton Sundberg and Jimmy Bates

Director: Charles Walters

Producer: Arthur Freed

Screenwriters: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich and Sidney Sheldon

Composers: Irving Berlin, Johnny Green and Roger Edens

Cinematography: Harry Stradling Sr.

Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Audio: English: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, German: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Portuguese: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German SDH

Running Time: 108 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – "The happiest musical ever made…" is how MGM's publicity machine marketed 'Easter Parade' upon its initial release in 1948, and despite the passage of 65 years, the tagline still rings true today. As light and airy as a scrumptious soufflé, this joyous Irving Berlin confection features a whopping 17 of the composer's best loved tunes, and showcases the incomparable talents of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in their only screen appearance together. Add a sizzling tap routine by Ann Miller, the charm of Peter Lawford, and an inspired comic turn by Jules Munshin, and it's easy to see why 'Easter Parade' remains a perennial holiday favourite and one of America's most treasured musicals.

Fred Astaire and Judy Garland make a marvellous team, but their dream coupling happened literally by accident, when original leading man Gene Kelly broke his ankle playing touch-football during rehearsals. At Kelly's suggestion, producer Arthur Freed approached Astaire as a replacement, but held out little hope of hiring him. The legendary dancer had been cooling his heels in retirement for two years, and hardly seemed eager to return to work. Yet he jumped at chance to team with Garland, and despite a hefty 23-year age difference, the two enjoy a relaxed rapport during their musical and dramatic scenes that makes their fictional love affair utterly believable.

A torn ligament forced Cyd Charisse to bow out of 'Easter Parade,' paving the way for Ann Miller to join the MGM ranks, and though Garland's husband at the time, Vincente Minnelli, was initially pencilled in as director, marital stresses between the two forced Metro executives to rethink the decision. On advice from Garland's doctors, Freed dismissed Minnelli, and novice Charles Walters nabbed the plum assignment. The switch would prove fortuitous, as Walters' easy-going style better suits the movie's casual nature, allowing it to seamlessly juggle its cavalcade of musical numbers and the plot's substantial romantic complications.

Those complications begin almost at once, as snappy vaudeville dancer Don Hewes [Fred Astaire] is unceremoniously dumped — both professionally and personally - by his ungrateful partner, Nadine Hale [Ann Miller], so she can star solo in a Ziegfeld Follies revue. In a fit of pique, a lovelorn Don randomly selects the unassuming, insecure, yet beguiling Hannah Brown [Judy Garland] from a saloon chorus line to groom as Nadine's replacement, and vows within a year to make her the sensation of both the 1912 Broadway season and New York's famed Easter Parade. But instead of highlighting Hannah's down-to-earth personality and potent pipes, Don insists she mimic Nadine's more refined, sophisticated image. Following a string of disastrous performances (and a comical tête-á-tête with Nadine), Don realises his mistake, revamps the act, and begins to recognises Hannah's talent, beauty, and spirit.

Most musicals feature a love triangle of some sort, but 'Easter Parade' goes a step further by creating a love square. Hannah silently pines for Don, who still carries a torch for Nadine, who aggressively pursues Don's best friend Johnny [Peter Lawford], who instantly falls for Hannah when they meet by chance during a downpour (and sing the sweet but silly ballad, 'A Fella with an Umbrella'). Amazingly, all the tangled relationships iron themselves out in the end, as the film deftly blends the vagaries of human emotion with the ebullience of musical comedy.

Judy Garland once again combines heart-breaking vulnerability with impeccable comic timing (just watch how she proves to Astaire she's a sexy dish) to create a totally unaffected portrayal. Whether she's confessing her unrequited love for Don, venting her anger over his obsessive attitude toward work ("You're nothing but a pair of dancing shoes!"), or expressing joy at the prospect of Broadway success, Judy Garland is always completely genuine, and that all-too-rare quality — as much as her peerless voice — puts the audience in the palm of her hand. Her readings of the nostalgic 'Michigan,' plaintive 'Better Luck Next Time,' and ebullient title tune are letter-perfect, and although many cite 'A Couple of Swells' (a classic number in which Judy and Fred cavort as lovable tramps) as the picture's musical highlight, in my book, a medley of Berlin standards capped by an exhilarating rendition of 'When That Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam' displays Garland to even better advantage. Sure, Judy's no Ginger, but she more than holds her own with Astaire, and their dances together possess an infectious enthusiasm that more than compensates for the simplistic steps.

Never fear, Fred Astaire tackles more complex moves during his solo routines, with typically thrilling results. He shows off his trademark agility and dexterity in the opening 'Drum Crazy' number, and creatively employs special effects for 'Steppin' Out with My Baby,' in which he dances in slow motion in the foreground (a gimmick that spotlights his supreme artistry), while the chorus performs at regular speed behind him. He also elegantly partners Miller, who almost steals the film with her deliciously bitchy (yet endearingly comic) portrayal of the haughty Nadine, and her show-stopping interpretation of Irvin Berlin's 'Shakin' the Blues Away.'

One of the most enjoyable musicals ever made, 'Easter Parade' is a full-bodied experience, integrating songs, comedy, romance, and heartache with such panache it's no wonder it was MGM's top-grossing movie of the year and a crowning achievement for the Arthur Freed Unit. The studio, of course, quickly tried to duplicate the magic by re-teaming Judy and Fred on two subsequent occasions, but, sadly, illness prevented Garland from completing either 'The Barkleys of Broadway' or 'Royal Wedding.' Although it's impossible not to rue such missed opportunities, they make us doubly appreciate the pair's appearance in 'Easter Parade,' and the energy, style, and expertise Garland and Astaire bring to this enduring musical classic. Definitely a couple of swells, indeed.

Blu-ray Video Quality – Easter is all about colour — pastels in particular — and with a sparkling, beautifully modulated with his stunning 1080p image transfer, 'Easter Parade' looks as bright and lush as a freshly decorated holiday egg. The costumes (designed by Irene) sport a plethora of plumes, but the richly saturated hues never bleed. The yellow gloves and skirt Miller wears during 'Shakin' the Blues Away,' and the blazing red feather boa she brandishes throughout 'The Girl on the Magazine Cover' possess exceptional vibrancy, and such subtle accents as Astaire's colourful socks grab our attention like never before. Although primary hues burst forth, the more muted pinks, lavenders, and pale greens possess equal depth and richness, making this a stellar representation of three-strip Technicolor.

'Easter Parade' first arrived on DVD in 2005 as one of Warner's flagship ultra-resolution offerings, and the results were largely fantastic. This Blu-ray edition seems to be a recycled version of that transfer, with slightly heightened resolution and more intense contrast upping the ante just a bit. Background elements are even more distinct this time around, especially the toys in the opening 'Drum Crazy' number, and accessories, like the aforementioned feathers and furs, possess striking levels of detail. The texture of fabrics is also more visible, as is the clarity of the rain in the 'Fella With an Umbrella' sequence, lending the image additional presence and impact. Black levels are strong and inky, white variations in the gowns are easy to discern, and flesh tones, while leaning a smidge toward the rosy side, are generally true.

Like the DVD, faint grain provides a lovely film-like appearance, and only a couple of errant specks dot the pristine print. A few shots seem slightly overexposed, but such instances are few and far between. Typical of Warner classic releases, no digital enhancements disrupt the picture's purity, nor do imperfections such as banding, noise, or artefacts rear their ugly heads. Though it's not perfect (it doesn't quite match 'Singin' in the Rain' or 'An American in Paris'), this rendering of 'Easter Parade' still ranks as the best yet, and it's tough to imagine this classic musical looking any better than it does here. Musicals fans should be pleased as punch.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Because none of the 'Easter Parade' pre-recordings survive, Warner was unable to fashion an authentic 5.1 re-master at the time of the film's 2005 DVD release. That also means no 5.1 mix for the 2013 Blu-ray, but the 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track that is included provides well-scrubbed, distortion-free audio with plenty of tonal depth. A faint bit of hiss can be detected occasionally, but for the most part the sound is clean and pure. Subtle accents such as street noise, footsteps, and rain are crisper here than on the previous track, and more musical nuances in the underscoring can be detected.

Dialogue remains clear and comprehendible throughout, and song lyrics are always easy to understand, too. The musical sequences benefit from solid fidelity, from the strings on 'Ragtime Violin' to the heavy brass that permeates 'Steppin' Out With My Baby.' The percussion on 'Drum Crazy' possesses fine resonance and some palpable bits of boomy bass, while Miller's taps are snappily distinct and Garland's powerhouse vocals enjoy marvelous dynamic range and exude lush tonal depth. Whether singing a simple ballad, such as 'Michigan,' or letting loose on 'I Love a Piano' and 'When That Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam,' the vocal purity and engaging warmth that distinguish Garland's performances come through beautifully here.

The 'Easter Parade' track doesn't possess as much oomph and zing as those accompanying more modern musicals, but it more than suffices, and allows us to savour the magic of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.

Blu-ray Special features and Extras:

Commentary with Ava Astaire McKenzie and John Fricke: A delightful audio commentary by affable and supremely knowledgeable Garland historian John Fricke and Astaire's daughter, Ava Astaire McKenzie, is chock-full of fascinating information. At its best (which is pretty often), the informal, free-flowing track makes one feel like a fly on the wall at a cocktail party, eavesdropping on John and Ava (pronounced Ah-va) as they swap stories about Garland and Astaire. Some of the charming anecdotes include how the two stars devised their wardrobe for the immortal 'A Couple of Swells' number; what happened when Irving Berlin tried to gently coach Garland on how to perform one of his songs; and how Astaire's reputation as a stern taskmaster initially intimidated Garland. McKenzie recalls her father's perfectionism, explains the evolution of the Astaire name, and shares her early memories of Berlin phoning her home, while Fricke provides a comprehensive overview of the film's production intertwined with biographies of the cast and crew. He divulges that Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, and Red Skelton were once considered for 'Easter Parade' supporting roles, details the excruciating back pain Ann Miller endured during the shooting of her dance numbers, and often quotes from the much darker and melodramatic original script that was wisely overhauled. Both Fricke and McKenzie have pleasant speaking voices, and their relaxed conversation and insightful observations make the track fly by.

Easter Parade: On the Avenue [Documentary] [34:25] This slickly produced, informative feature chronicles the film's production history through clips, photos, studio logs, and interviews. Writer Sidney Sheldon (yes, that Sidney Sheldon) discusses his extensive contributions to the script and how he successfully lightened the original screenplay's tone, while Ann Miller matter-of-factly recalls how an abusive husband kicked her down a flight of stairs when she was nine months pregnant, resulting in a stillbirth and causing the horrible back injury that plagued her throughout filming. In addition, John Fricke and Ava Astaire McKenzie offer their perspective on the movie, but the documentary's biggest surprise is the appearance of Jimmy Bates, who, as a child, clutched the stuffed rabbit Astaire so desperately covets in the 'Drum Crazy' number. Now an esteemed choreographer, Bates remembers his awestruck impressions of Astaire, Garland, and filmmaking in general, and the special gift Astaire gave him at the conclusion of shooting. Other great anecdotes from Sheldon, Fricke, and McKenzie spice up this typically fine Warner documentary.

"Mr. Monotony" [Musical Outtakes] [3:09] First seen in 'That's Entertainment III,' this simple yet potent Garland performance finds the star dressed in the identical outfit she donned for her iconic 'Get Happy' number in 'Summer Stock' two years later. With her patented magnetism, Garland sexily struts her stuff to Berlin's odd but infectious melody, building to a thrilling climax. Trust me, it's anything but monotonous!

"Mr. Monotony" [Dailies] [18:11] 'Mr. Monotony' was quite a find when it was discovered in the MGM vaults, but an equally wondrous treasure is the extensive collection of dailies from which the finished product was culled. These alternate takes provide a fascinating look at the filmmaking process and the incredible effort that goes into performing and documenting a seemingly simple song and dance. An array of long shots, medium shots, and close-ups from various sections of the song, as well as Garland's numerous curtain call attempts, are included. Watching Judy clown around while she waits for the playback, then chime in on cue, and muster the same energy level and pitch-perfect execution in take after take after take makes one appreciate her talent, professionalism, and vivacious personality all the more. As icing on the cake, both the completed number and all the dailies have been magnificently restored, so they look and sound terrific.

Radio Promo [audio only] [4:24] Dick Simmons conducts an obviously scripted interview with Astaire, in which the classy hoofer talks about his retirement, how the charms of 'Easter Parade' lured him back to the screen, his early vaudeville days with his sister Adele, and the importance of dance in everyone's daily lives.

Vintage Radio Adaptation Broadcast [audio only] [54:00] This 1951 radio adaptation of 'Easter Parade' allows Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Peter Lawford the chance to reprise their film roles, while Monica Lewis fills in for Ann Miller. Peter Lawford narrates this truncated version, which deletes a few songs ('A Couple of Swells' among them), shifts the order of others, and substitutes 'How Deep Is the Ocean' for 'Shakin' the Blues Away.' The story's essence, however, remains intact, and it's fun to hear how Judy and Fred interpret the slightly different script. Unfortunately, the audio quality is just a hair above atrocious, yet we're lucky the 54-minute adaptation exists at all, and Warner deserves kudos for including it, despite its compromised quality.

Theatrical Trailer [2:00] The re-release preview for 'Easter Parade' rounds out the disc supplements.

Finally, 'Easter Parade' isn't just for Easter; it's a year-round celebration of the movie musical and the incomparable talents of Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. With a cavalcade of fine Irving Berlin tunes, top-flight vocals, elegant dancing, a breezy plot, and sumptuous Technicolor, this captivating Arthur Freed production remains one of MGM's crown jewels in the musical realm. Excellent video and audio transfers spruce up the release and despite the omission of an Emmy Award-winning Garland documentary, a fine array of rare and entertaining supplements enhance our appreciation of this timeless classic. Though its reputation may not be as lofty as some of MGM's iconic musicals, in its own way, it's every bit as good. That is why I am so proud to add this to my ever increasing Judy Garland Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Join Fred + Judy on 5th Avenue for the Easter Parade, 29 Mar 2007
This review is from: Easter Parade [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
Garland's biggest money-maker for MGM and one of her greatest performances comes in the lovely musical 'Easter Parade'.

The storyline focuses on a Broadway dance star (Astaire) who has to find a dance partner to replace his former partner Ann Miller who's left him to join the Ziegfeld Follies. He just happens to stumble upon Judy Garland and from the then on the result is pure musical entertainment!

With a vast array of some old + some new Irving Berlin hit tunes in the score, it guarrantees a brilliant film in all aspects.

So get onto 5th Avenue + join the Easter Parade!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must buy!, 18 Nov 2006
By 
This review is from: Easter Parade [DVD] [1948] (DVD)
im 15 years of age and think this film is really good and interesting to watch, in the film they have an array of songs which are very memerabe such as; easter parade, a couple of swells etc....etc.... it has a good storyline which wont bore you so i think to all those people who love a good classic film should definatly buy this one :D
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Easter Parade [DVD] [1948]
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