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4.8 out of 5 stars119
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2005
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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"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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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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on 14 June 2001
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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on 5 March 2013
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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on 26 February 2014
So clear it is easy to see that Fred was wearing a wig.....Technicolor never looked so good! The pictures were not only colorful, but sharp and a little child I vaguely remember seeing East Parade at our local "Talkies" movie Theatre is far off Healesville Victoria Australia. This time in the comfort of our home in tropical Bandung West Java we enjoyed every frame of this masterpiece of movie musical making.
The extras shed much light on the making of the film with interviews from some of those who were there.....Anne Miller in her latter years had fond memories, so did the man who played the little boy dancer (with Fred).
Even though Fred had come out of retirement to make this movie (and he did even later with Finian's Rainbow) his dancing was better than ever!!!
There is an entire song deleted from the original, considered perhaps a little naughty back then....and Judy's takes and re-takes, each one a treasure.
When you buy this movie, keep it in close proximity to your home video system.....You'll surely be wanting to see it again and again as we do!
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on 11 September 2002
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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on 29 March 2007
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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on 18 August 2013
I have owned, for the last several years, a copy of the DVD version of Easter Parade. It was a two DVD version, the first DVD had the movie and the second, extra features. The blu ray version has the same features, except its all in one single blu ray disc. The print was very sharp and the sound great. The blu ray extenuates the dancing abilities of Fred Astaire and the singing talents of the great Judy Garland. I believe, this is the only movie which featured Fred Astaire and Judy Garland together. Living in Mumbai, India,I was delighted to receive the region Free blu ray disc.
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on 14 May 2015
*** an Iconic musical that, though, I knew many excerpts from, I had never seen the whole thing before. Overall, though I am not that keen on Irving Berlin, the film comes across as a satisfying tale, if a tale that is fairly conventional musical fare. It starts off with Astaire buying Easter Presents for his “girl”, who is also his dance partner. After a clever (but dramatically sluggish) opening sequence of his dancing his way through stores & shops, he discovers the “girl” Nadine (Ann Miller) has left their act and got a contract of her own, so she is ditching him professionally and emotionally. (Weak plot point: he/they are supposed to be going to Chicago to fulfil a contract which he just forgets about). Anyway piqued Don (Astaire) goes out to a bar and picks up any-old -dancer and vows he will remake her into a Miller. This any-old-dancer is of course Judy Garland. He auditions her the following day and the two walk through the Easter Parade in NY. He vows that in a year he will make her the focus of the fashionable Easter Parade. They have a year of rehearsing, performing, and working together, where Garland turns from a gauche ugly duckling of a performer into a professional and accomplished swan. Added to the triangle of Garland, Miller and Astaire is Peter Lawford as Jonathan Harrow III. He falls for Garland but she loves Astaire. This is where the film falls down; nobody would prefer Astaire to Lawford! Lawford is gorgeous, Astaire is too old and anyway completely sexless. However the film contains some great (though sometimes tedious) routines, including the classic and glorious “We’re a couple of swells” where Garland’s comic timing, which is superb throughout the film, completely outshines Astaire’s.
However what is truly fascinating is the genesis of the film is; Astaire‘s part should have been Gene Kelly; Ann Martin was a replacement for Cyd Charisse and Walters (director) replaced Minnelli on the advice of Garland’s psychiatrist! And Garland is beginning to look not so good, noticeably drawn, with her weight going up and down .
All this information and more can be found in the “extras” contained on the DVD , which are quite fascinating: especially and outtakes of Garland doing “Mr Monotony” again and again; you witness what they actually put her thought to get an end product, and her heart just isn’t in it; you can see it in her eyes. What is extraordinary is that she is dressed for this number in a tux, black hat and stockings, a truly iconic image of her, yet not used in the film… and which did not hit celluloid until about two films later.
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