Top positive review
38 people found this helpful
*****Picture & Sound, *****Features
on 14 February 2005
Considering this film came out in 1929 and was the first real example of what we would recognise today as a "backstage musical" I have to say it really is outstanding. No, it's not as good as "Top Hat" or "42nd Street", but really, how could you expect it to be? Considering that "The Jazz Singer", the first real talkie, came along only two years earlier, this is nothing short of a marvel - it's as far ahead of that film as "The Matrix" is ahead of "The Day The Earth Stood Still". The DVD transfer, both sound and picture-wise, is far, far better than I myself expected, and though they sure won't appeal to everyone, the 2 hours of features (short subjects from around the time of the film's release,) included here add to the experience no end. My only criticism is that there isn't a booklet, there are no on-screen production notes, and there is no commentary. For such a landmark picture as this - in actual fact this was the first film ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture - I don't think some kind of factual background info would have gone amiss, in whatever form. Nevertheless, trust me, this is one of the best DVD releases EVER of a movie from the transitional late-20s / early-30s period, and it should be an integral part of any serious movie buff's collections whether they're especially fond of musicals or not. "Chicago" it ain't, but if you can accept the fact that this film is 75 years old and make a few allowances for the technical problems the cast and crew must have faced in making it, this film cannot fail to brighten up your life. Buy it right now.