Wonderful collection of classic films with legendary performers. Available in great sound and stunning technicolour:
ANNIE GET YOUR GUN: Ethel Merman blasted out the stage version. Judy Garland was signed for the film but deemed unsuitable with her problems. Hence, Betty Hutton played the leading role, exceptionally well. George Sidney replaced Busby Berkley as director. MGM's biggest earner of 1950. Based loosely on 'No, No Nanette', Sidney obtains the best from a marvellous score. Simple plot of a love-affair between two hot shots attracted to two different Wild West Shows. Starring Howard Keel, Louis Calhern (Buffalo Bill) and J. Carrol Naish as Sitting Bull. The numbers include , 'Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better', 'Tea For Two', 'I Want to Be Happy', 'There's No Business Like Show Business', 'I Only Have Eyes For You'. How could it fail? Absolutely brilliant.
EASTER PARADE: Producer Arthur Freed replaced Gene Kelly with Fred Astaire after Kelly's ankle strain. This produced the year's best musical. Astaire (Don Hewes) is ditched by his partner (Ann Miller) when Ziegfeld lured her. Astaire retorts by claiming he can make a star out of anyone. He picks out chorus girl, Judy Garland. Despite initial friction, love blossoms. 'Easter Parade' strolling up 5th Avenue, 'Stepping Out With My Baby', 'A Couple of Swells' are amongst 17 Berlin numbers. Scripted by Sidney Shelton. Another perrennial delight.
CALAMITY JANE: Another MGM dynamo. Doris Day almost is saying to Betty Hutton, 'Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better'. In glorious technicolour, Doris is energetic to the point of frenetic. 'Secret Love' (Sammy Fain and Paul Webster) turned out to be Doris's greatest hit and best song Oscar. Howard Keel is magnificent. Other magical numbers include 'The Deadwood Stage'and 'Just Blew In From The Windy City'. Forget the plot this is joyous.
HIGH SOCIETY: MGM re-make of 'The Philadelphia Story'. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly star in a to-and-fro love story between new to be husband and the ex. The performers dazzle under Charles Wright's direction. Louis Armstrong appears ('High Society Calypso' and 'I Love You Samantha'). Other notable numbers are 'I Love You Samantha', 'Well, Did You Evah', 'Another swell party'. Never dates nor who gets the girl in the end.
MEET ME IN ST LOUIS: A perfect St Louis family, 1902-3 (The Smiths). Vintage MGM. The musical numbers are outstanding. Starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor with Vincene Minnelli's direction outstanding. The basic theme is the changes in the household corresponding to the seasonal variations. Numbers include, 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas', 'Meet me in St Louis', 'Skip To My Lou', 'Over The Bannister'. The end is a little disappointing but does not detract from the film.
Five, five star films. Everlasting. Wonderfully filmed and recorded with top casts and numbers. Right at the top of the tree (Christmas or otherwise). Not much to place above them. Recommendation is obvious particularly at the price.