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Rodgers And Hammerstein : A Musical Celebration - Carousel / The King and I / Oklahoma ! / The Sound of Music / South Pacific / State Fair [12 DVD Special Edition Box Set]
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A 12 Disc Anniversary Collection of your favourite Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, digitally remastered and presented in a collectable "Pop-Up" carousel package with all new Sing-Along edition options!Contains the following six classic films like youve never seen them before! Carousel; The King and I; Oklahoma!; The Sound of Music; South Pacific; State Fair;
Carousel - Spectacular staging dots this widescreen deluxe Rodgers and Hammerstein musical as Gordon MacRae brings a blustery energy to the lead role of Billy Bigelow, a drifter and ne'er-do-well carnival 'barker'. The troubled soul finally settles down with a good woman (Shirley Jones) but then gets stabbed to death while committing a robbery. Many years later, an angel offers the roustabout the chance to return to earth for just one day to makes things right for his unhappy wife and the daughter he never had the chance to meet. Based on the French play "Lilion" by Ferene Molnar, Carousel ranks among the better Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, making it a classic by any standard. To boot, the film's tale of love between Bigelow and wife Julie rivals that of any other 1950s musical. Songs from the outstanding score include 'If I Loved You', 'June Is Busting Out All Over', and 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.The King and I - In 1955 this lavish production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit "The King and I", starring Yul Brynner as the King of Siam and Deborah Kerr as the governess sent to look after his children, was the most expensive film ever mounted by 20th Century Fox. The 40 sets in ripe decors by Walter M Scott and Paul S Fox included a ballroom of black marble with jade and silk tapestries and a banqueting scene with a table that gives the impression of stretching to infinity. The costumes by Irene Sharaff, notably the hoop ballroom gown for Deborah Kerr and those for the ballet "The Small House of Uncle Thomas", dazzle the eye in their delineation of Western manners and Oriental splendour. Brynner remains impressive as the King but his pidgin dialogue, inherited from Hammerstein's book, with the dropping of the definite article takes some adjustment. Alfred Newman put his unique stamp on the music: the Overture offers an example of his luminous divided string sound, the climactic ballroom scene a full bodied orchestral reprise of "Shall We Dance?" as the camera pulls away to a high angle producing an exultant visual finish to this celebrated polka. Oklahoma - The hit Broadway musical from the 1940s gets a lavish if not always exciting workout in this 1955 film version directed by old lion Fred Zinnemann (High Noon). Gordon MacRae brings his sterling voice to the role of cowboy Curly and Shirley Jones plays Laurie, the object of his affection. The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top", "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're in Love", and Agnes DeMille provides the buoyant choreography. Among the supporting cast, Gloria Grahame is memorable as Ado Annie, the "girl who cain't say no", and Rod Steiger overdoes it as the villainous Jud. --Tom Keogh The Sound of Music - The most widely seen movie produced by a Hollywood studio, The Sound of Music grows fresher with each viewing. Though it was planned meticulously in pre-production (save for the scene where Maria and the children take a dipping in an Austrian lake that nearly cost a life), on each viewing one is struck anew by the spontaneous almost improvisatory air of the acting, notably of Julie Andrews under Robert Wise's direction. There are also the little human touches he brings to, for instance, the scene where Maria leads the children to the hills, over bridges and along tow paths where the smallest boy trips up and momentarily gets left behind: it creates a feeling that most of us have encountered. From the opening pre-credit sequence of muted excitement as the camera roves over the Austrian Alps (photographed in magnificent colour), where little phrases from the wind instruments on the soundtrack are flung as if on the breeze, foreshadowing the title song to follow, the production never puts a foot wrong. South Pacific - The dazzling Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, brought to lush life by the director of the original stage version, Joshua Logan. Set on a remote island during the Second World War, South Pacific tracks two parallel romances: one between a Navy nurse (Mitzi Gaynor) "as corny as Kansas in August" and a wealthy French plantation owner (Rossano Brazzi), the other between a young American officer (John Kerr) and a native girl (France Nuyen). The theme of interracial love was still daring in 1958, and so was director Logan's decision to overlay emotional moments with tinted filters--a technique that misfires as often as it hits. The comic relief tends to fall flat and an overly spunky Mitzi Gaynor is a poor substitute for the stage original's Mary Martin. But the location scenery on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is gorgeous and the songs are among the finest in the American musical catalogue: "Some Enchanted Evening", "Younger than Springtime", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", "This Nearly Was Mine". That's Juanita Hall as the sly native trader Bloody Mary, singing the haunting tune that launched a thousand tiki bars, "Bali H'ai". The movie is based on stories from James Michener's book "Tales from the South Pacific". --Robert Horton, Amazon.com State Fair - Good old-fashioned hometown pride is on display in lavish Technicolor in this remake of the 1933 film, the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written directly for the silver screen. When the Frake family travels to the fair, Ma and Pa (Charles Winninger and Fay Bainter) enter contests while daughter Margy (Jeanne Crain) and son Wayne (Dick Haymes) both fall in love for the first time. State Fair is attractively photographed and energised by the vibrant performances of the talented lead actors and actresses, but the high point of the film is the colourful hoopla and hullabaloo of the fair itself, a bustling nexus of strange, wonderful, and hilarious characters brought to life by the fine supporting cast. Songs from the Academy Award-nominated score include 'It's a Grand Night for Singing', 'That's For Me', and the Oscar-winning 'It Might As Well Be Spring'.
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Top customer reviews
The fair is fabulous, if only they still existed like that.
Better get on with watching the rest.. if "State fair" is the least excellent, there is going to be terrific fun in watching the rest completely from start to finish - oh , and the bonus disks are a treat.. Excellent.
This boxset includes the 2-Disc Special Edition version of every film, unlike other boxsets who simply include either all single disc version or just one special edition. Even State Fair, an early Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and the only one written for screen, has a 2-disc version, which includes a remake from 1962 (with commentary) and a pilot for a TV adaptation that was never made. I haven't watched those special features, but you also get a featurette documentary, commentary, trailers and more! It's not my favourite film of the set- a bit too quaint for me- but for those who like old-fashioned quaint musicals (Meet Me in St Louis and the like), this is for you!
Carousel is a lovely film, bittersweet throughout. It tells the story of the deceased Billy (Gordon McRae), a carousel barker who comes down from heaven to make amends for the wrongs he has done to his wife (Shirley Jones). Some complained that the direction was too heavy-handed and perhaps those who have seen stage versions might agree, but for those who haven't had a chance to see a stage version, this is a good adaptation. McRae is particularly strong. It is a sad film though, so be prepared for tears! This special edition has a trailer, commentary, some featurettes, TV performances from the era singing some numbers (this is included on all the films except The Sound of Music, which was written after the broadcast), and some deleted songs in audio. You can also listen to the isolated score I think.
The King and I is for the most part set in the interior of the King's palace. In the 19th century, Anna (Deborah Kerr), a governess, goes with her small son to work for the many children of the King of Siam (Yul Brynner). Originally Anna and the King experience a culture clash, but slowly they come to an understanding. For me, the songs aren't as strong as Carousel or South Pacific. My favourite songs here are Shall We Dance and Getting To Know You. However, the performances are flawless- Brynner and Kerr are definitive- and you get to see Kerr in some beautiful but ginormous dresses. This special edition has a trailer, some featurettes, commentary, and a TV pilot of a non-singing version (with commentary by one of its stars), plus some deleted songs in audio.
Oklahoma! is one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's first musicals (and the first one to be adapted for screen). This is where we first see the pairing of Gordon McRae and Shirley Jones- here playing Curly, a cowman, and farm girl Laurey, who refuse to admit their feelings for each other. It's also about the transformation from Oklahoma Territory to Oklahoma, the state (the state of Oklahoma has made the title song their national anthem). The stage musical is darker (the 1998 version with Hugh Jackman is more accurate) but this is still an enjoyable version. The songs are catchy- this is a more upbeat musical compared to Carousel, although it does have its degree of danger. Who will Laurey take to the box social- Curly or sinister farmhand Judd? The special features are mainly about the process it was shot in- Todd AO- and you get both the Cinemascope version of the film and the Todd AO version. Personally, I can't tell the difference.
The Sound of Music is so well-known that I need not go into the story. There are plenty of great special features here, and you get a commentary from director Robert Wise, Julie Andrews, and Christopher Plummer (who played Captain Von Trapp)! This is the perfect film for a bank holiday.
South Pacific has probably spawned the most well-known songs. Younger Than Springtime, Bali Hai, There is Nothing Like A Dame, Some Enchanted Evening...all of these have found their way into musical history. South Pacific is set during WW2 on the Pacific Islands. The sailors are missing female company but luckily there's some beautiful girls on Bali Hai. One of them (John Kerr) falls in love with one of the natives (France Nguyan). The other romantic coupling is army nurse Nellie (Mitzi Gaynor) and French plantation owner Emile (Rossano Brazzi), who is many years her senior. The musical is essentially about whether the characters can overcome society's prejudices and the consequences of failure to do so. It's a long musical- you get an Intermission- but for a rarely done musical, it's worth it. The most famous element of this film is probably the colour filters, which look like a bad amateur stage production. The intention of the filmmakers is that it would be just like going to see the stage version. Some complain about the film but I really like it and I've yet to see a better version. The song "Carefully Taught"- a song about how society creates prejudice- was almost cut because it wasn't seen as being right for a musical to tackle such issues. Luckily, it stayed. Instead of cut songs, you get all the songs plus an extra one- My Girl Back Home. This edition has an interesting documentary about the writer of the source material it was based on going to visit the islands where he was stationed and both the theatrical version of the film and the roadshow version (which has an extra fourteen minutes, including the cut chorus of Some Enchanted Evening where Nellie and Emile do the pose on the soundtrack album).
This is just a brilliant collection. All the commentaries have subtitles as well!
Every song on this set is perfect and shows what masters of song and dance Rogers and Hammerstein truly where.
Buy this and be englufed by the extras alone.
A perfect pressie for those musical children, let them see what true class is.
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