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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2003
Song of Norway is one of the most campy, unintentionally funny movies ever made, not at least from a Norwegian and Danish point of view. It sort of describes the life of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and his Danish cousin & wife, Nina Hagerup. The story only slightly resembles the real one, and there are no real attempt at making it into a fairy tale, like the Danny Kaye movie musical about Hans Christian Andresen. (That movie is so cute, even though it has nothing to do with the life of its subject!)
Song of Norway was presented during WW2 on Broadway as an operetta, and was a big hit. The 1970 movie version doesn't use the Broadway book at all, but lays out a big passionate love triange that never was. There's a Swedish lady involved here, as the snake in the grass. Possibly just to cover all of Scandinavia at once.
And they all sing (quite well, most of them!) and dance into the fjords and up and down the mountains of Norway, around the Danish countryside, into the famous Copenhagen Tivoli and even down to Rome! In one scene I think we see every Norwegian church built before 1900! Even lambs and sheep are dancing, and there is a really bad animated sequence with Trolls resembling monsters in The Flintstones. Famous people portrayed includes Henrik Ibsen, Hans Christian Andersen, Franz Liszt, the Danish composer Gade and the Norwegian Nobel Prize Winner Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (played by the late Sir Harry Secombe). Norwegian actor Toralv Maurstad (Grieg) does his best in impossible surroundings. Florence Henderson (Nina) has obviously been instructed to become the next Julie Andrews and sings happily whenever there is a child or a field or a mountain to climb. And there are lots and lots of nature to climb here! (Julie Andrews must have had her greatest laugh ever watching this! I hope she did watch it!) Edward G. Robinson makes a cute cameo.
The music is wonderful, of course!
The film is hilarious all through (but a bit slow in the end, when it suddenly tries to be serious), - i. e. for people who know how to enjoy a movie where everything has gone completely wrong!
So I jumped from joy discovering that the strange item was available on DVD. Norwegian TV stations never run this film! You see, my old video copy, bought in London a few years ago, was terrible!
And so is the DVD!!! In fact, it is the bad copy on the VHS transferred to DVD without any improvement at all! I didn't know a DVD could look this awful!
The picture quality is so blurry that it is almost impossible to read the opening credits! The movie was made in Super Panavision 70, and looked fantastic back in 1970! From this DVD you might believe it is a bad, early attempt at colour televison! It is also shorter than the theatrical release, with some musical numbers from the old soundtrack LP missing, but it claims to have the original running time! Even the sound is bad! And there are absolutely no extras!
So we perverted ones who like to have a good laugh at silly movies like this will have to wait for something better. This is a low price DVD. One should be payed to buy it!
My thanks to Amazon. however, for the quick delivery and great service! It's not your fault that Prism Leisure/Fremantle Media has put this out there!
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on 21 March 2004
I think this one must have been taken from an old standard 8mm movie format judging by the film quality.
Love the music - what you can hear of it.
Can we have a decent release of it ASAP.
11 Comment| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 May 2008
Bought this DVD from Vicpine and I agree it is a terrible copy of the original. I have the original on BETA and was very disappointed with this DVD. I agree with the comment that there needs to be a much better rendering of this lovely movie than what I purchased. The colour is awful and it is fuzzy. Close your eyes and listen to the music and it might be OK!!
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on 27 November 2016
I really enjoyed this movie and was lucky enough to see it in its original wide screen format. It deserves a proper DVD blu ray release because not only is it beautiful to look at, the singing is excellent as well, especially from the opera singer Frank Porretta who played the part of the composer Rikard Nordraak. Porretta, who sung with the New York City Opera and who counted Dame Joan Sutherland and Beverly Sills among his leading ladies, had a magnificent voice and was a fine actor as well. It is a pity that the magic of this film has been largely lost because of a sub standard DVD release.

A sadly maligned and under-rated film. I would love to see it restored to its former glory.
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on 7 September 2013
Lets face it, every thing is in the mind of the beholder, myself, I find it quite an entertaining film. I have always loved Greigs music, and this has been arranged and scored, in a lush sound for Forrest and Wright 's, (Kismet fame) in an excellent adaptation. A shame the dvd was of poor quality. It makes one wish for a good issue to be done. It fares well, better than Lost Horizon, which was vapid and poor direction. Song of Norway moves along briskly, and the singing is excellent. The soundtrack lp is also excellent. Why hasn' t this also been done on cd.
I am glad it has at least been available on dvd, despite the poor quality, which dosen' t help by zooming into the 70mm frame, to fit the then square, tv screens, when the dvd was first issued.

Haylyn uk

[ASIN:B000U711OW Kismet]]
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on 9 September 2012
As a long term admirer og Edvard Grieg I found the film both enjoyable and informative, as a result of seeing on it's cinema release during the early 70's I have acquired vynil copies of many of the lesser known but worthy of wider coverage compositions some of them world premier recordings and recomend this film to all music lovers.
It is bothe entertaining and informative, excellent value
+ Bishop Roger Gurling
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on 27 August 2012
Having just visited the home of Edvard Grieg in Norway, I was hoping this film would arouse some happy memories. However, I found it extremely dated and very long-winded, and rather boring. I'm afraid it went straight to Oxfam.
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on 16 August 2012
Song Of Norway, is a beautiful on location filmed classical.
Florence Henderson brings with her wonderful voice the professional
written music of Edward Grieg. He became a composer of his time and had
many Norwegen officials against him...
Who have never been in Norway, will visit the beautiful country of the
Midnight Sun.
I do recommend this to see for all these who love classic music.
Edward Grieg composed among many other music, the National Anthem of Norway.
I love it and sadly to say, I cannot own it because England is still on PAL
therefor I cannot play it in America. My high tech blue ray player is not
accepting PAL.
I wished somebody could offere it as DVD but NOT PAL.
Wondering why the music industry cannot produce all DVD's equal???

Monika Nilles
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on 30 September 2013
No, its not a perfect film. Yes, its obviously directed by either a schizoid or multiple directors. However - if youre a fan of operetta, Grieg, or classic Broadway musicals - its a gem. Not to mention, the locations shots are better than a travelog. I saw this film - and loved it - as a teen. It inspired me to spend two years in Scandinavia, learn the language, and truly understand the greatness of Grieg (and the popularity of the wonderful Florence Henderson). Get past the choppy first 30 minutes and its a wonderful story/film/musical.
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on 12 August 2013
I have seen this film years ago and it is still magic, but the quality of the video is poor, which spoilt my viewing as the
sound and picture quality were very poor
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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