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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 August 2009
These films showcase most of the best dancers Fred teamed up with, although I'd have liked Leslie Caron or Audrey Hepburn to be here so as to provide a definitive collection of the best.

Easter Parade features Judy Garland. Made in 1948 as a young adult, it shows her at her best with classics such as 'We're a couple of Swells' and includes an engaging story. For Broadway Melody he teams up with Eleanor Powell. There's not much in the way of a story other than to provide an excuse for extended dance sequences such as the lengthy Begin the Beguine. The only question I've never been able to decide is whether Eleanor was Fred's greatest partner or Cyd Charisse. The chance to make the comparison comes with Band Wagon with Cyd at her greatest and Fred still as charismatic as ever. This is without doubt one of the greatest ever musicals.

Not quite so touched with greatness are the other two features. The Barkleys of Broadway features Ginger Rogers and is an oddity. Made 10 years after their previous film, it re-united them for their only colour feature, but they are not quite as good as they were in their pomp in the 1930s. It does feature though the sublime 'They can't take that away from me'. And finally Finian's Rainbow teams Fred up with someone who is on nobody's list of top 25 dance partners... Petula Clark! Fred was pushing 70 and had given up film dancing after Silk Stockings 10 years earlier. Directed by Ford Coppola, this should have been great, but instead is another oddity.

One movie aside, this is a good collection of Fred movies.
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on 8 December 2013
Why do Amazon continue to stock products from Elstree Hill Studios? Anyone who ever buys a film issued by this company is in for a major disappointment. Their quality is always dire. Some wrongly think that this is because they often issue old classics and therefore allownces must be made. Untrue! There's are the lowest quality generation films around and are often simply unwatchable and unlistenable.

Amazon, please reconsider your policy of advertising products from this company. I'm certain that you only damage your own reputation by continuing to sell such DVDs.

Elstree Hill should be well and truly outlawed!
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on 1 February 2012
I would also like to add a very important aspect of this dvd set and which is relevant to all those who are hard of hearing or deaf and that is that this set carries subtitle in english on all the films. I find many instances of this lack of information with Amazon and other retailers. They really need to get their act together as some 10% of the population suffer from hearing disorders and rely on such helpful technology to follow the storylines and so enjoy the film. Wake up Amazon to all the lost revenue you must be suffering for if this information is not provided than you are losing out on an additional possible 10% increase in your film sales on DVDs.
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on 5 October 2014
You're being ripped off! Elstree Hill specialise in cheap releases of public domain movies, and this is no exception. You can watch all three movies completely legally for free online.
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on 18 August 2009
Royal Wedding is the stand-out film in this collection. Dancing with the overlooked and under-rated Jane Powell, as part a brother sister act, it features several of Fred's most legendary routines including the innovative, at the time, "You're all the world to me' when he dances on the ceiling and walls. Although I prefer him dancing with the hatstand.

Second Chorus is a minor film and it's often reported that Fred thought it his worse, which is a bit unfair as the swing music is great and Paulette Goddard works well with him.

The Over The Hill Gang Rides Again is not a well-known film, and it isn't a musical but a comedy western made for tv in the 1970s. It's a sequel and although the first film was more entertaining, if you like the old western actors such as Walter Brennan and Andy Devine then you may have enough goodwill to enjoy. I know I did!
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on 28 July 2011
What a disappointment! I have not seen any of the 3 films all the way through. the quality of the DVD sound and images is absolutely awful. Do not waste your money.
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on 11 March 2010
Fred as a drunk is brilliant and portrays the character with an understanding of the role I would not have thought he had. The "over the hill" film is wonderful and funny. The others are not great as the production is poor and the story line not gripping and sadly the dancing does not hold up to the standard I have come to expect from Fred Astaire. Get the cowboy film on its own, it is the best of the bunch.
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on 18 June 2012
I bought this for someone else who likes Fred Astaire and they are delighted with this dvd. It has 6 of the classic films of Fred Astaire.
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on 5 October 2010
I was delighted to get the Fred Astaire collection. I was looking for Band Wagon and Broadway Melody and was so happy to get Easter Parade which is great and Barclays of Broadway which I had never seen. Finigans Rainbow I think I will reserve for a later time in my development - I live in Ireland and feel that it may be a little OTT!! Just wish that Silk Stockings had been included - that would have made it the Perfect Fred Collection.
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on 28 June 2011
I greatly looked forward to seeing Fred Astaire films I had never seen before but the first one I watched, the "Over the hill gang rides again" was a sequel of a made for TV western movie that was so dull out of the 5 of us that sat down to watch it I was the only one who made it to the end. Astaire is more of a cameo in the film and while there are great films in which he does not dance, here he does no dancing and the film is anything but great.
The other two films are not very good films, but they at least allow the star to shine. While neither is a good film as a whole, Royal Wedding includes the famous dancing on the roof scene which makes it worth having, and Second Chorus has Artie Shaw playing himself as one of the secondary characters.
The sound quality on all three films is extremely bad (sadly including the music).
Fred Astaire was a great performer, so even given these mediocre to awful platforms he was able to stand out, but the only thing in the entire set worth owning is the dancing on the ceiling scene. If you want that you could just get Royal Wedding alone (hopefully with a restored soundtrack).
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