|The Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection (DVD, 2000, 6-Disc Set) - BRAND NEW -OOP|
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|Genre:||Musical & Performing Arts|
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Richard Rodgers was one of the most creative and melodic composers of classic American Music. While, Oscar Hammerstein II had been writing both the lyrics and the "book" (aka the libretto) since the 1920's. Ever heard of "Show Boat"? which he wrote with Jerome Kern in 1927 -- one of America's immortal musical dramas.
This set of SIX film versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein II's greatest broadway achievements in musical dramas, for which incidentally, they are credited with creating that format in 1943 with OKLAHOMA!
After OKLAHOMA! For which they had to panhandle to raise the money. Rodgers would go up to a possible source of financing -- and after they said it was about "cowboys" and started with the main character singing OFF STAGE, some song called, "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." They were "dead in the water."
But then Oscar with his rough, unlovely voice would start singing some of the songs with Rodgers on the piano. Finally, the got financing from the Theatre Guild and "Away We Go", (original working title) I mean OKLAHOMA! was a giant war-time hit. Cowboys and all.
STATE FARM was an exception, since it was written directly for motion pictures. Somewhat dated, it still features a "deathless" song called "It Might As Well Be Spring." Which also won the OSCAR that year as best Motion Picture Song!
CAROUSEL was based on a eastern european "dark" version of life, by the playwright,Fernc Molnar -- AND was always Dick Rodgers' favorite of all his works. (And remains my favorite also.) A bitter-sweet story of a young man who "never will marry" even when he vaguely realizes he has just met the woman he WILL marry. "Are you trying to put the idea of me marrying you into my head?" "No." "Well, what's putting it there?" They then sing the most touching duet in all of Rodgers/Hammerstein -- "If, I loved You." Both denying and affirming their love for each other.
THE KING AND I is also a masterpiece, partly due to Jerome Robbins, choreography (just as Agnes de Mille's choreography for Oklahoma and Carousel added so much enrichment.) Yul Brenner the original stage King dominates. Unfortunately, Gertrude Lawrence, the original Anna had died of cancer during the orginal stage run, so she was replaced with a non-singing, Deborah Kerr (dubbed by Marni Nixon -- who also did that 'chore' for Audre Hepburn in "My Fair Lady."
The screen version of SOUTH PACIFIC is in my opinion just not up to R&H's best. They replaced Mary Martin (too old) with (who? oh, Mizi Gaynor, who had the bounce with out the depth.) Keep in mind that R&H specifically wrote South Pacific for Mary M., since she was in many ways the "hick" as described in the original stage and film versions. And for the male lead for the film, a "current" European 'star' Rossano Brazzi (singing dubbed by, Georgio Tossi) Rossano had a fine accent and great profile.
In my humble opinion, the weakest, least satisfying of the great R&H stage productions transferred to film is.....THE SOUND OF MUSIC. They decided to "open it up from the 'confines of a stage set -- and filmed this young non-charismatic singer twirling her way across the entire Swiss Alps. Certainly had a nice voice, but could she put it to use creating feelings? And where was Mary Martin from the original state production?
(Ran out of space here.) But I will simply say that these Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II masterpieces and NOT 'some great old classic films", but deathless ART!
This collection is packed with fabulous musicals. I purchased this set to watch with my Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law. I really didn't expect to enjoy it so much myself.
Included in this set is:
"State Fair" (1945) Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews
"Oklahoma!" (1955) Gordon MacRay and Gloria Grahame
"Carousel" (1956) Gordon MacRay and Shirley Jones
"The King and I" (1956) Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner
"South Pacific" (1958) Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor
"The Sound of Music" (1965) Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer
Being one of those who happens to like musics from that great era of Hollywood I would have to say that these are a finally finished product. Although not all are 5:1. They all look excellent and sound great. The extras include movie remakes and
trailers. This is a must have for those who enjoy musicals or are looking to upgrade to DVD's.
I love having these classics in one set---it's easier to store, to find when we need them, takes up less space & keeps them all together (if you maintain it!) instead of the movies being spread all over. I like to organize our movies by "category/theme" so this is perfect. And I was so excited to find the works of Rodgers & Hammerstein in a collection & at a great price. Thank you!!
DVDs are good quality and great deal for these classic musicals. I remember these from my childhood. They do not make movies like this any more. I can show these movies to without embarrassment or concern for young minds.