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TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection—American Musicals: The Band Wagon; Meet Me in St. Louis; Singin' in the Rain; Easter Parade

Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Cyd Charisse, Nanette Fabray & others.
Studio Warner Bros.
Format 2 cutout DVDs Full screen/Closed Captioned
DVD Encoding
Region 1: North America  (What is DVD encoding?)
UPC 883929058976
Runtime/Release Date 7 hrs 11 mins/2009
Daedalus Item Code 48126
This item is not available.
Singin' in the Rain is a transcendent experience," wrote Roger Ebert, "and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it." The song and dance numbers in this funny yet sweet send-up of the early movie industry are so jaw-droppingly great that they evoke wonder and awe each time they're viewed. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor (who won a Golden Globe for his role), and Debbie Reynolds are exhilarating, whether together or solo. It was nominated for two Oscars—Best Supporting Actress for Jean Hagan's portrayal of a woman who's not managing the transition to talkies too well, and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture. (No wonder it's No. 5 on the AFI's list of 100 Best American Movies.) Only a year later came The Band Wagon (1953) by the same writers, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. With Fred Astaire as a hoofer entangled with ballerina Cyd Charisse, it's a sophisticated backstage musical with stellar songs like "By Myself," "Dancing in the Dark," "Shine on Your Shoes," and "That's Entertainment." (It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.) In 1944's Meet Me in St. Louis, young love and childish fears highlight a year in the life of a turn-of-the-century family. As filmed by future husband Vincente Minnelli, Judy Garland is incandescent, whether singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "The Boy Next Door," and "The Trolley Song" (Oscar-nominated for Best Song) or doing the cakewalk with little sister Margaret O'Brien, who won an Academy Juvenile Award (a special Oscar) for her role. This warmhearted musical was also nominated for Academy Awards for Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Cinematography, Color; and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture). Easter Parade (1948) boasted music by the great Irving Berlin and 17 musical numbers; Among the many highlights are Astaire's "Steppin' Out With My Baby," the fantastic Astaire/Garland comic duet "We're a Couple of Swells," Ann Miller's "Shakin' the Blues Away," and the grand finale, a panoramic performance of the title number. Not surprisingly, it won an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture. Extras include trailer galleries and commentaries by film stars, directors, musicians, and historians.
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