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KISS ME KATE 3D Leads Blu-ray Musical Collection March 3rd!

Classical-Musicals-CollectionKiss Me KateCole Porter’s 1953 hit musical filmed with the most advanced 3D technology during the medium’s “golden era” – will be released March 3 in a new restored Blu-ray™ edition by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Viewers will now be able to experience the classic starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller exactly the way it was seen in its 3D release in theatres 62 years ago.  Kiss Me Kate will be part of WBHE’s Blu-ray Musicals Collection, which will also contain a 2D version of Kiss Me Kate, andSingin’ in the Rain, along with The Band Wagon and Calamity Jane, both making their Blu-ray debuts. The Collection will also include four collectible art cards. In addition, Kiss Me Kate, The Band Wagon and Calamity Jane will be available as singles.

Acclaimed M-G-M Musicals in One Collection!

KISS ME KATE IN 3D LEADS
BLU-RAY™ MUSICALS COLLECTION MARCH 3

Also Includes 2D Version and the Blu-ray Debuts of Calamity Jane and a restored The Band Wagon

Kiss Me Kate, one of the jewels in the Warner library, joins Dial M For Murder and House of Wax as the third restoration by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) of films originally shot in 3D. The remastered Kiss Me Kate will include uncompressed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround remixed from original recording stems and magnetic masters and will now be presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1:75:1. Bonus material includes vintage documentaries, shorts, cartoons and the theatrical trailer. The 2D version of the film is also included.

The Band Wagon was also restored by MPI, using the renowned Ultra Resolution process. Ultra Resolution, nominated for a Scientific and Technical Academy Award®, is Warner’s patented technology used to digitally realign and sharpen older film negatives shot with the Technicolor three-strip process. Warner previously used this on restorations of Gone With the Wind, Singin’ in the Rain, Easter Parade, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Wizard of Oz. For its high-def debut, MPI has also remastered Calamity Jane especially for this Blu-ray premiere release.

The Films

Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me Kate was first a hit Broadway production, sweeping the 1949 Tony Awards in six categories, including the first Tony presented for Best Musical. It ran from 1948 to 1951 and was Cole Porter’s only Broadway show to play more than 1,000 performances.

Kiss Me Kate (1953) was brought to the screen by a team of M-G-M veterans — producer Jack Cummings (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Lovely to Look At), screenplay writer Dorothy Kingsley (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) and director George Sidney (Showboat, Anchors Aweigh, Annie Get Your Gun). Legendary Hermes Pan choreographed the film’s electrifying dances. Pan also allowed co-star Bob Fosse to add his own choreography to the climactic “From This Moment On’ number, in which he appears with Carol Haney. Fosse has acknowledged his work on the film as his big break and the turning point of his legendary career.

The film version, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture (Saul Chaplin and André Previn), is brimming with classic Porter hits such as “Why Can’t You Behave?,” “Wunderbar,” “So in Love,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Always True to You in My Fashion,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” “From This Moment On,” originally written by Porter for another show before it was ultimately discarded, was added to the Kiss Me Kate film score and ended up becoming a smash hit.

Synopsis

Fred Graham (Howard Keel) and Lilli Vanessi (Kathryn Grayson), now divorced, are musical theater actors now playing Petruchio and Katherine, the leads in a musical based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The two stars are on bad terms and their spats, not the least of which involve Fred’s new girlfriend Lois (Ann Miller), threaten to close down the show. Keeping things together are pair of gangsters (Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore), who are there to collect bad gambling debts from Bill Calhoun (Tommy Rall), who plays Lucentio. Classic gags and craziness ensue before it all works
out in the final act.

Special Features:
• Cole Porter in Hollywood: Too Darn Hot (Vintage Featurette)
• Mighty Manhattan, New York’s Wonder City (Vintage Short)
• Barney’s Hungry Cousin (Vintage Cartoon)
• Theatrical Trailer

The Band Wagon (1953)

This Vincente Minnelli-directed ‘backstage’ musical — written by legendary “book writers” Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and Oscar®-nominated for Writing (Story and Screenplay), Music Scoring and Costume Design — takes a would-be musical through all the stages of writing, casting, production, choreography, rehearsals, failure on the road and eventual triumph on Broadway. The musical features Jack Buchanan, Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant, and is built around the song catalog of lyricist Howard Dietz and composer Arthur Schwartz, who also contributed one new song for the film, the
iconic “That’s Entertainment.” The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther enthused, “Everything in this bulging picture, which Arthur Freed has luxuriously produced, exemplifies its rousing theme song. That’s entertainment, indeed!”

Synopsis 

Fred Astaire dazzles in numbers set in a train station (By Myself), a penny arcade (A Shine on Your Shoes), a backlot Central Park (Dancing in the Dark) and a smoky café (The Girl Hunt Ballet), the latter two with the incomparable Cyd Charisse. And when he, Nanette Fabray and Jack Buchanan play infants who “hate each other very much!” in the merry Triplets, it’s more reason to love this movie very, very much.

Special Features:

• Commentary by Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein
• Get Aboard! The Band Wagon
• The Men Who Made the Movies: Vincente Minnelli – 1973 TV Special
• Jack Buchanan with the Glee Quartet – 1929 Vitaphone Short
• The Three Little Pups – 1953 MGM Cartoon
• Original Mono Track
• Theatrical Trailer

Calamity Jane (1953) 

When Calamity Jane became a huge box-office hit, and Doris Day was hailed for playing a role unlike anything she’d done, bringing her career to new heights. “Secret Love,” which she sang in the film, would win the 1954 Academy Award as Best Original Song and become one of her signature tunes.

Set in the Old West in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, this energetic western musical comedy is very loosely based on the exploits of real life legends Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. Starring Doris Day as the sharpshooting Indian scout Calamity Jane (“Calam”) and Howard Keel as her enemy/friend Wild Bill, Calamity Jane was directed by David Butler, with music by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster. In addition to the Oscar for Best Original Song, the film was nominated for Best Sound Recording and a score that featured several more show-stopping musical numbers like “Black Hills of Dakota, “Deadwood Stage” and “Windy City”.

Synopsis

Doris Day and Howard Keel fuss, feud and fall in love as Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok in this delightful entertainment. At first curvaceous Calamity is too busy fighting Indians and cracking a bullwhip to pay attention to such “girlie things” as dresses and perfume. And Wild Bill is too busy wooing a dainty chanteuse (Allyn McLerie) to care about a hot-headed tomboy. But things change in a big way when each becomes love’s target.

Special Features:

• So You Love Your Dog – 1953 WB Short
• Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century – 1953 WB Cartoon
• Western Style Premiere
• Photoplay Magazine’s Film Awards
• Theatrical Trailer

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

This beloved film that AFI named the “#1 Movie Musical,” with its memorable songs, lavish routines, and Gene Kelly’s eponymous song-and-dance number rounds out the Classic Musicals Collection.

Singin’ in the Rain, set in the days of Hollywood’s transition from silent films to “talkies,” continues to this day to provide pure cinematic entertainment. It stars Gene Kelly at the pinnacle of his career and co-stars Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Jean Hagen and Rita Moreno. Written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Singin’ in the Rain was helmed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards and has been ranked as one of the ‘Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time’ by the AFI and Entertainment Weekly, among others.

Synopsis

Silent movies are giving way to talking pictures – and a hoofer-turned-matinee idol (Gene Kelly) is caught in that bumpy transition, as are his buddy (Donald O’Connor), prospective ladylove (Debbie Reynolds) and shrewish costar (Jean Hagen).

Special Features:

• Commentary by Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen
Freeman, Stanley Donen, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Baz Luhrmann and
Rudy Behlmer
• Singin’ in the Rain: Raining on a New Generation
• Singin’ in the Rain Jukebox
• Theatrical Trailer

Classical-Musicals-Collection-Blu-ray

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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