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DVD REVIEW

Best of Warner Bros – 20 Film Collection: Musicals

Warner Home Video || Various || February 12, 2013


Reviewed by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

How Does The DVD Stack Up?

CONTENT

8  (out of 10)

THE VIDEO

7  (out of 10)

THE AUDIO

7  (out of 10)

THE EXTRAS

7  (out of 10)

OVERALL

8  (out of 10)

 

SYNOPSIS

 

A 20-film collection of some of the most beloved Musicals in the Warner Bros. catalog (one title courtesy of New Line Cinemas). Titles include: The Jazz Singer (1927), The Broadway Melody (1929), 42nd Street (1933), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), An American in Paris (1951), Show Boat (1951), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), A Star is Born (1954), The Music Man (1962), Viva Las Vegas (1964), Camelot (1967), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Cabaret (1972), That’s Entertainment! (1974), Victor/Victoria (1982), Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and Hairspray (1988).

 

CRITIQUE

 

It’s relatively impossible to go in-depth into all of the titles listed here, so in that regards I’m not even going to try. Additionally, out of the 20 motion pictures included with this release only nine of them (The Broadway Melody, 42nd Street, The Great Ziegfeld, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Show Boat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Viva Las Vegas, Victor/Victoria and Hairspray) are not already available on Blu-ray.

 

That said, this is still a fairly extraordinary collection, Warner assembling so many classic titles together under one amazing well-priced package (currently right around $70 on Amazon right now – a steal) anyone even slightly interested in, say, only half of them would be hard-pressed not to snap it up right this very second.

 

As for the DVDs themselves, all of them are the latest pressings of product currently available individually. In the case of two-disc special edition titles (like The Wizard of Oz, The Jazz Singer, Singin’ in the Rain or Yankee Doodle Dandy) only the first disc is available in the set, the second disc containing the special features left out. This collection is all about the movies themselves and not all of the bonus stuff, something to keep in mind when making the decision to purchase.

 

As for my personal reviews of each title, my scores would go as follows:

 

·         The Jazz Singer (1927) – 7/10 (read my Blu-ray Review)

·         The Broadway Melody – 7/10

·         42nd Street – 8/10

·         The Great Ziegfeld – 8/10

·         The Wizard of Oz – 10/10

·         Yankee Doodle Dandy – 8/10

·         An American in Paris – 8/10

·         Show Boat – 6/10

·         Singin’ in the Rain – 8/10

·         Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – 6/10

·         A Star is Born (1954) – 8/10

·         The Music Man – 7/10

·         Viva Las Vegas – 7/10

·         Camelot – 6/10 (read my Blu-ray Review)

·         Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – 8/10 (read my Blu-ray Review)

·         Cabaret – 9/10 (read my Blu-ray Review)

·         That’s Entertainment! – 8/10

·         Victor/Victoria – 9/10

·         Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – 7/10

·         Hairspray (1988) – 8/10

 

As you can see, I’m not the biggest fan of Show Boat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or Camelot, but even so I still think all are worth seeing and, as a part of this collection, are arguably integral elements as they so effortlessly fit the era in which they were made. More so, the remainder of the titles all rate as some of the best the genre has even known (although, personally, I’d have loved it had The Band Wagon, my all-time favorite musical, could somehow also have been a part of this release), making the relatively low price tag all the more attractive.

 

Seriously, this is a great collection and I have almost nothing bad to say about it. For musical fans, even if you own a handful of these chances are you don’t have all 20, the thought of getting all these titles in one handsomely packaged set one difficult to get out of your head once the idea has planted itself within there.

 

THE VIDEO

 

Transfers for each film are as follows:

 

·         The Jazz Singer (1927) – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         The Broadway Melody – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         42nd Street – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         The Great Ziegfeld – 1.37:1 Full Screen

·         The Wizard of Oz – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         Yankee Doodle Dandy – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         An American in Paris – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         Show Boat – 1.33:1 Full Screen

·         Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         A Star is Born (1954) – 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         The Music Man – 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Viva Las Vegas – 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Camelot – 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Cabaret – 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         That’s Entertainment! – 1.33:1 Full Screen, 1.78:1 & 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Victor/Victoria – 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

·         Hairspray (1988) – 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

 

THE AUDIO

 

Audio for each film is as follows:

 

·         The Jazz Singer (1927) – English Dolby Digital 1.0

·         The Broadway Melody – English Dolby Digital 1.0

·         42nd Street – English Dolby Digital 1.0

·         The Great Ziegfeld – English Dolby Digital Mono

·         The Wizard of Oz – English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 4.0, French Mono

·         Yankee Doodle Dandy – English Dolby Digital 2.0

·         An American in Paris – English Dolby Digital 1.0

·         Show Boat – English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0

·         Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital Mono

·         A Star is Born (1954) – English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0

·         The Music Man – English Dolby Digital Mono

·         Camelot – English Dolby Digital 5.1

·         Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – English Dolby Digital 5.1

·         Cabaret – English Dolby Digital 5.1

·         That’s Entertainment! – English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital Mono

·         Victor/Victoria –English Dolby Digital 2.0

·         Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – English Dolby Digital 5.1

·         Hairspray (1988) – English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby 2.0

 

THE EXTRAS

 

There are scattered extras on the majority of the discs, it all depends on what special feature were included with the original DVD releases or, in the case of the film’s that originally had two-disc releases, what was available on disc one of the set. Included with the release is a 20-page Booklet that gives a brief description of each film and lists their respective accomplishments (i.e. wins) in regards to the Academy Awards (if any).

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

This 20-film collection of Warner Bros.’ musicals between the years 1927 to 1988 is fairly wonderful, and for fans of the genre it’s one amazingly priced deal that is going to be exceedingly difficult to pass up.

 

VERDICT: RECOMMENDED

 

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Review posted on Feb 27, 2013 | Share this article | Top of Page


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