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The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection
DVD disk
Dec 13, 2006 By: Scott Weinberg
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection order
Director:
Various

Actors:
Julie Andrews
Yul Brynner
Gordon MacRae

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Tell your Mom to put down that apron and put her feet up! It's six of the most beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical classics ever made! (They're the guys who wrote "Doe a deer, a female deer, etc.")
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Gathered together in one massive box set are six of the films from the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, song-makers who thrilled Broadway and Hollywood audiences long before we had folks like Andrew Lloyd Webber and whoever else it is who writes musicals these days. The movies are as follows: STATE FAIR (1945), OKLAHOMA! (1955), THE KING AND I (1956), CAROUSEL (1956), SOUTH PACIFIC (1958) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

Now, these aren't what you'd call "contemporary" musicals. In fact, movie fans of today would probably call these films trite or silly or (most likely) corny, and that may be true -- but they're also very fine examples of a style of filmmaking that's long since gone out of style. And just because something's gone out of style, that doesn't mean it should be forgotten.

Like most of you, I'm most familiar with Robert Wise's THE SOUND OF MUSIC; it's a movie my parents used to make me stay up late to watch. (Not let, MAKE.) It's full of very precious sweetness and cozy, candy-coated sentiment ... but damn if it's not still a warmly entertaining piece of candy. And obviously the music is great ... even if you wouldn't admit such a thing to your friends.

And that's how it goes with most of these musicals. OKLAHOMA! and THE KING AND I seem to stand out among the others, at least for me personally. But all together they act as a cinematic time capsule and give us a peek at an earlier, sweeter and apparently more innocent era. The emotions are warm and sweet, the characters are generally colorful and compelling, the stories are simple yet memorable, and the music (despite being something your grandmother might love) is pretty cool, too. Cool in a cornball kinda way, but hey, these movies are considered classics for a reason.

THE EXTRAS
You're not going to believe how much extra stuff is packed into this 12-disc set, so I'll just throw it all out there and let you pick through what interests you!

STATE FAIR -- Film historian audio commentary, Pat Boone audio commentary, "From Page to Screen to Stage" featurette, still galleries, vintage stage excerpts, "State Fair" TV pilot, theatrical trailers, and two separate versions of the film.

OKLAHOMA! -- Two audio commentaries with authors, cast members and film historians, two "TODD-AO" featurettes, vintage stage excerpts, photo galleries, and theatrical trailers.

THE KING AND I -- Film and stage historian audio commentary, isolated musical score track, "Anna and the King" TV pilot, six featurettes, vintage stage excerpts, stills and audio from deleted scenes, and Fox Movietone News clips.

CAROUSEL -- Cast and filmmaker commentary, isolated musical score track, Bonus Film: 1934's LILIOM, "Turns on the Carousel" featurette, vintage stage excerpts, stills and sudio from deleted scenes, Fox Movietone News Clips, photo galleries, theatrical trailers.

SOUTH PACIFIC -- Author and stage historian audio commentary, "road show" version of the film, "Making of South Pacific" featurette, James Michener interview, vintage stage excerpts, Fox Movietone News clips, Mitzi Gaynor screen tests, theatrical trailers, etc.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC -- Two audio commentaries (one cast, one director's), Julie Andrews introduction, feature-length documentary "My Favorite Things," four all-new featurettes ("Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer: A Remembrance," "On Location with The Sound of Music," "From Liels to Gretl: A 40th Anniversary Reunion," & "When You Know the Notes to Sing: A Singalong Phenomenon") "The Von Trapp Family" A&E Special, a rarely-seen Mia Farrow screen test, a film restoration comparison, photo galleries, storyboards, lobby cards, posters, trailers and TV spots. Whew!

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
OK, so these quaint old musicals aren't exactly my cup of tea, but there's no denying there's still some old-school movie magic on display here -- and if you're a big-time Rodgers & Hammerstein fan, well then this overstuffed box set is your new best friend.
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