A 12 Disc Anniversary Collection of your favourite Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, digitally remastered and presented in a collectable "Pop-Up" carousel package with all new Sing-Along edition options!
Carousel - Spectacular staging dots this widescreen deluxe Rodgers and Hammerstein musical as Gordon MacRae brings a blustery energy to the lead role of Billy Bigelow, a drifter and ne'er-do-well carnival 'barker'. The troubled soul finally settles down with a good woman (Shirley Jones) but then gets stabbed to death while committing a robbery. Many years later, an angel offers the roustabout the chance to return to earth for just one day to makes things right for his unhappy wife and the daughter he never had the chance to meet. Based on the French play "Lilion" by Ferene Molnar, Carousel ranks among the better Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, making it a classic by any standard. To boot, the film's tale of love between Bigelow and wife Julie rivals that of any other 1950s musical. Songs from the outstanding score include 'If I Loved You', 'June Is Busting Out All Over', and 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
The King and I - In 1955 this lavish production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit "The King and I", starring Yul Brynner as the King of Siam and Deborah Kerr as the governess sent to look after his children, was the most expensive film ever mounted by 20th Century Fox. The 40 sets in ripe decors by Walter M Scott and Paul S Fox included a ballroom of black marble with jade and silk tapestries and a banqueting scene with a table that gives the impression of stretching to infinity. The costumes by Irene Sharaff, notably the hoop ballroom gown for Deborah Kerr and those for the ballet "The Small House of Uncle Thomas", dazzle the eye in their delineation of Western manners and Oriental splendour. Brynner remains impressive as the King but his pidgin dialogue, inherited from Hammerstein's book, with the dropping of the definite article takes some adjustment. Alfred Newman put his unique stamp on the music: the Overture offers an example of his luminous divided string sound, the climactic ballroom scene a full bodied orchestral reprise of "Shall We Dance?" as the camera pulls away to a high angle producing an exultant visual finish to this celebrated polka.
Oklahoma - The hit Broadway musical from the 1940s gets a lavish if not always exciting workout in this 1955 film version directed by old lion Fred Zinnemann (High Noon). Gordon MacRae brings his sterling voice to the role of cowboy Curly and Shirley Jones plays Laurie, the object of his affection. The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top", "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're in Love", and Agnes DeMille provides the buoyant choreography. Among the supporting cast, Gloria Grahame is memorable as Ado Annie, the "girl who cain't say no", and Rod Steiger overdoes it as the villainous Jud. --Tom Keogh
The Sound of Music - The most widely seen movie produced by a Hollywood studio, The Sound of Music grows fresher with each viewing. Though it was planned meticulously in pre-production (save for the scene where Maria and the children take a dipping in an Austrian lake that nearly cost a life), on each viewing one is struck anew by the spontaneous almost improvisatory air of the acting, notably of Julie Andrews under Robert Wise's direction. There are also the little human touches he brings to, for instance, the scene where Maria leads the children to the hills, over bridges and along tow paths where the smallest boy trips up and momentarily gets left behind: it creates a feeling that most of us have encountered. From the opening pre-credit sequence of muted excitement as the camera roves over the Austrian Alps (photographed in magnificent colour), where little phrases from the wind instruments on the soundtrack are flung as if on the breeze, foreshadowing the title song to follow, the production never puts a foot wrong.
South Pacific - The dazzling Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, brought to lush life by the director of the original stage version, Joshua Logan. Set on a remote island during the Second World War, South Pacific tracks two parallel romances: one between a Navy nurse (Mitzi Gaynor) "as corny as Kansas in August" and a wealthy French plantation owner (Rossano Brazzi), the other between a young American officer (John Kerr) and a native girl (France Nuyen). The theme of interracial love was still daring in 1958, and so was director Logan's decision to overlay emotional moments with tinted filters--a technique that misfires as often as it hits. The comic relief tends to fall flat and an overly spunky Mitzi Gaynor is a poor substitute for the stage original's Mary Martin. But the location scenery on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is gorgeous and the songs are among the finest in the American musical catalogue: "Some Enchanted Evening", "Younger than Springtime", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", "This Nearly Was Mine". That's Juanita Hall as the sly native trader Bloody Mary, singing the haunting tune that launched a thousand tiki bars, "Bali H'ai". The movie is based on stories from James Michener's book "Tales from the South Pacific". --Robert Horton, Amazon.com
State Fair - Good old-fashioned hometown pride is on display in lavish Technicolor in this remake of the 1933 film, the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written directly for the silver screen. When the Frake family travels to the fair, Ma and Pa (Charles Winninger and Fay Bainter) enter contests while daughter Margy (Jeanne Crain) and son Wayne (Dick Haymes) both fall in love for the first time. State Fair is attractively photographed and energised by the vibrant performances of the talented lead actors and actresses, but the high point of the film is the colourful hoopla and hullabaloo of the fair itself, a bustling nexus of strange, wonderful, and hilarious characters brought to life by the fine supporting cast. Songs from the Academy Award-nominated score include 'It's a Grand Night for Singing', 'That's For Me', and the Oscar-winning 'It Might As Well Be Spring'.