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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT225-BR

THE GANG'S ALL HERE (1943) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda, Phil Baker, Benny Goodman and Orchestra, Eugene Pallete, Charlotte Greenwood
Directed By:  Busby Berkeley
Composed By:  Harry Warren

“Berkeley, a master of motion and abstraction, understood how to make dance distinctively cinematic, and he proves it here…He does the same with music, turning performances by Benny Goodman and the big band into rhythmic visual spectacles worthy of the sonic swing. The fashions and the social aspects of The Gang’s All Here can be precisely dated; the brilliant visual imagination at work there has yet to be assimilated.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“[Busby Berkeley’s] wildest, most delirious picture…An escape from wartime anxieties and austerities into an extravagant, fantastical world.” – Philip French, The Guardian

The singular Busby Berkeley’s first film in Technicolor, The Gang’s All Here (1943) is a hallucinatory excursion into spectacular visuals, mad choreography, and delicious music. Nominally starring the lovely Alice Faye and featuring the scintillating talents of Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, the film is perhaps best remembered today for the efforts of Carmen Miranda, leading a corps of banana-wielding dancers in the scandalous “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat.”

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.33:1
AUDIO: English 2.0 DTS-HD MA / English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1943 / Color
103 MINUTES
NOT RATED

Special Features: Isolated Score Track (with some dialogue and effects) / Audio Commentary with Film Historian Drew Casper / Audio Commentary with Film Historians Glenn Kenny, Ed Hulse, and Farran Smith Nehme / Busby Berkeley: A Journey with a Star / Alice Faye’s Last Film: We Still Are! / Deleted Scene: The $64 Question / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Editions of 3,000 Units

  
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Posted by Mark Turner on July 28, 2017 1:09 PM
BERKELY ON BLU-RAY

If you’re a fan of classic Hollywood films then now is one of the best times to be alive. Many of those classics are finding their way onto blu-ray via companies like Kino Lorber, The Film Detective, Olive Films and Twilight Time. And if you’re a fan of movie musicals then this latest from Twilight Time should put a smile on your face. While not the most famous or the best thing from director Busby Berkeley there is plenty to enjoy here.

The story is incredibly simple and for today’s audiences farfetched and yet it works. Andy Mason (James Ellison) is the son of a hot shot business man Andrew Mason (Eugene Pallette) who has enlisted in the military and about to ship out. One night he finds his father and his father’s best friend/partner Peyton Potter (Edward Everett Horton) at a New York nightclub filled with music and dance hall girls. The star of the show is Dorita (Carmen Miranda) but it is another singer who catches Andy’s eye, Edie Allen (Alice Faye).

Following her from the nightclub to a dime a dance club where she spends time with military men before they ship out he tries to pick her up. But that’s not what she’s there for, she’s just interested in moral support. He eventually talks her into spending some time with him, gives her a false name of Casey and the two fall in love before he leaves.

Fast forward to Andy’s return home after becoming a hero in the Pacific. As he gets ready to visit his father at home Andrew plans a huge party for him, complete with a show put on by Phil Baker, the man who ran the nightclub we saw at the beginning of the film now in search of a rehearsal location. The plan is to use Peyton’s home which should hold everyone much to his consternation. Also in attendance will be Peyton’s wife (Charlotte Greenwood), who has a hidden past performing with Baker and their daughter Vivian (Shelia Ryan), the girl both families plan to marry to Andy.

Who is the new star of this show? Why Edie of course who becomes fast friends with Vivian as they both talk about their guy in the way, one named Andy and one name Casey. What will happen when they eventually discover he is one in the same?

The laughs are supplied by Miranda at her riotous best, Horton who plays the fussbudget of the bunch, Pallette who is all bluster as usual and the situations the characters find themselves in. Greenwood nearly steals the show as the ex-showgirl turned society matron, more inclined to follow her past than present. Filled with a number of musical numbers, Benny Goodman and his band, solo performances and dancing galore the movie is a prime example of the classic musical comedy found just as the genre was coming into its heyday in the fifties.

Berkeley was known for his musicals and the style with which he shot them. His famous kaleidoscopic used of cameras and dancing girls is on display here in seemingly effortless fashion. Much has been said about the subtle use of giant bananas in one segment but to watch it you never really consider the Freudian implications of it all. Instead you marvel at the images on screen and just enjoy the combination of music, dance and cinematography that combine to offer a treat.

It’s sad to note that this was Berkeley’s only color film done with his famous style of choreography combined with camera work that made him a household name. But fortunately we do have this on hand to enjoy. I didn’t find it to be one of his best works nor one of the greatest musicals I’ve watched but it was pure entertainment from start to finish. As is always the case Twilight Time offers a presentation that is second to none. As well as the movie itself we get an isolated score track, audio commentary with film historian Drew Casper, audio commentary with film historians Glenn Kenny, Ed Hulse and Farran Smith Nehme, a documentary on Busby Berkeley, Alice Faye’s last film (a short she made), a deleted scene and the original theatrical trailer. Old time movie fans will want to add this one to their collection as will Busby Berkeley fans.

Posted by Everett Stallings on February 20, 2018 2:39 PM
That banana number was never seen, until the 1970's rerelease!

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