The Rodgers and Hammerstein Blu-ray Collection Review

Rodgers and Hammerstein layout

I haven’t seen a lot of these films in years since I watched some of them on VHS with my family. When I was younger, he was always there making me try to expand my movie experiences and not just watch Star Wars over and over…and over. These are films that round off any person’s cinema education and are called classics for a reason.

There aren’t many people that have performed a musical on stage that has not heard of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Rodgers did all of the composing and Hammerstein did the writing. These were the two most successful theater writing team and the most influential on how music has been written for the stage since. During their career and partnership, they won 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, and 2 Grammys. Included in this Blu-ray collection and their theatrical release date is:

-1955 Oklahoma!
-1945 State Fair
-1956 Carousel
-1956 The King and I
-1958 South Pacific
-1965 The Sound of Music

Oklahoma!

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Set in 1906 in the Oklahoma Territory a young and energetic cowboy named Curly wants to court a farm girl named Laurey Williams’s, the niece of Aunt Eller who owns the farm. Curley asks Laurey to go to the dance with him in his new surrey carriage that is decked out. She would love to but she explains that Jud Fry has asked her already. When she tries to break it off with Jud, he becomes obsessed with both loving the girl and killing Curley for talking to his woman. There is a social to raise money to build a new schoolhouse by having the girls make basket meals and have the men bid on them. But if Jud can help it, Curley will never be seen by anyone again and he will keep away from Judd’s woman.

The fan following of the Rodgers and Hammerstein set of films is incredible. There are many that know not only the musical but also the story of the films productions inside and out. As far as Oklahoma! Is concerned one thing that I have to make clear to the general public the two cuts aren’t just two versions but two very different films. The way it was filmed with the Todd-AO (TAO) cameras first and after a successful take was captured, the CinemaScope cameras would reshoot the scenes. The result of this effort was two types of films that are very different. Todd-AO is a 65mm film and CinemaScope is the typical 35mm film but the camera uses different lenses to capture more images on film. An easier way to understand the differences in the film is IMAX uses 70mm cameras for their large format screens and CinemaScope is your typical widescreen film at any local theater.

Oklahoma! is on two separate discs, each containing a version of the film. The Todd-AO version is the superior version of the film in this set. Twentieth Century Fox and Fotokem have taken Oklahoma! and remastered the video in a 4k presentation. The restoration is from the 65mm Todd-AO elements and has a frame-rate of 30fps. This is the original frame rate from its release in 1955. Fox has also restored the audio to its original 6-channel sound mix in collaboration with End Point Audio and Chase Audio by Deluxe. The CinemaScope is the version that most people are familiar with because it’s the version that is broadcast on TV channels such as TCM.

The movie is a classic and it’s one of the best stage to screen adaptations that has ever been made with breathtaking outdoor scenes and a wonderful cast. This is also the film that Rodgers and Hammerstein had the most creative control. This was the first time that I had screened it and I’m highly impressed with how well it was made.

Cast
Gordon MacRae as Curly
Shirley Jones as Laurey
Gene Nelson as Will Parker
Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie
Charlotte Greenwood as Aunt Eller
Rod Steiger as Jud Fry
Eddie Albert as Ali Hakim
James Whitmore as Mr. Carnes
Barbara Lawrence as Gertie
Jay C. Flippen as Skidmore

Musical Numbers/Track Listing
1. Overture
2. Main Title
3. Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’
4. Laurey’s Entrance” – Laurey (“Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’
5. The Surrey With the Fringe On Top
6. The Surrey With the Fringe On Top (Reprise)
7. Kansas City
8. I Cain’t Say No
9. I Cain’t Say No (reprise)
10. Entrance of Ensemble
11. Many a New Day
12. People Will Say We’re In Love
13. Pore Jud is Daid
14. Out of My Dreams
15. Dream Ballet
16. Entr’acte
17. The Farmer and the Cowman
18. All Er Nuthin’
19. People Will Say We’re In Love (Reprise)
20. Oklahoma!
21. Finale Ultimo
22. Exit Music

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Todd-AO
As I said earlier, this is the superior presentation of the film. The transfer is 1080i at 30fps and a 2.20:1 ratio. The images are simply spectacular. From the very beginning, the picture has depth that is plain to see with Curly on his horse, a bit behind him there is a field, then bushes and a cow with hills as a backdrop showcasing the great range of the picture. The coloring is even and easy to see that a lot of love went in to this version. All of the colors are vivid no matter what hue or shade is on the screen. The details in the clothing, holsters and even the settings are clear and separate with nothing getting lost due to EE or noise reduction. Also, the light and natural grain remained in the transfer. There is, at times, a little skin tone discoloration but so far every film in this set has had that.

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CinemaScope Edition
The CinemaScope version looks great but it’s hard to stack up against the Todd AO version. It’s transferred in 1080p AVC with a 2.55:1 ratio. It’s obvious that the video has been cleaned up but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. The coloring has some nice tones but overall, the images are flat. At times, the images go from clear to blurry, creating a muddled look. But one of the biggest issues is the intermittent flicker that is mostly noticeable in the blue of the skies. Again, it’s hard not to see more issues in this version when the Todd AO has been included.

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Todd-AO
The DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio track sounds beautiful and completely fills the home theater. The sound effects are good but they have very little movement in the channels. Most of what is heard is the thunderous score and bold brass section. Also, with the sound being as strong as it is, there are some nice LFEs from the music that adds life to the film. Overall, this is a well done mix.

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CinemaScope Edition
This version has been mixed in a DTS-HD MA 4.0 and it has been well done. Again, the music sounds great but not nearly as clear as the Todd-AO version. The sound is a little muddled but the songs and score still have excellent presence. Also, there’s no hissing and the LFEs are strong. I would say that it is not the strongest remaster but I feel like most will choose the Todd AO version over the CinemaScope.

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Disc One (Todd-AO Version)
-Commentary by Shirley Jones and Nick Redman

-Play Film with Sing Along

-Music Machine

-Sing-Along

-CinemaScope vs. Todd-AO: This featurette explains the difference in the two film formats.

-The Miracle of Todd-AO: This clip is how the format works.

-The March of Todd-AO: Another explanation of the format.

-Vintage Stage Excerpt:
“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” performed by Gordon MacRae
“People Will Say We’re in Love” performed by Gordon MacRae and Florence Henderson

-Still Gallery

-Theatrical Teaser

-Theatrical Trailer

Disc Two (CinemaScope Version)
-Feature Commentary by Ted Chapin and Hugh Fordin
-Play Film with Sing Along
-Music Machine
-Sing-Along

Disc Details
1 BD Disc

Edition Ratings
Rated G

Region Code
Region A

Video Resolution
1080i AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 2.20:1

Audio Mixes
Todd-AO Version
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

CinemaScope Version
English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish
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State Fair
In Iowa, the state fair is a huge deal and for the Frake family, this is what they look forward to every year. The father and the mother have their goals set on being the prize winners in pickles, mince meat, and their prize boar. The Frake children have their own notions of the festivities. So Wayne (Haymes) is prepping to take his girlfriend and expose a cheating ring toss vendor. Margy (Crain) is being courted by a boring man and feels like there has to be someone else out there. So, they end up at the fair mad and alone when Margy meets a reporter named Pat who is charming and exactly her style. Meanwhile, Wayne meets an enchanting singer name Emily (Blaine) and he feel like he’s in love. With any luck, the kids will find love and, like their parents, maybe they will win their prizes.

State Fair was released in 1945 and directed by Walter Lang. He was also the director of the King and I and this was his first Rodgers and Hammerstein film. The leads are Margy Frake and Dick Haymes and they do a wonderful job. As I’ve said before, if casting makes assumption that the lead cannot sing, then they use another singer’s voice in his/her place. In this particular case, they did it with Crain because she couldn’t sing. From her role in the film, she was actually typecast as a singer in her career. The big secret was that Fox signed a woman named Luanne Hogan as her official singing voice.

This is a classic from the early decades of cinema that is wholesome and charming. The film’s lightheartedness is also like seeing it on stage. There is a lot of energy and plucky characters that keeps this film moving with a steady pace. Its an amazing American classic that has held up over the years.

Cast
Jeanne Crain as Margy Frake
Dana Andrews as Pat Gilbert
Dick Haymes as Wayne Frake
Vivian Blaine as Emily Edwards
Charles Winninger as Abel Frake
Fay Bainter as Melissa “Ma” Frake
Donald Meek as Mr. Hippenstahl
William Marshall as Marty
Frank McHugh as McGee
Percy Kilbride as Dave Miller
Phil Brown as Harry Ware
Harry Morgan (as Henry Morgan) as a Barker

Musical Numbers/Track Listing
1. Main Title (Our State Fair)
2. It Might as Well Be Spring
3. It Might as Well Be Spring (Reprise)
4. That’s for Me
5. It’s a Grand Night for Singing
6. That’s for Me (Reprise)
7. It’s a Grand Night for Singing (Reprise)
8. Isn’t It Kinda Fun?
9. All I Owe Ioway
10. Isn’t It Kinda Fun? (Reprise)
11. Finale
12. Main Title (Our State Fair)
13. It Might as Well Be Spring
14. That’s for Me
15. More Than Just a Friend
16. Fair Dance
17. Isn’t It Kinda Fun?
18. Never Say No to a Man
19. Willing and Eager
20. Romance Medley
21. This Isn’t Heaven
22. The Little Things in Texas
23. Finale
24. It’s a Grand Night for Singing
25. It’s a Grand Night for Singing
26. Isn’t It Kinda Fun?

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State Fair was originally released in 1945 and it really has been cleaned up a lot from the original negatives. It is presented in a 1080p AVC transfer and a 1.37:1 aspect ratio with a fairly clean picture. They left the natural grain in the film, keeping that vintage look. There’s are overall soft tones but I wouldn’t go as far as to say blurry. It just has that classic cinema look and feel. There are plenty of good details that is especially seen in the embroidering of Margy’s dresses. At times the color fluctuates with darker tones to an almost brighter blue flash. It happens sporadically but it is noticeable. The skin tones are exactly the look I expect to see from a film that is 69 years old. There is a brownish hue that is consistent, making everyone look like they have artificial tanner on. In the lower lit scenes, everyone’s completion becomes darker with a shade of orange/rust. The blues and greens look excellent and bold. Aside from the skin tones, this is one of the better successes that Fox has done with a vintage film.

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The film’s audio track has been left in its original recording but mixed in DTS-HD Master Audio. There aren’t a lot of LFEs but it’s to be expected from a mono track. There is, however, a hint of bass during the musical numbers that really accents the sound. Also, there is no audible hiss at all but there were a few times when the highs became over driven to the point of crackling. The error may have been an oversight it isn’t an oversight to the viewer.

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-Commentary by Richard Barrios and Tom Briggs: Richard Barrios and Tom Briggs chat about the film.

-Sing Along: the karaoke style feature to sing your favorite songs.

-Music Machine: the songs have subtitles and works like the music machine.

-From Page, To Screen, To Stage: State Fair: this is a featurette going over how the musical made it to the screen.

-Theatrical Trailer

-Still Galleries

Disc Details
1 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Edition Ratings
Not Rated

Region Code
Region A

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 1.37:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish
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Carousel

Billy Bigelow (MacRae) is a barker at a carousel in a moving fair. Well, he was at least. He is actually spending his afterlife shining stars in heaven, which is until he is told that his family on earth is in trouble. Heaven’s Starkeeper (Lockhart) will decide if Billy can spend one day on earth to make things ok. When we flashback to the days where Billy is alive, he meets Julie (Jones) , a good girl who is the opposite of Billy. Billy tries to court her but no one in the town thinks that this stranger is a good fit for her. But they do end up together until a mistake Billy makes ends his life.

This film is one of the more complex subjects that Rodgers and Hammerstein have done. It combines some very intense feelings between the idea that Billy is dead and how it happened. Its definitely a very good production but this is one of the few R&H films feels the most like a filmed play. I only say this because the other Rodgers and Hammerstein films are filmed on location or have large, outstretching scenery but this one has very obvious artificial backgrounds. For example, the first scene where Billy meets Julie outside of the carousel, there is an artificial tree with a dark, blurry background of a possible riverbank. Due to the amount of detail that the transfer to Blu-ray brings out of the film negatives, the artificial background stands out.

Cast
Gordon MacRae as Billy Bigelow
Shirley Jones as Julie Jordan
Cameron Mitchell as Jigger Craigin
Barbara Ruick as Carrie Pipperidge
Claramae Turner as Cousin Nettie
Robert Rounseville as Mr. Enoch Snow
Gene Lockhart as Starkeeper / Dr. Selden
Susan Luckey as Louise Bigelow
John Dehner as Mr. Bascombe

Musical Numbers/Track Listing
1. Introduction
2. Main Title: The Carousel Waltz
3. You’re A Queer One, Julie Jordan
4. (When I Marry) Mr. Snow
5. If I Loved You
6. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over
7. June Is Bustin’ Out All Over Ballet
8. Soliloquy
9. Blow High, Blow Low
10. When The Children Are Asleep
11. A Real Nice Clambake
12. Stonecutters Cut It On Stone
13. What’s The Use Of Won. You’ll Never Walk Alone
15. Louise’s Ballet
16. If I Loved You (reprise)
17. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Finale)

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Carousel has been transferred in 1080p AVC and an aspect ratio of 2.55:1, practically the standard for this Blu-ray set. The coloring is a little off with some fluctuations of hues more often than not. There aren’t a lot of brilliant colors or vivid shot like in some of the other films in the set. Also, the movie also suffers from the orange-ish skin tones and an overall darkened tone. It possibly has to do with the condition of the films negatives or even the way they were developed for it’s original release in 1956. There are plenty of sharp details and great separate lines.

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The audio on the release is about par with the video. It is in a great lossless DTS-HD MA 4.0 and it does an excellent job of filling each channel with, for the most part, clear sound. The movie is very dialogue heavy, making the sound using either the center chanel or the music in the surround speakers. Overall, the mix is solid but at times there is some minor distortion but nothing that leaves a lasting blemish on the release.

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-Commentary by Shirley Jones and Nick Redman: The commentary track on the disc is with Actress Shirley Jones and documentary film maker Nick Redman. It’s a very informative and entertaining commentary to hear.

-Isolated Score is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0: This is the score minus the dialogue for the entire length of the movie.

-Sing Along: The sing along feature is just like on the other discs. You can sing a along with each musical number.

-Music Machine: Again, this is very similar to the sing along modes.

-Liliom: this is Fritz Lang’s film version of the play.

-Turns on the Carousel: is a featurette on the history of the production.

-Vintage Stage Excerpt

-Additional Songs: These are some additional songs recorded by Barbara Ruick and Shirley Jones. As well as Cameron Mitchell and Chorus.

-Fox Movietone News

-Theatrical Trailer

-Still gallery

Disc Details
1 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Edition Ratings
Not Rated

Region Code
Region A

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 2.55:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0
Spanish Dolby Digital Mono
Music Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish

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The King and I

In Bangkok, the Welsh teacher Anna Leonowens (Kerr) and her son Louis have arrived to teach the many children of King Mongkut (Bynner). She is introduced to the King’s confidante and Siam’s prime minister, Kralahome. She is headstrong and won’t let herself be intimidated by her new surrounding or the position but then Kralahome gives her even more news: the King has decided she is to live in the palace. She was supposed to live in a home on outside of the palace and this is a violation of her contract. She finds this unacceptable but goes along with the arrangement anyway.

When she arrives to the palace, she meets the King and his many, many wives and the head wife is Lady Thiang. She also meets all of the children including the eldest Prince Chulalongkorn. She has a tough time teaching the children with her western ways and trying to break them of what they’ve learning prior to Anna. But almost everything that she teaches is in conflict with the ways in Siam. As Anna gets to know the wives and children more. She feels more attached to the family. I’m sure she has to wonder, will she be able to do her job the way that she would like?

The film is based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon and directed by Walter Lang. Lang had been making movies for almost 50 years like State Fair and On The Riviera. It’s one of the only two films that have been shot in CinemaScope55. The other one is also a Rodgers and Hammerstein movie, Carousel. The movie’s leads are Deborah Kerr and Yul Breynner. They have a great chemistry on the screen as most of the casting choices in these films. I must say that Kerr looks like she feels incredibly comfortable on a movie set as she does on stage. Brynner does the same but she brings an excellent, natural presence.

It’s an excellent story that, in some ways, reminds me of The Sound of Music. Both Anna from the King and I and Maria from The Sound of Music are governesses, teaching children of a stubborn man with different values. There is a formula that works for these films and it is a part of what makes this particular movie so successful. I think the other element that makes this movie successful is that the setting for this story isn’t in the Western civilization, but in the far east where the possible knowledge was minimal. This isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact, it adds a little mystery to the production.

Cast
Deborah Kerr as Anna Leonowens
Yul Brynner as The King Of Siam
Rita Moreno as Tuptim
Terry Saunders as Lady Thiang
Martin Benson as Kralahome
Rex Thompson as Louis Leonowens
Patrick Adiarte as Prince Chulalongkorn
Alan Mowbray as Sir John Hay
Geoffrey Toone as Sir Edward Ramsay
Carlos Rivas as Lun Tha

Musical Numbers/Track Listing
1. A Puzzlement
2. A Puzzlement (reprise)
3. Getting To Know You
4. Happy Land
5. Hello Young Lovers
6. Home
7. I Have Dreamed
8. I Whistle A Happy Tune
9. I Whistle A Happy Tune (reprise)
10. My Lord And Master
11. School Song
12. Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You?
13. Shall We Dance?
14. Something Wonderful
15. Song Of The King
16. We Kiss In A Shadow
17. Western People Funny

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This film has been remastered to a sharp 1080p AVC transfer and is presented in a 2.55:1 aspect ratio. The details in the images are sharp and very clean. The best examples are in the royal clothing and in the palace. The intricacies in the patterns and the statues in the different scenes look excellent. The big issue with this film is that there is a very noticeable blue hue. Now when I say noticeable, I really do mean distracting. There is a lot of blue in the film to begin with but the “blue filter” makes the skin tones, colors and whites on the blue side of the color spectrum. It is rather unfortunate because it is such a beautiful film.

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The audio mix for the film is a DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 and, unlike the video, it is strong. As usual with this set, the sound fills the home theater with resounding music and clear dialogue. There aren’t many opportunities for the sound to sweep between the channels but there is excellent use of directionality. Even with being a 4.0 presentation and the dialogue primarily being reproduced through the front speakers. Overall, it’s an excellent mix with less than minor issues.

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-Commentary by Richard Barrios and Michael Portantiere: The pair discuss history and background of the film.

-Composer’s Isolated Score is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0: This is a feature to listen to the movie with no dialogue.

-Sing Along: this is a karaoke style feature of the songs in the film.

-Music Machine: plays the songs in a similar way to the sing along.

-Something Wonderful: The Story of The King and I: this featurette is a behind the scenes look at the movie.

-The Kings of Broadway: this featurette is a look at Rodgers and Hammerstein.

-The King of the Big Screen: this featurette looks at the production on screen.

-The King and I Stage Version: this shows how much of the process of putting together the production.

-The King I Royal Archives: this clip goes over the contributing in material for the production.

-Anna and the King TV Pilot

-Vintage Stage Excerpts: these are vintage clips from the stage performance.

Additional Song: the song “Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You?” Performed by Marni Nixon.

Restoring CinemaScope 55: this featurette discusses the restoring of the format.

Movietone News: clips of Fox Movietone new reels.

-Theatrical Trailer

-Still Gallery

Disc Details
1 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Edition Ratings
Rated G

Region Code
Region A

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 2.55:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0
Spanish Dolby Digital Mono
French Dolby Digital Mono
Music Track Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish
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South Pacific

In WWII, Marine LT Joseph Cable (Kerr) arrives to the South Pacific with orders to acquire real-time intel from enemy occupied territory by sending observers to watch those areas. To accomplish the mission, he needs the help of a Frenchman that lives on the island, Emile (Brazzi). Emile has been courting a naval nurse named Nellie (Gaynor) and this makes Emile a little hesitant to the military.

When the Navy learns of the blossoming relationship between Nellie and Emile, they ask her to spy on him and make sure he is on their side. Around the same time, Cable has begun to fall in love with Liat, a island native girl who is the daughter of Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary is the well known seller of trinkets and other goods to the military and she really wants the two to marry. With everything going on, will the LT complete his mission and keep his love? Or will he fail?

Directed by Joshua Logan, South Pacific is beautiful in the cinematography and the locations. The film is based on the book by James A. Michener, Tales of the South Pacific. In the lead roles are Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, and John Kerr but the singing voices are Giorgio Tozzi as Emile’s singing voice and Bill Lee as Cable’s singing voice who was uncredited. This is a fairly common practice when the actor who is cast has either no singing voice or the casting director is unaware of the actor’s abilities. All in all, the casting did an amazing job with all of their performances whether their role was small or large.

Like all of the other films by Rodgers and Hammerstein, the movie is centered on a love story with a lot of other elements in the mix. With this movie, the backdrop is war and it is a well-known fact that most movies with a love story during war work.

This is another film in this set that has two different versions in the release. There is the theatrical and the road show version of the film. The road show is extended by 14 minutes and has been pieced together from lost footage. The studio never had a copy of the three-hour version until they found it in 70mm print from a film collector in England. Fox then brought the film to the US to restore the extra 14 minutes but the film had deteriorated so much that the color had been washed out from some of the extra scenes. I was very impressed that it was included and it reall is just an added bonus to an excellent edition of the classic.

Cast
Rossano Brazzi as Emile de Becque
Giorgio Tozzi as Emile’s singing voice
Mitzi Gaynor as Ensign Nellie Forbush
John Kerr as Lieutenant Joseph Cable
Bill Lee as Cable’s singing voice (uncredited)
Ray Walston as Luther Billis
Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary
Muriel Smith as Bloody Mary’s singing voice (uncredited)
France Nuyen as Liat
Russ Brown as Captain George Brackett
Jack Mullaney as The Professor
Ken Clark as Stewpot
Thurl Ravenscroft as Stewpot’s singing voice
Floyd Simmons as Commander Bill Harbison
Candace Lee as Ngana
Warren Hsieh as Jerome
Tom Laughlin as Lieutenant Buzz Adams
Francis Kahele as Henry, Emile’s servant
Robert Jacobs and John Gabriel as Communications men
Richard Harrison as Co-Pilot
Ron Ely as Navigator
Richard H. Cutting as Admiral Kester
Joe Bailey as U.S. commander
Buck Class and Richard Kiser as Fighter pilots

Musical Numbers/Track Listing
1. “Bloody Mary”
2. “There Is Nothing Like a Dame”
3. “Bali Ha’i”
4. “A Cock-Eyed Optimist”
5. “Twin Soliloquies”
6. “Some Enchanted Evening”
7. “Dites-moi”
8. “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”
9. “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”
10. “Younger Than Springtime”
11. “Happy Talk”
12. “Honey Bun”
13. “My Girl Back Home”
14. “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”
16. “This Nearly Was Mine”
17. “Finale”

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NOTE: the video score is only for the theatrical version
Disc 1: The Theatrical Version
Only the theatrical version of the movie has been transferred in 1080p AVC with a 2.20:1 aspect ratio. This is another well done transfer in this set. The detailing is sharp and lively, making a crisp picture. This is especially seen in the serene beach settings where the water and foliage are in view. Also the coloring has been leveled out almost perfectly. The hues of the ocean and the clothing are the stand outs of the video.

Disc 2: The Roadshow Version
The film has been transferred in a non-HD format but on a Blu-ray disc. I’m assuming that they wanted the largest, uncompressed copy of the movie and also to not put a DVD in the set. The video quality of the theatrical scenes are not as clean as the separate, theatrical disc. The added footage is as cleaned up as it can be but, as I said earlier, the film was in very poor shape. It has as much color as the studio could bring out without completely using artificial coloring like when coloring a black and white movie. Some of the colors of the footage looks good but not as great as the theatrical version. Overall, the content is a good addition but the studio should’ve remastered it to at least an HD format.

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Disc 1: The Theatrical Version
The audio track is a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that sounds incredible. It’s a powerful mix that is the expected quality from a musical. The dialogue and singer’s voices are distinct over the orchestration and nothing gets lost in the music. The front speakers do the majority of the work most likely because they created the mix from the original 4-track audio. The rear channels are hardly ever used but there is some good ambient sound of the environments throughout the home theater.

Disc 2: The Roadshow Version
There is no lossless or HD mix of the sound track with this version of the movie. The audio may have been as deteriorated as the film so it’s not really fair to ding them for including this. It was a special treat to have it included in the set.

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Disc 1: The Theatrical Version
-Commentary track with Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization President Ted Chapin and Gerard Alessandrini: the two talk about the differences in the film and give tremendous insight to the history of the movie.

-Singalong: the R&H karaoke bonus of the songs in the film.

-Songs Only Chapter List: This feature lets the viewer skip directly to their favorite songs.

Disc 2: The Roadshow Version
-Commentary track with Richard Barrios: This track discusses the differences in the different versions of the film. He is loaded with excellent info about the production.

-Passion, Prejudice, and ‘South Pacific: Creating an American Masterpiece: This is a 4-part featurette following the painstaking task of bringing this musical to the screen from the music to the script to the cameras used. This is a must see feature.

-Making of ‘South Pacific’: This is vintage behind the scenes featurette that explores the production of the film within the same time period.

-60 Minutes: The Tales of the South Pacific: This piece from the popular news show is about the author James Michener and hosted by Diane Sawyer.

-Vintage Stage Excerpt: this black and white clip is from the stage production.

-2 Fox Movietonews clips

-‘South Pacific’ on the Screen – A Perfect Hit

-State Department Confers Highest Honor on ‘South Pacific’

-Screen Test:
Mitzi Gaynor: this ins a clip of the actress Mitzi Gaynor

-Still Gallery

-Theatrical trailer

Disc Details
2 50GB Blu-ray Discs

Edition Ratings
Not Rated

Region Code
Region Free

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 2.19:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 4.0
English Dolby Digital 2.0
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Cantonese
Korean
Mandarin (Simplified)
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Sound of Music
In Salzburg, Austria in 1938, there is a young postulant named Maria who has been getting into trouble at the abby and no one knows what to do with her. Her Mother Abbess has received news that a local Naval Captain George von Trappe needs a governess to watch his children. Maria agrees and goes to the house, only to find out that the Captain runs everything like a naval ship: extremely strict. The children don’t initially like Maria and she is skeptical about possibly causing trouble. The Captain is widowed and he has been courting the Baroness Elsa Schraeder, a wealthy woman from Vienna that he went to visit.

While away, Maria and the children have fun and learn songs. When the Captain returns, he brings Elsa and their mutual friend Max, who has been looking for a musical act to enter in to the upcoming Salzburg Festival. The children learned a song for their father and when he hears it, his heart melts with happiness and he even sings. As it turns out, the house was filled with music and laughter when the children’s mother was alive. Meanwhile, there is talk of the Nazis wanting to make Austria apart of the 3rd Reich. This means the captain would have to be a U-boat captain for the Germans. With all of the music and singing, the captain sees Maria in a different light and so does he.

The Sound of Music is arguably the most popular musical of all time. It was directed by the late, great Robert Wise who also did another popular musical, West Side Story. In this film, the leads are the incredible Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. They are absolutely enchanting on screen with a solid chemistry that’s seldom seen on screen. This classic film has never looked better and since its release in 1965, it has been waiting for the Blu-ray format to be invented. Filmed with a Todd AO 70mm camera, it captures everything in its frame, which has made a fantastic Blu-ray.

Cast
Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp
Christopher Plummer as Captain Georg von Trapp
Eleanor Parker as Baroness Elsa von Schraeder
Richard Haydn as Max Detweiler
Charmian Carr as Liesl von Trapp
Nicholas Hammond as Friedrich von Trapp
Heather Menzies as Louisa von Trapp
Duane Chase as Kurt von Trapp
Angela Cartwright as Brigitta von Trapp
Debbie Turner as Marta von Trapp
Kym Karath as Gretl von Trapp
Peggy Wood as Mother Abbess
Anna Lee as Sister Margaretta
Portia Nelson as Sister Berthe
Marni Nixon as Sister Sophia
Daniel Truhitte as Rolfe
Ben Wright as Herr Zeller

Musical Numbers/Track Listing
Act 1

1. Preludium
2. The Sound of Music
3. Maria
4. My Favorite Things
5. My Favorite Things (reprise 1)
6. Do-Re-Mi Sixteen Going on Seventee
7. The Lonely Goatherd
8. The Lonely Goatherd (reprise)
9. How Can Love Survive
10. The Sound of Music” (reprise)
11. Ländler (instrumental)
12. So Long, Farewell
13. Morning Hymn
14. Climb Ev’ry Mountain
Act II
1. My Favorite Things (reprise 2)
2. No Way to Stop It
3. An Ordinary Couple
4. Gaudeamus Domino
5. Maria (reprise)
6. Confitemini Domino
7. Sixteen Going on Seventeen (reprise)
8. Do-Re-Mi (reprise)
9. Edelweiss
10. So Long, Farewell” (reprise)
11. Finale Ultimo

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The Sound of Music is one of the gems in this set. The film is absolutely gorgeous and the restoration of this film brings the life it deserves. It’s presented in a immaculate 1080p AVC and the 2.20:1 aspect ratio has been preserved. The coloring is beautiful throughout the film, especially in the outdoor scenes. The greens in particular are breathtaking and it’s a great example of how much a good transfer can liven up a film. The only minor issues that I’ve seen is sometimes the color quickly changes hues in a flicker but returns back to the original. Also, the skin tones are a little orange but not nearly as much as some of the other films in this set.

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To go along with the exquisite video transfer, the audio mix is also very impressive. It’s a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that is absolutely stunning. The music fills every channel with the alluring notes that this classic is known for. The sound is perfectly mixed with excellent use of sound effects that is quite impressive. There is plenty of thunderous bass during the wedding scene with the church organ. It’s a part of the melody of a fanfare version of the song Maria. The music is practically a character of its own because I don’t know how successful this movie would be without it.

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-Your Favorite Things – An Interactive Celebration: This is on of the most complex extras I’ve seen on a Blu-ray. The idea is that there is different made depending which is your favorite.

-Making Music: This section has storyboards and photos from the film’s productions.

-A Journey in Images: This is a picture-in-picture mode that displays many never-before-seen storyboards and photographs of the film’s production in the upper right corner of the screen,

-The Sing-Along Experience: This extra is a karaoke-style lyrics across the bottom of the screen.

-Many a Thing to Know: this is a trivia track about the making of the movie and the real Maria.

-Where Was it Filmed? This is an ongoing multiple-choice quiz.

-Music Machine – This plays the music from the movie. You can skip directly to your favorite songs from the film or watch them all consecutively.

-Sing-Along: this mode plays the music like the music machine.

-Audio commentary with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr, Choreographer Dee Dee Wood, and Johannes von Trapp

-Audio commentary with director Robert Wise

-BD-Live Exclusive: Laura Benanti on The Sound of Music

Disc Details
1 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Edition Ratings
Rated G

Region Code
Region Free

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio – 2.20:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English Dolby Digital 4.0
French DTS 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles
English SDH
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish

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RodgersandHammerstein-4

Rodgers and Hammerstein did so much tremendous work over the years and have inspired many actors and actresses from both stage and film, the song writers, directors, and composers. Fox has put together one of the most comprehensible collections filled to brim with knowledge to share for fans and collectors. Its an impressive set with strong versions of the movies where the audio quality is just as important as the video. There are a lot of high scores in both catagories and here are the overall scores for the films themselves:

Oklahoma!: 5
State Fair: 3.5
Carousel: 3.5
The King and I: 3.5
South Pacific: 4
The Sound of Music: 5

This set is a must for a fan of these films or musicals in general. Overall, the films look and sound excellent. I highly recommend picking this one up.

Order your copy from Amazon

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST & STAFF WRITER | Michael is a fanatic about all cinema. He collects many things from movies to Steelbooks to 1/6 Scale Collectibles and vinyl collectibles. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. Anything that is even slightly related to these things are always on his radar and most definitely a comic book nerd. He is also, of course, a Batman junkie and will chat it up about pretty much anything.