My new year’s resolution this year was to attempt to see all of the movie musicals in the canon – a difficult goal, to be sure, but what good are resolutions if they are easy to achieve!?
Luckily, Warner Brothers just released a 20 film collection that’s helped me check a bunch of the big ones off the list, including a number of classics I’d only ever seen clips of before.
The set contains:
- The Jazz Singer (1927)
- Broadway Melody of 1929 (1929(
- 42nd Street (1933)
- The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
- 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)
- Hairspray (1988)
Though I consider a couple of the additions to this set questionable, like Hairspray, which is hardly a musical in its original film version and That’s Entertainment, which is not a musical, but rather a compilation of musical theatre clips and interviews, there are tons of great films in the package – The Wizard of Oz, Show Boat, Singin’ In the Rain, The Music Man and Cabaret – shows ANY fan would affirm are staples in the musical film canon. Probably my biggest disappointment was seeing Viva Las Vegas, as I hadn’t thought to include the 30 films Elvis starred in as musicals, though they most surely are…
As for the box set, the packaging is great. Unlike many of the sets I own, each of the movies is well protected in its own slot, divided into three separate casings.
The disks themselves seem to be exactly those you would receive if you purchased each film separately. If you’re a bonus feature kind of person, you’ll probably be disappointed, but if you’re just looking to see the films and add them to your collection – this set it a real treat.
The booklet contained in the package isn’t much to write about – quick paragraph descriptions that you’ll glance at once and then never pull out again, but it does have lovely stills from each film and does note which awards, if any, the film won. (I forget how popular musicals were back in the day – maybe Les Miserables will take home all sorts of Academy Awards on Sunday and bring us back to those glorious days!)
You can purchase the box set on Amazon here for $70.83 at the time of this writing, which works out to each film costing $3.50 a piece – not too shabby!
The bottom line review: Nothing too fancy and nothing you won’t find anywhere else, but nonetheless a great collection of films worth owning, packaged well and at a reasonable price.
The Broadway Musical Home received a complementary copy of this box set, but was not paid to endorse this product in any way.