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Mickey & Judy

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Moraldo Rubini
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Mickey & Judy

Postby Moraldo Rubini » July 1st, 2007, 8:58 pm

Let's put on a show!

I see that the release date for the Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney deluxe set has been announced for September 25, 2007.

I'm looking forward to this mainly for two reasons:

1. the release of Girl Crazy, featuring a great Gershwin score, Tommy Dorsey's orchestra, Judy Garland at her sophisticated best, the kinky musical number "Treat Me Rough" with a young and spunky June Allyson, the swell rendition of "Bidin' My Time" with Judy joining The King's Men; well, the list goes on for this treasure.

2. The reconstruction of Babes in Arms. I've always heard that Mickey and Judy did a number where they impersonate Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt. Babes in Arms was rereleased after the death of the president, and MGM was afraid audiences would be offended by a parody of the late Roosevelt; so they cut it out of the film. Unfortunately, the negatives and prints of this number were then lost. But WBHV recently discovered collector’s print that still had the number in it and has restored it to the film for this DVD set. Finally, we can see it!

It looks as if Warner Bros. Home Video has gone all-out for this set. Five disks with newly filmed introductions with Rooney; Rooney's Private Screening with Robert Osborne; The Judy Garland Songbook, a collection of 21 Garland movie musical numbers, (said to be "both famous and rare"), spanning nearly 20 years of her screen career, with all songs presented in complete form; commentaries by John Fricke; newsreels; radio shows; Our Gang and Pete Smith Specialty shorts; cartoons.

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Kyle In Hollywood
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Postby Kyle In Hollywood » July 2nd, 2007, 10:37 am

Hello Moraldo -

How funny that WB cut out the Roosevelt number but left the Minstrel Show intact. Did you know jondaris and I "bonded" over this film?

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis/viewtopic.php?t=638

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.j ... adID=78113

And not to dampen your excitement - as if I could - TCM has been showing the complete (as far as I know) Babes In Arms for quite awhile. I pulled my copy out last night and "Franklin and Eleamor" were there in the finale. Now, it's possible that there is additional "lost" footage added to the number as the the finale seems a little "light" for a Busby Berkeley film but I can't say.

The recording of Babes In Arms on my shelf is from about 2001 or 2002 - the July that TCM saluted the year of 1939.

kjk
Kyle In Hollywood

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sandykaypax
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Postby sandykaypax » July 6th, 2007, 7:03 pm

I am sooooo excited for the release of this set! Mickey and Judy were such a great team--well matched in physical stature, energy, and talent.

My favorite film of theirs is the tuneful Girl Crazy.

The special features sound fantastic!

This just in: someone down the street just shot off two very LOUD bottle rockets! Don't these maroons know that today is the 6th of July? Sheesh.

Sandy K

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Moraldo Rubini
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Mickey & Judy -- an introduction

Postby Moraldo Rubini » September 29th, 2007, 12:14 pm

Anyone purchase this treasure trove yet? I raced to the store the other day, bursting through the crowds who were there to pick up the newly released Ringu and Demons II: Special Edition to pick up the Mickey and Judy collection. I felt like I should have worn short pants and carried a big lollipop.

The set looks super! Generous glossy photos slipped into its own envelope. The bonus DVD is stored in a bound book that details their work together. Beautiful! First, I checked the supplemental material for Girl Crazy. Then I hightailed it over to the bonus DVD where I watched Mickey Rooney's Private Screening with Robert Osborne. This was shot 10 years ago, and it really needs a follow-up. I know I'm greedy, but the Private Screenings often seem to end just as they've finished introducing the featured player. Mickey mentions he's got treasures to be mined, but we never quite seem to get to them in this overview of his career. He hopes he'll be asked back, but I don't think that's happened. I hope TCM grabs him again (before it's too late!). One issue that I'm curious about is the wide variety of Rooney's talents. Did he already know how to play piano, drum set, tap dance, do impressions, etc., or did MGM say, "Hey, let's teach Mickey to play the banjo for his next picture!". Mickey mentions that he's probably the only person alive today who worked with Will Rogers. And that's all that was said on the subject. Please TCM, get him back and ask about Will Rogers!

The other main feature of this disk is the Judy Garland Songbook, a compendium of musical scenes over the course of her career. It's wild to see them in this context, as Miss Gumm grows up before our eyes. Each scene begins with a title card announcing the film, the year, and other featured players. For "The Great Lady Gives an Interview" number from The Ziegfeld Follies the card reads, "also featuring Rex Evans". Who dat?! Is Rex the butler who opens the door, or one of the press corps?

I just completed the swell audio commentary track that John Fricke gives us on the Babes in Arms disk. Lots of great tidbits: e.g., that Grace Hayes, who plays Mickey's mother, was -- in real life -- the mother of Peter Lind Hayes (Mr. Zabladowski!). I got a kick out his pointing out the finale of the title song, when Judy Garland is absent and we see her stand-in instead! He also explains the restored scenes featuring Mickey and Judy doing impressions of Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt. There's a marked change in the quality of film during this restored section. It seems the original negative and all 35mm copies were destroyed upon FDR's death. This restoration comes from a found 16mm copy. Knitty might appreciate that many of the minor characters and extras are named and discussed in the commentary (unfortunately our mystery extra from Meet in St. Louis is nowhere to be found).

I'm looking forward to the hours of entertainment before me...


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