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DVD EXTRA: MAR 27, 2003

More movies out this week on DVD: Shannon J. Harvey flicks through the latest releases on DVD and VHS; Gorillas in the Mist, The Music Man, 42st Street, Brigadoon, Gypsy. (For fuller reviews of selected leading titles, please see our DVD menu.)

Gorillas in the Mist (M)
DVD rental and retail, April 1, Warner Bros
Michael Apted’s acclaimed – and mostly truthful - dramatisation of anthropologist Dian Fossey’s (Sigourney Weaver) life in African mountains as she gets closer to gorillas than any human has before. Despite warnings from her lover (Bryan Brown), Fossey puts her life in danger as she investigates the decimation of the species from profiteering poachers and traders. Weaver won a Golden Globe in 1988 for this tough yet fragile performance. A powerful, tragic true story.

The Music Man (M) (1962)
DVD rental and retail, April 1, Warner Bros
Confidence snake-oil salesman Professor Harold Hill (Robert Preston) targets the small-minded folk of a Mid-western town, convincing them that the new billiard table is a moral corrupter for the staid community. He offers to lead a boy’s marching band to “keep the youngster’s moral after school” The townsfolk fall hook, line and sinker for Harold’s razzle dazzle tunes, except madam librarian Marion (Shirley Jones) who rightly thinks he has ulterior motives. Buddy Hackett co-stars in this cheery, upbeat musical about backwoods dimwits and the man who cons them. One of the best musicals put to screen. 

42nd Street (M) (1933)
DVD retail, April 1, Warner Bros
Hollywood’s wonderful ode to the melodrama backstage antics of a Broadway show, 42nd Street is one of the most endearing musicals ever made. Filled with favourites such as 42nd Street, Young and Healthy, You’re Getting To Be A Habit with Me, and Shuffle Off To Buffalo, it stars Julian Marsh as an aging Broadway produce eager to put on one last show. When his leading lady (Bebe Daniels) bows out of the show, an unwanted understudy (Ruby Keeler) tries to take her part. Featuring Ginger Rogers and Anytime Annie, 42nd Street shows you what really goes on behind the show. 

Brigadoon (G) (1954)

DVD rental and retail, April 1, Warner Bros
Gene Kelly makes the hills come alive in one of the most underrated musicals of the 1950s, complete with bagpipes, brogues, technicolour highlands, a Lerner and Loewe score and a Xanadu-style plotline. Two wayward New York hunters (Gene Kelly, Van Johnson) on hiatus in the Scottish highlands happen upon Brigadoon, an enchanted village that’s visible one day every one hundred years. One of the hunters (Kelly) falls for village-dweller Fiona (Cyd Charisse), and when he returns to New York, discovers his love for her is so strong he gives up everything to be with her. A dreamy, Alice in Wonderland style melodrama with Kelly in fine form.

Gypsy (M) (1962)
DVD rental and retail, April 1, Warner Bros
The infamous queen of 1930s burlesque, Mama Rose (Rosalind Russell) is determined to make her two daughters, Louise (Natalie Wood) and June (Ann Jillian), the vaudeville stars she never was. June soon tires of stage life, leaving Mama to concentrate on Louise, who creates a strip tease show that catches on fire. Russell and Wood pull off difficult dramatic roles, but the real charm of Gypsy rests in the excellent Steven Sondheim soundtrack.

Published March 27, 2003

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Gorillas in the Mist - Buy It

Gypsy - Buy It

The Music Man - Buy It

Brigadoon - Buy It

42nd Street - Buy It

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