EASTER PARADE Strolling along 5th Avenue or bumming around as A Couple of Swells, Judy Garland and Fred Astaire lead a parade of music (17 Irving Berlin tunes and an Academy Award-winning adaptation score) and gotta-dance fun in this neverending delight co-starring Ann Miller and Peter Lawford. MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS She's in love with the boy next door. And movie fans are forever in love with her Judy Garland in a nostalgia and humor-filled tale of life with the Smith family in 1903 St. Louis. Songs include The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. SINGIN IN THE RAIN Considered by many to be the greatest movie musical ever! Silent movies are giving way to the advent of sound and a Hollywood matinee idol (Gene Kelly) is caught in that bumpy transition, as well as his buddy (Donald O'Connor), prospective sweetheart (Debbie Reynolds) and vocally-challenged co-star (Jean Hagen). THE BAND WAGON Fred Astaire dazzles in a train station (By Myself), a penny arcade (A Shine on Your Shoes), a back-lot Central Park (Dancing in the Dark) and a smoky café (Girl Hunt), the latter two with incomparable Cyd Charisse. Nanette Fabray, Jack Buchanan and Oscar Levant co-star, and as the movies hallmark song goes, That's Entertainment!
Turner Classic Movies' Greatest Classic Films Collection: American Musicals collects four movies on two double-sided discs, with top picture quality and the bonus features that appeared on disc 1 when all of the films were released on two-disc sets. Here the subject is classic musicals from the glory days of MGM, starting with the greatest of them all, Singin' in the Rain (1952), with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor turning out classic routines set in the early days of Hollywood. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) was one of Judy Garland's milestone pictures, in which she was directed by her future husband, Vincente Minnelli, and sings the great "Trolley Song," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "The Boy Next Door." Shift forward a few years to a pair of Fred Astaire movies, Easter Parade (1948), in which he plays a veteran dancer trying to train Garland to replace Ann Miller as his vaudeville partner, and The Band Wagon (1953), MGM's affectionate spoof of its own musical stable, directed by Minnelli and costarring Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Jack Buchanan and Nanette Fabray. Songs from the last two pictures include "A Couple of Swells," "Better Luck Next Time," "By Myself," "A Shine on Your Shoes," "Triplets," and "That's Entertainment." The two-sided discs lack most of the bonus features from the individual two-disc sets, but do include the content that was on the movie disc, including trailers and a commentary track for each movie. --David Horiuchi