979 Swing Time

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
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979 Swing Time

#1 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:02 pm

Swing Time

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In this irresistible musical, the legendary dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are at the pinnacle of their art as a feckless gambler and the shrewd dancing instructor in whom he more than meets his match. Director George Stevens laces their romance with humor and clears the floor for the movie's showstopping dance scenes, in which Astaire and Rogers take seemingly effortless flight in a virtuosic fusion of ballroom and tap styles. Buoyed by beloved songs by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern—including the Oscar-winning classic "The Way You Look Tonight"—Swing Time is an exuberant celebration of its stars' chemistry, grace, and sheer joy in the act of performance.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 1986 featuring John Mueller, author of Astaire Dancing: The Musical Films
• Archival interviews with performers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and choreographer Hermes Pan
• New interview with George Stevens Jr.
In Full Swing, a new program on the film's choreography and soundtrack featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, dance critic Brian Seibert, and Dorothy Fields biographer Deborah Grace Winer
• New interview with film scholar Mia Mask on the "Bojangles of Harlem" number
• PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith

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domino harvey
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#2 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:20 pm

This is one of the better Astaire and Rogers titles, and the number depicted on the cover is my fave of all their dances together, but this release feels like a missed opportunity to just upgrade the whole WB box. Zero surprise there’s an extra about the blackface number, but should be interesting to see what conclusions are drawn there

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Matt
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#3 Post by Matt » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:41 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:20 pm
this release feels like a missed opportunity to just upgrade the whole WB box
My thoughts exactly. If it's only a 2K scan, just do that for all the rest of the films and give me a nice box at $150 MSRP. Not sure I'll bother to upgrade unless the transfer is a vast improvement over the DVD or if it doesn't get put up on Filmstruck II and I can't watch the extras any other way.

onedimension
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#4 Post by onedimension » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:51 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:20 pm
This is one of the better Astaire and Rogers titles, and the number depicted on the cover is my fave of all their dances together, but this release feels like a missed opportunity to just upgrade the whole WB box. Zero surprise there’s an extra about the blackface number, but should be interesting to see what conclusions are drawn there
Maybe the best.. but I don’t think every film in the WB box is Criterion-worthy, & there may be issues with the prints and transfers.. Wasn’t the rumor that WB had delayed these for so long because they had new blemishes in high-definition - dust on the floors, visible wires?

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movielocke
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#5 Post by movielocke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:51 pm

Damn! I was really hoping it was the entire set ala Dietrich. :-/ excited to revisit this though, it and top hat were my favorites as I recall

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swo17
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#6 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:54 pm

Top Hat, Gay Divorcee, and Shall We Dance at least are all Criterion-worthy, and the rest are no less so than anything in the Olympics box!

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movielocke
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#7 Post by movielocke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:59 pm

swo17 wrote:Top Hat, Gay Divorcee, and Shall We Dance at least are all Criterion-worthy, and the rest are no less so than anything in the Olympics box!
Agreed those were the best, not sure if I ever saw all ten though.

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domino harvey
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#8 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:05 pm

I saw all ten, the worst is easily Barkleys of Broadway. The rest are at least okay. I know some of the discs in the WB box are kaput for everyone, so not sure I'll ever even get a chance to revisit via DVD, but I probably would only bother with the Gay Divorcee and Shall We Dance in addition to Swing Time if I'm forced to pick these up piecemeal (and maybe Carefree)


Glowingwabbit
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#10 Post by Glowingwabbit » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:24 pm

Love this film. If they only release Top Hat later I'll be happy.

I'm also really glad they are including an extra feature that addresses that Bojangles of Harlem dance number.

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colinr0380
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:26 pm

Is this another old Laserdisc release getting rescued and upgraded? The commentary is stated to be from 1986.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#12 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:29 pm

onedimension wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:51 pm
...Wasn’t the rumor that WB had delayed these for so long because they had new blemishes in high-definition - dust on the floors, visible wires?
The HD transfer supposedly revealed the floors were scuffed in Swing Time, but the "visible wires" belonged to The Wizard of Oz HD transfer (which WB felt justified in digitally removing).

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CSM126
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#13 Post by CSM126 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:30 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:26 pm
Is this another old Laserdisc release getting rescued and upgraded? The commentary is stated to be from 1986.
Yup

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#14 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:21 pm

Clearly no disrespect was _intended_ in the Bojangles number -- rather respect and admiration.

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domino harvey
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#15 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:22 pm

That’s why it will be interesting to see how they talk about it

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#16 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:59 pm

Except the more you learn about the real Bojangles, the less the number seems to have to do anything with him. As a tribute, it seems poor and a little disingenuous.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#17 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:11 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:29 pm
onedimension wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:51 pm
...Wasn’t the rumor that WB had delayed these for so long because they had new blemishes in high-definition - dust on the floors, visible wires?
The HD transfer supposedly revealed the floors were scuffed in Swing Time, but the "visible wires" belonged to The Wizard of Oz HD transfer (which WB felt justified in digitally removing).
I literally watched this film three weeks ago and noticed the floors were scuffed on the old murky DVD. It was seriously a detail I never paid attention to until my nth viewing, particularly during the "Never Gonna Dance" number.

Glowingwabbit
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#18 Post by Glowingwabbit » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:36 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:21 pm
Clearly no disrespect was _intended_ in the Bojangles number -- rather respect and admiration.
Yeah I get that their were good intentions but that doesn't make it any more acceptable. I'm looking for to the special feature about it.

Close The Door, Raymond
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#19 Post by Close The Door, Raymond » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:35 pm

CSM126 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:30 pm
colinr0380 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:26 pm
Is this another old Laserdisc release getting rescued and upgraded? The commentary is stated to be from 1986.
Yup
John Mueller also did the audio commentary for Warner's 2005 DVD release.

felipe
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#20 Post by felipe » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:29 am

I expected more when I saw they were doing Astaire and Rogers. Maybe a documentary on one of the stars, maybe a documentary on the backstage musical of the 1930s... Anything really.

conceitedguy
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#21 Post by conceitedguy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:00 am

Cold Bishop wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:59 pm
Except the more you learn about the real Bojangles, the less the number seems to have to do anything with him. As a tribute, it seems poor and a little disingenuous.
IIRC it's really a tribute to John Bubbles, who gave Astaire some taps lessons. I'm not sure how that came about.

onedimension
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#22 Post by onedimension » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:44 pm

Roger Ryan wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:29 pm
onedimension wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:51 pm
...Wasn’t the rumor that WB had delayed these for so long because they had new blemishes in high-definition - dust on the floors, visible wires?
The HD transfer supposedly revealed the floors were scuffed in Swing Time, but the "visible wires" belonged to The Wizard of Oz HD transfer (which WB felt justified in digitally removing).
Thanks, that sounds more accurate

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Fred Holywell
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#23 Post by Fred Holywell » Thu May 16, 2019 12:09 pm


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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#24 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu May 16, 2019 12:39 pm

Doesn't look like this BRD will look significantly better than the DVD on our mere 50" plasma...

artfilmfan
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Re: 979 Swing Time

#25 Post by artfilmfan » Fri May 17, 2019 8:42 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:39 pm
Doesn't look like this BRD will look significantly better than the DVD on our mere 50" plasma...
There’s only one way to find out. :wink:

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