In the aftermath of WWII, popular interest in the escapist, Hollywood musical began to wane somewhat. In 1948, MGM, the undisputed masters of the genre, concocted a foolproof antidote. Their musical superstars were enlisted to dance and sing irresistible Irving Berlin songs in a lavishly appointed, turn-of-the-century production-- filmed in vibrant Technicolor. And it worked. "Easter Parade" proved a smash, and was the highest grossing musical of the year. Now available on a fine Blu-ray, the film continues to dazzle-65 years later.
Despite its nostalgic title, "Easter Parade" is a show-biz yarn that features Fred Astaire as a workaholic, Vaudeville hoofer who breaks in, then romances, his new dance partner, Judy Garland. Berlin’s hits and extravagant production numbers abound. Fabricated especially for the Technicolor camera, every scene sparkles with a spectrum of vibrant hues. The film offers a rare opportunity to see Judy and Fred performing together, as well as Astaire dancing with miraculous Ann Miller, superb as his catty former partner. Add into the mix Jules Munshin’s shtick and Peter Lawford’s youthful good looks, and "Easter Parade" delivers top-notch entertainment.
Warners’ new Blu-ray edition salutes the classic musical in grand style, with an excellent film transfer rich in color and clarity. Designed as a true eyeful, the film has never looked better. Supplemental features include insightful commentary, and a short feature on the production. A fascinating bonus, the numerous dailies of Judy rehearsing the deleted "Mr. Monotony" number provide a rare glimpse of the consummate performer at work.
Modestly priced, Warners’ "Easter Parade" would prove a worthwhile addition to any Blu-ray collection.