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Classic musicals ‘The Band Wagon,’ ‘Calamity Jane’ and ‘Kiss Me Kate’ arrive on Blu-ray

Warner Home Video has climbed aboard the musical bandwagon, with a gorgeous Blu-ray set featuring four great musicals from the early 1950s.

Three of M-G-M’s top films — The Band Wagon (1953 starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse), Kiss Me Kate (1953 starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller), and Singin’ in the Rain (1952, starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor) — are packaged with Doris Day’s 1953 hit, Calamity Jane, from Warner Bros.

▪ The Band Wagon, directed by Vincente Minnelli, features the songs of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz. Classic musical numbers include That’s Entertainment!, By Myself and Dancing in the Dark.

▪ Calamity Jane, directed by David Butler, is a musical western in which Day sang her classic Secret Love, the Oscar-winning hit written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster.

▪ Kiss Me Kate, directed by George Sidney, is a faithful adaptation of Cole Porter’s 1948 Broadway hit, about a bickering, divorced actor and actress reunited in a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Songs include From This Moment On, Too Darn Hot and the risque (for 1953) Tom, Dick or Harry.

The film is presented in its original 3D (for those with 3D monitors and Blu-ray players), as well as standard 2D.

From the Warner Bros. website: “It once seemed impossible to recreate the true 3D experience for the home viewer. Rekindled interest sparked by contemporary 3D now makes it viable for vintage films that were actually shot in 3D—not converted—to be presented in the home in the same fashion,” said Jeff Baker, Warner’s executive vice president and general manager, theatrical catalog.

▪ Singin’ in the Rain, co-directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, first appeared on Blu-ray in 2012.

The Band Wagon and Singin’ in the Rain, both written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, are often referred to as M-G-M’s top musical comedies produced during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The musicals box set retails for $35. Each film is available individually for $20. All are currently discounted online.

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