Containing five glorious musicals, this collection offers a fantastic array of titles. Among them are:
THE BAND WAGON: Fading movie musical star Tony Hunter, down and out in Hollywood, decides to try his luck on the Broadway stage. Unfortunately, the simple hoofer discovers that a pretentious director has control of the project, and that instead of good humor, happy songs and a tapping chorus line, there'll be lengthy speeches, heavy drama and lots of deep soul-searching. Even worse, Tony's expected to dance with a classical ballerina! Thanks to the massive egos of everyone involved, the play, to no one's surprise, lays an egg. But now Tony takes charge, and he's out to prove the show must go on -- his way! Some of the dazzling Astaire dance numbers include "Triplets," "Girl Hunt," "Dancing in the Dark" and "That's Entertainment."
BELLS ARE RINGING: Holliday's last screen appearance and perhaps her best, reprising her stage role in the Comden and Green musical. Holliday plays a switchboard operator at a Manhattan telephone answering service, Susanswerphone, who gets mixed up in her kooky clients' lives, acting as both muse and therapist, eventually falling in love with a client's voice. Early appearance by Stapleton, and a cameo by Holliday's husband, saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. The picture's many musical hits include "Just in Time" and "The Party's Over." Academy Award Nominations: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.
BRIGADOON: Romance blooms for an American who stumbles upon a magical Scottish village visible for one day every hundred years. Bagpipes and brogues abound in the Technicolor Highlands, and the Lerner and Loewe score makes this one of the most underrated of the grand 1950s musicals.
EASTER PARADE: An Irving Berlin spectacular in which Astaire plays the part of a dance man whose partner abandons the act. Fortunately, his new partner turns out to be Garland. This is the only picture in which the two superstars worked together. Academy Awards: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.
FINIAN'S RAINBOW: It's hard to believe THE GODFATHER filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was also responsible for this charming, whimsical musical. Fred Astaire stars in his last full-length musical role as Finian McLonergan. In Ireland, Finian manages to steal a pot of gold from unlucky leprechaun Og (Tommy Steele). Finian and daughter Sharon (Petula Clark) journey to Rainbow Valley in America and join the townspeople there in defending themselves against the racist Senator Billboard Rawkins (Keenan Wynn). The buried gold becomes the lucky crock that helps Og, Finian, and the townspeople fulfill their dreams.