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American Movie Musicals Collection, Vol. 2 [3 Discs] [DVD]

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A Chorus Line
Broadway's celebratory musical about rejection makes it to the screen in a fizzless adaptation by Richard Attenborough that misses the whole point of the Broadway show -- i.e. the dancing and the dancers. Instead, the dancers become a limp Greek chorus for the dead love affair between a choreographer, Zach (a pre-Gordon Gekko Michael Douglas) and his old flame, Cassie (Alyson Reed) the star dancer. Zach is holding try-outs for a new Broadway musical and, as armies of dancers are brought on stage to audition for Zach, he sits in the darkened recesses of the theater, puffing on a cigarette, as he winnows out hopeful dancers who want to become part of the chorus line for Zach's new show. Finally, Zach has reduced the dancers to 16 men and women, and he asks each of them to step to the footlights and tell him about their lives and their dreams. But backstage, while the dancers are confessing their pasts to Zach, Zach's past walks through the stage door. Cassie, Zach's ex-lover, whom Zach met, courted and broke up with in the theatrical environs, has returned. Once a big star, Cassie has returned to the theater -- not to see Zach but to audition for Zach's musical. She needs the work. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

The public and private lives of famed songwriter Cole Porter are both explored in this musical drama, in which the aging Porter (played by Kevin Kline) looks back on his life while watching a rehearsal of a stage musical based on his story. As Porter compares notes on the play with director Gabe (Jonathan Pryce), he shares thoughts on his rise to fame in the mid-'20s, writing witty and sophisticated tunes for a string of successful Broadway musicals. Porter seemed to be living a charmed life when he met Linda Thomas (Ashley Judd), a beautiful American woman who, like Porter, was enjoying a sojourn in Paris following the collapse of her first marriage. Thomas is immediately taken with Porter, whose intelligence and charm is a welcome change after her brutal first husband, and the two discover they share a remarkable understanding of one another. Porter and Thomas marry, even though she's aware that her new husband is gay; Thomas is willing to forgive Porter's indiscretions with other men in favor of the emotional support he brings her. However, as the years wear on and the couple takes up residence in Hollywood as Porter begins writing tunes for motion pictures, Thomas finds Porter drifting away from her as his liaisons become more frequent and more serious. Then tragedy enters their life when Porter loses the use of his legs in a riding accident and Thomas is diagnosed with cancer. De-Lovely features a number of noted pop singers interpreting classic songs from Porter's catalog, including Diana Krall, Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, Robbie Williams, Mick Hucknall, and others. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Milos Forman's adaptation of the tribal rock musical Hair stars John Savage as Claude, a quiet young man from the Midwest who becomes friendly with a group of New York hippies on his way to begin basic training in the military. The repressed Claude is quite taken with Berger (Treat Williams) and the group of freedom seekers who reside in Central Park. The group encourages Claude to go after a debutante named Sheila (Beverly D'Angelo). Legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp masterminded the dances, which attempt to flow from the natural settings of the film. The film includes most of the more famous songs from the original play, including "Donna," "Aquarius," "Easy to Be Hard," "Let the Sunshine In," "Good Morning Starshine," and the title number. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Michael Douglas
    Michael Douglas - Zach
  • Terrence Mann
    Terrence Mann - Larry
  • Alyson Reed
    Alyson Reed - Cassie
  • Image coming soon
    Cameron English - Paul
  • Image coming soon
    Vicki Frederick - Shiela
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.