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The Alice Faye Collection: Lillian Russell / On the Avenue / That Night In Rio / The Gang's All Here [DVD]

The Alice Faye Collection is a handy four-movie DVD set, containing Lillian Russell, On the Avenue, That Night in Rio, and The Gang's All Here, all of which are also available separately. Lillian Russell's major special feature is a documentary short on the actual Russell, a renowned singer of the 1890s and early 20th century. On the Avenue, built on the music of Irving Berlin, gets a full-blown commentary track by the scholar Miles Kreuger and a documentary about Alice Faye's screen career. That Night in Rio gets a documentary about Faye's off-screen life, plus an unused musical number with Faye and co-star Don Ameche appended. And The Gang's All Here, the most important of the four movies, gets the most substantial treatment, with a commentary track, a documentary, a very funny unused scene from the movie, and a pair of radio shows featuring Faye. Each film in that package is contained in a slim case that slides into a standard slipcase.

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    Special Features

    • Lillian Russell: documentary feature on the real Lilian Russell
    • On the Avenue: deleted scene with the Ritz Brothers
    • Featurette - Alice Faye: a Life on Screen
    • That Night in Rio: deleted scene with Faye & Ameche
    • Featurette Alice Faye: a Life Off Screen
    • The Gang's All Here:
    • Deleted scene
    • Alice Faye/Phil Harris Radio show


    On the Avenue
    Director Roy Del Ruth and singing star Dick Powell were raided from the Warner Bros. stables for this frothy musical comedy that features a wonderful collection of Irving Berlin songs, including "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and "Slumming on Park Avenue." Powell stars as Broadway impresario Gary Blake, who is busy putting together his latest Broadway musical starring the Ritz Brothers (as themselves) and musical comedy star Mona Merrick (Alice Faye). Mona's role as "The Richest Girl in the World" is a blunt burlesque of Park Avenue socialite Mimi Caraway (Madeleine Carroll), who catches a performance and becomes enraged at the not-so-subtle ribbing. Mimi goes backstage to protest Mona's performance to Gary, who is immediately attracted to Mimi and agrees to tone down the role. Unfortunately, Mona, who was once Gary's girlfriend, has other ideas. When Mimi and her family come to the next performance, they are shocked to discover Mona's character is even more nasty and self-centered than before. In retaliation, Mimi and her family buy out the production and Mimi makes changes that even the moony Gary objects to. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

    The Gang's All Here
    Lillian Russell
    Lillian Russell is the sanitized musical biopic of the legendary (and much-married) 19th century musical comedy star. Discovered in 1880 by bandleader Tony Pastor (Leo Carrillo), Lillian Russell (Alice Faye) wastes no time rising to fame and fortune on the Broadway stage. Along the way, she curries the favor of such eligible bachelors as newspaperman Alexander Moore (Henry Fonda), composer Edward Solomon (Don Ameche), and railroad tycoon Diamond Jim Brady (Edward Arnold). She marries the first two, and has a high old time (albeit chastely) with the third. The story ends with Russell's retirement in 1912, and her reunion with the one true love of her life. The film's hands-down highlight is a timeworn but classic routine involving those two Broadway comedy giants Joe Weber and Lew Fields, both of whom had appeared on-stage with the real Lillian Russell. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    That Night in Rio
    That Night in Rio is a musical remake of 1934's Folies Bergère. Don Ameche plays a dual role as a middle-aged Brazilian industrialist, and a young Rio de Janeiro cabaret performer who looks just like him. The highlight of the entertainer's act is an imitation of the industrialist, which impresses the latter's associates. When the industrialist is unable to attend an important business conference, his lieutenants persuade the entertainer to take his place. The entertainer falls in love with the industrialist's wife (Alice Faye), treating her so gallantly that when the real husband returns, he decides to be more attentive to and appreciative of his spouse. Carmen Miranda is supposed to be playing the entertainer's jealous girlfriend, but she's really around just to let loose with such below-the-Equator hits as "Chica, Chica, Boom Chic." The Rudolph Lothar/Hans Adler play on which That Night in Rio was based was given a third go round in 1951 as the Danny Kaye vehicle On the Riviera. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Dick Powell
      Dick Powell - Gary Blake
    • Madeleine Carroll
      Madeleine Carroll - Mimi Caraway
    • Alice Faye
      Alice Faye - Mona Merrick
    • George Barbier
      George Barbier - Commodore Caraway
    • Alan Mowbray
      Alan Mowbray - Frederick Sims

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