Kiss Me Kate 3D

Featured In Issue 196, April/May 2015

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Warner Home Video
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George Sidney
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Based on Shakespeare's “The Taming Of The Shrew,” Kiss Me Kate was brought to the screen in 1953 by a team of MGM veterans––Producer Jack Cummings, Screenplay Writer Dorothy Kingsley, and Director George Sidney. Hermes Pan choreographed the film's dances. Pan also allowed co-star Bob Fosse to add his own choreography to the climactic “From This Moment On” number, in which he appears with Carol Haney. The musical direction was by André Previn and Saul Chaplin. The film version (which followed the Broadway production) received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. Featured are such Cole Porter songs as “Why Can't You Behave?,” “Wunderbar,” “So In Love,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Always True To You In My Fashion,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” In the film, Fred Graham (Keel) and Lilli Vanessi (Grayson), now divorced, are musical theatre actors now playing Petruchio and Katherine, the leads in a musical based on Shakespeare's play. The two stars are on bad terms, and spats, not the least of which involve Fred's new girlfriend Lois (Miller), threaten to close down the show. Keeping things together are a pair of gangsters (Wynn) and Whitmore), who are there to collect bad gambling debts from Bill Calhoun (Rall), who plays Lucentio. Classic gags and craziness ensue before it all works out in the final act. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurette Cole Porter In Hollywood: Two Darn Hot (SD 09:42), the vintage short Mighty Manhattan, New York's Wonder City (SD 05:08), a vintage cartoon Barney's Hungry Cousin (SD 06:42), and the theatrical trailer.

The 1.78:1 1080p MVC picture is the restored native 3D Metrovision Tri-Dee (dual-strip 3D spherical process that was photographed in Ansco Color with prints by Technicolor). The film was released theatrically 62 years ago using the most advanced 3D technology during the medium's “golden era.” The color palette is striking for its bold and vivid hues. Primaries are strong, and the imagery is wonderfully bright and vibrant. Red hues and other multi-colored costumes and makeup really pop, thanks to the beautiful restoration. For its age, resolution is good, but sharpness is varied and at times results in softness. Film grain is evident, and though fine, is most noticeable in faces and light-colored backgrounds. As for the 3D presentation is fabulous! The sense of depth and perspective is perfectly executed, with excellent volume exhibited in people and settings. As a stage play within a movie, the 3D perspectives reflect audience views and POV opposite the actors. The use of gimmicky and other out-of-screen effects are sprinkled in various scenes, but the real magic is the dimensional visualization of the song and dance numbers. These are absolutely mesmerizing! No 2D rendering will ever be able to capture this native 3D magic! The climactic “From This Moment On” song and dance scene featuring Bob Fosse and Carol Haney is spectacular! Also the backstage settings are captured in 3D and exhibit different planes at varying distances. This is just an incredible classic 3D experience not to be missed. (Gary Reber)

Originally presented in both stereo and monaural and recorded in the Western Electric Sound System, the DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack was remixed from original recording stems and magnetic masters. The sound is remarkably full, with an incredibly wide and deep stereo soundstage and aggressive soundfield envelopment. The musical is driven by the wonderful compositions of Cole Porter, orchestrated by Conrad Salinger and Skip Martin and performed with a full Hollywood-style orchestra and chorus that, at times really swings, especially in “From This Moment On,” with bold, brassy big band accents. Instrumental resolution is excellent. The sound is so dimensional. Even normal dialogue is perfectly clear and well integrated spatially, even when transitioning to song. In some cases, the singing follows the directional positioning of the performers on stage. Everything sounds wonderful, without harshness and with excellent bass extension naturally reinforced by .1 LFE energy. The balance between singers and orchestra is perfect and has not been adversely degraded by the remix. The sonic presentation is absolutely delightful! (Gary Reber)