Holiday Inn (Special Edition) (2006) Review
(More customer reviews)I just finished watching the newly released Special Edition of Holiday Inn. I was AMAZED at the clarity of the picture. I've never seen a print of this film looking so pristine. Even on just a regular, 20" non-HDTV set, the hairs askew on top of Bing's toupee during the famous White Christmas scene are plainly visible. Now if you can see single hairs on a person's head during a medium shot on a small television set, that's a stunningly clear picture!
The audio as well is crisp and clear with rich bass and treble tones. If you watch the film with the audio commentary on, you'll hear the dulcet tones of Ken Barnes relating some fascinating tidbits about the making of the film, the songs (one particularly interesting part concerns the verse to White Christmas), the cast, etc. All is enhanced by sound bites from Bing and Fred Astaire themselves in archive audio material from the 1970's. As an example, Bing speaks of the continuing sales of his recording of White Christmas as late as 1974, how he felt it was due in part to people giving the record as a Christmas gift.
The real gems are the bonus features, particularly the 45 minute long mini feature A Couple of Song & Dance Men. Ken Barnes is joined by Fred Astaire's lovely daughter Ava sharing biographical memories of both Bing and Fred, along with trivia tidbits. Ava shows and reads some of the letters Fred Astaire wrote to his wife while on a USO tour in England with Bing in 1944, and telegrams to Fred from Bing, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin are also shown on screen. All is pieced together nicely with song excerpts from Bing's films, coming attractions trailers, and newsreel footage, including Bing opening the Stage Door Canteen in 1944.
The other, shorter bonus feature runs 7 minutes and is titled All Singing - All Dancing. Ken shares some rare behind the scenes photos and techniques of how musical numbers were filmed, beginning with the early talkies. He shows how the orchestra and singer were together on the set and recorded as one.
The original theatrical trailer for Holiday Inn is also included.
All is wrapped up nicely with a slip-cover that goes over the DVD case. When compared with the two-on-one DVD of Holiday Inn and Going My Way that's been out for many years now, the difference in quality is plainly visible. The Holiday Inn print looks somewhat fuzzy or "muddy" in quality when watched after seeing the brilliance of the newly restored print used on this Special Edition.
In short, this is a DVD that's well worth having. If you want the definitive presentation of this classic Holiday film, this is it! Bravo Ken & co.
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HOLIDAY INN SPECIAL EDITION - DVD Movie