Talking Pictures alias

ON Release 5 March 2001






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DVDs and Videos from the The Laureate Collection:

Dir. Stanley Donen. Starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy. Originally released in 1963.
114 minutes. Colour. Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1  (Letterboxed) with mono Dolby digital sound and English subtitles for the hard of hearing.
DVD Cat. No. SDE 2003. £12.99
Video Cat. No. SDE 0703. £5.99

When a young American woman learns that her French husband has been murdered, she finds herself pursued by a sinister trio of men bent on retrieving a quarter of a million dollars supposedly stolen by the deceased.  In desperation she turns to the C.I.A. but from this point things only start to get more fraught.

A thriller very much in the style of Alfred Hitchcock, Charade was one of the biggest international box office hits of 1964. Cary Grant, after three decades of stardom, proved he had lost none of his magic with audiences, whilst the charm of Audrey Hepburn and the enthralling Paris locations added further first class ingredients to this gripping masterpiece.  All this plus an exceptional screenplay from Peter Stone (The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three) and Henry Mancini’s music mean that Charade is a classic of sixties suspense cinema.

This excellently restored DVD version of Charade offers a comprehensive array of extra features including exclusive audio commentary from film historian Ken Barnes featuring conversations with Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, cast & crew profiles, excerpts from Cary Grant’s and Audrey Hepburn’s debut screen appearances, scene selection, animated menus, Charade’s original theatrical trailer as well as trailers for Notorious and Funny Face.

Royal Wedding - Collector’s Edition
Dir. Stanley Donen. Starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell. Originally released in 1950.
93 minutes. Colour. Original Aspect Ratio (4:3 Academy Frame) with sound in Dolby Digital (mono) with the added option of English sub-titles on the DVD.
DVD Cat. No. SDE 2002. £12.99
Video Cat. No. SDE 0702. £5.99

England - 1947 and the time of Princess Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip Mountbatten.  Successful brother and sister dance team Tom (Astaire) and Ellen Bowen (Powell) are invited to perform in London, and whilst there both of them, like the royals, find romance.

Royal Wedding features the legendary scene of Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling.  Screenplay and lyrics are by Alan Jay Lerner (My Fair Lady, Paint Your Wagon) and the music was composed by Burton Lane (Finian’s Rainbow)

To make this film the ultimate Special Collector’s Edition many features have been added to this DVD including exclusive audio commentary from Fred Astaire’s daughter Ava, graphic illustration of the “Walls and Ceiling” dance sequence, photo gallery, cast profiles, scene selection and two theatrical trailers:  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Yolanda and the Thief.  The “Walls and Ceiling” sequence from Royal Wedding will also be shown at Ava’s star-studded tribute to her father, Fred Astaire, His Daughter’s Tribute, taking place at the London Palladium on Sunday 18th February.

Second Chorus - Collector’s Edition
Dir. H. C. Potter. Starring Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith and Paulette Goddard. Originally filmed in 1940.
82 minutes. Black and White.Original Aspect Ratio (4:3 Academy Frame) and offers Dolby Digital Mono sound. 
DVD Cat. No. SDE 2001. £12.99
Video Cat. No. SDE 0701. £5.99

Trumpet players Danny (Fred Astaire) and Hank (Burgess Meredith) have been avoiding graduation for seven years so that they can continue playing with their college band. They hire pretty Ellen Miller (Paulette Goddard) as the band’s agent and, as she quickly increases their earning power, the boys find themselves with flourishing musical careers.  One day Ellen is hired as Artie Shaw’s band manager and makes plans for Danny and Hank to audition for Shaw.  Both, however, are now keen rivals for Ellen’s hand and the tension between them sees them attempting to foil each other’s chances as they audition for Shaw.

This Collector’s Edition DVD also features exclusive audio commentary from Fred Astaire’s daughter Ava, photo gallery, cast profiles, two theatrical trailers: Holiday Inn and Reap The Wild Wind, sub-titles for the hard of hearing and scene selection.

The Laureate Collection is a series of much-loved and historically important films that has been researched, rescued and restored by The Laureate Company’s founder, Ken Barnes.  Barnes’ career as a Hollywood record producer brought him into contact with many stars of the era, including a 12-year working relationship and friendship with Fred Astaire.  It was these contacts, combined with Barnes’ love and encyclopedic knowledge of film, that inspired The Laureate Collection.

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Material Copyright © 2001 Nigel Watson