am 10. April 2016
THE GLENN MILLER STORY [1954 / 1985 / 2014] [Masterpieces of Cinema No.13] [Blu-ray] The Sweetest Story Ever Told! The Story of a Love that made Wonderful Music!
Outstanding shown by James Stewart shows ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ the life of the most famous bandleader America. Initially unsuccessful and impoverished, Glenn Miller has to have his trombone more than once retrieved from the pawnshop. Only love and faith his wife let him persevere. Beginning of the 1940s has managed to Glenn Miller: He is Star own show and its incomparable sound the epitome of swing. But the Second World War is approaching and the fate strikes relentlessly.
It was a time that changed the world. And one man put it to music. The true story of an unassuming band leader and trombonist, Glenn Miller [James Stewart] who got his first break playing his own arrangement of “Everybody Loves My Baby” at an audition. Glenn Miller never looked back. Glenn Miller married his childhood sweetheart and everything he played became an instant hit . . . songs like “Moonlight Serenade,” “String of Pearls” and “Tuxedo Junction.” Hollywood beckoned, and success piled upon success. But then World War II arrived, a war from which Glenn Miller never returned, because Glenn Miller was on his way to Paris to entertain the American Forces when his plane disappeared. But the show had to go on . . . and Glenn Miller became a legend. The film features all of Glenn Miller's hits and there are many guest performances that make this film an all-time classic.
FILM FACT: There are several anachronisms in the picture. When the military band led by Glenn Miller is playing in front of General "Hap" Arnold, a B-29 bomber is in the background. The marching troops are desegregated, which didn't happen until 1948. The film was reissued in 1985 with a stereo soundtrack. The film was originally recorded in stereo but was initially released in mono. It was screened out of competition at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival. James Stewart as Glenn Miller when playing the Trombone was dubbed by Glenn Miller and Trummy Young. Nino Tempo as Wilbur Schwartz had the Clarinet playing dubbed by Wilbur Schwartz.
Cast: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake, George Tobias, Barton MacLane, Sig Ruman, Marion Ross, Nino Tempo, Irving Bacon, Kathleen Lockhart, James Bell, Louis Armstrong, Barney Bigard, Trummy Young, Gene Krupa, Ben Pollack, Johnny Best, Babe Russin, Cozy Cole, Arvell Shaw, The Modernaires, Frances Langford, Cicily Carter (uncredited), William Challee (uncredited), Kevin Corcoran (uncredited), Hal K. Dawson (uncredited), Bonnie Eddy (uncredited), Phil Garris (uncredited), Lisa Gaye (uncredited), Bob Hamlin (uncredited), Lionel Hampton (uncredited), Ruth Hampton (uncredited), Harry Harvey (uncredited), Paula Kelly (uncredited), Bill Lee (uncredited), Dayton Lummis (uncredited), Leo Mostovoy (uncredited), Damian O'Flynn (uncredited), Steve Pendleton (uncredited), Thurl Ravenscroft (uncredited), Davis Roberts (uncredited), Max Smith (uncredited), Frank Sutton (uncredited), Anthony Sydes (uncredited), Deborah Sydes (uncredited), Paul Tanner (uncredited), Carl Vernell (uncredited) and Carleton Young (uncredited)
Director: Anthony Mann
Producer: Aaron Rosenberg
Screenplay: Oscar Brodney and Valentine Davies
Composers: Glenn Miller, Henry Mancini and Joseph Gershenson
Cinematography: William H. Daniels
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 and 1.85:1
Audio: German: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo and English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo
Subtitles: German and English
Running Time: 112 minutes and 116 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal-International Picture
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ was a box office smash in 1954, just ten years after the celebrated composer had disappeared over the English Channel in December of 1944. Although American popular music had moved away from swing and the big band sound after WWII, ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ sparked a revival of interest in the 'King of the Swing Bands,' his passion for music, and his meteoric rise to the top of the charts, eventually earning him recognition as one of the greatest American composers of all time.
Unlike so many film bios, this is an honest, intelligent depiction of one of America's greatest musical influences and doesn't merely string together a series of hit tunes and gratuitous scenes. But oh, what music! James Stewart is Glenn Miller, a bright young man with a love for the trombone and a desire to create music. At the University of Colorado Glenn Miller falls for Helen Burger [June Allyson], at her charming best, and both were a perfect match together on the silver screen; then James Stewart, after graduation, he goes to work for Ben Pollack, who was an American drummer and bandleader from the mid-1920s through the swing era. His eye for talent led him to either discover or employ, at one time or another, musicians such as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland and Harry James. This ability earned him the nickname "Father of Swing."
In preparing for the role, James Stewart already knew how to play the piano from lessons in childhood, which proved useful in conveying Glenn Miller's creative process and personal style. As for the actor's trombone playing, he was dubbed by the musician Joe Yukl. At first, Stewart insisted on playing the trombone himself because he didn't want to look like he was faking it. However, it soon became apparent that he was woefully inadequate for the task so he agreed to plug up his mouthpiece and concentrate on learning the correct hand positions on the instrument. In Jimmy Stewart: A Wonderful Life by Jonathan Coe, the actor said he and Yukl "worked out the tunes I had to play with a series of photographs and with the musician showing me the position of the slide, and how long it stayed there. He'd stand to one side of the camera. The music was up above the camera. I'd watch the position of his trombone and match it.' All the hard work paid off, however, because Stewart took home a handsome pay check in the end, thanks to a signed guarantee with the studio for a percentage of the box office grosses. ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ was ranked fifth for the year in profits, and the actor made over a million dollars from the arrangement with Universal with this film alone.
Glenn Miller was probably one of the most famous musicians of his time and undoubtedly one of the most gifted jazz trombonists ever. Like his music, but also made his short life headlines and because Miller is during the Second World War, his plane disappeared over the English Channel, on the way to France. Instead of dealing with the propaganda of his death, crowned director Anthony Mann and James Stewart with his work with the cinematic biography, though not only inspires beneficial acts, but especially with the outstanding soundtrack like life itself. It still holds well when we hear the popular and well-known swing tunes of The Glenn Miller Band. This magic works even after 60 years after the premiere of the film.
Represented by the great James Stewart and shows us ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’  the life of the most famous bandleader America. Initially unsuccessful and impoverished, Glenn Miller has his trumpet more than once retrieved from the pawnshop. Only love and faith his wife [June Allyson] can hold him. But the Second World War is approaching and the fate strikes mercilessly.
In preparing for the role, James Stewart already knew how to play the piano from lessons in childhood, which proved useful in conveying Miller's creative process and personal style. As for the actor's trombone playing, he was dubbed by the musician Joe Yukl. At first, James Stewart insisted on playing the trombone himself because he didn't want to look like he was faking it. However, it soon became apparent that he was woefully inadequate for the task so he agreed to plug up his mouthpiece and concentrate on learning the correct hand positions on the instrument. Jimmy Stewart the actor said he and Joe Yukl "worked out the tunes I had to play with a series of photographs and with the musician showing me the position of the slide, and how long it stayed there. He'd stand to one side of the camera. The music was up above the camera. I'd watch the position of his trombone and match it.” All the hard work paid off, however, because Stewart took home a handsome paycheck in the end, thanks to a signed guarantee with the studio for a percentage of the box office grosses. ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’  was ranked fifth for the year in profits, and the actor made over a million dollars from the arrangement with Universal-International with this film alone.
A perfect example of Universal-International's product, ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ is full of memorable moments such as the scene in which Glenn Miller is finally inspired to create his signature, up-front clarinet sound for "Moonlight Serenade." Anthony Mann develops and executes this sequence with both understated beauty and a love for the composer and the music. The director's collaboration with the great cinematographer William Daniels employs a visual Technicolor arc that goes from drabness, especially with Glenn Miller's early struggles, to the heavenly colours of artistic and commercial success and marital bliss. William Daniels ' gifts are particularly apparent in the sequence set in the Harlem nightspot, “Connie's Inn,” where his evocative use of colour also has thematic relevance. Perhaps the only faults ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’can be cited for are the obvious liberties that were taken with the band leader's career and a tendency to become overly sentimental at times. But since the movie alternately swings and serenades its audience so expertly, does it really matter?
‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’  is not only the biopic of a remarkable man, but also a distinctive musician whose music 70 years after his death still delight as the first day. Those who want to get carried away not only from a previous ear and the head lasting soundtrack and an always charming James Stewart, but that too in the best possible quality thanks to this Blu-ray disc. Music buffs will particularly appreciate ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ because it is loaded with several musical contemporaries of Glenn Miller: the great drummer Gene Krupa, Ben Pollack, Louis Armstrong, Frances Langford, and the group The Modernaires. And of course, there is all that great music like "String of Pearls," "Pennsylvania 6-5000," "Tuxedo Junction," "In the Mood," and "Basin Street Blues" to name just a few. Miller's personal friend, Chummy MacGregor (played in the film by Harry Morgan, a future regular on TV's M*A*S*H*), served as technical advisor on the film and Henry Mancini handled the musical arrangements. ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ was nominated for an Academy Awards® for Best Score, but lost to Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin for ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ . All that's missing from this well-crafted film is Tex Beneke, as the "boy singer" for The Glenn Miller's band, who went on to lead it after his mentor's death. Look for the great Frances Langford really doing her thing.
Blu-ray Video Quality – Universal-International Picture brings you a unique choice of viewing with two versions of this unique classic film ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY.’ Because you can view either the 1954 original release or the 1985 reissued cinema release. Both films are of the highest calibre presentation and look totally ravishing in glorious 1080p Technicolor image presentation with a clean beautifully saturated print quality for this Blu-ray disc. With the 1954 release you get to view it in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio and I can tell you I have never seen a print look so stunning for a 1954 film release and is totally pin sharp in detail to nearly look like you are watching a 4K Blu-ray disc, it is that spectacular. With the 1985 reissued cinema release you get to view it in the equally impressive 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The photography has really wonderful image detail and I did not notice any kind of annoying specks and dirt which normally see with a film of this age are totally absent. The picture quality sometimes tended to get slightly soft and grainy, but less saturated when scenes were dissolved into each other; otherwise it is a totally splendid and really excellent looking Blu-ray disc, especially for the age of the two films you get to view. Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Universal-International Picture presents you once again a choice of two audio experiences and they are German: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo and English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo, and confirm that the English track is absolutely totally stunning and very clear, and especially with both the dialogue and especially the Glenn Miller musical numbers, which are sounding really beautiful, as well as lush and you feel like you are experiencing a studio recording. Before viewing the film you must first access the audio section, as it automatically selects the German language.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’  1080p] [1.85:1] Here you get the bonus of viewing the slightly longer version of the 1985 film that is 116 minutes long. The film was reissued in 1985 with a stereo soundtrack for the cinema release, but we automatically get the stereo version, as well with the shorter running time of the 1.33:1 aspect ratio film.
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [1.33:1] [1:25] This is the Original German Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY.’ This is the most atrocious bad quality print.
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [1.33:1] [2:28] This is the Original American Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY.’ This is also the most atrocious bad quality print and to me it looks like it was copied from a VHS tape.
Special Feature: Stills and Promotional Image Gallery  [1080p] [1.85:1] [5:58] Here we get to view a great deal of rare promotional images in both black-and-white and colour, that consist of Cinema Posters from around the world, Cinema Programmes, Studio Promotional Images, and also lots of images of the main actors in the film. What I can say is what you view is absolutely stunning and totally breath taking. While viewing all of these images, in the background you get the music soundtrack from the film ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY.’
BONUS: A 16 page booklet by Sascha Westphal, which has some black-and-white images, but sadly it is all in German.
Finally, Universal Pictures brings us ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ has its place in the Masterpieces of Cinema series more than it deserves. But not only is the film itself wonderful and nostalgic, but also the Blu-ray image evaluation deserves massive great praise. The film itself has a brilliant audio presentation for its age and has been lovingly rendered in beautiful 1080p high definition Technicolor image presentation. ‘THE GLENN MILLER STORY’ can and will please all fans of James Stewart, and especially with the rousing emotional music of that period it is set in, and a really excellent biopic film. Quite I rightly acknowledge the effort of Koch Media, who has also done a very professional job to release this film with this series of Masterpieces of Cinema No.13, but mainly having Universal-International Picture put on this brilliant Blu-ray disc in this sleek and well-designed Blu-ray cover. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom