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The Harvey Girls Blu-ray Review

“The Harvey Girls” is a solid old fashioned musical.

Set in the Old West, 1946’s “The Harvey Girls” begins on board a train. Susan is traveling to Sand Rock to marry a man (A.J.) she met in an ad. Also on board bound to Sandrock are a group of women known as The Harvey Girls who are soon to be waitresses for the ever expanding restaurant chain Fred Harvey. Upon arrival, things don’t exactly go well for anyone. Susan learns that someone else wrote her letters and that the man she was set to marry isn’t who she thought he was. She ends up not marrying the guy and becomes a Harvey Girl instead. Alas, The Harvey Girls aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms either. A greedy Judge thinks they will ruin/change the town and tries to sabotage the place while the dancers from Fred’s competition the Alhambra (a dance, drink, and gambling hall) are standoffish about The Harvey Girls. As if this wasn’t enough there’s Ned who stirs up trouble. He owns the Alhambra, he tussles with the Judge, and is the one who wrote the letters to Susan. Naturally, Susan is very angry about the false pretenses initially, but maybe just maybe she will end up falling for Ned. 

For those that long for the days of the classic movie musicals, director George Sidney’s “The Harvey Girls” is for you. This grand MGM production has everything you’d expect from a high profile musical from a plethora of costumes, big sets, and elaborate song and dance numbers including the Award winning “On The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” (which will undoubtedly become stuck in your head). There’s also, of course, plenty of star power here with Judy Garland, John Hodiak, Angela Lansbury, Ray Bolger, and Cyd Charisse. Garland is certainly the main draw here as she is the heart of the movie and expectedly has some lovely singing sequences. 

Where “The Harvey Girls” falters is with the story which somehow has 6 screenwriting credits, 2 original story credits, and is based on a novel. Considering how slight the story is, it’s kind of baffling that it took this many people to create it. At any rate, it’s a pretty basic tale about romance and rivalries. It’s very much a spectacle movie which is fine considering that cinema is a visual medium. I will say the backdrop of this movie is interesting with a changing Old West and a restaurant chain expanding across the country, but that’s such a minor part of the movie and isn’t expanded upon in any great fashion. 


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a crisp hi-def print of this Technicolor musical.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A satisfactory audio track that comes alive during the musical numbers.
* 3 musical outtakes for “March of the Doagies,” “March of the Doagies Reprise” and “My Intuition.”
* Audio scoring stage sessions for “It’s A Great Big World,” “It’s A Great Big World (Pick-Up”), “On The Atchison” Pt. 1 (Takes 4 and 5), Pt. 2, Pt. 3 and the complete version.
* Commentary by director George Sidney.

December 26, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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