Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Burton Lane, Alan Jay Lerner, Fred Astaire|
Royal Wedding (1951 Movie Soundtrack) (Rhino Handmade)
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Complete for the very first time on CD
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 03/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here at last is the complete and restored soundtrack album for the beloved 1951 M-G-M musical, ROYAL WEDDING. It features a sparkler of a score from Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner (including the timeless ballad "Too Late Now"), and the impressive vocals of Jane Powell, in arguably her best role at the studio.
The story revolved around a brother-sister dance act, Tom and Ellen Bowen (Fred Astaire and Jane Powell). As they set sail for a London theatre season, they unexpectedly arrive in time for Princess Elizabeth's wedding to Philip Mountbatten. As luck would have it, Tom and Ellen also find love: he with beautiful chorus dancer Anne Ashmond (Sarah Churchill), and she with dashing society gent Lord John Brindale (Peter Lawford). Fun comedy was provided by Keenan Wynn, playing twin theatrical agents!
ROYAL WEDDING's trip to the screen wasn't an easy one. The role of Ellen Bowen was originally meant for June Allyson, but pregnancy forced her to leave the project. Then Judy Garland was considered (having previously co-starred with Astaire and Lawford in "Easter Parade"), but ill-health prevented her from committing. Finally, M-G-M's resident opera ingenue Jane Powell was cast as Ellen. Despite how Judy Garland might have tackled the role, I can't imagine anyone being better than Jane Powell in this particular instance. The movie's plot also had echoes of Fred Astaire's real-life partnership with his sister Adele (she left showbusiness after meeting and marrying Lord Cavendish during a 1929 European tour).
This film briefly went by the title of "Wedding Bells" (particularly during it's original European theatrical run so as not to seem a direct cash-in on Princess Elizabeth's wedding). The casting of Sarah Churchill (Prime Minister Winston Churchill's real-life daughter) as Astaire's love interest was another ploy in hooking European audiences. Ballet megastar Moira Shearer was also briefly considered for the role of Anne.
The score has been newly-restored and expanded on this limited edition CD from Rhino Handmade. Included is the complete dance/chorus arrangement of "Every Night at Seven", the full dance music to "I Left My Hat in Haiti"; "Open Your Eyes" (complete and uncut for the very first time in true stereo); "The Happiest Day of My Life" (sung by Powell but originally written for Churchill's role); plus the cut reprise of "Every Night at Seven" sung by Peter Lawford; as well as all the incidental and background music. Also included is a rare promotional interview with Astaire and Powell.
[Rhino Handmade/TCM 2-7777]"