[box cover]

Brigadoon

Hailing from the era when most movie musicals were about as edgy as your average episode of "Leave it to Beaver," Vincente Minnelli's Brigadoon (1954) has an earnest, quaint charm that perfectly suits the story of a magical Scottish village that only appears once every 100 years. Sure, the movie's be-kilted and be-heathered Scots look like they walked straight out of the Scotland pavilion at Disney's Epcot Center, but with Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's classic songs and Gene Kelly's gracefully athletic choreography, it's easy to look past the gratuitous "bonnies" and "laddies" and enjoy Brigadoon for what it is. Kelly stars as Tommy Albright, an American on vacation with his best friend, Jeff Douglas (a dryly irascible Van Johnson). When the pair loses their way in the mists of the Scottish highlands and stumbles into Brigadoon, they don't realize at first that they've discovered something extraordinary. But after spending a golden day with the "old-fashioned" villagers — in Tommy's case, one villager in particular, the lovely Fiona (Cyd Charisse) — they learn Brigadoon's secret. Turns out that in the 1700s the town's pastor made a deal with God to grant Brigadoon a miracle and keep it safe from the outside world, hiding the village from all outsiders except for one day every century. Which is all well and good — unless someone (like a young, hotheaded Scot with a broken heart, perhaps) decides to leave … or someone else (like a handsome New Yorker with a gift for dance) falls in love and wishes he could stay. Brigadoon's story isn't particularly deep or complex, so it's not hard to guess what happens. But in the meantime, there are plenty of musical numbers to enjoy, from the catchy "I'll Go Home with Bonnie Jean" to the romantic "Almost Like Being in Love." Kelly and Charisse (who previously — and memorably — shared screen time in Singin' in the Rain) work together beautifully; they execute their dance sequences perfectly and passionately. Johnson brings some comic relief to the proceedings, but Brigadoon is above all an unapologetically sentimental romance set to music, so grab your hanky and head for the Highlands. Warner presents Brigadoon (which was originally filmed in CinemaScope) in a strong anamorphic transfer (2.55:1) with remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (a French mono track is also available, as are English, French, and Spanish subtitles). Extras include the trailer, three deleted musical numbers ("Come to Me, Bend to Me," "From This Day On," and, the highlight of the collection, the nimble-footed "Sword Dance"), and an additional audio-only song ("There But for You Go I"). Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech



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