Reviewin’ the Box: ‘Judy, Frank & Dean: Once in a lifetime’

(Image: clzimages)
(Image: clzimages)

Reviewin’ the Box: Judy, Frank & Dean: Once in a lifetime

What’s in the box?: A single disc including including musical performances from Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. These performances come from a 1962 televised special.

Packaging: This DVD, released by KULTUR, comes in a standard plastic case. The cover design is simple, but nice. The back cover could use more pizazz but I like the fact that it lists the songs that are included on the DVD. The packaging is nothing special, but it works! I’ll dock one point since it would’ve been nice to see a small booklet included, giving background information about the TV special and the songs performed. 4/5

DVD quality: The performances are, of course, phenomenal. How could they not be, coming from three such incredibly talented stars? The sound quality is decent and the picture is generally clear. The special appears to have been colorized, though… and not colorized very well. Judy’s skin looks an odd, unnatural shade of pink in her first two performances. Luckily, I watched this using VLC Media Player, which includes an option to turn ANY video black and white. I switched back now and again to see if the quality improved and the odd color was most apparent in the first two musical numbers. 2.5/5 – I would dock it more for the colorization had I not been able to correct that with my media player.

Special features: Special features include a short biography of Judy Garland and her filmography. These are not video extras; they’re in a PowerPoint-esque text slideshow format. I would have loved to have at least seen bios and filmographies for Frank and Dean as well. Even better, I would have liked some video extras — clips of each star from other TV specials, for example. 1/5

(Image: otrcat)
(Image: otrcat)

Despite the disc’s problems, this special is so much fun to watch. I’m a huge fan of all three of these performers, and to see them sing together (Judy and Frank in particular) is so wonderful. Their banter and funny little interactions between and during songs is adorable. They come off as a group of old friends having fun and doing what they love, performing together. The performance is set up as a bit of a love triangle, with Frank and Dean both trying to woo Judy with their songs.

Five favorite numbers:
“When You’re Smiling” (sung by Judy)
“You’re Just Too Marvelous” (sung by Frank)
“I See Your Face Before Me” (sung by Frank)
“The Man That Got Away” (sung by Judy)
“Let There Be Love/You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You” (sung by Judy, Frank and Dean)

Overall score: 3/5 – I’m willing to forgive some of the DVD’s technical faults because these performances are so wonderful to watch.

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