Saturday 18 July 2015

Orry-Kelly leads to an evening viewing Oklahoma! on DVD

Gillian Armstrong's new doco, though nearly a biopic given there is so much enacted material and so many conspiratorial confessions to camera by Darren Gilshenan playing O-K, has already been widely praised here  by Barrie Pattison after a screening at the Sydney Film Festival. However it did provoke me to get out the disc, acquired long ago, of Oklahoma! for which O-K won an Oscar, just for starters to confirm what Orry did to liven the show up. It comes as a two disc set, one the Cinemascope version which would have been what I first saw at Hoyts Padua in Brunswick lo all those years ago, and on the second disc the less well-restored Todd A-O version. Without thinking I put on the 'Scope version. Big mistake. This is the one where Zinneman's framing cut off the dancers' feet rather too often. A check later of the Todd A-O version confirmed it is by far the better and the takes on some of the dances are better. Since the DVD release the film has  undergone a restoration and the new version was screened at Bologna in 2014. The eleven minute extra on Disc two explaining the differences between Scope and Todd A-O is most enlightening.

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