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Moon Over Broadway

Overview

The DVD of Moon Over Broadway that Docurama has released is basically as good as the movie itself. They have presented the film in a ratio of 1.85:1. The image quality is good, but there is a fair amount of grain evident. While this would usually be seen as a negative, here it gives a sense of immediacy, and also helps to remind viewers that they are watching a documentary. Beyond the grain, the picture is better than one would expect. The sound, presented in a basic two-channel stereo track, is nicely ...
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Overview

The DVD of Moon Over Broadway that Docurama has released is basically as good as the movie itself. They have presented the film in a ratio of 1.85:1. The image quality is good, but there is a fair amount of grain evident. While this would usually be seen as a negative, here it gives a sense of immediacy, and also helps to remind viewers that they are watching a documentary. Beyond the grain, the picture is better than one would expect. The sound, presented in a basic two-channel stereo track, is nicely reproduced, clear, concise, and fully understandable. Most surprising is the main extra feature on this disc, a full-length commentary featuring Philip Bosco, Carol Burnett, Ken Ludwig, Tom Moore, Rocco Landesman, Elizabeth Williams, Wendy Ettinger, Frazer Pennebaker, D.A. Pennebaker, and Chris Hegedus. This is an outstanding commentary track that is part scene-specific and part interview and it really works for this kind of film. Burnett, who phoned in her part of the commentary, is the least heard, but her input seems just as important as the others who were involved. The most unusual part of it is Philip Bosco, who regularly comes across as an individualist and not a team player. The resentment often heard in his voice is disturbing at times as he goes on about how the play was his until Burnett came on. It's odd to hear such a frank discussion when a person knows that others are bound to hear it. His "honesty" comes across as a nothing more than the bitterness of a spoiled actor, and while his observations are regularly negative, they are also quite fascinating. The other cast and crew members look back with fond memories for the most part and the commentary is constantly illuminating and entertaining. The disc also has four brief biographies for the two Pennebakers, Hegedus, and Ettinger. Also of interest are three previews for other Docurama films, including Don't Look Now, Regret to Inform, and Paul Taylor's Dancemaker.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The idea of making a documentary about the making of a minor Broadway play like Moon Over Buffalo seems odd at first. While the play is enjoyable, it is not one for the ages -- and clearly this would have been obvious from the beginning. However, Moon Over Broadway emerges as an extremely enjoyable and very valuable documentary when it becomes clear that the film is not about THIS play but is in a sense about A Broadway play -- especially the kind of star-driven Boulevard play, complete with classic out-of-town tryout, that is a dying breed. While there are numerous supporting players, the film focuses on the most important triumvirate -- playwright Ken Ludwig, director Tom Moore and star Carol Burnett. Moore is the man in the middle here, and he's fascinating (if occasionally repellent) to watch. The different attitudes he displays when talking with Ludwig and when talking to Burnett leave the viewer wondering if he is two-faced, merely practical or a brilliant tactitian. It's also interesting to watch the balance of sympathy shift, as Ludwig initially comes across as overimpressed with his own worth, but eventually reveals a vulnerability that -- while it may not make up for his overly callous attitude concerning Burnett -- does tend to soften one's feelings for him. For her part, Burnett does not act as the stereotypical neurotic or imperious star. While clearly nervous, she does not allow the nerves to affect her relationships, and while she does have some concerns, she tends to present them as requests rather than demands. All of this stacks the deck against Ludwig and Moore, although Moore's ability to see that Burnett has come a long way during the process wins him points. As usual, Pennebaker's unobtrusively inquisitive camera captures many marvelous moments. Moon is a wonderful behind-the-scenes excursion which reveals that, amazingly, many of the cliches we see in onscreen backstagers are not so far from the truth.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/5/2000
  • UPC: 767685945933
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: Docurama
  • Region Code: 1
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 72,681

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carol Burnett Interviewee
Technical Credits
Chris Hegedus Director, Editor, Sound/Sound Designer
D.A. Pennebaker Director, Cinematographer, Editor
James Desmond Camera Operator, Cinematographer
Nick Doob Cinematographer
Wendy Ettinger Producer
John McCormick Sound/Sound Designer
James McCormick Sound/Sound Designer
Frazer Pennebaker Producer
Elizabeth Williams Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. The Face Begins [6:35]
2. Funny Firsts [5:27]
3. Sweating Bullets [11:01]
4. Pact With The Devil [8:27]
5. On The Road [9:30]
6. A Hoot Shoot [6:25]
7. Write Funnier [7:13]
8. Watch Your Back [7:08]
9. The Carol Burnett Show [5:57]
10. Critics' Night [8:09]
11. Whatever It Is, It Is [7:58]
12. We've Got A Hit! [13:36]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Film
   Commentary
      Start
      On
      Off
   Biographies
      D A Pennebaker
      Chris Hegedus
      Wendy Ettinger
      Frazer Pennebaker
   Docurama
      Bob Dylan Don'T Look Back
      Regret To Inform
      Paul Taylor'S Dancemaker
   Weblinks
   Credits
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