In 1943, a new show by Kurt Weill (music), Ogden Nash (book and lyrics), and S.J. Perelman (book) made a splash on Broadway, running over 500 performances and jump-starting Mary Martin’s stage career. In 1955, NBC broadcast One Touch of Venus in a television adaptation derived directly from a successful staging of the show at the Dallas State Fair. The broadcast, though cut down somewhat (running time of about 80 minutes) offers no fewer than ten songs and both ballets. Directed by George Schaefer and choreographed by Edmund Balin, the cast featured Janet Blair (Venus), Russell Nype (Rodney) and George Gaynes (Savory).
Fans of the original Broadway show will welcome this home video release. The 1948 film adaptation (Ava Gardner and Robert Walker) eliminated most of the score and substantially rewrote the script. The 1955 broadcast, now available from Video Artists International (VAI 4568) follows the original script and score much more closely. Blair makes a regal Venus and Nype is suitably unassuming as the humble barber who attracts the goddess.
The DVD is playable in all regions but is in NTSC format. The broadcast was in black and white. The original commercials for Oldsmobile are included separately, as a bonus. Numerous chapters make navigation easy.
VAI page on One Touch of Venus
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