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    Wraparound Globetrotting

    Posted by Mike Finnegan on

    From the Nice Work If You Can Get It File: What if a major motion picture production bankrolled a scenically sprawling vacation trip and all you had to do was to have your deluxe-accommodation fun in faraway places captured by the Technicolor camera? (We’re talking about a pre-digital, pre-cellphone era, mind you.) That actually happened to Kansas City couple John and Betty Marsh as well as Fred and Beatrice Troller of Zurich, Switzerland, the stars of the second three-panel spectacle Cinerama Holiday (1955), which world-premiered in New York 62 years ago today. Across a whirlwind six-month period, the Marshes traveled around Europe and the Trollers enjoyed a cross-country American excursion, and enthusiastic roadshow audiences powered the ultra-wide, immersively shot two-hour chronicle of their respective travels into the year’s second-highest-grossing movie. Through the skies, across the sea, riding the rails, astride a motorcycle, downhill on skis, careening via bobsled, the four principals stood in for envious moviegoers who vicariously enjoyed major tourist attractions and scintillating side trips. The splendors of Switzerland and Paris occupy the Marshes, while the Trollers took in San Francisco, Colorado, New Orleans, New England and New York City, and the rich musical program featured eloquent underscoring by the great Morton Gould and performances by the Boys Choir of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Oscar “Papa” Celestin and the Original Tuxedo Dixieland Jazz Band, the Dartmouth College and University of New Hampshire Glee Clubs, the Paris Opera, the U.S. Naval Academy Choir and more. Available here at Twilight Time Movies, David Strohmaier’s gorgeous restoration of the Louis de Rochemont production is splendidly served up in the wraparound Smilebox format on Flicker Alley’s meticulous Cinerama Holiday Blu-ray/DVD Combo, brimming with Extras that provide a marvelous time-capsule view of an earlier era while celebrating the advances digital restoration tools offer to rescue movie history. At 25% off list, it’ll be one of your smarter travel bargain bookings.