Unrated, 1954, 98 minutes, Video Artists International, $49.95.
"New Faces of 1952" was an explosion of fresh talent that hit Broadway with an impact that some old-timers still remember 35 years later. In 1954, the original stage show's vaudeville material was adapted into this film, with a slender (almost nonexistent) backstage plot line tacked on. Today, a lot of material that was once brilliant, daring and very modern appeals largely as nostalgia and performing arts archeology, though it is interesting to observe early career stages of such performers as Alice Ghostley (quite good in "Boston Beguine"), Ronny Graham, Robert Clary, June Carroll, Paul Lynde and Carol Lawrence. What remains freshest is what made the strongest impression in 1952 -- the sensual and comic talents of a dazzling young singer named Eartha Kitt singing "C'est si Bon." Kitt's talent seemed fully developed at her debut, and on this tape she sings several of the songs that have remained associated with her name ever since, including "Santa Baby," "Boredom" and "Uska Dara." Offstage, a young writer named Mel Brooks makes a promising debut in some comic skits. An elaborate production number is based on a novelty song, "Lizzie Borden" -- amusing but not quite as cute as the audio recording by the Chad Mitchell Trio.